Android Users Compromised With Malware

The official Google Android apps market is full of spam and malware.

I’ve seen it in action on a security analysts conference I attended almost a year ago. Ever since I’ve been trying to spread the word to anyone I care about.

Today, it’s you guys.

I know a CEO of a well known credit card company that got his Android phone tapped. The CEO! 

Look, I’ve been telling my close friends for some time now. There is a serious problem with security on Android. People put everything on their amazingly clever phone, but take no precautions on what apps they download.

People, you’re giving access to your credit card, to tapping your calls, to your entire world. Why aren’t you nervous? Are you nuts??

I don’t care how amazingly good or clever these Android phones are. I don’t care for their specifications. I care for my privacy a darn lot more. 

It took Microsoft years and years to realize that PC applications should be sandboxed. Apple got it right from day one on the iPhone. When will Google admit they got it wrong? 

More malware found hosted in Google’s official Android market | Ars Technica

Android.Dropdialer, a trojan that racks up costly charges from forced calls made to premium phone numbers, was found in two separate titles … according to a blog post published Tuesday by Irfan Asrar, a researcher with antivirus provider Symantec. “Super Mario Bros.” and “GTA 3 Moscow City,” as the malicious apps were packaged, generated as many as 100,000 downloads…

(via Instapaper)


Sent from my iPad

On The Art Of Saying NO

This article offers people to have to lists to look at every morning. While most of us will recognize the first list, the second one will surprise you.

Everyone has a to-do list. Almost no one has a “don’t do” list. A list of stuff you shouldn’t be wasting your time on, but still you find yourself doing every single day.

Why should you have a don’t do list?


Never before has it been so important to say “No.” No, I’m not going to read that article. No, I’m not going to read that email. No, I’m not going to take that phone call. No, I’m not going to sit through that meeting.

Why is it so hard for people to say no? It’s not only because we are all trying to please everyone else (although that’s a big part for many people). It’s mostly because we always look for the tiny piece of information that will complete the picture.

It’s hard to do because maybe, just maybe, that next piece of information will be the key to our success. But our success actually hinges on the opposite: on our willingness to risk missing some information. Because trying to focus on it all is a risk in itself. We’ll exhaust ourselves. We’ll get confused, nervous, and irritable. And we’ll miss the CEO standing next to us in the elevator.

Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning (Via Instapaper)

But as the quote puts it so cleverly, when we are all too focused on the details, we miss the whole picture. We miss taking action on an opportunity that presents itself. We miss out.


What are you going to do today to make sure it won’t happen?Sent from my iPad

Google Is In Trouble And They Need Your Help

Google is in trouble, and they need your help!

It seems like Google are now asking their users to help them out with their search results pages and site rankings.

That’s a major change to Google’s normal attitude that we’ve been accustomed to in the last few years.

This is what I’m talking about:

Google’s “cry for help” as spotted by Nathan Sauser. It’s a pop-up form that appeared on the search results page, asking him to rate how happy he is with the results. This is what it looks like:

A screen shot of Google's new feedback form, asking user to rate the quality of the results he got
Google’s cry for help, as captured by Nathan Sauser.

This feedback form might seem like a minor anecdote, but I believe it’s the first sign of game-changing news.

Are Google taking a 180º u-turn from Panda & Penguin updates?

I’ve seen first handed how easy it was to make money online with low quality articles back at 2010. By spreading and posting tons of spun versions of the same articles across multiple content farms like EzineArticles, eHow and Squidoo, marketers captured easy traffic.

It was too easy to make money with bad content and without providing anything valuable to the readers. Those years, internet marketers were taking full advantage of such tactics, and spammy websites were KILLING Google.

Something had to be done. And so, Panda and Penguin algorithms were born.

Panda and Penguin are both Google’s time-tested way to fight spam: with clever algorithms.

But now, it seems like Google are suddenly asking for the users’ opinions. How come?

Why would Google change its attitude?

Although Google certainly does a good job at spotting and penalizing spammy websites, they aren’t perfect.

Internet marketers and SEO experts are always trying to find the next hack, the next trick, that will let them cheat the rankings.

Every time someone comes up a new technique to cheat the rankings, Google makes an algorithm update and the door closes shut – till the next time.

Are Google realizing it’s an endless-circle? Maybe there’s a better way to approach this?

What are Google saying?

Are Google taking these surveys seriously? What exactly are they doing with the feedback they’re getting?

This is what a Google spokesman told Search Engine Land about this new feedback form:

“This is one of our experiments — one of many signals we take into consideration to make search better.”

Google’s Logo

What can we learn from this laconic answer?

Although it’s only an experiment right now, Google are seriously thinking of making these user feedbacks one of their ranking criteria – that’s massive!

Are Google reinventing a ranking system from 1994?

You know the feeling when you go into a website and you just KNOW it’s spammy?

You just feel the ads looking at you from every corner, affiliate links fill every spare inch of the screen, and you just know subconsciously that it’s time to hit the “back” button, and hit it hard?

The human brain can spot a spammy website from miles away. We can smell it, and it stinks to heaven.

That’s why web portals (remember those?) started off with manual ratings back in 1994. As the internet outgrow this old-fashioned method, web portals vanished and got replaced by a monster with amazing computer analysis skills – Google.

In essence, Google are renovating an old-fashioned ranking algorithm that was abandoned in 1994: The Human Brain. Tweet This

Why does Google need YOUR help?

Google can’t ask their staff members to manually rate all the websites on the internet. It’s obviously unreasonable, impossible and pointless.

But if they get some feedback from their users – even for only 0.1% of the searches, it sums up to 3 million reviews per day (based on world’s statistics).

That makes the ranking efforts somewhat more manageable. And as no one cares what happens after page 2 on Google, you only need to eliminate the spam out of the top 20 sites for a given keyword.

Google will crowd-source spam elimination, while relying on their proven algorithms to keep finding the good sites. Tweet This

Google are already monitoring retweets, likes, +1ones and other social signals. It only makes sense that they’ll collect this user feedback too, and combine it with the already existing social signals.

But this time, you’ll be able to down-vote bad quality sites. Hooray!

What does it mean, and how will it affect you?

It’s all fine and dandy. Maybe even cool. But let’s cut to the chase – how can this affect website owners and internet marketers?

I believe this is Google’s battle cry against spammers.

Websites that have great multimedia content and are publishing it at a good solid pace – will rank well.

Websites getting retweets, likes and +1ones in addition to their great content – will continue to rank even better.

HEY! That’s no news is it? Of course websites with good content that lots of people talk about will rank well! DUH!

If the prescription for Google Love doesn’t change – who cares?

Who should care?

The people that still build websites for search engines, and not for humans. Should care.

The people that build websites only to make fast income from moving web traffic from one site to another. Should care.

Spammers. Your game will soon be over. Build for humans, or don’t build at all. Tweet This

I strongly believe this is the case. Utilizing crowd-sourcing to recognize and deal with spam makes total sense.

What do you think about it? Just a silly survey, or the beginning of a new era? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

And please, hit the Like button, the  +1 button and Retweet button, so your friends can enjoy this post too! 🙂


Whatever You’re Doing, It’s Probably Redicilous

One of the best articles I’ve read, and to the points it raises I’m guilty as charged.

The ‘Busy’ Trap

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day

(via Instapaper)

I’m going to make myself a nice cup o joe now, and wonder – what are the tasks that are actually important and vital for me to complete today?
What will happen if I don’t complete one of them today. Or tomorrow, or this year. Maybe never.
How much of an impact will that have on me?


We need to redefine words like Vital. Crucial. Necessary. Must.


We should allow ourselves to admit that many of our tasks are ridiculous, useless and unimportant. They won’t make a slightest dent in the universe, and so, we must let these tasks go.


Please share this with your friends if you feel the same.
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The Mainstream Twitter Experience

Twitter just announced their recent efforts regarding consistent twitter experience to its developers.

Between all the nice words about engagement and usability, I noticed this paragraph, which according the my twitter stream – I was not the only one:

developers should not “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” …. in the coming weeks, we will be introducing stricter guidelines around how the Twitter API is used.

Delivering a consistent Twitter experience | Twitter Developers

(via Instapaper)

What does this mean? Are excellent apps like TweetBot only reproducing the mainstream Twitter UX? Will Twitter block their API to such apps?


Twitter a taking another shot at forcing me and you to use their native apps and the Twitter website. Besides the fact that some 3rd party apps are by all means superior to the Twitter native app, why would twitter insist on it in the first place?

Some people say it’s the advertising business that they want to take a chunk of. I hope that’s wrong, as I won’t appreciate ads in my stream, and don’t see how exactly that’s going to fit their famous user experience.

No professional uses the Twitter website itself, so only relevant ads, if you believe this point, is mobile ads. A huge market that other social networks are also having a hard time with.

Anyway, this is a dangerous act by Twitter, many believe. Here’s another good post about it – Careful, Twitter — remember what happened to MySpace and Digg

What do you think Twitter are up to?
Sent from my iPad