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Via Gizmodo we have learned of PlaceRaider, the scariest damn Android malware you never want hiding on your cuddly old pal, the full-featured smartphone.
Researchers at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center created PlaceRaider and have dubbed it “visual malware.” It was developed as a proof of concept but would also be a great idea to sell to producers seeking spy gadget ideas for the next James Bond film, because PlaceRaider hints at the future of covert surveillance:
Attendees at the EuSecWest-sponsored World Security Professional Summit in Amsterdam are participating in a contest called Mobile Pwn2Own. Contestants are, yes, basically revealing that our mobile devices can be easily pwned by someone with the know-how. Quell your bubbling phone fanboy or fangirl rage right now: it looks like both Androids and iPhones are vulnerable. The Next Web describes the Android pwnage, which was partially done, by the way, via near-field communication, or NFC:
Amazon is carpeting the country with distribution centers, thereby creeping ever-closer to next-day delivery and the possibility of sealing its complete dominance over all retail. Hail, Bezos! [New York Times]
Sorry, Jeff, but Walt Mossberg says he can’t quite sign off on the claim that the Kindle Fire HD is “the best tablet at any price.” [AllThingsD]
For those keeping score at home, there are now 500 million Android devices. [Fast Company]
Tesla plans to build an SUV. In the future, even the mildest-mannered, most ozone-conscious environmentalist will be able to his own modest tank. [Wired]
Microsoft has an uphill battle if they want to make “Bing it” happen. Why? Because it sounds lame. [Fast Company]
App.net would like feedback on its terms of service. [The Next Web]
Facebook employees are reportedly strongly encouraged to use Android phones, so they’ll take the terribleness of Facebook’s Android app seriously. [Business Insider]
Microsoft has a new, wildly unimpressive logo. [ZDNet]
Tumblr just blew past Myspace. [Marketing Land]
Today’s Kickstarter conversation starter: Full Metal Jacket iPad app. [Wired]
While Betabeat really liked the Foursquare redesign, there was apparently one feature left on the chopping block that had users in an uproar. The “Nearby Friends” feature, which allows users to see what friends in their general vicinity are doing, was knocked out of the redesign, but today benign overlords of Foursquare announced that they’ve brought it back.
“Rather disgruntled” programmers, rejoice! Apple says it fixed that bug that was causing apps to crash on launch. [AllThingsD]
Jerry Seinfield now has a web series? [Daily Dot]
Facebook tab engagement has declined 53 percent since the introduction of Timeline. Perhaps that’s why Buddy Media was so eager to sell? [Mashable, h/t Nicholas Carlson]
Microsoft researcher: Oops, that whole thing about an Android botnet was just an “educated guess.” [The Verge]
The Singularity is nigh: For the first time ever, scientists have controlled a robot using only their thoughts. [Gizmodo]
Twitter engineer says that today search and discovery are “set to change forever.” Does that mean they’ll actually be good? [The Next Web]
Okay, we confess: We’ve never owned an iPhone and are head-over-heels in love with our Galaxy Nexus. But even the most hardcore of Apple fanboys have to concede that Google’s new Android update, Jelly Bean, looks pretty sweet. Google Now seems like an easy way to seamlessly integrate your phone’s functionality into your every day schedule. Plus, the UI tweaks make the whole Android experience much sleeker and prettier.
Oh, but that’s not all. Jean-Louis Nguyen, a director of biz dev at GOOG, posted a video (to Google+, of course) of the beta version of Jelly Bean responding to over 40 voice commands. The phone gets it right every damn time. Even obscure requests like, “Where is that museum with Egyptian stuff in San Jose?” It’s pretty impressive.
Apple has won an injunction against Samsung, preventing the company from selling its biggest Android tablet. [AllThingsD]
A day in the life of a startup founder: “Shower and then spiritual time. I have a small shrine set up that allows me to focus on the important. I light an incense and gaze up at posters of Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose and Warren Buffet.” [Hacker News]
Zynga announced a new hub for their online games, which will probably still not do much for their stock. [Wall Street Journal]
Apparently changing your email address to @facebook.com was a “visibility” change, not a privacy change. Welcome to the wonderful world of Facebook semantics! [New York Times]
Surprise! Most of BuzzFeed’s content is just repackaged Reddit posts. [Slate]
In this month’s MIT Technology Review, journalist Farhad Manjoo got a chance to talk with a technology lead for Google’s Project Glass, Thad Starner. An associate professor at the Georgia Institute for Technology, Mr. Starner has been experimenting with wearable technologies since the mid-90s, and was tapped by Google to advise them on issues surrounding Project Glass, the company’s attempt to commercialize computerized glasses.
Ever the skeptical journalist, Mr. Manjoo went into the meeting expecting to find the glasses polarizing and detrimental to social interaction. Also: dorky and vaguely creepy. Instead, Mr. Starner successfully convinced him that Google’s glasses will actually amplify social interaction, stripping it of those awkward phone-checking asides and lulls in conversation when we go to respond to a text. In short, Google glasses could be a socially awkward person’s best friend. Sign us up!
Despite less-than-stellar Lumia sales, Nokia continues to plug valiantly away. Down at the CTIA Wireless convention, the company has just announced several new brand-name Windows Phone apps–some of which will be initially exclusive to the Lumia. But it remains to be seen whether simply improving the app store is enough to catapult the platform to where it needs to be.
Lumia users will soon have the option to download a PGA Tour app, an updated Groupon app, and hubs for both ESPN and AOL Entertainment. Also available across the Windows Phone platform will be Angry Birds, several EA games, Time, and a PayPal app.