Dropbox is releasing new APIs for iOS and Android that simplify integrating the cloud service into apps. Although it technically doesn't add any new file sync features that weren't already available to developers, the new API means that including Dropbox in apps will be much easier. Simpler integration could drive adoption and help make what has already been a popular, common cloud storage solution the de-facto standard — especially for cross-platform apps.
Dell has indeed made the decision to go private, according to reports from The AP and other sources. The deal reportedly involves a leveraged buyout worth $24.4 billion by company founder Michael Dell and partners. Talks about Dell going private have been growing this year, with reports last week saying that Michael Dell was offering up to $1 billion of his own funds to take control of the company to help make it happen.
Oracle on Friday released a critical patch update for Java SE, offering the patch ahead of schedule to stave off an active exploitation affecting the Java Runtime Environment in desktop browsers. Server-side fixes are being offered as well. Initially scheduled for release on February 19, the February 2013 critical patch update contains fixes for 50 vulnerabilities. Java has been under fire lately for security issues, particularly affecting browsers, and Oracle recently vowed to be more communicative about what it is doing to fix these problems.
Mozilla said that to improve security and cut crashes, Firefox will block plug-ins including Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Reader, Apple's QuickTime and Oracle's Java. Only the newest version of Adobe Systems' Flash Player will be run by default, said Michael Coates, Mozilla's director of security assurance, in a blog post. Plug-ins extend a browser's ability to run software or handle different media and file formats, but that extra ability opens new avenues for attack.
BlackBerry, which previously called itself Research In Motion, yesterday unveiled two new smartphones that it hopes will aid its efforts to return to favor with consumers and business users. One phone, dubbed the BlackBerry Z10, features a full touch screen - no QWERTY keyboard on this one. The 4.2-inch display has a pixel density of 356 per inch, compared to the iPhone's 326ppi density. The other, dubbed the BlackBerry Q10, includes a full keyboard similar to those on older versions of the BlackBerry.
Android tablets have nearly caught up to iPad devices as the world’s most popular tablet platform, and some project that they may even overtake iPads later this year. According to new research from app analytics company Localytics, the U.S., and specifically Amazon, should take the most credit for that trend: some 59% of all Android tablet usage came from the U.S., with over half of that attributed to Kinde Fire and Fire HD tablets, working out to a 33% share.
The ITU has approved a new video format that could bring 4k video to future broadband networks, while also making streaming HD video available even on bandwidth-constrained mobile networks. The H.265 standard, also informally known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is designed to provide high-quality streaming video, even on low-bandwidth networks.
WordPress 3.5.1 was released, a security and maintenance related update that is recommended to be installed as soon as possible on all live sites running on WordPress. According to the blog post over at the official WordPress blog, 37 bugs were fixed in this release including four security issues and a couple of stability related issues.
Following recent security vulnerabilities in Java, malware developers are taking a new approach to exploit the Java platform by issuing false updates that pose as legitimate updates for the runtime. The latest version of the Java runtime that fixes recent vulnerabilities is update 11, and Kaspersky labs is reporting that a new malware is out that poses as Java Update 11. The malware is packaged in a Java archive file called javaupdate11.jar that contains two Windows-based executables called up1.exe and up2.exe. When installed the programs open a back door to a command and control server.
An 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Note no longer exists solely in the realm of unicorns and Apple TVs. A Korean news site is reporting that Samsung mobile honcho JK Shin has confirmed plans to release a midsize version of the tablet. Samsung's game plan of late seems to be to cover all bases, with a wide array of smartphones and tablets that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. An 8-inch Galaxy Note to continue the trend could debut at February's Mobile World Congress.