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+ - Google Exits Search, Email

Applehu Akbar writes: Early-morning Internet users today discovered that overnight a significant change had taken place in the way they are going to be accessing the Internet in the future. In search bars and Web browsers across America and around the world, Google was no longer functioning. Any search brought up nothing but a terse announcement page from Larry Page, Google CEO, that the Internet titan had "exited the advertiser-paid search and email product lines to concentrate on other business.” Even for a company known for its fast-changing product lineup, users deemed this a radical announcement.

Although industry analysts are by now accustomed to Google’s sudden decisions to drop products that were still in the process of finding an audience, many were perplexed at the decision to exit an arena where for years Google has been the iconic player. But this morning, as users fumble with Bing and Yahoo as replacement search engines, a strategy is becoming apparent to Internet insiders.

As one Wall Street analyst who refused to be named put it, “Now that through its search and email operations Google knows basically everything about everybody, its corporate database of user data has become the most valuable part of the company. Although up to now Google has been monetizing this data by selling a slow and constant drip of it to advertisers, the way is now clear for Google to squeeze its database into diamonds by filing for patents on every idea that can be gleaned from it. Google will become the greatest patent holding company in the world.'

A Silicon Valley blogger who covers social media offered an example. “Do you remember that time six months ago when you had a great idea for an improved plumbing leak detector and wondered if it had been done before? What you didn’t realize at the time is that that set of Google searches you did one Thursday midnight gave away your approach. You may never get around to filing for a patent on that idea, but Google will."

+ - Ask Slashdot: How can I prepare for the Theft of my Android Phone? 5 5

Adam Jorgensen writes: Last week my 4-week old Moto G phone was stolen while getting onto the train at Salt River in Cape Town, South Africa. That in itself is no big deal. Cellphone theft is a huge problem here in South Africa and I've had at least two previous cellphones stolen. The big deal this time, for me at least, was that this was the first time I've lost an Android phone to theft.

When I actually sat down and through about it, losing a fully configured Android phone is actually a big deal as it provides ready access to all kinds of accounts, including ones Google account. This could potentially allow the thief to engage in all kinds of malicious behaviour, some of which could have major implications beyond the scope of the theft.

Luckily for me it seems that the thief did the usual thing: Dumped the sim card, wiped the phone and switched it off. It's probably had it's IMEI changed by now and been sold on to some oblivious punter, possibly some oblivious punter in another country.

Still, the potential for serious issue is making me have second thoughts about replacing the phone with anything capable of doing much more than calling.

My question is this: Are there any serious solutions out there for Android that secure against theft?

By serious I mean solutions that go beyond the laughably easy to defeat "Find My Phone" and "Remote Wipe" options provided at present. Presently I'm thinking along the lines of:
  • Full encryption of phone contents
  • Some kind of "Travel Safe" mode that would lock the phone down and trigger a full wipe of not unlocked correctly (Including wiping the phone on next boot if not unlocked before being switched off/running out of battery).

So, any ideas?

+ - Mysterious S-shape appears on weather radar

criten writes: On Wednesday the Bureau of Meteorology's doppler radar at Perth, Western Australia detected an unusual S-shape near Rottness Island. Comparison with satellite imagery showed the echo was not related to any cloud formation. A spokesman for the Department of Defence said in a statement on Thursday that the exercise was a regular training activity involving ships and aircraft designed to prepare a Navy warship for an operational deployment. But what kind of military activity could generate this radar return?

+ - Japan's Alleged Death Threat-Making, Cat-Hacking Programmer Says He's Innocent->

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Inside the memory card in the cat's collar, authorities found a resentful message criticizing the police along with versions of the virus (iesys.exe) used to carry out the threat messages, which were made remotely, through other people’s computers. If you hadn’t heard about the story in the news, you'd be forgiven for confusing it with the plot of a Haruki Murakami novel.

In Tokyo District Court Wednesday, the former employee of a Japanese IT company wore a black suit, a wide smile, and pleaded not guilty to 10 charges brought against him. The Japan Times explained the string of threats were directed at “schools and kindergartens attended by the Emperor Akihito’s grandchildren,” as well as a Japan Airlines jet headed for New York. The plane had to stop midflight, costing the airline ¥9.75 million (about $93,000).

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What happens when the disaster is over? (Score 1) 62 62

I have to say I've not missed getting 20 new photos of my brother's cats posted everyday

You're right. It would be confusing for his page to let you know which cats were safe and which were not. I suspect in this situation it would be clearer to get a fb page for each cat.

Comment: Re:Sounds like they won't (Score 1) 329 329

Coming up this week on Border Security:

Immigration Officer 1: ... so the passenger has presented at border control, and has refused the normal safety scan.

Immigration Officer 2: Right, so effectively endangering the safety and security of the nation?

Immigration Officer 1: Yes. That's right sir. What should we do with him.

Immigration Officer 2: Normal procedure. Plastic cuffs, scan him, put him on the next plane out.

Immigration Officer 1: Should we tase him first?

Immigration Officer 2: If you like. It has been a quiet morning, hasn't it? Yeah go for it.

Immigration Officer 1: Thankyou sir.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.

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