Архив за месяц: Октябрь 2018

Google tweaks Android licensing terms in Europe to allow Google app unbundling — for a fee

Google has announced changes to the licensing model for its Android mobile operating system in Europe,  including introducing a fee for licensing some of its own brand apps, saying it’s doing so to comply with a major European antitrust ruling this summer.
In July the region’s antitrust regulators hit Google with a recordbreaking $5BN fine for violations pertaining to Android, finding the company had abused the dominance of the platform by requiring manufacturers pre-install other Google apps in order to license its popular Play app store. 
Regulators also found Google had made payments to manufacturers and mobile network operators in exchange for exclusively pre-installing Google Search on their devices, and used Play store licensing to prevent manufacturers from selling devices based on Android forks.
Google disputes the Commission’s findings, and last week filed its appeal — a legal process that could take years. But in the meanwhile it’s making changes to how it licenses Android in Europe to avoid the risk of additional penalties heaped on top of the antitrust fine.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms & ecosystems, revealed the new licensing options in a blog post published today.
Under updated “compatibility agreements”, he writes that mobile device makers will be able to build and sell Android devices intended for the European Economic Area (EEA) both with and without Google mobile apps preloaded — something Google’s same ‘compatibility’ contracts restricted them from doing before, when it was strictly either/or (either you made Android forks, or you made Android devices with Google apps — not both).
“Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA),” confirms Lockheimer.
However the company is also changing how it licenses the full Android bundle — which previously required OEMs to load devices with the Google mobile application suite, Google Search and the Chrome browser in order to be able to offer the popular Play Store — by introducing fees for OEMs wanting to pre-load a subset of those same apps under “a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA”.
Though Google stresses there will be no charge for using the Android platform itself. (So a pure fork without any Google services preloaded still wouldn’t require a fee.)
Google also appears to be splitting out Google Search and Chrome from the rest of the Google apps in its mobile suite (which traditionally means stuff like YouTube, the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, although Lockheimer’s blog post does not make it clear which exact apps he’s talking about) — letting OEMs selectively unbundle some Google apps, albeit potentially for a fee, depending on the apps in question.
“[D]evice manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser,” is what Lockheimer unilluminatingly writes.
Perhaps Google wants future unbundled Android forks to still be able to have Google Search or Chrome, even if they don’t have the Play store, but it’s really not at all clear which configurations of Google apps will be permitted under the new licensing terms, and which won’t.
“Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA. Android will remain free and open source,” Lockheimer adds, without specifying what the fees will be either. 
“We’ll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours,” he continues to complete his trio of poorly explained licensing changes.
We’ve asked Google to clarify the various permitted and not permitted app configurations, as well as which apps will require a fee (and which won’t), and how much the fees will be, and will update this post with any response.
The devil in all those details should become clear soon though, as Google says the new licensing options will come into effect on October 29 for all new (Android based) smartphones and tablets launched in the EEA.

Google tweaks Android licensing terms in Europe to allow Google app unbundling — for a fee

Приложение Photoshop наконец-то выходит на iPad

Один из самых популярных растровых графических редакторов скоро появится на «яблочных» планшетах. Adobe официально заявляет о грядущем выходе приложения Photoshop CC для iPad. В рамках презентации представители компании неоднократно называли его «настоящи

Новая команда Минкомсвязи взялась за закон об электронном правительстве, с которым не справилась старая

В Минкомсвязи посчитали необходимым еще раз пересмотреть
текст проблемного законопроекта, касающегося инфраструктуры электронного
правительства. Прошлая команда министерства очень затянула с его разработкой,
не сумев с первого раза внести документ в Правительство.
Новая команда Минкомсвязи взялась за закон об электронном правительстве, с которым не справилась старая

Winamp returns in 2019 to whip the llama’s ass harder than ever

The charmingly outdated media player Winamp is being reinvented as a platform-agnostic mobile audio app that brings together all your music, podcasts and streaming services to a single location. It’s an ambitious relaunch, but the company behind it says it’s still all about the millions-strong global Winamp community — and as proof, the original desktop app is getting an official update as well.
For those who don’t remember: Winamp was the MP3 player of choice around the turn of the century, but went through a rocky period during Aol ownership (our former parent company) and failed to counter the likes of iTunes and the onslaught of streaming services, and more or less crumbled over the years. The original app, last updated in 2013, still works, but to say it’s long in the tooth would be something of an understatement (the community has worked hard to keep it updated, however). So it’s with pleasure that I can confirm rumors that substantial updates are on the way.
“There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience,” said Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy, the company that bought Winamp (or what remained of it) in 2014. “You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built.”
“People want one single experience,” he concluded. “I think Winamp is the perfect player to bring that to everybody. And we want people to have it on every device.”
Laugh if you want but I laugh back
Now, I’m a Winamp user myself. And while I’ve been saddened by the drama through which the iconic MP3 player and the team that created it have gone (at the hands of TechCrunch’s former parent company, Aol), I can’t say I’ve been affected by it in any real way. Winamp 2 and 5 have taken me all the way from Windows 98 SE to 10 with nary a hiccup, and the player is docked just to the right of this browser window as I type this. (I use the nucleo_nlog skin.)
And although I bear the burden of my colleagues’ derisive comments for my choice of player, I’m far from alone. Winamp has as many as a hundred million monthly users, most of whom are outside the U.S. This real, engaged user base could be a powerful foot in the door for a new platform — mobile-first, but with plenty of love for the desktop too.
“Winamp users really are everywhere. It’s a huge number,” said Saboundjian. “We have a really strong and important community. But everybody ‘knows’ that Winamp is dead, that we don’t work on it any more. This is not the case.”
This may not come as a shock to Winamp users still plugged into the scene: Following years of rumors, an update to the desktop player leaked last month, bringing it from version 5.666 to 5.8. It was a pleasant surprise to users who had encountered compatibility problems with Windows 10 but had taken the “more coming soon” notice on the website with a massive grain of salt.
This kind of thing happens a lot, after all: an old property or app gets bought, promises are made and after a few years it just sort of fades away. So a free update — in fact, 5.8 eliminates all paid options originally offered in the Pro version — bringing a bucketful of fixes is like Christmas coming early. Or late. At any rate it’s appreciated.

The official non-leaked 5.8 release should come out this week (the 18th, to be precise), and won’t be substantially different from the one we’ve been using for years or the one that leaked. Just bug and compatibility fixes that should keep this relic trucking along for a few years longer.
The update to the desktop app is basically a good faith advance payment to the community: Radionomy showing they aren’t just running away with the property and slapping the brand on some random venture. But the real news is Winamp 6, which Saboundjian says should come out in 2019.
“What I see today is you have to jump from one player to another player or aggregator if you want to listen to a radio station, to a podcast player if you want to listen to a podcast — this, to me, is not the final experience,” he explained. It’s all audio, and it’s all searchable in one fashion or another. So why isn’t it all in one place?

The planned version of Winamp for iOS and Android will be that place, Saboundjian claims. On desktop, “the war is over,” he said, and between the likes of iTunes and web apps, there’s not much room to squeeze in. But mobile audio is fractured and inconvenient.
While Saboundjian declined to get into the specifics of which services would be part of the new Winamp or how the app would plug into, say, your Spotify playlists, your Google Music library, your Podcasts app, Audible and so on, he seemed confident that it would meet the needs he outlined. There are many conversations underway, he said, but licensing and agreements aren’t the main difficulty, and of course release is still quite a ways out. The team has focused on creating a consistent app across every platform you might want encounter mobile audio. A highly improved search will also play a role — as it ought to, when your media is all lumped into one place.
No word on whether it will retain its trademark intro upon installation — “WINAMP. It really whips the llama’s ass.” I certainly hope so.
This lack of specifics is a bit frustrating, of course, but I’m not worried about vaporware. I’m worried that other services will insist on the fragmented experience they’ve created that serves their interests better than ours. But if Radionomy can navigate these tricky waters and deliver a product even a little like what they’ve described, I’ll be thrilled (and my guess is tens of millions more will be, as well). And if not, well, we’ll always have the original.

Winamp returns in 2019 to whip the llama’s ass harder than ever

Cisco: новый троян Gplayed угрожает телефонам на Android

Специалисты по кибербезопасности обнаружили новое троянское приложение, атакующее смартфоны и планшеты на базе мобильной операционной системы Google. Для тех кто не в курсе, «троян» представляет собой программу злоумышленников, замаскированную под безобид