March 2011 archive

Simple overclocked Android kernel for Optimus S

If you’re looking to give your Sprint Optimus S a speed boost, I’ve got a kernel for you, compiled from official LG source code, that adds overclocking and removes unneeded debugging features for a leaner, meaner kernel.

The basic idea behind this kernel build is “stable performance” — other devs are doing a great job backporting the latest features from the mainline Android kernel and writing experimental patches. My goal is a lot less ambitious, but also less bleeding-edge: Build a kernel from official source, one that “just works” for me the user, but boost performance to get the most from the hardware.

I’ve also included the Linux TUN/TAP driver as a module, so that (among other things) you can use OpenVPN with your Optimus, if you like. Need some other module? Ask! more …

Filed under: Code.  Tagged: , , , .

A better way to losslessly join MP3 files

I recently revisited a previous how-to I wrote up two years ago, thinking that there must be a better way to losslessly combine multiple MP3 files than to use 3 separate utilities.

The good news is, I think I’ve found the one true method. The bad news is, it still uses 3 programs. But, just like last time, the commands are short and sweet, and it’s easy to throw them into a shell script. more …

Filed under: Systems.  Tagged: , .

Android kernel: Find the base address to use with mkbootimg for your phone

This is old hat for serious Android hackers, but for me it took long enough to find (no help from Google or grep) that I’ll post it here. If you’re building your own Android kernel, the last step in the process is to pack the kernel binary and gzipped ramdisk together into a boot image with mkbootimg. Here’s where to find the base address to use for the “–base” parameter for your device. more …

Filed under: Systems.  Tagged: , , .

I love my Android, but Android Market security is another story

Yesterday, Google revealed that it had used its “security of last resort” remote removal feature this week to wipe 58 malicious applications from user’s devices.

Google also removed the bad apps from the Android Market, contacted law enforcement, and is pushing a security update to protect devices’ identification codes. Needless to say, these are all good moves, and unlike some privacy advocates I’m not going to quibble with Google’s remote app removal power as long as it’s being used conservatively, in a security context, as in this case. Analogous to public health or combatting botnets, Google must be able to wipe malware from people’s phones to protect everyone, not just the infected.

What does bother me about this news is that these applications appeared in the Android Market at all, where they were available for some time before being reported to the Android security team. I’ve owned an Android phone for a couple of months now, so I thought I’d weigh in on one of the sad realities of the experience: I find myself increasingly worried about security, certainly more so than I have been about any personal computing device since the last time I ran a Windows PC 10 years ago. more …

Filed under: Technology.  Tagged: , , .