Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

postheadericon Researcher Demonstrates Proof-of-Concept Botnet of Android Phones

Just what the world was waiting for… *sigh*

[Georgia Weidman’s] Android proof-of-concept botnet installs itself in a fashion similar to the DroidDream malware, a trojan that could record phone conversations. The proof-of-concept botnet payload could be spread in several ways—either as part of a malicious application on an app store, or through a Web link sent to the smartphone or clicked in the mobile browser. “It ‘roots’ the phone,” she said, “and it works as a proxy between the cellular modem and the application layer.”

iOS users aren’t safe either. Weidman said that a similar botnet could also be created on iOS devices, but the malware needs to be distributed via a “jailbreak” package.

Link : ars technica – Researcher demos threat of “transparent” smartphone botnets

postheadericon Thoughts: Dreaming Music

I dreamed I was at a Bill Bruford concert where a lot of the music was improvised and songs were played I did not know yet. So technically speaking, my brain made up all that music.

Isn’t that amazing when you think about it?

Now if I could only remember some of that music I heard in my dream…

postheadericon Adobe Donates Flex to Apache

Adobe moves an other step away from the Flash platform and donates Flex to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The ASF will still have to vote whether they will take on Flex and have not yet commented on the matter.

While Adobe states they are still committed to Flex, they also say that HTML5 will be the best technology for developing enterprise web applications on the long term.

Now honestly: would you really care investing your precious time in learning Flex now that Adobe has made this move, even if they say they are still behind the technology and its community? I actually feel sorry for the developers who did, and also for the people who invested their time and skills in Microsoft’s Silverlight which is going the same path as it looks right now.

Here are some links on the subject for your reading enjoyment:

postheadericon Number of Android Malware Apps Is Growing Faster Every Month

The lesson to be learned here is in the last sentences of the article:

In a related blog post, Juniper said it discovered a “trove of malicious applications aimed at Android users hosted across different Russia-based third party app stores,” which serves as a reminder to only download Android apps from trusted locations, like Google’s Android Market, Amazon, etc.

Link : HotHardware – Android Malware Infestation a Fast Growing Problem, Report Says

postheadericon Using Registry Cleaners Still Pays Off, Even in Windows 7

Source: Windows Secrets

Fred Langa of Windows Secrets did some interesting research on the effect of registry cleaners on Windows 7. Older versions of Windows were notorious for making a mess of the registry and not cleaning up correctly after uninstalling software. But what about Windows 7? Has this OS improved over its predecessors?

Langa’s conclusion: using a registry cleaner in Windows 7 still has a positive effect on your systems’s performance and bootup time. Of the tools that he put to the test, jv16 PowerTools turned out to be the most effective.

Want to know how he tested this, what other registry cleaning software he used and the statistics he gathered? Then hop over to Windows Secrets to find out.

Link : Windows Secrets – Putting Registry-/system-cleanup apps to the test

postheadericon Microsoft May Halt Development Work on Silverlight Plugin after Next Release

Will Microsoft follow Adobe in calling it quits on the development of their rich content plugins for (mobile) web browsers?

I bet they are laughing their asses off at Apple’s headquarters right now reading these announcements.

Link : The Verge – Microsoft may halt development work on Silverlight plugin after next release

postheadericon Adobe Throws in the Towel, Ceases Development of Mobile Flash Plugin for Android and Playbook

Apple can be “proud” of itself…

Link : The Verge – Adobe to cease developing mobile Flash plugin for Android and PlayBook

postheadericon Oracle Rumored to Buy webOS from Hewlett-Packard

Today I read the post linked below that talks about a rumor that Oracle is planning to buy webOS from Hewlett-Packard. HP became the owner of webOS when it acquired Palm and released the Touchpad a few months ago that used webOS as its operating system. Sadly for HP, this tablet failed miserably and only became popular for a short while when the price was dropped to $99 in the United States, resulting in a fire sale.

The post is a bit cynical when stating the following:

Oracle? How does that work, you ask? Well, Oracle has close ties to Apple, since Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, was one of Steve Jobs’ closest friends. This explains – in large part – Oracle’s interest in suing Google over Android’s use of Java technologies. Since Oracle probably has some spare change lying around, a purchase of webOS and associated IP may give them some additional patents to sue others with.

I sincerely hope that a great, though unpopular operating system like webOS will not end up as ammunition in patent lawsuits.

An other post on ZDnet publishes the same thoughts and has some other views as well. The link to this post can also be found below.

postheadericon Thoughts: Yet An Other Reason to Switch to iPhone

For the past few months I have been pondering: will I stick with Android or switch to iPhone? One of the strongest arguments for me to go for a new generation Android phone as the replacement of my (rather crappy) HTC Desire is the dedicated Gmail app. In my opinion this app is the best email experience on a mobile device available today. As a big fan of Gmail, this app is something I simply cannot live without. It has all the important features that the desktop version has: conversation threading, labeling and starring email, email address autocomplete using my Google Contacts, et cetera.

Well, the argument I made above may actually go out of the window. Rumor has it that a dedicated Gmail for iPhone is on the way. This app could be the argument that tips the balance in favor of the iPhone and steer me away from the Android platform.

Link : The Next Web – Could a native Gmail iPhone app finally be on the way?

postheadericon Tilt: a Firefox Addon for Viewing, Debugging and Editing Webpages in 3D

Are you a web developer and is Firefox your main browser? Then I suggest taking a look at Tilt: an addon that enables you to view the structure of a webpage in 3D. Not only does this look truly awesome but it is also very helpful and educating when used to view existing websites.

You can even use it with Firebug and Style Editor at the same time. Here is a quote from Mozilla blog post, which is linked below:

Because Tilt is able to detect when a webpage’s DOM structure changes or when a repaint is necessary, integration is seamless with existing Developer Tools. Using Tilt and Firebug or Style Editor at the same time is easy. One can enable or disable CSS properties, changing the style of a node, and the visualization changes accordingly.

Tilt can be extremely useful for solving nesting problems:

Tilt is useful when searching problems in the HTML structure (like finding unclosed DIV elements for example) by providing the extra third dimension, layering each node based on nesting in the DOM tree. Stacks of elements visually represent branches in the DOM, and each node can be inspected for the inner HTML contents, its computed CSS style and the attributes.

For a detailed explanation of the addon and a couple of cool videos that demonstrate it, click the link below.

Link : hacks.mozilla.org – Debugging and editing webpages in 3D

postheadericon Apple’s View of the Future in 1987: the Knowledge Navigator

A device called the Knowledge Navigator is presented in the video linked below which looks very familiar compared to some devices and apps that Apple released in the last few years and even very recently in the iPhone 4S. It’s amazing to see how close their predictions came to the present day!


Apple’s Future Computer: The Knowledge Navigator

 

postheadericon Video: The Bionic Burger

Here’s a weird story about a guy who has been collecting McDonald’s hamburger for over 18 years. Why on earth would someone do that?

Well, one day this guy bought two hamburgers, ate one and kept the other one in the pocket of his jacket. That was the last day he wore that jacket for a year. The next year he retrieves the forgotten hamburger from his jacket and to his surprise the hamburger looked exactly the same as on the day he bought it. This event was the start of a hamburger collection.

Hoax or not? You tell me. On the other hand, think about it when you order a hamburger at McDonald’s. If a hamburger really looks like this after a year or even a few years, it can’t be healthy right?

(Found via http://www.onsdagelijkseten.nl/bewustworden/je-hamburger-is-onsterfelijk/.html)


The World’s First Bionic Burger

postheadericon Microsoft’s Latest Security Intelligence Report from 2011

Some interesting quotes from Ars Technica’s summary of Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report (linked below). The first one talks about spam volumes. We’re talking about billions of messages a month here, which is mind-boggling if you try to imagine this.

Microsoft … attributes the drop [in spam volumes] primarily to the “takedowns of two major botnets: Cutwail, which was shut down in August 2010, and Rustock, which was shut down in March 2011 following a period of dormancy that began in January.” Consequently, the biggest drops in e-mails blocked occurred in September 2010, when spam dropped to about 65 billion messages, and in January 2011, when it fell under 40 billion. The low point was in May 2011, with about 22 billion, but it ticked up again in June.

The next quote is about Java, and it’s not really good news for Java:

The most commonly observed exploits target vulnerabilities in Java, specifically the Java Runtime Environment, Java Virtual Machine, and Java SE in the Java Development Kit. “Java exploits were responsible for between one-third and one-half of all exploits observed in each of the four most recent quarters,” Microsoft said.

For more details and some interesting graphs, visit the link below.

Link : ars technica – Microsoft finds 64 billion fewer spam messages per month after …

postheadericon iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks Show Impressive Numbers

Looking at the graphs in the article linked below, the iPhone 4S is about 80% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S2. That’s nearly double the performance of this flagship Android device. The benchmarks of the iPhone 4S are getting close to those of an iPad 2. Quite impressive.

I am very curious how the Nexus Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich will perform compared to the iPhone 4S. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.

Link : AnandTech – iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks: …

postheadericon Video: Jaw-dropping Sneak Preview of Photoshop De-blurring Feature

And when I say jaw-dropping, I really mean jaw-dropping.


Adobe MAX 2011 – Photoshop Image Deblurring sneak

(Video shot by Peter Elst)