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Operating Systems

Google Android — a Universe of Incompatible Devices 636

Posted by Soulskill
from the maybe-just-a-galaxy-or-two dept.
snydeq writes "Galen Gruman writes about the dark side of the recent flood of Android smartphones: versions run amok. 'That flood of options should be a good thing — but it's not. In fact, it's a self-destruction derby in action, as phones come out with different versions of the Android OS, with no clear upgrade strategy for either the operating system or the applications users have installed, and with inconsistent deployment of core features. In short, the Android platform is turning out not to be a platform at all, but merely a starting point for a universe of incompatible devices,' Gruman writes. 'This mess leaves developers and users in an unstable position, as each new Android device adds another variation and compatibility question.' In the end, Google's naive approach to open sourcing Android may in fact be precipitating this free-for-all — one that might ultimately turn off both end-users and developers alike." As reader donberryman points out, you can even put Android onto some Windows Mobile phones, now.
Science

Making a Liquid Invisibility Cloak 93

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pour-to-order dept.
Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China are proposing a method which could lead to the first soft, tunable metamaterial, the key ingredient in building an invisibility device. "The fluid proposed by Ji-Ping Huang of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, contains magnetite balls 10 nanometers in diameter, coated with a 5-nanometer-thick layer of silver, possibly with polymer chains attached to keep them from clumping. In the absence of a magnetic field, such nanoparticles would simply float around in the water, but if a field were introduced, the particles would self-assemble into chains whose lengths depend on the strength of the field, and which can also attract one another to form thicker columns. The chains and columns would lie along the direction of the magnetic field. If they were oriented vertically in a pool of water, light striking the surface would refract negatively – bent in way that no natural material can manage."
Apple

+ - Why Everyone Hopes Apple Will Buck Tablet Trend->

Submitted by waderoush
waderoush (1271548) writes "The deafening roar of anticipation around Apple's expected 'iSlate' announcement on January 27 is strange, to say the least, given the public's utter apathy about tablet computers to date. What's going on? Xconomy's analysis makes three points. 1) Previous tablet makers have shown little imagination around UIs and how a touchscreen changes things. 2) With the iPhone, Apple has shown what's possible in this regard. 3) There's latent demand for a mobile computing device that's smaller and lighter than a laptop but has more screen real estate than a smartphone — something reminiscent of a Star Trek tricorder or PADD. Hence the hopes for the iSlate — which are so high that it may be difficult for even Apple to meet them."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

IPv4 Will Not Die In 2010 264

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the here's-a-shocker dept.
darthcamaro writes "A couple of years ago, the big shots at IANA (that's the people that handle internet addressing) issued a release stating that the IPv4 address space was likely to be gone by 2010. Here we are in 2010 and guess what, IPv4 with its 4.3 billion addresses will NOT be all used up this year. In fact there could be another two years worth of addresses still left at this point. 'We're at about 10.2 percent (IPv4 address space) remaining globally,' John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN said. 'At our current trend rate we've got about 625 days before we will not have new IPv4 addresses available. We're still handling IPv4 requests from ISPs, hosting companies and large users for IPv4 address space, but that's a very short time period.'"
Security

+ - Blizzard authenticators may become mandatory

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "WoW.com is reporting that a trusted source has informed them that Blizzard is giving serious considerations to making authentricator's mandatory on all Battle.net accounts (including to play World of Warcraft). The authenticators function the same as ones provided by most banks in that in order to login you must generate a number on the external device. Blizzard already provides a free iPhone app that functions as an authenticator. The source stated "it is a virtually forgone conclusion that it will happen". The move comes after large spates of compromised accounts that left Bizzard game masters severely backlogged by restoration requests."
Television

+ - Should you hang onto those Avatar glasses?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In terms of tech buzz at CES, there's none bigger this year than 3D TV. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Toshiba all announced 3D TVs to go onsale in 2010, and ESPN announced a 3D sports channel. But with hardly any 3D movies to watch, and questions over price, and whether people will really want to sit in their own lounge rooms, every week, watching TV while looking somewhat vaguely like Roy Orbison — remains to be seen. This article summarises some of the big basic questions hovering over the 3D TV trend."
Link to Original Source
Security

iPhone 3Gs Encryption Cracked In Two Minutes 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the see-it-really-is-fast dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a Wired news article, iPhone Forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski explains how the much-touted hardware encryption of the iPhone 3Gs is but a farce, and demonstrates how both the passcode and backup encryption can be bypassed in about two minutes. Zdziarski also goes on to say that all data on the iPhone — including deleted data — is automatically decrypted by the iPhone when it's copied, allowing hackers and law enforcement agencies alike access the device's raw disk as if no encryption were present. A second demonstration features the recovery of the iPhone's entire disk while the device is still passcode-locked. According to a similar article in Ars Technica, Zdziarski describes the iPhone's hardware encryption by saying it's 'like putting privacy glass on half your shower door.' With the iPhone being sold into 20% of Fortune-100s and into the military, just how worried should we be with such shoddy security?"

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