Lenovo Installs Adware on PCs, Apple & Motorola Exchange Words [Tech News Digest]
Lenovo catches Superfish, Apple and Motorola argue, Samsung buys LoopPay, Reddit gives money away, saving video games for posterity, and random places to stick a GoPro.
Lenovo Accused Over Superfish
Goodbye Lenovo, and thanks for all the Superfish.
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) February 19, 2015
Lenovo stands accused of putting its customers at risk by pre-installing an adware program called Superfish on its PCs. Superfish injects third-party adverts into a user’s browser without permission if they’re using Internet Explorer or Chrome. Firefox appears to be immune.
Users reported issues with Superfish on the Lenovo forums in January. According to The Next Web, community administrator Mark Hopkins insisted the company has requested an update be sent out to all affected computers addressing concerns. But he also defended Superfish, saying it “helps users find and discover products visually” and “instantly analyzes images on the web and presents identical and similar product offers that may have lower prices.”
Inserting ads is one thing, but there is a suggestion that Superfish could be used for far more evil endeavors. Reports suggest Superfish “installs its own self-signed certificate,” which could allow it to “snoop on secure connections.” This means Superfish could collect data from Web sessions, and third-parties could, conceivably, generate the key themselves to gain access.
Apple & Motorola go to War
If you think that $4K gold Apple Watch is expensive, just wait until you upgrade the RAM to 16GB.
— Adi Kingsley-Hughes (@the_pc_doc) February 17, 2015
Apple and Motorola have embarked on a snarky war of words, with the two companies’ approaches to business putting them at odds with each other. The argument focuses on pricing, and customer choice, especially when it comes to the designing of products .
The argument started when Apple’s design chief Jony Ive told The New Yorker, “Their value proposition was ‘Make it whatever you want. You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer.” While Ive refused to name the company to which he was referring, it’s pretty obviously Motorola.
This led to Rick Osterloh, the president of Motorola, telling BBC News, “Our belief is that the end user should be directly involved in the process of designing products. We’re making the entire product line accessible. And frankly, we’re taking a directly opposite approach to them [Apple]. We do see a real dichotomy in this marketplace, where you’ve got people like Apple making so much money and charging such outrageous prices. We think that’s not the future. We believe the future is in offering similar experiences and great consumer choice at accessible prices.”
This is mostly just countering Ive’s arguments against letting customers get involved in the design process, but the barb about Apple’s premium pricing is an unabashed dig. One which Apple is likely to bat away without a care. Especially on the back of its record-breaking quarter .
Samsung Buys LoopPay
Samsung has acquired LoopPay for an undisclosed sum of money. LoopPay is a mobile payments startup which uses existing technology to allow contactless payments to be made in retail stores. Thus, LoopPay has the potential to work in many more shops than Apple Pay .
This is highly likely to explain the acquisition, with Samsung suggesting, “Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal.”
Samsung is set to launch the Galaxy S6 on March 1, and it could, according to CNET, use this opportunity to show off its new mobile payments system.
Reddit is Feeling Charitable
10% of our 2014 advertising revenue will be donated to 10 charities you choose. Voting begins now! http://t.co/gZOg1jaXQy
— reddit (@reddit) February 18, 2015
Reddit is donating 10 percent of its ad revenue generated in 2014, and it’s asking its users to decide to which charities the money should go. Reddit made $8.27 million in 2014, meaning it’s giving away $827k. But to whom?
You can help Reddit decide which 10 charities to give that money to by voting at reddit.com/donate. You must be logged in with an account registered prior to the start of voting. The final results will be tallied after voting ends on Feb. 25.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame
This is me every night I play video games???????????? pic.twitter.com/NsWtytgBVd
— funny video game (@funnyvideogame) February 15, 2015
The Strong National Museum of Play is establishing a Hall of Fame for video games. Called the World Video Game Hall of Fame, this will preserve the biggest and best video games released through the short history of the medium .
G. Rollie Adams, president and CEO of The Strong, said, “There is no other video game award and recognition program such as this, which focuses solely on individual game titles across platforms and their impact over time and across international borders.”
Random Places to Stick a GoPro
And finally, we have a video showing a GoPro being stuck in a host of random places. We already knew a GoPro can be used in a number of creative ways , but it’s still surprising how engrossing footage of a GoPro is when the camera is attached to a chainsaw or a windshield wiper. Because it lets us see life from a totally different perspective. [H/T Gizmodo]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Has this abhorrent adware activity put you off buying a Lenovo PC? Whose side are you on in the war of words between Apple and Motorola? What random place would you stick a GoPro?
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: Acid Pix via Flickr