J Marra

Android outdated? Blame Google, not cellular carriers

You can still buy phones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), even though Google released the last distribution, version 2.3.7, in September, 2011. In the meantime, numerous security flaws have been discovered in Gingerbread and users are vulnerable to them.

For this, the ACLU blames AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The logic in their plea to the FTC is so shoddy that I have to suspect an ulterior motive. In whose interests is the ACLU operating here?

Continue reading

Taxing Internet sales is the right thing to do

The fight to keep brick and mortar commerce subsidizing e-commerce is in a crucial stage today.

You never heard of that fight? It also goes under the guise of fighting "Internet sales taxes". A bill (the "Marketplace Fairness Act") is moving along in the Senate that requires merchants with $1 million or more in revenue to collect any sales taxes due in the state of the buyer.

Continue reading

Boston bombing lesson: Surveillance cameras work

As we all recap the Boston bombing and manhunt events in our minds, looking for lessons learned, the one that sticks out in my head is the value of surveillance cameras. They were essential to catching the perpetrators and doing so quickly. More aggressive use of them might have resulted in even faster capture, and the civil rights and privacy concerns people express about them are hysterical overreaction.

The value of surveillance cameras was obvious almost immediately after the event. I remember many experts interviewed predicting that they would be used to narrow down suspects rather quickly. In fact, you don't need an expert to understand this. The only people who didn't seem to understand it well were the Tsarnaev brothers. They stayed in town and tried to go on with their lives, indicating that thought they wouldn't be detected. They must have freaked out when they saw their pictures on the news, but they still didn't get out of Dodge.

Continue reading

Why is there no Android app for Amazon Instant Video?

Consumers have a rich selection of services for TV and movie content: iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting. Some of these are tied to hardware (like iTunes) and others try to be agnostic in this regard.

My service of choice is Amazon Prime Instant Video. Amazon Prime is a $79 annual membership that gives you 2-day shipping on most items you buy from the retailer, allows you "to stream thousands of movies and TV shows" and access to the Kindle Lending Library with thousands of books.

Continue reading

Can Microsoft admit its Windows 8 mistake?

What were they thinking?

It made sense when Microsoft decided to update Windows to be an operating system not just for PCs, but for tablets. In fact, it was a rather clever strategy: Declare tablets to be PCs, and then show that Windows tablets do more than Android or iOS, including running all those existing Windows programs. So far, makes sense.

Continue reading

© 1998-2017 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.