Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Since Apple’s "Activation Lock" debuted, thefts of iPhones has gone done even while thefts of Android phones has increased

by John Lott on Thursday, September 18th, 2014

This is article 337 of 340 in the topic Criminal Activity
More evidence that deterrence works.

Click on figures to make it larger.
It is possible that some of the thieves have switched from iPhones to Samsung devices.  Of course, it is possible that cell phone thefts were increasing generally and that the ability to lock the iPhones caused their thefts to decline.  From a report by the San Francisco District Attorney:

. . . In New York City, thefts of iPhones fell significantly after release of Apple’s Activation Lock.  In the first five months of 2014, just after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grandlarcenies from a person involving Apple products dropped, respectively, by 19 percent and 29 percent, compared to the same time period in the previous year. This is shown in the chart below. The decrease in Apple thefts far surpassed the overall decrease in robberies (-10%) and grand larcenies from a person (-18%). Perhaps most tellingly, both robberies and grand larcenies from a person involving a Samsung smartphone, another popular device, increased by over 40 percent compared to the first five months of 2013.

Crime data from San Francisco and London show that the introduction of Activation Lock likewise corresponded with a decline in iPhone thefts and an increase in thefts of other devices in those cities as well. As reflected in the Chart below, iPhone robberies in San Francisco declined 38 percent, while robberies of Samsung devices increased 12 percent in the six months after Activation Lock compared to the six months prior to Activation Lock. In London, Apple thefts declined by 24 percent, while Samsung thefts increased by three percent in the same time period. . . .

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Google hypocrisy on property rights: It is fine for it to “fork” others programing, but not for others to do it to Google

by John Lott on Saturday, September 15th, 2012

This is article 35 of 45 in the topic Cyber space

No one really denies that Google forked the Sun’s Java when it designed the Android operating system.  What concerned Oracle, which had bought Java from Sun, was that Android use of Java was incompatible with Java.  Google’s successful legal defense largely rested on Tim Bray who had designed Java and Google had hired Bray to work for them a couple of years ago.  Here is a statement from Bray:

But I think there’ll be lots of forks, and I approve. I suspect that basement hackers and university CompSci departments and other unexpected parties will take the Java source, hack groovy improvements into it, compile it, and want to give it to the world. They’ll discover that getting their creation blessed as “Java” requires running the TCK/trademark gauntlet, which isn’t groovy at all. So they’ll think of a clever name for it and publish anyhow.

Which is terrific. I see no downside, and I see huge upside in that the Java mainstream can watch this kind of stuff and (because of the GPL) adopt it if it’s good, and make things better for everybody.

So Google’s argument was that when it was doing the forking, it was fine, even good.  Obviously, both Sun and Oracle didn’t see it the same way and were worried that the incompatibilities would hurt programing for their version of Java.

Well, what a difference a few months makes.  Now Google is forcing Acer to drop the release of a new operating system to compete with Android that involves forking of Android.  Google of course is now making the same argument against Acer that Oracle made against Google.

In a blog post today, Rubin called out Alibaba’s Aliyun platform as a forked version of Android that’s modified to the extent that it’s incompatible with other Android devices. As a member of the Open Handset Alliance, Acer is forbidden from using such an operating system, he said.
“Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers, and consumers,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “Non-compatible version of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem.” . . .

The irony of this is not lost on Alibaba:

“Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem so of course Aliyun OS is not and does not have to be compatible with Android,” said John Spelich, vice president of international corporate affairs for Alibaba. “It is ironic that a company that talks freely about openness is espousing a closed ecosystem.” . . .

Google said that while it built its own operating system, Alibaba took elements of Android to build Aliyun. . . .

So didn’t Google take parts of Java in building its own operating system?  Could someone please tell me what I am missing here?  Thank you.

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Top 10 Twitchy stories

by Michelle Malkin on Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

This is article 247 of 576 in the topic Media

Last week, we launched — a ground-breaking Twitter curation/aggregation site staffed 24/7. On Friday, we scored our first Drudge Report link with a Twitchy exclusive story on liberal actress Cher’s rampage against conservatives.

Our Android mobile app developed by Ed Burns is available here. iPhone and iPad apps will be rolling out shortly. Here’s what others are saying about Twitchy’s debut. And here’s some reaction from lefties who don’t like our decision to advertise with Rush Limbaugh. Tough noogies.

We’ve got tons of Twitchy stories you won’t find anywhere else. Here’s my top 10 list of Twitchy posts for today. Don’t miss out:

1.Fantasy tweets: If Michael Moore were president… — Yes, he’s issuing Occupy the White House executive orders. Watch out.

2. Vile Twitter account mocking Breitbart’s widow suspended — It’s war.

3. #progressivebreakuplines — A popular hashtag game that caught on last night on both sides of the Twitter aisle.

4. Top 20 #stoptweetingSoledad — CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien doesn’t want to hear from conservatives about her bias. Too bad, sister. Twitter is all about interactivity. Deal with it.

5. Markos Moulitsas, champion of the 99%, is a total 1%-er; Twitter weighs in — Down with capitalism, except for progressive bloggers, that is.

6. #ididnotreport — How Twitter became a global abuse hotline.

7. Grover Norquist vs. Jon Stewart — Not quite an epic showdown.

8. The Mitt Romney equestrian caption contest — Just a little horsing around.

9. Texas Attorney General announces suit against Obama administration on Twitter — Showdown.

10. #tomyunbornchild — World trend brings life lessons, and humor, to unborn babies.

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Google moving to complete a comprehensive profile of people that includes searches, information in emails, purchases, basically everything

by John Lott on Thursday, January 26th, 2012

This is article 23 of 45 in the topic Cyber space

Is there anything that Google won’t know about people? Linking what is in your emails to what is in your internet searches and purchases leaves almost nothing that they don’t know. From the Washington Post:

Google said Tuesday it will require users to allow the company to follow their activities across e-mail, search, YouTube and other services, a radical shift in strategy that is expected to invite greater scrutiny of its privacy and competitive practices.

The information will enable Google to develop a fuller picture of how people use its growing empire of Web sites. Consumers will have no choice but to accept the changes.

The policy will take effect March 1 and will also impact Android mobile phone users, who are required to log in to Google accounts when they activate their phones. . . .

A user of Gmail, for instance, may send messages about a private meeting with a colleague and may not want the location of that meeting to be thrown into Google’s massive cauldron of data or used for Google’s maps application. . . .

Google has also faced greater scrutiny that it is using its dominance in online search to favor its other applications. Google’s decision to blend Google+ data into search results has been included into a broad FTC antitrust investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is private.

Engineers from Twitter, Facebook and MySpace responded by launching a Web tool that they say shows Google is moving away from its stated mission to be a neutral Web directory.

On the Web site for the plug-in, the engineers wrote that searches for generic terms such as “movies” or “music” prioritize Google+ results over more relevant content.

Here is a nice summary of what Google knows about you. Not only does Google know about what movies you like and what you buy, it also knows this type of information:

You agreed to let Google know about your contacts and mails when you started using Gmail.
You agreed to let Google know about your photos when you started using Picasa.
You agreed to let Google know where you are when you started using Latitude.
You agreed to let Google know what people you interact with and what you are interested in when you started using Google+.
You agreed to let Google store your documents for you when you started using Docs. . . .

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The Great Internet Blackout

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, January 23rd, 2012

This is article 22 of 45 in the topic Cyber space

“This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud.” For people who grew up at a certain time with a thick glowing monitor casting light on their faces these were the closing words of their own Declaration of Independence. For those people the internet was not a layout of graphics and flash videos blaring from every website, but amalgams of text. The internet before the internet was an elitist place, like Linux, it was part puzzle and part love of taking intangible things apart and putting them back together again.

Like most revolutionaries they were doomed to be made irrelevant by the consequences of the forces that they had set in motion. The curiosity that was their code of honor has been overtaken by the world that they helped open up. And that world is an amazing place.

Freedom of information is no longer an idealistic slogan, it’s a commonplace reality. So commonplace that it’s hardly worth mentioning. People once fought and died to protect libraries. Now you can take every single library within a hundred miles of where you live, whether it’s a metropolis or a small town, and dangle it from the end of your keychain as a flash drive. Books, articles, vast troves of information, even classified diplomatic cables. Everything is available.

While the back ends of the system have become more complex, the end user experience has become trivially simple. With the iPad and the Kindle Fire, and Android and Windows 8 spreading the experience across generic tablets, the user experience comes down to touching the screen of a locked down system which is actually a disguised storefront to sell the user content through a carefully controlled, but fun to use environment. That is an overstatement, but it’s also the trend. It has been a long journey, but we finally have the technology that movies told us to expect wrapped in a simple package without any of the depth or complexity. Without most of the freedom that was at the core of how the technology got started.

The economics of the internet are based around it as a vehicle for the delivery of goods and services. That transformation is slowly destroying American retail, it is doing so at a snail’s place as big box retailers struggle to adapt, but the shopping mall and the big box store are still dinosaurs and their day is swiftly coming. Retailers who sold anything that can be digitized and delivered over the internet are already gone. Music stories, video rental places and now bookstores are vanishing into the past. An era when we get many of our goods out of CAD/CAM printers is not entirely inconceivable.

Virgin, Blockbuster and Borders have been sucked into the vortex as the middlemen in the marketplace that the marketplace no longer needed. The megacorporations which actually produce the songs, movies and books have been making their last stand since the nineties and their last stand invariably involves lawyers and lobbyists, rather than intelligently adapting to the marketplace. It is hard to feel sorry for these massive behemoths stomping and roaring about, bellowing about thievery everywhere.

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