Tag Archives: arstechnica

November 29, 2012

Windows Phone sales quadruple

At Microsoft’s shareholders’ meeting today, Steve Ballmer said Windows Phone 8 sales were off to a “great start.” The combination of new software and more powerful hardware had resulted in four times as many sales as this time last year, the Microsoft CEO said.

Apparently, Nokia’s Lumia 920 is off to a pretty good start:

Shanghai Securities News reports that Nokia has already taken orders for 2.5 million Lumia 920s in the 20 days the phone has been on the market. This isn’t far off the 2.76 million Windows Phone handsets that Gartner estimates were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Lumia 920 is on track to sell more devices this quarter than all Windows Phone OEMs managed a year ago.

I guess that’s something?

June 21, 2012

Why Windows Phone 8 means the BlackBerry is doomed

Another sensationalist title, but following the announcement of Windows Phone 8 and its enterprise features, Research In Motion has every reason to be worried.

All that puts RIM in an increasingly untenable position. With Microsoft’s investment in Nokia, its entry into the tablet space, and its deep existing hooks into RIM’s customer base, it’s going to be increasingly hard for the company to keep its grip on corporate IT.

June 18, 2012
June 12, 2012

Security flaw in MySQL, MariaDB allows access with any password–just keep submitting it

A great writeup on the extreme security flaw found (and subsequently patched) in MySQL and MariaDB. Given a valid username, any database could be accessed simply by entering a false password enough times.

Because of the random key strings used, Golubchik said the probability of exploiting the flaw on any given attempt “is about 1/256”; with enough attempts, even using the same password over and over again, an attacker could gain access just by knowing a valid account name (such as “root”). Given that it takes less than a second to submit hundreds of login attempts, the hole essentially renders password protection worthless.

May 23, 2012

An example of Android fragmentation

Turns out that in some cases, developers must contend with about 4,000 distinct Android ROMs.

The developers logged 3,997 distinct devices, the most popular of which was the Samsung Galaxy S II. This figure was inflated quite a bit by custom ROMs, which overwrite the android.build.MODEL variable and cause those phones to be logged as separate devices. 1,363 types were logged only once, and while some were custom ROMs bucking the numbers, a good few were just massively unpopular devices—for example, the Hungarian 10.1-inch Concorde Tab.

May 14, 2012

Anti-Wi-Fi wallpaper

Better WiFi security could soon be just a few rolls of wallpaper away. French researchers at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble, in cooperation with the Centre Technique du Papier, have developed a wallpaper that can block WiFi signals, preventing them from being broadcast beyond the confines of an office or apartment.

Unlike other types of signal-blocking materials, this one lets cellphones and other radio waves through. Ars Technica’s article mentions that the wallpaper should be available for sale sometime in 2013; I found out that the Finnish manufacturer licensing the technology is Ahlstrom.