Daily Archives: June 15, 2015
As much as we would love for our mobile internet to be stable, there are times when it gets a bit choppy. It could be due to network congestion, it could be due to the fact that we hit our cap, or it could be due to the area we are in – basically there are many reasons for slow internet. That being said, Google appears to have updated its mobile search results in which it will now tell you which websites might be slow to load based on your internet connection.
As spotted by the folks at The Android Soul, you can see in the screenshot to the right that there are several websites marked with a warning sign that says “Slow to load”. These appear to be YouTube links which contains video which naturally are slower to load compared to text-based websites, which is why the IMDB link below those YouTube links has no such warning.
This will highlight to users which websites could be potentially slow to load so that they can either choose to mark it for reading later, or they could wait it out but not get frustrated as they have been warned beforehand. These changes seems to be part of Google’s effort at improving the experience of surfing on your mobile device.
Google has included other changes especially in Android M through the use of custom tabs and also deep-linking for apps so that they can launch directly from the search results page as opposed to users having to open these apps manually to try and look for the same content.
There are plenty of software engineers and hackers out there whose job is to search for a software’s security loopholes, flaws, and zero-day vulnerabilities to patch them before they are discovered and exploited by hackers. Google themselves have such an initiative in place where they take it upon themselves to try and discover as many flaws as possible.
While these flaws could be used by hackers for malicious purposes, it seems that the US Navy seems these flaws as a potential way to gather intelligence on their targets. This was discovered by Dave Maass (via EFF) through a posting made on FedBizOpps, which is a site used by government agencies to post contracts on.
According to the posting, it requires that “the vendor shall provide the government with a proposed list of available vulnerabilities, 0-day or N-day (no older than 6 months old). . . .The government will select from the supplied list and direct development of exploit binaries.” It also appears that they are seeking for vulnerabilities in commonly used software from the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and Google.
Unsurprisingly the posting has since been taken down. While the US government has policies in place for disclosing exploits, the fact that they are looking to purchase said exploits is a bit worrying as developers might be more inclined to sell the information to the US government as opposed to informing the company behind the software who may or may not pay them for their efforts.