Thurrott Daily: November 17

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile, Windows Weekly, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One with 0

Thurrott Daily: November 17

6 years ago this week, we were in Los Angeles for PDC 2009! Remember this image? (click for full-sized version)

Good morning. What else is happening today?

11/17/2015 11:44:16 AM

Another reminder: I’m heading the UK today

As I mentioned yesterday, Mary Jo Foley and I will be recording Windows Weekly live this week at the sold out Stacked 2015 conference in Manchester, England. And then we’re hosting a Windows Weekly meet-up at World’s End Camden in London on Friday evening from 5-8 pm local time.

See you in the UK!

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is free today on the Xbox 360 (and on the Xbox One)

Thanks to NotCassim on Twitter for the tip:

@NotCassim: @thurrott Resident Evil Revelation 2 is free on Xbox 360

Also this, from Nicholas Ramz:

@warpdesign_: @NotCassim @thurrott It’s also free on Xbox One

“Don’t Expect ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ to Break the All-Time Sales Record”

Um. I never did. But way to go underselling a game launch.

Encrypted mobile apps come under fire

In the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, law enforcement agencies from around the world are politicizing the hot-button topic of encryption in predictable fashion. Yes, this is an obvious “See? Told you so!” moment for these guys—because the terrorists most likely used encrypted mobile chat apps to communicate—just like they’ve always warned. As The New York Times notes:

Obama administration officials say the Islamic State has used a range of encryption technologies over the past year and a half, many of which defy cracking by the National Security Agency. Other encryption technologies, the officials hint, are less secure than terrorist and criminal groups may believe, and clearly they want to keep those adversaries guessing which ones the N.S.A. has pierced.

Some of the most powerful technologies are free, easily available encryption apps with names like Signal, Wickr and Telegram, which encode mobile messages from cellphones.

So two things.

First, this:

There is still no definitive evidence to back up presumptions that the terrorists who massacred 129 people in Paris used new, difficult to crack encryption technologies to organize the plot.

And second, what this really boils down to is your opinion on “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Star Trek references aside, there is a real concern that when you obliterate anyone’s personal freedoms, you obliterate everyone’s. This isn’t a simple issue. But lying about the use of encryption—again, “there is no definitive evidence that the terrorists used new, difficult to crack encryption technologies—isn’t helping the cause of law enforcement. At all.

“The $85 Chromebit PC-on-a-stick transforms your TV or monitor into a Chromebook”

So it makes a dumb terminal only slightly less dumb. Here’s an idea.Get this instead.

“Google to contest Russia antitrust ruling on Android”

As Reuters explains:

Google will contest in court the Russian antitrust agency’s ruling that it broke competition law by abusing its dominant position with its Android mobile platform, the U.S. technology giant said on Tuesday.

“We intend to contest this decision and explain in court why we consider it unfounded,” the company said in its official Russian blog.

Google has until Dec. 18 to amend its contracts with smartphone manufacturers in order to comply with the ruling in the case that was launched by local rival Yandex.

Good. I’m glad they’re fighting this, just as they apparently going to fight antitrust charges in the EU. Why? Because they’re going to lose, and Android will be made better for everyone as a result.


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