Google on Android Lollipop security: Set it and forget it

From the Cnet.com Article “Google on Android Lollipop security: Set it and forget it
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Google’s lead security engineer on Android thinks you shouldn’t have to be a tech whiz to keep your phone secure.

The head of Google’s Android mobile software security team has a little secret: Although he lives in urban San Francisco, “most days” he doesn’t lock the front door to his house.

And he’s not worried about it. While it’s not clear whether Adrian Ludwig is arrogant, trusts his neighbors too much, or just has a really good insurance policy, his message is that he doesn’t think about securing his home when he’s not there.

Now Ludwig, the man with the unlocked door, wants you to feel just as safe using your mobile phone and “not think” about Android security, either.

Google is about to release the latest version of its Android mobile operating system with several major security improvements that Ludwig says will help keep user’s data safer, even as Android expands from phones and tablets into cars, watches, and other devices.

With its newest release, Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google is changing the way Android security works. This time around, the company said, security will be set automatically.

“I don’t think it’s realistic that the average person should care about security,” Ludwig said in a conference call with reporters during which he highlighted what he considered to be the most important new and updated security features in Lollipop.

The move signifies a change among top smartphone makers from merely offering security features to mandating their use, and at the same time, making them easier to use. With Android powering more than 80 percent of the world’s smartphones, it’s no longer reasonable to build technology merely for the tech crowd. So Google is taking the approach of rivals such as Apple: Automatically turn on key security features, so customers don’t even need to know.

HTML5 is done, but two groups still wrestle over Web’s future

The following blog is an excerpt from the Cnet.com article ‘HTML5 is done, but two groups still wrestle over Web’s future’ by   

The World Wide Web Consortium finishes an update to this seminal Internet technology, but with two organizations in charge of the same Web standard, charting the Web’s future is a mess.

After a nearly 15-year gap, the World Wide Web Consortium said Tuesday it’s done standardizing the new version 5 of HTML, one of the two fundamental technologies that makes the Web work.

But while HTML5 is finished, a tug-of-war over how to set such standards — and therefore how to chart the future of the Web — is far from over. That’s because a second organization, the Web Hypertext Applications Technology Working Group, is also in charge of HTML, and a rift between the two appears to be widening instead of closing.

The tension between the W3C and the WHATWG has been present for years, but it’s got new consequences now: anything that slows the improvement of the Web means programmers are more likely to devote their energies to writing apps for smartphones and tablets running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems instead of HTML5. When making their mobile operating systems, Google and Apple aren’t held back by the slower consensus-building processes used to make industry standards like HTML appeal to the broadest range of parties.

The Web isn’t dying, but slow development lets the world of mobile apps claim the initiative. The Web’s accomplishments — a computing system bigger than any one company working on it, and one with an impressive reach across the computing industry — diminish as its shortcomings rise to prominence.

In the meantime, the Web world must adjust to the differences between the two camps. The W3C, with a broader range of participants, uses a formally structured, deliberate, drawn-out process in which a series of drafts gradually become final standards released relatively infrequently. The WHATWG, born of browser makers’ cooperation when the W3C spurned their desire to improve HTML, produces a “living document” that’s continuously updated with the latest features and bug fixes. Where the W3C’s standard is fixed and stable, the WHATWG’s is fluid.

“It’s absolutely right that those different interest groups slug it out,” said Bruce Lawson, co-author of a book on HTML5 and an open standards advocate with browser maker Opera Software. “The Web is the biggest platform we’ve ever had. Therefore, it has more constituencies and competing interests than we’ve ever seen.”

W3C: The Web will win

W3C Chief Executive Jeff Jaffe acknowledges that the mobile app world is attracting a lot of developer interest. But in his view, the Web will prevail in the long run because it can span so many devices.

“There’s plenty of time for us to catch up,” Jaffe said. “The power and promise of interoperability across platforms is extraordinarily powerful. The mobile app was just the for the phone, but now it’s not. It’s going to be the e-book reader, the automobile, the TV. And all the sudden, the promise of interoperability is going to become even more important than when it was just the phone.”

To that end, Jaffe posted a blog earlier this month on application foundations. It calls for improvements in eight areas to make Web technologies more competitive with Android and iOS when it’s time for developers to write apps.

“What I’m trying to do is change the culture of the Web community to also think about what the developers need,” Jaffe said — not just nuts and bolts but functions like security, payments and tools that work even if a device isn’t connected to the Net.

Redmonk analyst Stephen O’Grady, who follows programmer issues, agrees that life is too hard for Web developers. “Native development” — writing apps for a specific operating system rather than for a Web browser on all operating systems — “is much more straightforward.”

Jaffe hopes to tackle these future standards issues this week in Santa Clara, Calif., at the W3C’s annual Technical Plenary Advisory Committee (TPAC) conference. Alex Russell — a Google employee who’s trying to improve the W3C through work on its Technical Architecture Group (TAG) — said TPAC also is a place to wrestle with the conflict around the best way to make standards.

“I think anyone trying to understand how screwed up this situation is really should come to W3C’s TPAC,” Russell said. “All of the agitators…will be there.”

HTML5 and W3C’s patent protections

For the W3C, the release of the final version of HTML5 — a step formally called a “recommendation” — is immensely significant. The nonprofit group was founded precisely to do such work, but the last version it released — HTML 4.01 — came in December 1999. The biggest change for average users of the Web, far and away, is video that becomes as ordinary as text and still images were before. That helps free the Web from browser plugins like Adobe Systems’ Flash Player that extend browser abilities but which also open them to new security and performance risks.

 

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How to hide (but not delete) a photo in iOS 8

From the CNET.com article by Matt Elliott

Now that you where to find your photos in iOS 8, let us discuss a new feature of iOS 8 that lets you hide photos.

In the Photos app, you now have the option of deleting or hiding photos. Neither choice, in fact, removes a photo immediately from your iPhone. When you delete a photo, it gets sent to the new Recently Deleted album, where it’ll stay for 30 days before being permanently deleted.

Each thumbnail in the Recently Deleted album shows you how many days it has left before it’ll get tossed for good, and you can take immediate action by selecting photos from this album and deleting them a second time, which removes them from your iPhone on the spot.

In addition to changing the photo deletion process, Apple has added a new feature that lets you hide photos from the Years, Collections, and Moments views but not from Albums, including the Recently Added album.

To hide a photo, tap and hold on a photo or its thumbnail till a small dialogue pops up with two options: Copy and Hide. Tap Hide and you’ll be given a large Hide Photo button along with a reminder that the photo will still be visible in Albums.

You can find all of your hidden photos in the new Hidden album. And from this album you can tap and hold to unhide a photo.

 

 

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September 11th Remembered 13 Years Later

There will be no tech blog today in observance of the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the 2 year anniversary of the 2012 Benghazi attack. Please take time out of your day today to the remember the lives lost on this day and to hold your family a little tighter.

God Bless our soldiers, the families left behind, and may God bless the USA.

Below are links to with information regarding the events of both September 11th events

Live Stream of the 9/11 New York commemoration: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/11/911-memorials/15435653/

Obama at the Pentagon’s 9/11 Ceremony:
http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Remembrance-Ceremonies-Held-Across-DC-Area-274722721.html

9-11 Attack facts :
http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

9-11 Attacks Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks

9/11 Victims’ families and New Yorkers Commemorate 13th anniversary of terrorist attacks
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-yorkers-commemorate-13th-anniversary-9-11-attacks-article-1.1935918

Benghazi Consulate Attack Fast Facts:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/10/world/benghazi-consulate-attack-fast-facts/

Diplomat J. Christopher Stevens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Christopher_Stevens

Remembering Victims of the Benghazi Attack
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/05/08/remembering-victims-benghazi-attack

 

 

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USB Ports Could Compromise Your Computer

You may want to think twice before sharing those flash drives with someone. New research shows the USB port on your computer can be directly used to steal your information or infect your computer. The news comes to us from a team of German researchers who found that anything connected via USB can be reprogrammed to do real damage to your data. What kind of damage? Let’s say you use someone’s else’s flash drive and plug it in to your USB port. It can be used to take control of your laptop. It can also pose as a network card, and reroute your Internet use so someone can spy on what you are doing. That opens you up to identity theft, bank fraud and extortion. The researchers from S.R. Labs in Germany discovered the problem and say it can also happen if someone charges their Android device using your computer’s USB port. So for now, you might want to go against the advice we tell all our kids; no sharing, at least when it comes to flash drives and smartphone charging on your computer.

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USA Internet Compared to Other Countries

TWC just called and want to offer you a high speed internet package of a whopping 12mb download / 1.5mb upload for the low monthly price of $24.95 (introductory rate good for 12mo, then will double). Sounds like a good deal until you do the math,  your paying $2 per MB and up to $4 per MB after your intro period rate. To give you perspective of why that is not a great deal lets look abroad; in Russia the price per MB is as cheap as 50¢.  Adding further insult to injury are our speeds vs other developed countries, for example Hong Kong internet speeds range between 70-80mbps on average. How is it that the leading country of the free world is the slowest of all developed nations? Will it ever get better? We don’t know why it’s this way aside from the lack of competition and once net neutrality goes away I fear it will only get worse. For graphs showing ranking check HERE.

-R

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Report: Apple’s Got a 12-inch MacBook, 4K Desktop in Works

Report: Apple’s Got a 12-inch MacBook, 4K Desktop in Works
Gizmodo.com’s Darren Orf

In the midst of updating its operating system to Yosemite, Apple seems to also have some hardware refreshes in mind. According to Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, sources say that Apple is planning a smaller Macbook (12-inch diagonally) with a high resolution display as well as a pixel-drunk 4K iMac or standalone monitor.

9to5Mac goes on to say that the new Macbook will have a thinner and lighter aluminum body, which would place it somewhere between MacBook Air or current MacBook Pro weight classes. It will also run on an Intel chip—not the Apple-based A8 processor, according to earlier rumors. Apple has a lot of faith in this TBA MacBook saying it will be a significant step forward in the laptop industry, according to sources. But then again, isn’t that always the case?

This 12-inch laptop has been rumored since October when a reliable analyst released predictions of the coming device. Despite being a little off on the timing (mid-2014), the rumor’s validity is only increasing.

 As for the 4K monitors, Apple has had a tendency to upgrade pixel counts on its displays when Mac OS X goes through a refresh. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the company decides to follow a similar strategy. Besides, an OS is only as beautiful as the screen displaying it. [9to5Mac]

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Windows 8 Sales Are In Decline But Windows 7 Soars

Windows 8 Sales Are In Decline But Windows 7 Soars

Windows 8 is on some slippery ground right now while its older brother is showing huge gains.

Last month Net Applications, an analytics company, June report showed that Windows 8 & 8.1 only held 12.5% of the desktop and notebook market share; compared to Windows Vista which held a 12.8% market share in its heyday. While Windows 7 on the other hand has seen an estimated growth of 50% in the last 6 months as a result of Windows XP’s end of support.

According to Stat Counter, another analytics company, Windows 7 currently holds a 55% market share of personal computers versus 8/8.1’s 14.3%, XP’s dwindling 16.3%, and Vista’s 3.4%.

These stats my have you wondering if Windows 8/8.1 is yet another Windows ME/Vista blunder in the making. It’s hard to say but time will tell.

If you’d like to get more information about the Windows wax and wane be sure to check the original article HERE.

 

 

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Independence Day

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!

Today while you’re out having barbeque, watching fireworks displays, or doing one of your own, please take a moment to take in what this holiday truly means and the sacrifice of our forefathers.

Let us never forget the blood shed and lives lost so that today, this Independence Day, could be made possible over 238 years ago. Let us be grateful to those who have served this country, those who serve currently, and those who have died for this country so that we may continue to enjoy our independence and our freedom. Enjoy this day, make awesome memories, and be safe.

God Bless America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amazon unveil

Amazon Smartphone Reveal is Today!

If you read our amazon smartphone post last week and didn’t get a chance to sign up for the conference there’s no need to be sad. The fine folks at amazon and cnet.com are going to be streaming the unveiling live at 12:30 central time. If  you’d like to get in on the action and see the newest reveal click HERE.

The phone is rumored to have a 3d display, will be sold exclusively through AT&T (much like the Iphone was originally) and will have its own type of data plan available. Of course these are just rumors but tune in with us and find out what’s new & exciting, and whether you will be saying goodbye to your current phone and hello to this new Amazon product.