Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Skype Fixes Privacy Vulnerability in Skype for Android

April 20, 2011

Skype Responds to Android Vulnerability

April 15, 2011

Skype's Chief Security Officer, Adrian Asher responded to Android Police's article on a vulnerability in the Skype for Android client. He writes:

It has been brought to our attention that, were you to install a malicious third-party application onto your Android device, then it could access the locally stored Skype for Android files.

These files include cached profile information and instant messages. We take your privacy very seriously and are working quickly to protect you from this vulnerability, including securing the file permissions on the Skype for Android application.

Skype for Android Exposes Personal Info

April 15, 2011

If you use the Skype for Android app your personal information may be vulnerable due to the way the app stores your data unencrypted and without proper file permissions.

Android Police reports that this exploit was discovered while checking out a leaked version of Skype Video on the Thunderbolt.

I quickly came up with an exploit, and I was in shock at just how much information I could harvest. Everything was available to the rogue app I created, without the need for root or any special permissions."

The HTML5 Revolution

April 14, 2011

When Steve Jobs and Apple blocked Adobe Flash from Apple's popular line of mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Apple's main claims against Flash were that it was too processor-heavy, a battery hog, and that HTML5 was a better standard for the future. Rich Tehrani calls it the "Apple Tax". According to the HTTP Archive project, a website that tracks over 17,000 top websites and lets you compare web statistics over time, Flash experienced a 2% drop in usage over the last 4 months. It went from 49% on November 15, 2010 to 47% on March 29, 2011.

The move to HTML5 is clearly on.

Google Store Launch? Look out Apple Stores?

April 7, 2011

Rich Tehrani gives his reasons why Google needs to launch what I'll call "Google Store", a direct retail competitor to the Apple Stores located in many malls and cities around the country. Only one problem with this is that Google only sells Android products to consumers. Apple stores sell a variety of products including laptops, tablets, computers, iPods, iPod/iPhone accessories, Mac software, etc.

Google only sells tablets and Android mobile phones. Their software is mostly hosted, including Gmail, Google Apps, etc.

fring Group Video Calls for iPhone and Android!

April 5, 2011

Whoah! fring today announced that their development team is finishing up on a really cool new feature - free group video calls that works on both the Android and the iPhone.

As far as I know this is the first free Group Video call feature for any mobile phone.

Google Offers $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

April 4, 2011

Nortel's carcass continues to be picked at, with many golden nuggets discovered, making their demise all the more surprising.
Google is offering $900 million for 6,000 Nortel telecom patents covering 4G, wireless, data networking, optical, voice, semiconductors and other telecom areas, according to ZDNet.

Here's Google's official response:
The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation. Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything; others are motivated by a desire to block competing products or profit from the success of a rival’s new technology. The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It's for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S.

Apple Releases iOS 4.3.1 Fixes Bugs But Annoying the Hell Out of Me

March 25, 2011

Apple just released iOS 4.3.1 today for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that includes some bug fixes and no major improvements. One bug fix fixes image flicker when connecting the new Digital AV Adapter to televisions. According to Apple, this update:

  1. Fixes an occasional graphics glitch on the 4th generation iPod touch
  2. Resolves bugs relating to activating and connecting to some cellular networks
  3. Fixes image flicker when using Apple Digital AV Adapter with some TVs
  4. Resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services

What's most annoying about all these new updates is I have to re-jailbreak my phone and hope/wait for a new jailbreak utility. I have wonder if Apple will intentionally start issuing more releases with "bug" fixes that also plug the current jailbreak exploits.

Burma (Myanmar) Bans VoIP

March 22, 2011

Burma's military junta ordered all public and private Internet cafés to stop using VoIP. According to the Irrawaddy:

“The increasing use of the VoIP overseas calls via the Internet services such as Skype, G [Google] Talk, Pfingo, VZO, etc. given by PACs [Public Access Centers] and cyber cafés have caused official overseas calls through the [junta's] communication services to decline, affecting state revenue,” says the official instruction issued on March 2 by Tint Lwin, the managing director of the Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT), which was sent to the chairman of Myanmar Info-Tech Corporation Ltd.

“Currently, this service has not been officially permitted [by the MPT] to be used, it is illegal under existing telecommunication laws and legal action is likely if the PAC and cyber cafés continue to give the service,” he said.

netTALK vs. magicJack

March 16, 2011

netTALK sent me their netTALK DUO VoIP device to test. Obvious comparisons will be made with magicJack since both offer all you can eat U.S. and Canada calling for a flat yearly rate. In the case of netTALK it is $69.95 $49.95 (the first year); $29.95 (each year after).
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