Charted: Android Fragmentation


Michael DeGusta has done an amazing job charting the fragmentation of Android by visualizing the history of operating system updates on Android smartphones for sale in the United States.

Compare this to iPhone updates (which DeGusta did), and it paints a telling picture.

Writes DeGusta:

I went back and found every Android phone shipped in the United States up through the middle of last year. I then tracked down every update that was released for each device – be it a major OS upgrade or a minor support patch – as well as prices and release & discontinuation dates. I compared these dates & versions to the currently shipping version of Android at the time. The resulting picture isn’t pretty – well, not for Android users.

Other than the original G1 and MyTouch, virtually all of the millions of phones represented by this chart are still under contract today.

If you thought that entitled you to some support, think again:

- 7 of the 18 Android phones never ran a current version of the OS.

- 12 of 18 only ran a current version of the OS for a matter of weeks or less.

- 10 of 18 were at least two major versions behind well within their two year contract period.

- 11 of 18 stopped getting any support updates less than a year after release.

- 13 of 18 stopped getting any support updates before they even stopped selling the device or very shortly thereafter.

- 15 of 18 don’t run Gingerbread, which shipped in December 2010.

- In a few weeks, when Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, every device on here will be another major version behind.

- At least 16 of 18 will almost certainly never get Ice Cream Sandwich.

I don’t want to steal the guy’s thunder by reblogging the whole thing, so go check out his chart and solid analysis of what’s going on DeGusta’s his Tumblr blog.


In July 2005, Google acquired Android, a small startup company based in Palo Alto, CA. Android’s co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (one of the first engineers at WebTV). At the time, little was known about the functions of Android other than they made software for mobile phones. This began rumors that Google was planning to enter...

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Old flaw turns unpatched JBoss servers into botnet

A new worm exploiting a JBoss vulnerability that was patched in April 2010 is targeting unsecured servers and adding them to a botnet, security researchers are reporting. “The problem has been fixed last year, but there are apparently still a number of vulnerable installs out there,” Johannes Ullrich of the SANS Technology Institute writes. The older configuration of JBoss only authenticated GET and POST requests, but did not protect other HTTP request types or interfaces, so attackers could “use other methods to execute arbitrary code without authentication.”

“The worm affects users of JBoss Application Server who have not correctly secured their JMX consoles as well as users of older, unpatched versions of JBoss enterprise products,” Red Hat security response director Mark Cox writes in a blog, which points to both the April 2010 patch and instructions for securing the JMX console. “This worm propagates by connecting to unprotected JMX consoles, then uses the ability of the JMX console to execute arbitrary code in the context of the JBoss user.”

In addition to adding servers to a botnet, the worm can install a remote access tool giving the attacker control over the infected server, Kaspersky Lab reports. One user who set up a honeypot on a deliberately insecure JBoss server reports having explored the contents of the malicious payload and discovered that it “contained Perl Scripts to automatically connect the compromised host to an IRC Server and be part of a BOTNET.”

The new worm taking advantage of a long-fixed flaw points to the need for users to update their systems, both servers and PCs. A recent report by Microsoft found that 3.2 percent of malware was from exploits for which security updates had been available for at least a year, and another 2.4 percent were related to exploits for which an update was available for less than a year.

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No good deed goes unpunished: Helping to redirect a question

It is a common occurrence that a question is sent to a mailing that
is close, but not quite right.
Usually somebody will provide information to help redirect the
question to a more appropriate mailing list.
But this effort does not always go unpunished.

From: X

A customer is encountering a problem with Product Q when they
blah blah blah.
Can somebody help?

From: Y

Support for Product Q is handled by Team R.
Note that Product Q is out of mainstream support;
you will need to have an extended support agreement.

From: X

Thank you. I have confirmed that the customer has an extended
support agreement for Product Q.
Please help me on how to proceed further with this case.

Person Y fell into the trap of being too helpful.
If they had stopped after the sentence
"Support for Product Q is now handled by Team R,"
they might have gotten away clean.
But no, they made the mistake of providing a tiny bit more information,
and person X has now latched on.

Here's another example, and by an amazing coincidence,
it came from the same Person X.

From: X

A customer is encountering a problem with Product P when they
blah blah blah.
Can somebody help?

From: Z

For this particular problem,
I'd contact Team P.

From: X

Thank you for your prompt response.
I look forward to the next update from you.

Person Z made the mistake of
only implying the "If I were you..."
before the sentence "I'd contact Team P."
Person X therefore interpreted the
"I'd contact Team P" as saying
"I will contact Team P for you."

The moral of the story is that when you are redirecting a question
to a more appropriate mailing list, you need to be very explicit
that you are telling the person what to do and are not actually
assuming responsibility for doing it.
Otherwise you run the risk of being punished for being helpful.

  • "Support for Product Q is handled by Team R.
    You need to send your questions to them."
  • "For this particular problem, you should contact Team P."

Bonus chatter:
Just last week I tried to employ the lesson from this message:

From: Q

A customer wants Feature X to behave like ZZ instead of YY.
Can somebody help?

From: Raymond

In order to get it changed, you will have to file a Design
Change Request with the X team.

Apparently even a statement this direct was not correctly interpreted.

From: Q

I wanted to check about the request which the customer has
requested to change Feature X to behave like ZZ instead of YY.

Not only did the person think that I had taken responsibility
for resolving their issue,
they thought I had written up the Design Change Request for them
and submitted it to the X team!

The End

When I'm presenting to a large audience, I have three internal states:

"I'm screwed." I have not yet begun the presentation, but I'm imminently starting. This phase sucks. Every possible screw-up I've ever performed or could perform is running through...

The Ultimate FPS Simulator

The Ultimate FPS Simulator

With motion tracking, an omni-directional treadmill and a 360° projection dome, this BF3 arena even shoots players with paintballs when hit. Watch UK Channel 5′s The Gadget Show on 10/24 for more.

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Today’s Distraction: Slamming A Ford Focus Into A Concrete Wall At 120 MPH

by Eyder Peralta

What happens if a Ford Focus slams into a concrete wall at 120 mph?

The guys at the British motoring show Fifth Gear — an offshoot of the popular Top Gear — wanted to find out. They make some grand claims about the test they conducted. For example they say the test is the fastest test crash ever conducted, which brings up doubt. They also say the test was so fast, test experts didn't want to use their dummies. They're too expensive and it was likely they would be destroyed.

Anyway, the video is pretty incredible:

Source: YouTube

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

Check Out the New ‘Fear Factor’ Trailer

Shared by Jon

In watching this trailer, i'd be in for everything but the bugs. There ought to be an Action Hero Theme Park where you get to hang off helicopters and do sweet car jumps and who knows what else!

Filed under: ,

If you've been champing at the bit waiting to see the new 'Fear Factor,' wait no more: The new trailer's just been unveiled. And we think the rebooted, HD version of the show looks awesome.

As host Joe Rogan -- who doesn't seem to have aged one bit since the show last aired -- says, "'Fear Factor' is back. And it's crazier than ever." The new show has all the classic 'FF' stuff that fans love, but in bigger doses: Choppers, flames, people falling off things and onto things, coughing, screaming, crying, laughing, buxom girls in string bikinis, explosions, car crashes, gross eating challenges and lots of insects.

Check it out after the jump. And don't forget (all together now ... ): "The stunts you are about to see were all designed and supervised by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, anytime!"


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I'm not sure I have any comment for this, other than to say how pleased I am that puns work just as well in math.

Via Vincent Knight

Back to the (Near) Future: DeLorean Electric Cars

Shared by Jon

we're all laughing until its discovered that the aluminum skin is perfect for some sort of next gen solar recharger and the thing runs forever. Minus the hover conversion, that's not till 2025.

Great Scott! Fans of Back to the Future rejoice, the DeLorean is making
plans to bring the iconic car back to the near future:

There is still a DeLorean Motor Co. of Humble, Texas, which supplies
parts and occasionally builds new cars for DeLorean lovers, and it has
now announced a new version -- a DeLorean powered entirely by electricity.

"The car of the future has really become the car of the future,"
joked James Espey, a vice president at DeLorean, which has about 60

So far, said Espey, the company has retrofitted one car with an
electric motor. If all goes well, he said, the company would start selling
built-to-order electric DeLoreans around 201
3. The sticker price
(if a custom-built car can have a sticker): about $90,000.


The Sweded “Avengers” Trailer!

It does my grass-rootsy, cineaste-y, Gondry-loving heart good to know that nerds the world over are still “sweding” trailers three years after Be Kind Rewind came out. Homegrown blockbusters, still goin’ strong! And it does my superhero-swoony, Marvel-loving heart tremendous good to add that this sweded Avengers trailer might be one of the all-time greats in the genre.

Hard to pick a favorite bit there. Thor’s blond moment has the inside track right now…

(Thanks, Julie for the tip!)