Monday, July 28, 2014

Three Judges that Approve NSA Surveillance has Stock in Verizon

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AH Verizon 2.3

Here’s an interesting tid bit of news on a Monday. As we have been learning a ton more about the NSA tactics and how they are monitoring what we do and when we do them. It now appears that three judges at the FISA court own stock in Verizon. For those unaware, the FISA Court is the court that approves phone surveillance for the NSA. So that if the NSA wants to get surveillance on someone’s phone, the FISA court has to approve it. This new report coming out of Vice shows that the FISA court isn’t as neutral as it should be and needs to be. There are three judges there with Verizon stock, and one of whom signed off on the renewal of the metadata.

It’s probably worth noting that this isn’t the first time that this court has had some conflict-of-interest issues arise. Sometimes carriers will get millions from the government to get these records. So it’s unknown whether this had helped or hurt Verizon. All we know is that there are three judges that own stock in Verizon, and that’s a huge conflict-of-interest. While Verizon has indeed called for more transparency, it’s also unknown whether that’s just for show, or if it’s for real.

It may or may not have anything to do with each other, but it definitely isn’t good that this news has surfaced. As Verizon is always seen as the evil telecom, even though they may not be, they just want to make money and keep shareholders happy. Hopefully all of this gets cleared up and hopefully the judges with stock in Verizon aren’t showing favoritism towards big red. But we may never know. How many of you are surprised to see a few of the judges having stock in Verizon? Let us know in the comments below.

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Case of the Day: SUPCASE Premium Wallet Leather Case for the HTC One M8

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The case of the day today is for the HTC One M8. This one is from SUPCASE, and is a premium wallet case. Made of premium synthetic leather; soft interior material provides a good protection of your All New HTC One M8 2014 Release. Precise cutouts for your All New HTC One M8; Full access to all ports and buttons. Built-in credit card/ID card slot. Built-in magnetic for secure closure. Perfect for video-chatting and movie-watching.

SUPCASE All New HTC One M8 Case – Premium Wallet Leather Case HTC One M8 2014 Release (Black, Built-in Credit Card/ID Card Slot)

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Android How To: Unroot the LG G3

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If you’ve rooted your LG G3, you may be wondering how to flash it back to stock and unroot the thing. Well if you’ve used the LG G2 and unrooted that, then this is going to be a piece of cake for you. I have actually already done this method, both flashing .kdz and .tot files. But today we are going to show you with .kdz files and using the LG Flash Tool.

Before we get started, you’ll need to download the following items (note: you’ll need to be on a Windows machine)

How to Unroot the LG G3

  1. Enter into Download Mode

  2. Open up the LG Flash Tool

  3. Select Type “CDMA”

  4. PhoneMode: “DIAG”

  5. Select your KDZ file

  6. Tap on Normal Flash

  7. Now make sure all your phone’s info has populated in the pop up window

  8. Select Start

  9. Hit OK

  10. Wait for it to hit 100% before unplugging. It may take some time.

Voila. You are all set. If you run into any issues, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the drivers. That’s usually the cause for the LG Flash Tool not recognizing your device. Otherwise you should be all set. Although if this doesn’t work, you’ll need to find the .tot file and flash that. Which we’ll do a tutorial on that later on this week.

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Android How To: Enter Download Mode on the LG G3

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For many, entering download mode on the LG G3 probably isn’t a big deal. But if you’ve rooted and are looking to unroot your LG G3 for an OTA, or to send back to your carrier/manufacturer, etc., you’ll need to know how to enter download mode. We’re going to do a full tutorial on flashing stock with the .kdz and .tot files later on though, so keep an eye out for that. Entering download mode is quite easy, and relatively the same on all LG devices. Here’s how we do it.

How To Enter Download Mode on the LG G3

  1. Power Off your LG G3

  2. Now press the Volume Up button and hold it

  3. Plug in your LG G3 into your computer using a microUSB cable

  4. After a few seconds it should jump into download mode

  5. Now you are ready to start flashing with LG’s Flash Tool.

That’s it. Pretty simple right? For those that might need a little extra help, we’ve recorded a short video showing exactly how to jump into download mode. It’s really easy. As always, if you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them in the comments down below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha to sport 720p Display According to Developer Console

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AH Samsung Logo Leather 1.1

We’ve seen a number of rumors on the Samsung Galaxy Alpha already, including the fact that it might actually be the Galaxy F, which is rumored to be taking over the Galaxy S line later this year. According to Samsung’s Developer Console, it appears that the Galaxy Alpha is going to sport a screen similar to the one on the Galaxy S3. And by that we mean a 4.8-inch 720p display. The Samsung developer console also confirms to us that this is going to launch as the Galaxy Alpha, and not the Galaxy F, or the Galaxy S5 Alpha, or even the Galaxy S5 Prime. Word is that it’ll be announced in August, just a few weeks ahead of the Galaxy Note 4 launch, which I’m still not 100% sure on. I just don’t see Samsung announcing two flagships that close to each other.

The Galaxy Alpha is also said to sport 32GB of internal storage, without a microSD card slot. Which would actually be really surprising. As Samsung was one of those manufacturers that kept a microSD card slot no matter what, and now that everyone is adding one back, they are getting rid of it? Weird. Additionally, it’ll probably sport a Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM. But it’s also supposed to have metal or aluminum sides with the back being the dimpled back we’ve seen on the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Tab S and other newer Samsung devices. I was kind of hoping they’d go back to the faux leather. I think the faux leather looks and feels better. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is still set for an August announcement, as far as we know. Although no press invites have been sent out just yet. So we’ll have to see on that one. But how many of you are interested in the Galaxy Alpha? Let us know in the comments below.


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Android Headliner: Why Nvidia’s New Shield Tablet Is A Game Winning Device

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Shield Tablet

Gaming on tablets can be the single best experience for gaming on mobile devices. The screens are bigger, they can put out some great quality sound and some of them are quite a bit more powerful than most smartphones out there. They generally provide an all around better experience when it comes to mobile gaming. The smartphones however can make things a bit more portable, which is nice, but the complete package of the power and performance as well as a larger screen can make for a truly immersive gaming experience on mobile. This is where Nvidia’s new Shield Tablet comes in. Unlike their original Nvidia Shield gaming handheld which was like a controller and large smartphone display rolled into one device, the Shield Tablet is an 8-inch tablet with a Full HD display and driven by the ultra powerful Tegra K1 processor, to provide superior graphics and the best of any gaming experience. Nvidia is toting this tablet as the ultimate tablet for gamers and they just might be right.

There are many factors to consider here that could make the Shield Tablet a complete powerhouse, but lets start with what you get for the price. The Original Shield Started out at $299. You had the controller and 5-inch screen built into one device for a really awesome dedicated gaming portable. It also ran near the latest version of Android for the time and was powered by the Tegra 4 CPU. Many thought it was a bit over priced for what you were getting, and while you could use it as a tablet device since it was Google certified with the Play Store built in, it just wasn’t what some people were looking for. Nvidia gradually dropped the price down though and now it resides at a cool $200. Now lets take a look at what the Shield Tablet gives you in comparison. You have the starting price of $299, which may end up coming down in time and who knows, Nvidia could even end up throwing out some bundle deals at some point. That $299 price though gets you set up with an 8-inch Full HD Tablet with a Tegra K1 CPU that features 192 graphics cores, dual front speakers, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and the added option of the Shield Wireless Controller for an extra $60.

Let’s be clear, this is not to be your end all be all gaming device. It is not intended to replace the possible experiences one would have with something like a PS4 or an Xbox One. So while you could purchase one of those systems for just a little bit more, the Shield Tablet is exactly that, a tablet, and not a device meant to make you choose between it and a console.If you find yourself at odds however and want both but can only afford one, than you might be better off with a console. If you’re an individual who is in the market for a tablet specifically and you love to play games as well, this is the tablet you should be considering. It is likely a veritable powerhouse for gamers, and every gamer should be salivating over the Shield Tablet, but it can also serve as your tablet for regular every day tablet purposes that are not in any way related to gaming. Nvidia is not trying to target people who are looking for the ultimate gaming setup. They are trying to catch the attention of those who are looking for the ultimate gaming setup within a tablet. Because it has this versatility to it to be a really great tablet but also provide gamers with an unprecedented experience for playing some of the most visually stunning and impressive games(that are also fun of course), it will most likely do very well. For the price this is almost too good to be true.

Just in case 16GB of storage is not enough for you(which is the amount of internal space you get with the $299 model), and it likely won’t be if you like to play games like I do that are graphics rich and large in size, the microSD card slot can be of major assistance to help you expand on that space to make more room for some of the best and most impressive games that Android has to offer. Nvidia does offer the 32GB model for an extra $100, which also comes with LTE, if you’re someone that will need the use of a mobile data connection when away from WiFi networks. That is another factor that may end up being a strength for the Shield Tablet. Having a second model available for consumers that can connect up to a wireless carrier’s network to always be connected is a major step up over the original Shield. There’s also the inclusion of the 5MP front and rear facing cameras for pictures and video chat, and the DirectStylus 2 which can be used for note taking purposes or anything else you might want a stylus for. When you compare this to just about any other tablet out there, whether they be at the same starting cost or at a higher price, they likely won’t be able to outclass the Shield Tablet when it comes to gaming. If you have supported gaming PC hardware, you can even use the gamestream feature to play games from your steam account, which no other tablet will do with near the same quality. For the price, and the hardware that makes up the Shield Tablet, this is very likely to be a very successful device in the tablet space.

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Check Out These Three New Awesome Chromebook Ads By Google

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AH HP Chrome Chromebook 14-4

Chromebooks by Google are basically internet devices, but despite their very slight more limited capability they sell extremely well actually. Looking at the U.S. sales, Chromebooks took a rather big chuck of the market, 35% of all sold notebooks are in fact Chromebooks. Some of you might ask what is a Chromebook? Well, it’s basically a laptop with Google’s Chrome OS (Operating System) inside. Chrome OS is a browser-based operating system (you guessed it, Chrome browser) which relies heavily on internet connection and Chrome apps. You can use it offline, but not many things work quite well in that mode, although Google is making efforts to change that in the future, at least to some degree. This is, after all, an internet device which performs its tasks rather well.

The biggest appeal to customers when it comes to Chromebooks is their price (with the exception of Chromebook Pixel). You can get a rather solid internet device for as low as $200, and we’re talking about a new device. Many manufacturers are in on it, Samsung, HP, Dell, Acer… With that in mind, this is a great thing to get your kid for school, isn’t it? Well, Google thinks it is and it’s trying to sell you one for that very same purpose.

Google came up with three new ads for Chromebooks: For Students, For Get Up and Go Built In, and For Never Losing a Paper. In the first one Google is trying to emphasize that a Chromebook is all you need in a laptop, along with quick mentions of Google Docs and Hangouts, among other things. The second commercial is taking a different approach, it’s briefly showing you a couple of different Chromebook devices and is trying to show you how inexpensive and fast-booting these devices are, which is true. The third one also goes the pricing and Google Docs route. All three of these commercials are really short and nothing to write home about but they might intrigue people, which I believe is Google’s plan after all. You know that saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, well, then videos are worth a heck of a lot more, right? Go check these out yourself if you’d like, who knows, maybe they’ll intrigue you as well.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Review: Verus Diary Wallet Case for the LG G3

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Here we have another case from Verus. This is a style that’s becoming quite popular lately. It’s a Diary case, which is made of leather and folds over the entire device. But it also has slots inside the cover for putting your Debit/Credit cards and your ID in there. And turn it into your own wallet. This one is available in a ton of colors as well, including black, brown, pink, red and blue. Right now it’s going for $17.99 on Amazon, for all the different colors available.

The Diary Case from Verus is made of leather, but it also has a hard shell inside that the LG G3 sits in. And the reason for this is because you can use this case to stand up your device. Which is a great feature for when you’re watching movies, and other videos. There is a magnet inside that helps keep the case closed, but unfortunately there isn’t one for auto wake/sleep. Which would have made this case perfect, in my opinion. It’s still a great case, but that auto wake/sleep feature would have made it killer.

There are cut outs on the front for the earpiece, and on the back for the camera module, volume rocker and power button. As well as another cut out at the bottom for the speaker. Now this only covers the back, front and left side, so you can still access the IR Blaster, MicroUSB port and 3.5mm headphone jack. As far as using the device in the case, it is a bit odd seeing as it is basically a flip case, and those are always somewhat awkward. But in using it in daily use, it’s not bad at all. Not too thick either, which is always great.

You can pick it up now from Amazon for $17.99. We’ll also be giving away this one pretty soon, if you’re interested in picking it up. So you’ll want to keep an eye out for that.

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Featured Review: Verus Thor Case for the LG G3

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Continuing to review the pile of cases we have here from Verus, today, we’re looking at their Thor case. Which is a pretty protective case in their portfolio. Basically what it is, is a pretty thick TPU/Silicone case, with a hard back that goes over it. This one is available in a bunch of back colors, including white, gold, red, blue, silver and more. Amazon is selling it for $14.99-16.99 depending on the color.

Obviously, I have the red version here, and I actually really like it. Although it is a bit thick, it still provides plenty of protection for the LG G3. While it is quite thick, you can definitely feel that it will protect your brand new LG G3. In fact, it’ll make you feel safe to drop your LG G3, even though you probably won’t want to. Or maybe that’s just me. Using the case on my LG G3 for a few days now, I do like the feel, but it makes the LG G3 feel much larger, which is one of the trade offs with this case. Although it is basically the only trade off here. It does have all the necessary cut outs as well. Including one for the speaker, laser Auto Focus, flash, camera and volume rocker. On the top there’s a cut out for the IR Blaster, and on the bottom for the micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack.

It’s great to see protective cases like this under $20. As Otterbox is the big time maker of protective cases, or tank cases, even though theirs are pretty expensive. Being north of $50. Verus has a few other great cases as well for the LG G3. Which we are working on reviewing right now. If you’re interested in picking up their Thor case, you can grab it from Amazon here. Or just wait for our giveaway on Friday. We’ll be giving away this one and their Iron Shield case in this week’s Friday giveaway! So make sure you stay tuned for that. How many of you would pick up this Thor case from Verus? What are your thoughts on it?

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