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darthcamaro writes "Last week, Rain Forrest Puppy (aka Jeff Forristal) first disclosed the initial public report about an Android Master Key flaw. Code was released earlier this week for attackers to exploit the flaw — but what about users? Google has claimed that it has patched the issue but how do you know if your phone/carrier is safe? Forristal's company now has an app for that. But even if your phone is not patched, don't be too worried that risks are limited if you still to a 'safe' app store like Google Play. 'The only way an Android user can be attacked via this master key flaw is if they download a vulnerable application.

"It all comes down to where you get your applications from," Forristal said.'"

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Original author: 
Florence Ion

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Although Google's keynote at the I/O conference this week focused heavily on the APIs and behind-the-scenes development of the Android operating system, it looks like there's a lot more in store. This idea was especially apparent in a panel discussion today involving eleven members of the Android development team. The team sat for a forty-minute question and answer session, and while they dodged most inquiries about forthcoming features for Android, they did offer a bit of insight into what the future of Android might look like, what developers could do to help further the platform, and what they’ve learned from their journey thus far.

The conversation began with a question relating to whether or not the Android team would have done anything differently from the beginning. Senior Android Engineer Dianne Hackborn said the team "should have had more control over applications. A big example is the whole settings provider, where we just let applications go and write to it... it was a simple thing that we shouldn’t have done." Ficus Kirkpatrick, one of the founding members of the Android team and the current lead for the Google Play Store team, added that “you’re never going to get everything right the first time. I don’t really regret any of the mistakes we’ve made. I think getting things out there at the speed we did…was the most important thing.”

The team also briefly touched on fragmentation and how they’re working to combat the issue—it was even referred to as the “F” word. "This is something we think about a lot,” said Dave Burke, engineering director of the Android platform. He explained that many silicon vendors take the open source code, break it apart, and create their own Board Support Packages (BSPs) to make their hardware compatible with the software. To streamline the process, the Android team made the code for the platform more layered, so if a vendor needs to make changes, they have a clean abstraction layer to do so without affecting the entire operating system.

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Google reached out to LG for the first time in making a partnership Android device last fall; is it trying to keep its distance from Samsung?

Google

Google is getting concerned about Samsung’s dominance in the Android handset scene, according to a report Monday from the Wall Street Journal. Google is allegedly meeting with other companies to work together and help them become more competitive against the runaway Samsung. Samsung currently owns Android phone sales in nearly every important metric, including unit shipments and profitability.

The WSJ noted that Google’s senior VP of mobile and digital content, Andy Rubin, stated last fall that Google and Samsung’s union had obviously been fruitful, but the company could become a concern if it gained much more footing in sales. Google’s specific concern, according to the WSJ, is that Samsung “has become so big… that it could flex its muscle to renegotiate their arrangement and eat into Google’s lucrative mobile ad business.”

A renegotiation could also afford Samsung perks like earlier access to new versions of Android. It could give Samsung more weight to throw around in creating partnership devices with Google, such that it doesn't feel the need to compromise and then later one-up itself, as happened with the Galaxy Nexus and then Galaxy S III.

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silicon valley reality show

If you were curious about just what's up with the upcoming Bravo reality series Silicon Valley, a new piece in the New York Times provides an update on the show's current status, while delving a little deeper into what we can actually expect from it. Silicon Valley — which is still just a tentative title for now — is currently filming and unsurprisingly there's still quite a bit of controversy about how the show will represent the start-up community. You'll be able to check it out on Bravo sometime this winter, and at the very least it should be a good chance for some start-up related product placement.

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Bioshock Rapture

Music can be an incredibly important part of a video game, and a new feature over at 1up looks at some of the best uses of diegetic music — that is, music that's actually a part of the game world. From the haunting sounds of "Beyond the Sea" while you explore the underwater city of Rapture in Bioshock to the ever-present radio stations of the Grand Theft Auto games to the famous opera scene from Final Fantasy VI, there are plenty of solid choices. The piece is a great way to reminisce about those gaming moments where the music is arguably the most important part, and if you're looking for even more game music reading, be sure to check out 1up's entire week-long series on the topic.

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