Weekend tech reading: 'BadNews' malware found on Google Play

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The bearer of BadNews Lookout has discovered BadNews, a new malware family, in 32 apps across four different developer accounts in Google Play. According to Google Play statistics, the combined affected applications have been downloaded between 2,000,000 -- 9,000,000 times. We notified Google and they promptly removed all apps and suspended the associated developer accounts pending further investigation. All Lookout users are protected against this threat. BadNews masquerades as an innocent, if somewhat aggressive advertising network. This is one of the first times that we’ve seen a malicious distribution network clearly posing as an ad network. Lookout

You lookin’ at me? Reflections on Google Glass With the public beta launch of Glass there has been a lot of discussion on why it will or won’t fail. The ultimate benchmark for success is high: after someone has tried Glass can they imagine life without it? It’s the wrong question. Glass is Google’s unintentional public service announcement on the future of privacy. Our traditional bogeyman for privacy was big brother and its physical manifestation -- close circuit TV (closed-circuit TV), but the reality today is closer to what I call little sister -- and she is socially active, curious, sufficiently tech-savvy, growing up in the land of “free”, getting on with life and creating a digital exhaust that is there for the taking. Jan Chipchase

Meet the Web’s operating system: HTTP The HTTP standard, the language of web servers, was born humbly in 1990 as the hypertext transfer protocol. HTTP was basically just a few verbs -- simple commands -- that a browser said to a web server. The most essential of these were GET, which asks a server for information, and POST, which sends info back. There were no fine-grained access controls or bidirectional links. There was no payment system. HTTP has always been just … barely … enough. But over time people came to accept it. When they wanted to improve it, as Twitter and many others have, they just built atop it, with APIs. Wired

The king is back: Raja Koduri leaves Apple, returns to AMD I remember back when AMD’s CTO of the Graphics Product Group, Raja Koduri, first quietly left the company for Apple. This was hot on the heels of Apple’s hiring of another AMD GPU CTO, Bob Drebin. At the time (2009) I didn’t understand why Apple would want so many smart graphics guys on staff, were they working on their own GPU? Mac OS X was hardly a gaming platform of choice back then so the idea didn’t make much sense to me. It turns out that Steve Jobs wanted to surround himself with the absolute best in the business. AnandTech

Disney will release a new Star Wars film every year starting in 2015 Get ready for a whole lot of Star Wars, folks.  Disney took the stage today for its presentation at CinemaCon -- a convention for theater owners -- in Las Vegas, and the studio made the bold announcement that it is planning on releasing a new Star Wars film into theaters every summer starting with 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII. The studio will alternate every other year with an “Episode” film and a standalone film, and based on previous rumors there certainly won’t be a lack of characters for them to mine. Collider

Oracle addresses 128 vulnerabilities in massive critical patch update Oracle on Tuesday released its quarterly Critical Patch Update (CPU) for April, which addressed a whopping 128 security issues across multiple product families. Most concerning is that a large number of the vulnerabilities listed are remotely exploitable without authentication, including (4) in its flagship Oracle Database Server, all which can be remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., exploited over a network without the need for a username and password. SecurityWeek

Microsoft's Surface strategy is doing what it was supposed to do Yesterday Microsoft reported flat Windows revenue from the year before, despite an unprecedented drop in PC sales -- IDC put the drop at 14%, and outgoing Microsoft CFO Peter Klein suggested during the company's earnings call that the drop was in the "12-13-14" percent range. There are several factors that made this possible. As investor relations chief Chris Suh put it on the earnings call, "Non-OEM revenue grew 40% this quarter, driven by sales of Surface..." CiteWorld

CBS Twitter accounts hacked by 'pro-Damascus group' The Twitter accounts for two CBS news programmes in the US have been suspended after being hacked. Fake messages appearing on the @60Minutes account criticised US support for "terrorist" rebels in Syria and others accused Barack Obama of trying to "take away your guns". A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army claimed to have been responsible for hijacking the accounts. The @CBSDenver account was also taken over, said news director Tim Wieland. BBC

From rags to riches: the story of Imgur In 2009 the Internet had a problem. While sites such as Reddit and Digg were big and established, there was no viable photo sharing service around. Photo sharing services existed, but would not allow "hot linking" and would plaster ads all over a page with a small JPEG in the centre. Flickr was around, but was more for professional photography than actual image sharing. Luckily for the Internet, Alan Schaaf, founder and CEO of Imgur, spotted a gap in the market and pounced. Neowin

The dark side of the digital revolution How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet? That's a question we faced during our January visit to North Korea, when we attempted to engage with the Pyongyang traffic police. You may have seen videos on the Web of the capital city's "traffic cops," whose ballerina-like street rituals, featured in government propaganda videos, have made them famous online. The WSJ

Storage pricewatch: HDDs back to pre-flood prices, SSDs grow as $/GB holds steady It’s been awhile since we’ve covered price trends in the storage market, but recent fluctuations in the consumer hard drive segment warrant attention. 18 months after the Thailand floods that critically damaged vital hard drive production facilities, what do prices look like? How have SSD costs changed over the same period -- and what sort of drives are people buying? ExtremeTech

News image via ShutterStock

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