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Carlszone

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PostSubject: Android News   Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:48 am

Welcome to the first edition Of Android News!
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PostSubject: Netflix Android Update Supports Multiple User Profiles   Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:51 am

The Verge: Netflix Android Update Supports Multiple User Profiles

By Jeff Blagdon on December 15, 2013 11:00 am Email @blagdon

Sharing an Android device between multiple users gets a little easier today with Netflix’s new 3.1.0 app release. The latest version plays nicely with the multiple user profile feature we saw in the summer, letting family members share a single Netflix account without trampling over one another’s queues and preferences.

The release comes just two months after a major revision to the Netflix Android client that both improved performance and brought the visual design up to speed with more modern apps, so if you’ve been reluctant to use your tablet as a Netflix machine, it’s definitely worth taking a second look. The new software is available now from the Google Play Store.
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PostSubject: Re: Android News   Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:42 am

 cheers   Carl , you got yer wish  :hattip: 


My KINDLE Fire Adventures can go up too now. .  thumbsup 


 santa Gave an early present. .  :littlewine:

 alien   
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JUST HENRY
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PostSubject: Re: Android News   Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:17 pm

'Twas such a small request .

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PostSubject: Re: Android News   Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:36 pm

You guys rock!
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PostSubject: Amazon Pulls a Rent to Own for the Kindle Fire HDX    Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:55 pm

TNR: Amazon Pulls a Rent to Own for the Kindle Fire HDX

News/ December 16, 2013

Kindle Fire HDX

How do you disguise the fact you’re not selling as many flagship Kindle Fire HDX devices? Easy, set up the old standby of installment programs. No interest and you make the payments until it’s paid off. Don’t pay, and the drones come and get you. Actually they just brick your device, but give them time. If Google has a robot army, why can’t Amazon?

The terms of the deal are for payments over nine months, so if you are looking for a Christmas present that you want to spread the payments out on, here’s your chance. Toss in the added benefit of no interest charges from Amazon, and you have a winner.

Here are the details from Amazon if you happen to miss a payment. There are not drone strikes, so you can rest easy:

“If we are not able to charge any payment to a card on file in your Amazon.com account, our remedies will include the right to deregister your Kindle Fire HDX device, which will block your ability to access Amazon content from your Kindle Fire HDX device, and suspend or terminate your Amazon.com account. You agree that we and our affiliates have no liability related to the exercise of these remedies.”

It is essentially like an electronic rent-to-own store except they don’t come and repo the device. They just turn off access to the content. It prevents you from accessing content you have already paid for, giving you the incentive to pay up for the device.

So, is Amazon having issues moving units? Only speculation at this point. Investors don’t know, and the media doesn’t know. Only Amazon knows. In the meantime, it’s a good deal if you’re in the market for a tablet but want to spread the payments around.

Cliff Moore

An old school financial journalist, Cliff Moore brings that old-hat experience to Trade the Newsroom. He specializes in political coverage and focuses his attention on the gyrations coming out of the world's central banks and their impact on the bond and equity markets.
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PostSubject: The Day Google Had to 'Start Over' on Android   Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:48 pm

The Atlantic: The Day Google Had to 'Start Over' on Android

When Apple announced the iPhone, Google had to scrap the secret mobile product it had built to take on what it thought was its biggest competitor, Microsoft.

Fred Vogelstein
Dec 18 2013, 12:11 PM ET

When Steve Jobs debuted the iPhone in 2007, he derailed Google's two year-old Android project—Google's bid to change the world of cellular software. (Reuters)

In 2005, on Google’s sprawling, college-like campus, the most secret and ambitious of many, many teams was Google’s own smartphone effort—the Android project. Tucked in a first-floor corner of Google’s Building 44, surrounded by Google ad reps, its four dozen engineers thought that they were on track to deliver a revolutionary device that would change the mobile phone industry forever.

By January 2007, they’d all worked sixty-to-eighty-hour weeks for fifteen months—some for more than two years—writing and testing code, negotiating soft­ware licenses, and flying all over the world to find the right parts, suppliers, and manufacturers. They had been working with proto­types for six months and had planned a launch by the end of the year . . . until Jobs took the stage to unveil the iPhone.

Chris DeSalvo’s reaction to the iPhone was immediate and visceral. “As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted one immediately. But as a Google engineer, I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over.’”

For most of Silicon Valley—including most of Google—the iPhone’s unveiling on January 9, 2007 was something to celebrate. Jobs had once again done the impossible. Four years before he’d talked an intransigent music industry into letting him put their catalog on iTunes for ninety-nine cents a song. Now he had convinced a wireless car­rier to let him build a revolutionary smartphone. But for the Google Android team, the iPhone was a kick in the stomach.

“What we had suddenly looked just so . . . nineties,” DeSalvo said. “It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it."

***

The cell phone industry in 2005 was the perfect example of a hairy Google-size problem. The software industry for mobile phones was one of the most dysfunctional in all technology. There wasn’t enough wireless bandwidth for users to surf the Internet on a phone without frustration. Phones weren’t powerful enough to run anything but rudimentary software. But the biggest prob­lem, as Jobs had learned, was that the industry was ruled by an oligopoly: Few companies besides the carriers and the phone makers were writing software for phones, and what existed was terrible. Wireless bandwidth would improve and phone chips would get more powerful; but back then it looked as if the carri­ers and phone makers would control it all.

“We had done a deal with Vodafone [the big European carrier] to try to get Google search on their phones,” said one top Google executive who would not give his name. “But the search they offered us was that we could put some results on, but that they would control most of them, and that our results would be at the bottom of every query. They didn’t have a good mobile browser. Ring-tones [that they were selling] sometimes got prioritized in search results. All the carriers were doing this. They thought they could provide all the services inside a walled garden [as AOL had in the 1990s], and that this control was the best way to make money.”

The reason few developers built software for mobile phones was because anytime they tried, they lost money. There was no standardization in the industry. Virtually every phone ran its own software and set of applications, meaning software written for a Samsung phone often wouldn’t run on a Motorola phone, which wouldn’t run on a Nokia. Software platforms  were incompatible even within companies. For example, there were a handful of different versions of Symbian. Put simply, the mobile industry screamed “money pit” to any enterprising developer. Most stayed away. The most lucrative business was not writing apps for phones. It was owning a testing company that would make sure  your apps worked on all the phones in the market. Larry Page has never been shy talking about how frustrating those days were for him and Google.

“We had a closet full of over 100 phones [that we were developing software for], and we were building our software pretty much one device at a time,” he said in his 2012 report to share­holders. In various remarks over the years he has described the experience as both “awful” and “incredibly painful.”

But Page and the rest of Google’s executives knew that some­one would figure out the mobile business eventually, and they were particularly concerned that that company would be Microsoft. Back then, Microsoft was still the richest and most powerful technology company in the world, and it was finally getting trac­tion with its Windows CE mobile phones and software. Windows CE smartphones  were still a niche market, but if consumers took to the platform en masse as they did later with the iPhone, Google’s entire business could be in jeopardy.

This wasn’t an exaggeration. Back then, Microsoft and Google were in the midst of a nasty battle of their own for dominance in search, and for top dog in the tech world. After two decades of being the first-choice workplace of top engineering talent, Microsoft was now losing many of those battles to Google. Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer had made it clear they took Google’s challenge personally. Gates seemed particularly affected by it. Once or twice he made fun of the way Page and his Google cofounder Sergey Brin dressed. He said their search engine’s popularity was “a fad.” Then, in the same breath he would issue the ultimate compliment saying that of all his competitors over the years Google was the most like Microsoft.

Google executives were convinced that if Windows on mobile devices caught on, Microsoft would interfere with users’ access to Google search on those devices in favor of its own search engine. The U.S. government’s successful antitrust trial against Microsoft in the 1990s made it difficult for the company to use its monopoly on desktops and laptops to bully competitors. It could not, for example, make Microsoft’s the default search engine in Windows without giving users a choice between its search engine and those from Google, Yahoo, and others.

However, on smartphones, few rules governed how fiercely Microsoft could compete. It didn’t have a monopoly there. Google worried that if Microsoft made it hard enough to use Google search on its mobile devices and easy enough to use Microsoft search, many users would just switch search engines. This was the way Microsoft killed Netscape with Internet Explorer in the 1990s. If users stopped using Google’s search engine and began using a competitor’s such as Microsoft’s, Google’s business would quickly run aground. Google made all its money back then from the search ads that appeared next to its search results. “It’s hard to relate to that [fear of Microsoft] now, but at the time we were very concerned that Microsoft’s mobile strategy would be successful,” Schmidt said in 2012 during testimony in the Oracle v. Google copyright trial.

***
On the day Jobs announced the iPhone, the director of the Android team, Andy Rubin, was six hundred miles away in Las Vegas, on his way to a meeting with one of the myriad handset makers and carriers that descend on the city for the Consumer Electronics Show. He reacted exactly as DeSalvo predicted. Rubin was so astonished by what Jobs was unveiling that, on his way to a meeting, he had his driver pull over so that he could finish watching the webcast.

“Holy crap,” he said to one of his colleagues in the car. “I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.”

What the Android team had been working on, a phone code-named Sooner, sported software that was arguably more revolu­tionary than what had just been revealed in the iPhone. In addition to having a full Internet browser, and running all of Google’s great web applications, such as search, Maps, and YouTube, the software was designed not just to run on Sooner, but on any smartphone, tablet, or other portable device not yet conceived. It would never need to be tethered to a laptop or desktop. It would allow multi­ple applications to run at the same time, and it would easily con­nect to an online store of other applications that Google would seed and encourage. By contrast, the iPhone needed to connect to iTunes regularly, it wouldn’t run more than one application at a time, and in the beginning it had no plans to allow anything re­sembling an application store.

However, the Sooner phone was ugly. It looked like a Black-Berry, with a traditional keyboard and a small screen that wasn’t touch-enabled. Rubin and his team, along with partners HTC and T-Mobile, believed consumers would care more about the great software it contained than its looks. This was conventional wisdom back then. Revolutionary phone designs rarely succeeded. The Nokia N-Gage, which in 2003 tried to combine a gaming system with a phone and email device, often gets mentioned here. RIM had become one of the dominant smartphone makers on the planet by making BlackBerry’s unadorned functionality one of its main selling points: you got a phone, an incredible key­board,  secure email, all in one indestructible package.

The iPhone, in contrast, was not only cool looking, but it used those cool looks to create entirely new ways to interact with a phone—ways that Android engineers either hadn’t thought pos­sible or had considered too risky. By using a virtual keyboard and replacing most real buttons with software-generated buttons on a big touchscreen, every application could now have its own unique set of controls. Play, Pause, and Stop buttons only appeared if you were listening to music or watching video. When you went to type a web address into the browser, the keyboard appeared, but it disappeared when you hit Enter. Without the physical keyboard taking up half the phone, the iPhone had a screen twice the size of virtually every other phone on the market. It all worked the same way whether the user held the phone in portrait or landscape mode. Apple had installed an accelerometer to use gravity to tell the phone how to orient the screen.

A lot was wrong with the first iPhone too. Rubin and the An­droid team—along with many others—did not think users would take to typing on a screen without the tactile feedback of a physi­cal keyboard. That is why the first Android phone—the T-Mobile G1 from HTC, nearly two years later—had a slide-out keyboard. But what was also undeniable to the Android team was that they had underestimated Jobs. At the very least, Jobs had come up with a new way of interacting with a device— with a finger instead of a stylus or dedicated buttons—and likely a lot more. “We knew that Apple was going to announce a phone. Everyone knew that. We just didn’t think it would be that good,” said Ethan Beard, one of Android’s early business development executives.

Within weeks the Android team had completely reconfigured its objectives. A phone with a touchscreen, code-named Dream, that had been in the early stages of development, became the focus. Its launch was pushed out a year until fall 2008. Engineers started drilling into it all the things the iPhone didn’t do to differentiate their phone when launch day did occur. Erick Tseng, then Android’s project manager, remembers suddenly feeling the nervous excitement of a pending public performance. Tseng had joined Google the year before out of Stanford business school after Eric Schmidt, himself, sold him on the promise of Android.

“I never got the feeling that we should scrap what we were doing—that the iPhone meant game over. But a bar had been set, and whatever we decided to launch, we wanted to make sure that it cleared the bar.”

This is excerpted and adapted from the second chapter of Fred Vogelstein’s Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution.

Fred Vogelstein is a contributing editor at Wired and the author of Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution.
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PostSubject: Android Customizer Cyanogen Notches $23M   Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:30 pm

USA Today: Android Customizer Cyanogen Notches $23M

Scott Martin, USA TODAY 12:36 p.m. EST December 19, 2013
Cyanogen

SAN FRANCISCO -- Talk about a mobile revolution.

A growing software movement is quietly taking hold on Android-based devices, allowing people to customize smartphones and tablets more to their liking.

What's known as Android "software mods" can soup up devices with mobile Wi-Fi hot spots, new looks, alternative text messaging and more. Personalizing Google's operating system has morphed beyond geeky obsession as a means to add new features.

Startup Cyanogen is leading the way. With "tens of millions" of installs, today it announced $23 million in funding for its popular CyanogenMod mobile software.

"Currently, we're like Android on steroids and LSD. There's a bunch of features that you can't get on stock Android ... that you just can't do with any other OS," says CEO Kirt McMaster.

Formed in 2009, Cyanogen is the brainchild of founder Steve Kondik, who launched his Android modification, now dubbed CyanogenMod, into the open-source software community. Developers can make their own modifications to the code to bring new features, and such enthusiast ideas can be adopted by Cyanogen.

"There's kind of a whole underworld," says Gartner analyst Brian Blau of those modifying operating systems. "It totally makes sense, but they have a lot of competition."

Cyanogen's development team wants to make customizing Android phones more accessible to the masses. The startup last month launched an installer in an effort to automate the installation process that was otherwise reserved for the ultra-tech savvy.

"The market is speaking, a revelation is under way here in the sense that users want a 100% compatible OS that is all about customization and personalization," says Peter Levine, a partner with Andreesen Horowitz. "I believe that trend will only continue."

Cyanogen's McMaster says the startup's variant of Android can boost battery life on devices. But he also says that there are a lot ways that apps will be able to communicate and work together to enhance device capabilities in ways standard Android versions and Apple's iOS can't.

Andreessen Horowitz led the funding round in Cyanogen and included participation from Benchmark Capital, Repoint Capital and China's Tencent. The investment in Cyanogen will be used to hire developers to boost the software's functions and ease of use. The investment round brings Cyanogen's total funding to $30 million.
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PostSubject: How Android Got (more) Serious About Security In 2013   Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:08 pm

Cite World: How Android Got (more) Serious About Security In 2013

By Chris Nerney
December 20, 2013 8:50 AM

This year began with legitimate questions about the security shortcomings of Android, deficiencies that have seriously slowed the adoption of Google's mobile OS by the enterprise.

Now, as 2013 draws to a close, it's fair to say that Google made huge strides in providing users and IT professionals with tools to better secure the open source mobile platform. Don't be surprised to see this result in a significant increase in enterprise support for Android in the coming year.

The latest version of Android -- KitKat, or Android 4.4, which was released on Oct. 31 and since has had two upgrades -- includes one enterprise-friendly security upgrade that allows IT to use the SELinux mandatory access control (MAC) system inside the Android sandbox to block attempted intrusions. Previously IT administrators would only be notified of an access "event." For an IT professional, there's a big difference between being notified that your network has been penetrated and being able to block the attempted intrusion.

Don't miss: Cell phone location data: Today the police, tomorrow the world

Google, however, didn't wait until KitKat dropped to beef up Android security. Back in August, Google released Android Device Manager, which gave users the ability to remotely locate, lock down and wipe their missing devices from a desktop or another mobile device.

And just a month before, the last full release of Jelly Bean (Android 4.3) added the ability to restrict user profiles, a feature that is particularly useful for tablets, which in some work settings could be used by multiple employees.

I'm just hitting the highlights above, but there were other security features added to the Android kernel in 2013, including verified-boot capability (which helps prevent rootkits from holding onto root privileges in compromised devices) and another that detects and blocks fraudulent Google certificates in secure SSL/TLS communications.

These additions collectively give Android a big security boost at the core level, and Google developers continue to add security features and bug fixes with each update.

That being said, Google's progress this year in upgrading Android security wasn't all linear. There were several setbacks and at least one decision that has drawn serious criticism from privacy advocates.

Over the summer, Bluebox Security discovered a 4-year-old vulnerability in Android’s security model that allows a hacker to turn any legitimate application into a malicious Trojan. Until a subsequent fix, this "master key" vulnerability was lurking on 99% of Android devices.

Meanwhile, documented Android malware seemed to grow exponentially throughout the year, even as the percentage of infected Android devices remained in the 1% range. (Which isn't much, but it's double the average infection rate of all other mobile OSs.)

Then there was the recent uproar over Google's removal of a tool in the most recent KitKat update that allowed users to decide which permissions to accept (and deny) from an app they want to download. Google claimed that the permissions UI, called Apps Ops, was inadvertently made available to users. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation blasted the search giant (one day after saying it "deserves praise"), questioning Google's concern about the "massive privacy problem" created by excessively intrusive apps permissions.

Missteps aside, it's inarguable that Android is a much more secure enterprise mobile platform than it was back when PSY was performing Gangnam Style in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Which really seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

Christopher Nerney is a technology writer living in upstate New York.
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PostSubject: Re: Android News   Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:22 pm

I'll have to comment on these articles when I'm on my Vista. 'cause the winder is too tiny to have a decent convo.

alien
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PostSubject: Re: Android News   Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:29 pm

CyanogenMod is mentioned every time a new Kindle Fire is announced, but the first time I heard it mentioned was when Nook came on the market. . .it was a lot easier to sideload it .

Amazon has plenty of apps that take the place of their Native Silk Browser , and a few I've downloaded but too chicken to try.

There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to sideload CyanogenMod plus the best ways to customize your Android device to your liking if you don't want to "brick" your device early.  affraid 


 alien 
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