Google VS Apple

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    Posted: 04 May 2011 08:47 AM #76

    Very interesting article on the hypocrisy of Google switching to the “open” WebM standard.

    The Free Software Foundation says that free software is about ?liberty, not price? ? more akin to ?free speech? than ?free beer.?  In other words, free software is a matter of granting access to source code and allowing others to modify it as they see fit, rather than keeping it behind lock and key and granting only limited rights to execute a program.

    Get off your pulpit and grab a Solo cup, because Google Inc. is making an unprecedented push for ?free beer.?  The most striking example of this initiative is Google?s Android, now the most widely-sold smartphone platform in the US, which is licensed free of charge.  But ?free beer,? unlike ?free speech,? can be undermined by hidden costs: if software infringes an undiscovered patent, the patent holder may demand a royalty.  A comprehensive search is no guarantee that the coast is clear.  Even independent creation is no defense to infringement, though a number of scholars are fighting for an exception to encourage licensing and protect innovators from unfair liability.

    Google wants its latest brew, the VP8 video codec, to be the first ?free beer? digital video compression technology.  This would be a boon for the open Internet, even if only for the principle of open-source software.  It is also no small investment: Google spent over $100 million to acquire the technology before releasing the source code for free. VP8 is pitted against the current leader in digital video coding, AVC/H.264, which is used in cable boxes, iPhones, Blu-Ray discs, and many other systems.



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    Posted: 04 May 2011 03:16 PM #77

    More “open” hypocrisy.

    ...Google has crumbled to the threats of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Although PdaNet and other tethering apps remain in the Market, users are unable to install the apps onto devices carried by those three providers. (For the time being, Sprint hasn’t objected.)

    Between mandatory OS skins and locked bootloaders, both carriers and manufacturers exert far too much control over what could and should be a completely open platform.

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    Posted: 04 May 2011 04:33 PM #78

    rattyuk - 01 May 2011 09:40 AM
    Lstream - 29 April 2011 12:51 PM

    I think that the general rule for most developers right now, is that they must support both iOS and Android.

    Not entirely convinced by this I know several developers that are not going Android because people aren’t spending money there…

    I don’t recall seeing this posted. My apologies if it’s redundant. From MIT’s “Technology Review” April 27, 2011.

    App Developers Sticking to iPhone
    Developers say fragmentation is hurting Android, while RIM and Microsoft fall still farther behind.

    Developers of smart-phone apps are coding all out, and they can hardly keep up with Apple’s iPad and iPhone, let alone the explosion of Android devices and new offerings from RIM and Microsoft. That’s the takeaway from the joint IDC/Appcelerator quarterly survey of 2,760 mobile developers, out today.

    Over the past six months, developer interest in both Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android platform has remained flat, even as more Android devices have shipped than any other kind.

    “Google has enormous momentum in terms of shipment numbers, but that’s not carrying over as cleanly as we might expect to developer interest,” says Scott Ellison of IDC. “There’s still distinctly more interest in Apple than in Android. Developers are choosing the number-two platform in installed base and shipment numbers.”

    App developers say the problem is that as Android is deployed on more devices, it’s becoming harder to develop for it, because of a profusion of device specifications and a pool of newcomer app developers, many of whom were Web and desktop developers just two years ago. Robert Koch, whose team develops the task-list organizer Wunderlist, wrestles with the vagaries of Android development every day. (Wunderlist is on iOS, Android, OS X, Windows, and the Web.)

    “It’s very, very difficult to write a good application for every Android device,” says Koch, who cites differing screen resolutions, hardware configurations, and CPU speeds as core concerns. “We had to buy a lot of devices just [to test] our little task-management app.”

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    Posted: 05 May 2011 02:43 PM #79

    An interesting post from an Android forum. I stumbled on it while searching for the number of Android apps currently available. Best answer I found was 155k.

    How many Android apps are there (after weeding out the crap)?
    I accidentally stumbled upon a bunch of apps by Patrick Watson in the Android Market. This guy found a very clever way to inflate the number of apps.

    You see, waitresses, hairdressers, taxi drivers, prostitutes, bellboys, delivery drivers, strippers, bartenders, lapdancers etc. collect tips. There’s an app that calculates their income from base salary and tips for all these professions. One app, but many types of tipped employment.

    So what did Patrick Watson do? He put the same app on the market under dozens of different names. Waiter app, hairdresser app, prostitute app, valet app, and dozens more. All these apps are listed separately in the market, even though they’re all the same.

    And there’s more inflation in the market. When searching for an mp3 player I found a market full of ringtones, all disguised as an “app.” Wallpapers? Just an image file, but wrap a picture or two inside some code that phones home to download ads and suddenly your jpg has turned into an app!

    Have a website? Just make a shortcut that launches your site and put it on the market. Now you have an app too!

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    Posted: 05 May 2011 09:37 PM #80

    This has been mentioned here before, but this article today does a good job of highlighting it again. Apple wants to sell you their products. Google wants to sell advertisers your data. In other words, your data is Google’s product.

    Apple vs. Google ads: What are they selling?

    Apple?s latest ad wants you to buy a $500+ tablet computer that runs App Store apps. Apple wants to sell you shiny things to make money.

    Google?s latest ad wants you to store personal details about your child?s life, from birth, on their servers. Google wants your data so they can sell it (aggregated and anonymized, of course) to others to make money.

    Taken in that context, Apple?s ad might be obnoxious and highly commercial, but Google?s is downright creepy.

    BTW, I think the Google ad is pretty good until you think about it a bit more.

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    Posted: 07 May 2011 11:49 AM #81

    MicGadget reports that YouKu, a Youtube “competitor” in China, may be put on iOS.  The reason that it is not a competitor is because YouTube is banned in China.

    This is not a Google vs. Apple kind of thing, per se.  A ban of YouTube means that everybody loses. 

    If Youku is on iOS, its a step forward on uneven ground.

  • Posted: 07 May 2011 07:37 PM #82

    your data is Google?s product


                                                      no, you are Google’s product

  • Posted: 07 May 2011 07:55 PM #83

    danthemason - 07 May 2011 10:37 PM

    your data is Google?s product


                                                      no, you are Google’s product

    Google ask for your soul in exchange for “Google Services”....  that is no fair trade. And then they sell your soul to corporations like in the old days africans bought for pieces of colored glass were sold as slaves. Beware.

    Fortunately, as Eric told us, we can escape this fate ... we just have to change identity….

    [ Edited: 07 May 2011 07:57 PM by Hamourabi ]      
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    Posted: 10 May 2011 08:14 PM #84

    Announced at Google I/O 2011.

    *100 million activated Android devices
    *400,000 new Android devices activated every day
    *200,000 free and paid applications available in Android Market

    Remember activations does not equal actual sales to consumers. Compare this to Apple’s announcement in Jan. 2011 that they had sold 160 million iOS devices by the end of Dec. 2010. Add another ~28 million the 1st quarter of 2011 and whatever has been sold in April & May and you probably get close to 200 million iOS devices sold to date.

    At the end of 2010 a number of non-Google sources reported that the number of Android apps had hit 200k. Google neither confirmed or denied those reports. So either those reports were false or the number has remained stagnant the past 4 months.

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    Posted: 10 May 2011 08:17 PM #85

    Since definitions matter, let’s see if we can nail it down.  What is an activation ?  When does it take place ?  Who does it ?

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    Posted: 10 May 2011 08:38 PM #86

    Tetrachloride - 10 May 2011 11:17 PM

    Since definitions matter, let’s see if we can nail it down.  What is an activation ?  When does it take place ?  Who does it ?

    Exactly! I’ve tried to find the answers in the past and was unable to understand what Google means except that the phone uses Google “services”. I presume that means G. Maps, G. Voice or Android Market. Does it need to be all of the services to count or will just one of them qualify it as an activation?

    When & who? By the manufacturer at the end of the assembly line? By the carrier when they receive the phone? I doubt it’s by the end-user or they’d just say these are devices sold. It’s obvious they use this fuzzy term in order to hype the growth of Android.

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    Posted: 11 May 2011 12:30 AM #87

    Meanwhile, Frogger makes a comeback with Android

    Enterprise and consumer mobile devices are exposed to a record number of security threats, including a 400 percent increase in Android malware, as well as highly targeted Wi-Fi attacks, according to a report by Juniper Networks.

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    Posted: 12 May 2011 12:30 AM #88

    Just as Android is more in competition with Symbian, Blackberry, WebOS and WP7, rather than iOS; Chrome is more in competition with Windows rather than Mac OS X. Nonetheless, there will be many who will include Chrome OS as part of the Google vs Apple “war”.

    The reality is that Chromebooks are most likely to compete with the dying remnants of the netbook market. They will not slow down either iPad or Mac laptop growth.

    Today during the press Q&A after the Chrome OS/Chromebook keynote, Google co-founder Sergey Brin joined the panel to share his thoughts on the new products and Google in general. Since the end goal of Chrome OS is clearly to end Windows dominance both in the workplace and the world in general, someone asked what percentage of Google employees still use Windows machines at work?

    ?I?d probably guess 20 percent,? Brin said in response. ?But I?d have to get back to you,? he quickly qualified noting that he doesn?t have the exact numbers.

    Implied (and quickly accepted by the punditry) was that Chromebooks were already in wide use within Google. The reality is that most likely Macs are dominant in the Googleplex.

    Seems like folks have already forgotten this report from June 1, 2010:

    Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft?s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees.

    The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google?s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally.

    ?We?re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,? said one Google employee.

    ?Many people have been moved away from [Windows] PCs, mostly towards Mac OS, following the China hacking attacks,? said another.

    New hires are now given the option of using Apple?s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system.

    Employees said it was also an effort to run the company on Google?s own products, including its forthcoming Chrome OS, which will compete with Windows. ?A lot of it is an effort to run things on Google product,? the employee said. ?They want to run things on Chrome.?

    The move created mild discontent among some Google employees, appreciative of the choice in operating systems granted to them - an unusual feature in large companies. But many employees were relieved they could still use Macs and Linux. ?It would have made more people upset if they banned Macs rather than Windows,? he added.

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    Posted: 12 May 2011 01:44 AM #89

    Saw this in the intra-day thread:

    Here’s a couple of the photos.

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    Posted: 16 May 2011 10:16 AM #90

    Android Malware Jumps 400%

    Mobile security is the new malware battlefield as attackers take advantage of users who don?t think their smartphones can get compromised.

    Cyber-attackers are gunning for Google?s Android as they take advantage of a user base that is ?unaware, disinterested or uneducated? in mobile security, according to a recent research report.

    They just saw the cheap price or were pushed towards the Android phone by the sales person who got a bigger comission for selling the Android phone

    Malware developers are increasingly focusing on mobile devices, and Android malware has surged 400 percent since summer 2010, according to the Malicious Mobile Threats Report 2010/2011 released May 11. The increase in malware is a result of users not being concerned about security, large number of downloads from unknown sources and the lack of mobile security software, according to the Juniper Networks Global Threat Center, which compiled the report.

    But… “it’s open”!!. Open to malware that is.

    ?That?s where the momentum is for 2011,? said Dan Hoffman, Juniper?s chief mobile security evangelist. It?s important to remember that mobile malware still accounts for less than 1 percent of all malware detected globally,

    About 17 percent of all reported infections were due to SMS Trojans sending text messages to premium rate numbers, the report found. Spyware capable of monitoring phone calls and text messages from the device accounted for 61 percent of reported infections. All, or 100 percent, of reported infections on Android devices were of this kind of spyware.

    For the past five years, most mobile malware targeted Symbian and Microsoft Windows Mobile platforms, Juniper said. In fact, over 70 percent of malware definitions in Juniper?s Junos mobile security service are of Symbian malware. The current trend shows that malware developers are targeting Android and the attacks are likely to get more advanced, such as turning mobile devices into a zombie in a botnet.

    “Consumers can expect to see more advanced malware attacks against the Android platform,” according to the report. These attacks include “command and control zombies and botnet participators, devices that are remotely controlled to execute malicious attacks,” the report?s authors wrote.

    Even though most infections are caused by downloading dodgy applications, majority of smartphone users are not using antivirus software to scan for malware, according to the Juniper report.  Most app stores remove applications as soon as they are reported as being malicious, but that is reactive and ?insufficient,? said Hoffman. The Juniper report cited a 2010 SANS Institute study that found only 15 percent of smartphone users were employing antivirus on their phones.

    So what they are saying is that the app stores should curate the apps that get placed on their virtual shelves. Hmm, isn’t that now a “walled garden”?

    Enterprises and users need to be aware of the growing risks of going online using mobile devices, and protect them the same way they protect desktops, laptops and servers, Hoffman said.

    Enterprises should just stay away from using or allowing Android devices to connect.

    Another security expert raising the alarm is James Lyne, director of technology strategy at Sophos. Users engage in dangerous activity on their smartphone that they would never do on their PCs, Lyne told eWEEK. They may see an e-mail and not open it on their computer because they have learned that?s dangerous. But they go ahead and open the exact same message on their phones because they are under ?the mistaken impression? that?s it safer, because smartphones can?t get infected, Lyne said.

    There was no reason for the attackers to continue hitting the ?walled garden that?s the PC? when users are practically inviting them in on the mobile devices, according to Lyne.

    Wait!! PCs are “Walled gardens”? I thought that was the iPhone. Aren’t they really saying that attackers won’t bother with the “walled garden” that is the iOS platform?

    The first bank phishing app appeared in the Android Market in January 2010, and Google took the unprecedented step of removing malicious apps from user devices via a remote kill switch in March.

    The report listed other high-profile attacks on mobile devices in the past year. In one incident, Vodafone unknowingly shipped Android phones with SD cards preloaded with the Mariposa Trojan which infected Windows PCs when they devices were connected. The iPhone is at risk because malicious apps can obtain user data and transmit it to a third-party server, the report found.

    ?In most cases, application developers used pre-packaged code purchased from advertising agencies, originally intended to collect device information that could be used to build advertising profiles of the device user,? Juniper said in the study.

    So, those thousands of apps that are “open” are really just points of infection?

    While RIM BlackBerry devices and Apple iPhones are not under as intense attack, Juniper warned that spyware apps such as FlexiSpy, Mobile Spy and MobiStealth are large threats to the platform.

    each of these apps require you to jail break and install an app that tracks your phone

    Lyne noted that there are no security software available for the iPhone in the Apple?s app store. The company is not letting users protect themselves, Lyne said.

    Next they’ll be saying iOS is too secure and Apple should make it less secure so security software companies can have a product to sell.

    Juniper also warned that the increase in Wi-Fi enabled devices could result in more man-in-the-middle attacks, especially as people continue to trust public Wi-Fi hotspots.