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+ - Android app claims to protect from Wi-Fi tracking

Submitted by SirJorgelOfBorgel
SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) writes "Hot on the heels of stories about people's Wi-Fi signales being tracked by spy agencies and retailers (in Dutch), Android hacker Jorrit Jongma (better known as Chainfire) has released an app called Pry-Fi aiming to prevent long-term tracking. It works by periodically randomizing your MAC address and preventing your device from broadcasting all the networks it knows. There's even a "war" mode included that aims to actively confuse trackers in range. You do need a rooted Android device, it seems not all devices are supported, and not all the early adopters are having success getting it to work."

Comment: Re: DLNA ? (Score 1) 329

by SirJorgelOfBorgel (#44672741) Attached to: Google Breaks ChromeCast's Ability To Play Local Content

I have a few years old Samsung TV and it plays near anything over DLNA (stream over TCP/IP from your PC), though you have to do some searching to find the right DLNA server and setup. Serviio works best for me. Buffering at movie start may be one or two seconds but certainly not more if you're on a wired (!) connection. Over Wi-Fi it's crap, of course.

Last year I connected Samsung Blu-Ray player which supported even more formats and worked even better (faster). Now, DLNA is about as shitty a protocol as possible (really, if you get down to the tech nitty gritty, "frackin' terrible" would be a compliment) so not everything always works and codec support has some limits, but some brands (including Samsung) support some non-standard stuff like additional codecs and even SRT subtitle support. Ultimately, I hacked my BR player with "SamyGO" which allows you to use network shares directly instead of DLNA which made it even better.

I've used laptops for this purpose and have even built HTPCs, but if you take a little care about what you download, by far most things will play on a DLNA setup on modern TVs and BR players (support differs per brand). My PC is usually turned on in my office room, I download my shows and movies (usually x264 720p or 1080p in mkv format with optional srt) and play them back in the living room without any additional gadgets at all.

Then again, maybe none of your TV room playback devices support DLNA or your computer isn't always-on, both will ruin this setup :)

Comment: MITM (Score 2) 76

by SirJorgelOfBorgel (#44250337) Attached to: Android Master Key Vulnerability Checker Now Live

I'm not sure if this is still true, but I do know that last week the Play store was still using HTTP downloads for the actual APK files instead of HTTPS (even though the API calls do use HTTPS). As such, even downloads from Play may be susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. I can't possibly explain it better than this group of comments:

I'm not saying it's likely - but it doesn't seem impossible either. Seeing as it will be a long time before the average Android user will be running a phone with this patch, I would call "crisis averted" too soon. Of course, we don't know if the complete HTTP download is still verified with checksum gotten from the HTTPS API, but somethow I doubt it.

Comment: Re:I've been using Android on one for a while (Score 1) 247

by SirJorgelOfBorgel (#44122147) Attached to: Android On the Desktop

Even if it was $300, it would still be more than 6 times as expensive... the dollars come in here to show it is an absolute budget device, and as somebody else stated, how much effort went into the device.

These budget sticks usually have very slow RAM and flash (storage), with constant I/O stalling going on. This is a major part in the constant jerking and freezing. Especially noticeable the first few minutes after boot, but you'll pretty much notice it all over the place.

There's often kernel issues as well, as these budget OEMs often don't put in the time, effort and money to fix issues and/or optimize it. That's not a generic Android problem, it's an end-product problem.

The point is, what you're seeing is representative for the MK808B, not for Android. These things differ greatly per-device and their components. As such, "sluggish, jerky, freezing, ungainly and wonky" may not (or may) apply to other devices. There are many Android devices out there with lower specs than the MK808B that have much smoother performance ...

I'm not saying Android isn't slower, more jerky, more sluggish, etc than iOS would be on identical hardware, that might well be so - it just doesn't make sense to reach that conclusion based on your experience with the MK808B vs your iPhone4, as the specs aren't the same, and the numbers you are looking at do not represent fluidity - you've left out some major components to that equation.

Comment: Re:I've been using Android on one for a while (Score 4, Insightful) 247

by SirJorgelOfBorgel (#44117979) Attached to: Android On the Desktop

I think it's awesome that you're using a highly customized $47 Android device to base your opinion about Android on, comparing it's performance and use to $600 iOS devices. Guess what - they aren't equals. This says a lot less about Android than it says about your reasoning capabilities.

Comment: Re:Android Security? (Score 1) 107

by SirJorgelOfBorgel (#43237599) Attached to: Poking Holes In Samsung's Android Security

I dabble in Android security myself, I just want to point out that every single app I have encountered that Trend Micro flagged has been a false positive warning about an exploit that isn't actually present. The cause of this appears to be that those apps include files or snippets of code also used by some well known exploits, but by themselves are not harmful. Rookie mistake.

Note that if you search well, you will find various security folk slamming Trend Micro all over the place. As such, I wouldn't put too much faith in whatever Trend Micro has published, they don't exactly appear up to speed on matters.


+ - Google removing ad-blockers from Play->

Submitted by SirJorgelOfBorgel
SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) writes "It appears Google has begun removing ad-blocker apps for Android from the Play store, citing breached of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement. The apps would be welcome back as soon as they no longer violated the agreement, though that doesn't seem possible while keeping the apps' core functionality intact."
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