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Weekly News Round-up – What You May Have Missed in the World of Android

Well, I returned triumphantly, or at least with fewer bumps, bruises, and aches than expected, and now it’s time to get back to Android business. This week’s news round-up takes us all over the world…of Android…to some interesting and amusing stories. Enjoy!

  • The first story is this one from The Huffington Post, that reports about a school in Georgia going on lockdown after an autocorrect error in a text message. We’ve all seen these funny (although in this case serious) autocorrect errors, but in case you haven’t, you’ll want to check out this site for some laughs. I guess this story highlights why proofreading is still an important key to goo writing.
  • If you’re into collections, and I’m not talking about serial killer-type collections or hoarding, then you may want to start collecting some of these Android collectibles. They’re 5 “ultra-rare” collections, and some are kind of cool. In fact, I’m interested in the Series 3 of Android collectibles.
  • Beats Audio, originally an HTC-only benefits, is now available on any rooted Gingerbread device. Beats Audio is an awesome sound system developed by Dr. Dre. You can grab the file package here, but, as always, I disclaim any problems or guarantees. One of the comments suggests that there’s no real difference, unless you’re “experiencing” the sound with high-end headphones. I can’t comment on this particular file, but the Beats Audio devices I’ve used, like the HTC Rezound, have a noticeable difference in sound quality.
  • The February 23rd Daily Dilbert offered a humorous side-poke at some tablet/smartphone devices. See what I mean?
  • If you’re an Android (or mobile) device app developer, you’re going to have to comply with California’s new privacy policy regulation, regardless of your location. This post from Hello Android gives a great synopsis of the requirements and how to comply with the new agreement.
  • Google’s in hot water again over this story about another privacy breach regarding photos on your Android device. The “do no evil” company is suddenly walking a very thin line of privacy. Apparently, there are no special permissions required to read, view, or use any photos stored on your device. If the app can access the internet, it can view your photos and copy them to a remote server without notice. Although I’m not too concerned about this, the secret, and apparently known feature, causes me to wonder what else I’m not being told. I presume, though there’s no indication otherwise, that this is a mere flaw in the OS.
  • Google also paved the way for “drunk driving” and “under-age driving” with the development of a self-driving car that actually works, and the passage of legislation in California and Nevada that allows registration and road testing of autonomous cars. At a cost of $200,000-plus, you’re unlikely to see this on the road before the next decade (although there’s a desire to produce it by 2020). This isn’t the first autonomous vehicle we’ve seen, but it’s certainly the only car in the “most likely to succeed because it’s backed by Google and a desire to actually make money” category. Watch this amazing video that shows the Google car in action (caution: language):

You can get the boring “how it works” by watching this video by Sebastian Thrun.

  • Finally, Samsung received some good news in Germany when a court there dismissed a patent infringement claim by Apple over Samsung’s slide-to-unlock feature and a 3G patent. This is just one of the numerous trite stories in the ever-expanding patent wars of Apple versus anyone running Android OS.

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