Stagefright: new Android vulnerability dubbed ‘heartbleed for mobile’

An attacker can take over the vast majority of Android phones with just a text message, security researcher reports

A major security flaw in Android lets an attacker take control of a phone simply by sending a text message – and for the vast majority of Android users, there’s no fix available yet.

Even the small number of people using Google’s own line of Android phones, sold under the Nexus brand, are vulnerable to some of the effects of the bug, according to Joshua Drake, the researcher who discovered the flaw.

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Amazon Prime Music launches in the UK

Amazon attempts to undercut Spotify and Apple Music with a 1m-track music streaming service bundled with its Prime delivery, books and music service

Amazon is launching its Prime Music streaming service in the UK, in a move that will see it aim to undercut Spotify and Apple Music.

The service is bundled as a free add-on to Amazon’s Prime delivery service, which also includes books, movies and photo-storage services as “value added” extras.

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Fallout 4: Todd Howard on loss in the post-apocalypse world

Bethesda’s VP of development and its marketing head, Pete Hines, reflect on how their team constructs a devastated future America

Todd Howard says he never stops thinking about the games he makes. When one Elder Scrolls or Fallout project ends, he’s already planning the next. As VP of development at Bethesda Games Studios in Maryland, the place he has worked for over 20 years, he has a comparatively small team by today’s standards – just 100 staff. But they have produced two of the industry’s most important and ambitious open-world franchises. And they seem to do this through a ceaseless sense of purpose. “You don’t ever stop talking,” says Howard about the creative process. “You never take a break.”

Fallout 4 is, of course, the latest project in that cycle. Set 200 years after the cataclysmic nuclear war that sets off the series, the role-playing odyssey gives players complete freedom to explore a devastated version of Boston, fighting with mutants, carrying out quests and collecting loot. In a preview level set before the apocalypse, you learn more about the 1950s-inspired society that pre-existed Armageddon, and get to fully customise your lead character. Then you wake up in a Vault two centuries later and – bam – everyone you know is dead.

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Uber and the lawlessness of ‘sharing economy’ corporates

Companies including Airbnb and Google compare themselves to civil rights heroes, while using their popularity among consumers to nullify federal law

In February, Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky compared his firm’s defiance of local housing ordinances with that of Gandhi’s passive resistance to British rule. Meanwhile, a tweeter compared Uber to Rosa Parks, defying unjust laws. Chesky quickly backed down after widespread mockery. Companies acting out of self-interest comparing themselves with the noble heroes of civil rights movements is as absurd as it is insulting.

But there is a better analogy from the US civil rights era for law-flouting firms of the on-demand economy. It’s just not the one corporate leaders claim. They are engaged in what we call “corporate nullification”, following in the footsteps of Southern governors and legislatures in the United States who declared themselves free to “nullify” federal law on the basis of strained and opportunistic constitutional interpretation.

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