Latest Android Update Fixes New Stagefright Flaw

Today's topics include the latest Google Android update, AT&T's AA battery-powered SpareOne emergency phone, Intel's $22 million investments in 10 different startup companies, and the new Asus ZenFone 2 Laser smartphone.

As promised, Google is continuing to issue monthly Android security updates in an effort to protect users from malware and cyber-attacks. The recently released November update is the fourth since Google started monthly operating system updates after the Stagefright Android flaw was first reported in July.

Google's Android Security Chief Adrian Ludwig first committed the company to a new monthly update cycle for Android at the Black Hat USA conference in August.

This time, yet another Stagefright-related flaw is now being patched in Android. Stagefright, or more accurately "libstagefright," is actually a library of code, not the name of a specific flaw itself.

AT&T's latest no-contract GoPhone, the SpareOne, is a basic cell phone with an intriguing twist—the handset is powered by a replaceable lithium AA battery.

With this basic power source, SpareOne can be used in the event of a sustained power outage when rechargeable mobile phone batteries shut down due to a lack of electricity.

According to Judy Cavalieri, vice president of voice wireless home services and pre-paid products at AT&T, the company is marketing the new SpareOne Emergency Phone in its GoPhone lineup, as a device that can run on lithium AA power for as long as it's needed.

Intel is investing another $22 million in 10 startups focused on communications, networking, the Internet of Things and other technology sectors.

The most recent investment by Intel Capital, the vendor's investment arm, brings the company’s total investment in start-ups this year to more than $500 million, according to Wendell Brooks, Intel corporate vice president and incoming Intel Capital president.

The investments were announced Nov. 3 at the annual two-day Intel Capital Global Summit. Startups receiving money include FreedomPop, a three-year-old company that is bringing consumers free high-speed Internet and mobile phones services.

Asus has announced its ZenFone 2 Laser smartphone, the latest model in its ZenFone lineup, featuring a 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD display, 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage, and dual SIM slots for travelers. The ZenFone 2 Laser also includes an SDXC memory card slot that holds data storage cards of up to 128GB. The smartphone, which will be available in November, is priced at $199 for a 16GB model and $249 for a 32GB model.

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