Last week, I mentioned Google offering cash prizes if anyone could hack Chrome. Hackers in Vancouver managed to find two previously unknown holes at an IT security conference. The CEO of Vupen Security, one of the winners in the Pwn2Own contest, mentioned the difficulty of finding the security holes. This was the first time Chrome was successfully hacked in the contest’s five years.
Not so much today. Mixed bag, including outsourcing security, apes and apps, a new competitor in the smartphone market, and raspberry pie.
Find the Hole and Win!
Google is offering cash prizes for finding security holes in its Chrome browser. The total amount available to be won is US$1 million. The move lets Google do two things at once – it gets hackers to look hard at Chrome’s security for little cost except for when an exploit is found and gets the browser noticed in the news.
There’s an Ape for That
The Toronto Zoo is looking for an iPad to be donated to an orangutan. Apps for Apes, a program created to get iPads to primates, was created after a similar successful program at the Milwaukee Zoo. Orangutans at teh Milwaukee Zoo have been using the tablet for painting, music, and video chatting over Skype. The other purpose Apps for Apes has in mind for donated iPads is to let Puppe, an orangutan, speak with her daughter Jahe, who is now in Memphis, through a video chat.
New Player in the Smartphone Market
Mozilla is working on an open source smartphone OS. The non-profit, whose other works include Firefox and Thunderbird, is aiming to produce a an operating system that leads to a cheaper smartphone. If the OS allows for customization of apps along with the ability to run existing apps, the closed-world of existing smartphone and tablet OSes will be opened wide.
Raspberry Pi Sells Out
As mentioned in the last News of the North, a $35 computer called Raspberry Pi was ready for launch. It sold out. The Raspberry Pi Foundation had limited the credit card sized computer to one per person. Congrats! The takeaway – if you build it and can grab people’s attention, they will come.