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Microsoft Fans Embark on Windows 10 Migration
July 30, 2015
Microsoft on Wednesday began offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users in 190 countries. Eligible users began receiving taskbar notifications, beckoning them to begin the migration to Windows 10. To encourage migration, Microsoft has asked the first flock of digital pilgrims to use the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorld and to tag a nonprofit organization to their posts.
Salesforce's Lightning Announcement
July 29, 2015
Spreadsheets suffered a body blow on Tuesday, when Salesforce announced new platform functionality. Soon all spreadsheets will be good for is financial analysis. This sounds funny, because the spreadsheet for several decades has been the unofficial IT prototyping tool. Actually, it was the end-users' prototyping tool -- the default thing they used to capture data.
AI, Robotics Wonks Urge Autonomous Weapons Ban
July 28, 2015
Leading artificial intelligence and robotics experts have issued an open letter arguing against the development of autonomous weapons. Its publication coincides with the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, which ends Friday in Buenos Aires. If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is "virtually inevitable," the letter says.
Major Tech Firms Join White House in Climate Change Pledge
July 28, 2015
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other senior White House officials on Monday met with a group of executives who pledged their companies' support for the administration's efforts to reach a strong climate change agreement in Paris this December. Thirteen major companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, signed the American Business Act on Climate Change.
Amazon Reaps What It Sowed
July 27, 2015
Amazon's market capitalization on Friday reached $270 billion, surging past Walmart, following a surprisingly strong second quarter earnings report. That amounted to a $46 billion boost in investor confidence, with shares hitting a record high of $580.57. Analysts had projected that Amazon would take a hit in its second quarter. Instead, it reported a profit of $92 million.
Citibank Dinged $700M for Scamming Credit Card Customers
July 27, 2015
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week ordered Citibank and its subsidiaries to pay about $700 million in relief to eligible consumers and a $35 million civil penalty for, in essence, scamming consumers into paying for unwanted credit card add-on products and services. This is the 10th action the bureau has undertaken against banks for deceiving consumers.
Tech Giants Boost Open Source Container Collaboration
July 25, 2015
The Linux Foundation this week announced the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to the development and adoption of common container technologies. CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. Open source container-packaged applications are easier to create, manage and deploy, said tech analyst Rob Enderle.
OPM Director's Resignation Draws Mixed Reactions
July 23, 2015
The resignation of U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta is drawing mixed reactions from the cybersecurity community. Archuleta's departure on July 10, in the wake of a massive data breach resulting in the theft of the personal information of more than 22 million people, is being characterized by security pros as everything from "necessary" to "unfair."
The Emperor Is Naked and We're All Idiots
July 20, 2015
An old fable keeps running through my mind about the scam artist who convinced an emperor that he had created clothing only smart people could see. Everyone says they see the clothing because they don't want to look stupid. Walking around in clothing stupid people can't see doesn't sound enticing anyway, but lately it has seemed clear to me that the folks reporting the news think we are idiots.
Suse Linux Enterprise 12 Says Hello to ARM
July 17, 2015
Suse Linux has announced a partnership to extend support for 64-bit ARM server processors. The goal is to give Suse Linux Enterprise 12 users greater flexibility and cost efficiencies with respect to their infrastructures. This expansion makes available to seven partners a version of Suse Linux Enterprise 12 that lets them develop, test and deliver products to the market using 64-bit ARM chips.
EFF Launches Write-to-Congress Tool
July 17, 2015
Email has made communicating with elected officials easy, but a new tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is going to make it easier yet. Democracy.io allows you to send an electronic missive to your U.S. representative and senators with a minimum of clicks. Typically, you'd have to go to your legislators' websites separately to make your views known.
Swipes, Taps and Cursor Movements Can Foil Cyberthieves
July 16, 2015
Swipes, taps, cursor movements and other ways of interacting with electronic devices can be used to protect online merchants from Net fraudsters. Many people are familiar with biometric authenticators like irises, fingerprints and voices, but it turns out that how we behave with our machines, including typing speed and the use of keyboard shortcuts, can authenticate our identities, too.
Feds Deliver Darkode's Doomsday
July 16, 2015
United States law enforcement agencies and their counterparts in 19 countries on Wednesday announced they had dismantled the Darkode hackers' forum. Charges, arrests and searches were launched against 70 Darkode members and associates around the world, and 12 people associated with the forum were indicted in the U.S. The agencies also served several search warrants in the U.S.
DoD Sets Ambitious Cloud Goals
July 15, 2015
The U.S. Defense Department, often cited as a bit sluggish in taking advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, appears now to be emerging as a government leader in adopting the technology. In the short run, DoD has far outpaced other federal agencies in setting up cloud contracts. During fiscal 2015 Q1, the value of all federal contracts for cloud projects amounted to $668 million.
Google Photos Backup Keeps Collecting Until You Make It Stop
July 15, 2015
Uninstalling Google's Photos app doesn't turn off backup sync, meaning photos taken with Android devices could be saved to the company's cloud storage, even if the user doesn't intend to store them there, Google acknowledged on Tuesday. The issue came to light last week, when a BizJournals editor reported finding hundreds of family photos he had deleted from his phone stored in Google Photos.
Waiting for the Internet of Things
July 14, 2015
Despite all the attention being given to the extraordinary opportunities promised by the Internet of Things, many software and technology vendors are still waiting for demand to match the predictions. Security concerns are the most common inhibitor to IoT initiatives, industry surveys suggest, but a number of other factors likely are getting in the way of IoT deployments as well.
IBM-Led Team Pulls Off Major Chip Feat
July 9, 2015
IBM Research on Thursday announced that an alliance it leads has produced the first 7nm node test chips with functioning transistors. Big Blue's partners are GlobalFoundries, Samsung and the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute's Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, or SUNY Poly CNSE. The alliance sought to develop industry-first innovations.
Bridging the Front and Back Offices
July 9, 2015
I've written many times about how conventional, premises-based ERP seems to be evaporating. Configuration, pricing and quoting are business processes that illustrate the point. First, let's all agree that enterprise resource planning isn't going extinct as it evaporates -- it's too valuable -- but it is getting a haircut. Many of the functions leaving ERP are condensing back into the front office.
The Feds' Slow March to the Cloud
July 8, 2015
Where is the U.S. government going with the cloud? With annual federal spending on the technology now well over $2 billion, it appears that cabinet departments and a host of other federal agencies "get it" in terms of appreciating cloud benefits. Yet many view the same spending pattern as evidence that the pace of cloud development at the federal level is far too slow.
Is Isolating the Internet Key to Bulletproof Security?
July 7, 2015
With so many cybersecurity pros drowning in an ever-rising tide of hack attacks on their computer systems, an emerging approach to defending those systems may be the life preserver they've been looking for. The approach doesn't involve beefing up perimeter defenses, carefully scrutinizing network traffic, or applying analytics to employee behavior.
Poll Highlights Container Security Concerns
July 6, 2015
The results of a recent survey on container usage trends suggest that a deployment surge is likely within the next two years -- but also that companies have serious concerns about container security, certification and skills. The survey, commissioned by Red Hat and conducted by TechValidate, assessed enterprise adoption plans for application containers.
Hacking Team's Dingy Laundry Hung Out Online
July 6, 2015
Fireworks of a different kind rocked the security world this Fourth of July weekend, when news surfaced that hackers breached Hacking Team, an Italy-based firm that develops malware for governments and law enforcement. The attackers reportedly exposed 400 GB of data stolen from its servers. "It appears [Hacking Team] were compromised through social engineering, said Bugcrowd's Jonathan Cran.
Rick Perry and the Texas vs. California Tech War
July 6, 2015
A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting to do a CNBC slot on what to expect from the Apple Watch in Asia -- the entire smartwatch class is having a lot of issues for a variety of reason -- and I ran into Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, as he was coming out of the same studio I was about to enter. For some reason, I thought he was going to be a typical entitled stuck-up jerk, but he wasn't.
The Art of E-Commerce Site Search
July 6, 2015
Providing an effortless shopping experience is a key driver to the success of any e-commerce business. E-commerce search is a big factor in this experience and when done right can provide a significant competitive advantage. An effective on-site search experience leads to higher sales and increased customer loyalty. A substandard search experience can lead to the permanent loss of a customer.
FBI Hunts SF Bay Area Fiber-Optic Cable Cutters
July 2, 2015
The FBI for the past year has been on the hunt for people slashing fiber-optic cables throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The FBI called for the public's assistance in June, after 10 attacks had taken place. The 11th occurred on Tuesday, when someone severed cables used by Wave Broadband. "We have been in consultation with the FBI," said Wave Broadband spokesperson Mark Petersen.
Cisco Erects 6 Pillars for the IoT
June 29, 2015
Cisco on Monday launched Cisco IoT System -- a new Internet of Things initiative comprised of 15 products geared toward improving device interoperability. As many as 50 billion devices and objects could be connected to the Internet by 2020, the company forecast, yet today more than 99 percent of things in the physical world currently are unconnected.
Uncle Sam Wants a Hoverbike
June 29, 2015
The United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has commissioned two companies to develop hoverbike technology. The Army intends to operate the hoverbike as a new class of tactical reconnaissance vehicle. "This isn't for jungles or mountains, but could be ideal for patrols over deserts, swamps, or other open areas with mixed terrain," suggested tech analyst Rob Enderle.
The Encryption Software Scuffle
June 29, 2015
In the face of encryption that could block brute force attempts for years, law enforcement agencies at every level have been calling for keys that allow investigators to crack open smartphones and court cases alike. Some of the world's leading tech companies and privacy advocates have called for the White House to stand against any proposal to weaken the security software on consumer products.
CFPB: Mortgage Servicers Still Rooking Consumers
June 29, 2015
Mortgage servicers got a bad name during the subprime mortgage crisis, but despite that reputation damage, and despite new laws designed to get them on the straight and narrow, they're still up to their tricks, the CFPB has found. Between January and April, many servicers violated Regulation X, which spells out requirements for soliciting, completing and evaluating loss mitigation applications.
IBM, Box Team Up to Conquer the Cloud
June 26, 2015
IBM and Box have entered a global partnership to combine the two companies' best-in-class technologies and resources to transform work in the cloud. The two will offer customers IBM analytics and social solutions, IBM security technologies, the IBM cloud, and Box's cloud content collaboration platform. "IBM provides Box with a global go-to market footprint," said IDC's Chris Chute.
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Will fitness bands fade away?
Yes -- smartwatches will take over their functionality.
Yes -- they're like diets -- people tire of them.
No -- it's smartwatches that will fade away.
No -- people are getting more health-conscious.
Not sure -- but I'd like to try one.
Not sure -- not interested.