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MPAA pushes site-blocking as a way to deal with piracy

Posted by wicked August - 30 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off


The Music Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been trying to figure out a way to curb piracy for many years. It seems that each year, they find a new, idiotic way of going about trying to stop customers from watching their content.

Recently, Wired wrote a story detailing the difficulty, and therefore absurdity, of those looking to transfer completely legal files who are faced with a number of obstacles due almost entirely to copyright rules that the MPAA/RIAA have pushed onto the public.

But the MPAA seems to have also taken a much sketchier tone in recent threats against MPAA customers. In one instance, TechDirt brought up the fact that the MPAA has been busy trying to act like they have the power to send DMCA notices to those working on Popcorn Time’s open source project. In a number of other instances, the MPAA issues massively over-broad DMCA take-down notices to Google and other search engines and web-sites.

A recent incident showed the stupidity of the MPAA’s attack on public sites that are not well-known until the MPAA brings attention to them. Specifically, the MPAA turned a little-known Reddit sub-forum into a massive sub-forum once the forum got recognition as the place that the MPAA was attacking.

Now, the MPAA seems to be of the belief that forcing ISP’s to block selected web-sites is the way to stop piracy. As Torrent Freak states, the MPAA has conducted internal research to show that site blocking is effective.

Included in the internal MPAA research is this statement:

“Recent research of the effectiveness of site blocking orders in the UK found that visits to infringing sites blocked declined by more than 90% in total during the measurement period or by 74.5% when proxy sites are included.”

Except, we have no idea where they have gotten this data. As Torrent Freak correctly notes, the MPAA used their own data to come to the conclusion that piracy is being successfully stopped in the UK.

MPAAPiracy TechFleece

Then again, this is not exactly new to the MPAA. Two months ago, MPAA boss Chris Dodd stated that ISP blockades are one of the “most effective” ways to stop piracy.

“Here in the United Kingdom, the balanced and proportionate use of civil procedures has made tremendous progress in tackling infringing websites. To date, access to over 40 pirate sites focused on infringing copyright for commercial gain, have been blocked.” - Chris Dodd

Therefore, it seems reasonable to think that this type of action will be shortly pushed by the MPAA onto US ISP’s.

I still think that the MPAA should continue support for throwing elderly women out of movie theaters in the hope that they can deter piracy.

Source: Torrent Freak;

Upleaks: Desire 820 has a Snapdragon 410, HTC has two smartwatches in the works

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

htc desire 820 teaser

We already know that HTC is getting ready to unveil the Desire 820 at IFA, but what exactly can we expect from the handset? For one thing, we know it’s 64-bit. Beyond that? HTC and Qualcomm have both teased the device, making it seem like it could be a pretty big deal. And that’s why a new report from @upleaks takes us a bit by surprise.

While many rumors have led us to believe the Desire 820 will offer up an octa-core Snapdragon 615, a new leak claims the handset will have a quad-core 64-bit Snapdragon 410 (MSM-8916) with just 1.5GB RAM, a 5.5-inch 720p display, an 8MP front cam, 13MP rear cam, 8GB storage and a 2600 mAh battery.

This certainly is a decent enough sounding budget device but, if these specs are true, why are Qualcomm and HTC teasing it so heavy? After all, the Desire 510 has already been announced with a 64-bit Snapdragon 410. This leads us to believe one of the following theories: there is some other killer feature we simply don’t know about, the leak is incorrect, or Qualcomm/HTC are just being trolls.

In addition to outing the Desire 820’s specs, Upleaks also brings us some juicy details regarding HTC’s watch plans. Reportedly HTC has two watches in the works, codenamed the WWY and CWZ. The former of these has a 1.8-inch display and 32 x 160 resolution, with a 100 mAh battery and a water-resistant body. Upleaks also notes this is likely a fitness tracker like the Gear Fit and should surface sometime in September. It’s unclear what OS this device will run, however.

As for the CWZ? This is allegedly the Android Wear device we’ve been hearing about. Upleaks gives no extra details about the watch, though the leaker says we can expect it to launch in September in North America, Brazil, Europe and Asia. If these watches are really on their way, we wouldn’t be too shocked to see them at IFA next week.

So how believable is all of this? It’s hard to say for sure, especially since the presence of just a Snapdragon 410 sounds a little weaker than we had expected from the Desire 820. In other words, a little skepticism is always a good thing until we have more solid details. On the other hand, @upleaks has dished out plenty of scoops since the leaker first hit the scene back in May, and many of these leaks have since proven accurate. The leaker is also the only one that Evan Blass – who recently retired from his role as evleaks – has directly blessed.

What do you think, does the Desire 820 still sound like a device worth hyping up? Interested in what HTC will bring to the table when it comes to wearables?

Aereo-like programming service coming for Android devices

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


Even though Aereo was killed off by the Supreme Court, a new Aereo-like company is moving forward with a cord-cutting TV service.

Tablet TV is a service that allows for customers to receive free over-the-air TV on their tablets, smartphones and computers. All the customer needs is an iPad/Android tablet and an antenna device costing less than $100. A customer does not need a Wi-Fi or cellular connection and there is no subscription fee.

At the moment, Tablet TV is being deployed in San Francisco although they expect to expand the service to other cities in the near future.

Of course, if this service becomes popular, there will likely be legal challenges.

If Tablet TV can prove that the technology is reliable, easy to use and cheaper than subscription TV, it could lead to “a little bit of a renaissance in over-the-air television,” said analyst Brett Sappington of the Dallas research firm Parks Associates. - SFGate

Tablet TV uses a device called a T-Pod, which is a palm-size digital TV antenna, tuner and digital recorder. The T-Pod will be rechargeable and have the ability to capture over-the-air digital TV signals and re-transmit them to tablets if within 100 feet of the tablet. The app includes a program guide and chat service, and users change channels with a simple swipe.

Source: FierceCable, SFGate;

Note 4 render lands in our inbox: real or fake?

Posted by wicked August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Earlier this month GSM Arena was lucky enough to get their hands on a set of images of what could be the Galaxy Note 4. The images revealed a device that followed a similar aesthetic to the Galaxy Alpha, complete with what appears to be a metal frame and a slightly more squared body. While it’s still unclear if these images provide a legitimate look at the Galaxy Note 4, we now have a new render that shows off the front of the device in a bit better detail.

The render comes to us from an anonymous source, and though it matches up with previously leaked images, there’s really no way to guarantee this is the real deal. We do find it a bit suspicious that this image happens to reach our inbox just a day after the Note 4’s default wallpaper leaked to the web. That said, even if this image proves to be an unofficial render, it still gives us a pretty good look at what could be the next iteration of the Galaxy Note.

galaxy note 4 leak

For more details on what to expect from the Note 4, be sure to check out our Note 4 roundup post. If you’re curious about what else we’ll likey see at IFA, we have a preview post for that as well. What do you think of this render: real or not? If legit, do you like the look of the Note 4′s front?

Get hyped up with the Galaxy Note 4 QHD wallpaper! [DOWNLOAD]

Posted by wicked August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Galaxy Note 4 the Date Episode 2-3

Our calendar is circled for September 3rd and we are ready to get our hands all over the Samsung Galaxy Note 4! The announcement is only a week away, and with all the details pretty much outed, it’s just a matter of waiting before everything is set in stone. Today we have a little something to get you all hyped up, though – the device’s stock wallpaper.

This QHD-ready (2560x2560p) wallpaper has been leaked and is ready for download. You can even use it on your own devices, but most of us currently sport 1080p phones, so very few can take advantage of the full resolution.


More than anything, it serves as a bit of proof that the display will, in fact, come with a QHD 2560x1440p resolution. Not that we doubted it at this point, but a bit more corroboration is always welcomed.

Those who are curious about other specs can always look back at out previous reports for more Galaxy Note 4 details. Camera and fingerprint reader information was recently rumored. Those are always interesting, but for a Galaxy Note overload you can check out our Note 4 rumor roundup.

galaxy note 4 leak

Other specs do include a Samsung Exynos octa-core processor or a Snapdragon 805 (depending on your market, as well as that 5.7-inch QHD display, 3 GB of RAM, 16MP/3.68MP cameras and 32 GB of internal storage, among other things. It will definitely be a force to be reckoned with, so let’s stay tuned for IFA!

For now we can all just download this wallpaper and salivate over it. Simply click on the wallpaper, right-click and hit save.

Source: SamMobile;

Is AT&T going to buy Vodafone?

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off


On Friday, the Financial Times reported that AT&T was once again looking to buy Vodafone, a UK-based telecommunications company. According to the Daily Mail, there is speculation that AT&T is working on a cash bid of just under $136 billion.

In January, AT&T was rumored to be preparing a bid to acquire Vodafone but pulled itself out of the running.

The rumors have not stopped Vodafone from continuing their own expansion plans.

The company was this week linked to a potential deal to acquire one of Brazil’s three main mobile operators, in a bid to enter the lucrative Latin American market. Telecom Italia subsidiary TIM Brasil was reported to be Vodafone’s hot favorite. In April, Vodafone took full control of its Vodafone India business, when it acquired a 10.97 per cent stake in the unit from pharmaceutical company Piramal Enterprises. - FierceWireless

As Barrons notes, AT&T approved plans to buy back 300 million shares in March. A few months later, AT&T offered to buy Direct TV for $48.5 billion.

Source: FierceWireless;

Samsung Gear 3 said to introduce a curved display, likely headed to IFA

Posted by wicked August - 22 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


Everyone at Samsung’s headquarters seems to be going smartwatch-crazy. The Korean manufacturer is releasing wearable after wearable, and it seems there are no plans to slow down. It has been only some months since the Gear 2‘s launch, which was followed by the Gear Live at Google IO. What’s next?

The rumor mill is going full speed and today we are getting some more details on the reported Samsung Gear 3. Sources “familiar with the hardware” tell PocketNow the new device will come with a longer (more rectangular) curved display. It would be similar to the Gear Fit‘s screen, except much less extreme in its rectangular shape.

samsung gear fit aa (11 of 20)

It’s also said the device will feature a button (much like the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo) and run on Samsung’s Tizen OS. Interestingly, it seems Samsung might be doing away with the camera this time around, a component that always seemed odd in a smartwatch.

Will the Gear 3 be able to act as a standalone device, or is a separate Gear Solo in the works?

Here’s another curious detail: these sources say this device could have cellular radios, which leaves rumors of the Gear Solo up in the air. Will the Gear 3 be able to act as a standalone device, or is a separate Gear Solo in the works?

Nothing is official until it’s announced, so anything could happen at Samsung’s September 3rd event. Launch is expected some time in September, so we can’t see a better day to announce the Gear 3.

Source: Pocket Now;

Brazilian website uncovers Moto X+1 black, bamboo and leather versions

Posted by wicked August - 22 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Brazilian retailer Livraria Logos didn’t conform with outing Moto E details ahead of schedule, last time. The store is now uncovering a whole set of Moto X+1 details and specs before the scheduled September 4th announcement. This time around they are giving us a few listings and a short list of specs.

These specs go parallel with past rumors and leaks. We are looking at a 5.2-inch HP display, a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, a 13 MP camera and Android 4.4.4. The most interesting part lies on the title labeling these listings, though.


While no images are offered, a quick translation will let us know these listings refer to three different Moto X+1 models – black, leather and bamboo (preto, couro and bambu, accordingly). While the black and bamboo versions of the Moto X+1 are pretty well-known by now, said leather design comes as a surprise.

We are most excited to see this leather Moto X+1, as it’s a novelty, but we know many of you are leaning towards Motorola’s affordable Moto G2. It’s believed the mysterious Moto Titan (listed in the same website) could be the Moto G2, with modest specs that include a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage and a 5-inch HD display.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 2.38.04 PM

On the other hand, this could very well be a Brazil-bound smartphone we don’t know about. Regardless, it’s smart to take all this information with a grain of salt. While this Brazilian retailer has been right in the past, nothing is official until it’s announced by Motorola.

Source: Livraria Logos;

Here’s the best Moto X+1 leak we have seen so far

Posted by wicked August - 21 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

We are found only a couple weeks away from Motorola’s September 4th event, where the Moto X+1 (among other devices) is said to be announced. The device has been no stranger to the rumor mill. We have all kinds of images, rumored specs and details, but today’s leak is a bit more special.

This happens to be the clearest image of the Moto X+1 we have seen, showing the device in decent definition. It also shows the previously-rumored wood design (shown below), giving more credibility to both reports. Another reason why this post is important is because Evan Blass (@evleaks) is giving it to us as his “retirement gift”.

moto x+1 leak  (2)

The popular leakster recently announced his retirement. He will seek greener pastures and more stability. We definitely thank him for this awesome image and hope he finds what he needs.

As for the Moto X+1 leak – another interesting detail is that this image clearly showcases the Verizon logo in the back of the devices. Previous rumors indicate the Moto X+1 is to reach Verizon on September 25th; definitely a day to mark on your calendars. You know, just in case!

Rumored specs include a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch 1080p display, 32 GB of internal storage, 12MP/5MP cameras and a 2900 mAh battery.

Like with any rumor, we would advice that you take any of this information with a healthy dose of sodium chloride. No official details on the Moto X+1 have been announced yet. Let’s keep our eyes open and wait for the September 4th announcement.

Source: @evleaks;

What is the Motorola “Quark” XT1254? Is It Really the “DROID Turbo?”

Posted by Kellex August - 18 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

At the end of last week, a reader of ours pointed out that device made by Motorola under the model number XT1254 had passed through Bluetooth SIG with a description confirming that it was an Android smartphone. No other details were attached, so we ignored it. Then over the weekend, a couple of supposed CPU-Z screens of a Motorola device with a codename of “quark_verizon” surfaced under the same model number, causing the tech world to freak out, toss around conspiracy and fanboy theories involving the rumored Motorola Nexus, and generally sound silly. Names like “DROID Turbo” were mentioned, as were a handful of next-level specs.

So what is this mystery device? Well, let’s see if we can’t find out. 


The CPU-Z screens with the name “quark_verizon” first surfaced through Android Authority, along with a couple of extra details. The benchmarks show a device running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.65GHz, Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB RAM, 24GB of available storage (likely 32GB total), Android 4.4.4, and a display with a resolution of 2560×1440 (640×360 dpi, edit:  display size is unknown). They also tossed out the potential name of “DROID Turbo” and the device having a 20MP rear camera, thanks to “anonymous” sources.

As previously mentioned, the codename “quark_verizon” and model number XT1254 are also shown.

If you didn’t notice, the “4G LTE” logo in the notification area is indeed Verizon’s.

Much like last year’s DROID line, this phone does not appear to have on-screen navigation buttons. As can be seen by CPU-Z screen, the resolution of the display is a full 2560×1440. If there were on-screen buttons, that would show as something like 2392×1440, like it does on the LG G3. You also can’t see the on-screen buttons, which do show on devices that have them with CPU-Z open.


Model number of XT1254.

Motorola, like most manufacturers, has always tried to keep model numbers in order from year-to-year and from device-to-device. For example, the Moto X last year carried model numbers of XT1053 (unlocked/T-Mobile), XT1056 (Sprint), XT1058 (AT&T), and XT1060 (Verizon). The DROID MAXX and ULTRA live under model number XT1080, while the DROID Mini is the XT1080M. The original DROID RAZR was the XT912 and the RAZR HD was the XT926. We have also seen unreleased Motorola devices under the model numbers XT1096 and XT1097 show up within the last couple of weeks. These are largely thought to be variants of the new 2014 Moto X.

So what is the XT1254 then? We haven’t seen a Motorola model number close to XT1254 yet – this is a massive and surprising jump in the sequence. The only thing we know from looking at this, is that it is a Motorola device headed for Verizon (thanks to the codename). But with such a large jump, is this a phone that is months and months away from a potential release?

Digging for a couple of hours around the web over the last couple of days has returned nothing new on this XT1254 device. It clearly just showed up for the first time within the last week.

Codename of “quark.”

The now-retired @evleaks pointed out back in February of this year that Motorola was busy during Mobile World Congress “working on the Quark X.” He didn’t elaborate on what that meant, as far as I can tell, but that shows you how far back the name existed. Since then, there have been no new mentions of this codename.

The name “quark” has even more meaning, though, if you do a little bit of research. Intel has an entire line of mobile processors that fall under the name “Quark.” These processors, at least their highest end models, are expected to ship in Q2 of this year. However, these processors are generally thought of as made for smaller, low-power devices like wearables. Clearly, the device depicted here is not a low-end wearable or powered by an Intel chipset.

Was @evleaks referring to the new Moto X? Was he referring to a new DROID, but didn’t know it? We have zero answers there.


What about the Moto X vs. this phone?

The oddest thing about all of this is the level of a phone we are talking about. Let’s assume this is a new DROID and it does indeed run a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with tons of RAM and a Quad HD display. The new Moto X, which is Motorola’s flagship for 2014, can’t even stand up to those specs, assuming the benchmarks we have seen are correct. The Moto X is thought to have a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, and 2GB RAM. Are you telling me that Verizon worked a special deal to release a DROID-branded phone that stomps all over the Moto X? Seems odd, but hey, you never know. They did manage to release last year’s DROID line a couple of weeks before Motorola unveiled the Moto X, even though those phones were the Moto X in DROID disguises.

Then again, that whole situation only matters if this phone is released any time soon. For all we know, it could be months out.

DROID line is a mystery.

Last year, Motorola and Verizon announced that going forward, Motorola would have the exclusive to their exclusive on DROID devices. Until we hear differently, we have to assume that Verizon is still fully committed to the DROID line, only we have heard nothing on a DROID front so far this year. We know that Motorola is going to announce a new Moto X and Moto G on September 4, while giving us launch details on the Moto 360. But what about new DROIDs? We haven’t had new ones since last year’s launch of the DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini, so it’s about time for replacements. Is the XT1254 one of them? Maybe, maybe not.

As of today, the “DROID Turbo” and XT1254 are nothing but a Bluetooth SIG listing and an anonymous benchmark. Should we happen upon additional details, we will be sure to pass those along.

What is the Motorola “Quark” XT1254? Is It Really the “DROID Turbo?” is a post from: Droid Life