10 2 / 2012

The iPhone’s ‘popularity’ has enabled Apple to sell more Macs. Microsoft had hoped its ‘dominant’ desktop OS will have a similar rub-off effect on Windows Phone. 

08 2 / 2012

Sergey Brin sporting a beard.

Sergey Brin sporting a beard.

08 2 / 2012

The ability to keep my desktop and phone browsers synced without having to change my preferred browser (Chrome) was all I ever wanted. It is finally here. Well almost. Now someone just needs to port it to iOS somehow. 

03 2 / 2012

The Supreme Court’s decision to cancel telecom licenses issued on or after 2008 is great news for older players, especially Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Vodafone celebrated by putting out front-page ads in most national dailies inviting subscribers from affected carriers to join Vodafone while retaining their existing mobile number using Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Ironically, MNP was introduced in India after new carriers were given licenses and spectrum in 2008 and enable them to entice subscribers from older carriers. What goes around, comes around. It does.

The Supreme Court’s decision to cancel telecom licenses issued on or after 2008 is great news for older players, especially Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Vodafone celebrated by putting out front-page ads in most national dailies inviting subscribers from affected carriers to join Vodafone while retaining their existing mobile number using Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Ironically, MNP was introduced in India after new carriers were given licenses and spectrum in 2008 and enable them to entice subscribers from older carriers. What goes around, comes around. It does.

03 2 / 2012

Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android writes on Google Mobile’s official blog countering Symantec’s claims of finding malware on apps in Android Market. Lockheimer insists that Google has been running a malware removal tool, codenamed Bouncer, “for a while now.” 

The service performs a set of analyses on new applications, applications already in Android Market, and developer accounts. Here’s how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Google claims its method is better than others as it does not require developers to send their apps for approvals (like with iOS) and things are done remotely without any human intervention. While it all sounds good, I have never heard of reports of developers complaining of Google removing their apps before they could even make it to the Android Market. (Google has removed some apps remotely from Android Market and phones on which they were installed.) 

It would be naive to think today’s admission from Google is isolated from Symantec’s claims of finding Counterclank in some apps. I don’t understand why Google had not talked about Bouncer earlier (might be harmful to Android’s “Open” image) but now that it has (or has been forced to), expect Google to make a few more announcements in the coming weeks and months.