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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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Google’s head of Android to oversee its most important products

From the Cnet Article ‘Google’s head of Android to oversee its most important products’ by   

By promoting one of his most trusted lieutenants, Google CEO Larry Page can spend more time focusing on the future.

Google’s most powerful product chief just got more powerful.

Sundar Pichai, a well-respected executive who oversees some of the company’s most important businesses, has been elevated to take on even more of Google’s core products, the company confirmed to CNET.

Pichai already runs Android, the most widely used mobile operating system in the world; Google’s Web-based software Chrome; and the company’s suite of apps, including Gmail and Docs. Under the reorganization, he will additionally have oversight over research, search, maps, the Google+ social network, ads and infrastructure, according to Recode, which earlier reported the news.

The promotion punctuates Pichai’s quick rise inside the company as well as CEO Larry Page’s desire to off-load some of his management duties to better focus on overall business strategy. While Google’s search and advertising business still generates $50 billion a year in revenue, some financial analysts fear its business is slowing. The company last week reported that paid clicks for the third quarter rose 17 percent from the same period last year. That compares with 26 percent growth the year before.

While Pichai is taking on those new responsibilities, Page will continue to directly oversee a number of Google’s divisions, including the YouTube online video service run by veteran Google employee Susan Wojcicki. Page will also manage business and operations.

Pichai, a well-liked figure at the company, has been a magnet for Google’s product teams. He has been at the company since 2004, managing the Chrome department. He added Google Apps to his responsibilities in 2012 and Android in 2013.

Pichai was the clear star of Google’s I/O developer conference in June — serving as the keynote’s master of ceremonies as Google showed off its latest developments in Android and Chrome.

Though Google confirmed the staff change to CNET, it declined to comment further or disclose his compensation.

 

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Lenovo builds a projector into the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

From the Cnet.com Article by Dan Ackerman

Lenovo has made some minor updates to its 8-inch and 10-inch Yoga 2 tablets , changing the kickstand design and adding a Windows 8 version, but it’s another new Yoga tablet product that really stands out as different.

The new Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a 13-inch Android tablet with the same cylindrical edge/kickstand design, but inside that bulging hinge is a built-in pico projector.

It’s a surprising addition that makes this a unique product. The projector is activated by a physical button on the side of the chassis, or by a software button on the main interface screen. It projects a 16:9 image that Lenovo says will work up to 50 inches diagonally. A small focus slider is built into the rounded edge for adjusting the picture.

The speakers are a step above what we normally see in tablets, with 8 watts of output and a small built-in JBL-branded subwoofer. The tablet’s 13-inch screen has a better-than-HD resolution of 2,560×1,440 pixels, but the projector throws its image at a lower resolution.

As an Android tablet, the 13-inch Yoga Tablet Pro 2 is bigger than most, and the big, rounded edge makes it less portable than many other tablets — it’ll take up more room in your bag than a simple, fully flat tablet. That said, the rounded edge gives you something to grip when holding the tablet in your hand, and the kickstand makes it easy to set up as a display. Like the smaller Yoga 2 tablets, this version has a cutout in the kickstand that can be used to hang the entire device from a hook.

Lenovo says the battery life should be about 3 hours if you’re using the projector, or up to 15 hours without. The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will go on sale around the end of October in the US and Europe, starting at $499 and €499, and £449 in the UK. In Australia, it’ll be on sale from mid-October in JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman for AU$799.

 

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Hackers Transform a Smartphone Gyroscope into an Always-On Microphone

From  Engadget.com’s Steve Dent

Apps that use your smartphone’s microphone need to ask permission, but the motion sensors? No say-so needed. That might not sound like a big deal, but security researchers from Stanford University and defense firm Rafael have discovered a way to turn Android phone gyroscopes into crude microphones. They call their app “Gyrophone” and here’s how it works: the tiny gyros in your phone that measure orientation do so using vibrating pressure plates. As it turns out, they can also pick up air vibrations from sounds, and many Android devices can do it in the 80 to 250 hertz range — exactly the frequency of a human voice.

By contrast, the iPhone’s sensor only uses frequencies below 100Hz, and is therefore useless for tapping conversations. Though the researchers’ system can only pick up the odd word or the speaker’s gender, they said that voice recognition experts could no doubt make it work better. They’ll be delivering a paper next week at the Usenix Security conference, but luckily, Google is already up on the research. “This early, academic work should allow us to provide defenses before there is any likelihood of real exploitation.”

For more information check out Stanford University’s Security Research page HERE

 

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Moneypak Strikes Again

Moneypak Strikes Again! Android Users Impacted.

Recently the Moneypak malware made the jump from Microsoft Windows to Google’s Android operating system. Unlike Windows that have an abundance of Apps designed to removed this common nuisance there aren’t as many for Android as this is a fresh market for hackers to wreak havoc on.

So what can you do? Well first and foremost shut your tablet off and get yourself into a technician to have a look. In some cases you may be looking at a complete wipe and reload of your Android device, in other cases you may not be so unfortunate. If you haven’t gotten it yet be sure to take precautionary measure like backing up your data, syncing your pictures/music/videos to the cloud, and avoid websites you haven’t been to before.

Once you are infected there may be no going back but don’t let it get to you, it happens to the best of us. Again the best thing you can do for yourself is get your device into a virus removal specialist and see what they can do for you. Keep your eyes peeled as time goes on it’s only going to get worse.

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Android’s phone wiping fails to delete personal data

Android’s Phone Wiping Fails to Delete Personal Data

A new study from security software vendor, Avast calls into question the effectiveness of Android’s factory reset option, which many people have relied upon to delete personal data from their old smartphones before reselling or making a charitable donation with the old device.

Avast, known for its security software on Windows, Mac, and Android , purchased 20 Android smartphones from eBay, which has around 80,000 used smartphones for sale at any given time. Among the data that Avast employees recovered from the phones were more than 40,000 photos, including 250 nude male selfies, along with 750 emails and text messages, 250 contacts, the identities of four phones’ previous owners, and one completed loan application. The problem, as Avast mobile division president Jude McColgan told CNET, is that people still aren’t used to considering the implications of all the personal data stored on a smartphone. “Users thought they were doing a clean wipe and factory reinstall,” he said, but the factory reinstall is cleaning phones “only at the application layer.”

To read the full CNET article by Seth Rosenblatt Click HERE

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4 Ways to Better Secure Your Smartphone

4 Ways to Better Secure Your Smartphone

Here are just a few security recommendations to help keep things locked down a little tighter, always remember there is no such thing as Safe only Safer so lets get started:

1. Create a lock code for your device as soon as possible using either a 4-digit pin, a alpha/numeric password, or a draw pattern. This will help prevent someone from accessing your data when the phone falls into someone else’s hands.
2. Enable the Do Not Track feature in your phones browser just like your pc web browser.
3. Avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize and afterward add them to your phone spam log if it is a bot call.
4.  Lock your phone down and track your phone remotely with Android Device Manager or the Find My iPhone. By doing this, in the unfortunate event of theft, you will reduce the usability of the phone and may even be able to give the police the address where it last pinged GPS satellites.

These are just a few precautions you can take to protect your phone but can be a life saver.

 

 

 

 

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IN THE FACE…BOOK!

Stop the Ads in Facebook

Facebook announced this week that their new system will create new ad sets based around your surfing history. If you aren’t a fan of the idea you can always opt out at the following site Here (*Cookies must be enabled*) in your browser .If you use iOS go to General>Restrictions>Advertising (located under the PRIVACY heading) and move the slider to turn on Limit Ad Tracking. For you Android users out there go to Google Settings>Ads>Opt Out of Interest-Based Ads and check it.

With this done your should have fewer ads for Facebook to bombard you.

Happy Facebooking.

Originally Posted here

 

 

Spotify Breach

Spotify Breach Will Require Android App Upgrades

Spotify is requiring people listening to its popular music service on Android devices to install new software as a safeguard against a recent security breach.

Spotify says the break-in has only resulted in unauthorized access to one user’s account. The company says passwords and financial information were not stolen.

Spotify users streaming on iPhones, iPads and Windows devices won’t have to do anything at this time.

Some users will be required to re-enter their passwords to log in.

Spotify has more than 40 million users. A substantial number of them rely on Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system.

Source

 

Getting the most life out of your Galaxy S5

12 Days of Battery Life… It’s Now Possible.

If your Galaxy S5 is glued to your ear or your hand like most of us, you know that by the end of the day your battery may end up on its last leg but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Beginning with Galaxy S2 the Power saver was added to extend battery life and the Galaxy S5 takes it a step further with Ultra Power Saver which can extend battery life from hours to days. For example with my S5 battery at 92% after entering Ultra mode I have an estimated 11.5 days of battery, the downside are that apps are restricted down to essential apps (which you can choose), the screen goes to grayscale, and services like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are shut off.

If your interested in activating Power Saving or Ultra Power Saving mode on your S5 just do the following : Settings> Power savings> Ultra Power Saving Mode > and switch the slider to on. It’s that easy, sure it won’t look as pretty but when you can get 11.5 days of life on your battery that’s a worthy sacrifice especially on long road trips.