ITy Bytes 7 April

Google, the Sherriff of Google Play, blocked 1.6 billion potentially harmful apps (PHA) installations in 2018

Google Play and Google Play Protect have seen PHAs steady at about .08% of Apps in the App Store compared to .68% in unofficial apps stores (requires a rooted device).

The Google Android Security and Privacy review 2018 is 31-pages that essentially show the impact on security of 10 years of Android development. Each year it gets more secure, and cybercriminals grow more audacious.

It says that App security is a four layers defence process. First, the Operating system is hardened. Next, the App safety defence (Play Protect) gets smarter; suspect apps get analysed by humans, and overall developers taught to embrace security as part of development.

ITy Bytes 7 April

Google Street View becomes Kakadu park View

If you have not been to NT’s amazing Kakadu Park do it before you die. If that is too extreme, Google Street View now has amazing images from the region.

ITy Bytes 7 April

Australia broadband worse than many third world countries

If you have read of my Trials and Tribulations with Telstra/NBN you will have seen that contrary to over-hyped PR reports Fing Box found that, based on real users analytics, Australia, Telstra and the NBN did not even make the top 20 global speed providers – in fact, Telstra was in the bottom 32%.

A new report of global Groupon users shows Australia ranking 55th in the speed index and 84th in the price rankings. It concludes Australia’s internet is not great shape – you pay A$2.26 per Mbps, down in 66th place, below India, Uruguay and the French island of Réunion.

Come on Telstra, NBN e al – bloody 66th in price and 55th in speed – not good enough for a first world country let alone a third-world one.

The full data set and report are worth pondering over.

ITy Bytes 7 April

NotebookCheck says Crapple is grappling with quality

Apple makes good gear – right? According to NotebookCheck, you may be wrong because the insistence by long-departed Steve Jobs that, “Our customers must never be our testers” is long over.

NotebookCheck is one of the techiest sites ever – sometimes it is even hard going for me to understand (perhaps because it is translated from German). But it is spot on with its findings.

Well it has found eleven current exchange or repair programs and that does not count the latest MacBook 3rd gen KeyboardGate and StageLightGate; iPad Pro 2018 BendGate issues; iPad Smart Keyboards; Error 53 (resolved but still happening); Apple battery replacement (mandated by ACCC); and a host of Jony Ive design issues that may haunt Apple soon.

NotebookCheck dryly comments. “Apple has arguably a largely boring product portfolio. Let’s hope that Apple’s renewed push into entertainment content services doesn’t further detract from their focus on hardware and product quality.”

Well, it is hard to make a faulty ‘service’ but no doubt any issues here will become ‘features’.

In other bad news for Apple, Gerard Williams III has left the building. He is the lead designer for Apple’s A7 to A12 Bionic chips and much, if not all the credit, for these ARM chips belongs to him. Williams had completed the A13 chip design, so it gives Apple a small breathing space to fill his overly large shoes.

ITy Bytes 7 April

Facebook has ulterior motives in combining WhatsApp and Instagram on its platform

A social media expert and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, Dr David Glance BSc, PhD, Lond, says contrary to Zuckerberg’s claims, the combined Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platform weakens the privacy of WhatsApp.