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All Hacks on Deck: Japan Invites Hackers to Go At Government
March 18, 2014
Japan invited hackers -- nice ones, that is -- to go to town on the nation's government departments Tuesday. The move is designed to expose weaknesses in cyberdefenses and bolster national security ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Japan enlisted 50 cyberdefense specialists to gather at an emergency response center in Tokyo; an additional 100-plus were stationed offsite.
Decking Out Linux for the Senior Set
March 17, 2014
Every once in a while here in the Linux blogosphere, a topic will suddenly pop up in multiple separate, unconnected places and take on a life of its own. Perhaps it's some unseen cosmic force guiding Linux geeks' conversations in the same direction, or perhaps it's just Linux Girl's proclivity for drawing connections. In any case, it happened again earlier this month.
Chinese E-Commerce Giant Plans Stateside IPO
March 17, 2014
Gargantuan Chinese e-commerce outfit Alibaba soon will begin the process of launching an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Early forecasts suggest that the IPO could raise $15 billion. The announcement seemingly ends speculation about whether Alibaba would be listed on the NYSE or in Hong Kong. Alibaba apparently found some of the SEHK's rules particularly unpalatable.
Nvidia ECS: Where Real Innovation AND Execution Are on Display
March 17, 2014
One of the questions I've been getting regularly, both because little companies like WhatsApp are in the news and because large firms are struggling to find early stage innovative firms, is "Where do you go to see a lot of small innovative companies?" Firms like this get lost at shows like CES. They just don't have the budget to stand out against the bigger firm's announcements and footprint.
Google Now Encrypting Searches in China
March 14, 2014
Google's years-long spat with Beijing just began a new chapter. The company has begun encrypting searches made by people in China, where Google has long run afoul of regulations designed to keep a tight lid on searches deemed inappropriate. Google's encryption of searches in China reportedly will prevent the "Great Firewall of China" from detecting when users search for certain terms.
Complicating the Cloud
March 14, 2014
Although I've been a proponent of the business benefits of migrating to the "cloud" since before the term was popularized by today's market leaders, I have to admit that the cloud industry is doing a great job of making it increasingly difficult for CIOs and other corporate decision makers to feel confident about making the move. Cloud converts aren't sure where to start.
Report: US Tech Titans Making Bank From Offshore US Treasury Securities
March 13, 2014
Apple, Microsoft, Google and Cisco have accumulated enormous amounts of money via interest payments from the U.S. government, according to a report from the UK's Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The companies together hold $163 billion in U.S. government debt. Of that $163 billion, $124 billion is in U.S. Treasury securities, much of which is held offshore.
The Fine Art of Belly Scratching
March 12, 2014
I was at a dinner at a working cattle ranch outside of Denver not long ago, but it was a ranch with a difference. Rather than raising cattle for the table, the business raised breeding stock and sent animals and other products, like embryos, all over the world. Every animal on the ranch had its genetic makeup tracked in a database and a unique ear tag that told something about it.
Judge Freezes Assets of Mt. Gox Honcho
March 12, 2014
A federal judge in Chicago froze the U.S. assets of Mark Karpeles, the chief of the now-defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, and allowed possible victims to demand evidence surrounding what some believe is massive fraud. Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, last month went belly up because of what Karpeles has claimed was a massive hacking theft.
Lenovo: IBM Strike's Not Our Problem
March 11, 2014
Chinese PC maker Lenovo is washing its hands of a wildcat strike at an IBM factory in Shenzhen, China. In January, Lenovo purchased one of IBM's server businesses, and the striking workers -- more than 1,000 of them -- are among those who will be absorbed by Lenovo. The $2.3 billion deal is not yet final, and Lenovo doesn't want to get stuck with any of IBM's headaches until the ink is dry.
Linux Bugs, Bugs Everywhere
March 10, 2014
Well it was a wild week here in Linux land, and not just because of the asteroid that came hurtling by Earth at heart-lurching proximity. Pay no attention to the 100-foot-wide ball of rock you might notice streaking through the sky closer than the Moon! *Cough*. Thank goodness for tequila. Linux fans, however, had bigger -- or rather, smaller -- things to focus on last week. Namely? Bugs.
Turkey PM, Prez Go Round and Round About Social Media
March 10, 2014
Turkey's prime minister and president are spewing conflicting talking points on the nation's stance toward social media. It turns out the one who's getting nailed on social media is the one who wants more restrictions. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week vowed to restrict social media after this month's local elections, but President Abdullah Gul said that was "out of the question."
The Increasing Business Risk of Cloud Cyberattacks
March 10, 2014
It is hard to figure out which is growing at a faster pace -- movement to the cloud or cybercrime. Cybercrime is following the data to the cloud, according to reports, to find and steal cloud data of hotel records, credit card information, and maybe even corporate secrets and the client files of lawyers. The concept of managing data for business on a remote computer is actually 50 years old.
The Amazing Promise of HP's Impossible Turnaround
March 10, 2014
HP has made incredible progress over the last few years with Meg Whitman at the helm, which was evident at its annual analyst meeting last week. It has made major progress in the cloud, in devices, and in how the company is run. The result should be an increasingly interesting set of products and services uniquely differentiated in the market. This effort was far from easy.
Adding Channels Won't Fix Broken Customer Service
March 07, 2014
Technology allows businesses to take care of customers in new and different ways. Think of the multiple options we have for customer service with many businesses today: phone, chat, text, email and sometimes social media channels. They all have their own nuances, and they all place specific demands on your staff. The problem is that a new channel won't fix what's causing other channels to fail.
Apple's CarPlay Gambit: Retract One Claw to Hook With Another
March 07, 2014
Apple's CarPlay initiative is a profoundly new tactic for Apple. Compared to its behavior in recent years, when Apple has focused intense control over every element of its product environment -- from packaging, hardware and operating systems to the submission process for its App Stores -- Apple's stance in its CarPlay initiative is a very big deal.
China to Test Drone's Smog-Clearing Powers
March 07, 2014
China is taking its chemical war with smog to another level. Government agencies in China hope a newly designed drone can help mitigate air pollution. The airborne vehicle will spray chemicals that freeze pollutants, thereby knocking them to the ground. This tack begs whether it is advisable to have pollution snowing on people from above -- but hey, at least the sky won't be so unsightly.
Mobile Email Marketing Rule No. 1: Short Subject Lines
March 06, 2014
OK people, it's 2014. Email marketing has been an important marketing tactic for a good 15-20 years. Email marketing for mobile devices is a newer variation of this tried-and-true channel, but it still isn't rocket science. So why, I ask you, do so many marketers still refuse to learn the most basic tenet of email marketing? Namely, that the subject line is the most important part of the content.
Russia Implicated in Ukrainian Cyberdisruptions
March 06, 2014
Security forces in Ukraine, where tensions are running exceedingly high after weeks-worth of turmoil, have accused the Russian army of tampering with its mobile communications. In addition, Ukrainian news websites and social media have been smeared with pro-Russia propaganda. In other words, an entirely new element appears to be in play: cyberconflict between Kiev and Moscow.
Beijing to Officials: Please, No Smartphones During Session
March 05, 2014
Officials partaking in China's National People's Congress, which began Wednesday, have been asked to please not mess around on their mobile devices during the session. A state-owned newspaper published a list of rules for attendees, including this one: "Do not use your phones to send text messages or make phone calls during meeting; do not use your computer or phone to play games."

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