An anonymous reader writes "Today in a blog post, NVIDIA's General Counsel, David Shannon, announced that the company will begin licensing its GPU cores and patent portfolio to device makers. '[I]t's not practical to build silicon or systems to address every part of the expanding market. Adopting a new business approach will allow us to address the universe of devices.' He cites the 'explosion of Android devices' as one of the prime reasons for this decision. 'This opportunity simply didn't exist several years ago because there was really just one computing device – the PC. But the swirling universe of new computing devices provides new opportunities to license our GPU core or visual computing portfolio.' Shannon points out that NVIDIA did something similar with the CPU core used in the PlayStation 3, which was licensed to Sony. But mobile seems to be the big opportunity now: 'We'll start by licensing the GPU core based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, the world's most advanced, most efficient GPU. Its DX11, OpenGL 4.3, and GPGPU capabilities, along with vastly superior performance and efficiency, create a new class of licensable GPU cores. Through our efforts designing Tegra into mobile devices, we've gained valuable experience designing for the smallest power envelopes. As a result, Kepler can operate in a half-watt power envelope, making it scalable from smartphones to supercomputers.'"
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DeviceGuru writes "Variscite has unveiled what it claims is the world's tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module, measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 board is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on just 44mA. The module provides interfaces for display (HDMI, RGB, DSI), wireless (Bluetooth, WiFi), audio, camera, USB, and more, and it consumes as little as 5mA in suspend and 44mA while running from a 3.7V battery at 400 MHz, according to Variscite. And in case you were wondering, the iconic Gumstix form-factor is 12 percent larger, at 58 x 17mm."
First time accepted submitter jarle.aase writes "It's doable today to use a mix of virtual machines, VPN, TOR, encryption (and staying away from certain places; like Google Plus, Facebook, and friends), in order to retain a reasonable degree of privacy. In recent days, even major mainstream on-line magazines have published such information. (Aftenposten, one of the largest newspapers in Norway, had an article yesterday about VPN, Tor and Freenet!) But what about the cell-phone? Technically it's not hard to design a phone that can switch off the GSM transmitter, and use VoIP for calls. VoIP could then go from the device through Wi-Fi and VPN. Some calls may be routed trough PSTN gateways — allowing the agencies to track the other party. But they will not track your location. And they will not track pure, encrypted VoIP calls that traverse trough VPN and use anonymous SIP or XMPP accounts. Android may not be the best software for such a device, as it very eagerly phones home. The same is true for iOS and Windows 8. Actually, I would prefer a non cloud-based mobile OS from a vendor that is not in the PRISM gallery. Does such a device exist yet? Something that runs a relatively safe OS, where GSM can be switched totally off? Something that will only make an outgoing network connection when I ask it to do so?" And in the absence of a perfect solution, what do you do instead? (It's still Android and using the cell network, but Red Phone — open sourced last year — seems like a good start.)
trendspotter writes in with the latest news about the 2045 Project. "If Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov has his way, the human lifespan will soon no longer depend on the limitations of the human body. Itskov, a Russian tycoon and former media mogul, is the founder of the 2045 Project — a venture that seeks to replace flesh-and-blood bodies with robotic avatars, each one uploaded with the contents of a human brain. The goal: to extend human lives by hundreds or thousands of years, if not indefinitely."
chicksdaddy writes "When reports surfaced about 'BadNews,' a new family of mobile malware that affected Google Android devices the news sounded — well — bad. BadNews was described by Lookout Mobile Security as a new kind of mobile malware for the Android platform-one that harness mobile ad networks to push out malicious links, harvest information on compromised devices and more. Now, six weeks later, a senior member of Google's Android security team claims that BadNews wasn't really all that bad, after all. Speaking at an event in Washington D.C. sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, Google employee and Android team member Adrian Ludwig threw cold water on reports linking BadNews to sites that installed malicious programs. The search giant, he said, had not found any evidence linking BadNews to so-called SMS 'toll fraud' malware."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple's iOS 7, which is heavily rumored to make its debut at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, will almost certainly feature a totally redesigned interface. According to recent rumors (including a few key postings on the Apple-centric blog 9 to 5 Mac), the OS will stand as a shining example of "flat" design, which eliminates "real world" elements such as texture and shading in favor of stripped-down, basic shapes. That means certain iOS environments such as Game Center (with its casino-like green felt) and Newsstand (with its wooden shelving) could soon look completely different. But what about iOS 7's actual features? What could Apple change that would improve the operating system's chances against the increasingly sophisticated Google Android, not to mention the new-and-improved BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8? What would you do to iOS with Apple's full resources at your disposal?"
chicksdaddy writes "A new malicious program that runs on Android mobile devices exploits vulnerabilities in Google's mobile operating system to extend the application's permissions on the infected device, and to block attempts to remove the malicious application, The Security Ledger reports. The malware, dubbed Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, is described as a 'multi function Trojan.' Like most profit-oriented mobile malware, Obad is primarily an SMS Trojan, which surreptitiously sends short message service (SMS) messages to premium numbers. However, it is capable of downloading additional modules and of spreading via Bluetooth connections. Writing on the Securelist blog, malware researcher Roman Unuchek called the newly discovered Trojan the 'most sophisticated' malicious program yet for Android phones. He cited the Trojan's advanced features, including complex code obfuscation techniques that complicated analysis of the code, and the use of a previously unknown vulnerability in Android that allows Obad to elevate its privileges on infected devices and block removal."
Excelcia writes "Users could soon be asked to pull a series of faces to unlock their Android phones or tablets. Google has filed a patent suggesting users stick out their tongue or wrinkle their nose in place of a password. Requiring specific gestures could prevent the existing Face Unlock facility being fooled by photos. The software could monitor if there were changes in the angle of the person's face to ensure the device was not being shown a still image with a fake gesture animated on top."
Nerval's Lobster writes "In his latest Asymco blog post, analyst Horace Dediu suggested that Windows' share of the personal-computing market is declining at a faster rate than many believe, once Microsoft's cash cow is put in direct competition with Android, iOS, and other platforms built for tablets. In that context, Windows' share of the personal-computing market has dipped past 60 percent on its way to 50 percent. The big question is whether it'll keep plunging. 'If Windows tablets start growing as fast as the tablet market overall then Windows could stabilize in share,' Dediu wrote. 'But if Android and iOS tablets follow their phone brethren in growth then it will be far harder for Microsoft to maintain share.' Yet despite that gloomy scenario, Dediu doesn't necessarily see a market-share dip as a cause for concern on Microsoft's part: 'Even if Windows dips to only 20 [percent] of the world's computing market it will still be perfectly 'viable' for some time to come,' he wrote. But even if Windows can perpetuate, will its decline fatally undermine Microsoft as a company? All that Windows (and Office) money also allows Microsoft to launch projects that lose money for years before they gain traction. Without that monetary base, for example, it's possible that the Xbox (which bled money for the first few years of its existence) wouldn't have survived long enough to become a viable platform from a financial perspective—much less the center of Microsoft's future plans for living room domination."
taz346 writes "Asus has unveiled a new 11.6-inch tablet/laptop that runs both Windows 8 and Android Jelly Bean side by side, the BBC reports. The firm said 'users would be able to synchronise data between the platforms in order to enjoy a "smooth transition" between each mode.' Hmmm, I'm guessing one could also create another partition and install a full Linux distro as well, though there's no telling how UEFI might come into play."
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Twitter's free social media video app Vine is now on Android. But while the app rocked on the iOS platform, especially among teens, its move to Android has...dare I say...been a bit of a tangled mess. It launched on Google play without the capability for the two apps to sync, nor does it have such features as front-facing camera, search, mentions and hashtags. Another biggie is it doesn't yet allow users to post their six-second videos to Facebook. Vine says it's working on these features and all should be good soon. For now, however, a swing on the vine may not be a robust experience."
An anonymous reader writes "The Kickstarter campaign for the UDOO board is 7 days out from closing and they currently sit just under $4,000 short of their stretch goal of $500,000. The UDOO is an attempt to produce a single board which would combine the best parts of both Raspberry Pi and Arduino. UDOO will have a 1GHz ARM i.MX6 CPU in either a Dual Core or Quad Core flavor, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, HDMI and LVDS + Touch, and both an RJ45 port and an on board Wifi Module. Along with those specs, it will be compatible with Arduino DUE R3. The UDOO will utilize Micro SD as a boot device and run both Linux and Android. Currently on Kickstarter, the Dual Core starts at a pledge of $109."
DeviceGuru writes "DARPA announced a sensor reference system device based on a new Android-based sensor processing core called the ADAPTable Sensor System (a.k.a. ADAPT). The initial ADAPT reference device, called UGS (unattended ground sensor), is designed as the basis for a series of lower-cost, more upgradable sensor devices for military applications. The ADAPT program is part of larger effort by the U.S. military to reduce the costs and speed production schedules for military equipment, using an ODM process similar to that of the commercial smartphone industry. Potential applications for the technology include swarms of hive-mind UAVs or robots, or perimeter security sensors hidden at a deployed airfield or underground, all networked together and capable of transmitting video."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Back in the ancient days of 2009, Motorola Mobility earned considerable buzz with its Droid smartphone. Marketed as an iPhone alternative, the device featured a sliding QWERTY keyboard and a chunky black body that seemed positively Schwarzenegger-esque in comparison to its svelte Apple rival. But Motorola failed to translate that buzz into sustained momentum in the smartphone space. Instead, Samsung became the dominant Android smartphone manufacturer, battling toe-to-toe with Apple for market-share and profits. Even Google acquiring Motorola for the princely sum of $12.1 billion didn't really seem to alter the equation very much. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside wants to change all that. In a May 29 talk at AllThingsD's D11 conference, he told the audience that Motorola has a 'hero phone' in the works, dubbed the Moto X—and that it's self-aware. 'It anticipates my needs,' he said, according to AllThingD's live blog of the event. But what does that actually mean? Thanks to embedded sensors, the phone knows when the user removes it from his or her pocket; in theory, that capability could serve broader applications, such as the phone recognizing where the user is located within a city and serving up content and applications accordingly. In fact, it sounds a bit like Google Now on steroids—or like the smartphone precursor to SkyNet, the supercomputer from the Terminator movies that's so intelligent, it decides that the world would be better off if it ruled over humanity."
Nintendo says, "With Wii Street U powered by Google, you can step into Google Street View with an immersive experience that feels like you’re actually there! View a 360-degree Google Maps Street View of locations all over the world using the Wii U GamePad motion controls. Use the GamePad touch screen to type in an address or location and explore, or instantly travel to over 70 fascinating, hand-picked locations around the globe." It all looks lovely, but can't we do most of this with Android phones? And couldn't a smart developer make the Google Street View Android phone experience even more immersive, so we wouldn't all need to buy a Wii U? Nintendo, we love you, but the Wii U still looks pretty dead unless it gets some major rethinking, and this Street View app doesn't seem to be it.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told an audience at AllThingsDigital's D11 conference that the social network's 'Home' app for Android has a viable future despite needing some work. 'I think it will be a long road,' she told the audience. 'We believe that the phone will get reorganized around people—Home is the first iteration of that.' But Home could require a good deal of tweaking, at least if user feedback is any sort of indication. After installing the Home app, the Android user's screen displays a modified version of the Facebook news feed, with an emphasis on images; other features include 'Chat Heads,' a messaging interface that sprinkles the screen with little icons of friends' heads. While that's a great way to get Facebook front-and-center on someone's phone, the software's one-star reviews on the Google Play storefront greatly outnumber the four- and five-star reviews."
Trailrunner7 writes "Those of you who like to tinker and jailbreak Android phones should take notice of some new research conducted on Samsung Galaxy S4 Android devices shipped by AT&T and Verizon. Both devicemakers ship the Galaxy S4 smartphones with a locked-down bootloader that prevents users from uploading custom kernels or from making modifications to software on the phone. Azimuth Security researcher Dan Rosenberg has found a vulnerability in the manner in which the devices do cryptographic checks of boot image signatures and was able to exploit the flaw and upload his own unsigned kernel to the device."
An anonymous reader writes "Twilio's Jon Gottfried has written an article about the lessons he's learned after six months of developing software for Google Glass. He has some insightful points: 'I expected it to be very similar to building mobile applications for Android. In fact, I began learning to build Android applications in preparation. My efforts were for naught, because the Mirror API is a RESTful web service. This means that developing applications for Glass is actually more similar to building a website than it is to building an Android application.' He also talks about how this fits in with the future of technology: 'I would argue that Google took the only option available to them. The only truly scalable products of the future will be developer platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Twilio, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Arduino – all of these products have been successful in large part by embracing and empowering their developer communities. No company is omniscient enough to imagine every potential use of their products. This gives developers an immense amount of power to define the success or failure of an entire product line.'"
DeviceGuru writes "BeagleBoard.org has begun shipping its faster, cheaper BeagleBone Black SBC with a new Linux 3.8 kernel, supporting Device Tree technology for more streamlined ARM development. The $45 BeagleBone Black runs Linux or Android on a 1GHz TI Sitara AM3359 SOC, doubles the RAM to 512MB of its predecessor, and adds a micro-HDMI port. The updated kernel gives the BeagleBone Black access to a new Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) display driver architecture, as well as full support for the Device Tree data structure introduced to streamline ARM development in Linux 3.7. The project was hesitant to move up to such a recent kernel, but decided it was time to bite the bullet and support the Device Tree. By doing the hard work of switching to Device Tree now, BeagleBoard.org and its developer community can save a lot of configuration and maintenance headaches down the line, says BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner. Fortunately, a modified 3.2 kernel 'coming soon' should provide the necessary bridge from the old cape driver architecture to the new one."