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Google Play Services Supplants Android As Google's "Platform" 182

exomondo writes "Google has a plan to circumvent the problem of fragmentation of its Android operating system across the installed base by using its proprietary, closed-source Google Play Services. Play Services is a privileged service that runs on Android and provides the sort of functionality to applications that would generally be seen in operating system updates like cloud backup, remote wipe, push messaging, etc... This service can be updated silently and independently of the operating system and runs on almost every version of Android out there allowing Google to add functionality to Android devices without having to go through the OEMs so having an up-to-date version of Android is looking like less of a necessity." It might be worth noting that Google originally rejected copyleft in favor of permissive licensing in the name of giving OEMs and carriers more control over Android on their devices.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 64

I'm not sure the Firefox OS brand carries much weight to keep OEMs and carriers in line. Google has the Play store, Gmail, Maps, Calendar, Drive, Music, Books, Google Voice, etc. They use these things as leverage to keep the OHA in line and compatible. And it's still a problem -- particularly from carriers (who think they hold the keys to the kingdom). I highly doubt carriers & OEMs will stop their dirty tricks for a new and relatively powerless brand name. Firefox is well known for the browser, but few people have yet heard of the OS/phone outside of tech enthusiasts. Even Google's leverage was not enough to stop Amazon from forking Android. What chance does Mozilla have vs Verizon or AT&T?

That said, competing forks might not be a bad thing per se... I think the next few years will be interesting times in mobile.



Mozilla Launches Persona Identity Bridge For Gmail 114

An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today announced the Persona Identity Bridge for Gmail users. If you have a Google account, this means you can now sign into Persona-powered websites with your existing credentials. The best part is of course Mozilla's pledge to its users. 'Persona remains committed to privacy: Gmail users can sign into sites with Persona, but Google can't track which sites they sign into,' Mozilla Pesrona engineer Dan Callahan promises."

Comment Re:Why read newspapers? (Score 1) 178

That's actually a marketing trick of a kind of "false choice". I can't remember where I read this but they have done studies involving this and the example was given with newspapers. Basically the idea goes, if they offer 2-3 choices and 1 is very expensive, another very cheap but the third makes it seem like you are getting the expensive plan for less, you think it's a deal in your mind. No one is immune to this, so I'm not singling out you, we've all felt victim to this as it's the natural way our brain makes order.

Ah here it is, it was someone from the Economist:

TED video:


Google Argues Against Net Neutrality 555

An anonymous reader sends this quote from an article at Wired: "In a dramatic about-face on a key internet issue yesterday, Google told the FCC (PDF) that the network neutrality rules Google once championed don't give citizens the right to run servers on their home broadband connections, and that the Google Fiber network is perfectly within its rights to prohibit customers from attaching the legal devices of their choice to its network."

Comment Re: More importantly (Score 1) 244

This is a decent code sample too:

From, here:

(adam koch is an Android developer advocate at Google, and the code comes from the AOSP but is backported to use the support lib)

Comment Re:Self signed? (Score 1) 276

Not more, but not necessarily less. With a self signed cert, you cant verify the identity of the signer/cert. With the possibility of a compromised CA, you have (essentially) the same problem. (As far as understand it anyways).

What I would like to know is what (if anything) can be done to verify keys without a CA? I don't know that much about crypto, so am genuinely curious. Are there techniques to do this? (Diffie-Hellman-Merkle?)

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