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Tech News & Announcements

One Google Stagefright patch made phones vulnerable to system crashes; second patch issued (Russell Brandom/The Verge)

The patch process for Android's Stagefright vulnerability hasn't gone quite as smoothly as Google hoped. Just eight days after Google, manfacturers and carriers rushed out a fix for Stagefright , researchers at Exodus Intelligence are saying there's a problem with one of the patches, and phones could still be vulnerable under the right circumstances. After the patch was deployed, Exodus  was able to trigger a system crash in one phone by attacking it with an appropriately encoded mp4 file over MMS. It's unclear whether the bug could be exploited for code execution as well as system shutdown. Reached for comment, Google confirmed the findings, and said a second patch was already being sent out. "We’ve already sent the fix to our partners to protect users, and Nexus 4/5/6/7/9/10 and Nexus Player will get the OTA update in the September monthly security update," the company said in a statement. It's unclear when non-Nexus phones will get the new patch, but it's likely to be folded into the monthly rolling patch systems established in the wake of Stagefright. Google also emphasized mitigation systems like Address Space Layout Randomization, which make exploiting such a bug a persistent challenge on Android devices. "We believe we are likely not the only ones to have noticed it is flawed." Exodus's announcement is an unorthodox way to disclose the bug, since Google has had less than a week to develop and deploy a patch for the bug, far short of the standard 90-day quiet period. But Exodus defended the disclosure in a blog post, saying they considered the flaw covered as part of the initial vulnerability disclosure, and couldn't keep the bug secret in light of the broad impact and intense public awareness of Stagefright. "There has been an inordinate amount of attention drawn to the bug," Exodus said

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LG to launch Hi-Fi music service for its premium phones with two free song downloads per month (Mariella Moon/Engadget)

LG is launching a new Hi-Fi music service later this month, but the company's not touting it as an Apple Music or a Spotify rival. After all, it will only be accessible through certain devices, particularly its premium phones, which likely includes the LG G4 and its predecessors, the G3 and the G2. The service will be available in 70 countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Russia, China and Italy. LG's announcement says the songs will have a 24bit/192kHz playback quality and that customers will be able to download two free songs (and buy more at up to 50 percent off) per month. Unfortunately, the company didn't mention a streaming option, so it's probably not in the cards. LG also didn't elaborate on its pricing scheme, but you can monitor the SmartWorld app or www.lgworld.com to find out as soon as the service goes live. SOURCE: LG Tags: hi-fimusic lg mobilepostcross music musicservice

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Group commerce website Massdrop raises $40M Series B led by August Capital (Anthony Ha/TechCrunch)

Massdrop is announcing that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding. The company focuses on what it calls “community-driven commerce.” It allows people who are interested in things like high-quality audio, men’s fashion and quilting (yes, those are all actual Massdrop communities) to connect with other enthusiasts, discuss products, make purchases with group discounts and even help design new products. Massdrop has already created communities in 11 categories — co-founder and CEO Steve El-Hage (pictured above) said the oldest communities (namely, the ones for audiophiles and for fans of mechanical keyboards) are the most popular, if only because they’ve had a head start. Massdrop says it now has a registered user base of more than 1 million people. El-Hage plans to launch four new communities before the end of the year, and then add a new community every month in 2016. He’s also hoping to offer more content, such as in-depth reviews or do-it-yourself explainers. To do that, he’ll find people online “who have expert knowledge but no following.” “There’s a lot of awesome content being written in each category that’s not being surfaced or matched with appropriate viewers,” he said. Naturally, El-Hage thinks Massdrop is the place where those experts can find the audience they’ve been looking for. As for whether Massdrop’s commerce business will make it hard for those writers to be critical and honest, El-Hage said he’s more focused on building community than on driving sales. “Our goal isn’t to sell them anything, even though we love it when we do,” he said. He also pointed to Amazon, which has no problem running one-star reviews next to the products it’s selling. Massdrop raised a $6.5 million Series A about a year ago.The new round was led by August Capital , with additional investment from First Round Capital, Mayfield Fund, and  Cowboy Ventures. August’s David Hornik is joining Massdrop’s board of directors. “Many companies have found initial success in e-commerce, but hit a plateau where they can no longer drive growth through paid acquisition alone,” Hornik said in the funding release.

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At AT&T, the Galaxy Note 5 starts at $739.99, S6 Edge+ at $814.99, both with 32 GB of storage; preorders begin at 3PM EDT (Chris Burns/SlashGear)

Today the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has been revealed with a launch date of August 21st, 2015. Preorders for this device will begin this afternoon, starting at 3PM EDT (here on August 13th, 2015). This device will be released at the same time as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (or Edge+ if you prefer) to retailers worldwide. Inside the USA, the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and Note 5 will both be available in "Black Sapphire", while the Edge Plus will come in Gold Platinum and the Note 5 will come in White Pearl. Both the S6 Edge Plus and the Note 5 will be available in the United States in the colors listed above in both 32GB and 64GB internal storage options. These devices will be carried by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular within the next few months. The Note 5 and the S6 Edge Plus will be available from Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy as well as a number of other retailers across the United States, including Target, Sam's Club, Costco, and both Amazon and Best Buy online. Retail locations will begin to have the device in-store for hands-on experiences as early as tomorrow - they wont be for sale tomorrow, but you'll be able to check them out up close and personal. For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, head to our full hands-on feature right this minute. Also be sure to have a peek at the very weird keyboard case thing for the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, while you're at it. We'll have reviews of both of these large smartphones here on SlashGear soon! Pricing for the 64GB variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 with AT&T will be as follows: 64GB Two year pricing: $349.99 64GB No commit pricing: $839.99 AT&T Pricing for the Galaxy Note 5's 32GB edition will be as follows: 32GB Two year pricing: $249.99 32GB No commit pricing: $739.99 For the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, variants will be priced as follows: 32GB Two year pricing: $299.99 32GB No commit pricing: $814.99 64GB Two year pricing: $399.99 64GB No commit pricing: $914.99 Watch the gallery below for additional pricing as prices appear from all carriers. Story Timeline Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ hands-on - Phresh Phablets Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs Note 4: What's Changed?

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Samsung teases Gear S2 circular smartwatch to be unveiled on September 3 (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

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Samsung’s new phones offer new Periscope-like service using YouTube Live (Mark Sullivan/VentureBeat)

Along with a couple of big-screened phones, Samsung today announced a set of services to go with them. One of the new services is a Periscope-like live video service called Live Broadcast. A user can shoot video with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus or Galaxy Note 5 camera and stream the video live to another phone, tablet, or desktop computer. The broadcast stream can go out to an individual, a group of contacts, or even the public through YouTube Live . Samsung puts a 7-second delay in the video in case the user happens to film something they don’t want to broadcast. The Note 5 or Edge Plus user can notify others of a broadcast by sending them a YouTube link. From VentureBeat Join us at GrowthBeat where thought leaders from the biggest brands will share winning growth strategies on August 17-18 in San Francisco. Sign up now! UHQA Both of Samsung’s new phones also include a new feature called Ultra High Quality Audio (UHQA), which is designed to build dynamic range back into music that’s been compressed for streaming or downloading. UHQA is supported over Bluetooth on Samsung’s new wireless audio accessories. SideSync The new phones also have a service called SideSync 4.0, a wireless and wired PC-smartphone integration that lets Samsung mobile and desktop devices share data, files, and services. The devices use auto-detection and quick setup features to instantly connect to other Samsung devices. For instance, a user might link her Note 5 to her PC or tablet to easily respond to text messages, or answer phone calls. Samsung also said that the new Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus will offer wireless charging, and will come pre-loaded with Samsung Pay mobile payments technology. Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest Sout...

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