Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Apache foundation quits 'proprietary' Java process..

The Apache Software Foundation has resigned from the Java steering group, claiming that the widely-used scripting platform is a proprietary technology under the full control of Oracle.
In a blog post last week, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) developer community said its resignation from the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee (EC) followed the committee's approval of the Java SE 7 specification, as proposed by Oracle. The ASF said the specification came bound up with license terms that continued to forbid the distribution of independent, open-source Java implementations.
"This vote was the only real power the Executive Committee has as the governing body of the Java specification ecosystem, and as we indicated previously we were looking for the EC to protect the rights of implementers to the degree they are able, as well as preserve the integrity of the JCP licensing structure by ensuring that JCP specifications are able to be freely implemented and distributed," the post read.

Minister sits on mobile app censorship

Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O'Connor is yet to decide on whether to make it mandatory for the Classification Board to classify mobile applications, a scheme which iPhone developer Bjango said wasn't needed and could potentially see it pull its apps out of Australia.
Classification Board director Donald McDonald told a senate estimates committee hearing last October that he wrote to O'Connor airing concerns in relation to mobile phone applications not being submitted to the Classification Board for classification.
Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor
(Credit: Australian Labor Party)
As it stands, movies and computer games are subject to ratings from the Classification Board. They are classified into categories that include G, PG and M. Games released as mobile applications on smartphone platforms — such as Apple's iPhone — bypass this process. The Classification Board's view is that all games should be classified.
"I recently wrote to the minister regarding my concern that some so-called mobile phone applications, which can be purchased online or either downloaded to mobile phones or played online via mobile phone access, are not being submitted to the board for classification," McDonald told the Senate Estimates Committee in October.
Such a process, if introduced, would classify mobile applications into categories, with the potential for some to be placed onto a "refused classification" category and banned from sale in Australia.
The Classification Board said yesterday it understood the matters its director raised at the Senate Estimates Committee in October were "being examined by the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department".
A statement received from Commonwealth Censorship Minister Brendan O'Connor's office said the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department was "examining the issues raised by the director of the Classification Board about the classification of computer games distributed or playable on mobile phones".
The Attorney-General's Department would be putting the issues to government "in due course", the office said. "The department is obiviously working hard on all of those issues and will be putting issues to government in due course and I think it's not as simple as saying 'next week we will provide the following information to government which will make a decision the following week'. It's a complex issue we certainly understand and understand the issues in it."
Regardless of whether O'Connor decides to make it mandatory for mobile applications to be classified, the Classification Board said it would, upon receipt of a valid application, "classify a computer game, regardless of the platform or device for play and distribution".
Such a process comes with associated fees, which founder of iPhone development companyBjango Marc Edwards said would be costly if made mandatory.
"I can tell you right now that for our iPhone app sales, depending on the app, it's around 4 per cent or less of sales in Australia. So for some projects we just simply wouldn't bother releasing them in Australia if it meant we had to go through a timely and expensive classification process," Edwards said. He also questioned what classified as a game on the iPhone.

Car Mobile DVB-T Digital TV Receiver $110.58...

The Car mobile DVB-T Digital TV Receiver With TV Antenna (MPEG-2/4) supports virtually any type of DVB-T video standard, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2 MP@HL, MPEG-4 ASP@L5 HD:DivX(3.x-6.x), HD: H.264, HD:1080i, and supports both NTSC and PAL video system. In addition, it supports multiple audio standards, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2(layer I/II), AC-3, E-AC-3, AAC, HE-AAC level 2 &level4, and MP3(AC3 copyright expenses required) for you to enjoy high quality radio programs. You can use it in any country that uses the DVB-T (other than ATSC) broadcasting system in the world. 
It’s easy to use. Just hook it up with your Car DVD, use the remote control to search and save your favorite TV/Radio channels, sit back and start to enjoy endless hours of high definition entertainment! With a cigarette lighter adapter and a display, you can also use it at home.

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  • High Definition DVB-T digital TV
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  • A great addition to older or basic Car DVD units


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Play CNET Video

Apple iPhone 4 (AT&T).

With the iPhone 4, Apple again shows that it is a powerful player in the smartphone wars. It won't be for everyone, the call quality and reception vary if you don't use a case, and AT&T's network remains a sticking point, but the handset's striking design, loaded feature set, and generally agreeable performance make it the best iPhone yet.
Read full review
Apple iPhone 4 (AT&T)Play CNET Video

T-Mobile MyTouch 4G

Though video chat isn't ready for prime time, there's plenty to love about the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G, including its speed, sleek and sturdy design, and great call quality.
Read full review
T-Mobile MyTouch 4GPlay CNET Video

LG Optimus T (T-Mobile)

The LG Optimus T is one of the best entry-level smartphones you can buy, with a feature set that is on par with devices more than twice its price.
Read full review
LG Optimus T (T-Mobile)Play CNET Video

Sanyo Vero (Sprint)

The Sanyo Vero doesn't get the highest call quality marks, but its user-friendly design and functional features make it a decent handset for basic communication.
Read full review
Sanyo Vero (Sprint)

  • Wireless went big at CES 2011 with two companies, Motorola and Verizon Wireless, stealing much of the show's mobile attention. CNET recaps all the cell phone news from Las Vegas. Read full story
  • Samsung Nexus S
    The Samsung Nexus S gets points for its slick design, satisfying performance, and authentic Android user interface. But outside of the new Gingerbread OS and a faster processor, it doesn't offer as many new features as we had hoped. Read full story

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Piracy possibility emerges with Mac App Store free

The store, launched last week, includes digital rights management (DRM) technology designed to ensure that only a program's purchaser is authorized to run the program. But a hack distributed online apparently can be used to get around the system in some situations....
Although several have reported successful use of the hack to circumvent copy protection, it stems from problems in how software developers get their applications to verify permission to run, not from an irreparable problem with the Mac App Store's DRM.
Nevertheless, the issue spotlights the painful realities of DRM. When it's used, hackers often find a way around it, as happened for example with Blu-ray and DVD encryption. But commercial content creators naturally are averse to seeing their digital products spreading willy-nilly for free, and Apple's removal of DRM from music in iTunes in 2009 and Amazon's option to lend Kindle books are the exception rather than the rule. Just this week, a group of entertainment industry powers unveiled a new DRM and copy-protection technology called UltraViolet....
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment...
But Big Bucket Software's Matt Comi, developer of a game called The Incident that's vulnerable to the hack, said he'll be releasing a new version of his software...
"Too bad they didn't release a Mac App Store beta to developers--maybe we would've noticed this," Comi said. Despite the problem, he added, "First day's sales came in a few hours ago and we're very pleased."
With the Mac App Store hack, a person copies three files--digital receipts--from a freely downloaded application such as Twitter to another app such as Angry Birds that otherwise would have to be purchased before it runs. That second app essentially uses the free app's authorization. Of course, a bootleg copy of the second app must first be obtained, but that's rarely proved an obstacle in for those evading copy protection technology.
News of the hack spread quickly yesterday--but shortly afterward came more news that apparently at least part of the problem lies with the software developer and Apple's suggested verification procedures rather than with a terminal problem with the technology.
"For apps that follow Apple's advice on validating App Store receipts, this simple technique will not work. But, alas, it appears that many apps don't perform any validation whatsoever, or do so incorrectly, like Angry Birds," Apple watcher John Gruber said....
But another observer, Sean Christmann, also laid some blame on Apple. Although Angry Birds developers followed only two of the five steps Apple recommends for verifying the software is authorized to run, Apple's instructions are flawed, Christmann said in a blog post...
Specifically, he said Apple recommends a verification process that checks a text file separate from the application's binary file--in other words, an ancillary file, not the file the computer actually runs. He recommended a validation procedure that uses the application itself.
"At the end of the day, if your app is popular enough it's going to end up on a pirated site, but for the time being, by following the instructions above, you can avoid having your app easily cracked with TextEdit," Christmann said...
Comi had this description of the matter: "The issue relates to comparing bits of data from one file ..(the Info.plist, in other words, the app's metadata) to bits of data in another file (the receipt). As long as those files are consistent, the app will launch. Pretty obvious in retrospect but easy to overlook. The fix is to not refer to the Info.plist."
Asked if it plans a new version of Angry Birds, Rovio Mobile said, "We'll look into it."
Chester Wisniewski of security company Sophos also cautioned about a side effect of the problem: people might look for pirated software instead of going through the App Store. "Be cautious where you get things," he said in a video. "Don't pirate software. It's the best way to get trojans onto your system."
The Angry Birds application is a good example. "Unfortunately, Rovio did not follow the best practice guidelines that Apple set forth on what to do to prevent this application from being pirated," Wisniewski said. "It's quite easy to imagine it's going to be widely distributed.".