The CyanogenMod team has posted an update of their own, confirming the shutdown of the CM infrastructure and outlining a plan to continue the open-source initiative as Lineage, which we suspected was going to be the case last week.
Source: Cyanogen Inc shutting down CyanogenMod nightly builds and other services, CM will live on as Lineage [Updated]
Recent data shows 20 percent of mobile games get opened once and never again. 66 percent have never played beyond the first 24 hours and indeed most purchases happen in the first week of play. Amazingly only around two to three percent of gamers pay anything at all for games, and even more hair-raising is the fact that 50 percent of all revenue comes from just 0.2 percent of players.
This is a statistically insignificant amount of happy gamers and nothing that gives you a basis to make claims about “what people want”. I think it just as likely that mobile’s orgy of casual titles is due to simple bandwagon-ism or, in other words, not knowing what people want.
via Mobile is burning, and free-to-play binds the hands of devs who want to help | Polygon.
Perlman says pCell takes a different approach: it embraces signal interference. In his vision, base stations smaller than your typical satellite TV antenna are placed wherever it’s convenient (such as on the roof or the side of a building), and their signals purposely overlap. Those overlapping signals, Perlman says, combine constructively to create a sort of personal cell, a centimeter in diameter, that moves with you as you move around the network. The signal doesn’t diminish as each additional user joins the network. Overall capacity can grow by adding more access points.
via Alternative to Traditional Cellular Networks Makes a Virtue of Wireless Interference | MIT Technology Review.
The secretive technology is generically known as a stingray or IMSI catcher, but the Harris device is also specifically called the Stingray. When mobile phones — and other wireless communication devices like air cards — connect to the stingray, it can see and record their unique ID numbers and traffic data, as well as information that points to the device’s location. By moving the stingray around, authorities can triangulate the device’s location with much more precision than they can get through data obtained from a mobile network provider’s fixed tower location.
The government has long asserted that it doesn’t need to obtain a probable-cause warrant to use the devices because they don’t collect the content of phone calls and text messages but rather operate like pen-registers and trap-and-traces, collecting the equivalent of header information.
via Florida Cops’ Secret Weapon: Warrantless Cellphone Tracking | Threat Level | Wired.com.
And that network runs on open source. OpenBTS, an all-software cellular transceiver, is at the heart of the network running on that box attached to a treetop. Someday, if those working with the technology have their way, it could do for mobile networks what TCP/IP and open source did for the Internet. The dream is to help mobile break free from the confines of telephone providers’ locked-down spectrum, turning it into a platform for the development of a whole new range of applications that use spectrum “white space” to connect mobile devices of every kind. It could also democratize telecommunications around the world in unexpected ways. Startup Range Networks, the company that developed the open-source software powering the network, has much bigger plans for the technology. It wants to adapt the transceiver to use unlicensed spectrum for small-scale cellular networks all over the world without the need to depend on the generosity of incumbent telecom providers or government regulators.
via Cellular’s open source future is latched to tallest tree in the village | Ars Technica.
OpenBTS is a Unix-based software package that connects to a software-defined radio. On the radio side, it uses the GSM air interface used globally by 2G and 2.5G cellular networks, which makes it compatible with most 2G and 3G handsets. On the backend, it uses a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) “soft-switch” or a software-based private branch exchange (PBX) server to route calls, so it can be integrated with VoIP phone systems.
To fix this issue, the GSMA has developed a non-removable SIM that can be embedded in a device for the duration of its life, and remotely assigned to a network. This information can be subsequently modified over-the-air, as many times as necessary.
The GSMA says its new SIM can reduce ongoing operational and logistical costs. Replacing one SIM is not going to break the bank, but replacing a few million could make a dent in any budget, it reckons.
via GSMA Creates Remotely Managed SIM For M2M Applications.
The FCC’s new chairman, Tom Wheeler, is taking the wireless operators to task over their cellphone unlocking policies in his first month on the job. He has told them to get moving on addressing consumers’ rights to unlock their phones once their contracts are fulfilled — or they will face regulation.
via FCC: Unlock or We Regulate | Light Reading.
The insecurity of baseband software is not by error; it’s by design. The standards that govern how these baseband processors and radios work were designed in the ’80s, ending up with a complicated codebase written in the ’90s – complete with a ’90s attitude towards security. For instance, there is barely any exploit mitigation, so exploits are free to run amok. What makes it even worse, is that every baseband processor inherently trusts whatever data it receives from a base station (e.g. in a cell tower). Nothing is checked, everything is automatically trusted. Lastly, the baseband processor is usually the master processor, whereas the application processor (which runs the mobile operating system) is the slave.
via The second operating system hiding in every mobile phone.
From: Baseband Hacking: A New Frontier for Smartphone Break-ins
Previously, mobile hacking attempts have involved the phone’s operating system or other software, but this one focuses on breaking into a phone’s baseband processor, which is the hardware that sends and receives radio signals to cell towers.
The village of Villa Talea de Castro, dotted with small pink and yellow homes, has a population of 2,500 indigenous people. Tucked away in a lush forest in the southern state of Oaxaca, it was not seen as a profitable market for companies such as Slim’s America Movil. The company wanted at least 10,000 subscribers to bring the village into its mobile coverage, AFP said.
So the village, under an initiative launched by indigenous groups, civil organizations and universities, put up an antenna on a rooftop, installed radio and computer equipment, and created its own micro provider called Red Celular de Talea (RCT) this year.
via Ignored by big companies, Mexican village creates its own mobile service – Times Of India.
One way that Sprint and T-Mobile are helping make the MVNO business a success is by enabling many of the back office functions that the MVNOs of the mid-2000s had to do on their own. For example, Chartier said that T-Mobile offers a couple of different options: For traditional MVNOs, the company will provide just network access and the MVNO will handle the billing and logistics. For partner brands, which Chartier compares to a brand licensing arrangement, T-Mobile offers reverse logistics, carrier billing, marketing support and even distribution.
via Sprint, T-Mobile execs explain the MVNO explosion – FierceWireless.