Android KitKat 'not really' more secure: expert

Android_kitkat_multitaskingWhen Google released the latest version of its Android operating system last week, KitKat, the company touted the OS was the most secure ever.

In several ways, it is.

The chocolate-bar-named mobile OS contains a new safeguard called OS hardening.

This security feature is designed to make it more difficult for a hacker or malicious app to get root access to your phone or tablet. That being said, it will also make it more difficult for people who want to “root” their hone with different operating systems.

Another security feature is called “digital certificates,” designed to prevent so-called “Man-in-the-Middle” attacks.

Such a hack is when someone on the same wireless network you're on, say – at a coffee shop, intercepts the data travelling between your phone and the Internet at large.

What could happen is that a website may appear to be the one you're looking to pull up on your device, but it's actually a fake that is pulling in your login details, for example.

But Kaspersky Lab researcher Stefan Tenase says these changes don't really do much to address key Android security concerns.

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Asus MeMo Pad FHD 10 provides great value for a large tablet

Asus_memo_pad_fhd_10While many eyes are on Apple's new tablets, people shouldn't forget that there is still competition from the Android camp.

And quite often, tablets running Google's Android operating system cost significantly less than comparable devices from Cupertino.

One of the newest on the market is from Asus, the MeMO Pad FD 10, available for only $349. By comparison, the Apple iPad 2 sells for $399.

With the Asus, you get a 10.1-inch LED backlit screen that displays relatively sharp and vivid images, even in bright sunlight. There are some better screens out there, but the difference isn't really noticeable (and is negligible in this price range).

The base model ships with 16 GB of on board storage space, though a 32 GB model is available (I'd go for the latter) and you can always bump it up even further with a microSD card. There is 2 GB of RAM.

But what's powering this tablet is different – there is an Intel chip behind the glossy screen.

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Asus Cube – the saviour Google TV box?

Asus_cube_google_TvGoogle has been kicking around the TV space for quite a while now.

The concept is that you plug your TV into a Google TV unit, and then you can watch streaming video, web content and your own files on a regular, big screen TV. You could also download apps to use with it.

The last unit I tried was the Sony Internet Player with Google TV. It was liberating, compared to limited set top boxes and the ecosystem of its Apple TV.

And lately, I had a chance to play around with the Asus CUBE with Google TV.

It does, obviously, look like quite a box against the other slim and sleek AV components that comprise my home theatre system.

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Review: Bigger is better with the Samsung Galaxy Mega

Samsung_galaxy_megaIf you think the ideology that bigger is better is right, just look at the trends over the years.

We had big, monstrous cathedrals on wheels called SUVs in the late ‘90s. You can supersize fast food meals and expand your wasteline. You can go to a plastic surgeon and leave looking like Heidi Montag.

Ok, wait. Bigger isn’t always better. Or is it? It is, if you have two hands.

That’s because you’ll need both to hold and use the biggest and newest phablet on the market in Canada, the Samsung Galaxy Mega.

This phone is such a crossover between a smartphone and tablet, it's blurred the lines between the two devices. Heck, Robin Thicke should have name dropped the Mega in his summer hit Blurred Lines.

The phone’s main selling point is the mammoth 6.3-inch screen. There’s no hiding the fact that you’re holding something almost the size of a 7-inch tablet. But surprisingly, it hides comfortably in my pant pockets.

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Boyfriend tracking app: creepy and crazy or helpful intelligence?

Boyfriend_tracker_appIs an app that lets people track their boyfriend an invasion of privacy, or is it a handy way to keep tabs on your partner who might not be completely honest with you?

A few weeks ago, it was the latter. Girlfriends (and boyfriends, to be fair) were the NSA of their own relationships, spying on their partner’s whereabouts and conversations with an app.

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Review: Asus Memo Pad HD 7 - the price is right

Asus_memo_pad_hd_7When something is inexpensive, you tend to overlook small flaws that don’t exactly prevent things from getting done.

Take public transit, for example. For a few coins, $3 in Toronto, you can get from Point A to Point B. You might be standing for an hour, is a smelly streetcar, but it’s better than paying $20 for parking to get downtown.

Then, we have the Memo Pad HD 7 tablet from Asus. It costs only $160.

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New iPhone coming September 10?

If you’ve been wondering when the next iPhone will be announced, there’s a new report out suggesting it may be revealed in early September.

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Samsung surpasses Apple, now # 1 source of mobile web traffic

Galaxy_noteFor the last little while, Apple devices were the source of the most online traffic.

People’s iPhones and iPads regularly hit up websites, along with devices from Nokia.

But that’s all changed, according to analytics group StatCounter.

Samsung has gained momentum like Usain Bolt running the 100-metre sprint. Actually, it seems like Bolt could have given other sprinters a head start, since Apple has been at this game longer than most competitors.

In the past six months, Apple has been keeping its head above water when it comes to mobile web traffic, with around 25 per market share.

Samsung, however, has been gaining all along. As more people get their hands on Android phones and tablets – particularly Android phones made by Samsung, they tightened the lead with Apple.

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BlackBerry needs to sort itself out - urgently

Canada's biggest tech darling may want to do something else rather than make cellphones and tablets, and the operating systems that power those device.

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Alleged Rob Ford crack video prompts video game

Stay_mayor_rob_fordToronto's embattled mayor appears to have been the inspiration behind a new video game.

The game, Stay Mayor, doesn’t specifically say it’s about Rob Ford, but just check out the plot line and decide for yourself.

Users play the role of a mayor who must avoid the “Blood Thirsty Media” to buy an alleged video of him smoking crack. Only the Toronto Star and Gawker are reporting that they have seen such a video.

Note: We haven’t seen the video – and we can verify if it’s even authentic.

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.