In praise of the worst phone on the market

It’s fall, and in the tech world that means one thing: new stuff. From smartphones to computers to gadgets, new and improved devices are released this season by seemingly every manufacturer, boasting more specs, more speed, more everything.

That’s what makes the new Palm phone so interesting. The newly announced device, sporting the name of the now defunct PDA maker, is a deliberately small, simple smartphone that is decidedly less. It has a tiny 3.3-inch screen; a very basic selection of apps like texting, maps, and a phone; a simple camera and … that’s it. Oh, and the Warriors’ Stephen Curry is an investor and spokesperson. It’s a companion phone, for when you want to leave the house without the constant distraction of your main device, but don’t want to disconnect entirely.

Put another way, it’s a bad phone, but on purpose. And indeed, the reaction has been just that: to call it bad. Most tech press so far has scoffed at the phone because of its inherent limitations, but also some genuinely poor choices, such as limiting it to Verizon and making it a secondary device, like a smartwatch, rather than a standalone phone.

But maybe the Palm phone is exactly what tech needs — which is to say, less. Rather than constantly focusing on what it can add, the way forward for tech is to find a sustainable business model predicated on taking things away.

Absence, however, isn’t the only interesting thing about the Palm phone. The idea of a distraction-less secondary device has been a running theme for the past couple of years. There are minimalist gadgets like the Light Phone, which let you only call or message. Then there are things like the Apple Watch, which now let you make calls or text while also tracking fitness.

The trouble with those devices, though, is that they lack something critical, like a keyboard to make texting actually viable or a camera to document the minutiae of your day. So the Palm phone’s inclusion of both things, in addition to Google Maps and email, seems to strike a good balance: It gives you some of the benefits of a full smartphone, without all of its drawbacks — particularly the pull of social media.

That’s not to say the criticisms of the device are completely unfair, though. The solution to tech overload is rarely more tech. And more practically, tying …read more

Source:: The Week – Tech


‘Donald Daters’ the New Dating App for Trump Supporters Leaked Its Users’ Data on Launch Day

Donald Daters, a new dating app for Trump supporters, has leaked users’ personal information on the day of its launch.

The app, which markets itself as an “American-based singles community connecting lovers, friends, and Trump supporters alike,” had more than 1,600 users when it launched on Monday, according to security researcher Elliot Alderson, who was reportedly able to download the entire user database.

Alderson shared his findings in a tweet, stating that the data he managed to gain access to included users’ names, profile pictures, device types, private messages and access tokens that can be used to log into their accounts.

Hi @FoxNews and @realDonaldTrump supporters,

You should not use this app. In 5 minutes, I managed to get:
– the list of all the people registered
– name
– Photo
– personal messages
– token to steal their session

Thread ⬇️

— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) October 15, 2018

The Donald Daters app was founded by Emily Moreno—a former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio—who confirmed the leak on Tuesday.

“We have taken swift and decisive action to remedy the mistake and make all possible efforts to prevent this from happening again,” she said, according to TechCrunch. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily suspended the chat service on the app while we implement new security protocols. We are also taking immediate steps to engage a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to pressure test the system to ensure it is secure against other vulnerabilities.”

Donald Daters, a dating app for Trump supporters, leaked its users’ data by @zackwhittaker

— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) October 15, 2018

…read more

Source:: Time – Technology


People Are Getting a Bunch of Cryptic Twitter Notifications and They Don’t Know What to Do With Themselves

On Tuesday, people received some strange-looking push notifications from Twitter on their phones.

It appears a significant number of users got a few notifications in a row that all contained a mysterious combination of letters and numbers, followed by a colon and one or more digits.

Devoid of any context, Twitter users were quick to question what it all meant.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has already tweeted that the company is on it, promising in a tweet Tuesday that “We’re seeing this issue too. On it.”

So exactly what is this apparent glitch about? Is “2e1f6171d05a409e9531a2b139d69928: 14” an error, or a much more valuable clue? It’s still unclear, but before long, the Twittersphere was full of questions.

Looks like @Twitter is having a freak out moment after the last update. 🧐 Anyone else having this problem?

— Jack Phan (@JackPhan) October 16, 2018

We’re seeing this issue too. On it.

— jack (@jack) October 16, 2018

Anyone else get a weird Twitter notification just now?

— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) October 16, 2018

twitter notifications: a4be60df51jse0


— 𝕤𝕡𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕪 𝕤𝕡𝕚𝕔𝕖✨ (@_trvly) October 16, 2018

Am I the only person who didn’t get a notification from twitter with all those numbers

— Lovesmusic96 🎶 (@Lovesmusic96) October 16, 2018

The only notifications i gets thanks @Twitter

— BigFudge🎃 (@Official_Jude_) October 16, 2018

Anyone know what these random Twitter notifications are?

— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 16, 2018

What’s going on with all of these Twitter notifications? @Twitter

— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) October 16, 2018

@Twitter what’s the deal with these iOS notifications containing some sort of hashed data? @TwitterSupport @TwitterData

— Andy Sternberg (@andysternberg) October 16, 2018

conspiracy theory: twitter is getting hacked by a higher force

— L&H News (@StylinsonDaily) October 16, 2018

…read more

Source:: Time – Technology