Google’s Android licensing regime in the spotlight

first_img Tags HomeDevicesNews Google’s Android licensing regime in the spotlight Related AndroidGoogleMicrosoftNokia Google pulls plug on Android Things Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist…More Read more Author Google has used “little-known contract restrictions” to compel device makers to install all of its apps on Android devices, with the prominence it requires, including setting them as defaults, according to a blog post from an associate professor at Harvard Business School.According to Benjamin Edelman, in order to obtain apps such as Google Search, Maps and YouTube, vendors must sign a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA), which contains the requirement to bundle the full suite of Google apps, including guidelines on where specific apps are placed.And the MADA also includes a clause which prohibits vendors from disclosing its existence, although it has been disclosed in the Oracle versus Google lawsuit – but the document was not made available online.Edelman said that while a vendor may feel that a specific product is available which is competitive with the Google alternative, others are crucial to a modern smartphone – for example the Google Play content store, or YouTube app. The need for these apps means that a vendor is locked into using the full Google portfolio, even where alternatives exist.While the post notes that other apps can be installed alongside, this creates duplication for users, and “in the key categories of search and location”, Google’s apps must be set as default.The news comes shortly after Android Police reported that in order to gain access to the Google Mobile Services portfolio, the search giant is set to force device vendors to adopt newer versions of the Android platform – there had been some criticism that vendors were still offering smartphones powered by early versions of the OS.The latest version of Android (KitKat) has been designed to work on devices with less capable hardware, removing one reason for vendors to stick with earlier incarnations.And as more and more Android functionality is evolved to include integration with Google’s cloud services, functionality is being migrated from the core open source version of Android (AOSP) to become part of Google Mobile Services.According to ABI Research, the number of devices using Android, but not Google’s products and services, is on the increase, in no small part due to the use of the platform by vendors in China.To offer a compelling device internationally without including Google services, a vendor would need to source alternative location services, search tools and app store, among others.But Amazon, for example, has already done this, and it is reported that Nokia is considering following a similar path, using Microsoft-powered alternatives – and in many ways, Microsoft is one of the few companies able to compete with Google on such a broad level.center_img Steve Costello AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 18 FEB 2014 Previous ArticleAirtel confirms Loop deal; plans Mumbai’s largest mobile networkNext ArticleSingTel linked to AIS shareholder stake — report Devices Google taps retail with NYC store Google refreshes Nest Hublast_img read more

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Researchers find evidence of ‘hidden hearing loss’ in college-age human subjects

first_imgShare on Facebook Pinterest Share Hearing loss, which affects an estimated 48 million Americans, can be caused by noise or aging and typically arises from damage to the sensory cells of the inner ear (or cochlea), which convert sounds into electrical signals, and/or the auditory nerve fibers that transmit those signals to the brain. It is traditionally diagnosed by elevation in the sound level required to hear a brief tone, as revealed on an audiogram, the gold standard test of hearing sensitivity.“Hidden hearing loss,” on the other hand, refers to synaptopathy, or damage to the connections between the auditory nerve fibers and the sensory cells, a type of damage which happens well before the loss of the sensory cells themselves. Loss of these connections likely contributes to difficulties understanding speech in challenging listening environments, and may also be important in the generation of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and/or hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound). Hidden hearing loss cannot be measured using the standard audiogram; thus, the Mass. Eye and Ear researchers set out to develop more sensitive measures that can also test for cochlear synaptopathy.Diagnostic measures for hidden hearing loss are important because they help us see the full extent of noise-induced damage to the inner ear. Better measurement tools will also be important in the assessment of future therapies to repair the nerve damage in the inner ear. Mass. Eye and Ear researchers have shown in animal models that, under some conditions, connections between the sensory cells and the auditory nerve can be successfully restored using growth factors, such as neurotrophins.“Establishing a reliable diagnosis of hidden hearing loss is key to progress in understanding inner ear disease,” said Dr. Maison. “Not only may this change the way patients are tested in clinic, but it also opens the door to new research, including understanding the mechanisms underlying a number of hearing impairments such as tinnitus and hyperacusis.”Authors on the PLOS ONE paper include Dr. Maison, M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D. of the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories of Mass. Eye and Ear, and Michael J. Epstein, Ph.D., and Sandra S. Cleveland, Au.D., CCC-A, of Northeastern University. Research supported by NIDCD RO1 DC00188 and NIDCD P30 DC 05209. LinkedIncenter_img Email Share on Twitter Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear have, for the first time, linked symptoms of difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments with evidence of cochlear synaptopathy, a condition known as “hidden hearing loss,” in college-age human subjects with normal hearing sensitivity.In a study of young adults who may regularly overexpose their ears to loud sounds, a research team led by Stéphane Maison, Ph.D., showed a significant correlation between performance on a speech-in-noise test and an electrophysiological measure of the health of the auditory nerve. The team also saw significantly better scores on both tests among subjects who regularly wore hearing protection when exposed to loud sounds. Their findings were published online today in PLOS ONE.“While hearing sensitivity and the ability to understand speech in quiet environments were the same across all subjects, we saw reduced responses from the auditory nerve in participants exposed to noise on a regular basis and, as expected, that loss was matched with difficulties understanding speech in noisy and reverberating environments,” said Dr. Maison, an investigator in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass. Eye and Ear and Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School.last_img read more

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Britain top in Europe for attracting foreign investment

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Grades withheld again from UWI students

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) – Students at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) St Augustine campus are feeling a sense of déjà vu as, for the second successive semester, grades are being withheld.The Students’ Guild is now requesting that the university’s Summer School registration period, which ended on Saturday, be reopened as a result of the non-release of grades.The first semester of UWI’s 2014-2015 academic year ended on December 19.Grades for that semester were withheld as lecturers began protest action against the administration over salary arrears.The students protested over the non-issuance of their grades as it affected their registration for the second semester, which began on January 18.At the end of January, the West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT), the union representing lecturers and administration at the St Augustine campus, was able to settle its impasse and grades were eventually released on February 6.Grades for semester two are now being withheld and this is being linked to ongoing protest action with non-academic staff at the university.During semester two, examinations held in April at the Sport and Physical Education Centre (SPEC) at the St Augustine campus were interrupted by a group of 35 silent protesters who walked around the room.The protesters wore Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) T-shirts and walked around for 15 minutes, without any intervention from the invigilators.Semester II at The UWI St Augustine campus ended on May 15.Semester III, commonly known as Summer School, began on May 18.The Students’ Guild yesterday sent an e-mail to campus registrar Richard Saunders calling for the Summer School registration period to be reopened.“As a matter of urgency, the Guild of Students is asking that you please give the necessary correspondence to have the Summer School registration period reopened,” stated a letter signed by Students’ Guild secretary Nikoli Edwards.“The Guild president has indicated that stemming from a conversation between you both, an assurance was given that you would consult with the Examinations Department.“However, to date, no new information has been given on this matter or changes observed,” the letter added.The Guild said it has been “inundated” with e-mails from students on the issue.“Administration is yet to provide the Guild in writing with a definite date by which grades will be released,” the letter stated.“The Guild is therefore of the firm view that the Campus’ Administration has failed the students in this regard. Communication is key to our relationship and this continues to be overlooked,” it said.Summer School is traditionally used as a period for full-time students who fail exams to repeat courses, as well as a means for both part-time and evening students to complete required courses.“Due to the non-release of official grades to the students by the registration deadline date for Summer School, a number of students have been up in arms as to whether they need to resit courses or whether they have been successful in their first attempt at the course,” the letter stated.The Guild said the new grade point system adopted by the UWI this academic year has also affected the student’s ability to “truly predict a potential outcome” of exams. Share EducationNewsRegionalTertiary Grades withheld again from UWI students by: Trinidad Express – June 9, 2015 Sharing is caring! 94 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

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