How should Google improve Android security?

Today in Open Source: How can Google improve Android security? Plus: PC-BSD 9.2 review, and should kids learn to code?

By , ITworld |  Open Source, Android, bsd

Android Security
Android has been criticized at times for not being secure enough. ReadWrite has five suggestions from Bitdefender on how to improve Android's security. Are they right or are there better ways to improve it?

Android security has come a long way since the days when malware filled the Google Play app store. But as Google preps the latest version of Android—version 4.4 KitKat—it still has gaps to fill. In the recent past, many of the security questions that have plagued Android were solved by third-party security vendors. The likes of Lookout, Kaspersky, McAfee and others have patrolled Android, plugging the holes that Google was too busy to see.

Bitdefender has some ideas for improving security on Android. Here are five suggestions that the antivirus company would give Google as it prepares KitKat 4.4:

1. Allow Antivirus Scanner APIs
2. Control Over Individual App Permissions
3. Allow Some Apps To Survive A Full Wipe
4. Built-In Sandbox To Isolate Apps From Untrusted Sources
5. Separate Profiles For Business & Personal Uses

More at ReadWrite

The list looks quite reasonable to me, and I think most Android users would agree. Hopefully Google is paying attention and perhaps we'll see some of the suggestions integrated in a later release of Android.

PC-BSD 9.2 Review
DistroWatch has a full review of PC-BSD 9.2

As to running PC-BSD, my experience had me constantly swinging back and forth between two thoughts: "Wow, this is a great feature, I wish more projects did this!" and "Drat, another bug, this is frustrating!" There was not a lot of middle ground between these two thoughts while running PC-BSD. It seems as though the developers tried to supply several new features for this release, all of them good ideas, but some of the implementations still have problems.

For the most part I think PC-BSD 9.2 is a step in the right direction. There are some great system administration tools included in this release and the design of some applications (such as the AppCafe and Life Preserver) are very promising. However, I found there were some bumps on the Road of Progress and there were problems which would likely cause newcomers to turn away. If you are feeling experimental or would like to play with exciting new ZFS features then I think PC-BSD is a great choice. This release did have its problems, but PC-BSD remains, in my opinion, the best desktop solution in the BSD community.

PC-BSD 9.2 Review

Image credit: DistroWatch

More at DistroWatch

It looks like the PC-BSD developers are doing some interesting things with it. I haven't used it in a long while, but I'll have to take a peek at it in VirtualBox to see some of the new stuff.

Should kids learn to code?
A product manager at Red Hat thinks that it's very important for kids to learn how to code. Is he right?

By day, Red Hat product manager Burr Sutter works to make developers more successful and productive with open source tools, technologies, and techniques. So it's no surprise that he wants to ensure his own children know how to solve technical problems as well. So when summer vacation rolled around this year, Sutter encouraged his son to complete some courses on CodeAcademy and to sign up for a couple of iD Tech Camps.

In this interview, Sutter talks about why he wants his children to know how to fix the tech tools they use every day, how he balances that with other "kid" activities, and more. Parents who are looking for a way to get their children to learn code, to fix their computers, or just learn how online communities work may pick up some tips from Sutter's experiences.

More at Open Source

I think it's a good idea if the kid is interested in coding or at least open to trying it. If he or she has a lot of resistance to the idea then it's probably better not to try to force them into it.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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