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Submission + - Amazon's Kindle Fire has 54% of Android tablet market. Samsung 15%. (neowin.net) 1

N!NJA writes: While Apple continues to overwhelmingly dominate the tablet space with its one-size-fits-all iPad (albeit with both a new and ‘old', cheaper version concurrently on sale), the multiplicity of Android tablets on the market from numerous manufacturers hasn't yet helped Google to capture a significant chunk of market share.

In an interesting twist, though, it's emerged that Google's Android market share isn't entirely its own, as figures from market analysts comScore (via PR Newswire) reveal that, as of February 2012, Amazon's Kindle Fire had grabbed an impressive 54.4% of Android tablet market share. Why is this significant? Well, the Kindle Fire doesn't use Android in the strictest sense. At its heart, the OS is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but Amazon ripped out just about everything that it could.


Submission + - Android malware: Symantec's credibility sinks furt (slashgear.com)

N!NJA writes: Not one week after the security group known as Symantec announced that they’d discovered the largest malware attack in the history of Android planted firmly in the guts of the official market, they’ve announced that there is no such infection. In fact, the malware the group said it’d found, Android.Counterclank, is actually just an overly-aggressive adware code. This is in accordance with a report put out by rival security group Lookout whom has essentially “told them so” late last month – always double check! [...] As Symantec notes, this software is only capable of doing a few disagreeable things to your Android device instead of a whole lot, the latter being the one that gets a code into the “malware” category. Instead, we’re only talking about the following:

“In general, it’s changing the home page of the [smartphone's] browser, adding additional shortcuts to the desktop, adding and even removing bookmarks. It took a while for some consensus then about what was adware or spyware, and what wasn’t, but eventually that consensus was reached.”
– Kevin Haley of Symantec


Submission + - ITC throws out B&N antitrust claims against MS (blogspot.com)

N!NJA writes: Barnes & Noble's primary line of defense against Microsoft's allegations of patent infringement by the bookseller's Android-based devices has collapsed in its entirety. An Administrative Law Judge at the ITC today granted a Microsoft motion to dismiss, even ahead of the evidentiary trial that will start next Monday (February 6), Barnes & Noble's "patent misuse" defense against Microsoft. [...]

Prior to the ALJ, the ITC staff — or more precisely, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII), which participates in many investigations as a third party representing the public interest — already supported Microsoft's motion all the way. The OUII basically concluded that even if all of what Barnes & Noble said about Microsoft's use of patents against Android was accurate, it would fall far short of the legal requirements for a patent misuse defense.


Submission + - Brazil House OKs Tax Breaks For Media Tablets (wsj.com)

N!NJA writes: This is an interesting development in technology industry of Brazil. The government is pushing what they call "digital inclusion", which aims to give its citizens easier access to technology. They recently approved a tax break that will make media tablets (iPad and Android only, I believe) 30% cheaper. The problem with this idea is 2 fold: 1) media tablets are more expensive than cheap laptops/netbooks and only the rich Brazilians would be able to afford them. If the majority of the population won't benefit, that isn't real "inclusion". 2) media tablets lack the basic features of actual laptops, so the level of empowerment they provide is comparatively lower. I'm curious to the what fellow Slashdoters think about it.

So here's the scoop:

"Brazil's lower house in a voice vote Tuesday gave approval to a measure offering tax breaks for national production of tablet computers. The bill, which still must gain final approval in the Senate, would offer manufacturers full exemption from the country's PIS and Cofins tax. According to government estimates, the tax breaks could help reduce the final cost to consumers by more than 30%. The measure was introduced by the government as part of a series of incentives to attract foreign tablet manufacturers to the country. In addition to exemption from the PIS and Cofins taxes, the government has also pledged reductions in the IPI industrial products tax and the II import tax. Of a total of 12 million computers produced in Brazil last year, only 100,000 were tablets."
-- Wall Street Journal


Submission + - iPhone & Android apps breaching privacy of use (wsj.com)

N!NJA writes: Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name — even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off. These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps" — games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones — showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders. Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. [...]

"The great thing about mobile is you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie," says Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. "That's how we track everything." Ms. O'Holleran says Traffic Marketplace, a unit of Epic Media Group, monitors smartphone users whenever it can. "We watch what apps you download, how frequently you use them, how much time you spend on them, how deep into the app you go," she says. She says the data is aggregated and not linked to an individual. [...]

Some developers feel pressure to release more data about people. Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope Android app, says ad-network executives encouraged him to transmit users' locations. Mr. Binshtok says he declined because of privacy concerns. But ads targeted by location bring in two to five times as much money as untargeted ads, Mr. Binshtok says. "We are losing a lot of revenue."

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