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Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot.org - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:06
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Slashdot.org - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:06
Molly McHugh writes When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, and I owned a BlackBerry Curve. To me, my BlackBerry was close to being the absolute perfect smartphone. Today, BlackBerry revealed the Classic, a phone that is designed to make me—and everyone who owned a BlackBerry before the touchscreen revolution—remember how much we loved them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








MPAA Wants to Use DMCA to Effectively Bring Back SOPA

LinuxToday.com - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:00

 FOSSforce: The movie moguls want to do this in the name of fighting their old monster-under-the-bed, content piracy.

Categories: Linux

Ally Bank Savings Account Review

MyMoneyBlog.com - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:44

I’ve banked with Ally for years (checking, savings, and multiple CDs), but I’ve never done a specific review of their savings account until now. Ally has recently raised their rates to be closer to the rotating list of banks jockeying for top spot.

The Ally Online Savings Account has no minimum balance, no monthly fees, and currently pays 0.99% APY (as of 12.19.14). Their interest rates may not be the absolute highest, but they have consistently been within 0.10% of the temporarily top banks, making it not worthwhile to move my money. (See my rate chaser calculator). Let’s go through the important factors.

User Interface. Below is a screenshot of the main page after logging in (click to enlarge). I can see all of my accounts and their balances at a glance. The overall design is clean and practical (with a good dose of purple).

Customer Service. Ally Bank differentiates itself with their customer service. First of all, they are available 24/7 at 1-877-247-ALLY (2559). When you use their smartphone app or log into their website, you can see the wait time beforehand. Even better, if you don’t want to call them you can just use their Live Chat feature. I have highlighted these with red arrows on the screenshot above.

Awards. Ally Bank has won “Best Online Bank” from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in 2014 and “Best Online Bank” from Money Magazine from 2011-2014.

FDIC Insurance. Ally Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, FDIC Certificate #57803. As with other FDIC-insured banks, this means your Ally deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category.

Funds Transfers. With no physical branches, online savings accounts should have maximum flexibility as they are often secondary accounts (given most megabank checking accounts pay either no interest or a sad 0.01% APY). Ally Bank allows you to link any other external bank account using the standard routing number and account numbers. As long as you initiate the transfer before 7:30 pm Eastern Time, the transfer will take 2 business days. You can link up to 20 different accounts (it used to be unlimited; but other banks limit to 3; I have 7 myself).

So if I initiate a transfer on Monday afternoon by 7:30pm ET, the money will be debited first thing on Tuesday, and credited to the destination account first thing Wednesday. But know that if you initiate on a Saturday, you’ll get the same result. Even bank computers really don’t like working weekends, it seems. Overall, free transfers within 2 business days during the week is about as good as it gets for online banks.

The transfer limits are also relatively high. On my accounts, I see that I have a $150,000 daily limit outbound and $250,000 daily limit inbound, with a total monthly limit of $600,000 outbound and $1,000,000 inbound. Keeping in mind that all savings accounts from any bank are limited to six withdrawals per month.

Mobile check deposit. You can use the Ally smartphone app to deposit checks using your smartphone camera. (This is in addition to using your computer scanner and/or free postage-paid deposit envelopes.) I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone, but my deposit limit is $50,000 which is higher than many other electronic deposit programs. I’ve used the app to deposit multiple checks without issue. Screenshot below.

Mobile app. Let’s see, other comments about the app (iOS and Android)… you can do all the important stuff – see transactions, transfer funds, deposit checks, pay bills. It can remember your username, but you must type in your password every time. I usually just use my Mint app for checking balances, as that only requires a 4-digit PIN. The overall design is acceptable, and the ATM locator includes places like Safeway stores that offer “cash back with purchase”. (If you have the Ally Checking account, you get free ATM fee rebates so the locator is handy as you can just use the nearest ATM.)

The Stats

  • Current interest rate: 0.99% APY (last checked 12/18/2014)
  • Interest Compounding: accrued daily, compounded daily, credited monthly
  • Minimum to open: $0
  • Minimum requirements to avoid monthly service charge: None
  • Number of external bank account links allowed: Unlimited
  • Routing Number: 124003116

Bottom line. The Ally Online Savings Account is a solid offering with with no monthly fees, no minimum balance requirement, and a historically competitive interest rate. I like that their brand is built around the “no hidden fees” slogan. Additional features like a flexible funds transfer system and solid 24/7 customer service help differentiate themselves from the competition.

You can use this savings account either as a complement to your local bank, but I really like how it works with the Ally Checking account which offers unlimited ATM fee rebates, free online billpay, and the ability to use the savings account as a free overdraft source. Ally also has certificates of deposit which offer competitive rates at times.


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Ally Bank Savings Account Review from My Money Blog.

© MyMoneyBlog.com, 2014.

Categories: Finance

FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

Slashdot.org - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 00:33
v3rgEz writes In a terse form letter responding to a FOIA request, the FBI has confirmed it has an open investigation into Gamergate, the loose but controversial coalition of gamers calling for ethics in gaming journalism — even as some members have harassed and sent death threats to female gaming developers and critics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Satellite Captures Glowing Plants From Space

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:02
sciencehabit writes About 1% of the light that strikes plants is re-emitted as a faint, fluorescent glow—a measure of photosynthetic activity. Today, scientists released a map of this glow as measured by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a NASA satellite launched in July with the goal of mapping the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The map reveals that tropical rainforests near the equator are actively sucking up carbon, while the Corn Belt in the eastern United States, near the end of its growing season, is also a sink. Higher resolution fluorescence mapping could one day be used to help assess crop yields and how they respond to drought and heat in a changing climate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Google delivers an early Christmas gift: Google Drive support for ODF

LinuxToday.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:00

 ITworld: Google, in a surprise move, today announced support for ODF (Open Document Format) in its products.

Categories: Linux

Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:56
mrspoonsi writes with the findings of an investigation into working conditions at a factory that makes Apple products. Poor treatment of workers in Chinese factories which make Apple products has been discovered by an undercover BBC Panorama investigation. Filming on an iPhone 6 production line showed Apple's promises to protect workers were routinely broken. It found standards on workers' hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron factories. Apple said it strongly disagreed with the programme's conclusions. Exhausted workers were filmed falling asleep on their 12-hour shifts at the Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai. One undercover reporter, working in a factory making parts for Apple computers, had to work 18 days in a row despite repeated requests for a day off. Another reporter, whose longest shift was 16 hours, said: "Every time I got back to the dormitories, I wouldn't want to move. Even if I was hungry I wouldn't want to get up to eat. I just wanted to lie down and rest. I was unable to sleep at night because of the stress."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:13
An anonymous reader writes Github has announced a security vulnerability and has encouraged users to update their Git clients as soon as possible. The blog post reads in part: "A critical Git security vulnerability has been announced today, affecting all versions of the official Git client and all related software that interacts with Git repositories, including GitHub for Windows and GitHub for Mac. Because this is a client-side only vulnerability, github.com and GitHub Enterprise are not directly affected. The vulnerability concerns Git and Git-compatible clients that access Git repositories in a case-insensitive or case-normalizing filesystem. An attacker can craft a malicious Git tree that will cause Git to overwrite its own .git/config file when cloning or checking out a repository, leading to arbitrary command execution in the client machine. Git clients running on OS X (HFS+) or any version of Microsoft Windows (NTFS, FAT) are exploitable through this vulnerability. Linux clients are not affected if they run in a case-sensitive filesystem....Updated versions of GitHub for Windows and GitHub for Mac are available for immediate download, and both contain the security fix on the Desktop application itself and on the bundled version of the Git command-line client."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








UPDATE 2-Linux distributor Red Hat raises full-year profit forecast - Reuters

Linux News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:51

UPDATE 2-Linux distributor Red Hat raises full-year profit forecast
Reuters
Dec 18 (Reuters) - Red Hat Inc, the world's largest commercial distributor of the Linux operating system, raised its profit forecast for the full year after reporting quarterly revenue and profit above market expectations, boosted by strong growth in ...

Categories: Linux

Marissa Mayer's Reinvention of Yahoo! Stumbles

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:30
schnell writes The New York Times Magazine has an in-depth profile of Marissa Mayer's time at the helm of Yahoo!, detailing her bold plans to reinvent the company and spark a Jobs-ian turnaround through building great new products. But some investors are saying that her product focus (to the point of micromanaging) hasn't generated results, and that the company should give up on trying to create the next iPod, merge with AOL to cut costs and focus on the unglamorous core business that it has. Is it time for Yahoo! to "grow up" and set its sights lower?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Oh, the Who-manity: 'Grinch' security bug wreaks havoc on Linux - Digital Trends

Linux News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:21

The Register

Oh, the Who-manity: 'Grinch' security bug wreaks havoc on Linux
Digital Trends
A glitch called “Grinch” after the perennially loathed yet beloved Dr. Seuss cartoon character has recently been found laying low in the depths of Linux source code. It has the catastrophic potential to let bad guys to seize remote control of any and ...
The Grinch That Tried to Exploit LinuxeWeek
The 'grinch' isn't a Linux vulnerability, Red Hat saysComputerworld
'Grinch' Bug May Affect Most Linux SystemsDark Reading
The Register
all 67 news articles »
Categories: Linux

What is Ubuntu Snappy?

LinuxToday.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:00

 The Linux Rain: If you're anything like me, you've probably heard about this new thing from Canonical called "Snappy" Ubuntu Core, but at the same time trying to understand exactly what it is may leave you cross-eyed

Categories: Linux

Ars Reviews Skype Translator

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:47
Esra Erimez writes Peter Bright doesn't speak a word of Spanish but with Skype Translator he was able to have a spoken conversation with a Spanish speaker as if he was in an episode of Star Trek. He spoke English. A moment later, an English language transcription would appear, along with a Spanish translation. Then a Spanish voice would read that translation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








​Free software GNU/Linux laptop in development - ZDNet

Linux News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:44

ZDNet

​Free software GNU/Linux laptop in development
ZDNet
Linux laptops are available from major computer OEMs such as Dell and Lenovo and specialized Linux vendors such as System76 and ZaReason, but the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which would prefer it if I referred to Linux as GNU/Linux, doesn't ...
Purism discovered how to make open-source software laptops even more openPCWorld

all 7 news articles »
Categories: Linux

Development Release: Kubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1

DistroWatch.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:41
Jonathan Riddell has announced the availability of the initial development release of "Vivid Vervet", a family of Ubuntu distribution that will eventually bear the version number 15.04. This first alpha build is available for Kubuntu (now with Plasma 5 as the default KDE), Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Ubuntu....
Categories: Linux

Extracting Data From the Microsoft Band

Slashdot.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:30
An anonymous reader writes The Microsoft Band, introduced last month, hosts a slew of amazing sensors, but like so many wearable computing devices, users are unable to access their own data. A Brown University professor decompiles the app, finds that the data is transmitted to the Microsoft "cloud", and explains how to intercept the traffic to retrieve the raw minute-by-minute data captured by the Band.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Android dress code: wear what you want

GoogleBlog - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:26
Deciding what to wear is a really personal thing—it’s one of the ways you show people what you’re about. Wearable technology is no different, so Android Wear offers a wide selection of apps and watches to suit your taste. It’s about expressing who you are, however you want, right on your wrist.

Today there’s even more ways to show your style with Android Wear, including dozens of new watch faces (powered by an official Watch Face API), a full collection of devices on Google Play, and lots of other improvements based on your feedback. So try ‘em on for size, and let us know what you think.
Watch faces for whatever you’re into
Starting today you can download watch faces from Google Play, just like you do with apps. We’ve got dozens of examples to get you started—from the unpredictable Minions in Despicable Me to the X-Ray artistry of Hugh Turvey. And because the new Watch Face API is available to all developers, you can expect even more choices in the weeks and months ahead.

We’ve also updated the Android Wear app on your phone to make browsing, downloading, and switching watch faces really easy. So pick the one you like the best, or pick a new one every day.

(Both updates are rolling out over the next week, so don’t worry if you don’t see them yet.)
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Examples of Android Wear watch faces
A family of watches to choose from
In only a few short months, the Android Wear collection has grown to include six unique watches—the ASUS ZenWatch, the LG G Watch, the LG G Watch R, the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Some are circular, others are square. Some are traditional, others are sporty. And that’s exactly the point. With different shapes and styles, it’s really easy to make your watch your own.

So by all means: wear what you want.

Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear
Categories: Technology

The 'grinch' isn't a Linux vulnerability, Red Hat says - Computerworld

Linux News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:14

CNBC

The 'grinch' isn't a Linux vulnerability, Red Hat says
Computerworld
The "grinch" Linux vulnerability that Alert Logic raised alarms about Tuesday is not a vulnerability at all, according to Red Hat. "This report incorrectly classifies expected behavior as a security issue," said a Red Hat bulletin issued Wednesday ...
'Grinch' Bug May Affect Most Linux SystemsDark Reading
The Grinch That Tried to Exploit LinuxeWeek
Oh, the Who-manity: 'Grinch' security bug wreaks havoc on LinuxDigital Trends
CNBC
all 152 news articles »
Categories: Linux

The Grinch That Tried to Exploit Linux

LinuxToday.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:00

eWEEK: A security vendor alleges there's a vulnerability in the Linux kernel. Developers disagree, but ironically an unrelated critical bug was found.

Categories: Linux

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