Kickstarter backers in line for an Android or touchscreen Windows 8 port of Björk’s app/album Biophilia are going to be be disappointed: the project has been put on hold indefinitely, reports Pitchfork. In a letter to the project’s contributors, the Biophilia team explains that “the costs were too gigantic and we were too optimistic,” deciding that it would be better to stop the project than let it drag on, although it didn’t rule out coming back to it in the future. Biophilia was originally released for the iPad in October, 2011.
Android apps are hackjobs – the lack of a proper development workflow is apparent in the poorly constructed user experiences of even A-list apps like Evernote. Windows 8 apps are featureless ghosts of their cross-platform counterparts, reflective of that platform’s overwhelming limitations.
I’m curious to see what the development tools are like for blackberry and what kind of leeway their apps have. I certainly hope developers don’t use the Android runtime as a crutch, but only superior blackberry development environments can prevent that.
Read more: http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/8/3966806/bjork-app-android-windows-8-canceled
People are finally beginning to understand the issues I’ve been tightening my tinfoil hat over for years now. Refreshing.
Where we go from here, is a choice I leave to you.
Google’s customers should be free to vote with their feet (or their data), and to use services that offer them the greatest degree of privacy protection, both via technology and the law. Google’s total failure to be transparent on this issue robs its customers of the ability to take reasonable steps to protect their own communications from warrantless government surveillance.
Finally, while Google’s lawyers hid behind the non-answer provided by their PR team, Google’s competitors were far more transparent. Twitter and Facebook both offer some functionality to their mobile users via SMS, including the ability to send private messages to their friends. In response to queries from me, both Twitter and Facebook confirmed that the companies treat communications metadata the same regardless of whether users’ messages are transmitted to the companies’ servers via SMS or the internet. No court order? No metadata. Not only have these companies apparently adopted a more pro-privacy reading of the law than Google, but they’re also willing to talk about it.
Read more: http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-technology-and-liberty/us-surveillance-law-may-poorly-protect-new-text
It’s taken longer than expected but it has finally happened: unsigned desktop applications run on Windows RT. Ironically, a vulnerability in the Windows kernel that has existed for some time and got ported to ARM just like the rest of Windows made this possible. MSFT’s artificial incompatibility does not work because Windows RT is not in any way reduced in functionality. It’s a clean port, and a good one. But deep in the kernel, in a hashed and signed data section protected by UEFI’s Secure Boot, lies a byte that represents the minimum signing level.
This is proof of a few things.
- Secure Boot serves no purpose other than to attempt to block alternative operating systems and software from running on a device. It does NOT in any way protect users from exploits.
- As the author states, the decision to block traditional desktop applications was a choice the suits made, it had no technical basis whatsoever.
- This is a sign of things to come. If the RT were a successful product it would have encouraged Microsoft to proceed with locking users out of their desktop applications once and for all, sometime down the line. After all, piracy is probably the desktop’s primary use in practice at this point.
That last one is important, because it’s still a clear and present threat. Microsoft’s marketing and messaging for their products clearly states that the desktop is the past, and the App Store is the future.
Read more: http://surfsec.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/circumventing-windows-rts-code-integrity-mechanism/
I’m quite glad Google maps is back on the iPhone. I find its accuracy and ability to give me transit directions most useful.
Here are a couple of screenshots of Google doing what it does best.
God, why won’t you just sign in already? We’ve creeped on you as much as we can from the outside, now we want to be inside. Come on. Let us in. We’re you’re friends! We won’t hurt you.
Good job Google, I can feel the slime oozing all the way from Mountain View.
(CNN) – In kindergarten, Owen Kellogg came home sobbing one day because another boy at school had told him that he had a peanut, and that he was going to force Owen to eat it.
CNN was never a good news source – but the combination of Piers Morgan pontificating on the superiority of the British system of non-freedom and now this?
Yep, CNN is down the shitter.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/05/health/bullying-food-allergies/index.html
“[The agreement] recognizes the shift to mobility,” said David G. Simpson, DISA’s vice director and senior procurement executive. “Microsoft is committed to making sure that the technology within the agreement has a mobile-first focus, and we expect to begin to take advantage of Microsoft’s mobile offerings as part of our enterprise mobility ecosystem.”
Make no mistake – there can be no shift to mobility. You cannot productively work with a computer unless you are sitting down and focusing on the task at hand. That means table and chair, or laptop at the very least.
You most certainly can’t get anything done on a device with an App Store. It is, in its very essence, not a tool for creativity.
Almost not worth linking to, for fear of feeding the troll.
ADDENDUM: There are some big benefits outside of the schlock about mobility. Sharepoint 2013 provides ‘Skydrive Pro’ which enables internal cloud storage of documents (think Dropbox). This is a far more flexible and reliable way to work collaboratively than simple file sharing and can scale up to far bigger and more complex scenarios – Windows 8 and Office 2013 (and hopefully other business applications will) natively support this.
To my knowledge, Microsoft is the first company to strongly emphasize private cloud storage and that’s a pretty big leap forward.
My concern about Microsoft’s propaganda war against desktop software (in favor of Metro – yes I’m going to call it Metro) continues to run strong.
If consumer editions of Windows force us all into the App Store’s shackles, we’re doomed.
Read more: http://www.geekwire.com/2013/score-microsoft-defense-department-windows/
Striking piece by Michael Moore on the hypocrisy of saying “I support our troops”.
I don’t yet know what the stats are for Canadian troops, though it’s common knowledge that we participate in the same cash/land/resource grabbing operations to our own ethical detriment.
I don’t “support the troops” or any of those other hollow and hypocritical platitudes uttered by Republicans and frightened Democrats. Here’s what I do support: I support them coming home. I support them being treated well. I support peace, and I beg any young person reading this who’s thinking of joining the armed forces to please reconsider. Our war department has done little to show you they won’t recklessly put your young life in harm’s way for a cause that has nothing to do with what you signed up for. They will not help you once they’ve used you and spit you back into society. If you’re a woman, they will not protect you from rapists in their ranks. And because you have a conscience and you know right from wrong, you do not want yourself being used to kill civilians in other countries who never did anything to hurt us. We are currently involved in at least a half-dozen military actions around the world. Don’t become the next statistic so that General Electric can post another record profit — while paying no taxes — taxes that otherwise would be paying for the artificial leg that they’ve kept you waiting for months to receive.
Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/03-6
When consumers buy a smartphone they expect that there will be a suite of online services run by its vendor – they’ll be told to use these services, and they’ll happily obey.
If you ask people to buy a phone and choose their own services and products they’ll freak.
No one likes freedom – when they’re beset by it they throw off its shackles with all due haste.
Linux also lacks any semblance of a good CalDAV/CardDAV or ActiveSync implementation, which is the foundation of a smartphone’s usefulness as a synchronized e-mail, calendar and contact manager.
This is a non-starter.
The main contention with the deal, the activists say, is that Microsoft products bought by the government are imported, expensive and their code source is usually closed and protected by rigid copyright rules which do not allow for knowledge sharing and generation. Meanwhile, an alternative lies with locally conceived, less expensive software, whose open code source enables copying, sharing and building more software.
I spent a good deal of my time off trying to generate some enthusiasm and appreciation for Windows 8 – surely there had to be wisdom of some kind behind its radical, schizoid redesign.
That’s right, I party hard.
Unfortunately all I encounter in my attempts is the death rattle of a hegemony in harsh and rapid decline – a harsh decline being pushed along by an influx of those who see the power and profitability of open source development – from the boardroom to the protestor on the street.
Read more: http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/activists-protest-microsoft-deal
OH: “No, I’m not a pessimist. The world shits on everybody. Pretending it ain’t shit makes you an idiot, not an optimist.”