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Large numbers report net addiction

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 15 Oktober 2014 | 23.58

15 October 2014 Last updated at 16:50

A significant number of young adults may be suffering from internet addiction disorder, according to a survey.

The survey of 1,300 young adults, conducted by marketing agency Digital Clarity, found that 16% of the 18- to 25-year-olds displayed symptoms of net addiction.

Almost all of this 16% admitted to spending over 15 hours a day online.

Experts remain divided over how real a condition internet addiction is.

The survey looked at five signs of possible net addiction.

  • becoming irritable when interrupted during web use
  • feeling guilty about how much time is spent online
  • isolation from family and friends due to excessive online activity
  • a sense of euphoria when online and panic when offline

Malissa Scott, a student from Middlesex, believes she is suffering from the condition.

"I'm online for most of my waking hours and feel sick and depressed if I lose access to the web," she said.

"I know it has spiralled out of control in the last 12 months and it has definitely affected my relationship with friends and family members."

Previous studies have suggested that internet addiction, which is an umbrella term for a variety of scenarios including excessive gaming or viewing online pornography obsessively, operates in a similar way to drug or alcohol addiction - and releases the chemical dopamine in the same way.

But other psychiatrists believe that the effects of internet addiction are just symptoms of other psychological conditions.

In a paper published this week in the journal Addictive Behaviours, Dr Andrew Doan outlines his view that internet addiction is real.

He describes a case of Google Glass addiction, involving a 31-year-old US Navy serviceman who was admitted to his substance abuse and recovery programme for treatment for alcoholism.

While there, the man also complained of feeling irritable and argumentative without his Google Glass device.

He said he had worn Google Glass for 18 hours a day and had even begun experiencing his dreams as if viewed through the device.

It was evidence, said Dr Doan, that internet addiction was a real condition.

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is one of they key reference books for psychiatrists and it has not yet included internet addiction as a condition in its own right.


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'Gaming press must tackle misogyny'

14 October 2014 Last updated at 17:55 By Kevin Rawlinson & Leo Kelion BBC News

More video game news sites must place a spotlight on the misogynistic abuse that could drive women from the industry, a developer has demanded.

Brianna Wu, who said she faced death threats after speaking out, said the sites could help change the industry's culture.

A debate is raging in the sector about claims of corrupt relationships between some developers and reviewers.

But it has also regularly veered into the issues of feminism and misogyny.

"Every woman I know is terrified that what happened to me will happen to them next. And this is a true campaign of terror on women in the field," she told BBC News.

Ms Wu fled her home on Friday 10 October after graphic sexual threats were made against her.

The next day, she shared screenshots of tweets from one user who had threatened to murder her and her family, and had posted her home address to prove they knew where she lived.

The abuse came after she shared pictures on Twitter mocking players with sexist attitudes, who had used the Twitter hashtag GamerGate.

'Drive women out'

Her latest comments coincide with Ada Lovelace Day, an annual event celebrating women's feats in technology and science.

Ms Wu, head of development at games company Giant Spacekat, also said that internet services needed to do more to help police trace those who posted abuse.

"As it currently is, when crimes occur, law enforcement frequently cannot locate the people that are doing it," she said.

"We need to get more serious as a culture about making it possible for law enforcement to act in very serious situations like this.

"GamerGate could very seriously drive most women out of the industry. I realise that's a very strong statement and I absolutely mean it. I don't know a single woman in this field who is not asking herself if she wants to stay."

Ms Wu's experience was similar to those of games reviewer Anita Sarkeesian and developer Zoe Quinn, who were also on the receiving end of abuse.

Allegations about Ms Quinn's personal relationships with journalists were presented as evidence of "possible corruption" in the industry.

Ms Sarkeesian was hounded after releasing the latest in a series of video blogs that criticised bestselling games for propagating sexist stereotypes.

Continue reading the main story

I don't know a single woman in this field who is not asking herself if she wants to stay"

End Quote Brianna Wu Head of development, Giant Spacekat

In response to the treatment meted out to Ms Sarkeesian, thousands of people signed an open letter calling on the gaming industry to change.

Ms Wu singled out IGN and Giant Bomb as two popular websites that she said had not drawn enough attention to the abuse aimed at women.

"They are choosing not to cover this story, or Zoe's story, or any of these stories. This has a real silencing effect," she told the BBC.

"These are video game sites that are tailored towards men, so the people that most need to understand the harassment and culture that's being created, the sites that speak to them are not covering this."

While Giant Bomb has not covered the debate in depth, it did report Ms Wu's story on Monday. Readers of both IGN and Giant Bomb have also discussed the wider debate on their forums.

Neither of the two sites was able to comment when asked for a response.

The increasingly bitter GamerGate debate, she said, mirrored the polarisation of American politics.

"It is not a secret that I am a feminist and I have more liberal views and a lot of these GamerGaters have more right-wing views," she said.

"What we are seeing now is this political polarisation spreading into different industries. It is certainly happening to women in tech and it is certainly happening to women in games."

'GamerGate'

Those who have used the GamerGate hashtag, which was coined by actor Adam Baldwin, have argued that their core demand was better ethical standards in gaming journalism.

They have called for journalists with conflicts of interest to disclose relevant personal relationships or avoid writing altogether about the work of their friends.

"GamerGate is anything BUT a bunch of mindless misogynists trying to shut down women in gaming," wrote one user of the IGN website, who used the pseudonym RoboJules.

"It's never been about that. GamerGate is reformation of games media."

Others have argued that some women in the industry are not "real gamers", but rather "social justice warriors" using gaming as a proxy battlefield.

But RoboJules addresses this point in a follow-up blog, saying: "Social justice has its place, even in gaming, but it's not the only part of gaming.

"Some things exist purely for the entertainment of a particular audience, and not every game has to be socially conscious. If social justice has any place in gaming, it's to promote socially conscious game development for the future; not to scorn games and gamers for not catering to a certain agenda."

The debate, however, has regularly been punctured by bouts of abuse against those who have claimed that GamerGate had its origins in the misogynistic hounding of Ms Quinn.

Several other women who have discussed the topic have also complained that they have been targeted with threats of murder and rape.


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Cyber-worm seeks home data stores

15 October 2014 Last updated at 00:38 By Mark Ward Technology correspondent, BBC News

A malicious worm that can roam the net seeking data stored on insecure hardware has been created by a security researcher.

The proof-of-concept worm was written to illustrate how vulnerable such data stores are to malicious attack.

The worm can exploit the many bugs researcher Jacob Holcomb found in popular home data storage systems.

Already, he said, there was evidence cybercriminals had noticed how easy it was to exploit these data stores.

Game over

Mr Holcomb started work on the worm after carrying out a series of tests on Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems made by 10 separate manufacturers.

Many people connect these devices to a home router to give family members a place to put important files such as photos and films or to act as a back-up for other gadgets. Some home routers can also connect to hard drives to turn them into an NAS-type device.

Mr Holcomb's investigation revealed 30 separate undocumented vulnerabilities in the NAS devices. Many of these, if exploited, would give an attacker complete control over a device letting them plunder the data on it, or use it as a way to get at other devices on that home network and spy on what people did online.

Most of the exploitable problems he found were in the web-based interface typically used to administer these devices.

"I took the series of exploits I found and wrapped them into a software package that's in essence self-replicating," said Mr Holcomb.

The worm runs on an infected system and once it has taken control uses that system's resources to scan net addresses seeking out other vulnerable devices.

If an address gives an appropriate response, it sends a series of data requests to "fingerprint" that device so it knows which vulnerabilities to try against it.

"Once these devices are exposed to the internet, it's pretty much game over because most vulnerabilities can be exploited using authentication bypass techniques or with no authentication at all," he told the BBC.

Mr Holcomb is set to demonstrate how the worm works during a speech at the Black Hat Europe security conference being held in Amsterdam this week. To safeguard vulnerable hardware, he plans to run it on a closed network rather than live on the net.

Although Mr Holcomb's worm was written to demonstrate the danger these insecure data stores represent, he said there was evidence that cyber-thieves were waking up to the treasure trove of data these devices can contain.

In early 2014, a malicious program called TheMoon targeted hardware made by Linksys and in early October a malicious campaign was launched against NAS boxes made by Qnap.

"These attacks are definitely becoming more widespread," said Mr Holcomb.

Information about the vulnerabilities found in NAS boxes has been passed to manufacturers, said Mr Holcomb, and many were now updating the software that controls the devices to fix the bugs.

Qnap has issued an update for the firmware running on the gadgets vulnerable to the bug abused earlier this month.

Mr Holcomb said it was possible to use NAS safely if owners took some straightforward steps such as turning off unwanted features and services and ensuring the device can only be administered from within a home network rather than across the web.


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Teens 'should self-regulate net use'

15 October 2014 Last updated at 10:07 By Jane Wakefield Technology reporter

Previous thinking about the best way to keep children safe online may be wrong, research from the Oxford Internet Institute and Parent Zone suggests.

Rather than restricting or monitoring internet use, parents should let their children discover the net, both good and bad, themselves, the report says.

UK children are among the most monitored in Europe, with most of the big ISPs offering parental controls.

But this is no replacement for good parenting, the report concludes.

Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 children aged 14 to 17 across the UK.

Their report came to three main conclusions:

  • Children who have positive offline relationships with their parents are more likely to navigate the web in a sensible way
  • Supportive and enabling parenting has a more positive impact than restricting or monitoring internet use
  • Teenagers left to self-regulate their internet and social media use are more likely to teach themselves new skills online and maintain positive online relationships

Dr Andrew Przbylski, research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and lead author of the report, said: "Our findings indicate that good parenting, which allows children to still take risks and develop coping strategies, is integral to whether young people are able to make the most of the opportunities of the online world."

"It is just like the offline world," agreed Vicki Shobol, founder of The Parent Zone.

"Parents have to agree age-appropriate boundaries. We wouldn't let a child of four play on their own in the park, and it is entirely reasonable if you have a very young child to make a decision to filter some content," she added.

But older children should be allowed to "take risks".

The research was unveiled at the inaugural Digital Families conference in London, which will look at the effect of the internet on family life.

Cyber-bullying

Every year regulator Ofcom releases a report looking at children's use of digital services. Its most recent, released in October, surveyed 1,600 children aged five to 15.

Of those, 71% had access to a tablet computer at home and 88% accessed the internet via a PC or laptop.

Among the 12- to 15-year-olds interviewed by Ofcom:

  • The average time spent online was more than 17 hours a week
  • Nearly a third of the girls had been bullied online
  • 22% of the boys had been bullied online
  • 33% about someone they knew being spread online or sent via text message
  • 14% had experienced embarrassing pictures of someone they knew being shared

Of the parents interviewed by Ofcom, more than 40% of parents used some content filters - either from their ISP or from software vendors such as Net Nanny.

Of the parents of eight- to 11-year-olds, 89% had rules or restrictions for internet use. For parents of 12- to 15-year-olds, this proportion dropped to 72%.


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Qualcomm agrees $2.5bn CSR takeover

15 October 2014 Last updated at 11:33

US chipmaker Qualcomm has agreed a cash deal to buy UK counterpart CSR for $2.5bn (£1.6bn).

This equates to 900 pence a share. CSR shares rose 30% to 855p after the deal was announced.

Analysts said the news may encourage other chipmakers to make a bid for the British company.

CSR, formerly known as Cambridge Silicon Radio, rejected a takeover approach from US firm Microchip Technology in August.

The Qualcomm deal was announced on the same day the UK Takeover Panel had set as a deadline for any agreement between CSR and Microchip Technology.

Continue reading the main story

Qualcomm is the world's largest chipmaker, and is keen to get its hands on CSR's expertise in Bluetooth wireless technologies.

"Combining CSR's highly advanced offering of connectivity technologies with a strong track record of success in these areas will unlock new opportunities for growth," said Qualcomm boss Steven Mollenkopf.

CSR chairman Ron Mackintosh said the deal represented a "very attractive outcome for shareholders, customers and employees".


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Poodle bug exploits dated software

15 October 2014 Last updated at 12:15

Google researchers have uncovered a bug in web-encryption technology that could allow hackers to take over email, banking and other online accounts.

Dubbed Poodle, the threat is said to be less severe than Heartbleed, which sent the security industry into panic earlier this year.

The bug exists in old software that is still used by web browsers and servers.

Its discovery showed that internet infrastructure needs an overhaul, said experts.

"If Heartbleed and Shellshock were a 10, this is about a five," said Alan Woodward, a security researcher from the University of Surrey.

Details about Poodle - which stands for Padding Oracle On Downloaded Legacy Encryption - were issued in a security advisory compiled by three Google engineers, Bodo Moller, Thai Duong and Krzysztof Kotowicz.

The bug is contained within an 18-year-old encryption standard known as SSL 3.0, which has generally been superseded by its successor TLS (Transport Layer Security).

Prof Woodward estimates that SSL 3.0 is used in about 1% of web traffic.

The bug could hit people using old browsers and servers that still use the protocol.

The bug is not easy to exploit and would need an attacker to control the internet connection between the browser and the server, a so-called man-in-the-middle attack. This could be achieved for example if he or she were in range of an unencrypted wi-fi access point.

What is concerning security experts is the fact that hackers could force an internet connection to downgrade to SSL 3.0.

If a connection does fall back to the older protocol, the bug makes it possible to steal cookies, the small data files that enable people to log in to a particular service - giving the hacker access to a range of services that use the cookies.

Generally, though, the bug is generating far less panic in security experts.

"First, this is not another Heartbleed. It's bad, but it's not going to destroy the internet," wrote Matthew Green, a professor at John Hopkins University's department of computer science, in his blog.

Microsoft issued an advisory, suggesting customers disable SSL 3.0 on Windows for servers and PCs. Mozilla plans to disable SSL 3.0 in the next version of its Firefox browser and Google said it too would eventually remove support for the software.

"It is not up to consumers to turn off SSL 3.0, this is a job for administrators of systems. For people at home the advice is to use the latest browsers," explained Prof Woodward.

The bug is the third major bug discovered in the past few months.

Shellshock, a flaw found in a software component known as Bash, which is part of many Linux systems as well as Apple's Mac operating system, could have hit at least 500 million machines.

Heartbleed, another flaw in encryption technology, was thought to have affected at least 500,000 machines.

The lesson to be learned from the Poodle bug is a need to update "our ageing internet infrastructure," said Mr Green.

"Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and gets us to abandon obsolete protocols like SSLv3," he wrote.


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Games talk pulled after death threat

15 October 2014 Last updated at 13:13 By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor

A feminist video-games critic has cancelled a speech after receiving the latest in a series of death threats.

Anita Sarkeesian had been invited to an event organised by the Center for Women and Gender at Utah State University.

But on Tuesday, the director of the centre and others received an email threatening a "massacre style attack" if the talk proceeded.

Several threats of violence have been made against feminists working in the games industry over recent weeks.

Ms Sarkeesian tweeted that she had not cancelled her lecture because of the email itself, but rather because she had not felt that the security measures would be adequate.

"Requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat - but because of Utah's open-carry laws, police wouldn't do firearm searches," she wrote.

A copy of the threatening email published by a local newspaper, the Standard Examiner, attacked feminism in general, rather than specifically its role in critiquing and creating video games.

However, Ms Sarkeesian has linked the intimidation attempt with a wider controversy dubbed GamerGate.

"Multiple specific threats made stating intent to kill me and feminists at USU. For the record, one threat did claim affiliation with #gamergate," she tweeted.

"At this point supporting #gamergate is implicitly supporting the harassment of women in the gaming industry."

Users of the GamerGate hashtag have denied that their campaign is "about harassment or misogyny", insisting it is instead "a consumer boycott and a call for ethics reform in game industry media" after allegations about potentially compromising relationships between developers and journalists.

The users have also criticised news sites for spreading negative stereotypes about gamers and highlighting suggestions of sexism in their reviews and other coverage.

However, some people who identify with the term have also posted abuse and violent threats against women who have spoken out about the topic. This has been criticised by others.

Almost four in 10 console gamers are female, and a higher proportion of mobile gamers are, according to market research firm GlobalWebIndex.

Guns and bombs

Ms Sarkeesian runs the Feminist Frequency website, and has created a series of videos highlighting examples of what she says is the sexist depiction of women in video games.

Last month she reported that she had felt compelled to leave her home after receiving numerous threats after releasing a fresh episode.

Later more than 2,000 others involved in the industry signed an open letter calling for a public stand against such harassment and threats.

Despite the latest email - purportedly from a USU student - containing claims that the author had several guns and pipe bombs, the university denied anyone had been put at risk.

"USU police, in conjunction with several teams of state and federal law enforcement experts, determined that there was no threat to students, staff or the speaker, so no alert was issued," it said in a statement.

"The speaker, Anita Sarkeesian, cancelled the presentation. She was concerned about the fact that state law prevented the university from keeping people with a legal concealed firearm permit from entering the event.

"University police were prepared and had a plan in place to provide extra security measures at the presentation."

Twitter row

The talk's cancellation came four days after feminist video-games developer Brianna Wu fled her home after graphic sexual threats were made against her.

She later shared screenshots of tweets from one user who had threatened to murder her and her family, and had posted her home address to prove they knew where she lived.

Ms Wu subsequently contacted Adam Baldwin, the actor who had coined the term GamerGate, suggesting they meet to discuss changing the "tone" of the debate.

Mr Baldwin initially agreed in principle but called on her to apologise for "implicating" the GamerGate campaign in the threats that had been made against her and suggested she should have kept "silent" about the incident in line with law enforcement guidelines.

The conversation between the two later deteriorated, ultimately resulting in Ms Wu attacking Mr Baldwin's behaviour and him insulting her in turn and telling her to "cease all communication" with him.


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Google unveils three Nexus gadgets

15 October 2014 Last updated at 17:41 By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor

Google has announced three new Android-powered, Nexus-branded devices, comprising a set-top box for TVs, a tablet and a smartphone.

The machines are all designed to showcase the forthcoming update to its operating system, codenamed Android Lollipop.

The Nexus Player marks the introduction of Android TV, Google's latest bid to get a foothold in the living room.

Experts noted that the firm had tried and failed with set-top boxes before.

However, Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice-president of Android engineering, suggested the company had learned from its past mistakes.

"On Google TV you could get a lot of apps, but a lot of the versions were just big tablet versions on a 50in screen that just didn't feel right," he explained.

"[Now] we're much more opinionated about what an app should look like on a TV set, so we've been working very closely with app developers in the TV and content space over the past months on optimising their applications.

"You'll see a much more focused set of applications that are higher quality."

Apps have to comply with a new set of guidelines - such as supporting a remote control - before they will be added to Android TV's version of the Google Play store, he said.

The Nexus Player is a set-top box built by Asus and featuring an Intel chip. It will cost $99 (£62) when it launches in the US and Canada in early November.

It is bundled with a remote control with a built-in microphone, and owners can buy an add-on controller if they want to play video games.

In addition, Google has announced that Sony, Sharp and Philips will be building Android TV into forthcoming TV sets, and that more manufacturers will be unveiled at a later date.

However, neither of the two biggest television makers - Samsung and LG - have agreed to support the platform at this point, although Mr Lockheimer said that Samsung was at least "studying" it.

Although the previous Google TV platform was scrapped, the search giant has had limited success with its Chromecast TV dongle, which supports a more limited set of apps than Android TV.

Even so, one market watcher has doubts about the new platform's chances.

"Google is going to keep trying with this, but that doesn't mean it's going to succeed," said Ian Maude from the consultancy Enders Analysis.

"This doesn't look very different from Amazon's Fire TV or other devices out there - there's nothing that jumps out at you.

"And Google has an additional hurdle, which is that some broadcasters and TV manufacturers are particularly nervous about getting into bed with it because they fear being disintermediated - in other words undermined - because Google would now be controlling the interface."

Metal parts

The other new devices are:

  • The Nexus 6 - a 6in (15.2cm) smartphone made by Motorola with two front-facing speakers and a battery that can be part-charged for 15 minutes to give about six hours of life
  • The Nexus 9 - an 8.9in (22.6cm) tablet made by HTC. It has a 4:3 aspect ratio that is designed to be better suited to productivity apps than earlier Android tablets, which were more oblong-shaped. It will be sold alongside new covers that feature built-in keyboards, similar to those sold for Microsoft's Surface tablets.

Mr Lockheimer drew attention to the fact both smart devices featured metal exterior parts, which he said gave them a more "premium" feel than the all-plastic shells used by earlier Nexus hardware.

The Nexus 6 will be made available in 26 countries, including the UK, in November.

The Nexus 9 will go on sale at the end of this week in 30 countries.


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BBC website blocked in China

15 October 2014 Last updated at 13:19
The BBC's Celia Hatton

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The BBC's Celia Hatton demonstrates Chinese censorship of BBC World TV

Access to the BBC's English-language website has been blocked across China, the corporation has said.

BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said it appeared to be "deliberate censorship", adding that the BBC was complaining to the authorities.

Other major news websites were functioning as usual, and the reason for the blackout remained unclear.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the BBC's English-language site has been generally available.

However, other BBC services including its Chinese-language news website has been blocked largely since it was launched.

BBC World TV - as with all overseas broadcasters - suffers intermittent blackouts particularly when reporting China stories.

Mr Horrocks said: "The BBC provides impartial, trusted news to millions of people around the world, and attempts to censor our news services show just how important it is to get our accurate information to them."

The last time the BBC's English-language website was disrupted was during the corporation's coverage of activist Chen Guangcheng's escape from house arrest in April 2012.


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Google readies Android Lollipop

15 October 2014 Last updated at 17:01 By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor

Google is to release version 5.0 of its Android operating system, codenamed Lollipop, on Friday.

The company describes the update as a "quantum leap forward", thanks to its revamped design and new features.

Android already has an 84.7% share of global smartphone shipments, according to research company IDC.

But engineering chief, Hiroshi Lockheimer, told the BBC that among his team's goals was making Android more appealing to the business sector.

"We've made a concerted effort around focusing on the enterprise-use case," he said.

"If you think about it most people only carry one device.

"The one device that they carry [should] work for various scenarios in their life -obviously for personal use, but also if they want to use it for corporate purposes.

"We wanted to make sure that Lollipop is designed in such way that corporations are happy to endorse it."

One example of this, he said, was the ability for a user to have both a personal and work "personality" on a single device - and the ability to switch "seamlessly" between them.

The two personalities would let apps access different sets of stored data, allowing the user's employer to monitor the contents of one partition but not the other.

Blackberry 10 and Samsung's Knox add-on for Android had previously pioneered this idea.

Mr Lockheimer added that making encryption of stored data the default setting would increase security.

And a new facility allowing Android to be put in "do not disturb" mode for a pre-determined period of time should minimise the risk of missing important calls or notifications after a meeting was over because the user forgot to switch off the setting.

"Given the decrease in market share of Blackberry, there is a big opportunity to gain enterprise customers," said Jack Kent, from the IHS consultancy.

"Apple has also been making a big play for that with the iPhone and iPad.

"Samsung had previously taken the lead with Android with its Knox security product, but it makes sense for Google to try to take the lead itself with what it's doing with Android Lollipop."

Material design

For most users, the stand-out change in Android Lollipop will be its new look.

Google calls its new paradigm "material design", and it places fresh emphasis on graphical animations and colour changes in response to the device owner's actions.

"The animations and ripples and things like that are eye candy, but at the same time there's a purpose to them. They give feedback to the customer that you've tapped here, and the software got it, and is doing something about it," said Mr Lockheimer.

"And when one thing moves from one side of the screen to the other it gives you a sense of place and that you're moving forwards in the screens, or up or down.

"These are very interesting visual cues to help the user understand what is happening in the software."

The card-based interface, introduced in the anticipatory search app Google Now, now plays a greater role.

Notifications adopt a card-like appearance on the lock screen, and the design is also used to deliver Google Search results and to switch from one app to another when multitasking.

Another change with notifications is that device owners can customise which types should rise to the top of the list presented to the user or conversely be prevented from appearing on the lock screen, to help device owners prevent information overload.

Furthermore, new notifications now appear at the top of a device's screen rather than covering its centre to avoid the interruption of other activities such as playing a video game.

Android Lollipop also introduces a new feature called "smart lock".

This allows users to set a location - such as their home, car or office desk - or Bluetooth device - such as a smart watch or work keyboard - as a trigger to disable the need to type in a password

State of 'Art'

Behind the scenes, Android Lollipop uses a different process to execute and compile code than before.

The switch, from Dalvik runtime to Art runtime, should mean that apps work slightly quicker and use less battery power if they are optimised for the new code.

It also means Android becomes capable of taking advantage of 64-bit processors, which have the potential of supporting more RAM memory than before.

Mr Lockheimer added that users should notice fewer glitches as a result of the move.

"There's this notion of what we call garbage collection - the system is managing the memory for you and once in a while it has to collect unused memory and free it up for applications," he explained.

"In the past, with Dalvik, garbage collection could actually take longer than it should have - I'm talking milliseconds, but in terms of a CPU [central processing unit] that's a long time.

"What that would result in were temporary glitches, like an animation jumping and not being quite as fluid as it needed to be.

"In Art we've optimised the runtime to make garbage collection very quick and the glitches much less common than before."

Android Lollipop will be made available for download to Nexus 5 phones and Nexus 7 tablets on Friday via the Android developers site.

It will also come pre-installed on the forthcoming Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices.

Other manufacturers and networks will have to test the software before they release it alongside updates of their own software for their machines.


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