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Updated: 29 min 23 sec ago

ARM buys Mistbase and NextG-Com to extend its reach in IoT

31 min 49 sec ago

Chip designer ARM has a new strategy for the internet of things: to offer complete solutions "from application software to antenna."

ARM has typically left it to licensees of its microprocessor designs to add their own wide-area radio modems and other circuitry essential for the chips at the heart of smartphones and other connected devices. That's the case with Qualcomm, for example, which packages ARM's processor core with its own LTE modems to deliver the chips at the heart of Apple's iPhones.

But now ARM wants to deliver the whole stack itself, at least for low-power, low-bandwidth devices, ARM wireless business general manager Paul Williamson said in a blog post Tuesday.

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Categories: Opinion

Verizon knocks off $350M from Yahoo deal after breaches

2 hours 2 min ago

Verizon Communications will pay US$350 million less for Yahoo after two major data breaches reported by the struggling internet pioneer.

Verizon will pay about $4.48 billion for Yahoo's operating business, and the two companies will share any potential legal and regulatory liabilities arising from two major data breaches announced in late 2016. The companies announced the amended terms of the deal Tuesday.

Back in October, one news report had Verizon seeking a $1 billion discount after the first breach was announced.

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Categories: Opinion

Intel's mobile future is in blazing modems as it buries Atom failure

2 hours 39 min ago

Apple's iPhone has twice been linked to Intel's mobile future. The chip maker bungled it up once, but is coming on strong the second time.

Intel passed on the opportunity to make chips for the first iPhone, and in May discontinued Atom smartphone chips after wasting billions trying to get them in handsets. The chip company instead started building a new mobile identity around its modems and wireless connectivity assets.

Intel's had success, and some iPhone 7 smartphones are already using the chip maker's modem. The company is now building faster modems, and carrying out trials for future 5G wireless networks.

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Categories: Opinion

Intel takes on IoT complexity with carrier-approved boards

2 hours 44 min ago

Getting cellular devices certified for carriers’ networks is an expensive, complicated process that’s even harder in the new field of IoT.

Smartphone and tablet makers have been dealing with certification for years, spending as much as US$1 million on the process for just one device, GlobalData analyst Avi Greengart says. It’s gotten harder as carriers add new frequency bands.

But at least phone makers have been through this before. When enterprises have new ideas about how to use the internet of things, and when manufacturers try to turn those ideas into reality, they're new to the process. Certification delays can hold up devices and IoT rollouts.

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Categories: Opinion

Kubernetes is now generally available on Azure Container Service

2 hours 44 min ago

Microsoft and Google don’t get along all that often, but they do agree on using Kubernetes for cloud container orchestration.

Kubernetes is generally available for use with Azure Container Service, Microsoft’s managed cloud container hosting offering, as of Tuesday. ACS support for Kubernetes comes along with the service’s existing support for the Apache Mesos-based DC/OS and Docker Swarm.

Containers provide an isolated, portable and consistent runtime for applications that’s particularly well-suited to deployment in a cloud environment. Orchestrators like Kubernetes help manage groups of containers. Many cloud providers like Microsoft offer services that help simplify the management of that whole system even further. ACS is one such service.

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Categories: Opinion

Changes to Windows 10's data-gathering not enough to satisfy EU privacy watchdog

4 hours 10 min ago

European Union privacy watchdogs are still not happy with Windows 10's gathering of data about its users, over a year after they first wrote to Microsoft to complain.

While the company has developed ways to give users more control over what data is collected, their consent to its collection cannot be valid without further explanation, according to the Article 29 Working Party, an umbrella body for the EU's national privacy regulators.

The working party welcomed Microsoft's introduction of five new options in Windows 10 to limit or switch off certain kinds of data processing, but said they provided insufficient information about their operation.

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Categories: Opinion

Add Bluetooth 5 to Raspberry Pi 3 or create gadgets with this new chip

4 hours 14 min ago

One of Raspberry Pi's weaknesses is a lack of wireless technologies, which limits its communications capabilities with other devices. One new chipset from Qualcomm could help fill that gap.

The QCA4020 chipset packs in Bluetooth Low Energy 5, ZigBee 3.0, WiFi 802.11n, and OpenThread wireless communications protocols.

The chipset is like a mini-developer board -- an integrated chipset with an ARM-based CPU. It can be used to create smart home or industrial devices.

It can also serve as a wireless access point for Raspberry Pi and other developer boards used to make smart gadgets, drones, robots, and industrial devices. It has a number of connector protocols and can work with Arduino boards.

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Categories: Opinion

Would killing Bitcoin end ransomware?

5 hours 38 min ago

Ransomware is running rampant. The SonicWall GRID Threat Network detected an increase from 3.8 million ransomware attacks in 2015 to 638 million in 2016. According to a Radware report, 49 percent of businesses were hit by a ransomware attack in 2016. Quite often the attacker asks for some amount of cybercurrency – usually Bitcoin – in exchange for providing a decryption key.

One question this raises is whether ransomware attacks would decrease if Bitcoin ceased to exist? Security experts answer that question with a resounding “no”, indicating that cybercriminals would just move on to another anonymous payment method to continue their extortion.

"Getting rid of Bitcoin to stop ransomware would be like the U.S. Government getting rid of $100 bills to try to stop drug dealers from laundering their dirty money. It’s not the right solution. Would it momentarily create a bump in the road for cyber attackers who are making millions off of ransomware? Absolutely, but only for a fleeting moment,” said Richard Henderson, global security strategist at Absolute.

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(Insider Story)
Categories: Opinion

Renewed effort begins to save Calif. university’s IT jobs

5 hours 42 min ago

At least 10 U.S. lawmakers have written University of California officials about their plan to move IT jobs offshore. It has been called it "ill-advised" and "dangerous," and some have demanded its reversal. But the letters have had no apparent impact, and employees are slated to be laid off Feb. 28.

The next step in the fight is legislation.

[ Join our H-1B/Outsourcing group on Facebook to discuss this story. ]

California Assembly member Kevin McCarty, (D-Sacramento), introduced a bill (AB 848) Thursday in the state legislature that's backed by university unions. It would require the University of California and California State University to certify that any contracted work "will be performed solely with workers within the United States."

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Categories: Opinion

Facing sexism charges, Uber says Eric Holder will investigate

12 hours 16 min ago

Uber Technologies scrambled on Monday to counter the sexism charges raised by a former employee, and said it would appoint former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to the panel that would investigate allegations by the engineer that the company mishandled her complaint of sexual harassment.

The company, which did not release diversity data when asked by civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, also said Monday that 15.1 percent of its employees in engineering, product management, and scientist roles are women and this has not changed substantively in the last year.

In an email to employees that was also circulated to media, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote that he and Liane Hornsey, chief human resources officer, will be working to publish a broader diversity report for Uber in the coming months.

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Categories: Opinion

Apple, Microsoft and Amazon offer fairer deal on cloud storage

February 20, 2017 - 5:33pm

Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have agreed to give cloud storage subscribers fairer contracts after intervention by the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority.

Such cloud storage services are typically used to store photos, videos, music or digital copies of important documents.

If the services shut down or vary their capacity or prices without notice, customers can lose their data, or be held hostage.

The CMA asked the storage service providers to give adequate notice before closing, suspending or changing services, and to allow customers to cancel their contracts and receive a pro-rata refund if they didn't accept service changes.

The regulator last year obtained similar undertakings from Google, Dropbox and five other cloud storage providers.

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Categories: Opinion

Hackers behind bank attack campaign use Russian as decoy

February 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

The hackers behind a sophisticated attack campaign that has recently targeted financial organizations around the world have intentionally inserted Russian words and commands into their malware in an attempt to throw investigators off.

Researchers from cybersecurity firm BAE Systems have recently obtained and analyzed additional malware samples related to an attack campaign that has targeted 104 organizations -- most of them banks -- from 31 different countries.

They found multiple commands and strings in the malware that appear to have been translated into Russian using online tools, the results making little sense to a native Russian speaker.

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Categories: Opinion

Visual Studio’s cloud IDE gets smarter about builds

February 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Services cloud-based application development platform is improving pull requests, package management, and GitHub build integration.

Upgrades will make it easier to work with pull requests assigned to teams, Microsoft said in a bulletin discussing improvements planned for rollout during the next few weeks. "When a PR is created or updated, email alerts will now be sent to all members of all teams that are assigned to the PR," the company said in release notes on Team Services. A future release will support pull requests assigned to Azure Active Directory groups and teams containing these groups.

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Categories: Opinion

Columbus, Ohio, region boosts smart mobility research

February 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

The 11-county region that includes Columbus, Ohio, is pushing ahead with smart city tech research, including funding focused heavily on smart mobility and driverless vehicle testing.

Last month, the State of Ohio and Ohio State University (OSU), based in Columbus, announced $45 million in funds for a new 540-acre Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test Center, as an expansion of an existing 4,500-acre Transportation Research Center (TRC).

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft eyes Indian startups for cloud services

February 20, 2017 - 11:41am

Microsoft is targeting Indian startups with its cloud services, and has signed up more than 2,000 such customers in the country in the last 12 months, the company’s CEO Satya Nadella said Monday at an event for startups in Bangalore.

A large opportunity ahead for the company is the large number of developers who are building their services around a biometric database, consisting of fingerprints and iris scans, which the country has created of over 1 billion of its people.

Under a new program for the digital exchange of information, called India Stack, the government is offering the biometric system, called Aadhaar, as an authentication mechanism for a variety of services offered by the private sector.

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Categories: Opinion

New Zealand High Court clears Kim Dotcom extradition to the US

February 20, 2017 - 5:30am

Megaupload website founder Kim Dotcom and three associates were on Monday cleared by a court in New Zealand to be extradited to the U.S. where he faces a variety of charges including copyright infringement and racketeering.

Holding that copyright infringement by digital online communication of copyright protected works to members of the public is not a criminal offense under New Zealand’s Copyright Act, the High Court found that a conspiracy to commit copyright infringement amounts to a bid to defraud, which is an extradition offense listed in the treaty between the U.S. and New Zealand.

An earlier District Court judgment permitting the extradition was upheld by the High Court.

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Categories: Opinion

Uber orders investigation into employee's charge of sexual harassment

February 20, 2017 - 4:38am

Uber Technologies said Sunday it had ordered an urgent investigation after a former engineer triggered an uproar on social media, alleging sexual harassment, politics and discrimination at the ride-hailing company.

In a blog post, Susan J. Fowler, who joined Uber in November 2015 and quit in December last year to join Stripe, alleged that her former manager in the company had said in messages over company chat that he was looking for women to have sex with.

“It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR,” Fowler wrote in a blog post that created a storm online.

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Categories: Opinion

Watch Apple's new commercials for the iPad Pro featuring real people's tweets

February 17, 2017 - 10:37pm

For its new advertising campaign, Apple is answering Twitter questions about the iPad Pro.

On Friday, Apple released a new series of iPad Pro commercials that use real tweets to showcase the iPad Pro’s LTE capabilities, as well as tout the device’s virus-free experience. “It’s better than a computer,” reads one of the ads. 

Each of the 15-second ads uses a real tweet to address a feature of the iPad Pro. One tweet expresses fear over a “nasty” PC virus, while another questions whether Microsoft Word can be used on an iPad Pro.

But while the tweets and corresponding Twitter usernames appear to be real, Apple has replaced the real people behind the tweets with actors. According to The Verge, Apple reached out to the real Twitter users before their tweets were used in the campaign.

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Categories: Opinion

Here’s how the US government can bolster cybersecurity

February 17, 2017 - 10:34pm

Almost 20 years ago, Chris Wysopal was among a group of hackers who testified before U.S. Congress, warning it about the dangers of the internet.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is still struggling to act, he said. "You’re just going to keep ending up with the status quo," he said, pointing to the U.S. government's failure to regulate the tech industry or incentivize any change.

It’s a feeling that was shared by the experts who attended this week’s RSA cybersecurity show. Clearly, the U.S. government needs to do more on cybersecurity, but what?  

Public and Private sector

Perhaps, the need for U.S. action hasn't been more urgent. In last year's election, Russia was accused of hacking U.S. political groups and figures in an effort to influence the outcome.

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Categories: Opinion

Microsoft's decision to scrap February security updates unnerves patch experts

February 17, 2017 - 10:26pm

Microsoft this week canceled February's slate of security updates for Windows and its other products, including Office, just a day after saying that the fixes would only be delayed.

Patch experts struggled with the decision, pointing out that known vulnerabilities will go unpatched and that IT planning had been disrupted.

"I was shocked," said Chris Goettl, product manager at patch management vendor Ivanti, formerly Shavlik. "I was really expecting [the patches to release] next week."

On Tuesday, just hours before the month's Patch Tuesday updates were to appear, Microsoft announced a delay. "We discovered a last-minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today," the company said at the time. The implication was that February's security fixes would ship as soon as that "last-minute issue" was resolved.

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Categories: Opinion

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