Google Rolls Out October Security Patch with Essential Close Behind

Google today provided details concerning the October security update for Android. Google says the newest patch solves a number of vulnerabilities in the Android source code impacting the framework, media framework, system, and kernel. The most critical issue was centered in the framework and “could enable a remote attacker using a specially crafted file to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process.” As far as Google knows, none of the security lapses were exploited for any means by hackers. Google revealed these problems to its OEM partners a month ago. The company is making two updates available, one dated October 1 and the other dated October 5. These updates should reach Google’s branded Pixel and Nexus devices over the next week or so. The company plans to distribute the patched code to AOSP within 48 hours. Following Google’s announcement, Essential Products said it, too, is offering its own PH-1 Essential Phone the same security patches. Further, the update from Essential brings back support for notch controls. Owners of the Essential Phone can expect to receive the update in the next few days.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Google Maps' Latest Tools Target Commuting

Google today is making some additions to Google Maps that it hopes will help people get to work quicker and with less stress along the way. The app has added a “commute” tab that offers one-tap access to live traffic and transit details that are personalized for each person’s specific commute. The tab can instantly show people if their commute will be normal or impacted by traffic or accidents. Google will proactively suggest alternate routes if there are delays in the way. Android device owners will receive real-time notifications and re-routes if problems occur while on the road. Maps now includes support for mixed-mode commutes, such as those that involve driving and walking, or walking and bus/train rides. Google will surface information about the time each leg of the trip will take and offer suggestions if one or more of the legs is running slow. Google will take all these factors into account to help it create a more accurate ETAs. Train and subway commuters gain new insight into their daily ride thanks to real-time bus/train data. Transit riders in some 80 metropolitan areas will be able to see exactly where their bus or train is in order to anticipate how long they have to catch it. In Sydney, Maps will even show how many seats are left on the train. Last, Google Maps is adding direct support for Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music so commuters can control their morning music right from Maps. This is meant to prevent people from toggling between apps while behind the wheel. Google says the new Maps is rolling out to Android and iOS devices this week.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Verizon Launches Fixed 5G Service

Verizon Wireless today became the first company to launch a live 5G network for consumers in the U.S. The new service is called Verizon 5G Home, and provides 5G-based broadband internet to homes and businesses in parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Verizon picked these markets “because of forward-looking state policy and local leaders who embraced innovation and developed a strategic vision for how 5G” could benefit the consumers and businesses under their jurisdiction. Verizon says customers are on already deck in these markets, and named Clayton Harris of Houston as the company’s first 5G customer. The company’s installation crews are beginning their work in all four markets today. Verizon 5G Home is built on Verizon’s 5G TF network standard, which is not the 5G NR standard ratified by the 3GPP. Verizon says it will transition its 5G TF service to 5G NR service over time (at no expense to customers). Moreover, this is not Verizon’s mobile 5G service, which is what would be used by cell phones. Verizon’s mobile 5G service won’t launch until early 2019.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

DOJ Sues California After State Signs Net Neutrality Into Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation on Sunday that made net neutrality the law, but the state was quickly sued by the U.S. Department of Justice. The net neutrality bill, approved by California’s legislature last month, had been sitting on Brown’s desk for several weeks awaiting approval. Once the law goes into effect January 1, 2019, internet providers will have to obey strict rules governing web traffic. For example, there can be no blocking, no throttling, and no paid fast lanes. The Trump administration, which dismantled the FCC’s net neutrality rules earlier this year under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, fired back at the Golden State. According to the Justice Department, California’s action “unlawfully imposes burdens on the Federal Government’s deregulatory approach to the internet.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that individual states cannot regulate interstate commerce, which is how the DoJ and FCC view internet services. “The California legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy,” noted Sessions. The FCC’s Pai lauded the lawsuit. “I’m pleased the Department of Justice has filed this suit. The internet is inherently an interstate information service. As such, only the federal government can set policy in this area. Not only is California’s internet regulation law illegal, it also hurts consumers. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Department of Justice to ensure the internet remains ‘unfettered by Federal or State regulation,’ as federal law requires, and the domain of engineers, entrepreneurs, and technologists, not lawyers and bureaucrats.” Pai’s FCC tore down net neutrality rules despite wide public support for those rules. Pai’s actions were seen as a win for internet companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Review: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple redesigned its smartwatch this year and the new hardware is a pleasing and powerful update to what was already one of the best wearables available. With its renewed focus on health and safety, is it good enough to upgrade from an older Apple Watch? We find out.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Get into VR with the Oculus Go

VR is definitely gaining momentum, not to the One Billion active users that Mark Zuckerberg is famously aiming for the usage is on the rise.

Now more than ever, there are more ways to get into VR with the likes of PSVR, Rift, Vive and Gear VR finding it’s way into our homes, and in the week of Oculus Connect 5, it seems right that we should look at their entry point in to the VR Market – The Oculus Go.

Get into VR with the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go is a standalone, wireless VR headset with a single three degrees of freedom controller, running a tailored version of the Android operating system and is clearly aimed at the casual user.

The Oculus Go doesn’t require a PC to operate. It’s completely self-contained, which means you have the ability to take it anywhere with you without being tethered to cables. While this new found flexibility comes at the cost of reduced processing and graphical power, having the ability to enter 3D worlds quickly and easily is, it has to be said, pretty cool.

How much do you miss the graphical power? In reality, not much, as the experiences are tailored for the hardware available, providing smooth framerates and accurate head tracking which are the two most important elements for maintaining a sense of disbelief… and for keeping your lunch in your stomach.

When you first put the comfortable headset on and power up the Oculus Go you are presented with a virtual floating dashboard within a virtual world, the effect is stunning for those of us not used to VR.

Out-of-the-box, What’s on Offer With the Oculus Go?

As you would expect from Oculus, the market leaders in VR, the provided apps are very impressive and in general provide a simulated comfortable environment for consuming media.

My personal favourites include:

The Oculus Go Browser

Web browsing on the Oculus Go works well with web pages being presented within a floating virtual 2D screen within your virtual home environment. Text is easy to read and images work well, but the effect when watching YouTube videos in theatre mode against your virtual home is stunning, especially for music videos. Compatibility with the 3D web is also included if you wish to try this developing area of the internet.

The inclusion of a capable web browser means that the Oculus Go can be your go-to device for casual usage.

Oculus TV

Imagine a huge TV in your very own dedicated TV room, with a panoramic view, high up in the mountains… well now you can live these experience with Oculus TV.

In this stunning environment, you can watch streaming video services such as Facebook Video, Netflix, RedBull TV and with a bit of work Kodi & Live Freeview. It’s a stunning app and makes it a joy to watch video.

Get into VR with the Oculus Go

Oculus Venues

Oculus Venues simulates a visit to a theatre with friends to watch a live event. Whether it’s live baseball, Comedy, eSports, a music event or the NBA, in the near future you can watch a live feed in high-quality video and discuss the show with the people sharing the venue with you.

At the moment we’re only seeing the potential of Venues, but as more content gets added you could be a regular visitor. This is an incredible implementation of social VR.

Oculus Rooms

Oculus Rooms provides you with a virtual living room where you can change the decoration and pictures on the wall to your own design. Oculus Rooms allows you to invite your friends over to join you in tabletop games, to listen to music or to share in your videos.

It’s genuinely a nice place to chill out

What else can you do on the Oculus Go?

The Oculus Go comes complete with its own App store, which is rapidly becoming a home to high-quality VR apps, games and experiences. I’m sure sharing a platform with Gear VR is helping here. Here are some examples of the apps that can help enrich your VR experience.

Watch Plex films on the Oculus Go

I’m a Plex user, so I have a large library of legally owned videos ready to stream to my devices and there are a couple of ways to watch Plex on the Oculus Go.

Plex has released an official app for the Oculus Go, which works well and allows you to invite friends over to watch your videos (assuming you have the correct Plex membership). I’m becoming fond of an app called Cmoar VR Cinema, which allows you to stream your Plex videos within a number of virtual environments, including a large cinema, a TV room, a boating lake – and a morgue (??).

There are a couple of features that make Cmoar VR Cinema stand out for me. These are dynamic lighting which reflects the light from the videos back into the virtual room, and the ability to watch 3D YouTube videos on the virtual screen, which is an incredible experience showing 3D videos in a virtual room.

Check it out.

Go for a Virtual Wander on the Oculus Go

There is a fantastic app on the Oculus Go called Wander, which uses Google Street View to allow you to walk around and explore locations all over the world through your own eyes.

It’s a great way to revisit good memories or to explore somewhere new.

Get into VR with the Oculus Go

You can play Steam games on your Oculus Go via Steam Link

Yes this is correct, although it requires a bit of work, and Google is your friend here. You can sideload Steam Link onto your Oculus Go and use it on Oculus TV, allowing you to play your Steam Games on a large virtual screen streaming straight from your PC.

The Oculus Go supports an XBOX 360 controller via an OTG adapter allowing you to control your games directly.

The whole experience works very well as long as your LAN is up to the task, and yes Fortnite works on it.

You can also Play Steam VR games on the Oculus go via and App called ALVR, again Google will help you here, but again with compatible games the experience is very good indeed.

The Oculus Go as a Gaming Machine

The Oculus Go also has a number of high-quality native games, including:

  • Pinball FX2 VR – a tremendous Pinball experience, with great tables and incredible graphics.
  • Poker VR – A truly social Poker experience, allowing you to play Texas Holdem against tables of real players, and to chat with your table should you wish – an absolutely first class VR environment makes this a joy for poker players.
  • Catan VR – A VR implementation of the popular board game. Play against real people online or against challenging AI. It’s a fun experience and shows how good board games can be in VR. I would love to see more board games on Oculus Games.
  • Bait! – A relaxing fishing game where you need to complete challenges, and collect fish in a relaxing environment. I would fish in real life but I found Bait! a pleasure to experience.
  • Escape! VR – Escape rooms with their devilish puzzles are very popular at the moment and Escape! VR is a beat-the-bomb style escape game, which is implemented very well indeed. Very Much Recommended.

Get into VR with the Oculus Go

The Oculus Go provides a great VR experience: its Optics are fantastic, its internal sound is great and it’s comfortable to wear.

It’s no secret that the battery life of the Oculus Go isn’t very long and you should expect no more than 2 hours of use per full charge. A few users use plug-in battery packs to assist thebuilt-inn battery, but I can’t recommend anything which involves charging a battery next to your head.

Overall, the Oculus GO comes wholeheartedly recommend for those looking to get into casual VR.

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Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go
Get into VR with the Oculus Go

 

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