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French authorities nab Android Trojan horse maker

Posted by Jason Diaz Categories: Google, Misc. Tech, Mods / Hacks, Software

Android Trojan Horse

Yet another case of malware found on Google Play. A 20-year-old man suspected of an elaborate Android Trojan SMS scheme was arrested in France. The alleged hacker tallied over 17,000 Android users that installed malicious software posed as copy cat apps. The scheme works by sending SMS messages at a premium cost. The hacker then earns a micro-transaction fee, leaving the unsuspecting user with an unexpected hefty monthly bill.

The hacker informed French authorities that he was more motivated by the technical aspect than monetary gain and had goals of becoming a software engineer. Cyber criminals  have made inroads into making malware in the Android platform partly because the Google Play Store is open and is not curated and vetted for security like Apple's App Store.  Hackers have created clone malware of popular apps like Skype, Instagram, and Angry birds. Some of these apps steal personal information and passwords and can capture pretty much anything you type.

Computer venders Security, like Sophos, strongly advise Android users to be vigilant and also install their free anti-virus security suite

Read More | The Register

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Apple says it never gave UDID info to the FBI

UDID Leak

Apple has chimed in on the saga of twelve million leaked iOS UDIDs. Apple claims that they never gave that information to the FBI, nor did the FBI ever request it from Apple.

"The FBI has not requested this information from Apple, nor have we provided it to the FBI or any organization. Additionally, with iOS 6 we introduced a new set of APIs meant to replace the use of the UDID and will soon be banning the use of UDID" - Natalie Keriss Apple Spokeswoman

Unique Device Identifiers, or UDIDs, are somewhat similar to a serial number or a social security number for devices. It is comprised of about 40 alphanumeric characters that basically identifies you as the device owner. It could be used for targeted ads and marketing analytics, or it can be utilized for development purposes like app and software distribution.

Click to continue reading Apple says it never gave UDID info to the FBI


e-Book publishers shell out $69 million in price-fixing allegation case

Posted by Jason Diaz Categories: Apple, Corporate News

Apple Amazon DOJ antitrust ebook suit

In the midst of Apple and ebook publishers collusion allegations brought forth by the Department of Justice (DoJ), Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley (Democrat), is tossing in her hat by filing a civil antitrust lawsuit. Three book publishers are shelling out over $69 million, $2 million of which is going to Massachusetts customers, to settle out of court. The ongoing lawsuit alleges that Apple got together with publishers and devised a plan to raise ebook prices in Apple's own iBookstore, which is in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle ebook store. Amazon is known for selling it's ebooks at rock-bottom prices, often at the expense of publishers and authors. So, although it appears that the DoJ's lawsuit greatly benefits consumers, who it really benefits is Amazon. Look at it this way: Amazon makes its lion share of money from many different sources, therefore, it can afford to sell ebooks at a loss since consumers buying through Amazon Kindle are exposed to advertisement promoting everything else they sell. Meanwhile, other booksellers are going out of business unable to compete, inadvertently creating a monopoly where Amazon reigns supreme. In the long run, who is this really benefiting? The way I see it, the DoJ lawsuit, although good intentioned, will eventually have the opposite effect of what its trying to achieve; and while now it appears to benefit consumers, in the end, Amazon wins.

Ebook publishers Macmillan and Penguin have not settled and Apple vowed to fight the allegations in court.

Read More | Boston Globe

How the Apple vs. Samsung jury reached a verdict (video)

Apple vs Samsung verdict explanation

We are a few days removed from the monumental decision that was handed down in the Apple vs. Samsung trial, where Apple pretty much steamrolled Samsung in the verdict. Curious how the jury reached the decision that it did? Check out the video after the break. It's an interesting look at the process that Jury Foreman Vel Hogan and team used to determine which patents were infringed, and how much money to award in damages. Other interesting tidbits? The Jury Foreman is a PC user who owns no Apple products, and not one of the jurors owned an iPhone.

Read More | Bloomberg

HTC EVO 4G LTE, One X delayed indefinitely in customs due to Apple patent infringement

HTC One X

Whoa! It looks like two major HTC devices have just been indefinitely delayed at United States Customs for an investigation due to an Apple patent infringement. If you were ready to pick up the HTC One X or HTC EVO 4G LTE on day one, you've got a wait ahead of you:

"The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval."

While HTC is putting on the smiley face for the public, this is a pretty serious blow. The devices that are being held infringe on an Apple patent that covers the action of automatically turning email addresses and phone numbers in tappable links. We don't see how HTC can quickly remove that feature from phones that are sitting in their shipping containers.

Read More | WSJ

Vietnamese cop clings to wipers of speeding bus

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Transportation, Videos

Vietnamese police bus driver

Normally, people in the States have respect for authority and listen to them for the most part. But apparently in Asia, that is optional.

When Vietnamese traffic lieutenant Nguyen Manh Phan attempted to pull over a bus driver heading the wrong way down the street, the driver decided to flee instead of pulling over.

So what’s a foot officer left to do? Well, he jumped onto the front of the bus, of course. The officer positioned himself and held on for dear life as the driver continued on his route. The bus eventually pulled over, but not before the incident was caught on tape. Check out the video for yourself.

Click to continue reading Vietnamese cop clings to wipers of speeding bus


Google takes down Shoot View, the Street View shooting game

Gamers are not averse to first-person shooters—Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, for example, earned $1 billion in just over two weeks. But what about when the targets are real, unsuspecting people on the sidewalks rather than cartoon soldiers?

That's the approach taken by Amsterdam-based ad agency Pool Worldwide, which used Google's Street View API to create "Google Shoot View," a game that lets players take aim at those who appear in the street-level, 360-degree images captured by Google's Street View cars.

"Google Shoot View. Explore the world at street-level... and fire a M4A1 assault rifle," Pool Worldwide said in a Dec. 9 tweet announcing the game (preview below).

Google was apparently not thrilled by the idea of having its technology used as the backdrop for a street-level killing spree. The search giant this week pulled Pool's access to its API—the code that allows developers to use the technology.

"Unfortunately, Google has killed the API so at the mo we can't run shoot view," Pool tweeted yesterday.

Click to continue reading Google takes down Shoot View, the Street View shooting game


Apple gets big win against HTC in patent battle

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Corporate News

iPod touch

HTC has been dealt another blow in its ongoing patent battle with Apple. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Monday that Apple's products don't infringe on patents held by S3 Graphics, a company in the process of being acquired by Taiwan-based HTC, ending the commission's investigation into the matter.

Last month, an ITC judge issued an initial judgment that Apple did not violate four HTC patents related to functions like power management and phone dialing. The Monday ruling concerned S3 patents for texture compression which relate to applications for things like 3D gaming.

HTC is in the process of closing a $300 million deal for S3 Graphics.

An HTC legal representative told The Wall Street Journal that the company was "disappointed" with the ITC ruling but would weigh its options, including an appeal of the decision.

Click to continue reading Apple gets big win against HTC in patent battle


Apple looking to get Samsung banned from selling Galaxy devices

Galaxy PrimeIf Apple gets its way with a California court, Samsung Galaxy devices could be removed from shelves within two months.

As patent blogger Florian Mueller noted on Saturday, Apple is pushing for a an injunction over Samsung devices to take place on September 8, claiming they rip off the look and feel of Apple iPhones and iPads. Meanwhile, Samsung has proposed a hearing date of October 14. Apple's original request for an August 5 hearing was denied by the judge as too soon.

Apple's aggression is an obvious way to make things as difficult as possible for Samsung, since the injunction would force Samsung to cease sales of four products: the Infuse 4G, Galaxy S 4G, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Mueller thinks presiding Judge Lucy Koh will choose a hearing date sometime between the two proposals, skewed towards Apple.

Click to continue reading Apple looking to get Samsung banned from selling Galaxy devices


Apple secures iPhone patent that could be huge blow to rivals

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Editorial

iPhone patents apple

Apple has been awarded its long sought-after patent on the iPhone. Intellectual property experts say it's so broad and far-reaching that the iPhone maker may be able to bully other smart phone manufacturers out of the U.S. market entirely.

Some three-and-a-half years after filing for a patent on the iPhone, Apple on Tuesday was awarded U.S. patent number 7,966,578 for "[a] computer-implemented method, for use in conjunction with a portable multifunction device with a touch screen display, [that] comprises displaying a portion of page content, including a frame displaying a portion of frame content and also including other content of the page, on the touch screen display."

That's just the beginning of the abstract for Apple's iPhone patent, which the company filed back in December 2007. It gets quite a bit more technical in its full form, but there's one thing patent experts consulted by PCMag agree on—Apple has been awarded an incredibly broad patent that could prove to be hugely problematic for other makers of capacitive touch-screen smartphones.

Apple's patent essentially gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface the company pioneered with its iPhone, said one source who has been involved in intellectual property litigation on similar matters. That's likely to produce a new round of lawsuits over the now-ubiquitous multitouch interfaces used in smartphones made by the likes of HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion, Nokia, and others that run operating systems similar in nature to Apple's iOS, like Google's Android, said the source, who asked not to be named.

Click to continue reading Apple secures iPhone patent that could be huge blow to rivals


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