Vodafone and China Mobile team to build mobile Web 2.0

All your widget are belong to us


Vodafone and China Mobile are setting up a Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) to establish standards for Web 2.0 widgets in the hope of creating truly cross-platform mobile apps.

Mobile web browsing is something of a dead end. No matter how great your scaling technology, most websites won't work properly on the smallest screen. So operators, manufacturers, and pundits are betting that mobile widgets will be the vehicle that brings the mobile internet to the masses.

The problem is that no one is quite sure what a widget is, or what it should be allowed to do.

The basic technology is ECMAScript, with some XML for layout, which is OK for displaying information periodically updated from websites - such as news headlines or weather updates - but some companies want to see widgets doing a whole lot more.

Yesterday, Nokia launched its latest widget platform for S60, which allows interaction with a host of local resources: "For example, a weather widget can now access the user's current location via the built-in GPS... The flight tracker widget fetches the user's itinerary from the airline's website, saves it to the mobile device's calendar and sets a reminder."

But giving widgets access to all those resources opens up huge security issues, and finding standard ways of addressing those will be a central part of JILs work. This is most likely to involve some sort of application certification, and having missed the boat for signing Java applications, and native ones, the operators will want to make sure they're the ones authenticating widgets.

The two companies won't say how much money they're putting in, only that JIL will come into existence over the summer, be based in Europe, and that they're hoping everyone else in the industry will sign up soon afterwards.

Vodafone has about 200 million subscribers, while China Mobile (of whom Vodafone holds just over three per cent) is knocking 400 million, so it hardly matters if anyone else joins up - JIL will have the muscle to dictate standards to the rest of the industry if it so wishes. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Pentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module
    Anything that uses proximity-based BLE is vulnerable, claim researchers

    Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

    Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

    Essentially, what happens is this: the paired smartphone should be physically close by the Tesla to unlock it. NCC's technique involves one gadget near the paired phone, and another gadget near the car. The phone-side gadget relays signals from the phone to the car-side gadget, which forwards them to the vehicle to unlock and start it. This shouldn't normally happen because the phone and car are so far apart. The car has a defense mechanism – based on measuring transmission latency to detect that a paired device is too far away – that ideally prevents relayed signals from working, though this can be defeated by simply cutting the latency of the relay process.

    Continue reading
  • Google assuring open-source code to secure software supply chains
    Java and Python packages are the first on the list

    Google has a plan — and a new product plus a partnership with developer-focused security shop Snyk — that attempts to make it easier for enterprises to secure their open source software dependencies.

    The new service, announced today at the Google Cloud Security Summit, is called Assured Open Source Software. We're told it will initially focus on some Java and Python packages that Google's own developers prioritize in their workflows. 

    These two programming languages have "particularly high-risk profiles," Google Cloud Cloud VP and GM Sunil Potti said in response to The Register's questions. "Remember Log4j?" Yes, quite vividly.

    Continue reading
  • Rocket Lab is taking NASA's CAPSTONE to the Moon
    Mission to lunar orbit is further than any Photon satellite bus has gone before

    Rocket Lab has taken delivery of NASA's CAPSTONE spacecraft at its New Zealand launch pad ahead of a mission to the Moon.

    It's been quite a journey for CAPSTONE [Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment], which was originally supposed to launch from Rocket Lab's US launchpad at Wallops Island in Virginia.

    The pad, Launch Complex 2, has been completed for a while now. However, delays in certifying Rocket Lab's Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) pushed the move to Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022