Google Android and Apple iOS are clearly dominating the smartphone market, with very little room for the Microsoft Windows Phone. Microsoft has added 11 additional OEM partners, and has attracted new developers, but Microsoft is still losing ground. There are more than 300,000 Windows Phone apps, but that greatly trails the 1 million+ Android and iOS apps already available.
Windows Phone devices dropped from 3.4 percent down to 2.5 percent year-over-year during Q2, according to the IDC research firm. Microsoft has tried to heavily promote its Windows Phone OS to users and developers, but it has been nearly impossible to steal attention from Google and Apple. Android has around 84 percent of the market, available on a host of different OEMs, such as Samsung, LG, and others.
"It's been an incredible upward slog for other OS players," said Melissa Chau, IDC senior research manager, in a statement. "Windows Phone has been around since 2010 but has yet to break the 5 percent share mark ... the biggest stumbling block is around getting enough partnerships in play - not just phone manufacturers but also developers, many of which are smaller outfits looking to minimize development efforts by sticking to the two big ecosystems."
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - We sat down with Josh and Matt from iXsystems while at the show. Matt and Josh unloaded a lot of information about FreeNAS and where the project is headed. It sounds like the big push for the second half of this year revolves around making the product more user friendly. A new wizard system should tame the complicated but powerful storage specific operating system.
The FreeNAS developers also also pitched us TrueNAS, not that it was difficult to make us listen. iXsystems will soon offer TrueNAS in an all flash array, something we're excited about. The current builds of TrueNAS use hybrid storage pools with flash acceleration.
If you missed our review of the iXsystem's FreeNAS Mini be sure to take a look. The system cost less than $1000 and outperforms many systems costing several times more.
USB portable data storage company Kanguru has released an unencrypted USB 3.0 flash drive, utilizing onboard trusted firmware that defends against malicious firmware-based attacks. The drive has read speeds up to 230MB/s with 85MB/s write speed, Kanguru noted. Storage capacities range in size: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, with a starting price of $29.95 for the 8GB drive. The flash drive also has a strong aluminum housing to keep it safe from any significant external damage.
"Our Kanguru Defender series of secure, hardware encrypted USB drives is immune to a potential attack like 'BadUSB' because of the digitally signed secure firmware," said Nate Cote, Kanguru EVP, in a press statement. "With the release of the new Kanguru FlashTrust, we now offer this same level of firmware protection to the multi-billion dollar market segment of unencrypted USB device users."
As many users and business workers rely on flash drives, there has been an increase in secure flash drives - IronKey, Kingston secure USB flash drives, Imation Defender, Kanguru, and the Apricorn Aegis secure key, among others. There is a good selection of secure products that can be chosen, using various security protocols to keep data safe.
Amobile Spy recently launched the iKeyMonitor Android Spy App, a custom app designed to help parents track what their children do using their smartphones.
The app has the ability to log passwords and keystrokes, monitor WhatsApp message recording, Web history tracking, capture screenshots, log email reporting and 2-side SMS/call logging. The keylogger monitors everything from Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Skype, Yahoo Messenger and other popular social media or communication apps.
"iKeyMonitor Android Keylogger offers simple, secure, and secret ways to record the activities on Android devices with incredible monitoring features," said Kyle Davis, Amobile Development Department Manager, in a press statement. "We're also giving users smart features to review the logged data remotely."
Overstock.com has seen $15,000 per day in bitcoin sales, totaling $300,000 per month, serving as one of the leading brands now accepting the cryptocurrency. Accepting bitcoin is reportedly going to add 4 cents per share to the company's financial earnings in 2014, and sales have exceeded $2 million.
The company expects to see anywhere from an estimated $6 million up to $8 million in bitcoin sales this year, with new customers now shopping with the e-tailer.
"We're in bitcoin for the long haul, I intend to make it permanent," said Patrick Byrne, Overstock CEO, in a statement to Reuters. "Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to be around for as long as the law of mathematics works."
The Aloft Hotel has teamed up with robotics specialist Savioke to bring its "Botlr" ALO to its Silicon Valley location later this month. The robot stands almost 3-feet tall and is decked out in a vinyl-collared butler uniform, and was originally inspired by R2D2 in "Star Wars."
The first ALO will begin working at Aloft Cupertino on August 20, with the addition of other Botlrs throughout the rest of the year.
"We are thrilled to introduce our robot to the world today through our relationship with Aloft Hotels," said Steve Cousins, Savioke CEO, in a statement. "In our early testing, all of us at Savioke have seen the look of delight on those guests who receive a room delivery from a robot. We've also seen the front desk get busy at times, and expect Botlr will be especially helpful at those times, freeing up human talent to interact with guests on a personal level."
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Ryan Smith, the Senior Manager of SSD Product Marketing for Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. (and Samsung Semiconductor's 2014 Employee of the Year in the U.S.), stopped by the booth to discuss the changing face of flash memory. Samsung have made tremendous waves in the last few years as they led the charge with 3bit MLC NAND (TLC) into the general computing space, and they are also the first to deliver TLC NAND products into the datacenter (product evaluation here). Many of Samsung's latest products focus on delivering cost-effective solutions to foster NANDs expanding footprint in the datacenter .
Samsung is also the first to market with 3D NAND (V-NAND), and has already progressed through 24 and 32-layer revisions. Standard MLC V-NAND was quite the accomplishment, and Samsung is building on that success by offering a TLC V-NAND product. Samsung has experienced plenty of success with TLC planar (2D) NAND, and the natural evolution to TLC V-NAND will strengthen their portfolio of TLC products. We have several product evaluations of Samsung SSDs in our IT/Datacenter Storage and Consumer Storage sections, and stay tuned for future evaluations as we receive products.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - HGST had a busy booth at the Flash Memory Summit as they displayed the world's fastest SSD. The design utilizes Phase Change Memory (PCM) to deliver speeds up to 3 million IOPS and 1 microsecond latency. The PCM drive isn't likely to enter the market anytime soon, but it is encouraging to see work already underway future storage solutions. A key advantage of working on radical new designs is the engineering required to provide earth-shattering performance can be applied to current products as well.
Another important announcement from HGST centers around their third-generation FlashMAX III product. We recently evaluated the FlashMAX II PCIe SSD here and found it to be a very competitive solution which differentiates itself from other players via their expansive software offerings. The FlashMAX III builds on that legacy and also offers enhanced software functionality, such as the new ServerCache 4.0 that was recently announced. HGST is always-on the move, stay tuned as more updates emerge.
A new Chinese malware infected more than 75,000 jailbroken Apple iPhones, with the malware hijacking 22 million advertisements. AdThief, also known as Spad, is the iOS malware and was able to covertly operate around four months - and only works on jailbroken devices. Although originally found by researcher Claud Xiao in March, Fortinet senior mobile researcher Axelle Apvrille took a closer look at AdThief.
Operating on 15 different mobile adkits, the malware changed a developer or affiliate ID so the attacker would collect the revenue. Eight of the adkits are Chinese, and jailbreaking devices is a rather common technique among Chinese consumers. Security experts continually warn users that jailbroken smartphones and tablets pose significant threats to users.
The Chinese hacker, known as Rover12421 did contribute to the code, but denied saying he or she is behind the entire project.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Tom Coughlin is the General Chairman of the Flash Memory Summit, which is the world's largest flash memory conference. Tom has presided over an intense period of growth for the show, which mirrors the growth of the flash ecosystem as a whole. The last year has seen a dizzying amount of news coming from the flash memory industry, so we set down with Tom Coughlin to talk about the future of the storage industry, and how flash memory fits into that picture.
Tom Coughlin also writes books, writes for Forbes, and runs the Coughlin and Associates consulting firm. We will see Tom again soon at the Storage Visions conference in Vegas right before CES, so we will touch base with him again soon on the state of the storage industry.