An anonymous reader writes "I'm in charge of getting some phones for my company to give to our mobile reps. Security is a major consideration for us, so I'm looking for the most secure off-the-shelf solution for this. I'd like to encrypt all data on the phone and use encryption for texting and phone calls. There are a number of apps in the android market that claim to do this, but how can I trust them? For example, I tested one, but it requires a lot of permissions such as internet access; how do I know it is not actually some kind of backdoor? I know that Boeing is producing a secure phone, which is no doubt good — but probably too expensive for us. I was thinking of maybe installing Cyanogenmod onto something, using a permissions management app to try and lock down some backdoors and searching out a trustworthy text and phone encryption app. Any good ideas out there?"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Master Moose sends this quote from a Bloomberg report: "When Apple's next iPhone hits store shelves, Technicolor's engineers will rush to get the handset — not to make calls or play games, but to rip it apart. Technicolor, an unprofitable French company that invented the process for color movies used in The Wizard of Oz and countless other classics, plans to cash in on its 40,000 video, audio and optics patents to turn its fortunes around. The company has a team of 220 people dissecting every new smartphone and tablet from industry goliaths such as Apple, Samsung Electronics and HTC for patent infringements. Although Technicolor signed its first licensing deal in the 1950s, de Russe [executive vice-president of intellectual property at Technicolor] said, 'it feels like the rest of the world has just woken up to why patents are interesting.' Patent licensing is the most profitable business of the company."
itwbennett writes "Softbank, Japan's third largest carrier, has teamed up with Sharp to create a radiation detector chip for the latest model in the company's popular, bare-bones Pantone line of smartphones. The chip 'can detect gamma radiation in the air at doses of between 0.05 and 9.99 microsieverts per hour,' according to an IDG News Service report. 'The phone then uses its GPS to place readings on a map. Due to go on sale in July, it runs Android 4.0 and features standard functionality for Japanese handsets, including mobile TV, touch payments and infrared transmission.'"
Stephenmg writes "Sprint will be shutting down their iDEN network from its merger with Nextel and will migrate users to Push to Talk over CDMA. It will then use the 800mhz frequency to build out its LTE network. From the article: 'Sprint has been decommissioning iDEN base stations as part of its methodical transition to Network Vision, a flexible infrastructure intended to accommodate both the carrier's 3G CDMA technology and its emerging 4G LTE system. About one-third of the iDEN radios are scheduled to be removed by the end of this year. The iDEN system only offers downstream speeds below 100K bps (bits per second), a trickle compared with the multiple megabits per second available from LTE and from WiMax, Sprint's current 4G technology, which is provided by Clearwire. One major benefit to Sprint from shutting down iDEN will be the ability to reuse its 800MHz frequencies for the Sprint LTE network, which a U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling last week made possible. The LTE service is scheduled to launch in the middle of this year on another spectrum band and later expand to 800MHz.'"
angry tapir writes "LG Display has introduced a 5-inch full HD LCD panel for smartphone displays — the highest resolution mobile panel to date. The widescreen panel is based on AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) technology and has a 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution or 440 pixels per inch (ppi), according to LG. That compares well to Apple's Retina display, which has 264 ppi on the new iPad and 326 ppi on the iPhone 4S."
benfrog writes "Blackberry maker Research in Motion may need to write off more than $1 billion in inventory, according to Bloomberg. The potential 'writedown' comes after RIM took a $485 million pretax charge to write down the value of its PlayBook inventory in December. RIM has said it aims to save $1 billion in operating costs this fiscal year by cutting its number of manufacturing sites and is 'reviewing its organizational efficiency' across the company, which may lead to job cuts of 2,000-3,000. Its shares have tumbled 75 percent over the past year and are down 90 percent from their all-time high."
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times reports that Facebook has resumed its stealthy efforts to create a smartphone, apparently to assert its position in an Internet increasingly accessed via mobile devices, and to counter products and moves made by major competitors Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. The Times reports that Mark Zuckerberg has gotten personally involved in the project, which has recently landed several iPhone/iPad engineers from Apple. Wired ran a similar story a month ago, reporting that Facebook has ramped up its "Buffy" code-named collaboration with HTC on a phone which will probably be Android-based, support HTML5 and include a large touchscreen and high-quality camera (for Instagram). Facebook won't confirm or deny these reports."
redletterdave writes "It seemed like a step in the right direction for Yahoo back in November, when the company announced a family of new mobile products that would enrich the way users experience and understand their news and entertainment content. But just shy of seven months after that outburst of mobile and social apps and tools, Yahoo has decided to call it quits on arguably the biggest piece of that mobile package: the personalized magazine app for iPad, Livestand. This was the first major business decision made by Ross Levinsohn, the interim CEO who took over for Scott Thompson on May 13 after the SEC discovered Thompson lied on his resume."
jakooistra writes "My sister recently asked me for a laptop recommendation. I said, 'Sure, what are techie brothers for,' and diligently started my search for her perfect laptop. Two days later, I feel like I've aged two years. Every laptop vendor seems to want to sell a dozen different, poorly-differentiated models, with no real way of finding out what is customizable without following each model to its own customization page. And there are so many vendors! How am I, as a consumer, supposed to find what I need? Is there a website, hiding somewhere I just can't find, that tracks all the multivariate versions and upgrade choices in an easily searchable database?"
alphadogg writes "Cisco is slowly killing off its Cius business tablet less than a year after it started shipping. The Android-based collaboration tool, which featured a 7-inch touchscreen and was not intended to challenge more consumer-oriented tablets such as the Apple iPad, fell victim to the BYOD trend and cloud computing, Cisco said in a blog post. Cisco will instead 'double down' on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems."
An anonymous reader writes "Dallas Mavericks owner and media entrepreneur Mark Cuban thinks he knows the reason for Facebook's disappointing IPO; smart money has realized that 'mobile is going to crush Facebook', as the world's population increasingly accesses the Internet mostly through smartphones and tablets. Cuban notes that the limited screen real estate hampers the branding and ad placement that Google and Facebook are accustomed to when serving to desktop browsers, while phone plans typically have strict data limits, so subscribers won't necessarily take kindly to YouTube or other video ads. Forbes' Eric Jackson likewise sees a generational shift to mobile that will produce a new set of winners at the expense of Facebook and Google."
linuxwrangler writes "After mowing down a motorcycling couple while distracted by texting, Kyle Best received a slap on the wrist. The couple's attorney then sued Best's girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, for exchanging messages with him when he was driving. They argued that while she was not physically present, she was 'electronically present.' In good news for anyone who sends server-status, account-alerts or originates a call, text or email of any type that could be received by a mobile device, the judge dismissed the plantiff's claims against the woman."
angry tapir writes "Two U.S. lawmakers have called on the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into Google's snooping on Wi-Fi networks in 2010 after recent questions about the company's level of cooperation with federal inquiries. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr., a New Jersey Democrat, and John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat, called on the DOJ to fully investigate Google's actions for potential violations of federal wiretapping laws. In light of a recently released U.S. Federal Communications Commission report on Wi-Fi snooping by Google Street View cars, the DOJ should take a new look at the company's actions, wrote the lawmakers in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder."
redletterdave writes "Six days after the company's IPO and two months after it acquired photo-sharing app company Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook debuted a photo app of its own on Thursday, called Facebook Camera. The app is now available as a free download in the App Store, and it's currently only available for iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Facebook Camera is set up very similarly to Instagram and includes most of the same features (including photo filters), but Dirk Stoop, Facebook's product manager for photos, said Facebook was working on this application long before the Instagram acquisition on April 9."
Qedward writes "Last month it was reported on slashdot that a third of workers at a British telecoms company were 'more productive' working from home during a telecommuting experiment to prepare for the London 2012 Olympics. A more recent study reveals almost two-thirds of mobile employees say they are working 50+ and 60+ hour weeks, with most also working weekends. It also has security implications, with most mobile workers saying they will do anything to get an internet connection, including hijacking unsecure networks. The problem of needing a connection has also led to an increase in workers waking up through the night due to stress."