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Open Source

Submission + - OS developer interview: Contiki and the 'Internet of Things' (

angry tapir writes: "Contiki is a lightweight open source operating system designed for the 'Internet of Things': Networked, low-power embedded devices. It's been used for smart grids, smart streetlights, badger tracking systems and connecting a Gameboy to the Internet. I recently caught up with its creator, Adam Dunkels, to talk about the system's history and future plans, as well as a new company he's founded, Thingsqure, which hopes to make creating applications for the Internet of Things as easy as creating apps for smartphones."

Submission + - Nokia bets big on mapping (

angry tapir writes: "Nokia and Oracle have joined forces on mapping, with details of the deal to be announced at the Oracle OpenWorld conference. To differentiate its smartphones from the competition, Nokia is betting big on location as well as imaging technology. Oracle is expected to add Nokia's mapping technology to its applications. Part of Nokia's location strategy is signing deals for the use of its Navteq mapping technology with as many companies as possible. Besides the deal with Oracle, Nokia has recently announced contracts with car makers BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Korean Hyundai, which will all use Navteq map data in some of their vehicles. Garmin will also start using Nokia data on transit services and walking routes to power a new Urban Guidance feature, which will be available as part of its Navigon app for Android and iOS. Nokia's most important partner on navigation, though, is Microsoft. All smartphones based on Windows Phone 8 will have Nokia's Drive application as standard, while Microsoft's Bing Maps geographical search engine uses Nokia data."
The Courts

Submission + - Apple wants another $707 million from Samsung ( 1

angry tapir writes: "A California jury may have awarded Apple more than US$1 billion in damages in late August when it triumphed over Samsung in a hard-fought case over smartphone and tablet patents, but the iPhone maker is coming back for more: late last week it asked for additional damages of $707 million. The request includes an enhanced award of $535 million for willful violation of Apple's designs and patents, as well as about $172 million in supplemental damages based on the fact that the original damages were calculated on Samsung's sales through June 30."

Submission + - Researchers take the hassle out of mobile security (

angry tapir writes: "A group of Microsoft researchers want to make smartphone security less intrusive. To do so, they built and tested a prototype system that continuously assesses confidence in the identity of the person using the handset. They employed biometric identification, typical and atypical user behaviour, other device proximity (through wireless technology such as Bluetooth), environment sensors and a software system that permits more or less access to a phone's functions based on whether it's likely that the authorised person is using the phone (full paper here [PDF]). The result: You don't have to enter your phone's PIN or password nearly as often, but there was no reduction in security during tests. The two most interesting things are the confidence system (which can increase or decrease confidence in a user's identity) and the multi-modal authentication system, which employs the full array of sensors present in many smartphones to determine identity."

Submission + - MIPS porting Android 4.1 (

angry tapir writes: "ARM rival MIPS is continuing its push to make a mark in low-cost tablets and quickly trying to bring Android 4.1 (Jellybean) to its processors. "We are working aggressively on bringing Jelly Bean to MIPS, and expect that it will be available to our licensees very soon," said Jen Bernier-Santarini, director of corporation communications at MIPS, in an email. Tablets with MIPS processors are largely low-cost and have found buyers mostly in developing countries. MIPS last week said a new tablet called Miumiu W1 from Chinese company Ramos would become available in a few months in India, Latin America and Europe. The tablet has a 7-inch screen, a MIPS processor running at 1GHz, front camera and a microSD slot for expandable storage."

Submission + - ARM expects 20-nanometer processors by late 2013 ( 2

angry tapir writes: "ARM chips made with an advanced, 20-nanometer manufacturing process could appear in smartphones and tablets by as soon as the end of next year, the head of ARM's processor division said Monday. The more advanced chips should allow device makers to improve the performance of their products without reducing battery life, or offer the same performance with longer battery life."

Submission + - LG aims to beat Apple's Retina display (

angry tapir writes: "LG Display has introduced a 5-inch full HD LCD panel for smartphone displays — the highest resolution mobile panel to date. The widescreen panel is based on AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) technology and has a 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution or 440 pixels per inch (ppi), according to LG. That compares to Apple's Retina display, which has 264 ppi on the new iPad and 326 ppi on the iPhone 4S."

Submission + - Huawei eyes mobile chip play (

angry tapir writes: "Chinese handset maker Huawei Technologies expects its smartphone chip business will help further drive revenue, signaling that the company could try to compete in the world's mobile chip market. This year, Huawei unveiled its own in-house developed quad core processor when it announced the company's Ascend Quad family of smartphones. Huawei's K3V2 quad core processor is based on the ARM architecture and has a clock speed running at either 1.2 GHz or 1.5 Ghz. The Chinese handset maker has previously used chips from other vendors for its smartphones. But it also has a division called HiSilicon Technologies, which developed the K3V2 chip, along with other wireless baseband processors."

Submission + - Android emulator for Windows hits beta (

angry tapir writes: "Software company Bluestacks is trying to close the gap between Microsoft's Windows and Google's Android OS with its App Player application, which was released in beta this this week. App Player is an emulator that allows Android applications to run on Windows 7, Vista and XP OSes. Users can install the software in Windows and then run around 450,000 Android applications, including Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, according to the company."

Submission + - How IBM is dealing with BYOD (

angry tapir writes: "IBM CIO Jeanette Horan has plenty of IT projects and systems to worry about, but perhaps one of the most pressing and timely is Big Blue's ongoing BYOD (bring your own device) rollout, which is aimed at including all of the company's 440,000 employees over time. So far, about 120,000 users are accessing IBM's network through mobile devices, and of that total, 80,000 are supplying the device and paying the monthly service fees."

Submission + - Apple vs. Nokia, RIM and Motorola on nano-SIM standard (

angry tapir writes: "Next week, two proposals for a new, smaller SIM card, dubbed nano-SIM — one backed by Apple and the other by Nokia, Research In Motion and Motorola Mobility — will go head-to-head as ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute) decides which card future smartphones and tablets will use. Measuring approximately 12 millimeters by 9 millimeters, the new SIM will be about 30 percent smaller than the micro-SIM. The thickness of the cards has been reduced by about 15 percent, according to Giesecke & Devrient. The nano-SIM is also approximately 60 percent smaller than traditional-size SIM cards"

Submission + - PayPal unveils mobile payment system (

angry tapir writes: "PayPal is targeting small businesses, service providers, and casual sellers on the move with its new PayPal Here service which allows vendors to process a variety of payments including checks and cards using their mobile phones. The new service includes a free app and encrypted thumb-sized card reader, which allows merchants with an iPhone, and later Android smartphones, to process payments."

Submission + - Microsoft to shut down app store for Windows Mobile (

angry tapir writes: "Microsoft will soon shut down the app store for Windows Mobile, the phone platform it is phasing out. Starting May 9, users of Windows Mobile phones won't be able to browse, buy or download apps to their phones from the Marketplace, Microsoft wrote in a letter to customers. The move doesn't affect users of Microsoft's new mobile OS, who will continue to be served by the Windows Phone Marketplace."

Submission + - Vodafone shows off encryption-friendly 'Secure SIM' (

angry tapir writes: "Vodafone has developed a new SIM card that can be used on smartphones to provide secure access to data networks and tap-proof telephone calls as well as email and text message encryption. In June, Secure Login will be the first service that uses the Secure SIM, working as an alternative to traditional smart cards. When employees log into their corporate network, the SIM card and server initially exchange key data. The employee is only granted access once the card has been identified and accepted, and a PIN (personal identification number) has been entered. Vodafone will add the ability to encrypt email and phone calls. For the latter to work, both the caller and the receiver need to have a phone with Vodafone's new SIM card."

Submission + - Motorola to offer phones with VMware hypervisor (

angry tapir writes: "Motorola Mobility has joined LG and Samsung among the companies building VMware's hypervisor into their phones. The move is part of a larger push at Motorola to cater to business users. VMware's mobile hypervisor works on Android phones and lets users switch between an "open" portion of the phone, which they can use for personal functions, and a business side that's controlled by IT and protected from potentially malicious applications."

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.