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All Things Cell Phones & Apps


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#1 LFC

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 04:43 PM

There are enough stories over time that this deserves its own thread. First up Google's Pixel phones appear to have badly failing camera hardware thought that's still to be 100% verified.

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Does the Pixel camera have a hardware problem? Android Police has tracked down numerous reports of broken cameras on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3, and the Pixel-exclusive Google Camera app has been getting review-bombed with tons of 1-star reviews from users saying their cameras no longer work. Google told the site it doesn't know of any software issues, suggesting that all these people are experiencing a hardware failure.

The problems range from the camera app instantly crashing when it is opened, displaying a black screen, or showing an error message that reads "Something went wrong. Close and open the camera app again." Claims for what exactly is causing the issues are all over the place, but it seems hard to blame a software bug since both the Google camera and third-party apps are affected, and uninstalling updates and factory resets don't fix the problem.

The main complaint thread on the Pixel Help forums is up to almost 900 replies now. The oldest device, the Pixel 2 seems to be the most affected, but reports for the Pixel 3, 3a, and 4 are out there. Every Pixel camera from the Pixel 2 to the Pixel 5 has the same camera sensor (a Sony IMX363/IMX362), so it's possible they are all affected.


This isn't their first brush with hardware failure. They farm the work out and don't seem to have control over the quality. Makes you wonder if they should stick to software. (They also unceremoniously dumped their Nest Alarm system for some reason but that's a topic for another thread.)

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Previously, many of Google's Nexus phones were caught in a hardware problem due to defective flash memory. These phones would eventually stop working, which led to a series of class-action lawsuits. Most of the Nexus phones were manufactured by LG, with the Nexus 6P being the single Huawei device. The Pixel 2 was built with the help of LG, while the Pixel 2 XL was made with HTC. After the Pixel 2, Google bought the team it was working with from HTC and started manufacturing devices at Foxconn.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

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Posted 17 February 2021 - 04:47 PM

ShareIt, a very popular Android file sharing app, has some serious security bugs. It can also be downloaded on iPhones, Macs, and PCs but there's no indication in the article if they are also vulnerable.

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Trend Micro says it has found "several" security flaws in the popular Android app ShareIt. ShareIt has been downloaded over a billion times from the Play Store, and, according to App Annie, was one of the 10 most globally downloaded apps in 2019. The app was originally developed by Lenovo (it has since spun off into its own company) and for a time was pre-installed on Lenovo phones.

The report says ShareIt's vulnerabilities can "be abused to leak a user's sensitive data and execute arbitrary code with ShareIt permissions." ShareIt's permissions, as a local file-sharing app, are pretty extensive. According to the Play Store permissions readout, ShareIt requests access to the entire user storage and all media, the camera and microphone, and location. It can delete apps, run at startup, create accounts and set passwords, and do a whole lot more. It also has full network access. Trend Micro says compromising the app can lead to remote code execution. The security firm says it shared these vulnerabilities with ShareIt three months ago, but the company has yet to issue patches.

ShareIt's incredible success of a billion Android downloads and 1.8 billion users worldwide (there are also iOS, Windows, and Mac apps) has led to what looks like an incredible amount of app bloat. The app was considered one of the best for local file sharing, but today the Play Store listing shows an app that offers "Infinite Online Videos," "Tens of millions of high-quality songs," "GIFs, Wallpapers & Stickers," a "popular" media section that looks like a social network, a game store, a retail movie download section, COVID-19 check-in activity and case statistics, and what looks like its own form of currency. ShareIt's website (which, just like the app, does not default to HTTPS) says the service is "now a leading content platform" and popular in Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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