Sony Ericsson Lends a Hand to Modders and Helps Build Custom ROMs

While other companies have yet to grasp the concept of how open the Android platform really is, Sony Ericsson is certainly on the right path, since it has allowed and now it’s supporting developers to create custom ROMs. The company has a Sony Ericsson Developer program already started, aimed at helping specialist create stable and safe ROMs.

The main reason why companies such as HTC, Motorola and LG fear custom ROMs are malware and the fact that they void the warranty. The first group of devs with SE’s blessing is called FreeXperia and we remind you that Sony Ericsson is the first OEM to unlock bootloaders for its 2011 Android smartphones belonging to the Xperia series.

With a community so huge out there of people willing to contribute to the improved look and functioning of Android, why not lend them a helping hand and official tools? Even Microsoft has showed some open mindedness, when they contacted the Team Chevron crew who jailbroke the Windows Phone OS and offered to cooperate with them and work on software.

So, are you glad about this, or are you all about stock Android?

How to identify the version of a BlackBerry PlayBook app or game

Identify BlackBerry PlayBook tablet app or game versions

If you own a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, you most likely have installed several apps and games from the BlackBerry App World™ storefront. Today I’d like to show you how you can identify what version of an app or game is installed on your tablet in addition to how to view the security permissions for a specific app or game. This is useful information to know as security permissions can affect how an app or game performs on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, and what personal data it shares and stores on your behalf.

Read more at the Inside BlackBerry Help Blog »

MadCatz now shipping Tritton Detonator headset, official Xbox 360 stereo sound for $80

PS3 owners have been sportin’ their own official gaming headset for a few weeks, and now — after months of teasing — Mad Catz is finally granting Xbox 360 owners a similar privilege. The company’s announced that its Tritton / Microsoft co-branded Detonator Stereo USB gaming headset is available and shipping, priced at . Positioned as the first of a trio of its upcoming headsets — including its wireless brethren, the stereo Devastator and Dolby 7.1 Warhead — the Detonator keeps it to the FPS-pwning essentials. The cans are loaded with massive 50mm drivers and along its cord you’ll find an inline remote for adjusting game / chat volume, voice monitoring and mic muting. Impressively, aside from its detachable boom mic, the inline controller is also removeable, allowing you plug straight into your PMP when you’re done trash talkin’ on Xbox Live. We’re still anxiously waiting for the Warhead (scheduled to ship this holiday season), but if wired stereo is your thing, hit the PR past the break for more info.

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MadCatz now shipping Tritton Detonator headset, official Xbox 360 stereo sound for originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 17:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New heat-harvesting material made in $40 microwave oven

Researchers have created an efficient new thermoelectric nanomaterial, that could be used ...

Virtually all electrical devices and industrial processes create heat as they operate, which is typically wasted. In the past several years, various thermoelectric technologies have been developed to address that situation, by converting such heat into electricity. The ideal material for the purpose would be one that has a high electrical conductivity, but a low thermal conductivity – that way, it could carry plenty of electricity without losing efficiency through overheating. Unfortunately, electrical and thermal conductivity usually seem to go hand in hand. With some help from an ordinary microwave oven, however, researchers from New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanomaterial that appears to fit the bill…
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Verizon appeals net neutrality rules, let the legal wrangling begin

FCC Net Neutrality

We told you it was only a matter of time and, honestly, it took a bit longer than expected. Verizon has officially filed an appeal to the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which are set to take effect on Novemeber 20th. It wasn’t until the regulations were published in the Federal Register on September 23rd that they became fair game for legal challenges — a technicality that resulted in Verizon’s previous attempt to block the rules being tossed out by the US Court of Appeals in April. While Verizon senior vice president and deputy general counsel, Michael E. Glover, assures netizens that the company is “fully committed to an open Internet,” it none-the-less takes issue with the FCC’s attempt to institute new “broad” and “sweeping” regulations on the telecommunications industry. We’re sure this is only the first of several cases that will be brought before the courts challenging the commission’s authority. Stayed tuned to see if and when MetroPCS re-enters the fray, and to find out the ultimate fate of net neutrality here in the US. Check out the brief statement from Verizon after the break.

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Verizon appeals net neutrality rules, let the legal wrangling begin originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 17:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BlackBerry PlayBook Native SDK Beta now available to some developers!


It wasn’t all that long ago that we let you know the BlackBerry Beta Zone was accepting applications from developers for the closed beta testing of the BlackBerry PlayBook Native SDK. We’ve been getting tipped here and there over the past few weeks of developers having recieved invites or even declination letters but nothing to indicate a mass rollout — until today. Today, it appears quite a few developers have recieved their notifications of acceptance and as such have been given a pass word to go ahead and download the BlackBerry PlayBook Native SDK v0.9.4 Beta. As noted in those emails:

Features BlackBerry PlayBook Native SDK Beta 0.9.4 Include:

  • The Native SDK for BlackBerry Tablet OS is now supported on Mac host systems. Mac Developers can now take advantage of the QNX Momentics Tool Suite, which has everything you need to develop programs for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!
  • Want to extend Abobe AIR applications by writing part of the application using the Native SDK? We now provide support for Adobe AIR Extensions.
  • Updated BlackBerry Platform Services APIs and samples to help get you started developing applications right away!
  • Enhanced editing capabilities for packaging allow you to quickly update your application package for deployment, without having to edit xml files.
  • New profiles in the IDE allow you to customize the content developers see, which means seeing only functionality you need. 

With all that said, we’re sure it will still be quite some time yet before we see apps built on the SDK rollout but that’s not really here nor there — we’ll just enjoy the fact that those who had great ideas for apps were selected and now have better means of building those apps that will eventually be available to all in BlackBerry App World.

Thanks, Anon!‘s feed sponsored by BlackBerry PlayBook Native SDK Beta now available to some developers!

Remember the CIQ Apps Found In HTC Devices? Well, There Is More And It Isn’t Pretty……..

For the last few weeks, we have been intensely covering security and privacy issues that involve quite a few of the latest HTC devices (Sensation, EVO 3D, etc). It was discovered by XDA Recognized Developer TrevE that there are multiple apps and services that basically collect all sorts of information about our devices, their usage, and everything that is done on them to later on be sent to some Amazon cloud drive. HTC has come back a couple of times with official statements saying that the apps are indeed harmless and that the information collected is to basically help HTC and the carriers to improve their products and services to us. Moreover, they claimed that, at least, the HTC services can be opted out and they would stop collecting said information. Well, TrevE has been doing a lot of research as of lately and further proved that not only can these services not be turned off by regular means, but also has shown, by doing an experiment in a controlled environment, that the apps are inherently dangerous as they can be easily exploited by virtually any app that has android.permission.INTERNET enabled, which a ton of apps in the market currently do.

The kind of information that can be pulled from the device could be enough, potentially, to clone a device completely if the person receiving this knows how to do it. The app seems to allow the dump of virtually all stats and values by the device. Regardless of HTC’s motives to collect this information, the important part about this, and really the core of the issue, is that the information from these apps can be easily intercepted and sent anywhere to anyone. For the skeptics in the room, TrevE has put together a small demo app (proof of concept) that shows what could potentially happen when this is intercepted. He also has put together a Youtube video that shows exactly what is going on. It seems that the only real way to get rid of these services is by rooting the device and manually removing them, but there is no known way to remove them from an unrooted device.

HTC has been notified about the issue approximately 5 days ago and we are still waiting for a response, which they said they are working on. You will have to keep in mind that this is only the first app that TrevE is working on, and if you remember from previous articles, there are 5 of them. Long story short, you can expect one of these articles on XDA at least once a week for the next month or so.

Well, HTC, as you may see it, this is no longer about us wondering why you are getting our information, but it was discovered that whatever you are using to get it is simply not secure. For the sake of your customer’s privacy, we request that you take the proper measures and release any and all necessary patches to fix this for any and all devices being affected. This is about people’s data falling in the wrong hands, so please we ask that you take action on this soon.

HTCLogger allows any app that has access to android.permission.INTERNET on devices such as the evo3d to obtain full access to query sensitive info such as network/appusagestats/meid/esn/phone#/past 10 location broadcasts and last known locations/and more.

You can find the original thread here. Also, you can check if you are vulnerable by using the app found in this thread.

Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.

Thanks TrevE for the tip!

Apple axes iPod click wheel games in iTunes, is the ‘classic’ model next?

We’re all well aware that a new iPhone will see daylight next week. What’s still a bit unclear is whether or not Apple plans on discontinuing the ol’ faithful iPod classic. However, we may be getting a clue as to what fate the PMP may soon meet. The folks over at AppleInsider discovered that the link to iPod Click Wheel Games no longer appears on the App Store drop-down menu in iTunes. Since 2006, the folks in in Cupertino have been offering added entertainment for the popular mobile jukebox for .49 each, but only about 50 titles were available for purchase — it’s kind of hard to develop software when a third-party kit wasn’t publicly released. So if you’re planning on hanging onto your iPod classic for a little while, we hope you’re content to keep playing Vortex, Klondike or whatever else you’ve already downloaded.

Apple axes iPod click wheel games in iTunes, is the ‘classic’ model next? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Get NFL MADDEN 12 by EA Sports Free October 1-3 [Verizon Customers]

Verizon has a special place in its heart (and checkbook) for American Football and every year they offer their customers free NFL apps and contests. This year Verizon is extending that love to the mobile gaming crowd by offering the latest in the NFL MADDEN series to customer for free starting October 1st. For three days only, NFL MADDEN 12, which normally goes for .99, will be available for free by dialing **MADDEN (**623336) from any compatible Verizon Android powered phone. NFL MADDEN remains one of the most popular football gaming series ever and the Android version offers many great features such as:

    Go deep with ultra-sharp gameplay and stunning graphics optimized for Android phones. Feel the impact of every game-changing tackle with smooth, hard hitting animations.
    Choose from the 32 NFL teams and battle it out in their true-to-life stadiums. Make trades, track stats, and launch winning strategies from in-depth playbooks, unique to every team.
    Slow down the clock and make the play on both sides of the ball with Total Defensive Control (TDC) and Action Control Time (ACT). Pause the action and put your players in position to deliver game changing hits with TDC, or use Action Control Time to dominate defenses with dives, spins, jukes, and sprints.
    Draw up Hot Routes for passing, running, and defense. Even save your best (or craziest!) routes as audibles.
    Jump right in with Exhibition Mode, play through an entire 16-game NFL season in Season Mode, or relive the 2010/2011 playoffs.

The EA announcement mentions something about downloading the game from VCAST apps so we’re not sure if they’re going to make you download their app store before offering you the game but since this is Verizon, I’d assume so.

There you go football fans, starting tomorrow you can get your MADDEN on courtesy of Verizon. BOOM!



Get NFL MADDEN 12 by EA Sports Free October 1-3 [Verizon Customers] originally appeared on AndroidGuys.

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The Engadget Mobile podcast Sunday edition, live at 2PM ET!

Schedules, schedules, schedules… they always seem to get in the way, and this time our favorite Friday activity needs to be put on the back burner. Not wanting to deprive you of the weekly news — and let’s face it, there was a lot that took place this week — we’ll be pushing our mobcast back to Sunday afternoon at 2PM. Same place, same opining, same bat channel, just on a different day. So if you have some time freed up on the weekend, come join Myriam and Brad at 2PM ET (11AM PT) on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!

The Engadget Mobile podcast Sunday edition, live at 2PM ET! originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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