Samsung Bug; Amazon Anti-HAck Drone; HTC Cuts; Big Bank Blockchain Success

Here’s a creepy new development for some Samsung phone owners. Apparently, Samsung Messaging is randomly sending your camera roll photos to your contacts without permission. According to theverge.com, it is on the S9 and S9+ phones at the least…and appears to be when you use MMS messaging or send a message with a link. Samsung says they are aware of the issue and are looking into it. If you have the problem, Samsung says to call 1-800-SAMSUNG and let them know. The problem was first noticed on T-Mobile, but the carrier says it’s not their issue. Meanwhile, if you have a Samsung phone, better delete those racy selfies and private pictures until Samsung issues a fix!

Amazon just got a patent approved that they filed 2 years ago for “Hostile takeover avoidance of unmanned vehicles”. It’s aimed at making their future drones as hack-proof as possible. Amazon has been experimenting with having drones deliver people’s goods within an hour, so this is one step closer to that goal. The company’s other drone-related patents include self-destruction when a failure is detected and drones that can respond to gestures and voice commands. Mashable.com says Amazon is seeking to avoid hackers who might steal the drones and their payloads, crash them, or otherwise cause disruption to the operation of drones on their way to deliver your order.

The smartphone world is dominated by Samsung, Apple, and Huewei. Now, maker HTC is cutting a quarter of its workforce worldwide…mainly at its manufacturing plant in Taiwan. Reuters.com reports that HTC once sold 10% of smartphones worldwide, but that’s been in decline for some time. Sales were down 48% from year to year in March. The company is also consolodating its smartphone and virtual reality divisions. Last year, HTC shifted 2,000 handset engineers to Google in an 1.1 billion dollar deal. Alphabet’s Google has been trying to get a foothold in the handset market with it’s Pixel line of phones.

It was confirmed today that the first cross-border, commercial transactions have been conducted on the we.trade blockchain platform – an initiative established by a group of financial giants, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and Rabobank. These aren’t your average bank-funded, cross-border remittances transactions powered by the blockchain, though. This particular test was a sustained cross-country, multi-bank, interoperability remittance fest. Thenextweb.com reports that over a whole business week, 10 companies conducted trades on the we.trade platform, making use of four different banks, in 11 European countries. The successful tests are a major win for the IBM Blockchain Platform, which powers we.trade.

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Amazon-Deep Discounts Via Alexa; iPhone Lock Screen Hack Exposes Contacts & Pictures

Amazon opened up a new way to separate you from your money….’voice shopping weekend!’ Cnet.com says Prime customers can grab a discount by ordering over Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, Fire HD Tablet, and Fire TV using the Alexa voice assistant. The sale is now through November 21st. There will also be Alexa exclusive deals through the rest of November and all of December, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Buy items for over 10 bucks with Alexa, and Amazon will throw in a $5 gift card, too!

A kinky hack has been discovered for iPhones. It does take physical access to the phone, but if you have Siri turned on for the lock screen (I don’t), a hacker can get your phone number and call the phone…that gives them access to iMessages. According to thenextweb.com, a particular combination of touches to the contact info bar and keyboard exposes your contacts and pictures. If you don’t want someone compromising your contacts and naughty pics you’ve sent, disable Siri on the lock screen until Apple fixes this hack!


Apple Building Video Sharing App Like Snapchat & Facebook; Future iPhones May Grab Photos & Fingerprints of Thieves, Nutonomy Beats Uber in Launching Self-Driving Cabs

Apple is working on a social networking app along the lines of Snapchat and Facebook. Macrumors.com says Cupertino’s goal is for you to be able to shoot, edit, upload, and share a video in less than a minute…all with one hand! If the stars align in Silicon Valley, Apple will roll out the app in 2017.

Appleinsider.com has uncovered a patent that would allow future iPhones to snag the fingerprints and pictures of thieves. The unauthorized user’s info might be stored locally, or sent to a remote server for more evaluation. It’s not clear that such collection would be legal everywhere, even involving crooks, so it remains to be seen if this will actually be introduced on the handsets.

We reported on Uber’s imminent release of self-driving cabs in Pittsburg to test out their systems. Now, according to thenextweb.com, they’ll be #2 at it. Apparently, a firm called Nutonomy is putting the rubber on the road in Singapore today. As with the Uber test, rides will be free, and there will be a company engineer along to observe the system, and grab the controls if needed. Nutonomy was founded by a couple of robotics and intelligent vehicle tech geniuses from MIT.