Mercedes-Benz job listing leaks “Google Projected Mode” in-car system


Earlier this week, a report emerged claiming that Ferrari, Volvo, and Mercedes are going to unveil the first iOS in the Car integrated vehicles this week. iOS in the Car was first announced by Apple at WWDC in June, though the company has been rather quiet since then. Now,  it appears as if Google is getting ready to take a stab at an in-car technology system.

According to a job posting, first spotted by German site, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler is looking for a software engineer who can help implement Google’s in-car system. The in-car interface will reportedly be called “Google Projected Mode” and will allow users to “seamlessly integrate” Android devices into a dashboard’s head unit.

Read more

Microsoft engineer exploits Google Maps openness to intercept FBI & Secret Service calls


It’s not just fictitious towns you have to look out for on Google Maps: Microsoft engineer and former Marine Bryan Seely demonstrated to ValleyWag how he was able to exploit the open nature of the product to intercept phone calls to both the FBI and Secret Service.

The technique Seely used was incredibly simple …  Read more

Google gives $6.8 million to San Fran program that funds free transit for low-income youth

google-pride-nyc-busAs noted by The Verge, Google is donating $6.8 million to fund the Free Muni for Low Income Youth program that provides over 31,000 children in San Francisco with free access to transit. The donation will fund the program for approximately the next two years according to the report. The news follows controversies over Google’s impact on the housing market and other aspects of smaller San Francisco neighbourhoods in recent months, including protestors blocking buses that shuttle its employees from to and from its headquarters. The move is just one part of Google’s effort to please residents in the city that oppose its presence and call for it to make greater contributions to the city. Google provided the following statement to The Verge: Read more

Google’s Android Head Sundar Pichai talks Galaxy S6, Tizen, security and Nokia X range


Google’s Android head Sundar Pichai has been answering questions at Mobile World Congress and French site FrAndroid provided a roundup of a few of the more interesting snippets (in addition to his denial that Google tried to buy WhatsApp).

Update: Google provided a direct transcript (though no video was made available) in which not surprisingly Pinchai is a little less self criticizing:

Sorry, the premise of the question is because Android is open, it has more security issues? Respectfully, I’m not sure that’s a correct premise of the question. Open platforms historically undergo a lot of scrutiny, but there are a lot of advantages to having an open source platform from a security standpoint. I would argue that it’s the best way for a platform to be secure, because every researcher in the world can inspect it, every developer in the world can inspect it, and I think that contributes a lot to Android security.

Android was built to be very, very secure. The thing that you’re seeing is because Android is an open platform, many people can ship Android in many different ways and so there are some partners when they ship devices, they have an older version of Android. And sure you can have a security vulnerability there, but that doesn’t mean Android isn’t secure. We go to great lengths–the depth of work in Android to make it secure; the depth of work done by Google Play…Google Play automatically scans and verifies thousands of applications for malware. We track data on this. It’s state of the art in terms of what we do. What you see across the ecosystem…people will ship good phones and keep them updated…you will have some phones that will not be updated. That’s where we see issues. Not Android at a fundamental level.

As long as you’re on a phone and able to update, Android is very very secure.It’s designed to be very very secure. I would go as far to say — open systems are far more secure. We do this on the browser side. Chrome is very secure. The fact that some things are open, by any stretch of the imagination, does not make it any less secure.

Malware targets where users are. When you say numbers like 90% of malware is targeting Android, you know, I hate to point out that if you’re a smart business person running this malware company, that’s what you should do. It’s the wrong way to look at the lens. Obviously, you will always see more malware targeting Android because Android is used more than any smartphone platform by a pretty substantial difference. I think that drives a lot of it so I understand that part of it. What matters much more is – as a user, if you use Android, are you fundamentally more compromised? We don’t think so.”

Responding to a question about malware on the Android platform, Pichai said:

We cannot guarantee that Android is designed to be safe, the format was designed to give more freedom. When people talk about 90% of malware for Android, they must of course take into account the fact that it is the most popular operating system in the world. If I had a company dedicated to malware, I would also be addressing my attacks on Android …  Read more