Android Nougat offers iOS users the option to copy data to a new Android device, sort of

As someone who switches devices on a pretty regular basis, I love seeing easier ways to set up a new device, and I’m not alone. Everyone loves when things are easy. To making switching devices as quick and simple as possible, Google has added options into Android’s setup process which allow users to copy data from previous devices, one that is nearby, and most recently, iOS.

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Cloudflare security breach exposes data from Uber, Fitbit, OKCupid among 3,400 websites; password changes recommended

User data from 3,400 websites has been leaked and cached by search engines as a result of a bug in Cloudflare, a content delivery network. Sites affected over the course of several months include major ones like Uber, Fitbit and dating site OKCupid. 1Password also uses Cloudflare, but says that end-to-end encryption means that no customer data was exposed.

ArsTechnica reports that the leaks were spotted by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy.

We observed encryption keys, cookies, passwords, chunks of POST data and even HTTPS requests for other major cloudflare-hosted sites from other users. Once we understood what we were seeing and the implications, we immediately stopped and contacted cloudflare security.

Cloudflare has admitted that the breach occurred, but Ormandy and other security researchers believe the company is underplaying the severity of the incident …

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Google appears to be testing new ‘Dashboard’ feature in Google Now to show data from other services

After adding new features over the past several months, it appears that Google is testing yet another new option for Google Now. This new tab, labeled “Dashboard”, will apparently be used to pull information from other Google services such as Keep, Gmail, Google Photos, and others to bring all of that information into one central location.

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YouTube gives Creators access to more historical data, adds video progress bar in Home feed

Announced in October, the YouTube Reporting API lets Creators see detailed metrics about their videos. Today, the API has been updated with historical data going back 180 days. In other features, the Android app is testing a feature that allows users to quickly see their progress through a video.

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Twitter Lite launches today, needs less storage space, uses less data

If you like to keep up to date with Twitter but are tight on storage space or want to reduce data usage, the company has a new option as of today. Twitter Lite is what’s known as a Progressive Web App. Running in Chrome and other mobile browsers, it’s a client-side JavaScript application that takes up less than 1MB of storage space.

Twitter says that the service also minimizes data usage and is resilient on unreliable and congested mobile networks, also supporting an offline mode. You also have the option of further reducing data usage by only downloading low-res previews of images and videos …

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Some budget Android phones in the US reportedly affected by ‘backdoor’ which sent personal data to China

There are a lot of fantastic budget smartphones on the market today, but there are always concerns with smartphones that are super cheap. One of those is security, an increasingly important part of any smartphone. Now security firm Kryptowire has uncovered an alleged backdoor hidden within some budget Android smartphones.

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New data shows Google has met with White House officials over 400 times since 2009

Google has long held close ties with politicians in Washington, D.C., and according to new data, nothing has changed. Watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has recently released new data detailing visits to the White House by various companies in the tech sector and other industries. According to the data, Google’s head of public policy Johanna Shelton has met with White House officials 128 times since President Obama took office in January of 2009.

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Verizon introduces new unlimited data plan, $80/mo for ‘unlimited’ 4G data, texts and talk time

Verizon is bringing back its unlimited data plans. With the new Verizon Unlimited plan launching on Monday, customers can use as much 4G LTE data, send as many texts as they like and talk for as long as they please … for per month. An equivalent uncapped family plan charges per line for 4 people, or 0 monthly.

The ‘unlimited’ plans have a few strings attached, namely hotspot tethering is limited at 10 GB for 4G (will fallback to 3G after) and although data is uncapped, high data users will not be prioritized if the network is congested …

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‘Brotli’, Chrome’s new compression algorithm rolling out soon, saves up to 25% data use

While online content continues to develop, grow and become increasingly complex and media-rich, Google has been working to keep it fast and efficient. Last September it announced a new compression algorithm called Brotli which the company claims can get between 20-26% higher compressions ratios over its previous algorithm, Zopfli.

Googler, Ilya Grigorik announced on his G+ page that Brotli has reached ‘intent to ship’ status, which means it’s rolling out very soon to your Chrome browser.

Once widely rolled out, it won’t just see desktop pages load quicker, it should see mobile devices using less data and less power. Customers using an Android phone on a prepaid, or postpaid plan with a low data limit could benefit.

It’s worth noting that Brotli is currently restricted to HTTPS connections, but has seen some significant savings in html, javascript and css:

Advantages:

  • Brotli outperforms gzip for typical web assets (e.g. css, html, js) by 17–25 %.

  • Brotli -11 density compared to gzip -9:

  • html (multi-language corpus): 25 % savings

  • js (alexa top 10k): 17 % savings

  • minified js (alexa top 10k): 17 % savings

  • css (alexa top 10k): 20 % savings

If you’re using Chrome Canary, Google’s beta/developer version of Chrome, you can access a Brotli demo link via chrome://flags#enable-brotli. Google hopes that other browsers will support the new Brotli format in the near future, although so far, only Mozilla Firefox has given any public indication of its plans to do so.