Famed Android modder Cyanogen and his self-titled startup could end up with an ally in Microsoft. How so? Word around the web is that Microsoft is a minority investor in a $70 million round of equity financing, which would value the company at around $500 million. However, that's only part of the story. The other part of the emerging storyline has to do with a bold statement recently made by Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster.
Let's get one thing straight -- most businesses would happily switch places with Google based on the financial figures alone. The sultan of search pulled in $66 billion in revenue for all of 2014, up 19 percent year-on-year. That's thanks in part to a strong finish, with Google reporting consolidated revenues of $18.10 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, a jump of 15 percent compared to the same quarter a year prior. Google's profit in the fourth quarter alone came to $4.76 billion, up from $3.38 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, so why are some investors nervous?
Don't expect a patch for WebView in pre-KitKat Android devices
If you own an Android handset running a version of the open source operating system that predates Android 4.3 KitKat, you won't be the recipient of a patch for WebView, a component of Android that developers use to display web content in their apps. WebView is also the backbone of Android's built-in browser in all versions up to KitKat. Nevertheless, Google won't spend time plugging up any security holes for WebView in older Android devices because it's "no longer practical."
Having recently ruffled Microsoft’s feathers by (responsibly) disclosing three unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows to the general public, Google’s Project Zero team has now turned its attention to the other side of the PC-Mac divide. The outfit recently spilled the beans on three zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple’s OS X operating system.
Could you imagine if the suits in charge at Google one day decided that enough was enough, and pulled the plug on all of the company's services, like Gmail and search? While it wouldn't be the end of the Internet, it would certainly be a major inconvenience for many. However, that's not what Google's Eric Schmidt meant when he recently predicted that that the Internet would disappear. So, what was he talking about?
There are a couple of big changes to the Google Glass project that are taking place, the first of which is that it's now being overseen Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive and founder of Nest, which Google purchased for $3.2 billion a year ago. Ivy Ross will still run the daily operations, she'll just now report to Fadell. And the second? You can kiss the Explorer program goodbye -- Google has decided to shutter its Glass Explorer program as it moves into the next phase.
Google and Microsoft have different opinions on public disclosure policies
For the third time in a month, Google has gone ahead and disclosed all the gory details of a zero day vulnerability affecting Windows before Microsoft could get around to releasing a patch. It affects both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and has to do with how applications handle memory encryption to allow for data flow back and forth between processes running in the same logon session.
During the holiday break, Google's Project Zero team disclosed a vulnerability in Windows 8.1 after Microsoft failed to issue a patch within the 90-day deadline that Google gives vendors. That sparked a debate on whether or not Google did the right thing, and while many (not all) of our readers sided with Google, Microsoft has some information that warrants asking the question again. Specifically, Microsoft says it was scheduled to patch the vulnerability on Patch Tuesday, two days after Google's deadline, and that Google ignored its request to withhold details until that time.
You can’t buy driverless cars just yet, but Nvidia is hoping to change that over time with its new Tegra X1 system-on-a-chip. The SoC is an offshoot of Nvidia’s K1 chip and is based on the company’s Maxwell GPU architecture, which is currently implemented in its GeForce GTX 980 and 970 graphics cards. While consumer-grade self-driving cars are still a ways off, the X1 is being designed to help with auto-assisted driving.