23
Jul
clock

A strange new presence has made its way onto the Internet. It's a website, innocuous as it is mysterious, with a stylized version of a binary clock counting down: cyngn.com. Just in case you're a bit rusty on your CompSci, the numbers are counting down to August 19th of this year, as testified by the site's source code.

countdown

Here's the code in question:

var theFinalCountDown = new Countdown({ year : 2013, month : 8, day : 19, width : 800, height : 200, rangeHi : "month", style : "flip" });

Of course, any web sleuth worth his digital fedora knows what to do when presented with this sort of mystery: check the Whois file. And upon so doing, we find the following information - note the emphasis.

The name Kirt McMaster doesn't seem to lead anywhere, and Synner.net returns a 404. But anyone with even casual knowledge of the Android power user community knows the term Cyanogen. It's an unmistakable reference to CyanogenMod, one of the largest and best-known custom Android ROMs on the planet. Whois listings are relatively easy to anonymize - if the CyanogenMod team was interested in hiding, they wouldn't have put the site up in the first place. We haven't heard anything about CyanogenMod forming a corporation, but it has indeed been on the books in Delaware (a popular spot for incorporating, if not for actual location) since January 1st.

As it happens, the gentlemen at CyanogenMod teased us with a YouTube video just yesterday. What does it mean? There's so little concrete evidence at the moment that we won't even taint your investigation with our idle speculation, but we've reached out to some of our less official sources on the matter. We can confirm that this new site is related to a new CyanogenMod project - one that is completely separate from whatever Nemesis is.

At least a few of the Android Police staff find this teaser style of announcement tiring, and no less so because it's from a source that's been traditionally open with its users and contributors. (We get enough of this from the device manufacturers and game publishers, after all.) Whatever the brouhaha is, we'll know in a bit less than a month.

Update: Looks like Reddit beat us to this, by a pretty significant margin. Curses! You win again, Redditors! Hat tip to commenter Rymate.

Thanks, @BeyondExistence

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Tom

    August 19th is my Birthday! :D

    • Scott

      The cake is a lie.

    • I’m kind

      Well then, Happy Birthday in advance! :D

    • Mayoo

      Happy Birthday!!!

      Normally I wouldn't care but this is much more good news than the royal baby - thus have my best whishes sir!

    • Devin

      That is my birthday as well!!! :D

    • J.P. Loureiro (Jota | Deoki)

      It's my birthday too!
      Maybe they will release a device with CyanogenMod as default?

      Anyway, it will be a nice gift for us all. :)

  • dnlkbox

    Sounds to me (and based off of their video) that they'll be forming some kind of MVNO/Mobile network over in the US.

    Over here in here in the UK there is a company called GiffGaff which is a virtual network running off of the back of another. Virtually no running costs!

    • http://www.androidgeek.in/ Serra Stone

      I'm just not sure how they would get away with that here in the USA. I'm not sure how a virtual network works, but wouldn't they have to somehow be using the towers of the other carriers? And you know the carriers are too greedy to let that fly in any possible way!

      • Christopher Lee

        Er, there are tons of MVNOs in the States. Many prepaid services are MVNOs. For example, Boost, H2O, Cricket, Straight Talk, and so on.

        • http://www.androidgeek.in/ Serra Stone

          Right right, I've used straight talk before back when I was broke and know that they use Verizons towers. However, I'm sure that all of those services pay to use those towers, and if Cyanogen is teasing the word "free" in their video, I wonder if they mean actually "free" as in money, or "free" as in free from other carriers.

          • Greg Greg

            It is "Free" as in the name of the French ISP & MVNO.

          • Björn Lundén

            Yes.

          • Christopher Lee

            If the word "Free" has any meaning outside of the French carrier used by one of Cyanogen's developers, it would probably be in the "libre" sense (free as in open source) instead of in the "gratis" sense (free as in free beer).

            And yes, MVNOs buy out service bandwidth from carriers and resell them to consumers. Since they buy in bulk, they pay less than the postpaid rates and generally that makes your prepaid bill less than a postpaid contract (coupled with the monthly device subsidies common with contracts). But with something like cellular service, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

        • RocketScience11

          And guess who cofounded boost? Kirt Mcmaster....

      • http://TapThatTech.com/ Tap That Tech

        They basically rent a portion of the network, using a sort of "relay" on o2's masts etc. So its basically o2, but a subsidiary. They pay o2, run their own company and make their own profits. Win win for all. (But not the customers, GiffGaff isn't the best option to go for, its just cheap).

    • Iucidium

      But when 02 falls over....

    • holt

      Possibly something like Republic Wireless here in the US. Runs primarily on WiFi and piggy backs on Sprint while not on WiFi. $20/month

  • http://www.tylerwatt12.com/ Tyler Watthanaphand

    Is Cyanogen Inc. a real company even?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yes, it is.

  • Helder

    Does anyone know how to read it? is it a "well" known time format?

    • Zack Davis

      It's binary... *sigh* kids these days. :P

      • Scott

        Ha! It's been a long time since I dealt with anything binary.

      • Helder

        I know binary but I was not getting it.
        Meanwhile, I understood how it works. Less significant at bottom

  • silly billy

    the name on that whois lookup is "Kirt", not "Kirk".

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Right you are.

      • Joe

        and Rice you are.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    Whois synner.net:

    kirt mcmaster
    1412 maple st
    santa monica, California 90405
    United States
    [email protected]

    http://devsbuild.it/resources/type/presentation/smart-tvs-and-connected-devices-how-many-platforms-are-too-many
    Kirt McMaster CEO - SYN

    http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Kirt-McMaster/1487355373

    Kirt McMaster, CEO, SYN: Currently McMaster is the CEO of Syn a NY and LA based tablet focused digital media startup.Previously McMaster was a mobile entertainment exec at Sony and Sega and was a cofounder of Boost Mobile(Sprint). He also ran US and Asia Pac divisions for some of the world's largest Digital Agency's managing digital strategy for many fortune 1000 companies.

  • Abhigyan

    In Java, java.util.Calendar would say that it's counting down to September 19. But then again, the Java Calendar API is one quirky son of a bitch.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Wouldn't that make the year 2014 too then? Which I don't think is the case. We're not dealing with a 0-based index here from what I can tell.

      • Abhigyan

        Nope. If my memory serves me right, the guy who wrote the Java Calendar API thought it would be fun to have ONLY the month on a zero based index. Years and days work out just fine.

        • Andrew

          Correct. When coding for android, The java utils just has the month as 0 based... let me tell you how fun that is to remember everytime... I too thought this was actually September 19th, 2013.

          • Abhigyan

            And here I was, thinking I'm the only one around these quarters still working on Java :p

          • Andrew

            I'm "learning" but I'm already published in the android play store. I run a youtube channel dedicated to helping others get started using libraries and sample code. It's not my day job, but I do take good notes ;)

          • Abhigyan

            Link to channel please? I'm currently following the commonsware book, but I could use some hands on videos.

          • Andrew
  • Amer Khaznadar

    Also relevant: http://www.companywa.com/cyanogen-inc/company/603282043/

    Business Name:CYANOGEN INC.
    ...
    Agent Name:STEVE KONDIK

    • Jachym Kokesh Lukes

      Koush!

      • Phil Oakley

        No, Koushik Dutta is Koush. Steve Kondik is Cyanogen.

  • ha

    Should probably remove his phone number.

    • polishfreak

      Or maybe his house number...

    • Andres Schmois

      That's public information. Anyone with an internet connection can do a whois on (almost, i.e. private domains can't) any domain and get this type of information.

  • Joon Sunn

    Pretty sure this has to do with Nemesis.

    • nawa

      You don't say, Sherlock.

      • Greyhame

        Article actually states the contrary.

        • nawa

          TL;DR

  • Scrine

    interesting news in the world smartphone http://vk.com/meinternettechnology

  • Michael Pahl

    maybe this is CMs take on PacMan and RootBox? a combo of aokp,cm, and pa

    • Michael Harrison

      Yes, to just come out with a fancier room they decided to incorporate as a company >.>

      • Michael Pahl

        i thought they were incorporated as a company all along.
        ps- fancier room? o.O

        • Michael Harrison

          rom...autocorrect...

          And no, they incorporated in March.

  • Omega192

    I'm having a sense of deja vu, I recall this being found before or some other site that had a countdown with the same name for their variable.

  • Mayoo

    You really needed a whois to find out "cyngn" leads to Cyanogen?

    • Nils Wasser

      +1 That's what I thought while reading those comments

    • Scott

      Why not check it though? Doesn't cost anything and takes literally 20 seconds.

      • Mayoo

        Using the calculator to do "1 + 1" also cost anything and takes literally 20 seconds if your phone is in your pocket. ;-)

        I am only saying that assumption could have been made before. No need to explain how to know it's Cyanogen, we just know it so let's move on to something else that could actually learn us something. The whole thing is based on "what the hell is cyng.com". I'll write something for "What the hell is goo.gl". Let's whois that and make an article on it.

        • Scott

          See now you're bitching just to bitch about something. Let it go.

          • Mayoo

            Wow, you woke on wrong side of the bed? I am not bitching anything.

            U mad bro?

          • Christopher Lee

            Just to toss out that the "liberty of expression"/"free speech" deal doesn't apply if you're posting on a private website, where any relevant TOS/moderation supersedes. ;)

            That said, I vehemently disagree. Domain squatters show up all the time, and the Cyanogenmod team isn't exactly a stranger to having their site hijacked (if you remember what happened not too long ago). Android Police did due diligence in waiting for a WHOIS-- the alternative is to run out a story without waiting for the paperwork.

            Besides, it was one piece among several bits of information that delayed the story by seven hours. I don't know about you, but I was asleep seven hours ago!

          • Mayoo

            And I fully agree, like I wrote previously, once Jeremiah offered his explanation, I can only applaud such caring about giving accurate information. It's something that should be done on much more website.

            Having that said, I won't edit the previous posts for sake of transparency and because I don't like to hide from my mistakes. I though wrong, and now admit that the Jeremiah did a very good job confirming what he wrote here.

            Two thumbs up for him.

            Oh and, yeah your are also right for the moderation thing! Lol ;-)

    • Jeremiah Rice

      CyanogenMod doesn't own the word "Cyanogen." We waited for about 7 hours before publishing this story so that we could check with our own sources that this is THE CyanogenMod, and not some unrelated company or kang team.

      • Mayoo

        Unrelated company that uses binary clocks just after teasing a new Cyanogen project? Hehe I get your point, you need to verify sources and that is proof of good journalism. The way it's phrased though, I was under the impression this was a complete mystery before the whois.

        My two cents : Begin by saying "What is Cyanogen up to" then in the article, explain how you confirmed the source. :-)

      • http://TapThatTech.com/ Tap That Tech

        I also think this is a little trick like Tumblr had done. Miss a couple of vowels and it'll cause some controversy. Low and behold we're all here going crazy !

  • Blablabla

    The "Cyngn" part somehow reminds me the Cygwin project...

    • ajerman

      For some reason that's the first thing I thought too when I read the headline, hah.

  • Drakuwa

    Could it be that Cyanogen are going to publish their own dev device called Nemesis?

  • BubWright

    Cyanogen have teamed up with dominos!!!

  • Mr E

    did someone say "the final countdown"?...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nvxv2R01po

  • mrdavidpayne

    Did anyone see the video the cyanogenmod team posted a few days ago? It is probably related to that.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yes, we did, of course. We were told it's not related to that.

  • Chad Cormier Roussel

    cyngn.com and project nemesis are totally unrelated.

  • Ferb

    hmmm

    Kirt McMaster is the CEO of SYN and Steve Kondik the owner of Cyanogen Inc., that got me thinking.

    Based on both their profiles and the link to DigitalHollywood.com I have a slightly different mentioned here so far.

    My guess is that cyanogen mod will make its way to smart-tvs.

    The topic of the talk on http://devsbuild.it/resources/type/presentation/smart-tvs-and-connected-devices-how-many-platforms-are-too-many
    is
    SMART TVS AND CONNECTED DEVICES: HOW MANY PLATFORMS ARE TOO MANY?

    If they bring cyanogen to smart-tvs they would actually achieve a unified platform on mobile, tablet and tv.

    Just my 2cents

  • Tony

    I remember someone posted this on G+ a while ago, and a CM dev responded saying something along the lines of how that timer was something the host of their servers put in.

  • TornZero

    All I can think is that McMaster is one of the coolest names ever. Next to Max Fightmaster, of course.

    • Jeremiah Rice

      I once met a man named Clint Knox. I couldn't believe it. Made him take out his driver's license to prove it to me.

  • cakell09

    So Kirt McMaster, co founder of Boost Worldwide Inc. is now doing SOMETHING with Cyanogenmod. I'm excited.

  • Grasshopper239

    Break out your checkbooks. You don't incorporate unless you plan on making money. Perhaps they have a hardware partner and are going to do a closed source OEM rom.

  • Rymate

    Slow on the uptake much?

    This was found a month ago by a user on reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/1geecb/this_was_found_in_the_getcm_source_code_what/

  • NemaCystX

    I'm just really curious but wasn't the "ilovebees.com" ARG for Halo 2 the reason why countdowns have become so popular with marketing? I mean ilovebees.com was such a huge hit and it was the first time I've ever seen a company use a countdown clock made in flash used to reveal something on certain dates. But of course I might be wrong.

  • championswimmer

    @jeremiahrice:disqus
    " There's so little concrete evidence at the moment that we won't even
    taint your investigation with our idle speculation, but we've reached
    out to some of our less official sources on the matter. We can confirm
    that this new site is related to a new CyanogenMod project - one that is
    completely separate from whatever Nemesis is."

    This is not separate from Nemesis. Here is tweet by koush
    https://twitter.com/koush/status/359826639489728512
    That connects the date 8/19 with nemesis.

  • Leonardo Assef Coelho

    Lady GaGa new album?

  • Jareth

    nothing happened :/

  • Drakuwa

    So, it's the August 20th... Do we know what cyngn.com is? For now, the counter is over, and the site only says: "Are you ready for the revolution?" with the picture of an digital angel droid :)

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