High tech couch potatoes take note as Logitech has added two new Harmony remotes to its already robust remote lineup. The latest additions offer one click activity buttons and have enough functionality to replace five individual remotes. The Harmony 600 is an entry level model and features a black & white screen with support for device commands. The Harmony 650 offers a color screen, has icons for your favorite channels, and supports device commands. You might be familiar with Logitech’s lineup, but here is the kicker: The Logitech Harmony 600 will retail for a mere $79.99 while the Harmony 650 comes in at a slightly higher, but still affordable $99.99. Both remotes are expected to touch down in the US and Europe in late March. More →
You have probably read about the Harriton High spy case where the school administration of the Lower Merion School District (LMSD) is being accused of using school-issued MacBooks to spy remotely on its students. The case has received national attention and is now the subject of a FBI investigation. What you might not have read is this detailed investigation by Stryde Hax, a security consultant who probes the methodology and possibly identifies the person(s) behind this abuse of technology. Stryde Hax makes a connection between the LANRev software supposedly used to spy remotely on the students and Mike Perbix, a Network Tech at LMSD. Mr. Perbix stars in a promotional webcast for LANRev in which he boasts of the software’s ability to spy remotely without user detection. Stryde Hax also uncovers comments from former and current students that paint a picture of a school that forced students to use school-issued MacBooks, confiscated personal laptops that were used in lieu of the school-issued hardware, claimed that the green blinking webcam light was a glitch, and expelled students that tried to remove or disable the remote spy software. Tying it all together, Stryde Hax reverse engineers the LANRev software to take a peek at its inner workings and demonstrates its usage as a very stealthy remote spying solution. With content that is worthy of the best Tom Clancy novel, Stryde Hax’s lengthy blog post is filled with details on the Orwellian nature of this case. More →
Our Apple tipster (who accurately predicted organizable iPhone homescreens in iTunes as well as integrated social networking components) is back at it again! This time we’ve been sent an image that we’re told is a “product mockup that may coincide with the launch of a revised Apple TV.” It seems a little far-fetched that this unit’s only purpose would be to control an Apple TV, and you can even see a Safari option on the mockup. To be honest, it looks like a touch screen iPod nano, just longer. We’re going to dig a little bit and see what we can find, but we figured we’d run this with a high dose of caution for informational purposes.
We have a bit of troubling news from Windows world today as a developer in attendance at Microsoft’s Tech.Ed New Zealand has relayed some interesting tidbits. Regarding the “Windows Marketplace for Mobile” — Microsoft’s version of the Apple App Store — Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a ‘kill switch’ for apps. In the event an approved app is later removed from the Marketplace, the app will also automatically be removed from users’ handsets. We’re not sure what this means for paid apps, though we doubt refunds will be issued automatically as well. Microsoft isn’t the only company with this policy of course, but it’s a bit unsettling all the same. The bottom line is that this could spell bad news for users and developers alike, though we highly doubt Microsoft will rule over the Marketplace with an iron fist to the extent that Apple does. Let’s just hope that if and when Redmond does start killing apps, there’s a good reason for it. Hit the jump for more interesting tidbits from Tech.Ed as reported by The Unofficial Tech Ed Blog.
It’s been nary a day since webOS 1.2 leaked and new features are being uncovered left and right. Yesterday, we saw a bunch of minor updates including a new “select all” option in the edit menu, support for paid applications, find-as-you-type support in email and improved browser functionality. Further dissection of the underlying webOS code reveals two new features, the first being the incorporation of LED notifications. The securityconfig-scene.html file contains the string, “The gesture area blinks when new notifications arrive.” Though commented out in the code and effectively disabled in 1.2, the feature can be activated by simply removing the commenting surrounding the line. The second interesting (though potentially troubling) discovery is the line, “Palm had to delete this application from the App Catalog and your device. If you paid for this app, your money will be refunded,” which was discovered in the apprevokedalert_scene.html file. From the looks of it, Palm is including remote application removal as one of the features of its upcoming paid application store debut. Before you get in a tirade and ruin an otherwise delightful Labor day weekend however, relax as a group of savvy webOS users should be able to figure out how to disable this feature pretty quickly.