FTC Issues Warning Letters to App Developers Using ‘Silverpush’ Code

Known as Silverpush, the software is designed to monitor consumers’ television use through the use of “audio beacons” emitted by TVs, which consumers can’t hear but can be detected by the software. The letters note that the software would be capable of producing a detailed log of the television content viewed while a user’s mobile device was turned on for the purpose of targeted advertising and analytics.

Source: FTC Issues Warning Letters to App Developers Using ‘Silverpush’ Code | Federal Trade Commission

Concatenate MP4 files using FFMPEG

There are two methods within ffmpeg that can be used to concatenate files of the same type: the concat ”demuxer” and the concat ”protocol”. The demuxer is more flexible – it requires the same codecs, but different container formats can be used; and it can be used with any container formats, while the protocol only works with a select few containers. However, the concat protocol is available in older versions of ffmpeg, where the demuxer isn’t.

via Concatenate – FFmpeg.

I needed a way to concatenate mp4 files generated from all the IP cameras connected to the open wifi.  I tried compiling MP4Joiner but there were way too many dodgy dependencies throwing code errors in the compile.  Then I read that simple ffmpeg, a package easily loaded onto a Linux box, can merge mp4 files and it works.  Unfortunately concat only works on later Fedora releases like Fedora 19 and above but it’s easier than manually merging them in Avidemux.  My main server still runs Fedora 14 for many reasons so merging them simply requires running a command manually in a Fedora 19 or above Virtual Machine.  In the future when I migrate to a later release this can all be scripted seamlessly.

Here’s more as to how it’s done in ffmpeg…

Create a file mylist.txt with all the files you want to have concatenated in the following form (lines starting with a # are ignored):

# this is a comment
file '/path/to/file1'
file '/path/to/file2'
file '/path/to/file3'

Note that these can be either relative or absolute paths. Then you can stream copy or re-encode your files:

ffmpeg -f concat -i mylist.txt -c copy output

Console Internet Applications

Console based applications are light on system resources very useful on low specified machines, can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X Windows is restarted, and are great for scripting purposes. When designed well, console applications offer a surprisingly powerful way of using a computer effectively. The applications are leaner, faster, easier to maintain, and remove the need to have installed a whole gamut of libraries.

via Pick of the Bunch: Console Internet Applications – Linux Links – The Linux Portal Site.

Malware Posing as Official Google Play App Found in….Official Google Play Store

When you click on it, the app asks for administrator privileges of the device. Once opened the sole user interface FireEye observed for the app contains pops up saying “Program Error” and “It’s Deleted!” when translated to English from Korean.

via Malware Posing as Official Google Play App Found in….Official Google Play Store.

These exploits usually require the user to approve of something first.

The app captures text messages, security certificates and banking details which it then sends to a Gmail address included in the malware – an email address which Google has now terminated

Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies”

In case you think you’ve read that wrong, I’ll summarise: a World War II-themed game that depicts fighting between two countries that actually fought in WWII breaks the rules. And apparently Drive on Moscow, Panzer Corps, and every single one of Hunted Cow’s other Tank Battle games don’t.

via Apple rejects Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans & Russians as “enemies” UPDATED.


ClipIt is a lightweight, fully featured GTK+ clipboard manager. It was forked from Parcellite (http://parcellite.sourceforge.net), adding additional features and bugfixes to the project. Please also see http://clipit.rspwn.com/

via ClipIt | Free Development software downloads at SourceForge.net.

Clipboard managers can be useful when doing a lot of copy/pastes.  I noticed Clipit as part of the standard Fedora 19 install in one of my virtual machines.  They had no rpm package for Fedora 14 so I compiled the source and it works great.  It’s a nice no nonsense useful tool.

Coding Horror: App-pocalypse Now

Let’s start with the basics. How do you know which apps you need? How do you get them installed? How do you keep them updated? How many apps can you reasonably keep track of on a phone? On a tablet? Just the home screen? A few screens? A dozen screens? When you have millions of apps out there, this rapidly becomes less of a “slap a few icons on the page” problem and more of a search problem like the greater web. My son’s iPad has more than 10 pages of apps now, we don’t even bother with the pretense of scrolling through pages of icons, we just go straight to search every time.

via Coding Horror: App-pocalypse Now.

App Pays Attention to Phone’s Behavior to Spot New Malware

Today, San Francisco-based Zimperium unveiled its zIPS Android app (the “IPS” stands for “intrusion prevention system”), which the company says uses machine learning to watch how your smartphone normally acts and can spot strange changes in its usage, enabling it to detect and prevent attacks, including those that may strike via unprotected Wi-Fi networks.

via App Pays Attention to Phone’s Behavior to Spot New Malware | MIT Technology Review.

Reverse engineering my bank’s security token

The toolset

Reverse engineering Android apps requires a few software tools. Here’s what I used for this project:

  • Android SDKProvides the adb command-line tool, which can pull APKs, data files and settings from the phone.
  • dex2jarConverts Android’s Dalvik executables into JARs, which are easier to reverse engineer.
  • JD, JD-GUIAn excellent Java bytecode decompiler.
  • EclipseA Java IDE to validate discoveries during the reverse engineering process.

via Reverse engineering my bank’s security token | Thiago Valverde.