Android Factory Resets Fail, Amazon Handmade Attacks Etsy, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Android resets don’t delete data, Amazon Handmade targets Etsy, Instagram emails “Highlights”, Spaces expands Google Chrome, Pac-Man embraces its past, and Mario Kart: Fury Road makes Max mad.
Android Resets Fail to Delete Data
If you own an Android handset you need to be aware that a factory reset may not be enough to completely wipe all of your data from the phone. This is due to an inherent flaw in Android estimated to affect around 500 million devices.
Researchers from Cambridge University discovered the flaw by testing 21 Android handsets sold by five manufacturers and running versions of Android ranging from 2.3 (Gingerbread) to 4.3 (Jelly Bean). The results have been published in a paper titled Security Analysis of Android Factory Resets [PDF link].
Every single one of the 21 handsets tested — including those from Samsung and HTC — retained fragments of old data. This included contacts, SMS and email conversations, photos and videos, the master token for Google, and tokens for third-party apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
This means anyone giving away or selling their Android phone after doing a factory reset is at risk of exposing their personal data to anyone skilled enough and committed enough to go looking for it. Possible solutions include encrypting all data prior to resetting and filling a partition with random files prior to selling. Or you could, if you’re the paranoid type , destroy the device completely.
Amazon Handmade Targets Etsy Users
Amazon looks to be targeting Etsy with a new marketplace called Handmade. This will allow creative types to sell their handmade goods directly to Amazon customers. Details are thin on the ground, but with Amazon actively reaching out to potential users, Handmade seems a dead cert.
While Amazon hasn’t yet formally announced Handmade, the online retailer has been emailing potential users. The Wall Street Journal reports the emails as saying, “We’re offering artisans like you a first peek at Handmade, a new marketplace for handcrafted goods.”
Handmade will inevitably harm Etsy, whose whole business is reliant on matching buyers and sellers of handmade and vintage goods . Etsy is already struggling to convince investors it’s a good longterm bet, with its stock price falling massively since its IPO (Initial Public Offering) in April.
Instagram Starts Emailing Highlights
In a bid to persuade lapsed users to return to the fold, Instagram is sending out a new email digest called “Highlights”. According to TechCrunch, this features the best posts from the people you follow, the idea being to remind longterm users that Instagram is still a thing .
Email may seem an odd choice for a platform that’s seen as young, fresh, and aimed at the younger generations, but it’s a surprisingly effective way of re-engaging users. Instagram’s “Highlights” should help those who aren’t active on the social media site cut through the noise and remind them that amidst all the chaff there is some wheat just waiting to be found.
Spaces Helps You Work With Chrome
Spaces is a new Google Chrome extension aimed at letting you manage your open tabs more easily. Using Spaces means you can group open tabs into different windows. For example, one window (or space) could be called “Work” and contain articles required for work, while another could be called “Entertainment” and contain articles opened purely for pleasure.
You can quickly and easily switch from one window to another, and move tabs between the different spaces without too much effort. Crucially, this fantastic Chrome extension remembers the contents of your spaces even after you close them or reboot Chrome, which should help prevent you from losing access to content you had put to one side for reading later.
Pac-Man 256 Turns a Glitch Into a Villain
Pac-Man is now 35 years old, having first been released on May 22, 1980. Which makes it rather fitting that a new game based on the legend of Pac-Man is set to launch later this year. Pac-Man 256 is being developed by Hipster Whale, the same company which made Frogger reboot Crossy Road.
According to GameSpot, Pac-Man 256 turns the infamous glitch which ended the original game on Level 256, into the main villain. This glitch saw half of the screen turn into garbled text, ending the game for everyone skilled enough to reach those heady heights.
The original arcade release is one of the most important video games of all time . Pac-Man 256 will be a freemium title when it launches on mobile devices later this year.
Mario Kart: Fury Road Makes Max Mad
And finally, Mad Max: Fury Road is already one of the most insane and action-packed movies of all time, but it turns out that adding Mario and and chums from Mario Kart into the mix adds a whole new level of madness. Enough even to make Max madder than he was previously.
This doesn’t ruin the film itself, as it merely takes one of the trailers and adds elements from Mario Kart to make it even better. It’s subtle enough to leave the meat of Mad Max intact, but different enough to make it essential viewing for any true Nintendo fan in need of a laugh.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What should Google do to ensure factory resets actually delete all Android data? Should Amazon be allowed to muscle in on Etsy’s business? Are Instagram’s efforts to engage users likely to work?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Karlis Dambrans via Flickr