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Monday, July 29, 2013

Odexed vs Deodexed - The Difference Between The Two Android ROMs Explained


Seeing as how Android is fast becoming one of the fastest growing smartphone and tablet platforms out there, it’s surprising to note how little clear information is available for the uninitiated towards the platform that would actually explain what certain terms – those that experienced users are so familiar with that it seems second nature to them – mean.
XDA-Developers is one of the largest and most useful sources for learning Android, but let’s face it; the forum has all the information within it without a stellar search engine, and the user community, while being helpful, would mostly advise you to ‘use the search feature’ instead of answering all the beginner question that you may have. Thus, users are often found looking for those answers in places other than the forum. Well, I cannot promise answers to everything, but if you’re trying to comprehend the difference between aodexed and deodexed ROM, you’ve come to the right place!
deodexed odexed android roms
Explaining Odexed vs. Deodexed Android ROMs
You’re bound to have come across the term ‘deodexed’ if you’ve ever installed a custom firmware on your device, since almost all ROM developers choose to deodex their offerings. What this means for the average user, however, is a different story. To understand the concept, you’ll first need to grasp what odex files are, and why are the present in the OS in the first place.
Android (being based on Linux) uses application packages, or APKs, as they’re normally called, to tell the operating system what app to load and execute. If you’re at all familiar with Android, you’ll know that the OS works on the basis of partitions, out of which those apps that are contained in the /system partition are system apps (and cannot be changed or modified without having root level access, since they’re a part of the OS itself), while those contained within the /data partition are user apps and can be freely modified. The /system partition is the first one to load when the operating system boots up, hence giving priority to the apps contained within. It is with these apps that odex and deodex deal with.
What Are The Two Possibilities
Coming back to Android applications, there are two possible routes to follow, based on the fact that each app is comprised of an APK and a cache part that tells the Android Dalvik Virtual Machine (VM) what components does the app come with.
  • The cache for each APK is contained separately in a .odex file, which loads into the virtual machine at the time of boot, thus speeding up boot times.(Odexed)
  • The cache for each APK is contained within the APK itself as a classes.dexfile, making the boot times slower as Dalvik VM is built up. (Deodexed)
Now, ideally, most OEMs choose to opt for the first route, for two major reasons. First, it makes modifying the system apps more difficult (thus making the OS more stable and secure), and two, faster load times for the OS itself, since the cache is built as part of the virtual machine itself. Confused? Allow me to explain.
Clearing Up the Confusion
In normal cases, where an Android firmware is odexed, the .odex files for each /system APK (which are stored outside of the APKs themselves) are written into the Dalvik Virtual Machine when the OS boots up. Since these .odex files contain preliminary load information about each system app, the OS knows what to expect when it’s booting up, and consequently, loads all these apps faster. Ultimately, for the user, it means that boot times are significantly sped up, and you can put your device to use much sooner.
As opposed to the above, in a deodexed (custom) ROM, there is no cache information within the Dalvik Virtual Machine at the time of boot, so when the system status up, it only gets to know which apps to load once the /system partition APKs are actively accessed. This, in effect, will result in a much longer boot time, since each APK will be processed one by one, and you will be able to use your device long after you’ve powered it up.
Deodex is Slower, Then Why Bother?
In real life, that’s not the case. With deodexed ROMs, only the first ever boot after clearing Dalvik cache is slower, and all subsequent ones will be the same as any odexed ROM. This is owing to the fact that during the first boot, all cache information is written to the virtual machine anyway, and hence, it will behave as any other firmware (until you clear the Dalvik cache once again).
Why ROM developers do it is because of the modification possibilities that it entails, especially theming. Since in a deodexed scenario, all the application code is contained within one single APK, the developer can simply modify the APKs values to apply any custom look and feel to the app itself, without breaking any functionality. This also opens up possibilities for changing different parameters of the app without affecting how others will operate. Since a dodexed package has no external dependencies, it gives more freedom to modify what they wish. On the other hand, with an odexed ROM, theming is absolutely impossible, since the .odex part of the application will always be in conflict.
The Bottom Line
It all boils down to this: while an odexed firmware is faster and more secure, a deodexed one gives more modification freedom, and is the only way possible to change the look and feel of system apps. In actual terms, deodexed ROMs are only slower in the first ever boot, after which they are the same speed as the former ones. Also, deodex doesn’t entail any serious security risks to your device, either, and you can rest assured that the millions of users opting for these aren't suffering.

SAP bets on Asia-Pac despite Q2 blip

BT 20130729 ACSAP29 687368
GERMAN software major SAP is in the process of making big investments in the Asia Pacific including Japan (APJ) region, despite a 7 per cent drop in software and cloud subscription growth during the second quarter, which ended on June 30.
SAP's APJ president Steve Watts told BizIT that the company has put in place an acceleration plan for the region that aims at making it grow more quickly: "We expect SAP's business in China will be among the top five globally."
He noted that during the quarter, the company saw an increase in adoption of SAP Cloud solutions which resulted in triple-digit growth in this segment. "SAP Hana, our in-memory database, grew at 37 per cent year-on-year as customers adopt the technology to build advanced applications and underpin their SAP Business Suite environment.
"This acceleration in the adoption of SAP Cloud solutions and SAP Hana puts us in a strong position when macro-economic conditions in Australia and Japan improve. China, India, Korea and South-east Asia delivered positive growth results, with China doubling revenue in sequential quarters," he said.

How much money would you spend on Ubuntu Edge?

While trying to figure out what I wanted to write about today, I decided I really didn't want to write about the same topics that I usually cover. And, to be quite honest, it's kind of hard not to. With only four major platforms and four major carriers, talking about the things that matter most to us in the mobile industry is pretty limited sometimes, especially when news and phone releases are slow.But every once in a great while you get lucky, and you come across something new and interesting that you think people will like, and lucky for us, today happens to be one of those days.

If you can recall back in January of this year during CES, we got a preview of Ubuntu OS on smartphones , which is an alternate OS available for users to install on some phones like the Galaxy Nexus or the Nexus 4. We also learned about Ubuntu for Android. What is Ubuntu for Android? It's different than Ubuntu OS on smartphones. Ubuntu for Android actually tries to bridge the gap between PCs and smartphones, which really doesn't have that big of a gap to begin with. We have these phones that have multi-core processors, a decent amount of gigabytes, and even has the same amount of RAM that a good portion of laptops run on. In an effort to show how close the two are in comparison to each other, Ubuntu for Android allows you to connect your Android device (running on Ubuntu OS) to a monitor, keyboard and mouse through an HDMI cable and have a fully functioning OS running just off your phone. Pretty impressive.

One of the best things about Ubuntu for Android is not only does it run an entire OS from your phone, but it also uses the information from your phone on the computer. It's essentially mirroring your device to a secondary display that's optimized for desktop use as well as mobile use. You don't have to worry about transferring any files or using the cloud to sync. The files and all your information, contacts included, are already right there. It's a unique concept that, to me, makes a lot of sense. As somebody who does a lot of transferring from computer to mobile and vis versa, it's definitely an idea that I can get behind.

Really, the only thing that was missing from Ubuntu OS and Ubuntu for Android was official hardware, and as it turns out Canonical is trying to do just that through a record-breaking crowdsource fund on IndieGoGo that requires $32 million in just 31 days in order to get the project started. This project, if successful, would allow the creation of the Ubuntu Edge smartphone .

There's a lot to say and not much to see when it comes to Ubuntu Edge, especially because this phone doesn't actually exist yet. So far, we've been able to see 3D renderings and sketches that depict the intended design of the device, and we've been told a lot about the specifications of the phone, a lot of which are very futuristic and unlike anything we have seen on the market today. Let's take a look at some of the specs the phone promises to have.

Ubuntu Edge would have a 4.5-inch 720p display. The screen itself would be made out of sapphire crystal, not glass like most other phones use, and the housing will be made out of "a single piece of textured metal". Although we don't know exactly what the processor will be like, Canonical states it will use the "fastest multi-core processor available", which I suppose means that since it's not a guarantee that the phone will be made yet that they have time to build the best processor around and don't want to jump ahead of themselves to say what it will or won't be. The phone will also feature dual LTE antennas for use throughout USA and Europe, and will be the first phone that can dual-boot Ubuntu and Android. When it comes to cameras, Canonical also kept vague about the details but did mention that instead of pushing for more megapixels they will go for a more HTC One-ish approach by optimizing low-light photos.Although Canonical kind of brushes over other details, one thing they didn't stay vague about was the 4GB of RAM the device would feature and the massive 128GB internal storage space, which is extremely impressive for a mobile phone.

While all of this sounds pretty darn fantastic, if you want one you will have to pay a hefty price, and also depend on other people to pay hefty prices too. As mentioned before, the fund requires $32 million in 31 days, and with 24 days left it has acquired almost $7 million. At the time of this article, the cheapest package to help fund the device plus reserve yours for delivery sometime in May of 2014 is to pledge $775. The price has fluctuated up and down since the start of the initiative, so it is subject to change. Of course, no matter what he cost is, if the goal isn't met you won't be missing out on anything. They're not going to take your money if they don't produce anything. So really it all boils down to how much you want to see this project succeed and how much you trust Canonical to produce this drool-worthy device with some pretty awesome features.

Fortunately, even if you're not interested in owning the device or don't have $775 to reserve one, you can still pledge $20 to help others who want to see this intriguing device come to fruition.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth does say that this project is only for enthusiasts who are interested in the future of open-sourced operating systems and software, so if you're not really into that or don't think you would ever be interested in something like that, I wouldn't recommend pledging yourself. If you are interested, the amount to reserve one isn't entirely too crazy if you have the money to spend - especially if you're the type of person who would rather purchase a phone outright instead of paying the subsidized price and locking yourself into a two-year contract.

So readers, now I ask you: What do you think about Ubuntu Edge? You like? You don't like? Do you think you'll be pledging to own one, or do you think the asking price is too much? Let me know your thoughts about this intriguing project in the comments below!

At least 36 killed in wave of car bombings in and near Baghdad

Iraq Bomb Blasts

Baghdad rocked by wave of explosions targeting Shia neighbourhoods. (Reuters)
A wave of dozen car bombings hit in and around the Iraqi capital during morning rush hour today, officials said, killing at least 36 people in the latest coordinated attack by insurgents determined to undermine the government.
The blasts, which wounded scores more, are part of a month-long surge of attacks that is reviving fears of a return to the widespread sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 US-led invasion.Suicide attacks, car bombings and other violence have killed more than 3,000 people since April, including more than 500 since the start of July, according to an Associated Press count.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for today's attacks, but they bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda's Iraqi arm.
The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, frequently uses car bombs, suicide bombers and coordinated blasts in an effort to break Iraqi's confidence in the Shiite led government.
Six police officers said a total of 12 parked car bombs hit markets and parking lots in predominantly Shiite neighbourhoods of Baghdad within one hour. They say the deadliest was in the eastern Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City, where two separate explosions killed nine civilians and wounded 33 others.
Two other separate car bombs went off in the northern Hurriyah neighbourhood, killing six by standers and wounding 23 others. In the busy northern Kazimiyah neighbourhood, another parked car bomb killed four civilians and wounded 12.
In the southwestern neighbourhood of Bayaa, three civilians were killed and 15 wounded in another car bomb explosion. In western Baghdad in the neighbourhood of Shurta, two other people were killed and 14 wounded.
In the southern Abu Disheer area, four civilians were killed and 17 wounded.Another car bomb struck in the northwestern Tobchi district, killing three and wounding ten others.
Five more people were killed and 44 others wounded in the southwestern Risala neighbourhood, the northern Shaab neighborhood and in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometres south of Baghdad.

Microsoft touts Linux virtualization improvements coming in Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft is beefing up its Linux guest support in the coming Windows Server 2012 R2, a k a Windows Server "Blue" release.
Last year, Microsoft announced plans to host Linux in virtual machines -- along with Windows Server VMs -- in Windows Azure . But that's not the end of what Microsoft is doing to try to make its Windows server and cloud the best platform for running Linux workloads .
With the coming Windows Server 2012 "Blue" (Windows Server 2012 R2) release, Microsoft is adding improvements targeted at those running Linux on Hyper-V in Windows Server.
A July 24 post to the company's Server & Tools blog detailed some of those coming updates, which revolve around the Linux Integration Services (LIS) network, disk, time-sync, shutdown and other drivers Microsoft built . Microsoft also built into its Hyper-V hypervisor features to enable live backups for Linux guests and live migration for Linux guests work the same as they do for Windows guests, according to the post.
"(W)e worked across the board to ensure Linux is at its best on Hyper-V," said Server & Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson, author of the post.
Microsoft has been working with the Linux community, after a rough start , to get its drivers built into various Linux distributions. Currently, LIS is built into:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 and 6.4
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 and SP3
  • Ubuntu Server 12.04, 12.10, and 13.04
  • CentOS 5.9 and 6.4
  • Oracle Linux 6.4 (Red Hat Compatible Kernel)
  • Debian GPU/Linux 7.0
With the Windows Server 2012 R2 release , Microsoft is making the following updates to LIS, endeavoring to make sure it works as well as Windows on the coming version of Hyper-V:
  • Dynamic memory: Increase Linux VM density on Hyper-V by having Hyper-V automatically add and remove physical memory for Linux guests based on the guest needs, just like for Windows.
  • 2D synthetic video driver: Better 2D video performance for Linux guests.
  • VMbus protocol updates: Linux guests have the ability to spread interrupts across multiple virtual CPUs for better performance, just like for Windows.
  • Kexec: Linux guests running in Hyper-V can get crash dumps, just like on physical hardware.
  • SQM support. Collects statistical data from Hyper-V about the usage of Linux distributions.
Windows Sever 2012 R2 is expected to be released to manufacturing the same time that Windows 8.1 is, which means some time in August 2013 . Microsoft officials have declined to say when customers will be able to get their hands on the RTM bits of these client or server updates.
In other Windows Server and Windows Azure news this week, Microsoft's Open Technologies subsidiary and Azul, maker of the Zing Java runtime for enterprise, plan to release a newly-built OpenJDK for Windows Server on Azureby the end of the year. This will give Java developers writing Windows Server apps another option, in addition to the recently announced Oracle one .
Also this week, Microsoft competitor Amazon announced it is adding support to its .Net software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Windows RT developers who are using its cloud services (as opposed to Azure).The SDK is in preview.

X-Arcade's rugged Solo Joystick: supports PC, Mac, Linux and nine gaming consoles

XArcade's rugged Solo Joystick supports PC, Mac, Linux and nine gaming consoles
There's multifaceted, and then there's X-Arcade's Solo Joystick . Following up on the outfit's aptly-titled Dual Joystick , the Solo here is a 12-pound beast that's built to withstand just about anything. And, indeed, function just about anywhere. Up for pre-order now , the gamepad is set to ship to gamers everywhere on December 1st, bringing with it 11-inches of arcade-style glory.It'll function with PC, Mac and Linux rigs right out of the box for $99.99, while optional adapters enable support for nine different gaming consoles (PlayStation 1 / 2 / 3, Wii, Dreamcast, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Wii U).Oh, and since you're wondering, they company claims that it's "hard at work on new adapters for the upcoming Xbox One and PS4," and it's throwing in a fully licensed version of Maximus Arcade Software for anyone who places an order before September 1st.

Hackers plan to offer blueprint for taking over Prius, Escape | Fox News

  • Japan Toyota_Cala.jpg
    Mechanics work on Prius at a newly completed Toyota's service center in Tajimi, central Japan, Monday, July 22, 2013. Toyota is opening a training facility for mechanics complete with a test course that simulates 13 driving conditions including cobblestones and bumpy roads as part of the automaker's efforts to avoid a repeat of its recall fiasco. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama) (AP2013)
Two well-known computer software hackers plan to publicly release this week a veritable how-to guide for driving two widely owned automobiles haywire.
According to Reuters, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will release the findings -- as well as related software -- at the Def Con hacking convention in Las Vegas, showing how to manipulate a Toyota Prius and Ford Escape.
The research, conducted with the aid of a grant from the U.S. government, can alternately force a Prius to brake at 80 mph, veer quickly and dramatically, or accelerate, all without the driver’s prompting. 
The two hackers have also reportedly figured out a way to disable a Ford Escape’s brakes while the vehicle is traveling at “very low speeds,” no matter how hard the driver attempts to stop.
In both cases, the would-be hacker would have to be inside the car in order to tamper with its computer, according to Reuters.
“Imagine what would happen if you were near a crowd,” said Valasek, a software consultant who claims his – and Miller’s – research exposes weaknesses in automobile security systems so patches can be applied and criminals thwarted.
Miller and Valasek told Reuters they hope their 100-page white paper will encourage other hackers to uncover additional automobile security flaws before they can be potentially exposed by malicious parties.
“I trust the eyes of 100 security researchers more than the eyes that are in Ford and Toyota,” Miller, a Twitter security engineer, told Reuters.
A Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman said the company was reviewing Miller and Valasek’s work.
“It’s entirely possible to do,” John Hanson reportedly said of the potentials hacks. “Absolutely, we take it seriously.”
Meanwhile, Craig Daitch, a Ford Motor Corp. spokesman, added, “This particular attack was not performed remotely over the air, but as a highly aggressive direct physical manipulation of one vehicle over an elongated period of time, which would not be a risk to customers and any mass level.

World Hepatitis Day: Research shows countries ill-equipped to cope with epidemic - Indian Express

World Hepatitis Alliance calls for urgent action to address disease killing as many as HIV/AIDS On World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance has called for urgent attention to be given to recent figures showing that although viral hepatitis kills as many as HIV/AIDS, the great majority of countries have no programmes in place to tackle it.
The Global Burden of Disease study released last year in the Lancet shows that viral hepatitis was responsible for almost 1.45 million deaths in 2010, the same as HIV/AIDS and significantly more than TB or Malaria. Despite this enormous annual death toll, leaders in global health consistently leave it off their agendas.
'Viral hepatitis is the 8th leading cause of death worldwide, killing as many people as HIV/AIDS every single year' says Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance. '500 million people worldwide are chronically infected. In the face of these numbers how is it possible that viral hepatitis receives so little priority across the world?'
Currently, diseases receive attention and funding depending on their global priority. However the global priority list does not necessarily reflect the real burden of disease. This has led to responses that are disproportionate to disease impact, and has left some diseases tragically under-resourced. Viral hepatitis is a clear example; despite its huge burden there is little global pressure to address it. Consequently, the majority of governments have failed to dedicate resources to viral hepatitis, even in countries where prevalence is up to 20%.
The Global Report released by the World Health Organization last week showed the extent to which viral hepatitis is ignored. Only 37% of countries have a national strategy or plan for viral hepatitis, and less than 30% reported having a department responsible solely for viral hepatitis related activities. The lack of response to the world's 8th biggest killer is truly baffling. Not only does it put millions of lives at risk by allowing this silent epidemic to grow, it leaves the 500 million people who are chronically infected wholly abandoned without support or recognition.
In 2010 the World Health Organisation openly recognised that viral hepatitis is a major cause for concern by making World Hepatitis Day one of only 7 world health days officially recognised by WHO and all Member States.

However, major changes to the global health landscape are yet to be seen. This World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance has therefore launched a mass awareness campaign under the theme 'This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.' to encourage people to find out more and to confront the silence around the disease.

The Alliance is also co-ordinating a global Guinness World Record attempt for the number of people performing the 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' actions at the same time, actions chosen because in the same way the Three Wise Monkeys ignore the world around them, so the world has been ignoring viral hepatitis. With 58 teams from 25countries around the world taking part, this is a considerable challenge but with a clear message: viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic. Know it. Confront it. 

The World Hepatitis Alliance is a non-governmental umbrella organisation with 165 member patient groups in 66 countries. Representing 500 million people living with viral hepatitis worldwide, the Alliance strives to support and promote patient voices, to raise the profile of viral hepatitis and to establish comprehensive hepatitis strategies in all countries. The World Hepatitis Alliance has been a dominant voice in achieving various successes for people living with hepatitis, including leading the patient community in calling for the WHO resolution on hepatitis.
Through better awareness, prevention, care, support and access to treatment, their ultimate goal is to work with governments to eradicate these diseases. World Hepatitis Alliance will coordinate the sixth global World Hepatitis Day, one of only four official disease-specific health awareness days recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) and endorsed by its 194 member states. The aim for 2013 is to raise awareness of chronic hepatitis B and C around the globe and to drive policy change for improvements in health outcomes for patients.

Hepatitis B and C- 500 million people are living with chronic viral hepatitis. Hepatitis B and C are 'silent' viruses, because people may experience no symptoms. If left untreated and unmanaged, hepatitis B or C can lead to advanced liver scarring (cirrhosis) liver cancer or liver failure.

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