Boot up: Microsoft v Android, Apple v Samsung, evil infographics and more
Plus the Dead Platform graveyard, Motorola owners' long upgrade wait, Galaxy Note reviewed and more
A quick burst of 9 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Big it is:
As a mobile phone, the Galaxy Note is positively gargantuan. It's almost 6 inches long and over 3 inches wide. When you hold it up to your ear, it pretty much covers the entire side of your face. You look like you're talking into a piece of toast. The Note is so big, an iPhone can almost fit within its display. And it dwarfs even the more-bloated crop of recent Android phones, like Samsung's own Galaxy S II series, whose screen can be as large as 4.5 inches. And while it can fit into a large pocket or handbag, the Note isn't going to slip unobtrusively into your jeans or a small purse. It weighs 6.28 ounces, nearly 30% more than the iPhone and nearly 50% more than some Galaxy S II models.
More tablet than phone, in short. Also: research companies say they will class the Note as a tablet - not as a phone.
Details 26 platforms that are either dead or 'zombie' (hello Windows Mobile; nice to see you, WebOS) and looks at the reasons why they died. Generally: cost of ownership; conflicting revenue model; lack of network effects; high adoption barriers. (Note that none of those is the reason why Windows Mobile died.)
The flaw came to light by analysing more than seven million public keys which are used to secure online transactions, email messages and other web services. The researchers discovered that a flaw in the process for generating random prime numbers - a critical component of the public key encryption - resulted in thousands of public keys sharing common prime numbers. "What surprised us most is that many thousands of 1024-bit RSA moduli, including thousands that are contained in still valid X.509 certificates, offer no security at all," the research paper states.
Well, not exactly no security. Just rather less than immense security.
Something of an eye-opener:
Theodore Essex, administrative law judge for the International Trade Commission, wrote in his Jan. 31 decision that Microsoft's negotiations with Barnes & Noble over the use of Android in the Nook were "certainly hard bargaining," but he concluded they didn't qualify as patent misuse. "Even assuming that these transactions and the related evidence establishes that Microsoft is bent on eliminating Android as a competitor, the mere fact that Microsoft is targeting Android for destruction is insufficient to establish an antitrust violation let alone patent misuse," he wrote.
Let's just read that again: "the mere fact that Microsoft is targeting Android for destruction is insufficient to establish an antitrust violation let alone patent misuse". Not sure that Google is going to sit by for this one. Litigation hats on .
Want an upgrade? Patience is advised. European owners of Xooms and RAZRs may see updates start in Q2, and pretty much everything else is on the "don't really know yet" list. Don't expect this to change with full Google ownership.
Don't blame it on Microsoft: The lion's share of vulnerabilities last year were in third-party applications, with 78% of all bugs, versus 10% in Microsoft software products, according to a new report published today. Secunia's annual report for 2011 found that the number of endpoint flaws jumped past 800 bugs, more than half of which were considered very critical.
Apple is trying to get 17 Samsung devices - smartphones, media players, tablets - banned in the US. Among them is the "pure Google" Galaxy Nexus; and the patents being asserted include some which if upheld by the court might worry Google. One dates back to 1995.
So the tie-up, now approved by European and American regulators, is about more than simply patents, as Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has himself acknowledged. Any visitor to both Motorola's substantial stand at Mobile World Congress and Google's I/O conference in 2011, however, could probably have guessed that. At MWC, Moto's representatives were as keen to show you the security alarms, the set-top boxes and the other emerging technologies as they were the tablets and the mobile phones. Cut to Google's own show, I/O, and there the company demonstrated its plans for Android@home, with tablets turning on lights and used to stream music. The fit is about much more than patents.
MMI's home business is the profitable side. The handset business loses money.
So true, and so much the reason why we do not do infographics here as a rule.