Tag Archives: lookout

Follow-up Friday: Ubuntu Unity, Android security & WordPress Stats

Just a couple of small updates on previous stories to keep you posted really.

We’ll start of with Ubuntu Natty Narwhal; beta 2 has been released earlier today. I’ve downloaded a lot of updated packages over the last few days, so I guess I’m on the second beta as well. The Unity launcher now comes out of hiding perfectly and it scrolls down automatically to show items at the bottom as well. There also was a bug with the menu-items of some applications (e.g. Firefox 4) disappearing which seems fixed. Hope they can get the launcher to behave with Java apps (e.g. my favorite mindmapping application) soon.

On another note: Lookout, the Android app that allows you to locate your handset and -if you have the paying version- remotely wipe it, seems to be getting some serious competition from …. Google. Enterprises who have Google Apps for Business can now locate, encrypt and wipe their Android devices. Especially the encryption is important news, but it really should be available and configurable in the Android OS itself

To finish off with some news about WordPress Stats secretive inclusion of Quantcast behavioral tracking: it seems like WordPress Stats plugin will be replaced by Automattics Jetpack, which according to the site:

supercharges your self‑hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com

Jetpack actually is a “super-plugin” that offers functionality from Stats, Sharedaddy, After the deadline and other previously separately available Automattic plugins. The Jetpack WordPress.com stats module does still include the Quantcast “spyware”, doesn’t disclose this feature and doesn’t provide functionality that warrants Quantcast inclusion (in spite of Matt Mullenweg claiming “We’ve been using Quantcast to get some additional information on uniques that it’s hard for us to calculate”). But there is (some) good news in the Jetpack Stats source code though, because on line 145 it reads:

‘do_not_track’ => true, // @todo

This could mean that blog-owners will one day be able to opt out of 3rd party tracking or it might be that Stats will take e.g. Firefox DNT-header into account for your blog’s visitors. Having both would off course be what I will be rooting for!

Secure your smartphone

Your smartphone probably contains a wealth of information of personal and professional nature, which you would not want others to have access to. This is why (after losing my HTC Hero a couple of months ago) I now try to follow 2 out of these 3 simple rules:

  1. don’t lose your smartphone.
  2. if you lose your smartphone, make sure you have something in place to locate it
  3. if you lose your smartphone and you can’t locate it, make sure you can wipe it remotely

There are multiple solutions to locate & wipe smartphones (including HTC’s Sense online offering), but for my Sense-less HTC Magic I installed “Lookout“. Lookout is a free application that provides device location, contacts backup & restore and apparently also malware protection. If you’re willing to pay $3/month, you also get remote wipe, remote lock and backup/ restore of pictures and call log. If you lose your Android-phone, you just log in to the Lookout-website to locate and optionally lock or wipe your handset.

I’m happy using the free version for now; I activated Android’s pattern lock-screen to avoid anyone from accessing my handset and deactivating Lookout. Remote wipe is great, but I guess I can activate my Lookout Premium account if ever I need that feature?