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John’s Phone Launched for Technophobes

 by Pichayada Promchertchoo

A Dutch company has launched what it calls “the world’s simplest phone”, targeting users who are sick of new-generation models

Only capable of making and receiving calls, John’s Phone is dubbed the world’s simplest mobile phone, specifically designed for anti-smartphones users.

It does not provide any hi-tech features. No apps. No Internet. No camera. No text messaging. All you have to do – in fact, all you can do – is call, talk and hang up.

Anti-smartphones

Named after the company that created it – John Doe, a full-service advertising agency in Amsterdam – the phone is designed for users who are fed up with smartphones and their hi-tech functions.

Its extreme simplicity is designed to appeal to technophobes, the elderly and young kids buying their first phones.

“John’s Phone is easy to use wherever you go. It’s the no-contract cell phone you’ve been waiting for, without any frills or unnecessary features”, the company stated.

Retro Look

In an effort to make it extremely retro, John Doe also provides a small paper-based address book and a pen for storing contacts. They can be slid into the back of the phone.

Other features include a 1200 mAh battery with three weeks stand-by time, a single ringtone, speed dial with enough memory to store ten numbers and a hands-free kit. It is 10.5 x 6 x 1.5 cm and weighs in at 95 grams.

The phone is available in five colours: white, black, brown, greyish-green and pink. The prices range from around £60 to £80.

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Goverment IT News Security

Europe Holds Cyber-Warfare Test

The Cyber Europe 2010 will simulate an attack designed to cut Europe’s nations off from one another

Europe’s cyber security experts are staging a simulated cyber-attack on critical services today, across several EU member states.

The “Cyber Europe 2010″ test will test Europe’s readiness for an attack which attempts to paralyse online services so internet connectivity is gradually lost between European countries. It follows the announcement of measures to strengthen and modernise the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) to combat cyber warfare.

Testing links between states

Details of the exercise are being kept under wraps, but ENISA has been at pains to emphasise that this is not an operational test like the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm, a series of week-long multi-million dollar tests of America’s attack-readiness.

“Our budget is in the order of hundred of Euros,” said an ENISA spokesman, adding that the test will not involve critical sectors, or industry and will not test response capabilities. Above all it will not carry the risk of a real network crash – it just tests how well agencies can share information.

By contrast, the US Cyber Storm III exercise, one month ago, was an operational exercise, which included industry and cost millions of dollars, the spokesman said.

During the exercise, through the day, one country after another will face fictitious access problems, and will co-operate on a response, testing their communications in the process. The exercise has been developed since November 2009, and will be followed by more complex scenarios, eventually going all the way to global tests.

“This exercise to test Europe’s preparedness against cyber threats is an important first step towards working together to combat potential online threats to essential infrastructure and ensuring citizens and businesses feel safe and secure online,” said Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda,
who is visiting the UK’s cyber-attack centre during the simulation exercise,

The exercise is based on fears that a denial of service attack by hackers could effectively put all major cross-country connections in Europeout of action, and make it difficult for businesses and citizens to access services such as eGovernment. In such an attack, the plan is to re-route communications.

Yesterday saw evidence that the fears are based on reality. The state of Myanmar (formerly Burma) was virtually cut off with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. In the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May has promised increased support for cyber-warfare measures following warnings from the head of GCHQ that Britain faces “credible” cyber-attack threats.

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Mobile & Wireless News Security

Serious Security Bugs Found In Android Kernel

An analysis of Google Android Froyo’s open-source kernel has uncovered 88 flaws that could expose users’ data

An analysis of the kernel used in Google’s Android smartphone software has turned up 88 high-risk security flaws that could be used to expose users’ personal information, security firm Coverity said in a report published on Tuesday.

The results, published in the 2010 edition of the Coverity Scan Open Source Integrity Report, are based on an analysis of the Froyo kernel used in HTC’s Droid Incredible handset.

Enterprise fears

The results arrive as Android is increasing its market share and increasingly being used in the enterprise.

While Android implementations vary from device to device, Coverity said the same flaws were likely to exist in other handsets as well. Coverity uncovered a total of 359 bugs, about one-quarter of which were classified as high-risk.

The report analysed a total of 61 million lines of open source code from 291 widely used projects, including Apache, Linux, PHP and Samba.

While Android’s density of bugs per thousand lines of code was lower than the average found in open source software overall, it was higher than that of the Linux kernel, according to Coverity. The company said some of the bugs appeared to be important enough to have been addressed before the code was released.

Fixes demanded

Coverity said it will hold off releasing the details of the flaws until January to allow Google and handset vendors to issue fixes. The flaws could be patched via an over-the-air update, Coverity said.

Canalys reported on Monday that Android now dominates the US smartphone market with a 44 percent share, up from 33 percent in the second quarter of this year.

While the deployment of Android on large numbers of handsets has allowed the software to claw market share away from competitors such as RIM, some have criticised Google’s “hands-off” approach for harming the quality of Android and its applications.