Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MeeGo Conference 2010, Dublin part 2 -November 29th

By Toni Nikkanen

Tuesday, November 16th

For many, Tuesday started with queuing for the free netbooks and I was no exception. Waiting in line was a good way to get some conversation with fellow aMeegos. Also, something funny happened. It was announced that Intel and Nokia employees would not get free netbooks, however the people in line front of me were from AMD, and they could get free Intel-powered netbooks.
Installing MeeGo on the netbook was a breeze and only took 10-15 minutes. Some functionality was missing, but already now some of them have been fixed by eager members of the community.
After I finished securing myself a netbook, it was time to grab a quick lunch and head on to the two security-related sessions, first one was with Ryan Ware (Intel).

Ryan’s presentation was mostly on motivation: Why are security features needed in MeeGo? The staggering concepts of Botnets for Hire ($8-90 per 1000 machines, which includes support by telephone!) and Malware-As-a-Service were presented among other good points. One: If you use your mobile as a wallet, what happens when someone steals it or breaks into it remotely? Or what if an attacker gains control of your battery charging function and makes it explode, all remotely? Or makes it call expensive service phone numbers? And the more powerful mobile devices become, the more it will be likely that they will contain your sensitive data like e-mail, documents or photos.

Security was clearly something lots of people in the audience shared interest in. Several questions were made related to DRM, for example.

Next was Nokia’s Elena Reshetova and Casey Schaufler, on MSSF (Mobile Simplified Security Framework). I saw the Maemo 6 Platform Security presentation by Elena Reshetova a year earlier at the Maemo Summit in Amsterdam, and was eager to see where they have gone from there. I soon found out that some things have changed, for example the introduction of SMACK, described by Casey Schaufler as “the simplest access control system that still works”. If we compare it to for example the complexity of SELinux, this sounds like a promising new development.
From “Writing Applications for multiple Meego devices” by Eduardo Fleury and Caio Oliveira, I picked up a good take-home message: Implement your UI with QML. If you are going to make your app available on different device categories, such as smart phone and tablet, don’t try to make a one size fits all solution. Instead implement common application logic, and then implement separate UI’s optimized for each device category using QML. You can of course re-use some QML UI components by being smart about what can be shared and what cannot.

The day ended as generously as it started. Hundreds of conference participants were smoothly transported to the Guinness Storehouse using a fleet of buses. There, we got to learn about the history of Ireland’s most famous beer, how it is made, and how it tastes. We also learned more about our fellow aMeegos as the evening went by.

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