Posts Tagged frontier

Java 8 to support ARM processors: Can Oracle’s OS give a tough fight to Android?

In Oracle’s exclusive developer preview release of standard Java 8, it has revealed the compatibility of Java 8 with ARM processors, which equip most smartphone devices. The Java 8 platform would include many rich capabilities, including JavaFX rich media platform, which hints at the development of a possible Oracle based OS forJava_wallpaper_by_priscilavedder smartphones.

Oracle.com blogger Roger Brinkley quoted that Java SE (Standard Edition) 8 Developer Preview Release for ARM is intended to get ARM developers testing Java SE 8 before its release on September 2013.

Forrester Research analyst John Rymer believes that the move is targeted to hurt the development of Android on the Java frontier. As we all know, Google won the patent-infringement lawsuit by Oracle, earlier this year. Clearly, Oracle wants to retaliate with an even stronger blow. Hence, it is developing JDK [Java Development Kit] 8 and JavaFX with ARM support. They can prove to be a viable alternative to the much popular Android OS for ARM devices.

However, considering the amount of popularity Android has gained and the way it has been adapted into billions off gadgets, switching to a Java platform can’t be Oracle’s overnight ploy. Some experts believe that JavaFX would never gain much developer attention.

According to Rymer, JavaFX would fetch less adaptation as it was developed by Sun Micro Systems to compete against Adobe Flash/Flex, and Microsoft Silverlight. Originally, it was developed with an idea to provide a rich, portable app environment by bringing functions provided by the browser plugins into the Java Core. However, as the idea never gained much attention, it is highly unlikely that it could be a possible threat to Android, for now at least.

However, we cannot count off Oracle so early. Though the road might be tough, if developers feel that Android is not a good platform to develop secure, robust applications, they may switch to Java 8. We all know how much developers have been complaining about malicious apps on Android, and the lack of DRM support. (Paid apps can easily be downloaded from third-party app stores for free) Besides, there are also a lot of bugs in the former versions of Android- Android 2.3, which threaten the integrity and the working of the apps. Developers have been complaining about the fragmentation issue, too. Hence, there are lot many reasons to switch from Android, provided they have a better platform and sufficient amount of audience.

In the current scenario, however, the road looks tough. Developers have been already using their Java skills to develop applications supporting the Dalvik virtual machine running on Android devices. According to a leading blog- Info World, the chances of an open source implementation of Java running on Android via the OpenJDK project are very slim.

Though it would take a lot more to threaten the dominance of Android in the smartphone market, Oracle is at least trying to fire a few long distance shots. With JavaFX support for ARM, though Oracle cannot win the race now, it can at least stay in it.

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Nokia Not Coming to Android After all

Last week we reported that Nokia posted a job listing on their Linkedin account, asking for a Linux expert developer. Buzz starting floating around that the cellphone giant was finally going to be making its leap to the brighter side of the mobile OS force. People were definitely skeptical about Nokia actually making Android phones, but some of us actually had hopes that they would jump on the Android ship. Alas, Nokia has now confirmed that they will not be boarding the Android ship so hopes of a Nokia Android phone is no more.

The reason that Nokia wanted a Linux expert, was because Nokia is planning on releasing HERE Maps that will be making its way to iOS and Android. Why do we need yet another maps app? We really don’t, but Nokia wants to bring some competition to Google Maps, Bing Maps, and…Apple Maps? They recently purchased NAVTEQ technology that powers their maps on the Windows platform.

So no Nokia Android phone after all. You guys think that Nokia will ever end up over on our side of the mobile frontier?

Source: Android Community

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Humble Bundle for Android 4 features Superbrothers beta

Android Central

The latest Humble Bundle for Android has been kicked off, and includes a bunch of exceptional games. Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Crayon Physics Deluxe, and an early Android beta for the excellent Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery are all available. If you pay more than the average (currently $8.89) you also get Machinarium. 

You get to pay whatever you want for these, and the money is split up between developers, the Humble Bundle organizers, and charities like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Child's Play as you see fit. Every signle one comes with the original soundtrack, and is available on Windows, Linux, and Mac PCs. 

A lot of these games aren't in Google Play, so, go get the bundle! It's a great deal, and for a good cause. Hey, if you're in the charitable mood, why not contribute to the MO-bile Nations Movember run? We're raising money for men's health by sprouting exceptionally poor facial hair. Seriously, I don't know how I'm going to go out in public like this.  

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Google develops tool to translate Java to iOS friendly Objective-C code

Java

Google has authored J2ObjC, an open-source tool that can convert all the non-UI bits of Java code into Objective-C source code for use in iOS apps. It's not the first translator of this type we've ever seen, but coming from Google makes us have a serious look at this one. 

Put away your fanboy hats for a moment, and stop caring which OS has more market share or which OEM sold the most phones last quarter. Mobile will be is the next frontier of tech — especially the Internet. Google building a robust and fully working tool to convert code for things like data access and program logic from Java to Obj-C is a big deal. This helps developers code once and port things to another platform with an automated tool, saving time and money. 

Google has stated that several of their own products are using this (no, they don't give specifics) and that it's currently between alpha and beta quality. If you're a developer, hit the source link to see all the requirements and helpful tips to get you started. If you're not a developer, just know that things like this will make mobile applications and services better for everyone.

Via Google Open Source BlogJ2ObjC project page

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Gartner: Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25 percent of all content

Gartner Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25% of all downloads

If you’d just put down Angry Birds Space for a moment, maybe we could tell you that mobile apps are kind of a big deal. How big of a deal? How’s about 45.6 billion downloads just this year — that’s a serious amount of birds lost in space! All of those downloads weren’t just Angry Birds venturing into the final frontier, of course. Gartner, Inc’s latest mobile report doesn’t actually break down how much of that enormous number pertains to Rovio’s hit franchise, but it does note that “free apps will account for nearly 90 percent of total mobile app store downloads in 2012.” That means of the nearly 46 billion apps downloaded this year, approximately 40.6 billion were free. Additionally, an entire quarter of the apps downloaded in 2012 were via Apple’s iOS app store — but that isn’t what’s driving app growth, necessarily. “The number of apps available is driven by an increasing number of stores in the market today,” Gartner research director Brian Blau notes. “These stores will see their combined share of total downloads increase, but demand for apps overall will still be dominated by Apple, Google, and Microsoft.”

And the growth doesn’t stop there. Blau predicts that 93 percent of all apps downloads will be of the free variety by 2016 — also, we’ll be downloading over 300 billion apps worldwide by the same year. Like we said, kind of a big deal.

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Gartner: Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25 percent of all content originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Gartner: Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25% of all downloads

Gartner Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25% of all downloads

If you’d just put down Angry Birds Space for a moment, maybe we could tell you that mobile apps are kind of a big deal. How big of a deal? How’s about 45.6 billion downloads just this year — that’s a serious amount of birds lost in space! All of those downloads weren’t just Angry Birds venturing into the final frontier, of course. Gartner, Inc’s latest mobile report doesn’t actually break down how much of that enormous number pertains to Rovio’s hit franchise, but it does note that “free apps will account for nearly 90 percent of total mobile app store downloads in 2012.” That means of the nearly 46 billion apps downloaded this year, approximately 40.6 billion were free. Additionally, an entire quarter of the apps downloaded in 2012 were via Apple’s iOS app store — but that isn’t what’s driving app growth, necessarily. “The number of apps available is driven by an increasing number of stores in the market today,” Gartner research director Brian Blau notes. “These stores will see their combined share of total downloads increase, but demand for apps overall will still be dominated by Apple, Google, and Microsoft.”

And the growth doesn’t stop there. Blau predicts that 93 percent of all apps downloads will be of the free variety by 2016 — also, we’ll be downloading over 300 billion apps worldwide by the same year. Like we said, kind of a big deal.

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Gartner: Free apps dominate market, iOS App Store accounts for 25% of all downloads originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Sep 2012 13:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy Note II unveiled: 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android Jelly Bean and more S Pen functionality

Samsung Galaxy Note II unveiled 55inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android Jelly Bean and more S Pen functionality

While we can’t say it was a shock, Samsung’s latest superphone has arrived — and it’s got a new stylus. The Galaxy Note II pushes the screen frontier to 5.5 inches wide, with another HD Super AMOLED display, this time at 1,280 x 720. Despite that expansion the phone is a mere 9.4mm thick, while it now houses a larger capacity (faster charging) 3,100mAh battery and a quad-core Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz. As the Galaxy Note was to the Galaxy S II, so the Note II takes some design riffs from the Galaxy S III, with the same rounded edges, glossy finish and extra software piled atop its Android base. There’s also Samsung’s reliable 8-megapixel camera sensor on the back, capable of 1080p video-recording.

The great news is that the Galaxy Note II will be launching on Jelly Bean — no laborious waiting for those over-the-air updates for Google’s very latest. Software additions are understandably heavily weighted towards the phablet’s S Pen advances. The stylus itself now has a rubber nib, which Samsung reckons will offer an experience closer to pen and paper. User can add “Quick Commands” to their stylus gestures, while “Air View” allows you to peruse galleries and folders by floating the stylus just above the screen. Samsung’s also added an Easy Clip ability to crop and share from anything beaming out from the Note II’s 16:9 screen. Stylus functionality has been gifted to the calendar (S Planner) and the native email app, while the S Pen itself will now notify your phone if it’s left behind. The device will launch in Titanium Grey and Marble White, arriving internationally before the end of the year. We’ve just managed to handle both the Galaxy Note II and that reformed stylus — check out our hands-on here.

Continue reading Samsung Galaxy Note II unveiled: 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android Jelly Bean and more S Pen functionality

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Samsung Galaxy Note II unveiled: 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android Jelly Bean and more S Pen functionality originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

With most of the great outdoors pretty well mapped within an inch of its life, indoors is the final navigation frontier. Today Nokia has announced “In-Location” an alliance of 22 companies with the goal of driving innovation in this area. Names on the list include Broadcom, Samsung, Sony Mobile and Qualcomm, but there are some notable exceptions. The technologies mentioned include Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi, which we’ve already started to see being explored, and members are encouraged to share data of their own existing pilots. We can apparently expect pre-commercial work and business model verifications this year, with handset-based implementations said to be finding their way out in 2013. Full PR can be found, assistance free, after the break.

Continue reading Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

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Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Aug 2012 04:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Humble Bundle For Android 3 Available Now – 5 Cross-Platform Games For Charity

It’s that time again, indie gamers: the much-loved Humble Bundle has returned for a third go-round on Android. As before, you can name your own price for popular Android games Fieldrunners, Bit.Trip Beat, SpaceChem and Uplink, giving the cash to worthy non-profits Child’s Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or a combination thereof. If you pay more than the average (currently just below $6) you get a bonus game, Spirits. All games include a free digital soundtrack and desktop versions for PC, Mac and Linux, with Steam integration for those who are so inclined.

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The games featured have enjoyed some notable success already: Fieldrunners is a staple of the tower defense genre, Bit.Trip Beat is an appropriately trippy mashup of Breakout-style nostalgia and rhythm gaming, SpaceChem brings pseudoscience and ambient puzzles together, and Uplink simulates “hacking” in text-based international espionage.

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

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Humble Bundle For Android 3 Available Now – 5 Cross-Platform Games For Charity was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Frontier launches 21.5-inch Android 4.0 ICS tablet in Japan

Who thinks that 10.1-inch Android tablets are just too small these days? Even Toshiba recently released a new 13-inch Android slate but today we have something even bigger, although we can hardly call this a tablet. The folks from Frontier have just launched their FT103 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich based tablet or “smart display” in China.

We can’t really call this a tablet, since it’s basically smartphone internals added to a huge 21.5-inch capacitive touch display, but I’m going to anyways. The Japanese company Frontier have released this today and for a pretty fair price. This 21.5-inch 1920 x 1200 tablet comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 8GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4428 1.0 GHz processor.

One interesting note is along with multiple full sized USB ports, micro-USB, and micro-HDMI it also has a full size HDMI input. This is why some are calling it a smart display because you can use it as a regular or external PC monitor, then it doubles as your Android tablet should you choose. The device has your usual WiFi, Bluetooth, 1.2 megapixel front webcam, and even micro-SD support for expanded storage. There’s no mention of Google Play Store support or any other details but it sure is interesting. This will be available later this month in Japan for around $440 USD.

Who wants one?

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[via PClaunches]


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Final Fantasy III Now Fighting Dragons On Android – For $16

final fantasy 3

Final Fantasy III, whose previously old-school fanbase has become somewhat more mobile over the past few years, has made it to the final frontier of smartphone/tablet gaming at long last: the Play Store. The game is available now – but before you get too excited, take a good, hard look at that $16 price tag.

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For those not familiar with the title, Square Enix’s classic RPG sees four youngsters chosen by fate (OK, a crystal) to save the world from all sorts of evil wild beasts. As should be apparent from the screenshots, the Android version has held on to the sexy 3D graphics added to the game in 2006 – plus, Enix claims that there are “new and improved 3D visuals and story sequences” exclusive to Android.

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

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Final Fantasy III Now Fighting Dragons On Android – For $16 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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GameFly to begin publishing smartphone apps, will launch its own Android game store

ImageHaving already made headway into the digital frontier last year, video game subscription service GameFly is now ready to expand its sphere of influence into the world of mobile. The company’s aspiring for greatness, announcing this morning that it plans to begin publishing iOS and Android titles as early as this summer. And that’s not all, folks: we can expect to see the GameFly GameStore, a gaming-oriented competitor to the Play Store and Amazon AppStore, sometime this fall. In addition to its goal of being the biggest and baddest kid on the block, GameFly intends to don the role of philanthropist, setting aside a fund to assist struggling devs who might just need a few extra bucks to finish the next mobile masterpiece. If you fall in this category, the company’s already accepting submissions, so read through the press release below to get all the necessary details.

Continue reading GameFly to begin publishing smartphone apps, will launch its own Android game store

GameFly to begin publishing smartphone apps, will launch its own Android game store originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 23 May 2012 13:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video Star Makes You Into a Lip-Syncing Music Video Superstar

download app Video Star
Developer: Frontier Design Group, LLC
Price: free
Download from the App Store
User Ratings:
4.5

Everybody wants to be a big, big star, right? With Video Star you’re one step closer to Hollywood with the ability to make your own music videos complete with built-in real-time effects. Who knows, you might just become the next Rebecca Black. In the mean time, creating a music video is very simple.

As soon as the app is launched you can tap the plus button to start a video. From there a screen pops up with all of your music from your iTunes library. Once you’ve selected a song, I picked “Float On” by Modest Mouse, the camera automatically turns on.  This is where it gets fun.  (more…)

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Angry Birds Space is Intergalactic Phenomenon worth Every Penny

download app Angry Birds Space HD
Developer: Rovio Mobile
Price: $2.99
Download from the App Store
User Ratings:
4

Space, the final frontier… Alright, I might be mixing genres up, but Angry Birds Space is now No. 1 in 99 countries and it’s a force to be reckoned with. I also believe that even if this was the first Angry Birds title ever that it would still be top spot. It’s just that good.

Just think about it for a minute. What if up until a few weeks ago there was no Angry Birds game on the App Store? What if we had never been introduced to those little piggies? What if? First off, I think it would be a cold, dark world that when we walked around we’d always feel an empty space in the pit of our gut. Luckily, this isn’t the case. And even more fortuitous, we now not only have a slue of birdies to throw around, we have gravity, planets and the vastness that is space to deal with. (more…)

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Angry Birds Space now available for download, pigs will fly

Angry Birds Space now available for download, pigs fly

Rejoice, casual gamers — Angry Birds Space has landed! Rovio’s latest game — which we recently took for a spin on Samsung’s Galaxy Note LTE at SXSW — frees itself from the earth’s gravitational pull to explore the final frontier. We’ve gathered download links to all the major platforms below for your epic birds vs. pigs entertainment. Aren’t space physics fun?

Update: Video and PR after the break.

Continue reading Angry Birds Space now available for download, pigs will fly

Angry Birds Space now available for download, pigs will fly originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 22 Mar 2012 04:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Osmos HD [Android Game Review]

YouTube link for mobile viewing

Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the galactic mote space amoeba. Its single-level mission: To not get eaten by bigger, nastier, red space amoebae and to boldly go where no space amoeba has gone before.

Oh, hey everyone. I've just introduced you to Osmos HD. There's not much to say about it, really. You start off as a small, worthless little blue space amoeba that hungers to be the biggest amoeba around. How do you get there? By eating the little guys, of course. Watch out, though. If you're not careful, bigger guys than yourself will be feasting on your space matter, too.

First things first. If you're going to become the biggest fish in an incredibly large pool, you've got to know how to move around. Tap on the sides of your space amoeba and he'll eject little bits of himself (gross) to propel him where you want him to float.

The double-edge to this rule, however, is that you're actually ejecting little parts of yourself. Each tap makes you a little bit smaller, thereby potentially ruining your chances of absorbing that tasty amoeba you were floating towards.

There's some nifty multitouch stuff to get around on the menus as well as a slider to either speed up the action or slow things down a bit.

There's two modes, Arcade and Odyssey, but you have to beat Odyssey mode before you can hop into Arcade. Odyssey sort of acts like the tutorial plus the introduction to the mechanics, and once you've beaten it, you can hop into Arcade and try to play any level on any difficulty to really test your chops.

Osmos HD is an absolutely gorgeous game, and with that said, there's nothing left to say. It's incredibly relaxing to play, has a beautiful, ambient soundtrack, and even has a couple of achievements to unlock for those who like digital trophies. Oh, and did I mention it was good enough to make the Humble Bundle?

If you haven't yet, get Osmos HD. It's well worth the $4.99 that's being asked for it in the Market, so show some devs a bit of love, pick up an awesome game, and spend the rest of your time floating the night away, space amoeba-style.

We've got download links after the break.

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First Speculative Details Released About Jelly Bean, Could See Q2 Launch

Well while everyone is still waiting to get their official taste of Ice Cream Sandwich it appears that news about the new iteration of Android, possibly 5.0, Jelly Bean is surfacing. If a rumor from Taiwan suppliers to DIGITIMES can be believed Jelly Bean would be “further optimized” for tablets by adding some elements of the Chrome OS. This would allow users to have a live dual-boot. This means users could switch between Windows or Android without having to shut the other down first.

The new OS looks to be an opportunity for Google to push back into the netbook/notebook frontier. Considering that their Chrome OS hasn’t taken off as Google first thought it would it makes sense. The Chrome OS does lack the abilities of a full notebook, what with it being an in-the-cloud device, and the portability of a lighter instant-on tablet. It’s also speculated that Google may unveil the new OS in the spring making a point for dual-booting systems simultaneously.

This update would be big much like Android 4.0. While the OS has seen lackluster results in the tablet market compared to the iPad, Jelly Bean would change that. Given that Honeycomb had little impact to slow the momentum of the iPad and Android 4.0 added minor changes Android needs a tablet wow factor to push them ahead. According to the sources of this rumor, several Android partners are a bit skeptical if not afraid that the Android OS is no longer a contender in the tablet game.

While Google’s I/O Conference is where we normally see announcements about new Android flavors we have until the end of April to see if any of this is true. If this speculation holds wait let’s hope we see something big because I would love to see the iPad be blown out of the water. What do you think out there in Talk Android Land? Do these rumors hold water?

source: DIGITIMES
via: electronista


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EFF working to keep jailbreaking legal, wants your help

Android Central

Jailbreaking or rooting your smartphone is currently "legal" under Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but that exemption is set to expire in 2012.  The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is looking for help and support to keep it that way, and they would like people to contact the US Copyright office and express their opinion.  They are offering up a handy set of questions and concerns readers can use in their appeal to the copyright office, and have done as much as they can to streamline the process and make it painless, with direct links and a petition.  

The idea behind it all is that once we pay our hard-earned money for our expensive electronic toys, they are ours to do with as we please.  As long as safety regulations are met, and we don't do anything to adversely affect our cellular carrier, we should be able to do anything we wish.  It's a great idea, and it's a shame that this even requires an exemption in the DMCA.

The DMCA has been used against people who hack game consoles, and used against people trafficking cell phones, but has anyone ever been prosecuted for rooting their smartphone?  I've searched the net for a few days, and every time I find something that sounds promising, it ends up being more than just someone jailbreaking their iPad or rooting their Bionic.  Yeah, carriers and manufacturers probably hate it, and we can't blame them, but I don't see a case like HTC vs. Jerry Hildenbrand for rooting his Wildfire S getting much traction in a court of law.  Unfortunately, we can't trust things will stay this way in a world full of companies like Microsoft and Apple.

It's absolutely ridiculous that we would require some sort of waiver to be allowed to mess up our own hardware.  It's even more ridiculous that carriers and device makers have acted in ways to put the fear of prosecution in us so we want an exemption in the first place.  It's mine.  If you want to tell me what to do with it, you need to pay me for it.  Until then, leave me the hell alone and let me enjoy my toys.

Hit the link below, and do your part to make sure the Copyright Office does the right thing.

EFF: Jailbreaking is not a crime

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Star Command: Trekkie RPG with Game Dev Story style

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of War Balloon Games, a tiny indie game developer with a love of all things Star Trek. Their continuing mission: to develop and Android game that combines the classic spacegoing stories of TV’s greatest scifi series with 16-bit RPG gameplay. To boldly go where, um, many, many people have gone before, actually. But in an awesome way.

Star Command is an upcoming game for Android and iOS with a lot of buzz behind it, thanks to an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign. The basic idea is to combine the turn-based mobile RPG framework with a universe that should be very familiar to fans of Gene Roddenberry’s magnum opus. It’s not just a pretty face, either: players will have to assemble away teams, repair and customize their starship (USS DROID DOES, NCC-2009) and recruit new crew members to keep the story going. Ground and space-based combat will play out differently, and your success or failure will depend upon your own skills and the team and tech you’ve assembled.

There’s also a considerable amount of wry humor. Check out the video below for some GladOS-style fun, and forgive their poor choice of demo hardware:

All this is wrapped up in a framework and graphical style that mimics Kairsoft’s Game Dev Story, a tried and tested formula for open-ended gaming on the small screen. The developers are creating huge world, which is why they’re months late on a release. But if the small glimpse available on their website is any indication, it’ll be well worth the wait. When launched the game will be a paid app, but War Balloon Games is promising free DLC for the life of the title. We can’t wait to try this one out – just remember not to give your crew members red shirts unless you’re okay with employing smoking piles of ash.

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Will Rooting Your Smartphone Soon Be Illegal? Not If We Can Stop It!

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The Android modding community is a great one all made possible by the tireless efforts of developers who seek to further enrich the Android experience by rooting and modding the software on their smartphones. Well, that whole ecosystem may soon be threatened with the expiration of the jailbreaking (and rooting) exemption law granted by the U.S. Copyright Office to help protect those of us who chose to modify the software on our devices from legal threats. Without that law, users who jailbreak or root their devices could face criminal charges — sounds like a crazy, post-apocalyptic future, right?

Well, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (who filed for the original jailbreaking/rooting exemption 3 years ago) is on our side and is looking for supporters to help renew the law and keep hackers and modders out of our country’s prison system. It doesn’t just stop at smartphones either. The EFF is also pushing for tablets and video game consoles to be included in the exemption. Media relations director and digital right analyst for the EFF, Rebecca Jeschke had this to say,

“The law was never intended to limit legal activity with a device that was legally bought. It’s not good policy for consumers. The idea that you might face criminal charges because you altered your own property is totally unfair. The goal here is to make the law really clear.”

Probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise but Apple fought against the exemption (surprise, surprise) back when it was introduced in 2010 and it’s iOS users that really have something to worry about with Apple’s trigger happy legal team always on the hunt. Just when you thought you could put down you pitchforks in protest of SOPA, a new cause is born. You can help by signing the petition at jailbreakingisnotacrime.org

Thanks, Marshall!

[Via Electronic Frontier Foundation]


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Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking for your help in taking down Carrier IQ

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is looking for users of rooted or jailbroken phones to help them in their pursuit of taking down Carrier IQ. If you remember, the EFF was enlisted by Trevor Eckhart after Carrier IQ slapped him with a Cease and Desist letter. The EFF is all about protecting the public’s digital rights, so it’s not surprising they are looking to uncover exactly what Carrier IQ was doing with the data.

What the EFF needs is the “profile” that is on your phone. What is a profile? It’s a file written by Carrier IQ that is based on the specifications of the phone company or client. It’s written to each phone, and it contains information about what data to collect and where to send it. You will most likely need to be rooted or jailbroken in order to get to the profile. There is even a thread over at XDA discussing possible methods in finding these profiles. If you’re able to obtain your profile, the EFF would like you to send it to them along with what phone and network it was from and where on the phone’s file system you found it. This can be emailed at iqiq@eff.org or in a git remote they can pull from. Hit the source links for more information.

 


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You have died of dysentery: Oregon Trail is free on the Android Market

Who among us can’t remember crowding around the class Macintosh to watch one lucky kid at a time try to make the journey west to the pixelated promised land in Oregon Trail. Well, probably quite a few of us – those of you who are significantly older or younger than I am, for a start. But I digress. Oregon Trail is back, this time from mobile mega-developer Gameloft, in an updated version for your Android phone or tablet. And it’s free.

For the two of you out there in Internet Land who never played one of Oregon Trail’s many iterations, it goes something like this: you start of as a family of frontier hopefuls, buying a wagon, oxen and supplies in Missouri, trying to survive the perilous journey to Oregon. You could name your character and family members (most of my classmates opted for names with just four letters), make course decisions at key crossroads, repair and resupply your wagon along the way, and of course, hunt wildlife for food. In an oddly macabre edition to a kids’ game, your family members – and eventually the player character – can die in grisly, horrible and ultimately realistic ways. Always a crowds pleaser.

Gameloft’s version, entitled Oregon Trail: Settler, brings the same core survivalist gameplay with some pleasing modern tweaks. Once you reach the end of your journey you’re introduced to a Sim City-style isometric town, where you must farm, market and defend your property. The game is free in the Android Market (that’s zero buckskins for you pioneer types) and available now for all recent versions of Android. Remember: always buy lots of bullets.

[via DroidGamers]

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PopCap launching Plants vs Zombies & Peggle next week

We have been here before. PopCap’s amazingly popular casual games are already sort of available on Android, thanks to a long-running exclusive to distribute them via the Amazon Appstore. Which means they’re only available to Android users in the US.

But! According to a PopCap blog post today, the mainstream titles will arrive on the proper Android Market at some point this week, with us poor RotW consumers finally getting the chance to consume its products.

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That’s PvZ on Android. It’s yet another tower defence game. We could really do with more of those, eh? Peggle’s a physics thing. We haven’t played either of them, as you may be able to tell.

Link via PG.

Related posts:

  1. Medieval joins Android tower defence war
  2. Space Station: Frontier out now on Android
  3. Google launching Galaxy Nexus bug fix “in the coming week”

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Carrier IQ Withdraws Cease & Desist Order against Developer

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The cease and desist order issued to Android dev Trevor Eckhart has been withdrawn by Carrier IQ less than a week after news first broke of potential legal action. Eckhart has been digging deep into the software found on HTC handsets to determine the full extent of information collected by the service. Carrier IQ first came to light after a potential security hole was uncovered on HTC’s Android handsets. HTC has since worked to issue software fixes, though Carrier IQ maintains their stance that their software was not designed to spy on users and collect sensitive personal data.

Eckhart sought legal counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Carrier IQ has been in touch with both parties. A formal statement was issued to withdraw the initial cease and desist order, but not without taking the opportunity to attempt a bit of face saving. Read on to see Carrier IQ’s statement.

Carrier IQ Press Statement

Mountain View, CA – November 23, 2011 – As, of today, we are withdrawing our cease and desist letter to Mr. Trevor Eckhart. We have reached out to Mr. Eckhart and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to apologize. Our action was misguided and we are deeply sorry for any concern or trouble that our letter may have caused Mr. Eckhart. We sincerely appreciate and respect EFF’s work on his behalf, and share their commitment to protecting free speech in a rapidly changing technological world.

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the functionality of Carrier IQ’s software, what it does not do and what it does:

- Does not record your keystrokes.

- Does not provide tracking tools.

- Does not inspect or report on the content of your communications, such as the content of emails and SMSs.

- Does not provide real-time data reporting to any customer.

- Finally, we do not sell Carrier IQ data to third parties.

Our software is designed to help mobile network providers diagnose critical issues that lead to problems such as dropped calls and battery drain.

Here’s what our software does:

- Our software makes your phone work better by identifying dropped calls and poor service.

- Our software identifies problems that impede a phone’s battery life.

- Our software makes customer service quicker, more accurate, and more efficient.

- Our software helps quickly identify trending problems to help mobile networks prevent them from becoming more widespread.

We look forward to a healthy and robust discussion with EFF that we believe will be helpful to us, to our customers, and to consumers that use mobile devices. We welcome feedback on our products and understand that Mr. Eckhart and other developers like him play an important role by raising questions about the complicated and technical aspects of the mobile ecosystem.


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Carrier IQ withdraws ‘misguided’ cease-and-desist letter, apologizes to security advocate TrevE

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Well, that was quick. Carrier IQ just sent out a press statement saying it's withdrawn its cease-and desist letter to Trevor Eckhart, who recently detailed how the company's action worked. Said Carrier IQ:

"Our action was misguided and we are deeply sorry for any concern or trouble that our letter may have caused Mr. Eckhart. We sincerely appreciate and respect EFF’s work on his behalf, and share their commitment to protecting free speech in a rapidly changing technological world."

Looks like the Electronic Frontier Foundation's backing of Eckhart paid off, the lawyers have done their thing, and the security and privacy advocate known as TrevE won't be pursued for thousands of dollars of fines after all.

That doesn't change the fact that the Carrier IQ software remains on a number of phones, and many of you aren't crazy about having a hidden background app report how you use your phone back to the manufacturer — even if you do agree to it up front — and that's certainly an argument that needs to continue.

We've got the full press release after the break.

read more

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Developer Hit with Cease and Desist Order for CarrierIQ Investigations

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You surely remember HTC’s recent data snafu. It was discovered that software in their recent handsets was designed to track and collect plenty of personal information, data that was vulnerable to discovery. HTC recognized the problem and quickly set about to issue a fix, but the long-term implications of the ordeal are still being felt.

The initial issue with leaky data put developer Trevor Eckhart (TrevE on XDA) on a search which eventually culminated in a lengthy investigation into CarrierIQ, the software behind HTC’s data tracking. In an effort to inform the community and spread word of CarrierIQ’s practices, Eckhart was transparent in what he uncovered, bringing the practices of CarrierIQ to light. The company is not happy, and has issued a Cease and Desist order demanding that Eckhart remove all of his postings on the software and issue a formal statement dismissing any claims he has made against the software maker.

Eckhart has reached out to the Electronic Frontier Foundation for counseling, and is standing firm in his fight against CarrierIQ. The EFF sees the allegations as bogus, stating that Eckhart “used and made available these materials in order to educate consumers and security researchers about the functionality of your software, which he believes raises substantial privacy concerns.”

[via XDA, TechCrunch | Thanks to all who sent this in!]


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Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket review

Who knew AT&T’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II had a younger, larger brother on the way? Just a hair over a month after the carrier launched its flagship Android device, it’s already set for another go-round. This one, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket, offers a larger display and “true” 4G connectivity — yes, it’s a pioneer blazing a new trail to Ma Bell’s wild and untamed frontier, right alongside the HTC Vivid. It’s time to answer the burning questions: what kinds of speeds are possible on AT&T’s LTE network? Is the series’ legendary battery life up to snuff on the next-gen network? Join us below to find out.

Continue reading Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket review

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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[New Game] Space Station: Frontier (From The Maker Of Sentinel) Takes Tower Defense Into Outer Space

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Origin8 Technologies Ltd., the developer behind Sentinel, has done it again, releasing Space Station: Frontier to the Android Market today. This time, the tower defense genre has been blasted into space, allowing the player to harvest energy, mine resources, and upgrade extensive networks of defense turrets and mechanisms surrounding their main station, all the while battling alien enemies.

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Adding a touch of social integration, Space Station has OpenFeint compatibility, allowing for leaderboards and various unlockable achievements. For fans of the tower defense genre, Space Station looks like a great entry, bringing the high-quality…

Official Android Police t-shirts are now on sale, with over 25 designs to call yours.

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[New Game] Space Station: Frontier (From The Maker Of Sentinel) Takes Tower Defense Into Outer Space was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Space Station: Frontier out now on Android

This is a new game from Origin8, the team behind the excellent Sentinel 3: Homeworld. Space Station: Frontier is a very similar kind of thing to the developer’s first Android launch, giving us another take on, you guessed it, tower defence.

It’s tower defence with more of an asset-managing aspect to it, with players mining their own raw materials with which to build and power up their defence grids. It looks like this:

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And it’s optimised for tablets, too, with integrated OpenFeint social tools. Space Station: Frontier is £1.50 to buy and have, and is on the Android Market right here and now.

Related posts:

  1. A Space Shooter For Free launches on Android
  2. Taito launches Space Invaders Infinity Gene on Android
  3. VIDEO: Dead Space now available on Xperia PLAY

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Boost Mobile announces ZTE Warp, hopes to push its lineup out of impulse on November 2nd for $250

After Tuesday’s Ice Cream Sandwich announcement in Hong Kong, pushing out a Gingerbread device just doesn’t feel like we’re leaping to the final frontier, but it’s still nice to have on a prepaid plan nonetheless. We’re talking about the ZTE Warp, announced as Boost Mobile’s latest no-contract Android phone, which sports a 4.3-inch display, 1GHz single-core CPU, and a 5MP rear camera with LED flash. You can expect it to hit Boost stores starting November 2nd for $250. Check out the presser below the break and the video, and let’s see what’s out there.

Continue reading Boost Mobile announces ZTE Warp, hopes to push its lineup out of impulse on November 2nd for $250

Boost Mobile announces ZTE Warp, hopes to push its lineup out of impulse on November 2nd for $250 originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 20:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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