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Posts tagged as “blackberry”

Blackberry Trolls, Coke in Patent Suit & More…

FOSS Week in Review

India drops deal with Google over spying fears

Since the Snowden leaks revealed that Microsoft has allegedly built back doors into Windows for the NSA, we’ve been saying that the spy agency’s actions are going to hurt the U.S. tech industry’s business abroad. Well, it’s started to happen. On Thursday, Reuters reported that India has decided to drop out of a planned partnership with Google designed to help voters access information.

“…the plan was opposed by the Indian Infosec Consortium, a government and private sector-backed alliance of cyber security experts, who feared Google would collaborate with “American agencies” for espionage purposes.”

cokeadThere’s even been more digital security news from the EU, where there’s been a scramble to address privacy and security issues since the NSA scandal began. On January 3, phoneArena.com reported that European phone makers have been coming out with pricey phones designed for the security conscious.

Mark our words. This is only the beginning.

The Rockstar Consortium Players

The lawsuit filed by patent troll Rockstar Consortium Inc. on Halloween against Google and at least five makers of Android handsets is about much more than merely the tons of money that would be reaped if the Rockstar cartel prevails. Mainly, it’s about gaining a competitive edge that could result in increased market share down the road.

It might be a good idea to take a look at the five companies that make up the Rockstar consortium to see what they might have to gain from this suit, other than the collection of damages and licensing fees.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Microsoft & Friends Define ‘Commitment to Openness’

On Halloween, the day after we posted an article on Ross Gardler’s presentation on Microsoft’s behalf before an open source audience in North Carolina, a FOSS Force reader posted a comment:

“Microsoft has made a lot of upstream contributions in the last two years, a lot more than our friends at Canonical have.

“I’d say that Microsoft is very difficult to trust, but they are probably more committed to FOSS than Canonical.

“‘We will know that day has arrived when Microsoft quits threatening every open source project under the sun with patent litigation.’

“They haven’t done that in years, unless I’ve missed something.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Ubuntu Wins Our “Tablet OS” Poll

If the unscientific poll we conducted on tablet operating systems is any indication, it appears as if Canonical can depend on a community of early adopters if and when a tablet is released with Ubuntu OS preinstalled.

In our poll we asked, “What operating system would you be most likely to consider for a tablet if available?” The options were Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, Ubuntu, webOS, None of the above and Other. Those who chose the “Other” option were given the opportunity to name another OS.

Spy vs. Spy, Spilt Blackberries & Redmond’s Lies

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It would seem to be another slow week in the FOSS news world. As always however, there were a few tidbits, and the passing of a computer pioneer who’s work has effected everyone who’s ever sat in front of a monitor and keyboard.

U.S. Predator and Reaper Drones Hit by Virus…or Not

We learned on Monday from ars technica that the U.S. Predator and Reaper drone fleet has been hit by a virus. According to the report, the malicious code logs the keystrokes of those in the “cockpit” flying missions over Afghanistan and “other war zones:”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Tech Firms Facing the Abyss

There seems to be quite a few tech companies in trouble these days. In fact, in an article published yesterday on 24/7 Wall Street, tech firms represent six out of the eight major companies listed as being in troubled financial waters. There aren’t any surprises here for anyone who’s been paying attention, but a year or so ago most of us wouldn’t have suspected that some of these companies would even be capable of falling on hard times.

Topping this list is Best Buy. Although we’ve known for some time that the company is ailing, this is still something of a surprise given the recent history of consumer electronics retailing. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that Best Buy’s main competitor, Circuit City, floated to the surface face down, killed by intense competition from…you guessed it, Best Buy. For the latest quarter, the chain’s net income dropped $77 million from the same quarter last year, from $254 million to $177 million.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

As Android Passes RIM, What’s Next?

In the smartphone market, Android is now number one, according to a press release issued Friday by comScore, a company that measures online activity.

According to their figures, Android has passed RIM to take the top spot, with a 34.7% market share, up from 28.7% on December 10. During the same period, RIM’s share dropped 4.5 points, from 31.6% to 27.1%. Apple’s share remained relatively flat, increasing slightly from 25.0% to 25.5%. Microsoft and Palm dropped 0.9%, and now claim 7.5% and 2.8% respectively.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Is Google Marketing Linux-BSD?

Is is just me, or does Google look more and more like Microsoft/Apple with each passing day?

When Google introduced Linux based Android a few years back, they bent over backwards to proclaim their commitment to openness, going so far as to proclaim openness as Android’s advantage over Apple’s iOS. Here was an operating system that device manufacturers could tweek and tailor to suit their own needs. Not only that, with the source code freely available, this would be an operating system that could be easily modified by the user. Nobody would have to jailbreak an Android device, because after you bought it, it would be yours. It would be free, as in speech, not as in beer.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Will Android Tablet Sales Soar?

When Android smartphones hit the shelves there were lots of favorable conditions to help them gain market share. For starters, there was demand. The whole “Crackberry” craze of the early 2000s had whetted the market, a demand that was only amplified when Apple then rewrote the smartphone book with the iPhone. The iPhone, however, was only available on AT&T’s network, which left the door wide open for exploitation by handset makers using Google’s Linux based mobile OS.

With people lining up around the block to purchase iPhones and sign up for lucrative two year data deals with AT&T, other carriers were hungry for a piece of the action. So they grabbed-up every Android implementation they could find and proudly offered them to their subscribers. They pushed the Android brand with advertising, convincing potential customers that Android phones weren’t merely “me too” devices, but were at least as good as Apple’s product, with the advantage of being less expensive.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Feds Want to Crack Your Blackberry

If you’re wondering why Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, was loathe to cooperate with the authorities in Dubai and India when they demanded access to encrypted Blackberry calls, it’s because they knew no matter how little they cracked that door, it would eventually open wide. Need proof? Take a look at Monday’s New York Times in which we learn that the Feds want new regulations to force companies like RIM to design back doors into their offerings to allow easy wiretap access by law enforcement. It’ll be hard for RIM to say “no” to the U.S. when they’ve already said “yes” to other countries.

“Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer to peer’ messaging like Skype – to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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