That little phone in your pocket is really a pretty amazing piece of technology: beyond making and receiving phone calls, it happily serves as a hub for nearly every other aspect of your life. Consider for a moment how many things are stored in your smartphone –your schedule? your photographs? your music? your passwords? While you contemplate this, be sure to exercise a little caution because research expert Szymon Sidor has discovered a security hole within Android that makes it possible for an app to not only take photographs behind the scenes (without your knowledge) but also upload the images to a remote server.
Through a series of development exercises, Sidor was able to confirm that photographs can be taken on your Android device (and subsequently sent off somewhere) without any visible preview on the screen –even when the app isn’t technically running or the screen is completely off.
Scary? Absolutely. Should you panic? Not at all.
Sidor recommends the following tips for protecting yourself against malicious apps:
For as long as technology has existed, malware and hackers have existed trying to exploit it. Your best defense is to remain aware, be cautious and employ good old-fashioned common sense.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
The last time the government was asked to step in on a bookselling issue involving the publishers and Amazon, it didn’t go well for the publishing industry.
Interestingly, the inability to purchase titles has nothing to do with the ebooks at this time, as Amazon is as cunning as they are gutsy. The last thing the online retailer wants is for its customers to have a reason to test out the iBookstore instead of that free iPad app they currently use.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has taken this kind of boycott-action against a publisher for not agreeing to its terms, but it’s also not the first time any book retailer–online or otherwise–has refused to stock, discount, sell, or promote a specific publisher’s works. It’s actually quite a common occurrence in the four hundred-year-old industry.
But neither side is talking about the specific terms of the contracts that are apparently so tumultuous and so immovable as to cause Amazon to retaliate. What is interesting is the perspective from the usual Amazon haters (you know, the people who don’t mind getting rich off the sales that Amazon makes happen?), with cries of the “pain and stress” that Amazon has caused the publishing industry as a whole, and the loss of author livelihoods now that the evil empire is withholding book sales. It’s interesting that some are calling for legal action and government intervention in this issue, but do we really anticipate a commercial society where book retailers are required to sell every title that comes along, and at whatever terms the publishers mandate?
When the government intervened over the very issue of book pricing, the fallout was far reaching and remains unfinished. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost by publishers, and the anticipated amount expected to be owed by one tech giant is nearly one billion dollars. While no one suggests Hachette cave to whatever terms Amazon is demanding while holding its titles ransom, the industry would be wise to remember that not dealing with Amazon is what publishers have been after for some time. But if Amazon isn’t careful, this could be the final straw that spurs publishers into finding a new way to sell books.
Welcome to a short week in review edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show! Today Michael talks about Amazon pulling pre-orders from all future Hachette titles and how executives from the publisher are in Seattle right now for emergency meetings. Also, Pocketbook has announced two new e-readers that will be out soon. If you want to get a sense of the top 10 new e-readers of 2014, check out our preview HERE. A 13 minute show to kick off your long weekend and a small preview of IDPF and BEA 2014.