Tag: LG

The encryption many major companies rely on has a serious flaw

Researchers at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic uncovered a major security vulnerability in RSA keys generated by Infineon Technologies-produced chips. These chips are used in products manufactured by Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Toshiba and Chromebook vendors, reports Bleeping Computer and the RSA keys generated by Infineon's chips are used in government-issued identity documents, during software signing, in authentication tokens, with message protection like PGP, in programmable smartcards and during secure browsing.

The researchers say that key lengths of 1024 and 2048 bits are able to be figured out with little effort using the public portion of the key. "A remote attacker can compute an RSA private key from the value of a public key. The private key can be misused for impersonation of a legitimate owner, decryption of sensitive messages, forgery of signatures (such as for software releases) and other related attacks," they said in a report. "The vulnerability does NOT depend on a weak or a faulty random number generator - all RSA keys generated by a vulnerable chip are impacted. The attack was practically verified for several randomly selected 1024-bit RSA keys and for several selected 2048-bit keys." And the affected RSA library has been generating weak keys since 2012. "The currently confirmed number of vulnerable keys found is about 760,000 but possibly up to two to three magnitudes more are vulnerable," said the researchers. As Ars Technica reports, a number of the vulnerable keys included those used in Estonian government-issued documents like e-residency cards.

The vulnerability was discovered and reported to Infineon in February and as per the agreed upon delay before public disclosure, the researchers will be releasing their full report on November 2nd at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security. The delay is to ensure that people have time to change affected keys before the details of how the vulnerability works are released. It has also allowed vendors like Microsoft, Google, HP, Lenovo and Fujitsu to release software updates to mitigate the impact of the flaw.

The researchers have released a blog post about the vulnerability, which includes tools for testing whether existing RSA keys are secure or vulnerable. It also provides advice on what to do if you find your RSA key is compromised.

Via: Ars Technica, Bleeping Computer

Source: CRoCS


LG will build Europe’s biggest EV battery factory next year

As the auto industry fatefully moves into electric vehicles, Europe's major car-makers need high capacity batteries. Until now, companies like VW, Volvo and BMW have had to import batteries from Asia. LG's forthcoming car battery factory in Poland, the first in Europe, hopes to fulfil that growing demand. "The company has chosen Poland as the most competitive location for production to satisfy the needs of European and global car producers," said Chang-Beom Kang, vice president at LG Chem. The facility will cost $1.63 million, based in the city of Wroclaw which is close to the country's border with Germany. (In case you didn't know, Germany is a major car manufacturing country.)

The company's chemical arm is planning to manufacture up to 100,000 EV batteries starting next year, recruiting 2,500 people in the process. According to Reuters, the factory will also include an R&D center.

While the factory may sound big enough, LG Chem's production estimates place it at around 10 percent of the capacity of Tesla's Gigafactory estimates for 2018. Demand is ramping up in Europe, and this is likely just the start. Paris stated today that it aimed to ban the sales of new fossil fuel car by the year 2030, while both France as a country, and the UK, aim to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

Source: Reuters


LG’s Sprint-exclusive V30+ arrives on October 13th

Assuming the iPhone 8 and 8+ haven't done anything for you, and Google's Pixel successor doesn't blow your hair back, maybe the LG V30+ will do the trick. If you're a Sprint customer who's been patiently waiting, the phone, with its 128GB of internal storage, better pack-in earbuds and HiFi Quad DAC, will be available exclusively on your carrier come October 13th. That's soon, and only eight days after its vloggable cousin (pictured above) is available from other carriers.

New and existing customers will save $30 if they buy online, and if you buy two, for a limited time your hardware lease payment will only be $38 for two versus $30 each. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is trying his damnedest to win customers to his company, and exclusive hardware is certainly one way to do it.

Source: Businesswire


What to expect at Google’s Pixel 2 event

Almost exactly a year ago, Google unveiled a host of new products, a veritable "Made by Google" ecosystem, as the company called it. The most notable devices were the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and Google Home smart speaker, but Google also launched the Daydream View VR headset, a mesh-WiFi system and a 4K-capable Chromecast.

It was easily the company's biggest push yet into Google-branded hardware. But one year later, the Pixel and Pixel XL have been lapped by new devices from Samsung, Apple and LG, among others. We're due for a refresh, and we'll almost certainly get that in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 4th, when the company hosts its next big product launch. New phones are basically a shoo-in, but there's a bunch of other hardware that Google will likely show off. Here's what to expect.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL

From left to right: Leaked images of the Google Home Mini, Pixel XL 2 and DayDream View. Image credit: Droid Life

Sure, the smartphone may be a commodity at this point, but it's still exciting to see what Google has cooked up to take on increasingly strong competition in the Android space. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been leaked pretty extensively at this point (as happens with almost every major smartphone these days), so we largely know what to expect here.

VentureBeat believes that the smaller Pixel 2 will be made by HTC (don't forget that Google just bought HTC's phone division), just like both of last year's models. In a lot of ways, this phone is expected to be a minor physical upgrade over the original -- it'll keep the large top and bottom bezels, something that many flagship phones are moving away from. The screen will stay in the same 5-inch range. Like most other phones in its size class, the Pixel 2 won't feature a dual-camera setup either.

That's not to say that the Pixel 2 won't offer some new features. It looks like HTC's "squeezable" frame (found in the U Ultra and U11) will show up in the Pixel 2. Additionally, it should include front-facing stereo speakers, but it may not have a headphone jack this time around.

Image credit: Android Police

Considerably more interesting is the Pixel 2 XL, which is said to be made by LG. While last year's two Pixel phones were basically identical aside from screen size, Android Police reported that the Pixel 2 XL will have a number of new features and design flourishes that set it apart. Most notably, the XL 2 should have a nearly bezel-less, edge-to-edge screen, similar to Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, the LG V30 and the new iPhone X. Thanks to the lack of bezels, the XL 2 should be able to fit a 6-inch AMOLED panel into a frame that's about the same size as the original Pixel XL. That screen is expected to have a Quad HD, 1440p resolution, the same as last year's screen.

Just like the smaller Pixel 2, the Pixel 2 XL is expected to ditch the headphone jack in favor of a stereo speaker array. And even though it's made by LG and not HTC, the XL 2 should also have a squeezable frame. As for the internals, both phones reportedly have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage.

Pricing comes in about where you'd expect for flagship phones: the Pixel 2 is rumored to cost $649 for 64GB of storage or $749 for 128GB, while the XL 2 would go for $849 or $949. Thanks to its entirely new design and lack of bezels, the larger phone is pushing into the same expensive territory as the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X.

Home Mini

Last year's voice-activated Google Home speaker represented the company's big push to bring the Google Assistant off phones and into people's houses. While it looks like the original isn't going anywhere, Google is also readying a smaller, cheaper sequel meant to compete with the Echo Dot. Droid Life says that the Home Mini will cost $49 and give you unfettered access to the Google Assistant; it just won't have the larger speaker found on the regular Home. As such, you're not going to want to play music through this device, but if you already own decent speakers the Home Mini might be worth looking at.

Home Max

While we've been hearing about the Home Mini for a while now, a new report from 9to5Google suggests that Google will reveal yet another smart speaker next week. This larger device, reportedly dubbed the Home Max, is designed to better compete with Apple's forthcoming HomePod, along with Amazon's newly announced Echo and whatever voice-activated speakers Sonos is getting ready to unveil. Details on this new speaker are minimal right now, so it's a bit of a toss-up as to whether we'll actually see this next week or further down the line. But given how many speakers Amazon is now offering, diversifying the Google Home lineup isn't the worst idea.

Daydream View

Google's VR headset is also apparently in line for an update, according again to Droid Life, but it's unclear what'll be different here, aside from some new color choices. It's rumored to cost $99 this time around, $20 more than the original. At the very least, it looks like Google is moving away from the cloth-like finish of the original for something more closely resembling nylon (though it's hard to say for sure without trying it out for ourselves). Whatever the case, we can count on this headset working with Google's new phones.

Pixelbook

Image credit: Droid Life

It's been awhile since Google has had much to say about Chromebooks and Chrome OS. Last year's event skipped over the platform entirely, and Google has seen it fit to let partners like Samsung and ASUS show off their vision for Chromebooks. Google also hasn't dipped its foot into the ill-fated world of Android tablets in some time, either -- not since introducing the Pixel C two years ago. But it looks like Google may jump back into both categories with one product: the Pixelbook.

Droid Life believes that the Pixelbook will be a 2-in-1 laptop powered by Chrome OS that can fold back into tablet mode. It's essentially a successor to the two previous Chromebook Pixel laptops, but it'll have an entirely new hardware design compared to its successors. It'll also be the first to officially include stylus support -- in fact, Google will be selling its own "Pixelbook Pen" alongside it.

Since Chrome OS can now run Android apps, the Pixelbookl have access to the wealth of software in the Google Play Store (though, to be fair, most of those apps aren't optimized for larger screens). It'll still be a step up over your average Android tablet, though, as running the full desktop version of Chrome is significantly better than using its mobile counterpart.

As with Google's previous Pixel laptops, it appears the giant caveat will be price. Reports indicate this device will start at a steep $1,200 -- that's $200 more than the 2015 Pixel. That'll net you 128GB of storage, and Google is supposedly also selling versions with 256GB and 512GB at $1,400 and $1,750, respectively. While it wouldn't be surprising to see Google deliver new Chrome OS hardware, it would be pretty unusual to offer these storage options. Chrome OS has never been a platform dependent on large amounts of local storage -- as things are now, there'd be essentially no benefit to getting those higher-priced options.

Google Assistant headphones

The Google Assistant has been popping up in all manner of hardware lately, including headphones, so it's logical for Google to make its own pair. Some sleuthing by 9to5Google a few months back revealed some references to Google Assistant headphones inside the Google Android app. And with the new Pixel phones expected to drop the headphone jack, having a wireless solution would be an important part of Google's hardware ecosystem. Perhaps the strangest part of this rumor is that these headphones appear to be an over-the-head model rather than earbuds.

ARCore details

Late in August, Google announced ARCore, the company's answer to Apple's ARKit. It's a set of developer tools that'll make it easier to bring augmented reality apps to a huge variety of Android phones. Rather than use the more advanced but far less commonplace Tango hardware, ARCore will strive to bring AR to the masses. As this will be Google's first public event since announcing ARCore, it wouldn't surprise us if the company shows how it works with the new Pixel phones. We have our fingers crossed we'll be able to try it out for ourselves following Google's presentation -- but regardless of what Google announces next week, we'll be there bringing you the news live as it happens.

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LG’s V30 will be available in the US on October 5th

There's been a bit of hype surrounding the LG V30 phone; our senior editor for mobile, Chris Velazco, was very impressed with it, saying "it's been ages since LG built a phone this good." Now, we have some release information for you. It's coming to all four US carriers and will be available starting October 5th. We're still waiting on confirmation of that date from Sprint.

T-Mobile will have preorders starting at 5:00 am PT on October 5th; you can walk into a store and buy one on October 13th. Pricing is $80 down and $30 per month on a plan, or $800 at full retail. AT&T is allowing DirecTV customers a buy one, get one free if you add a line and use AT&T Next to purchase both; their full price is $810. You can order online on October 5th or buy a phone in stores on the 6th. We still don't have pricing information from Sprint or Verizon, but Verizon has confirmed it will have phones in store on the 5th, as well as online.

The LG V30 is the only phone that will currently work on T-Mobile's 600 MHz network, which is available in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Scarborough, Maine. It's also compatible with AT&T's 5G tech, called Evolution, which is available in Indianapolis and Austin, Texas.

Source: T-Mobile, AT&T


Google Assistant can order around LG’s connected appliances

LG has placed its trust on Google Assistant and has given it the power to control its smart appliances. While it teamed up with Amazon earlier this year to give its refrigerators built-in access to Alexa, its partnership with Google is much bigger in scale. Now, you can control any of the company's 87 WiFi-connected smart home appliances by barking out orders through a Google Home speaker or through a compatible iOS or Android smartphone.

Once you're done setting voice control up through LG's SmartThinQ app, you can use commands within a Home speaker's range or through a phone to tell your fridge to make more ice or to tell your AC to adjust the temperature. If you have an LG washing machine, you can ask Assistant how much time is still left before your load is done. You can also ask it to check the quality of air in your home if you have LG air purifier or ask it to preheat the over before you get home from work.

To entice new customers to put the feature to good use, LG is giving away a free Google Home device with a WiFi-enabled LG appliance. The promo is available nationwide, but will only last from October 8th to 25th and is unfortunately limited to one Home speaker per household.


Comcast cable service goes box-free on LG TVs in early 2018

Comcast has already started offering access to Xfinity TV without a set-top box, but your choice of TVs has been limited -- we hope you like Samsung. However, you're about to have a wider selection. LG's 2017 and 2018 televisions will have access to Xfinity TV directly through the set once a beta app arrives in early 2018. You'll get the same X1 guide as well as access to live and on-demand programming (including your cloud DVR), just without the hassle and cost of extra equipment. Logically, it'll start with 2017 4K sets before moving to the as yet unannounced 2018 hardware.

It's no secret as to why Comcast is eager to get rid of the box requirement despite the profit it can make from leasing gear to customers. The reduced service costs could deter cord-cutters put off by all the extra fees that go into cable. Also, this helps lock customers in. If you know your set has built-in Xfinity TV support but would (usually) need extra gear to tune into a rival like DirecTV, which service would you prefer? Whatever Comcast loses in service fees it makes up for with more subscribers.

Source: Comcast


The Engadget Podcast Ep 43: Hits, misses and leaks

If last week's episode was overwhelmingly about Apple, this week's episode includes some partial respite, in the form of another tech titan: Google. For the first half of this episode, senior editor Chris Velazco and I recap his review of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which posted on Tuesday. We also get into the Apple Watch Series 3's LTE connectivity issues, and reminisce about other Apple product launches that haven't gone quite as planned. Then, in the second half of the episode we talk about the implications of Google buying HTC's Pixel team, and finish up by running through everything that's been leaked about Google's upcoming hardware announcement. (And my, there have been a lot of leaks.) Enjoy!

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Apple says too many faces ruined its Face ID stage demo

When Apple OS chief Craig Federighi tried to demo Face ID on stage during Cupertini's annual iPhone event, it didn't quite work as he expected. "Your passcode is required to enable Face ID" popped up, eliciting a nervous chuckle out of Craig and forcing him to switch to the spare demo phone. While people were quick to say that Face ID failed its first test, the hiccup apparently happened not because iPhone X's star feature didn't work, but because it worked too well. Apple told Yahoo's David Pogue that Face ID failed on stage, because it tried authenticating a lot of faces other than Craig's.

You know how your iPhone would lock up after failing to authenticate someone else's fingerprints a few times? Apple examined the demo device's logs and found that the same thing happened to it. "People were handling the device for stage demo ahead of time, and didn't realize Face ID was trying to authenticate their face," a company rep explained. "After failing a number of times, because they weren't Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode."

While it's great that the feature is working exactly as intended, it shows why facial authentication might not be ideal for everyone. If you frequently let family members or friends use your phone, will your iPhone X lock up all the time? In that case, it might be better to switch it off completely -- or get another phone altogether.

Via: 9to5mac

Source: Yahoo


The LG V30 is the perfect smartphone for vlogging

When LG took the wraps off of the LG V30 at IFA last week, it spent nearly 20 of its 50-minute presentation talking about the phone's dual camera system. Juno Cho, President of Mobile Communications, rattled off statistics like "almost 80 percent of smartphone users use their smartphone at least once a week to shoot videos." He also said that "we are literally on the verge of transitioning from storytelling to storyshowing," which is almost as crazy as Samsung's new catchphrase: "Your New Normal." I digress.

Cho is on to something: YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram are proof that amatuer video is massively popular. Having spotted this trend, LG is positioning the V30 as the ideal tool for anyone trying to break into making video. I decided to put LG's claim to the test and spent some time using the V30 to snap stories for Instagram and Snapchat, plus I took plenty of regular videos with the (amazing) built-in camera app.

Unfortunately the Android versions of Instagram and Snapchat are so bad that I couldn't see much of a difference between the blotchy stories that were shot on my Xperia X Compact (bad camera) and the blotchy stories shot on the V30 (good camera), so that was out. Instead I decided to narrow my focus to the following three questions: Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos? Is the V30 a reasonable substitute for a dedicated camera? And is the V30 the best smartphone for making video?

Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos?

Can you use the V30 to vlog? Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos even if you're not vlogging? Yes. This seems like a simple question, and it is: You can use almost any camera to make videos for YouTube, but unfortunately "camera" and "Android phone" are not always compatible. I got the bright idea to vlog with the HTC 10 last year because of that front-facing camera with image stabilization, but HTC's default app (at the time) allowed videos to dip below 24 frames per second (fps) in low light, and that just looks terrible. It's fine if a video is dark; it's not fine if it looks like a simulated drug trip.

The V30's wide-angle lens is perfect for vlogging.

Is the V30 a reasonable substitute for a dedicated camera?

Luckily my experience with the HTC 10 was not repeated with the V30. In fact, the V30 is the closest thing I've seen to a smartphone behaving like a real camera to date. Not only does LG give you control over the really important stuff like white balance and ISO, it also gives you control of shutter speed in video (!) and three options for bitrate (!!!). If you're someone who knows cameras and has ever tried to use one of the faux manual video apps on many smartphones, this is like being handed a cool glass of water in hell.

And with a couple of exceptions the V30's camera app does exactly what it says it's doing, and, this is what I consider necessary for a smartphone to replace a dedicated camera. Not sensor or aperture size or anything like that. The camera has to do what I tell it to do and it has to work all of the time. Then it can replace my real camera.

LG's manual camera app gives almost total control over video recording.

Despite what LG says on stage, the V30 can't match cameras with DSLR-sized sensors, if we're being realistic. A tiny sensor will never produce the bokeh or sensitivity of a sensor of nearly three times the size. But LG gave us something new with the V30: LG-Cine Log. B&H has a lengthy explanation of Log (short for logarithmic) recording, but in a nutshell this mode gives you flat, unsharpened video that's much better for editing in programs like Premiere and Final Cut. Smartphones may not have the resolving power of larger cameras, but gaining full control over the recording makes the concession far more palatable.

I won't dwell on Log recording because it is somewhat technical, but one thing is worth noting—and it's not even clear that LG has this in mind—but for the first time you'll be able to download and share color profiles with other people in the form of lookup tables or LUTs. Plenty of communities exist for trading and selling LUTs for Sony and Panasonic cameras, and maybe there's a better colorist out there than the engineers at LG. I look forward to spending $15 on their V30 LUT package on Gumroad.

Smartphones may not have the resolving power of larger cameras, but gaining full control over the recording makes the concession far more palatable.

But of course, nothing's perfect and neither is the V30. I should disclaim that we're using pre-production V30s and the camera firmware and software isn't final. That being said, I did find a couple of strange behaviors with the V30 camera. First, when you plug in an external microphone, the app doesn't automatically record with it. Instead you have to tap on the microphone icon and set it to record from the headset mic. This is unlike any camera or smartphone I've ever used, so this behavior is a bit head-scratcher. Second, something is wrong with 1080p video from the wide angle camera. Again, this is a pre-production model, but the 1080p video from the wide angle camera looks someone set the sharpening and noise reduction to 100 and called it a day.

Is the V30 the best smartphone for making video?

The iPhone 7 Plus and the recently announced Galaxy Note 8 also have dual camera systems, and both take very good video, but their telephoto lenses aren't a perfect match for what people want to create on YouTube. The tight shots that the telephoto lenses provide are great for interviews and documentary style video, but those aren't the prevailing formats on YouTube right now. The V30's combination of wide angle and normal lens open up more popular YouTube formats like vlogging, extreme sports videos, skate videos, and several more. And while the upcoming iPhone announcement could change a lot, the current iPhone 7 series lacks a headphone jack, making it an ordeal to charge and use an external microphone at the same time.

Otherwise it comes down to taste. Video taken on the iPhone, in my opinion, has best-in-class coloring. Samsung's coloring is fine but looks weird and is hard to post-process because it's already been pushed pretty far. Not only does the V30 offer Log video that allows you to choose your coloring later, I also think the colors coming out of regular video are very nice.

So can the V30 cut it as your primary video making device? The answer is absolutely yes. Thanks to its versatile dual-camera system the V30 is capable of getting lots of different shots. The camera app itself and the manual video mode within it make the V30 worth considering by itself, and nice perks like the headphone jack and waterproofing set it above devices like the iPhone and the OnePlus 5. Samsung's "Do What You Can't" campaign is clearly in love with the idea of empowering content creators, but LG has actually come to the table with the tools content creators need.