David Kirkpatrick

March 5, 2010

Detecting malware on mobile devices

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:01 am

Malware and other dark computer arts will become a problem for smartphones and other mobile devices. It’s definitely a matter of when, and not if. This idea to combat the problem seems pretty ingenious. The solution involves checking the device’s RAM for usage or anomalies that expose the presence of  malware.

From the link:

Yesterday at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, a researcher presented a new way to detect malware on mobile devices. He says it can catch even unknown pests and can protect a device without draining its battery or taking up too much processing power.

Experts agree that malware is coming to smart phones, and researchers have begun to identify ways to protect devices from malicious software. But traditional ways of protecting desktops against threats don’t translate well to smart phones, says Markus Jakobsson, a principal scientist at Xerox PARC and the person behind the new malware detection technology. He is also the founder of FatSkunk, which will market malware-detection software based on the research.

Most antivirus software works behind the scenes, comparing new files to an enormous library of virus signatures. Mobile devices lack the processing power to scan for large numbers of signatures, Jakobsson says. Continual scanning also drains batteries. His approach relies on having a central server monitor a device’s memory for signs that it’s been infected, rather than looking for specific software.

December 16, 2008

Happy 40th to the computer mouse

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:43 pm

An appreciation from CIO.com.

From the link:

Notable Moments in Mouse History

 

1963: Bill English constructs first mouse prototype based on Douglas Engelbart’s sketches. This mouse uses two perpendicular wheels attached to analog potentiometers to track movement. The first mouse has only one button, but more are to come.

1968: Douglas Engelbart gives a 90-minute demonstration on December 9 at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. Among other things, it showcases a refined SRI mouse with three buttons.

1972: Jack Hawley and Bill English, inspired by Engelbart’s work, design a digital mouse for Xerox PARC. This new mouse does not require an analog-to-digital converter but instead sends digital positional information directly to the computer. It also contains the first mouse ball, a metal ball bearing pressed against two rollers to track movement. A similar tracking design (albeit with a few drastic modifications), would be used in most mice for the next 27 years.