) is reportedly building an all-new smartphone platform to
compete more effectively in the mobile device market. According
, the company will unveil the platform — along with new Atom
processors designed for lower power consumption — at the 2013
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The event is scheduled
to take place at the end of February.
If this report is accurate, Intel’s announcement will come
around the same time that Samsung is expected to unveil the
Galaxy S IV. The South Korean manufacturer was expected to
introduce the new phone a little sooner, but Samsung quashed that
rumor when it jumped ahead and unveiled the
last week. The Grand runs the latest version of Google (NASDAQ:
) Android and includes a five-inch display. Many speculate that
the Galaxy S IV will feature a screen that is even bigger, though
not as big as the Galaxy Note 2, which contains a 5.5-inch
) — which uses Intel chips in the iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook
Pro, Mac Mini and other computers — is rumored to be developing
an iPhone upgrade for an early spring 2013 release. The device,
which many suspect will be called the iPhone 5S, could be
unveiled in March.
Intel has had its eye on the smartphone market for some time.
The company is famous for manufacturing the Pentium, Celeron,
Core Duo and Core i7 brands, which have helped Intel to become
the world’s largest chipmaker.
Despite its size and massive revenue (roughly
annually), Intel is losing ground. It has learned that PCs –
desktops, notebooks and other forms — may not be the future. If
Intel is to maintain its spot at the top, it must build a
successful platform for the devices that stand to replace PCs:
smartphones and tablets.
Intel attempted to cash in on the mobile market when it
developed Medfield, a mobile platform used by Motorola, Lenovo
and a handful of other manufacturers. Thus far, none of the
Medfield-powered smartphones have produced a runaway success
story. Instead of hearing more about Motorola’s RAZR I, investors
have been bombarded with reports of
low shipment volumes
that the Medfield X86 chips did not initially support 4G LTE. The
prevented multiple Android apps
from running, including Google Chrome.
These results could be very troubling to smartphone makers
that are concerned with 4G LTE and/or Android app
Shares of Intel are down nearly 16 percent year-to-date.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
(CNN) – Would it help you manage your stress level to get a warning that the text message you’re about to read is your boss or partner chewing you out? The creators of a new mobile app think so.
Stress @ Work is an Android app developed by a student at England’s University of Portsmouth. It color-codes incoming messages on Facebook, Twitter and via text, using their choice of language to predict their tone.
Green means positive, blue is neutral and red is a warning of potential nastiness.
Masters student Lorraine Chambers said she created the app so people know whether to expect to feel better or worse after checking in.
“The ultimate objective of this application is to make the user aware of the negative contents they receive so they are able to manage their stress in the best possible way,” Mohamed Gaber, a senior lecturer at the university, added in a news release.
“For example, if most of what is received from social media websites by a user on a particular day was negative, it is important that the user attempts to take an action in order to not get stressed, especially if this may affect the individual’s performance at work and/or their behavior at home.”
On a sample image provided by the school, a tweet from a sender saying he had a great time the night before showed up in green, as did a text wishing the recipient a happy weekend.
Two Twitter posts with links to news stories (a movie review and a political story) earned neutral blue. Another one announcing that the next day’s weather will be bad (“hope you brought a jacket”) and one saying that the sender is tired and had taken the wrong bus were flagged in red.
(No word on whether the app can detect irony or sarcasm.)
Chambers and Gaber plan to present the app at a September conference in Spain. It is still in the testing phase and not yet available.
They said they plan to release it for free in the Android Market. If there is enough interest, they then hope to make a version for Apple mobile devices.
The volume of malware surged in the first three months of 2012. In particular, there’s been a flood of new types of rootkits, password-stealing Trojan applications, malware targeting Android users, and botnet infections.
This finding comes by way of a new report from security vendor McAfee.
“Malicious code is on the rise again, plain and simple,” said David Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs, in a related blog post. “We are seeing more malware than in the recent past, and you can count on that figure to rise in the coming year. In particular, mobile platforms present today’s cybercriminal with an almost irresistible target, specifically Android-based for now, but that can certainly evolve.”
[ Cyber-scams and malware are expected to escalate as we approach the 2012 Olympics. Read more at London 2012 Olympics Scammers Seek Malicious Gold . ]
The number of new malicious applications targeting mobile devices leapt from about 500 in the fourth quarter of 2011 to over 6,000 in the first quarter of 2012. The jump was targeted almost solely at the Android platform, according to the McAfee report. It also noted that the vast majority of Android malware targets mobile users based in Russia and China, and comes not via the official Google Play application store but via third-party sources.
From a corporate information security standpoint, the most prevalent types of network-based attacks seen between January and the end of March 2012 were remote procedure calls, SQL injection attacks, and browser cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
Geographically, the United States took top marks when it came to SQL injection attacks, both as the region from which most of these attacks were launched and as the biggest target. The United States also saw the largest number of machines compromised by botnets, which, as McAfee reported, are “often used as a proxy for spam, botnets, denial of service, or other types of malicious activities.”
On the good news front, spam volumes have recently been decreasing, with McAfee recording about 1 trillion spam messages circulating worldwide per month. Decreases were most significant in Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia, while increases in spam were found in China, Germany, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, according to the report. The United Kingdom in particular is no surprise, given the increase in spam, phishing, and malware attacks that are related to the July 2012 Summer Olympics that will be happening in London.
If spam volumes are down, however, botnet activity is up. All told, McAfee saw about 5 million new botnet infections–2 million alone due to the Cutwail (a.k.a. Pushdo) botnet–during the first three months of 2012. The biggest increase in the overall number of botnet infections, meanwhile, was in Columbia, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the United States.
Without a doubt, the botnet business is booming–and for a price, anyone can buy in. For example, McAfee researchers found that a botnet known as Citadel, available via a malware-as-a-service model, costs $2,400, plus $125 for renting the required “bot builder and admin panel.” Meanwhile, for an additional $395, users can add an upgrade that brings “automatic updates for antivirus evasion,” according to the McAfee report, although each update then costs $15.
First detected in December 2011 and based on the published Zeus financial malware source code, Citadel has quickly become one of the most rapidly adopted profit-driven attack toolkits, meaning it’s designed to separate consumers from their bank account and credit card details.
Meanwhile, the price of the Darkness botnet marketed by “SVAS/Noncenz,” which is designed for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against websites, starts at $450–with no free updates or add-on modules–but can rise to $1,000 for lifetime free upgrades and an attack module that will grab passwords from infected PCs.
Finally, the latest version of the Carberp financial botnet, which is designed to steal bank account data or even Facebook e-cash vouchers, costs $2,500. While Russian authorities announced on March 20, 2012, that they’d arrested the gang behind Carberp, the new version debuted the next day.
Think your corporate website isn’t vulnerable to a SQL injection attack? Start rethinking. SQL injection is among the most prevalent–and most dangerous–techniques for exploiting Web applications and attacking back-end databases that house critical business information at companies of every size. In our Stop SQL Injection report, we explain how SQL injection works and how to secure your Web apps and databases against it. (Free registration required.)
Article source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/240000992
Mobile malware targeting Google Android devices exploded in the first few months of 2012, according to a new report from McAfee.
Nearly 7,000 Android threats were identified and collected through the end of the 2012 first quarter, according to McAfee’s threat report.
This represents a more than 1,200 percent increase when compared with the 600 Android samples identified by the company by the end of 2011. The majority of these threats originate from third-party app stores as opposed to Google Play, the security firm said.
“I’d definitely steer clear of any third-party sites providing Android apps,” said Adam Wosotowsky, messaging data architect at McAfee Labs.
“The Android marketplace is open to anyone who wants to put their app on it unless that app doesn’t pass Google’s multi-layered quality checks. So you obviously wouldn’t want an app that couldn’t be put onto Android’s marketplace and I can’t think of any good reasons why a developer would say that they don’t want their app on the android marketplace but want it on third-party sites,” Wosotowsky said.
Malware targeting Windows PCs jumped as well, reaching the highest level detected in a single quarter in four years, according to the firm. In the fourth quarter of 2011, McAfee Labs had collected more than 75 million malware samples.
In the first quarter of 2012, the company detected 83 million pieces. Driving that increase was a bump in the number of rootkits and password stealers, with the latter reaching approximately 1 million samples. The main medium for propagating highly targeted attacks is email, with nearly all targeted attacks beginning with a spear phishing message.
Earlier this year, Google announced it was improving security for Android’s app marketplace with a malware detection system nicknamed “Bouncer,” which analyzes new applications before they are sold in the market to see if they contain known malware.
Financial profit is the main motivator for mobile malware, according to McAfee. Overall, 8,000 total mobile malware samples were collected during the quarter.
Though Mac malware was in the news during the past two months due to growth of the Flashback Trojan, the amount of Mac malware is still relatively tiny. According to McAfee, roughly 250 new Mac malware samples were detected in the quarter.
The botnet business continues to thrive, though global spam levels dropped to approximately 1 trillion monthly spam messages by the end of March. Decreases were the most significant in Brazil, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, while China, Germany, Spain, Poland and the U.K. saw increases.
Botnet growth increased in the first quarter, reaching nearly five million infections at its highest point. Columbia, Japan, Poland, Spain, and the United States were the areas with the largest increase in botnet activity, while Indonesia, Portugal and South Korea were regions that continued to decline. The most prevalent botnet during the quarter was Cutwail, with more than two million new infections.
The United States was found to host most botnet control servers and is the location point for the vast majority of new malicious Websites, with an average of 9,300 new bad sites recorded each day. The United States was also the primary source of SQL injection and cross-site scripting attacks during the quarter, and had the highest number of victims of both kinds of attacks, the report stated.
“In the first quarter of 2012, we have already detected eight million new malware samples, showing that malware authors are continuing their unrelenting development of new malware,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a statement.
“The same skills and techniques that were sharpened on the PC platform are increasingly being extended to other platforms, such as mobile and Mac; and as more homes and businesses use these platforms the attacks will spread, which is why all users, no matter their platforms, should take security and online safety precautions,” Weafer’s statement said.
* Android share surges in Spain, Italy, Germany
* Android share surges in Spain, Italy, Germany
* Apple gains in US, Britain; slips in Europe
* Windows Phone share jumps to 3-6 pct on Nokia switch
* Nokia’s Symbian, RIM fall most
By Tarmo Virki
HELSINKI, May 15 (Reuters) – Google’s Android
smartphone software stretched its market lead in early 2012,
helped by new models from handset makers like Samsung and HTC
and piling the pressure on rivals like Research In Motion
Research from Kantar WorldPanel on Tuesday showed Android
gaining share strongly in most of seven major markets -
Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United
States – in the 12 weeks to mid April.
In Spain and Italy, its market share more than doubled
year-on-year to 72 percent and 49 percent respectively, while it
almost doubled to 62 percent in Germany.
Strong demand for the iPhone 4S helped market No.2 Apple
narrow the gap with Android in the United States and
Britain, but its share slipped in continental Europe.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone began to show some signs
of growth thanks to Nokia’s decision to swap its legacy Symbian
platform for Windows.
Windows’ share in Germany more than doubled to 6 percent
over the past year, and climbed to 3-4 percent in Britain,
France, Italy and the United States.
These gains came at the expense of Nokia’s Symbian platform
and Canadian BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the biggest
market share losers. RIM’s share in the U.S. market dropped to
just 3 percent from 9 percent a year earlier.
Kantar said HTC’s One X model made a strong start in
Britain, making the Top 10 list for the 12 week period even
though it was on sale for less than a week.
Android is slowly pushing iOS into second place among Europe’s top five economies, according to a report published today.
InMobi, which claims to be the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network, reported that Android was the most popular operating system in three of the five top economies, with only the U.K. and Italy favoring Apple’s iOS. In Spain, Android has complete dominance with more than one in every two smartphones. And its dominance is growing, up from 45.9% in 2011Q4 to 54.3% in 2012Q1. The figures come from the ads the company serves.
Beleaguered Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, can draw a small amount of comfort from the report. With the exception of Italy, it remains the third operating system in all major markets, and commands anywhere between 10% in Germany to 19% in Spain. Furthermore, the company managed to grow its market share in two of the five markets.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone didn’t manage to make an appearance in the figures. In Italy, Nokia’s moribund Symbian still accounted for 9% of the market.
The U.K.’s love affair with Apple seems unbreakable: iOS dominated the cellphone market and the country’s top three mobile devices were all made by Apple (the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). Across the rest of Europe, Samsung’s GT-S5830 and BlackBerry’s 8520 proved popular.
According to John Stoneman, Director EME, for InMobi, countries tend to follow a particular development, dependent on the market conditions. “Typically what you see,” he said, “is the iPhone launches. Those people who want a smartphone and can afford it buy the iPhone. Later what you see is the growth of Android as people with less money enter the market. At that point the two operating systems will tend to slug it out.”
Speaking of other operating systems, Mr. Stoneman said there was no evidence yet of any impact by Windows Phone. “Frankly at the moment, Windows Phone is a rounding error.” Rim’s BlackBerry, he said, was very much still the third operating system, but there are significant problems. “Rim’s success remains its usability as a telecommunications device, not a mini-computer. The problem the BlackBerry has is the lack of a relevant developer network, an ecosystem. The choice for developers will be iPhone and Android, then mobile web. Rim is not even an after thought in most cases.”
Overall, the company reported strong growth in all markets across Europe.
Observers should be careful about reading too much into the figures since they represent just one company’s findings and can be heavily influenced by the penetration of InMobi in that market. Sample sizes vary from 9.5 billion ad impressions a quarter in the U.K., where the company has an office, to 1.8 billion in Italy.
Mobile operating system by country
Updated at 18:01 23 Apr 04: Added interview with John Stoneman, Director EME, for InMobi
Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET)
SwiftKey 3 Beta, the newest version of the incredibly popular
Android replacement keyboard, is now available to SwiftKey’s VIP Community members. And from what I’ve seen so far, it is something for the public to be excited about.
If you’re not familiar with SwiftKey, it is a Google Play Editors’ Choice app, and it won the coveted Most Innovative App award at this year’s Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, Spain. What sets it apart from other replacement keyboards is its ability to understand not just patterns in your typing, but also how words work together. This makes it scary good at predicting the next word you want to type, sometimes even before you begin typing it. What’s more, Swiftkey continues to learn from your e-mail, SMS, and even social media accounts, so it actually gets noticeably better at making predictions as you use it.
So what’s new with SwiftKey 3? Most noticeably, there’s an improved UI, with a larger space bar (thank goodness) and a smart punctuation function that rolls out punctuation choices when you hold down the period key. Both of these tweaks, while they may seem minor, help significantly to reduce error and speed up your typing. There are also two new themes — “Cobalt” and “Holo” — to customize the look of the keyboard to your liking.
But the biggest news with SwiftKey 3 is the addition of Smart Space, an almost magical technology that understands when you accidentally omit or otherwise screw up spaces in your typing. While this may not sound exciting, it’s actually very impressive once you see it in action. You can even tap out an entire sentence without spaces, and have the Smart Space technology correct you, while you’re typing. Joe Braidwood, CMO of SwiftKey, asserts that Smart Space marks a major step forward in autocorrection technology, and after what I’ve seen, I don’t doubt it.
Finally, this newest version also comes with a few less exciting, though still valuable, additions like improved punctuation handling, backup of learned language data, and support for seven new languages: Korean, Estonian, Farsi, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Serbian.
As of now, SwiftKey 3 Beta is only available to members of SwiftKey’s VIP Community. But fortunately, you can get the current, public version of Swiftkey X now from Google Play. SwiftKey X is available for phones (free trial | paid full) and for
tablets (free trial | paid full). And I think it’s worth mentioning that the tablet version offers a superconvenient split-key layout when in landscape mode, which makes it easy to type quickly with just your thumbs. It’s definitely worth a look.
Dear Pharmacist: On Facebook, you mentioned this supplement called Citicoline for memory, and it interests me because my mother has Alzheimer’s and my wife had a mild stroke. Would it help? — J.L., Newark, New Jersey A: I think so. Very few people have heard of Citicoline which is sold as a dietary supplement known scientifically as cytidine 5 diphosphocholine” or “CDP Choline.” Citicoline could help many brain disorders. Researchers are currently evaluating its effect on stroke patients because of everything I’m about to tell you, plus it’s ability to reduce free fatty acid build-up which occurs at the site of the stroke; very hard to fix that with drugs, but citicoline might. Citicoline’s most beautiful feature is that it can help you make phospholipids, which encase every brain cell. Without a healthy cell membrane, your skull would hold one giant glob, and you’d have the IQ of a worm, so anything that helps you make phospholipids improves brain function. Citicoline donates “choline” to make two important phospholipids called “phosphatidylcholine” and “phosphatidylserine.” Both of those are sold over-the-counter too. Citcoline also helps you make the memory molecule called “acetylcholine.” low levels of acetylcholine, you might be told you have Alzheimer’s disease. To that end, citicoline blocks beta-amyloid deposition, another kink in the brain tied to Alzheimer’s disease. What about Parkinson’s? In fact, citicoline slightly raises dopamine levels, giving more hope to those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. The effects of nourishing your brain with these brain-loving compounds can’t be bad. In fact, I think after 6 weeks of supplementation (with either citicoline, phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine), you might see improvement in memory, problem-solving, mood, tremors, mental clarity and orientation. I’m not promising, I’m just thinking out loud and shining a flashlight into a dark room in case you have been told there’s no more time or “there’s nothing more we can do for you.” Citicoline may help stroke patients, as I mentioned earlier. Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, and each year, about 795,000 people suffer one! Ask your neurologist to look up studies on pubmed that show cytidine 5’ diphosphocholine to prevent neuronal cell death (brain decay), and increase sphingomyelin while simultaneously reducing the neurotoxin arachidonic acid. This is huge to a recovering person and hard to accomplish with medication alone. Early intervention is key. A 2006 study from Barcelona, Spain concluded “Citicoline has also been shown to be effective in Parkinson disease, drug addictions, and alcoholism, as well as in amblyopia and glaucoma. No serious side effects have occurred …” The three supplements I’ve shared today have promise for many of you. Some contain soy, a common allergen, so read labels carefully. Also, be patient: optimal effects take two or three months. Most importantly, gain your physician’s approval, especially if you take blood thinners, antihypertensives, psychostimulants or antidepressants. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For more information about Suzy Cohen, visit her website at www.suzycohen.com.