Malwares : SuperClean et DroidCleaner supprimé du Google Play

Pour offrir le plus vite possible un maximum d’applications, Google a fait l’inverse d’Apple. Les apps ne sont pas validées et chacun peut les proposer sur le magasin en ligne sans aucun contrôle.
Cette manière de faire a ses limites. Depuis quelques jours, SuperClean et DroidCleaner inquiètent leurs utilisateurs. Ces deux applis gratuites sont en fait des chevaux de Troie qui, au lieu de vous protéger, vous laminent. Elles pillent vos données, envoient en douce des SMS surtaxés, ouvrent des liens que vous n’avez pas demandés, suppriment des messages, et encore bien d’autres choses.
Bien sûr, les informations récupérées sont envoyées sur des serveurs. Leur capacité de nuisance dépasse le cadre des appareils mobiles puisqu’elles peuvent s’attaquer aussi aux PC lorsqu’ils sont connectés en USB.
C’est Kaspersky qui les a détectés. Elles ont depuis été retirées du magasin d’applications de Google. Dans son rapport, le spécialiste de la sécurité note le superbe travail des hackers qui ont réussi à installer autant de fonctions dans une seule application. Il fait également part de sa surprise de les voir si bien notées par les utilisateurs.
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Jailbreak pour iPhone 5 et iOS 6 maintenant disponible !

Après de longs mois d’attente, il est enfin là : le « jailbreak » pour iOS 6. Depuis la sortie de ce système en septembre 2012, aucune solution n’était disponible pour casser les limitations logicielles d’Apple.
Hier soir, lundi 4 février, un groupe de hackers qui se fait appeler « Evad3rs » vient maintenant de publier un outil de déverrouillage à télécharger, et disponible sous Windows, Mac et Linux. L’opération ne prend que quelques minutes. Une fois l’appareil « jailbreaké », l’utilisateur pourra télécharger des applications non-officielles, au travers de boutiques applicatives tierces comme Cydia, qui est le site le plus connu.
Selon TechCrunch, les serveurs d’Evad3rs ont croulé sous les demandes de téléchargement. En quelques heures, plus de 270 000 utilisateurs s’étaient connectés. Mais à l’heure actuelle, tout est revenu dans l’ordre. Combien de personnes réalisent un jailbreak de leur appareil iOS ? Cydia revendique la connexion de 22,8 millions d’appareils iOS, sur un total de 500 millions vendus à ce jour. Soit 4,5 % du parc iOS.
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BlackBerry Z10: Beautiful phone, playing serious catch-up

The Z10 is a beautiful device: designer Todd Wood, Don Lindsday, and their teams have done a great job with the industrial design, the swipe-rich interaction gestures, and a whole lot more. The BB10 is a pleasure to hold, to swipe, and to carry around in a suit pants pocket.

Here are my favorite bits:

  • Thin, light, elegant, executive, with a holdable form factor and case
  • The keyboard, with its predictive word look up and « flip into place » word completion is a pleasure for this thick-thumbed, fumble-finger typist
  • Swipe gestures, including peeking into the inbox, the slow swipe to home position, and the pull-down configuration are a pleasure to use one handed.

The device does have many apps, Twitter and Facebook among them. Alas, some of the apps I rely on are missing. No TripIt app. No Evernote app. No Flipboard app. No Expensify app. No Words With Friends app. And more troubling, I found one app that appeared to be a Chinese counterfeit and seems now to have been so. Maybe BlackBerry’s « portothon » strategy to help Android developers port their apps to BlackBerry’s QNX operating system is working. But there may be a few approval and copyright holes to plug in their process. I know this company, and I know they’ll figure that part out.

But the real challenge for CIOs is that employees have moved on to Apple and Android (particularly Samsung’s stellar lineup). Forrester surveys the information workforce globally to find out how they use technology to get work done. It’s a goldmine of insight and reality. And the reality for the US market is that for firms of all sizes and industries, BlackBerry has only 6 percent of the information workforce installed base. So BlackBerry is playing some serious catch-up. See the data chart at the end of the post.

Here’s what CIOs should do:

  • Upgrade your BES so you’re ready to support the new BlackBerry devices. You’ll be able to manage iOS and Android devices as well. BlackBerry is making this relatively painless to do
  • Add Z10 and its cousin Q10 with a keyboard to your approved list. It will pass muster with your security team
  • Experiment with the dual-mode–personal and work–features to see if it works for your workforce and if it solves your device-wipe/content-control problem (I’m still skeptical on this one, but hey I’ve been wrong before)
  • Wait for the demand. That’s BlackBerry’s job: To convince your employees that this is the device for them.

Then and only then should you target Z10 or Q10 for your business apps. In other words, take a « get-ready then wait » approach. I don’t know about you, but I’m rooting for this operating system and platform if only to have more choice in the market.

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Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blackberry-10-beautiful-phone-playing-serious-catchup-7000010570/

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Samsung adds 4G-ready Galaxy Express to Jelly Bean pile

Summary: Samsung has introduced a new mid-range handset to its Galaxy range that includes 4G LTE connectivity, dual-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera.

Samsung has announced a new Android Jelly-Bean toting 4G-capable handset aimed at the mid-range market.

The Samsung Galaxy Express has a 4.5-inch Super Amoled display, 1.2-GHz dual-core processor, 4G connectivity and a 5-megapixel camera. The device is due to go on sale in the first half of this year in the UK, Samsung said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Samsung_GALAXY_Express

With its mid-range spec list, Samsung is clearly hoping the « value-driven » handset will appeal to price-sensitive buyers that want most of the functionality of a ‘hero’ handset such as the Galaxy S3, iPhone or BlackBerry Z10. Despite this, the company would not give any indication how much it will cost when it arrives in the UK.

Other key specs of the device include near field communications (NFC), the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, Bluetooth 4.0, 8GB internal memory (expandable by microSD by an additional 32GB) and a 1.3-megapixel camera.

It also includes Samsung-specific features found on other Galaxy handsets such as AllShare Play for device-to-device sharing of content and S Beam for wirelessly transferring files with other handsets.

Apps are provided courtesy of the Google Play store, although there is also a Samsung Apps section. Software updates and file transfers are handled by the Samsung Kies and Kies Air wireless software.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/uk/samsung-adds-4g-ready-galaxy-express-to-jelly-bean-pile-7000010618/

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Ballmer: Office with no iPad support makes ‘a lot of sense’

The question of Office for iOS has burned for a year, but a release is still up in the air with comments by Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer at yesterday’s « new » Office 365 launch.

Asked about Office for the iPad, Ballmer gave a terse reply: « I have nothing to say on the topic. »

« We’re very happy with the product that we’re putting in market, » Ballmer told Bloomberg. « It makes sense on the devices like the Mac and the PC. We have a product that we think makes a lot of sense. We do have a way for people always to get to Office through the browser, which is very important. And we’ll see what we see in the future.

Rumours that Office would be coming to iPads and iPhone in March 2013 surfaced late last year after Microsoft’s Czech office announced Office Mobile for Android and iOS, allowing owners of Apple devices to purchase a subscription to Office 365. In the meantime, the only tablet on which Office is available is Microsoft’s own Surface.

The fundamental issue thought to be behind the delay in bringing Office to iOS is Microsoft’s unwillingness to pay Apple’s 30-percent commission on apps sold through its App Store. Negotiations on the issue derailed Microsoft’s plans to update its SkyDrive app for iOS last year, according to All Things Digital.

Microsoft also announced on Tuesday that the Home Premium version of Office would get tighter integration with its SkyDrive cloud storage service, along with Skype calling.

Despite Microsoft’s late entry to a market that Dropbox cornered early, Ballmer told Bloomberg that he remains unfazed by the « fine little start-up » and its 100 million users, which, he noted, are dwarfed by Microsoft’s billion for its Office cash cow. (How many users does Microsoft’s Dropbox rival Skydrive have? It’s not quite clear; last month, Microsoft said more than 200 million people « have used » SkyDrive, but didn’t give a figure on how many are still active users.)

A key difference between the two, according to Ballmer, is that Dropbox is dominated by consumers, while Office 365 gets a much higher percentage of revenue from business customers. That said, Dropbox is making its way into the enterprise: a recent study found that one in five corporate IT users are using the service to store work documents.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/ballmer-office-with-no-ipad-support-makes-a-lot-of-sense-7000010545/

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Surface Pro to launch at Best Buy in NYC on February 8

Microsoft is planning a midnight launch for the latest member of its Surface family, just ahead of the product’s February 9 commercial availability date.

Following the pattern it set with its Surface RT launch in October 2012, Microsoft is planning to launch its Surface Pro devices just before midnight the day before they’ll be commercially available.

On Friday, February 8, Microsoft is holding a private evening reception for select guests before the event, and then holding the formal launch just before midnight, February 9, at the Best Buy in Union Square in New York City. The invited guests will be among the first people eligible to buy the new Surface Pros — or, as Microsoft calls them officially, the « Surface Windows 8 Pros. »

Microsoft’s general manager of the Surface team, Panos Panay, will be on hand, as will members of the Windows team, according to a copy of the invitation that I saw. (I am not invited to the reception, myself, as it is not for press, I was told.)

Microsoft held its Surface RT launch at the now-shuttered Times Square Microsoft pop-up store.

Microsoft officials said earlier this month that the Surface Pro would be commercially available starting February 9. I’ve asked the company if and when pre-orders will begin for Surface Pros and have received no response to my query.

The Surface Pro is an Intel-based hybrid PC/tablet that Microsoft is positioning more as an ultrabook than a tablet. It will have half the battery life of the Surface RT, owing to its use of an Intel Core i5 chip. But it will be more powerful and have a better display than its Surface RT sibling. Prices for the Surface Pro start at $899.

The Surface Pros will be sold in the U.S. and Canada through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com, and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S., as well as from « a number of locations in Canada, » according to the company.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline « Microsoft to launch Surface Pro at Best Buy New York on February 8. »

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57566804-75/surface-pro-to-launch-at-best-buy-in-nyc-on-february-8/

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Facebook moving fast on mobile, and spending tons on everything

The social network showed for a second time that mobile can be a major cash cow. Too bad it takes money to make money.

Risk. What risk? Facebook’s ballooning mobile audience is proving to be anything but a bubble-bursting group. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg today told analysts that the social network’s laser-focus on mobile is paying off handsomely — the result, in part, of accidental good fortune.

« There’s no argument, Facebook is a mobile company, » Zuckerberg told investors after the company reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of 17 cents and revenue of $1.59 billion, which was slightly ahead of what Wall Street had expected.

Yes, there’s apparently no place like mobile for Facebook. The company said it saw monthly active mobile users jump 57 percent year-over-year to 680 million people in the fourth quarter. And its daily active users on mobile eclipsed desktop users for the first time in the company’s history.

Facebook also said it generated 23 percent of its fourth-quarter advertising revenue — or $306 million — from mobile. That’s double what the company made from mobile last quarter and an impressive percentage considering that Facebook’s mobile ad units rolled out just this past June.

Lucky Facebook
In the third quarter, Facebook had 604 million people per month using the network on mobile devices. The ever-expanding audience contributed 14 percent to the social network’s ad revenue for the quarter, which amounted to roughly $152.6 million. The 604 million people also represented 61 percent year-over-year growth, a mobile migration that would have alarmed investors had Facebook failed to prove that it could monetize members’ on-the-go eyeballs.

« A couple of quarters ago mobile revenues were zero percent of our ads revenue, » Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said. « Now we’re up to 23 percent and believe there’s a lot of growth ahead of us. »

In short, Facebook seems to be having little problem monetizing attention as users migrate en masse to the company’s mobile apps. The surpise, as Zuckerberg said a few times, is that Facebook threw up ads in the news feed without kick-starting a revolt, something most of us probably assumed would be the case. People hate ads, right?

« One of the big drivers of [mobile revenue] was that as we rolled out ads in news feed, we found that it barely affected the level of engagement on Facebook, » Zuckerberg said. « We thought that we could make this work over time without a big impact if we spent a long time tuning the ads, but the numbers turned out even better than we thought without much tuning. »

Facebook expected news feed ads to send people fleeing and thought it would need to double-down on ad quality. But that didn’t happen, so the company felt so confident that it upped the number of ads it served. Without any fine-tuning, Facebook noticed a marginal « 2 percent » engagement dip after pumping up the volume on ads.

More simply put: Facebook got lucky with news-feed ads, aka « Sponsored Stories, » and people have yet to flinch. Sponsored Stories, which COO Sheryl Sandberg has called the cornerstone of Facebook’s mobile monetization strategy, are status updates that brands and advertisers pay to promote more widely inside the feed on Facebook.

Facebook’s semi-accidental success with news-feed ads, should you believe Zuckerberg, Ebersman, and COO Sheryl Sandberg, suggests that once the social network actually figures out how to make the ads better — through improved targeting and better formats, according to Zuckerberg — mobile news feed ads will lead to far fatter profits.

A new concern
Investors, however, aren’t entirely sold. Even if Facebook’s mobile risk, which weighed on the stock for several months after it debuted in May, seems like a distant nightmare, there’s another problem: Facebook is spending like crazy.

The social network’s costs and expenses, excluding share-based compensation, were $849 million, an increase of 67 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Research and development, including share-based compensation costs, made up 19 percent of expenses in the quarter, up from 11 percent a year ago. Overall, operating margins narrowed to 46 percent in the fourth quarter from 55 percent in the last quarter of 2011, and profit fell 79 percent.

Hello, sticker shock. The shop-till-you-drop costs gave investors cause for immediate concern and contributed to stock volatility in after-hours trading. Shares are currently down roughly 3 percent from Facebook’s $31.24 Wednesday close.

But it gets worse. Zuckerberg warned that Facebook would whip out its credit cards and go on a product and personnel spending spree in the year ahead. In what amounted to a verbal slap in the face, he said Facebook expects « expenses to grow at a faster rate than we expect to grow our revenue this year, which means that we aren’t operating to maximize our profits this year. »

« [Facebook] said spending excluding stock-based compensation would go up 50 percent [in 2013]. That suggests [Facebook] will grow spending by $1.4 billion, » Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told CNET. « [Facebook] needs 28 percent revenue growth just to keep net income flat. »

Which means Zuckerberg, perhaps feeling emboldened by the early success in tackling the mobile problem, might try Wall Street’s patience for a while longer while he continues to expand his empire.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57566693-93/facebook-moving-fast-on-mobile-and-spending-tons-on-everything/

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MacBook EFI updates fix battery problems

Firmware updates address a rare issue that could prevent booting for systems with excessively used batteries.

Apple has released a set of EFI firmware updates to address a rare problem where some systems might unexpectedly shut down or stop functioning after the battery has been used extensively.

Apple’s determines battery health in part by the number of charge cycles it has been through (one charge cycle being a sum of partial charges that equates to one full charge), and depending on the system claims that batteries should last between 300 and 1,000 charge cycles. However, a rare problem in some systems might result in a nonfunctional computer if the system detects that 1,000 charge cycles have been surpassed.

To fix this problem, Apple has released three EFI firmware updates for the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook. The updates are small patches and should be available by going to the Software Update section in the Apple menu, but can also be downloaded and applied manually from the following links (the updates can only be installed on systems for which they are intended):

  • MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.5
  • MacBook Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.6
  • MacBook Air SMC Update 1.8

Being firmware updates, be sure you have the systems attached to a reliable power source and do not disturb the update process. The system should show a small progress bar during the update and should restart at least once during the installation. As always, be sure to fully back up your system before apply these updates.

Source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57566789-263/macbook-efi-updates-fix-battery-problems/

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Foursquare reveals the ‘best of’ based on 3 billion check-ins

As the social network increasingly moves toward ratings and reviews, it rolls out its « best of » lists for food, nightlife, activities, and more in 30 U.S. cities.

Want to know where to get the best Tex-Mex in Austin? Or how about the locals’ favorite bookstore in San Francisco? Well, Foursquare will let you know what it thinks.

The check-in social network rolled out its « best of » guide today based on more than 3 billion member check-ins and tens of millions of user tips, likes, and dislikes. The guide shows the top places users checked into in 2012 in 30 cities across the U.S., such as New York, Atlanta, and Honolulu.

« There are plenty of lists of great places out there — some are curated by editors, some by food critics, and others by people with really strong opinions about brisket, » Foursquare wrote in a blog post today. « Here at Foursquare, our approach to figuring out the best places is a little different: we’ve analyzed our billions of check-ins and put together lists of places that people love most, based on where they’ve actually been. »

The social network has more than 30 million members, all of whom, it seems, have opinions and preferences for where they go drinking, which museums they frequent, and which parks are the best for relaxing.

« One of the things our data shows is how each city is unique, » Foursquare wrote, « Bostonians love seafood, Portland is a veggie paradise, and Philly may be the city of brotherly love, but what they really love is a good sandwich. »

By the way, according to Foursquare users, Chuy’s is said to serve up Austin’s best Tex-Mex and Green Apple Books is San Francisco’s most beloved bookstore.

Foursquare is continuing to morph from a check-in social network into a more comprehensive location search engine — putting it in direct competition with other recommendation and rating services, such as Yelp.

In November, the company launched its 10-point scoring system for local business and in October it launched its new Web site, which is open to nonmembers and has a prominent search box. Just yesterday, Foursquare rolled out its iPhone and Android apps for merchants, which are designed to let business owners more easily manage their presence on the social network.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57566800-93/foursquare-reveals-the-best-of-based-on-3-billion-check-ins/

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Microsoft Surface sales well below shipments, says iSuppli

As Microsoft continues to overhaul its approach to, well, everything, the Internet Explorer team offers a mea culpa and a carrot to Web developers with modern.IE.

modern.IE is a new tool from Microsoft for Web developers to make sure that their sites are built for the modern Web.

In case you weren’t sure, Microsoft wants you to really, really understand that Internet Explorer 10 isn’t just any old update to the much-maligned browser. The latest example: « modern.IE, » a set of tools to help Web developers, the company announced today.

« It’s still too hard to test sites across the different OSes and browsers, » said Ryan Gavin, Internet Explorer’s general manager, in a phone interview with CNET yesterday. « On our part, we can encourage best practices. We know we can do better here, so we’re providing the tools and support so that developers spend more of their time innovating and less of their time testing. »

Source: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57566794-12/microsoft-to-developers-this-is-the-modern.ie-world/

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