The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has begun releasing Security-Enhanced Android patches and tools, which port their Security-Enhanced Linux tools to Android devices. SEAndroid and SELinux provide mandatory access control designed to limit the amount of damage that rogue or exploited software can do. [more inside]
The day before last, Dianne Hackborn, a software engineer from Google, posted a lengthy essay on Google+ about Android UI rendering also touching on the hardware accelerated UI debacle. Not to let sleeping dogs lie, one of the previous Android interns, Andrew Munn, posted a reply regarding other areas where Android needs to improve. Both posts provide an absolutely fascinating first-hand look into how the Android UI works.
Security researchers at North Carolina State University led by Xuxian Jiang (who had previously discovered 12 malicious Android applications sold through Google's Android Market) have uncovered holes in how the permissions-based security model is enforced on numerous Android devices. Called "leaks", these vulnerabilities allow new and existing malicious applications to eavesdrop on calls, track the user's location, install applications, send SMS messages, delete data from the device, and more. (via)
"The PC is dead. Rising numbers of mobile, lightweight, cloud-centric devices [represent] an unprecedented shift of power from end users and software developers on the one hand, to operating system vendors on the other ... This is a little for the better, and much for the worse." - Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law Professor (via battellemedia.com) [more inside]
"Carrier IQ is used to understand what problems customers are having with our network or devices so we can take action to improve service quality."
CarrierIQ, a data-logging software present on most new Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones, secretly records keystrokes, dialed numbers and text messages. It also can't be turned off. Trevor Eckhart, the Android user who discovered and recorded it, labelled CarrierIQ a rootkit (you can read Eckhart's further analysis here). CarrierIQ sent Eckhart a cease-and-desist letter (PDF here), but has since backed off. Eckhart's findings confirm earlier rumors.
The source code to Android 4.0 has been released. The new OS, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich will be coming out on phones soon, but you can download the code today (using git). The popular cyanogen mod distribution should be updated to ICS in a couple months
Androboi, via Korea's SK Telecom, pisses, belches, and farts to convince you to buy Android phones in Korea. [more inside]
Why Is Microsoft Seeking New State Laws That Allow it to Sue Competitors For Piracy by Overseas Suppliers?
Meet the Geminoid DK, who looks exactly like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark. If you're wondering why on Earth someone would want an exact robotic double of themselves, besides being TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY AWESOME, the Geminoid is going to be used for researching "emotional affordances" in human-robot interaction, the novel notion of "blended presence," as well as cultural differences (from different continents) in the perception of robots.
First there was the 'Splosion Man ripoff MaXplosion (and Capcom's non-response). Then there was a The Blocks Cometh clone (eventually taken down after the uproar). Now comes Lugaru, a wholesale copy of code, data, and name. (Android developers, you're not safe either.)
Where do you think Apple’s iPhone is the most popular? Where do Nokia’s Symbian phones dominate? How is it going for Android in different parts of the world? What about Blackberry? We’re going to answer all of those questions and more in this article, which will closely examine mobile OS usage across the world.
You are in a warm, dark, comfortable place. This has been your place since you became aware that you are alive. It's almost time to enter a different world now. In 1986, Activision published a roleplaying computer game called Alter Ego. Unlike the action and fantasy titles that ruled the day, this game simulated the course of a single ordinary life. Beginning at birth, players navigated a series of vignettes: learning to crawl, reacting to strangers, getting a first haircut. The outcome of each scenario subtly influenced one's path, and with every choice players slowly progressed through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Graphically minimalist -- one's lifestream is represented by simple icons, and the scenarios are all text -- the game was nevertheless engaging, describing the world in a playful, good-natured tone tinged by darkness and melancholy. And it had quite a pedigree; developer and psychology PhD Peter Favaro interviewed hundreds of people on their most memorable life experiences to generate the game's 1,200 pages of material. Unfortunately for Dr. Favaro, the game didn't sell very well. But it lives on through the web -- PlayAlterEgo.com offers a full copy of the game free to play in your browser, and the same port is available as a $5 app for iPhone and Android. More: Port discussion group - Wishlist - Vintage review - Original game manual (text or scans)
Meet Actroid-F, the "world's first true Android", unveiled this month at a laboratory fair at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Designed to be used as an observer in hospitals to gauge patient reactions, the robot can replicate surprisingly subtle facial movements. Previously.
Perhaps I don’t have the allegiance to paper that I ought to because anybody who invests in The Absolute Sandman, all four volumes, is now carrying 40 pounds of paper and cardboard around with them. And they hurt and they complain, “Oh, I feel guilty.” And I look at it and go, you’re not getting anything that is quantitatively or qualitatively better than the experience you’d be getting on an iPad, where you can enlarge the pages, you can move it around, it’s following the eye, and you can flip the pages. - Neil Gaiman on digital comics. Will this be the year of comics readng devices, as comiXology CEO David Steinberger says? Comixology is certianly leading the way, announcing tools for independant comics creators that will allow them to publish their comics via the comixology store, complete with the "guided views" which are a core part of their viewing experience. One creator who is full embracing digital is Alex De Campi, whose Napoleonic comic Valentine is not only published across a range of devices (iOs, Epub, Android, Kindle) but also in 14 languages, something that would have been difficult-to-impossible otherwise. Previous digital comics, Comixology suggestions
Angry Birds, the iPhone gaming sensation (and possible movie), is now available on Android for free in ad supported form. Not got a fancy phone? Maybe you can play the home game.
With the unveiling of the BlackBerry Playbook, a 7" iPad competitor solidly aimed at business, are the tablet wars heating up?
Pocket music apps are letting composers and artists create music anywhere - and they're developing fast. [more inside]
Dude plays an interpretation of Cracklin Rosie on 2 Android devices, 2 Windows Mobile devices, and 1 iPod Touch.
Here's Why We Don't Allow Flash On The iPhone And iPad. An open letter by Steve Jobs. Some previous discussion here, here.
This is the biggest ego battle in history. It looked like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Today, such warmth is in short supply. One well-connected Silicon Valley investor, who did not want to be identified talking about the Google-Apple feud, says he is stunned by the level of rancor he’s witnessed. “It’s World War III. Amazing animosity is motivating two of the most powerful people in the industry,” he says. “This is emotional. This is the biggest ego battle in history. It’s incendiary.”
Star Trek Tricorders are becoming reality. Not a doctor? Not a problem. There's an iPhone app that detects killer gasses in the air. There's one for Android phones that detects magnetic and gravitational fields and displays solar activity. This device doesn't do anything particularly useful other than play music, but it looks damned cool. Another iPhone app that's just for fun, presented by the geekiest guy ever.
Verizon takes iPhone head-on. Will Android finally become something to people outside the nerd set? Will all those people still waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon actually buy in? Personally, I'm not giving up my iPhone, but I was amused by the commercial.
Nokia has announced the n900 running the maemo Linux based operating system will be released in October. The phone has similar specifications to the iphone, but with a keyboard and considerably higher resolution display (800x480). In addition the OS is an open platform with free GPL development tools. More from The Guardian and CNET.
The internet is atwitter over Apple's decision to block the Google Voice app from their App Store, and remove all existing apps that facilitate its use. Fingers are pointing at AT&T, but the app is blocked globally.
Where's my Gphone? "Despite all of the very interesting speculation over the last few months, we're not announcing a Gphone. However…"
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