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Paul Merrell

Google Caves to Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, Agrees to Pay Fine - nsnbc intern... - 0 views

  • Google ultimately caved to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, agreeing to pay $7.8 million (438 million rubles) for violating antitrust laws. The corporate Colossus will also pay two other fines totaling an additional $18,000 (1 million rubles) for failing to comply with past orders issued by state regulators. Last year Google caved to similar demands by the European Union.
  • In August 2016 Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service responded to a complaint by Russian search engine operator Yandex and fined the U.S.-based Google 438 million rubles for abusing its dominant market position to force manufacturers to make Google applications the default services on devices using Android.

    Regulators set the fine at 9 percent of Google’s reported profits on the Russian market in 2014, plus inflation. Similar to the case against the European Union Google challenged the penalty in several appellate courts before finally agreeing this week to meet the government’s demands.

    The corporation also agreed to stop requiring manufacturers to install Google services as the default applications on Android-powered devices. The agreement is valid for six years and nine months, Russia’s Antimonopoly Service reported.

    Last year Google, after a protracted battle, caved to similar antitrust regulations by the European Union, but the internet giant has also come under fire elsewhere. In 2015 Australian treasurer Joe Hockey implied Google in his list of corporate tax thieves. In January 2016 British lawmakers decided to fry Google over tax evasion. Google and taxes were compared to the Bermuda Triangle.

    One year ago the dispute between the European Union’s competition watchdog and Google, culminated<

Paul Merrell

Hackers Prove Fingerprints Are Not Secure, Now What? | nsnbc international - 0 views

  • The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently revealed that an estimated 5.6 million government employees were affected by the hack; and not 1.1 million as previously assumed.
  • Samuel Schumach, spokesman for the OPM, said: “As part of the government’s ongoing work to notify individuals affected by the theft of background investigation records, the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Defense have been analyzing impacted data to verify its quality and completeness. Of the 21.5 million individuals whose Social Security Numbers and other sensitive information were impacted by the breach, the subset of individuals whose fingerprints have been stolen has increased from a total of approximately 1.1 million to approximately 5.6 million.”

    This endeavor expended the use of the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Pentagon.

    Schumer added that “if, in the future, new means are developed to misuse the fingerprint data, the government will provide additional information to individuals whose fingerprints may have been stolen in this breach.”

    However, we do not need to wait for the future for fingerprint data to be misused and coveted by hackers.

  • Look no further than the security flaws in Samsung’s new Galaxy 5 smartphone as was demonstrated by researchers at Security Research Labs (SRL) showing how fingerprints, iris scans and other biometric identifiers could be fabricated and yet authenticated by the Apple Touch ID fingerprints scanner.

    The shocking part of this demonstration is that this hack was achieved less than 2 days after the technology was released to the public by Apple.

    Ben Schlabs, researcher for SRL explained: “We expected we’d be able to spoof the S5’s Finger Scanner, but I hoped it would at least be a challenge. The S5 Finger Scanner feature offers nothing new except—because of the way it is implemented in this Android device—slightly higher risk than that already posed by previous devices.”

    Schlabs and other researchers discovered that “the S5 has no mechanism requiring a password when encountering a large number of incorrect finger swipes.”

    By rebotting the smartphone, Schlabs could force “the handset to accept an unlimited number of incorrect swipes without requiring users to enter a password [and] the S5 fingerprint authenticator [could] be associated with sensitive banking or payment apps such as PayPal.”

  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Schlab said: “Perhaps most concerning is that Samsung does not seem to have learned from what others have done less poorly. Not only is it possible to spoof the fingerprint authentication even after the device has been turned off, but the implementation also allows for seemingly unlimited authentication attempts without ever requiring a password. Incorporation of fingerprint authentication into highly sensitive apps such as PayPal gives a would-be attacker an even greater incentive to learn the simple skill of fingerprint spoofing.”

    Last year Hackers from the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) proved Apple wrong when the corporation insisted that their new iPhone 5S fingerprint sensor is “a convenient and highly secure way to access your phone.”

    CCC stated that it is as easy as stealing a fingerprint from a drinking glass – and anyone can do it.

Paul Merrell

News - Antitrust - Competition - European Commission - 0 views

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    The more interesting issue to me is the accusation that Google violates antitrust law by boosting its comparison shopping search results in its search results, unfairly disadvantaging competing shopping services and not delivering best results to users.

    What's interesting to me is that the Commission is attempting to portray general search as a separate market from comparison shopping search, accusing Google of attempting to leverage its general search monopoly into the separate comoparison shopping search market. At first blush, Iim not convinced that these are or should be regarded as separable markets. But the ramifications are enormous. If that is a separate market, then arguably so is Google's book search, its Google Scholar search, its definition search, its site search, etc. It isn't clear to me how one might draw a defensible line taht does not also sweep in every new search feature  as a separate market.   
Paul Merrell

Excite News - EU files antitrust charges against Google - 0 views

  • BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's competition chief is filing an antitrust complaint alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in Internet searches and is opening a probe into its Android mobile system.

    EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Wednesday she is "concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service."

    Vestager said the separate antitrust probe into Android will investigate whether the Internet giant relies on anti-competitive deals and abuses its dominant position in Europe's mobile market.

    Vestager said her chief goal was to make sure multinationals "do not artificially deny European consumers as wide a choice as possible or stifle innovation".

    Google's general counsel Kent Walker wrote late Tuesday that a "statement of objections" to Google's business practices was to be released by Vestager Wednesday.

Paul Merrell

Google Begins Testing Its Augmented-Reality Glasses - NYTimes.com - 0 views

  • The prototype version Google showed off on Wednesday looked like a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures.
Paul Merrell

Tiny USB Stick Brings Android to PCs, TVs | Gadget Lab | Wired.com - 1 views

  • Google has made no secret about its plans for Android. Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning — the company wants Android everywhere. And thanks to FXI Technologies’ Cotton Candy USB device, we may not have to wait long to see Android on more than just our mobile devices.

    FXI essentially built an ultra-lean computer inside a small USB stick. Stick it into any device that supports USB storage, and Cotton Candy will register as a USB drive. From there, you can run the Android OS in a secure environment inside your desktop, courtesy of a Windows/OSX/Linux-compatible virtualization client embedded in the device.

    Stick Cotton Candy into a computer, and Android will appear in a virtualized window on your desktop. But get this: The USB key also features an HDMI connector. This way, you can connect the stick to your TV and use Android on the big screen (though you’ll need some kind of secondary input device, like a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo, to get anything done.)

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    Vaporware, but interesting. More info on the developers' website at

    Basic idea is a computer on a stick that can be plugged into either other computers or into an HDMI flatscreen TV. In the latter scenario, Bluetooth connectivity for keyboard/mouse combo, provided by e.g., a smartphone. The USB connection is v. 2.0, but I'll guess that USB 3.0 would soon be an option in newer models.  According to the specs it can run either Android or Ubunutu. If you check the developer's website, they definitely have their eyes on the growth in the numbers of HDMI-equipped TVs. Note that if delivered as described, this breaks boundaries of mobile devices, tending toward a convergence of TV monitors and mobile devices in an unexpected way. 

Gary Edwards

Escape the App Store: 4 ways to create smartphone Web apps | HTML5 - CSS - JavaScript D... - 0 views

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    Excellent guidelines for developing crossplatform smartphone apps in HTML5-CSS-JavaScript.  Covers Appcellerator, Sencha, jQuery, and Drupal.  Great resource!
Paul Merrell

BBC News - Mobile phone to blast into orbit - 1 views

  • The team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford want to see if the sophisticated capabilities in today's phones will function in the most challenging environment known.

    The phone will run on Google's Android operating system but the exact model has not yet been disclosed.

  • The intention is that the phone be given the chance to oversee all these subsystems.

    "The open source nature of the software is very exciting because you can see how further down the line, once we've got the phone working in orbit, we could get people to develop apps for it," Mr Liddle added.

    Chris Bridges from the Surrey Space Centre commented: "If a smartphone can be proved to work in space, it opens up lots of new technologies to a multitude of people and companies for space who usually can't afford it. It's a real game-changer for the industry."

Paul Merrell

50 Percent of Smartphones Sold in China Last Quarter Run Android | John Paczkowski | Di... - 0 views

  • The smartphone market in China is growing at an extraordinary rate, largely thanks to Google’s Android OS. Chinese consumers purchased 8 to 10 million smartphones last quarter, up from an estimated 2 to 3 million in the same period last year. And according to Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt, the bulk of them ran Android.

    Interesting, when you consider that prior to 2010, the Chinese smartphone market was ruled largely by Nokia’s Symbian OS and Windows Mobile.

Gary Edwards

How does the new iPhone 4 stack up against Android flagship phones? - Google 24/7 - For... - 0 views

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    Excellent chart comparing the iPhone 4 to current Android 2.1 releases for Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.  Evo 4G wins big.  Check TipB.com for future comparisons.

    it always helps to have a datasheet on each phone and network's devices.  Luckily, TiPb.com has already put a comprehensive list together of the smartphones and their features:
Gary Edwards

Will Microsoft Hold Android Hostage? | AndroidGuys - 1 views

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    Right now, we're all worrying about Apple's patent claims against HTC, but Android may face a similar attack from Microsoft.

    It's not terribly well known that Microsoft claims that it owns significant intellectual property used in Linux, the operating system at the heart of Android. Starting in 2006, Microsoft began reaching licensing deals with a number of companies that use the open source OS, among them Novell,  I-O Data, Samsung, LG Electronics and most recently, Amazon.

    All these deals are similar, but as an example, Amazon has agreed to pay Microsoft licensing fees to use Linux on Amazon.com and on the Kindle. Read that again and let it sink in.

    Many have voiced skepticism that Microsoft could successfully defend their claims, but so far, companies have rolled over and complied rather than take the question to court.
Gary Edwards

MWC 2010: The Year of the Android | Gadget Lab | Wired.com - 1 views

  • Forget about the iPhone. Microsoft is in a death-match with Google and its free OS.
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    ARCELONA - This year at the Mobile World Congress is the year of Android. Google's operating system debuted here two years ago. Last year we expected a slew of handsets, and saw just a trickle. This year, Android is everywhere, on handsets from HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and even Garmin-Asus. If this were the world of computers, Android would be in a similar position to Windows: Pretty much every manufacturer puts it on its machines.

    This is great news for us, the consumer. Android is stable, powerful and now it even runs Flash (I got a sneak peek of Flash running on a Motorola handset here at the show. It crashed). It's even better for the manufacturers, as - unlike Windows Mobile - Android is free. It's also open, so the phone makers can tweak it and trick it out as much as they like.

    And they do like. Most of the Android phones here at Mobile World Congress are running custom versions of Android, which differentiates them and, in theory at least, makes them easier to use, hiding the complexities of a proper multitasking OS from the user.
Gary Edwards

Why Google Android is winning | The Open Road - CNET News - 0 views

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    Nice article from Matt Asay, who is now the COO at Canonical, the company behind Linux Ubuntu and Google's Chrome OS.

    excerpt:  As ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn remarks, "Just as the Internet takes friction out of the distribution and development process, open source for Google removes friction from the business process." In Android land, this means making it easy for device manufacturers and wireless telecoms to evaluate, develop on, and ship Android-based devices.

    And ship them they are, to the tune of 60,000 Android devices per day.

    As Wired noted after the recent Mobile World Congress:
    This year at the Mobile World Congress is the year of Android. Google's operating system debuted here two years ago....This year, Android is everywhere, on handsets from HTC, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and even Garmin-Asus. If this were the world of computers, Android would be in a similar position to Windows: Pretty much every manufacturer puts it on its machines.

    There is one key distinction, though: Android is open source. It makes all the difference.
Gary Edwards

Google's Android Invasion: Prepare For Phase 2 - PC World - 0 views

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    Great stats and charts!  Here comes the Android.

    excerpt: Google's Android operating system has plenty to celebrate this holiday season -- and now, a new trio of studies suggests the platform is poised for even more success in 2010.

    There's no question Android's been enjoying plenty of time in the spotlight since the launch of Motorola's Droid smartphone. But with dozens of new Android devices expected to debut in the coming months -- possibly even including the omnipotent "Google Phone" (have you seen the things that phone can do?) -- the biggest burst may still be ahead.
Gary Edwards

Meet Google, Your Phone Company - 0 views

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    Om Malik has an interesting commentary on Google Voice, the Android OS, and a new gVoice application for iPhones and Androids. For sure, new gVoice app meshes into the Andorid OS as if it were hard coded into the silicon.

    I left a lengthy comment in the discussion section describing my experiences with gVoice and what i see emerging as Google's Unified Productivity Platform. Of course, gWave, Chrome, Chrome OS, webkit-HTML+, and the sweep of Google Web applications and service come into play.

    Excerpt: Can Google be your phone company? The answer is yes. I came to that conclusion after I met with Vincent Paquet, co-founder of GrandCentral (a company acquired by Google) and now a member of the Google Voice team. Earlier today he stopped by our office to show the mobile app versions of its Google Voice service for Blackberry and Android. Google recently announced that it was going to make the Voice service widely available to users in the U.S. soon.
Gary Edwards

DataViz &quot;Documents To Go&quot; rocks Google Android with unique Office functions | ZDNet Review - 0 views

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    With Documents To Go for the Google Android platform you get read, write, create and sync support for Word and Excel 2007 (OpenXML formatted) documents, support for receiving and sending attachments through Gmail and other applications (including the free RoadSync Exchange beta client, open password protected files, and view Word documents with track changes so you can see what others have done to your document.

    ZDNet reviewer Mathew Miller also recommends that people check out the details of the DataViz Intact Technology to see how documents will be handled to maintain file formatting and structure throughout the process of editing.

    There are two YouTube Video demonstations of "Documents to Go" running on an Android. ........ No collaborative editing with MSOffice desktops, but this is outstanding stuff.
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