11/27/2011

Google Now Censors The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, 4Shared and More

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has expanded its search blacklist to include many of the top file-sharing sites on the Internet, including The Pirate Bay. The changes were quietly processed and appear to be broader than previous additions. Google’s blacklist prevents the names of sites appearing in their Instant and Autocomplete search services, while the pages themselves remain indexed.

11/24/2011

Mobile “rootkit” maker tries to silence critical Android dev

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A data-logging software company is seeking to squash an Android developer’s critical research into its software that is secretly installed on millions of phones, but Trevor Eckhart is refusing to publicly apologize for his research and remove the company’s training manuals from his website.

Though the software is installed on millions of Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until the 25-year-old Eckhart analyzed its workings, recently revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts. Some carriers prevent users who actually find the software from controlling what information is sent.

Eckhart called the software a “rootkit,” a security term that refers to software installed at a low-level on a device, without a user’s consent or knowledge in order to secretly intercept the device’s workings. Malware such as keyloggers and trojans are two examples.

11/21/2011

Bug silences Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone, which went on sale last week, is suffering from a particularly annoying bug.

The glitch sees the handset drop the audio volume of its own accord. The phone goes suddenly silent, without warning, many an owner spent the weekend complaining on the intertubes.

Others have grumbled about the volume key becoming unresponsive, and even the power key sometimes ignores users’ presses.

Not every handset appears to be affected, but the consensus is that the bug only makes its presence felt when the Galaxy Nexus is operating in the 900MHz band for 2G communications. That’s a very commonly used band in Europe.

11/9/2011

Adobe abandons Flash plug-in for mobile devices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apparently experiencing what Adobe Systems called the “full Web” on mobile devices isn’t so important after all.

In what appears to be a momentous about-face, Adobe Systems is scrapping its high-profile effort to bring its Flash Player software to smartphones and tablets, Jason Perlew at sister site ZDNet reported today. Such a move would mean Adobe’s pragmatism won out over ambition.

The move, if confirmed, would undermine a selling point many Android phone makers had used in an effort to stand out above Apple’s iOS devices, which barred the plug-in.

11/3/2011

Google Giving you fresher, more recent search results

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent.

Gogle Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for.

Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.

Today Google is making a significant improvement to the ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness: Recent events or hot topics, Regularly recurring events, Frequent updates.

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