Author Archives: Joseph Miller

The Samsung Galaxy S7’s personalized auto-brightness fixes a major mobile headache

Though you might not have heard much about it from Samsung, one of the best new features in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge is the way they handle auto-brightness.

Have you ever used a smartphone under sunlight and felt the display was either too dark or too bright? Conversely, does your phone look too bright or not bright enough in a dimly-lit room? While any phone will let you make manual adjustments, you might have to mess with those settings again later when brightness returns to normal.

It’s a nuisance, one that Samsung has reportedly eliminated with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. As Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate notes in his Galaxy S7 display shootout, both phones include a new feature called Personalized Automatic Brightness Control, which remembers your brightness preferences at multiple levels of ambient light. If you’re the type that fears battery drain from bright screens in direct sunlight, or hates having your eyeballs scorched while reading in the dark, you just make a single tweak to the slider. The phone then ties those settings to the current reading from its ambient light sensor.

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PCWorld News

Remote desktop tool distributed by Comodo enabled privilege escalation

Security software vendor Comodo has patched a security weakness in its GeekBuddy remote PC support tool that could have enabled local malware or exploits to gain admin privileges on computers.

GeekBuddy installs a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) remote desktop service that allows Comodo technicians to connect to users’ PCs and help them troubleshoot issues or clean malware infections. The application is bundled with Comodo products like Antivirus Advanced, Internet Security Pro and Internet Security Complete. While it’s not clear exactly how many PCs currently have GeekBuddy installed, Comodo claims the tech support service has had “25 million satisfied users” so far.

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Amazon Web Services acquires Italian SaaS vendor

Amazon Web Services has agreed to buy Nice, an Italian vendor of high-performance computing software and services to extend its as-a-service offering.

It’s’s second acquisition within six months of a software vendor that can put its cloud computing platform to new uses. The last was Elemental Technologies, in September. 

Nice is a niche outfit, with customers numbering in the hundreds, not thousands. Companies and research institutions in the aerospace, automotive, energy, life sciences and technology industries use its products to centralize HPC, cloud and visualization functions.

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Qualcomm hopes a gradual approach to server market will work

The ARM server market is a dangerous place to be: Right now there’s virtually no money to be made. Some ARM server chip makers have quit, while others hold on to the hope that the market will someday be viable.

Qualcomm, which was late entering the market for server chips based on the ARM architecture, has been patient. The company doesn’t want to prematurely release server chips only to see them fail to catch on, said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm, during a speech at the company’s investor meeting on Thursday.

ARM licenses its chip architecture to chip makers, which then manufacture the processors and sell them to hardware manufacturers.

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Modular cellphone kit can be used for IoT and wearables

You can assemble a rudimentary 2G cellphone at home with the RePhone Kit Create, which can also be used to make wearables and IoT devices.

The kit from Seeed Studios ships with separate modules that can be pieced together to create a 2G phone with a 1.54-in. LCD screen. Icons on the display can be used to make phone calls or send text messages.

There’s more to RePhone than being a fun device. The kit also is a small development board to make wearable and IoT devices with cellular communication capabilities.

The $ 59 kit is now shipping, and comes with a small battery and modules for a SIM card — that’s how you connect to a carrier’s network — as well as speaker, GSM, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy. It also ships with craft paper that can be the skin of the phone.

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