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Comic for January 16, 2019

Dilbert - January 17, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Happy 18th Birthday, Wikipedia

Slashdot - 1 hour 24 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Is T-Mobile trying to buy favors from the Trump administration? - CNET - News - 1 hour 47 min ago
A Washington Post report shows CEO John Legere and others have booked rooms at Trump International Hotel at least 38 times since its deal with Sprint was announced.

Lincoln will build a car based on Ford's Mustang-inspired electric SUV - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 54 min ago
Don't expect them to be anything alike, though.

Steve Carell to launch Netflix comedy based on Trump's Space Force - CNET - News - 2 hours 4 min ago
Donald Trump's new military branch earns a send-up from the people who brought us The Office.

Google Play starts manually whitelisting SMS and phone apps

Ars Technica - 2 hours 14 min ago


Google is implementing major new Play Store rules for how Android's "SMS" and "Call Log" permissions are used. New Play Store rules will only allow certain types of apps to request phone call logs and SMS permissions, and any apps that don't fit into Google's predetermined use cases will be removed from the Play Store. The policy was first announced in October, and the policy kicks in and the ban hammer starts falling on non-compliant apps this week.

In that October blog post, Google laid out its vision for SMS and phone permissions for Google Play apps, saying, "Only an app that has been selected as a user's default app for making calls or text messages will be able to access call logs and SMS, respectively." That statement also comes with a host of exceptions, some of which were added after communicating with members of the developer community, but the end result is still that SMS and phone permissions will be heavily policed on the Play Store.

Google says the decision to police these permissions was made to protect user privacy. SMS and phone permissions can give an app access to a user's contacts and everyone they've ever called, in addition to allowing the app to contact premium phone numbers that can charge money directly to the user's cellular bill. Despite the power of these permissions, a surprising number of apps ask for SMS or phone access because they have other, more benign use cases. So to clean up the Play Store, Google's current plan seems to be to (1) build more limited, replacement APIs for these benign use cases that don't offer access to so much user data and (2) kick everyone off the Play Store who is still using the wide-ranging SMS and phone permissions for these more limited use cases.

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