Comparing Signal-protocol-using messengers

There’re still privacy differences when you compare messenger apps all using the Signal protocol:

In this article, I’m going to compare WhatsApp, Signal, and Allo from a privacy perspective.

While all three apps use the same secure-messaging protocol, they differ on exactly what information is encrypted, what metadata is collected, and what, precisely, is stored in the cloud — and therefore available, in theory at least, to government snoops and wily hackers.

In the end, I’m going to advocate you use Signal whenever you can — which actually may not end up being as often as you would like.

Hello, Is That You?

It looks like Google has been recording your voice searches (German). There have been rumors all along and it was assumed this was going on. They have the actual voice recordings and their transcripts and also generate a “finger print” of your voice to be able to verify it.

If you extrapolate from that they can by now


Google Has Most of My Email Because It Has All of Yours

Benjamin Mako Hill has followed up on an interesting thought: in a world where many people use Gmail, just how many of your daily emails also land on Google’s servers even if you aren’t using their services? … For him it turns out more than 50%. o.O

Nexus V

Nexus 5 Package
Nexus 5 Package

I’m happy … I received my new Nexus 5 just last Thursday. You won’t believe how amazing this 3 generation leap feels … remember I’m coming from a Nexus S. 😉 I had the chance to toy around with it over the weekend and I must say: I like it. It’s well-built. It has a beautiful screen. The software is top notch (at least if you’re not as paranoid as I am).

The screen resolution is a funny matter, because the Nexus 5 is now second rank at home. Only losing to a Retina MacBook Pro. 😉

What I like:

  • It’s blazingly fast (at least generally 😉 )
  • The screen is gorgeous
  • I can now run Firefox as my main browser without killing all other apps 😉
  • Going to alarms with a swipe (in the Clock app) is a relief
  • Configuring app icons and widgets on the home screen is well done

What I don’t like:

  • I’ve come to miss several niceties of CyanogenMod over the years
  • You can’t get rid of the Search bar on the home screen (yes, I know the “home screen” is part of the “Google Search” app now)
  • The speaker (yes, only one) is crap
  • You need a special desktop app to copy files over USB, WTF?!?
  • I need to start some apps twice, because they crash the first time 🙁
  • It comes without a headset 🙁
  • The abandonment of core apps on favor of Google flavored ones (like integrating the home screen into Google Search, mixing basic SMS with Google Hangouts or transferring G+ avatars in the Phone app)
  • Google Play Music can only play the first 69 minutes of “long” MP3s, WTF?!?

Still not sure:

  • Battery life on work days
  • The devices sturdiness
  • SMS in Google Hangouts

I’m so used to CyanogenMod by now that I miss several niceties it provides over the stock Android experience:

  • Getting the Notification Center or the Configuration Tiles depending on which side of the top bar you pull
  • Directly executing actions (e.g. turning WiFi on/off) by tapping Configuration Tiles
  • Making the device behave like an ordinary USB stick when connected to a PC
  • Having something like App Guard
  • Having the ability to give apps root (mainly for Helium, AdBlock Plus)
  • Superior music player
  • Auto-unlock when the PIN is correct

None the less, I’m happy. 🙂


Battery life seems fine, even after a day of moderate use.

CyanogenMod together with Open WhisperSystems just revealed secure messaging will be baked into CM. This will allow you to send encrypted messages to others through any SMS/messaging app. 🙂