Weekend tech reading: Massive HTC Android vulnerability exposed

By on October 2, 2011, 2:39 PM

Massive security vulnerability in HTC Android devices, exposes phone numbers, much more I am quite speechless right now. Justin Case and I have spent all day together with Trevor Eckhart (you may remember him as TrevE of DamageControl and Virus ROMs) looking into Trev's findings deep inside HTC's latest software installed on such phones as EVO 3D, EVO 4G, Thunderbolt, and others. These results are not pretty. In fact, they expose such ridiculously frivolous doings, which HTC has no one else to blame but itself, that the data-leaking Skype vulnerability Justin found earlier this year pales in comparison. Android Police

How bad is PC piracy really? "Make no mistake," said SEGA this week, "if one quarter of the people that usually pirate [Football Manager] switch to purchasing Football Manager 2012, the sales of the game worldwide would more than double." That was the eye-opening statistic used to justify Football Manager 2012 requiring Steam to play. In other words, more than 80 per cent of people playing Football Manager are doing so with a pirated copy. Is PC piracy really that bad? EuroGamer

Fed plotting to monitor critics, tailor propaganda The Federal Reserve is seeking contractors to build a tool that will monitor and analyze blogs, news reports, and social-media chatter about the central bank and its policies, with a goal of being able to use "public relations" strategies to counter the growing barrage of negative publicity. But critics quickly added to the institution's troubled image as the news spread by lambasting the half-baked scheme as "Orwellian" spying and "intimidation." TNA

AMD: Ultrabooks will have hard times competing against Apple MacBook Air AMD does not consider Intel's ultrabook initiative as an imminent success. The chip designer claims that the market of expensive laptops is dominated by Apple with its MacBook series and ultrabooks will have hard times competing against them. AMD believes that its own approach to offer different chips for inexpensive ultra-slim and multimedia-rich mainstream mobile computers is a very balanced one. X-bit labs

IBM beats Microsoft in tech giants ranking IBM's closing price on 29 September was $214bn (£137.4bn) while Microsoft's was a shade behind at $213.2bn (£136.8bn). The values cap a sustained period in which IBM's share price has moved steadily upward as Microsoft's has generally been in decline. The growth means IBM is now the second largest technology company by market value. Apple still holds the top slot with a value of $362bn (£232bn). BBC

HP to not finalize its spin-off plans until year-end 2011; trying to revive employee morale Hewlett-Packard (HP) reportedly will not finalize its plans to spin off its PC units until the end of the year and is trying to revive morale among its employees. HP will continue to serve as the world's top notebook vendor in 2012 with total shipments of 40 million units, according to sources from upstream suppliers. DigiTimes

Psystar loses its appeal; licensees have no first-sale rights; costs awarded to Apple The ruling is in on Psystar's appeal of aspects of its loss in Apple v. Psystar, and as expected, the appeals court has affirmed Judge William H. Alsup's decision in that case on all the issues that truly matter. Yes, it's the same judge who is presiding over Oracle v. Google. Groklaw

Google's first store pops up in London The world's first "Google store" opened not in California but in the less glamorous setting of PC World in Tottenham Court Road at 9am. The 285sqft pop-up "shop within a shop", which only sells Google's Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones, will run for three months up to Christmas. London Evening Standard

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