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Nexus One vs. Top 10 Phone Security Requirements

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I will personally be waiting for the next gen to come around. It will most likely be like the iPhone was. First model was ok but the later were much better...

    • by stiggle (649614) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:24PM (#30671792)

      I'm going to wait for the 6th version to come along.
      I was to see the video footage it takes of "Attack Ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion" :-)

      • by blincoln (592401)

        I'm waiting for the meta-reference ad campaign with "I want more life, fucker - I ain't done" as the tag line.

    • by norminator (784674) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:04PM (#30673278)

      I will personally be waiting for the next gen to come around. It will most likely be like the iPhone was. First model was ok but the later were much better...

      This is only the first gen for the hardware of the device, which already includes 3G (T-Mobile only, though), which wasn't available on the iPhone until the 2nd gen. The 3rd Gen iPhone added performance improvements, hardware-wise, but it wasn't fixing any design flaws in the device. Also, as far as hardware goes, it's built by HTC, and isn't a huge departure from the general design of HTC's other handsets, so there's not likely to be many hardware snags.

      As far as software goes though, the Android platform is already on its second generation, and out of that, this is the second Android phone to use Android 2.x.

      So basically, this (along with the Droid) is the next gen Android phone.

  • hmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It stacks fairly well but will topple if you stack too many

  • N1 vs Iphone (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karganeth (1017580) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:49PM (#30671256)
    521MB RAM vs 256MB RAM
    800x480 vs 480x320
    1Ghz vs 600Mhz
    5MP vs 3MP
    AMOLED vs TFT

    To top it off the nexus one is a slimmer device. Need I say anymore? The iPhone is no longer king! Hoorah!
    • Specs don't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#30671380)

      521MB RAM vs 256MB RAM

      800x480 vs 480x320

      1Ghz vs 600Mhz

      5MP vs 3MP

      AMOLED vs TFT

      To top it off the nexus one is a slimmer device.

      Need I say anymore? The iPhone is no longer king! Hoorah!

      Pretty sure that the iPhone was never king among the geeks that care about hardware specs. The iPhone is king among the people who care about the number of apps, user experience, and style. The kind of people who base their decision on what they see on TV, or what their friends like, and not what they read on Slashdot.

      You know, the vast majority of the population.

      • by b0bby (201198) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:17PM (#30671686) Homepage

        Pretty sure that the iPhone was never king among the geeks that care about hardware specs.

        I'm not so sure, the biggest phone geek I know has switched to an iphone. "User experience" is important for geeks too, and I have to say the iphone seems to deliver a great one (at a price).

        • I can't bring myself to purchase a computer that lacks an interpreter I can use to write scripts.

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          Pretty sure that the iPhone was never king among the geeks that care about hardware specs.

          I'm not so sure, the biggest phone geek I know has switched to an iphone. "User experience" is important for geeks too, and I have to say the iphone seems to deliver a great one (at a price).

          Yes - because a user experience is one of the most important hardware specs to consider!

        • by Mr2001 (90979)

          "User experience" is important for geeks too, and I have to say the iphone seems to deliver a great one (at a price).

          Such geeks ought to be excited to learn that the Nexus One delivers an equally great experience, especially since it costs less and is more open.

          The Android user experience has always been limited by one thing: CPU power. With the release of the Droid, and now the Nexus One, that's no longer an issue.

      • by MediaStreams (1461187) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:21PM (#30671756)

        http://www.intomobile.com/2009/11/12/apple-iphone-takes-third-place-in-q3-global-smartphone-sales.html [intomobile.com]

        Nokia is the king.
        RIM behind them.

        And finally Apple in third place. So, no, Apple and iPhone isn't the king of anything in the cellphone market.

        • Nokia is King as a company.
          iPhone may be King as a model.

          How many 'smart phones' are Nokia's sales spread across? Apple has the iPhone 3G and 3Gs. (And a few more if you split it up memory size).

          Nokia's product line reminds me of Apple's in the early 90s. There's the 5530, the 5533a, 5005 WITH camera*. Etc.

          * model names made up.

          • by Patch86 (1465427) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:14PM (#30672560)

            And no consumers want choice, right? People much prefer to compromise on what they want from a product because of a limited product line, obviously!

            (Nokia sells a range of different devices filling a whole range of price and hardware niches. Seeing as their combined range outsells Apples combined range by a considerable amount, I'd guess it's a strategy which is serving them pretty well).

      • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:35PM (#30671960)
        Yeah, a good user experience and plenty of useful applications that just work. What sort of damned fool would ever want that?
        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          Yeah, everything on the iPhone just works--until AT&T's crappy network drops your call yet again or you try to get consistent 3G coverage.
      • by Karganeth (1017580) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:42PM (#30672088)
        Why do slashdot users insist on perpetuating the myth that the general population is completely clueless about anything hardware? If someone's going to invest $2,580 for a nexus one (or $3780 for an iPhone) chance are they're going to know a decent amount about it. Even if they don't know the particular processor chip inside or what AMOLED means, they'll know that it feels fast and they'll see that the screen is nothing but amazing.
        • by GooberToo (74388)

          If someone's going to invest $2,580 for a nexus one (or $3780 for an iPhone) chance are they're going to know a decent amount

          I wouldn't be so quick to make that assumption.

          The vast majority of car purchases in the US are classified as "impulse purchases". Ya I know, shocking the stupidity. If a common $20,000 - $50,000+ purchase, at roughly the same interval, can be based on an uneducated, impulse to purchase, what makes you so sure that a $2,000 - $4,000 purchase, payed out over two years, is going to be any different. In fact, I'd argue its vastly, vastly more likely these phone purchases are impulse behaviors rather than well

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          Why do slashdot users insist on perpetuating the myth that the general population is completely clueless about anything hardware? If someone's going to invest $2,580 for a nexus one (or $3780 for an iPhone) chance are they're going to know a decent amount about it.

          You've just described the purchase in a context that is lost on the majority of consumers. People don't look at these things in terms of a lifetime cost. On geek sites you see things like hardware specs. On phone geek sites you see discussions of lifetime cost (as well as hardware specs). On mainstream forums, the conversation is more about how cool a phone is or, in very general terms, which is "best."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EvilNTUser (573674)

        I care about hardware specs, and I would probably choose any Android device over iPhone OS. BUT, and this is a big but, staring at raw hardware specs is even more stupid with phones than with computers. They're not even running the same OS.

        Just to make a point:

        521MB RAM vs 256MB RAM - How much of this is actually free after the OS is loaded? What proportion of apps are statically linked (if the OS has poor libraries)?

        1GHz vs 600MHz - a) Is the theoretically faster speed achieved with a pipeline that's to

    • The iPhone is no longer king! Hoorah!

      Ok. Listen closely.

      The iPhone wasn't king WHEN IT CAME OUT!

      Seriously. There were better phones, hardware-wise, when the iPhone first launched. And there's always been better phones. And I'm willing to bet there will always be better phones, hardware-wise.

      It. Does. Not. Matter.

      The iPhone's success is not linked to its hardware. When you figure that out - when you realize why the iPhone is actually successful - you might begin to understand what it takes to make the fabled iPhone-killer.

    • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:16PM (#30672594)

      I’m sure if you ask the Japanese, they will laugh in your face. But a quick comparison:

      Nexus One vs iPhone vs. N900

      CPU: 1GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon | 600 Mhz ARM Cortex-A8 + PowerVR SGX | 600 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 + PowerVR SGX
      RAM: 512MB | 256MB | 1GB
      Display: 800x480 AMOLED | 480x320 TFT | 800x480 TFT
      Camera: 5 MP, LED flash | 3 MP, no flash | 5 MB + 0.3 MP (dual), LED flash | (All without optical zoom, which in this day and age, is pathetic.)
      Storage: 4 GB + unlimited | 16 GB (fixed) | 32 GB + unlimited
      Battery: 1400 mAh | 1219 mAh (non-removable) | 1320 mAh | (all 3.7 V li-ion)
      Input: capacitive touchscreen + trackball | multi-touch touchscreen | resistive touchscreen + 38-key backlit keyboard
      OS: Android | iPhone OS | Maemo Linux
      Dimensions: 119 * 59.8 * 11.5 mm | 115.5 * 62.1 * 12.3 mm | 110.9 * 59.8 * 18 mm
      Java support: yes | no | yes
      GPS: They all got A-GPS and Wi-Fi triangulation is possible with a software. Although from what I heard, the iPhone has that software built-in. (I bought it for 3€ for my Nokia, so not much trouble there.)
      Ability to put on it and do with it what you want: likely | locked down | absolutely
      FM radio: no | no | yes

      That’s about the differences I could make out. I hope this gives a better picture. I tried to stay unbiased. (And I’m sure I will draw hate for this. ;) As always: No guarantees.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jspenguin1 (883588)

        The N900 has 256MB actual RAM, plus 768MB swap on an internal MMC card. It has to have more memory because unlike the iPhone and Android, applications must be explicitly closed (by closing the window) before they are unloaded.

        The internal storage card is split into three partitions: 2GiB app storage, 768MiB swap, 25GiB user. The reason the app storage is separate is because it is formatted ext3, but the user storage must be formatted FAT for Windows hosts to access it through USB Mass Storage. Some applicat

    • by alen (225700)

      4GB vs 16GB or 32GB storage

      by the time you add more storage to the N1 it's more expensive. and it pretty much locked down to T-Mo since it can't use AT&T's 3G frequencies. and T-Mo sucks. and with all the corporate/work related apps in the app store Google's limit on the number of apps is dumb.

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        4GB vs 16GB or 32GB storage

        by the time you add more storage to the N1 it's more expensive.

        Hate to burst your bubble, but storage is cheap these days. Plus, over the term of a two year contract, there is a huge difference in cost. You can add 32GB plus a card reader for your computer and still be way ahead of the iPhone 3Gs over two years, with twice the removable storage.

    • Nice comparison, between a phone that came out last year and a phone that just came out. You won't be able to judge anything until you look at the 2010 iphone specs. Apple has been working on a delayed timeline, only releasing features when a major competitor enables the feature first. Now that android has finally gotten it's act together, we will see what apple puts in it's new iphone. I think they will be able to keep up (since they did have a 2 year head start), but if they can't, then I will final

      • Re:N1 vs Iphone (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:26PM (#30673584)

        The iPhone 3Gs came out last June. That's roughly six months ago. That's not that long ago. Sure, if you want to place an arbitrary divider into the discussion (2009 vs 2010) to make it sound like its been longer, feel free, but it doesn't change the fact that the iPhone 3Gs hasn't been out long and Apple is working hard to chase Android. Android's impact was already observed with the release of the iPhone 3Gs. There's not an iPhone 3Gs user that doesn't owe a thanks to Android. That's the nature of true competition. Everyone wins.

  • by nitefallz (221624) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#30671314)

    I don't think the N1 is targeted at the corporate world. Google seems to have larger mobile plans than this, so I would expect some corporate type product in the future.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by toastar (573882)

      Wait Wait Wait.... Are you saying the Iphone is targeted at the business world?

      I'm not sure the article fully understands androids capabilities, I have a remote wipe app on my g1.
      The only real security feature the iphone has is the lack of a SD card.

  • From the article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:52PM (#30671320) Homepage

    -Operating system: The Android operating system is in its infancy and like any new piece of software is likely to be full of security bugs. Android is also open source, so it is highly susceptible to developers with malicious intent finding those bugs quicker than if the OS was closed like the iPhone or blackberry OS. However, the open source nature of the OS should also become a benefit for its security longer term as coders with good intent scrub Android and find the security holes and patch them. Without the source code this job becomes much harder and takes considerably longer. Bottom line is it’s a mixed bag, less secure in the short term but able to become more secure faster than a close OS can.

    Is there any evidence that an open source program is less secure in the short term than a closed source one?

    After all, when coding an program they know will be open sourced, programmers are much less likely to add a vulnerable piece of code in the hope it won't be spotted or with the intention to fix it at some later date.

    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:02PM (#30671484) Homepage Journal

      After all, when coding an program they know will be open sourced, programmers are much less likely to add a vulnerable piece of code in the hope it won't be spotted or with the intention to fix it at some later date.

      Beg the question much? Your conclusion is just as vague as the one in the article. I don't have any actual data either, but I would venture that accidental bugs are a much much much greater security risk than malicious ones, open source or not. Of course, it's pretty darn hard to spot a cleverly hidden bit of malicious code (and be able to distinguish it from a bug), so we may never know anyway.

    • by jimbobborg (128330) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:06PM (#30671544)

      Yes, I find this point annoying. But the article is from Network World, by the "Cisco Security Expert." But the Nexus One gets 4 of the 9 phone security requirements, including screen lock, VPN, wireless security, and application sandboxing. The ones missed, besides the OS being open source, include application signing, corporate enforcement of security settings, hardware data encryption, and remote wiping capability. I would hope that the data encryption would be added at some point, and be better than the USB thumb drives from the story yesterday. I'm sure the others can be added later, although one of the nice things about this is not requiring the blessing of Google to run an app.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by benro03 (153441)

        The problem I have with the article is that he completely blows his credibility with that one simple statement about it being insecure by the virtue of it being open source. Everything else he's pretty much spot on.

    • by nxtw (866177) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:08PM (#30671570)

      Is there any evidence that an open source program is less secure in the short term than a closed source one?

      There's nothing inherently secure or insecure about open source software. It's not like all open source software is built with different tools or in safer languages.

      After all, when coding an program they know will be open sourced, programmers are much less likely to add a vulnerable piece of code in the hope it won't be spotted or with the intention to fix it at some later date.

      One could assert that open source programmers (at least those working for free) don't need to care about reliability or security since they aren't getting paid. One could also assert that anyone can create / contribute to an open source project, including those who don't know what they are doing.
      However I don't think there's evidence for your assertion or my assertions.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:12PM (#30671634) Journal

      They're going to put Flash on the Nexus. [adobe.com]
      Unless Adobe/Google's programmers have done the impossible and magically
      secured Flash, most of their security isn't going to be worth a damn.

      • by tweek (18111)

        The attack vector for mobile flash on android is going to be insanely hard to get around. The browser is already sandboxed. It's quite likely that the flash plugin will be a separate sandboxed application as well. The ONLY android permissions that flash needs are media related and MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE geolocation information.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GooberToo (74388)

          The ONLY android permissions that flash needs are media related and MAYBE MAYBE MAYBE geolocation information.

          Not likely to be true. Internet access is likely a given. Also, camera and mic access may also be within the realm of reason. Factually, the Internet access permission is all someone needs to make nasty with your device. Who cares if a spam bot is running at the flash user id - its still ripe for abuse.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GooberToo (74388)

        Why is parent modded flamebait? Nothing stated is false. Hell, he even provided a link to a video showing Flash on the N1 and raises a legitimate, topical point of contention.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:14PM (#30671654) Homepage

      Also I'd question what the article means by Android being "in its infancy". Android is based on a well-tested OS that's been around for a while (Linux), the first phone running Android came out about a year ago, and the OS is past v2 (though version numbers don't necessarily tell you anything). I wouldn't call Android a long-running or well-established OS, but it's not like it was slapped together from scratch 6 months ago.

      • Linux is a kernel. Nothing more. An OS is the kernel + userland. In that respect, Android is indeed still in the infancy.

      • the first phone running Android came out about a year ago

        (HOW old are you?)

        a person who considers a year-old product 'mature' -- hmmm -- I have to wonder about how old this person is, themselves.

        seriously, a year is no sign of stability.

        look at the telco world where standards have been in place for *decades* (some even over a century, now).

        "a year" == mature. oh man, you children really crack me up.

        • Um...

          I wouldn't call Android a long-running or well-established OS

          I didn't say it was mature. I stated in the first sentence what the purpose of my post was: to question what is intended when the author says Android is "in its infancy". The author mostly seems to be comparing Android to Blackberry's OS and the iPhone OS, but the iPhone was only released a couple of years ago.

          If the point is just to say "Blackberries have been around longer and their development is more mature than either the iPhone or the Android," then of course that's true. Of course, on the ot

      • Re:From the article (Score:5, Interesting)

        by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:52PM (#30673872)

        Also I'd question what the article means by Android being "in its infancy".

        Android right now means Linux + Framework. Sure the framework can be made to run on other OSs, but for now they use Linux.

        No bones about it, the Android framework is definitely in its infancy. Google breaks applications left and right with just about every release. In some cases they even deprecate interfaces without providing an alternative interface; leaving developers and users boned.

        And because of Android's infancy, Verizon's Droid has known Android incompatibilities between the emulator and the GSM variant (Milestone). In fact, that's what was behind Droid's update from 2.0 to 2.01; even requiring an SDK update and new SDK version (5 to 6) for developer's to support. Despite the 2.01 update, Droid still has some broken interfaces because Verizon was forced to write their own Android-CDMA framework hooks - as Android's native CDMA interface wasn't ready at the time.

        While I think Android is excellent and I even own an Android phone, to be absolutely clear, both users and developers are very much feeling both the pains and absolute indifference Google has for them. For example, the Android market application and interfaces available to developers is still third world crap and a far cry from acceptable. Right now developers have to support Android 1.1 (large deprecated now), 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 (obsoleted), 2.01, and soon 2.1. Each has their own quirks, incompatibilities, broken interfaces, new and improved interfaces, screen sizes, etc. Contrary to the recent stream of FUD being spread, with the possible exception of Verizon's breakages, none of this means Android is fracturing and/or forking, but it does make for a huge headache for users and especially developers.

        As for the market, Google can't even properly count the number of actively installed applications for developers. The numbers provided are known to be completely useless and inaccurate. They still don't provide tools to developers. You still can't browse the market from your computer. Application descriptions are laughably terse. The user comment system exists solely to abuse developers and harm sells. Developers can't event reply to criticism - only the most recent. About the only positive thing the Android market has going now is that its easy to remove spam and abusive comments - but that makes one wonder how often legitimate comments are now removed as anyone can mark comments as spam.

        In short, Google still has a very long way to make Android grown up. Sure its continuously getting better, and more stable with each release, but anyone who believes Android is stable and full grown simply doesn't have their ear to the ground to hear the real state of things.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          BTW, my "stable" comments are directed at APIs, not OS/framework stability.

          And my "Tools" comments are directed at tools available for developer+market access, not development tools.

    • by Mr_Silver (213637)

      Is there any evidence that an open source program is less secure in the short term than a closed source one?

      Yes there is evidence, but it goes both ways. It is impossible to make generic statements about the security of open source (either for or against) without being ripped to shreds with counter points. Anyone who tries to make such a generic comment is going to be wrong.

      What they appear to be saying is that since the code is open source, it's easier for people to find security flaws. Which would seem

  • by dwandy (907337) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @12:59PM (#30671422) Homepage Journal

    From TFA: Apple iPhone requires application signing and it issues and revokes the certificates making it a powerful security feature.

    This "feature" is a prime reason I didn't buy an iPhone. I guess as a Security Guy he has to be willing to give up all his freedoms in his quest for security...

    • He's not endorsing it, he's discussing it, in the specific context of how it changes the phone's security. Given the remit of the article, were you expecting him to go off on an eight-page screed against software signing at that stage, or something? The application sandboxing is going to seriously affect the way you interact with the phone as a programmer, should he have included something about sandboxing and its serious drawbacks for software authors too? Shit, VPN, there's another thing, I'm absolutely h

  • 4 real issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:00PM (#30671448) Homepage Journal

    We're talking enterprise here, right?

    Who cares about touch screens and resolution. I do as a geek, but these are the real issues:

    Do you need a separate server to properly sync with Exchange?
    How well does it sync with Exchange?
    How secure is it, and can it handle encryption? (The iPhone can't be used in many organizations for this very reason)
    Is the email app any good? The iPhone mail app for instance is very much lacking in comparison to the Blackberry email app.

    Suits care about covering their asses, and checking email. If it can't do that, it won't be used in the enterprise.

    • My friend's HTC droid works just fine with Exchange - I assume the N1 would as well.

      • It depends on how the Exchange server is set up. For industries that demand security, such as healthcare, Exchange servers tend to require that mobile devices support things like encryption and remote wipe. In order for the device to connect, it has to tell the server that it supports any of these capabilities required by the server. Android's default email client doesn't. The Touchdown app does report capabilities back, but it's basically fudging the truth in order to connect (that's my understanding,

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          There are currently three or four Exchange clients for Android. You really need to check all of them before you so quickly dismiss Android in the Enterprise.

          And from what I understand, HTC has made their Exchange client a high priority so as to allow for their devices to get better corporate penetration. Its reasonably to expect the state of Android + Exchange is only going to rapidly improve in the near term; regardless of what the current state of things may be.

    • by alen (225700)

      the 3GS can handle encryption and if you have exchange 2007 SP1 you can force the phone to encrypt the data which means any pre-3GS devices won't work

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Enderandrew (866215)

        If I recall (and I can be mistaken) the big issue is that the iPhone can only do encryption one-way when syncing. Apple was literally bidding on a government contract for iPhone usage in the military, and the bid got thrown out when that was uncovered.

        Oddly enough, Apple has still yet to fix the issue.

    • by fermion (181285)
      If applications can be added, then encryption of data can be done through a third party app. Someone, presumably, can write an appropriate exchange client and do whatever is needed. The only drawback is the built in apps will still be there, along with whatever security vunelerabilities exist along side their presence.

      As much as many of us hate it, application signing is going to be a requirement on any corporate phone, or pretty much any phone that is not bought as hacking toy. I, for instance, expect

      • A better solution (which Android provides and the iPhone does not) is access to the source code. Fix the core email app and sync functionality.

    • by Enry (630)

      Separate server? No. Works with ActiveSync

      How well does it work? I have both the standard application and a third party app (TouchDown) installed on my Droid. I like Touchdown better as it supports the security models and offers a number of features that the native exchange client doesn't (like signatures).

      The base e-mail app is quite good. Where Android is really shining for me is the integration. Contacts from gmail, exchange, and facebook get unified in one contact list. When you edit an individual

  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:03PM (#30671490)

    I increasingly hear this question from both my IT peers and users alike "Why does our company stick with Blackberry when phone XYZ is so much better?" The long and the short of it is SECURITY. I mean when India insisted RIM provide them with a back door so they could spy on BB users RIM's response was "We don't even have a back door". I would love to see a smartphone come out with all of the security features RIM has had for years so I could offer it to the Executive VP instead of telling him "I'm sorry but since you receive strictly private emails you are not allowed to use anything but a Blackberry" and having him start making calls and ultimately buying it on his expense account connecting it to the network in rogue fashion.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:26PM (#30671828)

      I was going to Google "India RIM backdoor", but quickly thought against that idea.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:32PM (#30671916)

      I doubt its because of security soley. Its the BES management features that really sell it. Centralized policies, remote wipes, etc. Security is only part of that. The BB system relies on your pumping your mail to Ontario and BB's getting it from Ontario. Its not a direct connection to the BES server in your enterprise. So any outtage in Ontario means an outtage for you. Not sure how good of an idea that is, especially since Android and other Activesync phones connect straight to your mail server just like any email client, and not through BB's proxies, which can be compromised. Sure they use end to end security but how feasible are MITM attacks?

      I could see Google or Microsoft reproducing some of these features for corporate customers. That would pretty much kill the BB. For every thing the BB does well it does 5 other things badly.

      • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @02:15PM (#30672576)

        I don't disagree with what you are saying but you are referencing things that have only been viable in the last year or so. Android is in its infancy and Microsoft just recently got their Mobile guys and Exchange guys to talk to each other. Given it takes a large company 3 years to DECIDE on what to implement and another 2 years to actually implement it you begin to understand why those options haven't been introduced into many large scale operations. I still don't know of any other mobile communication device (outside of the NSA) that implements hardware encryption like Blackberries do. Apple introduced encryption on the 3Gs but it was cracked about fifteen minutes after it was announced if memory serves. I fully expect RIM to lose market share this year but I would not count them out just yet.

        I doubt this is Google's business offering. They know it will take much more to crack that nut. In the meantime they can sell this to the masses to increase interest in a business class device.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      For corporate-issued phones I have no issues with remote/wiping, security attestation, etc.

      However, in many cases the model is more one of worker-provides-phone and company-allows-access. In that kind of a scenario I'd never use an email program that allowed my employer to have control over my phone. Fortunately, as long as I own the hardware and they don't go TPM, that will never be a problem for me...

  • by YourExperiment (1081089) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:12PM (#30671632)

    I particularly loved this line from the article: -

    But for now, I don't expect to see any corporations handing out the Nexus One to their employees.

    I guess he didn't hear about a little corporation named "Google".

    • by zullnero (833754)
      The only thing funny about this statement is how it seems to totally not get the entire point of the article.

      The point being, of course, that just because it's made by Google doesn't instantly mean that its perfectly secure.

      Until security becomes a primary feature, it generally will take a backseat to features leading up to an initial release, in my own experience. Then again, this article is chock full of assumptions, and a security assessment based on assumptions is pretty much useless, so who know
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alen (225700)

      and google probably has an email system where everything is stored in Gmail in the cloud. for the rest of us, we have exchange and people store a lot of data on phones

  • Remote data wipe? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:14PM (#30671650)

    Phones are easy to loose or get nicked. One of the features enterprises like about the Blackbery is the ability to do a remote datawipe. On my iPhone I can set a password. If it's entered incorrectly 10 times, the device automatically wipes itself. I can also do a remote datawipe as well. I've tried googling about this feature on the N1 and so far have found nothing.

    Ability to do a remote data wipe is key for the enterprise market.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Qubit (100461)

      On my iPhone I can set a password. If it's entered incorrectly 10 times, the device automatically wipes itself.

      I take it you have no small children or friends with an impish sense of humor, do you?

      • by natehoy (1608657)

        Despite the inconvenience, remote wipe and "bad password attempt" wipe are critical features in a corporate environment. If my company email is on my phone, I don't want to be the one that allowed someone else to read it.

        The default configuration at my company is:
        - I have to set a password on my Blackberry. It has to be at least 6 characters long, and contain at least one number and one character.
        - The password must be changed every 60 days.
        - The phone will lock itself requiring th

    • by nxtw (866177)

      On my iPhone I can set a password. If it's entered incorrectly 10 times, the device automatically wipes itself.

      Only the iPhone 3G S can do this quickly, and only if device encryption is enabled. With encryption, the device just erases the key. Without encryption, the wipe must overwrite the entire memory area.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      How well does remote wiping work with SD cards? Steal the phone, pop out SD card, profit?

      • by nxtw (866177)

        How well does remote wiping work with SD cards? Steal the phone, pop out SD card, profit?

        Windows Mobile can encrypt content on SD cards which would make the content unreadable after a remote wipe deletes the key. I would assume that BlackBerry devices can encrypt SD card contents too or at least disable the SD slot.

        • by natehoy (1608657)

          Sounds like WinMo and BB use the same basic idea.

          Blackberry devices can encrypt the entire SD card, or part of the SD card (my company allows the /music, /ringtones, /videos, and /pictures folders to be unencrypted, everything else gets encrypted). The encryption key is on the phone, and in the event of a wipe that encryption key is deleted from the phone and all the encrypted data on the SD chip is now useless, even on the original handset.

    • by GooberToo (74388)

      Ability to do a remote data wipe is key for the enterprise market.

      There have been applications on the market to do this for a long time now.

    • The Mobile Defense app provides this functionality on several smartphone platforms: http://www.mobiledefense.com/ [mobiledefense.com]
  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:21PM (#30671746)

    Screen Lock (including gestures to unlock in addition to alphanumeric codes)
    VPN support
    Standard Wireless Support (Wireless-N as well which is nice)
    Application Sandboxing
    Lacks Corporate Policy Enforcement (fail for enterprise)
    Application Signing - Doesn't require trusted signers which defeats the purpose
    No hardware encryption (fail for enterprise)
    No Remote Wipe (fail for enterprise)

    IMO, the phone definitely seems ready for the home user, but is very lacking for enterprise

    • by landoltjp (676315)
      Good quick summary. Please mod Parent up. A few points, though:
      • it's a new device, so it's possible (probable) that many / all of these features are coming ('cept for hardware encryption which may be limited to HW upgrades)
      • Have application signing with self-signed certs as an enforceable policy.
  • by tweek (18111) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:24PM (#30671796) Homepage Journal

    While the default Exchange integration on Android 2.0 doesn't support all of the Exchange security features, Touchdown ( http://www.nitrodesk.com/dk_touchdownFeatures.aspx [nitrodesk.com] ) DOES. I used it initially on my DROID and am currently testing the native stuff now that Motorola released a corporate directory app on the app store. Remote wipe *IS* supported by the native android ActiveSync implementation but not PIN security IIRC.

  • by tibman (623933) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @01:56PM (#30672302) Homepage

    The application signing is worthless because they are self-signed certs? WTF is this guy smoking. Just because someone pays a CA to sign their cert doesn't make it magically more secure. I'll be honest, i think CAs should die off (in their current forms).

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