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Is Mozilla Dropping Smartphones For IoT?

February 9, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

The Mozilla Foundation has confirmed details of its shift in strategy for Firefox OS which will see it abandon future phone development in favour of using the software as (yet another) IoT platform.

In an announcement to the developer community by John Bernard, director of collaboration for Connected Devices at Mozilla, and George Roter, head of core contributors, it was confirmed that Firefox OS for smartphones will be canned at version 2.6.

“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones,” they said in a statement.

Meh. Could have told you that one two years ago.

In addition, the Firefox OS Marketplace will no longer accept submissions for Android, desktop and tablet apps. Apps for Firefox OS itself will remain accepted until sometime in 2017.

At the moment, the new emphasis on connected devices is in the internal testing phase with three products ‘past the first gate’ and more in the pipeline. It is expected that this process will be opened to outsiders before the end of the second quarter.

The foxfooding (think dogfooding, or insider programme) will continue, turning its focus to connected products, and by the end of March, Mozilla intends to identify how the existing Sony Z3 Compact devices used for testing so far will figure going forwards.

The statement continued “Obviously, these decisions are substantial. The main reason they are being made is to ensure we are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the web to IoT. And let’s remember why we’re doing this: we’re entering this exciting, fragmented space to ensure users have choice through interoperable, open solutions, and for us to act as their advocates for data privacy and security.”

This seems to suggest that Mozilla wants to help the fragmentation issue by fragmenting it further. This is the ongoing problem with connected devices – everyone wants to be the one to end the fragmentation with their solution.

One of the solutions through the internal tests early doors is the Firefox Smart TV platform, an already fragmented market that should still be licking its wounds from the Matchstick debacle.

Roter adds, “Our push into the Connected Devices space will absolutely necessitate strong community support for our initiatives to be successful – and that means hacking on and testing new product innovations coming through the pipeline.”

 

Courtesy-TheInq

Seeed Studios Debuts $59 Do-it-yourself Mobile Phone Kit

February 9, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

You can put together a basic 2G cellphone at home with the RePhone Kit Create, which can also be used to make wearables and IoT devices.

The kit from Seeed Studios ships with separate modules that can be pieced together to create a 2G phone with a 1.54-in. LCD screen. Icons on the display can be used to make phone calls or send text messages.

There’s more to RePhone than being a fun device. The kit also is a small development board to make wearable and IoT devices with cellular communication capabilities.

The $59 kit is now shipping, and comes with a small battery and modules for a SIM card — that’s how you connect to a carrier’s network — as well as speaker, GSM, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy. It also ships with craft paper that can be the skin of the phone.

By October, the company hopes to upgrade RePhone Kit Create with a 4G communications module, said Wells Tu, marketing director at Seeed Studio in an e-mail.

Seeed Studio, which is in Shenzhen, China, received $276,865 from 3,399 backers on Kickstarter to make the RePhone Kit Create. More than 10,000 kits have been sold so far, Tu said.

The kit has spawned interesting wearable and IoT ideas, Tu said. One project involves a homegrown traceable dog tracker, with a RePhone kit in the collar tracking and calling dogs back home through voice commands.

Another idea floated in RePhone’s forums is a simple tracking device for things not expected to move, like a parked car. The goal with RePhone is to have a basic device to allow new IoT applications to be explored, Tu said.

Most IoT development boards today have only Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities. Wearable development boards like MIPS’ Creator Ci40 don’t have cellular capabilities.

The RePhone has two connectors so other modules for motion control and GPS can be attached. It has standard ports found on developer boards to attach cameras and other external devices.

The guts of the phone include an ARM-based microcontroller, 4MB of RAM and 16MB of storage. Programs for RePhone can be written using JavaScript, the Lua scripting language or the Arduino integrated development environment.

 

 

 

Dell Appears To Be Taking Security To The BIOS Level

February 9, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Grey tin box shifter Dell wants to beef up security on its business laptops and PCs by introducing a new tool which helps to protect the BIOS from malware.

Attacks like this are rare and hard for software security to handle. Even wiping your harddrive and reinstalling software will not fix them.

Dell has introduced this new tool which makes a copy of the clean BIOS which is kept in the cloud, and compares it with snapshot with the machine’s BIOS every time it boots. If something’s been hacked or messed with it can be flagged up.

This allows the admin to be notified of the problem, and the system reverted to the clean BIOS. Dell wants to automate the entire process, but at the moment it still needs to be done manually.

Dell is making the system optional, and will cost extra for users.  It will be available on Dell’s Precision and OptiPlex models, along with XPS PCs and Venue Pro tablets.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Mozilla Announces End Date For Firefox Mobile OS

February 8, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

Mozilla has announced when it plans to shut down the Firefox mobile operating system.

Firefox OS for smartphones will be retired once Mozilla wraps up version 2.6, George Roter, who leads Mozilla’s Participation Lab, said in a long message posted to the company’s website.

Firefox OS 2.6 is currently slated for a May 30 release.

Nearly two months ago, Mozilla confirmed that it wascalling it quits on Firefox OS in its current incarnation, ending more than four years of work building a browser-based, smartphone operating system.

Instead, Mozilla said that it would use the resources freed up by the shuttering of Firefox OS on smartphones to pivot toward an operating system for connected devices, the category dubbed “Internet of things,” or IoT.

“The main reason [these decisions] are being made is to ensure we are focusing our energies and resources on bringing the power of the Web to IoT,” said Roter.

Roter was more direct in explaining the reasoning for turning off Firefox OS’s spigot than were Mozilla executives in December.

“The circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones,” Roter acknowledged. “We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of connected devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT.”

Ari Jaaksi, the executive who runs Mozilla’s Connected Devices group, was just as candid. “We could not create a compelling and differentiating end-user value proposition and we failed to build the full ecosystem,” he wrote on a company blog, referring to Firefox OS for smartphones.

Along with the demise of Firefox OS, on March 29 Mozilla will stop accepting submissions to its app store for Web apps that run in Firefox on Android as well as the desktop- and tablet-centric versions of the browser. Apps for those platforms now in the store will be removed on that same day; in other words, Mozilla will kill the small app ecosystem it had struggled to create.

After March 29, only apps for Firefox OS on smartphones will be available on the store. Mozilla is also dead-ending the store’s payment support, meaning that developers will have to scramble to find another payment provider or make their paid apps free.

 

 

 

 

 

AMD Develops The Excavator Processor Specifically For Gamers

February 5, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD has unveiled a handful of new processors as part of its 2016 desktop refresh, including the first chip based on the Excavator core to target desktop PCs. The firm will also release new motherboards with high-speed USB 3.1 ports and connectors to support M.2 Sata SSDs.

AMD’s new desktop processors are available now, and aimed chiefly at the enthusiast and gamer markets. They comprise three chips fitting into the firm’s FM2+ processor socket infrastructure for mainstream systems.

Two of these chips are based on the Godavari architecture and are APUs featuring Steamroller CPU cores and Graphics Core Next GPU cores. The A10-7860K has four CPU cores and eight GPU cores with a clock speed of 3.6GHz, while the A6-7470K has dual CPU cores and four GPU cores at a clock speed of 3.7GHz. Both have a maximum Turbo speed of 4GHz.

The A10-7860K is not AMD’s top-end chip, coming in below the A10-7870K and the A10-7890K, but it does replace three existing chips in the A10 line-up, the A10-7850K, A10-7700K and A10-7800.

“The interesting thing about the A10-7860K is that it delivers the same high 4GHz Turbo speed, but it is a 65W part, so it delivers comparable performance to the A10-7850K, but we’re dropping 30W,” said AMD client product manager Don Woligroski.

 

The third chip is badged under AMD’s Athlon brand, as it has CPU cores only and does not qualify as an APU. The Athlon X4 845 features four of the new Excavator cores used in the mobile Carrizo platform, clocked at 3.5GHz with a Turbo speed of up to 3.8GHz.

Neither is the Athlon X4 845 at the top of the Athlon stack, but is “more of an efficient, really great low-cost part”, according to Woligroski.

AMD will also deliver new motherboards to complement the latest processors sometime during the first quarter of 2016. These bring support for USB 3.1 Gen2 ports with the new Type-C connector, offering 10Gbps data rates, plus connectors for M.2 SATA SSD modules. M.2 modules are more usually seen in laptop and mobile systems because of their compact size.

Future AMD desktop chips will converge on a common socket infrastructure known as AM4, according to Woligroski. The first processors to use this are likely to be the upcoming Summit Ridge desktop chip and Bristol Ridge APU.

AMD also announced a new heatsink and fan combination for cooling the chips. The AMD Wraith Cooler (below) is claimed to deliver 34 percent more airflow while generating less than a 10th of the noise of its predecessor at 39dbA.

Courtesy-TheInq

 

Cisco Commits To IoT With Jasper Technologies Acquisition

February 5, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Cisco Systems Inc announced that it will acquire Technologies Inc, a startup that connects devices like cars and medical devices to the Internet, for $1.4 billion in cash and equity awards, its largest acquisition since 2013.

Legacy technology companies like Cisco have been trying to find paths for growth while new technology developments, such as the rise of cloud computing, threaten their core businesses. The emerging field dubbed Internet of Things, offers Cisco, known for networking equipment, a chance to offer cutting-edge technology to its current customers.

In addition to connecting devices to the Internet, Jasper makes a software platform that helps monitor these devices once they are online.

Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s vice president of corporate development, said in an interview that the Internet of Things has been a priority for Cisco for the past few years.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on this market and what we noticed was that Jasper represented a unique asset. We believe they are the largest Internet of Things service platform of scale today,” he said.

Connecting myriad objects to the Internet is in its infancy today, said Gaurav Garg, a Jasper board member and a partner at Wing Venture Capital who compared the potential of the technology to the early days of the electrical grid.

“Who thought we’d be plugging computers and all sorts of things into it?” he asked, assigning similar possibilities to the Internet of Things.

Cisco, which has acquired dozens of smaller companies over the years, is shifting its business toward high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centers.

Jasper is the largest deal for Cisco since it acquired security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013.

Jasper had been planning an initial public offering and had banks to help it prepare. Its investors, such as Singapore’s Temasek, Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital, will now get a chance to cash out without having to brave the rocky equity markets, which have seen no technology IPOs this year.

Jasper’s chief executive, Jahangir Mohammed, will stay on with Cisco and run a new Internet of Things Software Business unit once the deal closes in the third quarter.

 

Will MediaTek’s Helio Debut This Year?

February 4, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

MediaTek’s a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Ku has confirmed that the company plans to ship the X30 in 2016.

The X30 has been ephemeral product for quite some time although it had been expected that the X30 would follow the X20 eventually. Ku expects that phones based on Helio P10 and X20 should start to arrive in this quarter.

The majority of the design wins for the performance and mainstream phones for the first half of 2016 will be for last year’s flagship the Helio X10, the upcoming Helio P10 and soon to become new flagship Helio X20.

Ku mentioned during the company’s fourth financial quarter of 2015 that Mediatek will launch a Helio X30 and that this will happen in the second part of the year. This was the time of the year when Mediatek launched the X20.

The X30 will be released in 2016 but the phones will only show up in 2017.

The normal design cycle of the phone usually lasts 12 to 18 months. The Helio P20, the company’s first 16nm SoC is expected in the second half of 2016. With some luck, we might see some device shipping with this new SoC before the end of the year.

MediaTek didn’t give any additional information about the Helio X30, other than to acknowledge its existence. Let’s first see how the Helip X20 and P10 will do this year.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Nintendo Keeps Drop Year Over Year

February 4, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Gaming

Nintendo’s finances took a dip in the company’s third quarter report for FY 2015 – sales stayed relatively stable with just 3.9 per cent shrinkage to 427.7 billion Yen ($3.5bn), but profits dropped by 32 per cent year-on-year to 40.5 billion Yen ($336m).

Although the bottom line failed to excite, plenty of familiar faces performed well for the publisher’s software arm, as well as a few new names. Top seller was Child friendly Wii U shooter Splatoon, shifting over four million units. Super Mario maker wasn’t far behind on 3.34 million, whilst Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer reached 2.93 million. Collectively the 3DS family sold 5.88 million units of hardware and 38.87 million games. The Wii U totalled 3.06 million consoles and 22.62 million pieces of software. 20.50 million Amiibo figures were sold, and approximately 21.50 million Amiibo cards.

Those eagerly awaiting news of either the new NX system or the company’s first smartphone game will be disappointed – neither was mentioned in the company’s forward looking statements. Instead, the publisher focused on relatively known quantities.

“For Nintendo 3DS, we will globally release a special edition hardware pre-installed with Pokémon title(s) from the original Pokémon series on February 27 which marks the 20th year since the original Pokémon series release,2 read the accompanying statement.

“Furthermore, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and key titles from third-party publishers are scheduled for release. For Wii U, we will strive to maintain the attention level of Splatoon and Super Mario Maker, which are continuing to show steady sales, while introducing new titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Meanwhile, for Amiibo, we will continue to expand the product lineup in order to maintain momentum. At the same time, we will aim to further expand sales by offering new gaming experiences with the use of Amiibo. In addition, the first application for smart devices, Miitomo, is scheduled for release.”

The company has maintained its full year target of 35 billion Yen in profit.

Courtesy-GI.biz

 

AMD Goes Virtual With GPUs

February 3, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD has revealed what it claims are the world’s first hardware virtualized GPU products — AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology.

The big idea is to have a product for remote workstation, cloud gaming, cloud computing, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

In the virtualization ecosystem, key components like the CPU, network controller and storage devices are being virtualized in hardware to deliver optimal user experiences. So far the GPU has been off the list.
AMD MxGPU technology, for the first time, brings the modern virtualization industry standard to the GPU hardware.

AMD MxGPU technology is based on SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization), a PCI Express standard and brings hardware GPU scheduling logic to the user.

The outfit claims that it preserves the data integrity of Virtualized Machines (VM) and their application data through hardware-enforced memory isolation logic preventing one VM from being able to access another VM’s data.

It also exposes all graphics functionality of the GPU to applications allowing for full virtualization support for not only graphics APIs like DirectX and OpenGL but also GPU compute APIs like OpenCL .

The new AMD FirePro S7150 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 server graphics cards will combine with OEM offerings to create high-performance virtual workstations and address IT needs of simple installation and operation, critical data security and outstanding performance-per-dollar.

Typical VDI use cases include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Media and Entertainment, and office applications powered by the industry’s first hardware-based virtualized GPU.

Sean Burke, corporate vice president and general manager, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD said that the AMD hardware virtualization GPU product line is another example of its commitment to offering customers exceptional cutting edge graphics in conjunction with fundamental API software support.

“We created the innovative AMD FirePro S-series GPUs to deliver a precise, secure, high performance and enriched graphics user experience — all provided without per user licensing fees required to use AMD’s virtualized solution.”

Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research. “The move to virtualization of high-performance graphics capabilities typically associated with standalone workstations only makes sense, and will likely gain significant traction in the coming years.”

Pat Lee, senior director, Remote Experience for Desktop and Application Products, VMware said that AMD FirePro S7150 and AMD FirePro S7150 x2 GPUs complement VMware Horizon by giving more users a richer, more compelling user experience. Systems equipped with AMD FirePro cards can provide VMware Horizon users with enhanced video and graphics performance, benefiting especially those installations that focus on CAD and other 3D intensive applications.”

IT budgets can support for up to 16 simultaneous users with a single AMD FirePro S7150 GPU card which features 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, while up to twice as many simultaneous users (32 in total) can be supported by a single AMD FirePro S7150 x2 card which includes a total of 16 GB of GDDR5 memory (8GB per GPU). Both models feature 256-bit memory bandwidth.

Based on AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture to optimize utilization and maximize performance, the AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs feature:

• AMD Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology to enable consistent, predictable and secure performance from virtualized workstations with the world’s first hardware-based virtualized GPU products to enable users with workstation-class experiences matched with full ISV certifications.

• GDDR5 GPU Memory to help accelerate applications and process computationally complex workflows with ease.

• Error Correcting Code (ECC) Memory to ensure the accuracy of computations by correcting any single or double bit error as a result of naturally occurring background radiation.

• OpenCL 2.0 support to help professionals tap into the parallel computing power of modern GPUs and multicore CPUs to accelerate compute-intensive tasks in leading CAD/CAM/CAE and Media & Entertainment applications that support OpenCL allowing developers to take advantage of new GPU features.

• AMD PowerTune is an intelligent power management system that monitors both GPU activity and power draw. AMD PowerTune optimizes the GPU to deliver low power draw when GPU workloads do not demand full activity and delivers the optimal clock speed to ensure the highest possible performance within the GPU’s power budget for high intensity workloads.

AMD FirePro S7150 and S7150 x2 server GPUs are expected to be available from server technology providers in the first half of 2016.

The AMD FirePro S-Series GPUs with MxGPU technology are being exhibited in a Dell server system at SolidWorks World 2016 in Dallas, Texas at the moment.

Courtesy-Fud

 

Is nVidia’s Pascal Finally Coming In April

February 3, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

The dark satanic rumour mill has been flat out manufacturing hell on earth yarns that Nvidia is about to release a new Pascal GPU soon.

The logic is that Nvidia has the time to counter AMD’s Polaris by pushing out a Pascal GPU sooner than anyone expected.

Kotaku claims that NVIDIA looks set to beat AMD’s Polaris architecture when the new GPU appears. In fact it hinted that AMD brought down the price of the Radeon R9 Nano to $499 to counter this move in the high end of the market.

The latest rumor is that Nvidia will be churning out Pascal architecture in all its GPUs from April. When the new GPUs arrive they will be marketed as “TITAN-grade” which goes to show that they will be replacing the current offerings that are marketed under the “TITAN” brand. As for the main GP100 chip will come with 32GB of VRAM.

These rumors about the GPUs with the Pascal architecture are currently based on shipping manifests that have spotted on the Zauba database in India which deals with products that are imported or exported from the country.

It is thought that Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang will unveil the Pascal GPU in April during the GPU Technology Conference. In fact it is likely that Huang will announce it during his April 4 keynote which is the conference’s first day.

Courtesy-Fud

 

HSBC Was Hit With A DDoS Attack

February 2, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

‘KIN’ ‘ELL. You don’t want to be the people who bunged this morning’s distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack at HSBC, as the money lender and local business supporter has already set the authorities on your behind.

The DDoS attack rained down on the bank and its customers for most of this morning and locked punters out of a range of online banking services at a time when minds were turning to the pub and the weekend. We don’t know how big an attack it was, but we understand that there are some huge scary DDoS monsters out there.

HSBC said that it has fixed the problem and beaten off the attackers with some success. The bank confirmed that customer transactions have not been affected.

The most recent statement suggests that things are getting back to normal, but are not quite there yet. This has been a testing month for HSBC and its customers.

“HSBC internet banking came under a DDoS attack this morning, which affected personal banking websites in the UK. HSBC has successfully defended against the attack, and customer transactions were not affected,” the company said.

“We are working hard to restore normal service. HSBC is working closely with law enforcement authorities to pursue the criminals responsible for today’s attack on our internet banking.”

HSBC hit by DDoS attack. Online banking is offline https://t.co/ThNdEaeo8q pic.twitter.com/6qXibUTDnx

— Graham Cluley (@gcluley) January 29, 2016

HSBC isn’t just going to walk away with this without some security firm saying that they should have seen it coming.

“DDoS attacks, regardless of motive, are never good for any organisation. Whether they are driven purely as a means to cause downtime, force the owner to pay extortion fees or as a cover for malware activity, it quite often mostly affects the users the most,” said Mark James, a security specialist at ESET.

“As in all situations like this please be mindful of the after effects. Nothing may happen but just be a little bit more cautious when opening emails or taking calls from people claiming to be associated with your financial organisations.

“And definitely make sure you have good, regularly updating internet security software installed on your computer or mobile device.”

Courtesy-TheInq

 

FCC Approves Use Of BYOCB

February 1, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

In a sweeping change of course directed at a tightly controlled television industry, cable and satellite operators in the United States will now be obligated to let their customers freely choose which set-top boxes they can use, according to a proposal announced by the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday.

The move is expected to have wide-ranging implications for large technology companies looking to get their brand names into every consumer’s living room. For example, under the new rules, Google, Amazon and Apple would now be allowed to create entertainment room devices that blend Internet and cable programming in a way the television industry has until now resisted. Next-generation media players, including the Chromecast, Fire TV and Apple TV, would now be granted permission to line the backs of their devices with coaxial inputs and internal “smart access card” equivalents integrated right into device firmware with a simple subscription activation process.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut investigated the cable set-top box market last summer and found that the cable industry generates roughly $19.1 billion in annual revenue from cable box rentals alone.

Meanwhile, the cost of cable set-top boxes has risen 185 percent since 1995, while the cost of PCs, televisions and smartphones has dropped by 90 percent. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler admits that these economies of scale don’t need to remain so unbalanced any longer.

The FCC says its focus will be primarily on improving day-to-day television experience. In the past, the burdensome requirements of long-term contracts tethered to clunky, unsightly cable and satellite boxes has been a major source of customer complaints.

Wheeler has also said that access to specific video content shouldn’t be frustrating to the average consumer in an age where we are constantly surrounded by a breadth of information to sift through. “Improved search functions [can] lead consumers to a variety of video content that is buried behind guides or available on video services you can’t access with your set-top box today,” Wheeler says.

The FCC is expected to vote on the proposal on Thursday, February 18th. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s full statement on the commission’s new proposal can be found here.

Courtesy-Fud

LG Release Patch For Android Devices Data Theft Bug

February 1, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

LG has issued a fix for a security flaw in an application preinstalled on millions of its Android G3 smartphones that researchers found could be used to steal a variety of data.

The application, called Smart Notice, is a kind of multifunctional widget, managing contacts, notifications, and weather and traffic alerts.

Researchers from BugSec and Cynet, two computer security companies, found that they could attack a person’s phone by sending them a contact with malicious JavaScript contained in the name field, according to avideo.

Once the code was on the phone, any information stored on its SD card, such as private images and chat logs, could be stolen.

“The root cause for the security problem is the fact that Smart Notice does not validate the data presented to the users,” BugSec and Cynet wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The researchers found a variety of ways to trigger their malicious code and carry out actions, such as opening a phishing site that tries to steal a person’s Gmail credentials or prompt a person to download a remote access trojan.

“With a little tweak, we were able to load external scripts from a remote host and ‘refresh’ our code every few seconds, giving us the ability to have active command and control over the LG phone and send new payloads,” the companies wrote.

It was also possible to conduct a denial-of-service attack that could only be stopped by doing a hard reset of the phone, they wrote.

 

 

Wireless Charging Finally Coming To iPhones

February 1, 2016 by mphillips  
Filed under Mobile

As wireless charging adoption rate continues to grow by double-digits annually, industry analysts have openly wondered when Apple’s iPhone would finally take the plunge.

This month, market research firm IHS predicted that Apple would introduce some form of wireless charging on the iPhone 7 expected to arrive in September; that move seems more likely given that Apple introduced an inductive, proprietary charging solution in 2015 on the Apple Watch.

Adding fuel to the wireless charging fire, Bloomberg has reported that Apple is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology that could be deployed on its mobile devices in 2017.

“We still expect [wireless charging with the iPhone 7], but this latest rumor suggests a longer term look at much greater spatial freedom — claiming to take away the charging pad altogether,” David Green, a research manager at IHS Technology, said.

Two years ago, the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 smartphone introduced wireless charging. Then Samsung launched dual-mode wireless charging on its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones. Now, the focus is on Apple to see whether it will also add wireless charging to the iPhone, Green said.

Wireless charging is proving to be very popular with those who have used it, and the market tripled in size last year compared to 2014, with more than 160 million wireless charging receivers shipped across all markets.

The three major wireless charging industry groups have adopted a form of resonant wireless charging, which allows a more “loosely coupled” approach where handsets can be several centimeters away from a charger or placed at any angle on a charging pad.

For example, AirFuel Alliance’s Rezence-specification, which allows charging from across several centimeters, includes the ability to use a charging bowl or charging through a desktop.

There’s also uncoupled charging technology, where powering up devices through Wi-Fi, for example, sends low levels of power (typically less than 1 watt) across a room.

Ossia, Energous and uBeam all demonstrated uncoupled charging technology at CES earlier this month.

 

 

 

 

iOS Developers Warned About Taking Shortcuts

February 1, 2016 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Slapdash developers have been advised not to use the open source JSPatch method of updating their wares because it is as vulnerable as a soft boiled egg, for various reasons.

It’s FireEye that is giving JSPatch the stink eye and providing the warning that it has rendered over 1,000 applications open to copy and paste theft of photos and other information. And it doesn’t end there.

FireEye’s report said that Remote Hot Patching may sound like a good idea at the time, but it really isn’t. It is so widely used that is has opened up a 1,220-wide iOS application hole in Apple users’ security. A better option, according to the security firm, is to stick with the Apple method, which should provide adequate and timely protection.

“Within the realm of Apple-provided technologies, the way to remediate this situation is to rebuild the application with updated code to fix the bug and submit the newly built app to the App Store for approval,” said FireEye.

“While the review process for updated apps often takes less time than the initial submission review, the process can still be time-consuming and unpredictable, and can cause loss of business if app fixes are not delivered in a timely and controlled manner.

“However, if the original app is embedded with the JSPatch engine, its behaviour can be changed according to the JavaScript code loaded at runtime. This JavaScript file is remotely controlled by the app developer. It is delivered to the app through network communication.”

Let’s not all make this JSPatch’s problem, because presumably it’s developers who are lacking.

FireEye spoke up for the open source security gear while looking down its nose at hackers. “JSPatch is a boon to iOS developers. In the right hands, it can be used to quickly and effectively deploy patches and code updates. But in a non-utopian world like ours, we need to assume that bad actors will leverage this technology for unintended purposes,” the firm said.

“Specifically, if an attacker is able to tamper with the content of a JavaScript file that is eventually loaded by the app, a range of attacks can be successfully performed against an App Store application.

Courteys-TheInq