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F-Secure's Hypponen: RSA Lost Trust
March 03, 2014
Less than two months after publicly announcing that he was pulling out of the RSA Security Conference because RSA had accepted a $10 million contract from the NSA, F-Secure chief researcher Mikko Hypponen appeared somewhat mellowed. He alternated between criticizing RSA and offering an olive branch when speaking to reporters last week in San Francisco, where the conference was under way.
Wiliest Ways to Keep the NSA at Bay
February 28, 2014
The death of online privacy had already been proclaimed long before Edward Snowden landed in the international spotlight, but if it wasn't confirmed back then, Snowden's NSA revelations surely must have extinguished the last vestiges of hope in even the most die-hard optimists. "We're in a predicament," said Phil Zimmermann, Pretty Good Privacy creator and cofounder and president of Silent Circle.
Brits Hoovered Yahoo Webcams, Say Snowden Papers
February 28, 2014
A British intelligence agency indiscriminately collected photos from the webcams of Yahoo users and reportedly stored them on its servers over a period of several years as part of a surveillance program called "Optic Nerve." The operation was run by the UK's NSA counterpart, GCHQ, according to a top secret documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Boeing Unveils Suicidally Secure Smartphone
February 27, 2014
Boeing this week filed an application with the United States Federal Communications Commission for a secure Android smartphone called the "Black" that will self-destruct if anyone tries to physically open the case. The company will offer it to the U.S. defense and security communities. The Black has endless modularity capabilities, according to Boeing.
Bruce Momjian: PostgreSQL Prefers the Scenic Route
February 26, 2014
Bruce Momjian years ago salvaged a nearly abandoned open source database project: PostgreSQL. Now he heads an international group helping to keep its community growing. He also is a key architect for a commercial database company that supports his advisory group and the Postgres open source community. PostreSQL, or "Postgres," is a popular open source object-relational database management system.
White House Leaps Onto NSA Surveillance Merry-Go-Round
February 26, 2014
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reportedly have submitted four proposals to reform the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program. The recommendations come well before the March 28 deadline set by President Obama. Three deal with having the data stored by some other organization, and the fourth calls for scrapping the program.
Apple Gets Litigious in China
February 26, 2014
Apple is suing China's State Intellectual Property Office and domestic company Zhizhen Network Technology over patent issues related to Siri, Apple's voice recognition software. The State Intellectual Property Office is responsible for patents rights protection in China, while Zhizhen developed software similar to Siri. Zhizhen patented its own voice recognition software, "Xiao i Robot," in 2004.
The End of 'Good Enough' Computing
February 26, 2014
During the heyday of the dot-com boom, then-HP CEO Carly Fiorina espoused "good enough" computing. Despite significant performance differences between x86 servers and Unix and other enterprise-class systems, the dramatically lower cost of x86-based products would cause organizations to rethink their computing priorities and adopt, buy and deploy x86 whenever and wherever possible, she maintained.
Investors Drop $350M on Dropbox
February 25, 2014
Dropbox reportedly has secured $350 million in a new round of funding to further its growth. The funding round generated at least $325 million but that figure could swell to as much as $450 million, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It appears that $350 million already has been raised. The financing gives Dropbox a $10 billion valuation.
BlackBerry Tries to Bring Back That Lovin' Feelin'
February 25, 2014
BlackBerry has announced new handsets and services aimed at moving the company forward. At the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, CEO John Chen debuted two new phones -- the Q20 and the low-cost Z3. The Q20 offers the classic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard and experience on BlackBerry 10. It features BlackBerry's physical Menu, Back, Send, and End buttons along with a trackpad.
Windows XP to Live On in China
February 25, 2014
A handful of Chinese Web companies are banding together to provide user support -- system upgrades, security services and the like -- to domestic users after Microsoft turns out the lights on Windows XP. Microsoft announced that it's going to punt on Windows XP in early April. Alas, an estimated 25-plus percent of China's computers run on the operating system. But fear not!
FTC Explores Scope of Federal IoT Regulation
February 25, 2014
The explosion of the Internet of Things, or IoT, promises great opportunities for improving quality of life -- but also for creating both seen and unforeseen dangers. The IoT generally refers to a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to sense, communicate and interact with their internal states or their external environment, according to Gartner.
News Flash from Redmond: FOSS Causes Dissatisfaction!
February 24, 2014
Here in the Linux community, we're all familiar with the many benefits that come with using open source software -- customizability, interoperability, and freedom from vendor lock-in, to name just a few examples. Well, Linux Girl has shocking news to report. It turns out there's also a BIG PROBLEM associated with open source software that we've all apparently overlooked: dissatisfaction!
Microsoft Beckons New Consumers to Old Online Services
February 21, 2014
What's in a name? Microsoft is hoping more traffic to two of its online properties. The company has renamed its cloud storage service because of legal entanglements and the website for free versions of its Office productivity apps because of consumer confusion. The name changes, which took effect this week, weren't accompanied by very much in the way of feature changes.
Easing DevOps Snafus in the Cloud Era
February 21, 2014
As developers are pressured to produce mobile and distributed cloud apps ever faster and with more network unknowns, the older methods of software quality control can lack sufficient predictability. And as Agile development means faster iterations and a constant stream of updates, newer means of automated testing of the apps in near-production realism prove increasingly valuable.
Old-School Event Management Approach Hampers ETM
February 20, 2014
Etm, an acronym for "Event and Task Manager," is a very useful calendar and planning tool. However, it is a bit cumbersome to learn and far less convenient to use than alternatives. It has an intuitive task-entry format, once you learn its plain text shorthand. Etm stores events, tasks and other user-generated notes and data in text files. You can create, modify and view entries using two primary methods.
Google Data Powers Real-Time Deforestation Alarm System
February 20, 2014
The World Resources Institute has launched Global Forest Watch, a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system to help fight the massive deforestation of the planet. GFW will let governments monitor where forest clearing is occurring in near-real-time and track illegal forest logging almost immediately. Farmers can upload calls to action from mobile phones if their communities are endangered.
Google May Let 34 More Cities Munch on Fiber
February 20, 2014
Google has revealed plans to expand its Google Fiber Internet service to as many as 34 new cities. Google Fiber offers connection speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps -- around 100 times faster than the average U.S. speeds of 9.8 Mb/sec, according to Akamai -- by providing service through fiber-optic cables instead of copper wiring. Google's service also delivers high-definition television.
Internet of Things, Part 2: The Lighter Side
February 20, 2014
So there I was, grinding my coffee beans when the grinder's AMOLED screen lit up with a message. "We're watching you, boy," it read. OK, I must've spilled some grinds, so I cleaned up the machine and brewed me up some coffee. Ten minutes later, cup in hand, I wandered down to the laundry room and began loading up the washing machine. "Peekaboo!" read the message that appeared on its screen.
Raising Linux to Grow Open Source
February 19, 2014
The open source business model has an inherent ability to bring software rivals together. This approach to developing and distributing software keeps expanding the usefulness and success of the Linux operating system as well. Linux has not yet come close to replacing Windows on the desktop, but open source is much more than Linux. Its "co-opetive" nature is spreading through the enterprise.

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