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BlackBerry has always been one of the paramount manufacturers for private and secure mobile solutions. It recently claimed on its official blog that it was the first one to come up with fastened email and applications on mobile devices. Now, in the latest move, it has teamed up with Google Android for the BlackBerry PRIV smartphone. Nevertheless, the company still wants its users to feel as safe and secure as they used to on the BB platform.

To narrow it down, BlackBerry is teaming up with a platform whose security is not really top notch. So BlackBerry is trying to customise it to their standards which rest on the principles of providing all-round security and privacy to its users. Let’s take a look at what BlackBerry PRIV is going to bring to Android’s platform. The company has integrated its “world-renowned” security model to Android, and it includes the following features.

BlackBerry Hardware Root of Trust and Hardened Linux Kernel

With its hardware root of trust, which is a one-of-a-kind manufacturing process that inserts cryptographic keys into the smartphone’s hardware, it gives a secure substructure to the complete platform. In addition, a hardened Linux kernel cou pled with various security patches and configuration makes security tighter. It means that BlackBerry has overhauled Android’s privacy and security capabilities to make it appropriate for privacy protection. In one of its moves, the company has brought its “patented picture-login” to its PRIV. The picture login is going to strengthen and simplify the smartphone authentication scheme.

Blackberry supports a variety of communication services which are based on providing top end security. These services include WatchDox private file sharing, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and SecureSuite for classified voice calls. Earlier, Blackberry had also touted that none of its software is “backdoored.” It also claimed that all of its cryptography schemes come certified with BlackBerry Certicom. We don’t really know whether such services rearly provide as much security as they claim. Frankly, it is easier to make such declarations about “cryptography,” but substantiating that code is bug-free and not a cakewalk.

Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain and FIPS 140-2 Encryption

The Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain is a process that employs embedded keys for verifying each layer of the smartphone’s hardware. It is not just limited to hardware authentication. It also checks the operating system and applications to make sure they are in their original form and security is not compromised. On the other hand, the FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption is enabled on the device by default so that there is no loophole in the device’s security.

BlackBerry Infrastructure and Enterprise Server (BES12)

Yes, you read that right, BlackBerry is also bringing its niche BB Infrastructure to Android. Its infrastructure is distributed globally through a network that transfers petabytes of encrypted data. This data is transferred to and from the world’s most powerful bureaucrats and professionals. However, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES12) is the premium and leading Enterprise Mobility Management platform that is used by the world’s most powerful corporations and organisations. Such infrastructure somewhat guarantees a high level of security to a device. BlackBerry has always been the top choice for influential organisations and people as it keeps the data private and secure.

Seamless Integration with Android For Work and BlackBerry DTEK

BlackBerry DTEK is an application that monitors a device’s activity. It informs users as to what apps have accessed the personal data, data received by your device and its location, and also what data has been sent from the device.

Conclusion

BlackBerry does enjoy the goodwill on being safe and secure, but there are loopholes too. We believe that the company should not make outright claims about privacy, as this is the first time that it is joining with another OS. Nonetheless, BlackBerry’s decision to come together with Android is late but a welcoming move for sure. With all the information given above, we do agree that BlackBerry is indeed trying to go the extra mile in making Android more secure. However, we would like to see worthy hardware changes, too, wouldn’t we?

Zara Ali

A 90’s kid, who has witnessed the evolution of technology — from landline to smartphones. Been there, used that! Love trying out new gadgets and writing about them.

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Android Market Push Threatens Blackberry And Iphone

Suddenly this week, Research In Motion began looking vulnerable. Still the top smartphone maker for U.S. customers, the BlackBerry company was stung when a new study revealed that 39 percent of its users would just as soon have an iPhone.

Well, RIM is to smartphones what Microsoft is to corporate computing–the safe, well-integrated choice. There was an old saying, perhaps still true in some companies, that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. Well, in smartphones, RIM enjoys the same reputation.

That has the effect of slowing defections, giving RIM a chance to react.

Microsoft, of course, is third in U.S. smartphone sales, after Apple. And with Windows Phone 7 devices hitting stores soon, Redmond’s smartphone customers will be facing a painful transition.

That means Microsoft, which has been losing smartphone share and now finds Android-based phones nipping at its heels, could be in even more trouble than RIM, at least in the short term.

RIM’s troubles, I fear, are permanent.

On the other hand, people who buy BlackBerry phones for themselves are ripe for the picking, but probably not by Apple. The BlackBerry users I know are closely tied to e-mail and love the hardware keyboard on their devices. The iPhone, of course, lacks a physical keyboard, but Android devices often have one. For this reason, given a little maturity in the Android world, it’s not hard to imagine why conventional BlackBerry users would defect to Android rather than the iPhone.

What will become of Windows Phone 7?

The issue, of course, will be money, but my guess is that if Microsoft offers some incentives it will keep a majority of current customers.

Windows Phone 7 is a much more competitive offering than Microsoft has had in the past. Applications support will be important, of course, but Microsoft’s new smartphone platform has a much better shot at the iPhone and Android than the previous Windows Mobile smartphones.

Here’s how I see things shaking out over the next 12 months:

Apple will continue in second place, though its U.S. growth will slow. That is unless the next iPhone, expected this summer, convinces large numbers of customers to upgrade and others to choose an iPhone over Android. Over time, it would not surprise me to see Android move past the iPhone, potentially pushing Apple into the #3 position.

Android will, at some point, move past the iPhone and into second place. It will take a large number of different handsets to accomplish this, so it’s safe to say that no single Android smartphone will be a legitimate “iPhone killer.”

Windows Phone 7 is a wild card. For the immediate future, though, Microsoft’s market share will likely continue to tank, perhaps rebounding once several models using the new OS are released. I think Microsoft is potentially in a strong position to capture some market share, but I think it is still likely to end up in fourth place.

I have not included any huge changes as a result of 4G wireless becoming more widely available in 2010. That is more likely to happen in 2011.

So, if the players make their ship dates and customers find themselves in a spending mood, this could be another great year for smartphones as well as offering some surprises.

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

Mozilla Grows Peach Fuzz With Blackberry; Debuts Security Minion

Security for Mozilla and Blackberry is set to get boost thanks to a little Peach Fuzzing.

Peach is an open source Fuzzer project that is now set to benefit from the joint efforts of Mozilla and Blackberry. Fuzzing is a well known security technique in which fault code is injected into a program to see what happens.

“At CanSecWest, one of the many conferences BlackBerry sponsors, we had an opportunity for our researchers and Mozilla researchers to meet and discuss security automation tools,” Adrian Stone, Director of Response for BlackBerry, told Datamation. “During that discussion, we determined both companies are working on similar security research projects, and we identified an opportunity to protect our mutual customers and help bolster industry security overall.”  

What is particularly interesting about the Blackberry Mozilla collaboration is the fact that both use different technologies for their respective web browsers. Mozilla has its own Gecko engine that powers Firefox, while Blackberry leverages the open source WebKit engine that is also used by Apple’s Safari.

Stone noted that Peach can be used to identify vulnerabilities across multiple platforms and the benefits are not just browser-specific. It’s a sentiment that is echoed by Michael Coates, Director of Security Assurance at Mozilla.

“For browsers to be compatible, they must handle the same formats and protocols and consume them in the same ways, via files or the Internet,” Coates told Datamation. “Browsers may have completely different bugs, but they can be tested using the same methodologies and tools.”

Coates stressed that Mozilla and Blackberry can work together to create effective test tools that will improve both browser engines.  

Fuzzing

The original Peach Fuzzer project got started in 2004. Coates explained that the main author, Michael Eddington, has gone in a new direction with Peach 3.

“It was more productive for us to stick with the python-based Peach 2 which was already integrated into our python-based testing framework,” Coates said. “Groups who were similarly enmeshed with a python-based toolchain may be interested for the reasons we were. “

Mozilla is no stranger to the world of Fuzzing and has built multiple fuzzers over the years, including JSfunfuzz.

“Fuzzers are built for a variety of purposes and have different strengths,” Coates said. “JSFunFuzz is specialized to test JavaScript, there is no overlap on that one specifically. “

While Mozilla and Blackberry are now collaborating on Peach, it’s an effort that could help a much broader audience as well.

“BlackBerry and Mozilla are investing in Peach to help identify potential security issues before they can put customers at risk,” Stone said. “As it’s an open source tool, we can share our results with the broader community to help protect customers industry-wide.”  

Minion

“The idea of Minion is to provide highly accurate results in a single, easy to use tool so developers can make their applications more secure,” Coates explained. “Just as it is easy to code for the web, we’d like to make it easier to secure those same web applications.”

As a framework, Minion integrates with other open source security tools and is extensible via a plugin architecture. Currently Minion integrates OWASP Zed Attack Proxy, Skipfish and NMAP.

“Minion is able to detect the types of application security failures that plague many applications on the web,” Coates said.

Among the failures that Minion can expose is the lack of proper SSL use via HTTP Strict Transport Security. The framework can also help to identify the use of SECURE and HTTPOnly cookie settings for flags and Cross Site Scripting (XSS) issues. 

“While a developer could setup, configure and run each of these tools individually, Minion creates a single place for pre-set configuration, scheduling, coordinated results and information on remediation for the issues,” Coates said. “We believe that providing easy to use security tools in the hands of all developers will help move to a more secure web.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and chúng tôi Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Rim To Support Android Apps For Blackberry Playbook

RIM has just announced that it will be expanding its apps ecosystem to include support for Android apps in its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The tablet is scheduled to launch on April 19, and will support both BlackBerry Java and Android, along with C/C++ development, HTML 5, Flash, and AIR.

Two optional “app players” will be launched that provide application run-time environments for BlackBerry Java apps and Android 2.3 apps and allow users to download the apps to their PlayBook from BlackBerry App World. The native SDK for the tablet will also be released to enable C/C++ development on the BlackBerry Tablet OS.

New support from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies, will allow game developers to use the cross-platform game engines to bring more games to the BlackBerry PlayBook. “Supporting a new OS can be a challenge for developers,” says Alex Caccia, President of Ideaworks Labs, “however, integration of the BlackBerry Tablet OS with the Airplay SDK makes this a non-issue. We think this is a far-sighted move by RIM: the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great device for games and applications, and combining this with content distribution via BlackBerry App World brings an exciting new ecosystem for developers.”

The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK will be available in beta later this year. The new app players should launch sometime this summer.

Press Release:

RIM Expands Application Ecosystem for BlackBerry PlayBook

· BlackBerry PlayBook to support BlackBerry Java and Android apps

· Native C/C++ development support added, in addition to HTML5, Flash and AIR support

· Support from leading game engines: Ideaworks Labs (AirPlay) and Unity Technologies (Unity 3)

· BlackBerry PlayBook becomes a new market opportunity for all the developers who have already created over 25,000 BlackBerry Java apps and more than 200,000 Android apps

Waterloo, ON – Developers wanting to bring their new and existing apps to the highly anticipated BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet will soon have additional tools and options to enhance and expand their commercial opportunities. Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced plans to greatly expand the application ecosystem for the BlackBerry PlayBook. The BlackBerry PlayBook is scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada on April 19.

RIM will launch two optional “app players” that provide an application run-time environment for BlackBerry Java® apps and Android v2.3 apps. These new app players will allow users to download BlackBerry Java apps and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on their BlackBerry PlayBook.

In addition, RIM will shortly release the native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook enabling C/C++ application development on the BlackBerry® Tablet OS. For game-specific developers, RIM is also announcing that it has gained support from two leading game development tooling companies, allowing developers to use the cross-platform game engines from Ideaworks Labs and Unity Technologies to bring their games to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Support for BlackBerry Java and Android Apps

“The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform.”

Developers currently building for the BlackBerry or Android platforms will be able to quickly and easily port their apps to run on the BlackBerry Tablet OS thanks to a high degree of API compatibility. The new optional app players will be available for download from BlackBerry App World and will be placed in a secure “sandbox” on the BlackBerry PlayBook where the BlackBerry Java or Android apps can be run.

Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.

The BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry Tablet OS are built on the QNX® Neutrino® microkernel architecture with a 1GHz dual core processor and a leading OpenGL solution, which allows RIM to make this incredibly broad platform support possible.

BlackBerry Tablet OS Development Tools

The BlackBerry Tablet OS already supports an incredibly robust platform with support for Web development standard HTML5, through the BlackBerry® WebWorks™ SDK for Tablet OS, and Adobe® AIR®, through the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built from the ground up to run WebKit and Adobe® Flash® as well, giving developers a fast and true Web experience to leverage.

Other features of the BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK will allow developers to:

* Easily integrate device events like gesture swipes and touch screen inputs

* Integrate the BlackBerry Tablet OS environment into existing code management and build systems using industry standard Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tools)

* Leverage work done in standard C/C++ to make it easier to bring applications to the BlackBerry Tablet OS

* Find and fix bugs quickly with provided debug and analysis tools

“The response to the BlackBerry PlayBook from the developer community has been exceptional. Our commitment to supporting HTML5 and Adobe AIR development has resonated and spurred developers to create fun and innovative applications for BlackBerry PlayBook users,” said David Yach, Chief Technology Officer, Software at Research In Motion. “The upcoming BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK beta will add C/C++ tools to our repertoire and gives developers one of the broadest and deepest platforms to develop on.”

Gaming Engines

The Ideaworks Labs Airplay SDK is expected to include support for the BlackBerry Tablet OS soon, making it easy for publishers and developers to use their existing code to bring their games and apps to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

“Supporting a new OS can be a challenge for developers,” says Alex Caccia, President of Ideaworks Labs, “however, integration of the BlackBerry Tablet OS with the Airplay SDK makes this a non-issue. We think this is a far-sighted move by RIM: the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great device for games and applications, and combining this with content distribution via BlackBerry App World brings an exciting new ecosystem for developers.”

RIM has also been working closely with Unity Technologies, providers of the highly popular, multi-platform Unity development platform and Union, the firm’s games distribution service. Through Union, dozens of high-quality Unity-authored games are slated to make their way to BlackBerry App World for the BlackBerry Playbook.

“With a sharp focus on the multimedia experience, very powerful hardware, and fantastic games in the pipeline, the BlackBerry Playbook has all the right ingredients to be a mainstream hit,” said Brett Seyler, GM of Union at Unity Technologies. “Through Union, Unity developers have an opportunity to reach a new audience and grow with another great new platform.”

Availability

The new app players for the BlackBerry PlayBook are expected to be available from BlackBerry App World this summer. More information and demonstrations of the new app players will be shared at BlackBerry World. The BlackBerry Tablet OS NDK will be available in beta later this year and will also be showcased at BlackBerry World.

Useful Links

Visit the BlackBerry Developer Zone at chúng tôi for the latest news, information and updates for BlackBerry developers.

Visit the BlackBerry Developer Video Library at

Sign up for the BlackBerry Developer Newsletter at

About Research In Motion

What Os Are You Using And Why?

Everyone has a favorite operating system that they use. Some use more than one system, but they still have a favorite, one that they prefer to use because it suits their individual needs. This week we asked our writers what desktop OS they were using and why.

Our Opinion

A few of our writers are using Windows 10. Christopher admits that he’s been critical of it in the past, but eventually he did upgrade to it, mostly because of his job description. In order to write tutorials and reviews for use with Windows 10, he needed to experience it himself. Judy admits it has its flaws but believes that there is no perfect OS. This happens to be an OS that she’s very happy with.

Several of our writers are using Linux or one of its distributions. Damien’s primary OS is Ubuntu, yet he does have access to Mac OS X and Windows 10. It “remains the easiest OS” for him. Charnita uses Xubuntu. This is her favorite distros “because it is lightweight and works great” on her older desktop. She also finds it easy to customize. She never liked Windows and finds Mac too expensive to maintain but does use Windows 8.1 for gaming.

Derrik uses Arch Linux as his primary OS as it’s his favorite. It “has the best and fastest package manager,” and he likes that as he can build it himself instead of going through the bloat the other OSes come with. He also uses FreeBSD “for tinkering with ZFS” and Windows 10 for playing games.

Mahesh uses OS X Yosemite and El Capitan “as it’s one of the most productive and less-irritating OS I’ve ever come across.” He doesn’t have to put up with unwanted alerts or other annoyances. He fell in love with it because it does what he wants.

I’m the lone wolf here who uses a mobile OS primarily. Doing mostly writing and editing throughout my day, I really don’t need anything too extraordinary. I prefer the way iOS works to a desktop system. It’s rare that I find something I can’t do, although adding pictures to WordPress in a specific size with a specific name is the one thing I wish it would do. On the rare occasions I’m not using iOS, I’m using Mac OS X.

Your Opinion

Image Credits: Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview, Macbook 12inch & Air 11inch, Missing operating system_ {error message}

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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Google Takes Heat Over Android Tablet Os

Android device makers around the world are anticipating great things from the next version of Google’s mobile software, and they need the boost. Apple has a strong head start with sales of its popular iPad, while the App Store and iTunes give it apps and content, to boot.

Earlier this year, for example, Samsung Electronics, had to fight to have the Android Market app, which connects users to the software’s online treasure trove of over 150,000 apps, on its Galaxy Tab, according to one executive who asked not to be named due to his company’s close relationship with Google.

At the time that Samsung was developing the Galaxy Tab to use Android, Google was struggling to decide if it wanted to put its upcoming Chrome OS in tablets and make Android exclusive to smartphones. The Chrome OS better fits Google’s Cloud strategy, the executive said.

Google’s decision to make a tablet-friendly version of Android became a must after Apple launched its groundbreaking iPad, analysts say.

“Earlier in the year, Google probably thought that Chrome OS might be the right platform for tablets. However, the importance of the compatibility of apps across smartphones and tablets, evident from the iPad experience, has created the need for Google to ensure that the commercial success of apps can be preserved in the tablet proposition,” said Martin Bradley, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.

By contrast, Google’s Android Market does not offer any tablet-only apps to users, only smartphone apps. However, upstart Appslib is filling the void with its own tablet-only app store for Android lovers. Appslib is not affiliated with Google.

Companies expect tablet sales to reach up to 60 million devices in 2011, with Android and Apple’s iOS the leading software in the devices.

Market researcher Ovum expects Android and Apple’s iOS to take about 71 percent of the total market for tablets and other mobile Internet devices by 2024, while the also-rans, BlackBerry tablet OS, Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS, Intel’s and Nokia’s MeeGo, and Microsoft Windows making up the rest of the share.

“It’s difficult to see past iOS and Android in tablets at the moment,” said Tony Cripps, principal analyst of devices and platforms at Ovum.

But infighting in the Android camp could be the worst problem at the moment. Companies gripe about a number of issues in working with Google.

There is also some controversy about how Honeycomb is to be launched.

The Internet giant’s penchant for working with a specific device maker and chip maker on each major design change for Android has gone on for at least the past three upgrades to Android.

With version 2.2 of Android, dubbed Froyo, Google worked with smartphone maker HTC and chip designer Qualcomm to create the Nexus One. In Android 2.3, Gingerbread, Google worked with Samsung Electronics on both the phone design and chips, Samsung’s Hummingbird processor, for the Nexus S.

But the strategy is unfair to other Android device makers because it gives the chosen ones about a four- to five-month head start over others, said Glen Burchers, head of marketing at Freescale Semiconductor’s consumer chip division.

Don’t mistake this frustration for mutiny. Nobody is talking about dumping Android.

Overall, companies using Android in smartphones and tablets are tickled with Google’s development efforts. What they wanted earlier this year was a speedier decision to use Android in tablets so they could put out iPad-rivals ahead of the holiday season.

What device makers are really saying is: Come on Google. Help us compete against Apple. Unleash the dogs of war with a tablet version of the Android OS and tablet apps on the Android Market.

One thing holding device makers back from using Android as they please, since it is open source software, is Google’s certification effort.

The lack of camaraderie in the Android camp has hurt Google and device makers alike. While Google mulled a decision on Android versus Chrome OS in netbooks, Windows ran away with that popular device category. In tablets, Apple has run off to a huge head start, while the Android camp nearly failed to put out strong rival devices before the holidays until Samsung pushed for app support in the Galaxy Tab.

Android may also ultimately pave the way for the Chrome OS in mobile devices.

Ovum’s Cripps believes Chrome OS and Android will converge over time, “especially in terms of bringing the Chrome Web browser to Android. The Chrome browser is really the heart of Chrome OS from a developer perspective and it would make sense to bring it to Android,” he said.

Now if the Android camp can find a way to work together better, they may give Apple a run for its money in the tablet market.

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