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Security was on the minds of many readers over the weekend, and on that front, we've got all the details of how the seemingly simple SIM card has finally been hacked. But it wasn't all gloom and doom — we saw some nice app updates and those still playing the original Angry Birds can now sync their game activity across all of their devices at long last. Let's dive in and get a quick recap, shall we?
Forbes reported Sunday that the previously unhackable SIM card used in cell phones has finally met its match in the form of a German cryptographer named Karsten Nohl, who claims to have finally found "encryption and software flaws" after three years of research. Calling the find "the first hack of its kind in a decade," Nohl plans to present his findings at the annual Black Hat security conference next week in Las Vegas. Said findings involve sending a hidden SMS, which causes the SIM card to become infected with a virus capable of all sorts of nasty things, including payment fraud. Fortunately, the hack is possible on only one-quarter of the SIM cards tested, but that could amount to half a billion devices worldwide.
Last week, ALK released an update to its CoPilot Live Premium HD app for the U.S. & Canada, introducing a handful of new features with version 220.127.116.116. The universal app now supports Connection Settings for better management of cellular data, as well as a "Just Drive" mode for those times when you want to hit the open road with no particular destination in mind. CoPilot also now includes alerts for any road closures on your route, automatic cloud backup, better Wi-Fi detection and updated maps for North America. The updates are now available from the App Store.
Rovio announced Friday that its recent Rovio Account feature is finally useful — in addition to allowing multiple users, using an account will also save your game progress and let the user continue on another device. But that's not all: Gamers can pick up right from where they left off, even if you switch to a new device, all with a simple login. Rovio Account is now available for both iOS and Android devices worldwide, but currently only for the original Angry Birds game, as well as The Croods; the feature will roll out to other Rovio titles in the near future.
Remember Google TV? Yeah, it's still around, and the folks at Plex announced a pretty slick update over the weekend that almost makes it worth another look. Building upon the Android app at its core, the new big-screen version now dynamically switches layout based on the size of the screen — perfect for those times when you want to beam content from your Android device to the big screen. The update is currently only available to paid PlexPass subscribers, but will be rolling out to all users within the week.
In a brief tweet posted over the weekend, PushMail developer Simon Patarin announced that the backend servers powering the iOS app will be shut down come Feb. 1, 2014. The PushMail app itself was pulled from the App Store nearly a year and a half ago due to a lack of support resources, although the app continued serving up push notifications just fine. That will change come February, although Patarin has publicly posted the source code and MIT license to PushMail on his website, should another enterprising developer wish to pick up the mantle and run with it.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter