Tag Archives: source

NSA stole Huawei’s source code, could have added back doors

Huawei boothAccording to new documents released by Edward Snowden, the NSA ran an operation code-named “Shotgiant” which targeted the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. The documents come from an internal NSA presentation and show that the NSA succeeded in hacking into Huawei’s internal servers and got access to the company’s emails as well as its source code repositories.

Internally Huawei routed all of its emails through one server in Shenzhen where the NSA managed to siphon off the data and gain access to a large portion of the internal communications including messages from company CEO Ren Zhengfei and Chairwoman Sun Yafang. Since the company employs some 150,000 people, the amount of data coming out of Huawei was more than the NSA could handle. According to Der Spiegel an internal NSA document stated that, “we currently have good access and so much data that we don’t know what to do with it.”

‘If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,’ said Huawei.

The relationship between Huawei and the USA government can at best be described as turbulent. Back in 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said that American telecommunication operators should not buy equipment from Huawei because of the security risks posed by potential Chinese state interference. Following the report the White House ordered a review of the security risks posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom suppliers. The 18-month review found that there was no evidence of Huawei spying via back doors in its equipment. 

Huawei’s troubles stem from the fact that the company was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army. The House of Representatives committee report concluded that “the risks associated with Huawei provision of equipment to US critical infrastructure could undermine core US national-security interests.”

Huawei MediaPad X1 aa 12

At this point the hypocrisy of the U.S government is unbelievable. While on the one hand it bans Huawei from selling its equipment in the USA due to fears of spying by the Chinese, the NSA is actively hacking into Huawei and stealing the source code for Huawei’s products.

Since Huawei also makes Android handsets it isn’t beyond reason to speculate that the NSA has implanted code in these devices.

With access to the source code, the NSA wanted to add its own back doors so that when the company sold equipment to other countries it could easily gain access to their networks and conduct surveillance operations.

“If it is true, the irony is that exactly what they are doing to us is what they have always charged that the Chinese are doing through us,” said Huawei spokesman Bill Plummer. “If such espionage has been truly conducted, then it is known that the company is independent and has no unusual ties to any government and that knowledge should be relayed publicly to put an end to an era of mis- and disinformation.”

Since Huawei also makes Android handsets it isn’t beyond reason to speculate that the NSA has implanted code in these devices an could be using them to spy on consumers all over the world, especially those in Asia.


    








Android Authority

Developers asking for Omate smartwatch source code, MediaTek stalling?

MediaTek MWC 2013 -1

One of the key strengths of the Linux kernel is that it is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), an open source license which gives everyone the right to use and even modify the Linux kernel, with the condition that the source code is made available for any publicly released versions.

Since Android uses the Linux kernel, the GPL license also applies to the versions of Android which are released by OEMs and processor manufacturers. When an OEM or chip maker releases a version of Android which supports their products, they should, according to the GPL, also freely release the source code.

Unfortunately, from time to time, there are companies which don’t release the source code. They seem to have a mentality that their modifications to the source code are proprietary, which they aren’t, and although the Android source code was supplied to them for free, they don’t think they are obliged to give anything back, which actually they are. The GPL basically works on the basis that freely we have received and freely we should give. Without a version of Android for their processor, it is unlikely that they would sell very many units.

MediaTek withholds code for Omate smartwatch

There a millions of devices in the world today which run Linux (with or without Android) and, for the most part, the designers of these products have also released the relevant source code. One new device which is getting a lot of attention is the upcoming Omate TrueSmart, a smart watch which raised over million in funding from Kickstarter.

The device uses a dual-core MediaTek MT6572 and this is where the trouble starts. A campaign has started on the Internet asking MediaTek to release the source code for the Linux kernel which is used on the Omate.

The Omate TrueSmart

It appears that Omate doesn’t have an official partner level agreement with MediaTek, and so it is only receiving pre-compiled binaries for the MT6572. Normally, a chip maker would publish the source code, and any OEM needing access to it would just download the source archive from the Internet.

MediaTek’s attempt to sublicense GPL code actually automatically terminates its right to use the Linux kernel.

The campaign asking MediaTek to release the source code also alleges that MediaTek is trying to re-license GPL code and is asking its partners to pay a fee and sign an agreement before it will release the source code. An attempt from MediaTek to to sublicense GPL code would automatically terminate its right to use the Linux kernel.

Since MediaTek is a Taiwanese company, it’s probably quite hard for any legal action originating in the West to force the chip maker to publish the source code. But maybe the company will capitulate under consumer pressure?


    








Android Authority

Android 4.4 source code for HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 goes live

HTC and Samsung have just uploaded their versions of the Android 4.4 source code for the Google Play Editions (GPE) of their respective flagships. While the source code for Android 4.4 has been freely available for a while now, these device-specific versions could help custom ROM makers fine tune and fix their code for those devices.

3f2e1e4d23kat 21.jpg Android 4.4 source code for HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 goes live

HTC has just started pushing out an OTA upgrade that brings the much-awaited Android 4.4 version to the Google Play Edition of its HTC One flagship. Now the company is making available the Android 4.4 source code for the same models. The release comes in two downloads, a larger 372 MB package that contains HTC’s framework support files, and a smaller 100 MB archive that has the stock UI.

Samsung has also made a similar step and uploaded the Android 4.4. souce code for its Galaxy S 4, also the Google Play Edition. Strangely, though, Samsung has yet to provide an update, OTA or otherwise, that will bring the latest Android version to its own flagship. The presence of the source code on their server makes us hope that it will come very soon.

Android developers and curious users can download the Android 4.4 code for the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 from the links below. End users, on the other hand, will just have to wait for the OTA update to arrive on their devices, which might take a longer time for those owning a Galaxy S 4.

Download: HTC One GPE, Samsung Galaxy S 4 GPE
VIA: AndroidBeat

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Sony Thermanager thermal management solution goes open source

In line with the company’s commitment to support the Android Open Source Project for its line of Xperia devices, Sony has provided the source code for its thermal management solution. This gives developers and modders not just the tool to keep devices’ thermal output in check, but also the means to fine tune the manager as well.

f653be50d7o back.jpg Sony Thermanager thermal management solution goes open source

When it comes to regular computers, particularly with notebooks, heat dissipation is a major concern for manufacturers, especially chip manufacturers such as Intel and AMD. Whether or not systems-on-chip (SoC) have vastly superior heat dissipation and management, the issue doesn’t seem to be of much concern on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, with device and chip manufacturers casting the spotlight more on speed and power. Still, temperature control is serious business as an inordinate amount of heat contributes to wear and tear.

Thermanager, Sony’s own thermal management solution, has been available since the first release of the official AOSP for Xperia devices. However, it only came in a binary format that did nothing else except keep the device from overheating. Due to popular demand, Sony is now releasing Thermanager as open source in order to give developers the flexibility to also analyze, customize, and improve this component which could hopefully lead to interesting tools and developments on Sony’s devices.

The source code is definitely of no direct use to end users and is meant more for developers and ROM makers. Those who are curious, however, and have a little bit of programming knowledge under their belt can browse the code on Sony’s Thermanager GitHub page.

SOURCE: Sony
VIA: XDA Developer

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techBASIC Sampler Unlocks iOS by Providing Working Apps w/ Source Code

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Byte Works, Inc., today is proud to announce the techBASIC Sampler, a Free App that unlocks the secrets of the iPhone and iPad showing how easy it is to access electronics and sensors, perform complex math functions, and create interactive graphs by providing fully functioning apps with BASIC source code.

techBASIC Sampler is also the free companion app to the new O’Reilly book “Building iPhone & iPad Electronics Projects” from O’Reilly Media. The book includes detailed project instructions and complete source code showing how to create real-world Arduino, sensor and Bluetooth low energy apps for iOS devices using techBASIC.

techBASIC Sampler and the O’Reilly book show interested iPhone and iPad users how to:
* Connect to Bluetooth low energy devices like the Texas Instruments SensorTag
* Collect data from an Arduino using either a Bluetooth LE shield or a WiFi bridge
* Create a plant moisture meter using HiJack
* Turn an iPhone into a metal detector
* Access the built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to record and email data

techBASIC Sampler also includes samples showing how to:
* Easily perform advanced mathematical operations like integration and regression
* Process data with built-in matrix math routines
* Create colorful 2D and 3D interactive graphs
* Visualize complex data like the movement of the stars within 10 parsecs of the sun
* See the interaction of magnetic fields between two wires

techBASIC Sampler displays the full power of techBASIC, the only technical computing environment on iOS. Features include a step-and-trace debugger, built-in help system and a powerful implementation of the BASIC programming language customized to give users easy access to all the capabilities of the iPhone and iPad.

techBASIC Sampler runs every app and contains all the features of techBASIC except the ability to write or change programs. This gives users a great way to check out how powerful and easy it is to use techBASIC before purchasing it. The full version of techBASIC is accessible through an in-app purchase at any time.

techBASIC Sampler:
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 5 or later
Pricing and Availability: Free .00 (USD) available in the App Store Education category.

“Building iPhone & iPad Electronics Projects”
Pricing and Availability: .99 (USD) available in an Early Release Ebook Version from O’Reilly Media.

techBASIC 3.0:
Requirements: iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 5 or later
Pricing and Availability: .99 (USD) available in the App Store Utilities category.

techBASIC Sampler 3.1
Download from iTunes
O’Reilly Electronics Book Purchase
YouTube Video (Programming Video)
YouTube Video (Electronics Book)
Media Assets

The Byte Works has been creating quality Apps for People Who Think(TM) since 1982. Current directions include apps for scientific programming, calculators and astronomy programs for iOS. Past efforts include developing Apple Programmers Workshop and the award winning ORCA line of compilers for the Apple IIGS, the HyperLogo(TM) scripting language for HyperStudio(TM), and MediaBlender(TM), a multimedia authoring tool for education. Copyright (C) 2013 The Byte Works. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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Say hello to PiCast, the open source solution to Chromecast using a Raspberry Pi

PiCast

There is a lot to love about the Chromecast. It lets you stream your browser, your desktop, and a number of apps directly to your TV with little more than a dongle that plugs into HDMI on your TV. However, lately, a few problems have arisen. For one, it’s really difficult to find one unless you’re willing to wait weeks for the next stock to come in. Additionally, the root method that was discovered over at XDA has since been patched. So Google isn’t letting everyone play fast and loose with their new dongle. It’s still a great device, but it’s not perfect and now there is an alternative called PiCast.

PiCast was started by a developer named Lance Seidman. The premise? To use a – Raspberry Pi computer to do almost exactly what Chromecast can do. It’s an open source project that’s currently in development and it has a lot of promise.

So here’s the layman’s version of how it works. You install the pre-requisite software on your Raspberry Pi, then install PiCast. After that, you can send whatever you’re looking at online to the Raspberry Pi via PiCast. It works pretty much the same way as Chromecast, but requires a little more work to use.

It’s important to note that this is very early on in development. In fact, Mr. Seidman just got YouTube working last night. That brings the total functionality up to web browser support and YouTube videos. So if you want something that works right now, PiCast is only a partial solution. As time goes and the open source community gets their hands on this, you can expect the functionality to increase dramatically. If you’re into this kind of stuff, you can find the Github here and more info here.

The process is currently pretty complicated, so for now it’s probably best to let the experts tinker with this for a little longer. Eventually, though, this will be a very good open source alternative to the Chromecast and, if nothing else, the open source community is going to be excited about that option. So keep an eye out, because PiCast is going to be everywhere very soon. To learn more, watch the demonstration video below or follow Lance Seidman on Google+ to stay up to date on the latest with PiCast.

Android Authority

Google Glass kernel source now available to download

google glass girl Credit: DVF

The Google Glass kernel source is apparently available to download for developers to start playing with it.

Karthik’s Geek Center reports that it has found the Google Glass kernel source “in a temporary location on Google Code” from where it should be moved to a more permanent location in the future. In case you’re interested in getting your hands on it, head on to the Source links below to get yours – you’re looking at a 68.9MB tar.xz file.

What’s interesting about the Google Glass kernel is that it has some NFC references in it, as the same source points out:

On digging into the Kernel, looks like it has got all the headers required for NFC support. May be Glass is NFC enabled? Or may be, since its running Android source, it has the NFC drivers by default?

However, there’s nothing to suggest that Google Glass will have any NFC-related features. In fact, NFC is not mentioned in the specs sheet of the product – and by now we also learned more details about the processor type, RAM and Android version Google Glass runs.

Getting back to developing for Glass, you should also know that Google Glass has already been rooted, with the process described as “easy” by at least one developer.

Meanwhile, Google said via Eric Schmidt that it will exercise some caution initially by pre-approving apps for Glass, with the process opening up in the future. The same Schmidt also revealed in a recent interview that the commercial launch of the Glass will only take place in about a year or so.

In case you happen to have a great Google Glass app in the works, drop us a shout!

Android Authority

Recommended Reading

Source: Motorola acquisition “added more fuel to the fire to oust” Andy Rubin

andy rubin Credit: Joi/Flickr

Two years after Google announced it would acquire Motorola, questions about the value of the deal still linger. A source told The Verge that the misstep might have contributed to the ousting of Andy Rubin from the Android team.

In a piece analyzing the strategic and tactical advantages that Google obtained, but mostly failed to obtain, by acquiring Motorola Mobility, The Verge’s Nilay Patel revealed some potential clues about the true reasons behind Andy Rubin’s leaving from the Android team.

As a backgrounder, Google announced that Andy Rubin would no longer lead the Android team in early March. In a blog post, CEO Larry Page said that Rubin “decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google”, making it sound like the founder of Android was leaving voluntary. But rumors quickly emerged painting a less rosy picture of Rubin’s leaving.

Now a supposedly well connected source confirmed to the The Verge that Andy Rubin was ousted from the Android team, following missteps including the Motorola acquisition:

Andy stood behind the deal and thought it was important to Google. As [new Motorola CEO] Dennis Woodside started to look into the details, he couldn’t see what Andy supposedly saw, which added more fuel to the fire to oust him.

This information suggests that, Google was already dissatisfied with Rubin at the time when the Motorola purchase was announced, and, when the positive outcomes of the merger failed to materialize, Rubin shouldered the blame.

At this point, it is unclear what role has Andy Rubin adopted inside Google. We’ve heard rumors about a new moonshot program due to be introduced soon, but it’s all speculation at this point. What we do know is that Android wouldn’t exist today without Andy Rubin, so regardless of what he’s currently doing at Google, we hope he’ll stay with the company.

Android Authority

Recommended Reading

Tweet Lanes goes open source

Tweet Lanes

After finding himself too busy with personal matters and development for another app, Chris Lacy has admitted that he can no longer play an active role in improving Tweet Lanes, a Twitter app for Android. That said, he has turned Tweet Lanes into an open source project, passing on the future of the app to the Android community.

Yes, we know there are quite a lot of other apps in the Play Store to manage your Twitter apps. New ones keep appearing and some existing ones have dedicated developers who are still consistently pushing updates and features. But what really sets Tweet Lanes apart from the Twitter app flock is its Holo-themed user interface, intuitive navigating through swiping, multiple account support, and flexible customizations. Leaving the app to die just because its creator can no longer commit is just plain wrong. But by relegating the development work to the community, Tweet Lanes might just receive the time and attention it deserves.

Besides announcing the switch to open source in Google+, Lacy revealed that the only thing he can do for Tweet Lanes is “syncing with the master branch and releasing a signed version of the app to the Play Store a few times a week.” He then continued to list the tasks he can’t commit to such as implementing new features, addressing flaws, feedback response, and more. He hopes that the community, which he suggests should be led by a volunteer dev lead and community manager, can perform those responsibilities to keep the project afloat.

Lacy is still currently looking for volunteers. But if no one steps up, the latest Tweet Lanes update will probably be the last.

Android Authority

Recommended Reading

Sony releases kernel source for the Xperia Z

sony-xperia-z-2

Would you like a side of kernel source with your Sony Xperia Z? If the answer is yes, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Sony has released the kernel source code for its latest flagship phone — despite the fact that the Xperia Z won’t be hitting stores internationally for another few weeks or so.

This is just one of the many good gestures that Sony has been showing to the developer community. Last month, the Japanese phone maker shared the alpha build of Jelly Bean for the Xperia T prior to the official rollout of the Android 4.1 firmware.

What exactly separates Sony from the likes of Samsung? As pointed out by XDA-developers, Sony actually releases a “complete, compilable, and working kernel source.” There you go.

If you’re up for some compiling fun, you can head to Sony Developer’s website to grab the Xperia Z kernel source. Of course, you won’t be able to test it out on the handset right away, unless you live in Japan.

Does this make you ache for the Xperia Z more? Feel like giving Sony a virtual pat on the back? Hit the comments below.

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