The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the U.S. Department of Justice over its failure to disclose if Internet companies have been compelled to decrypt user data and communications.The EFF action targets applications to and decisions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a Washington, D.C., based court that meets in secret to consider cases related to government surveillance and national security.The court's decisions are classified, and Internet companies are prohibited from disclosing any details about warrants received as a result of arguments in front of the court.The result is that little is known about the extent of the court's activities. In October, the EFF filed a freedom-of-information request seeking more information but, according to its lawsuit, the DOJ said it couldn't find any documents relating to the issue.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
HPE/Aruba is said to be planning to acquire the intellectual property of failing startup Rasa Networks within the next 2 to 4 weeks, according to sources close to the matter.The transaction could see between $5 million and $10 million change hands, the sources added, noting that it’s not a full buyout of the company, but merely a deal for Rasa’s IP and, potentially, one or two of the company’s data scientists.+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Don’t buy into hybrid cloud headache hype, GE’s cloud guru says + Meet a handheld server with a 13-terabyte SSDTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Building the Internet of Things is a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.Researchers at the University of Bath have revealed a breakthrough -- cheekily dubbed "pee power" -- involving the use of urine to power electronic devices in remote locations.MORE: 10 Internet of Things companies to watchYou can read the details in their paper, titled "Towards effective small scale microbial fuel cells for energy generation from urine." But in a nutshell, they've figured out how to build one-inch-square fuel cells that cost a buck or two and that get their buzz from urine, which interacts with "electric" bacteria. So-called microbial fuel cells are seen as being a carbon-neutral source of power generation, and could be used to provide juice to devices such as smartphones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
A DARPA-funded research team said recently it had developed a tiny component for silicon-based circuitry that could double the radio-frequency (RF) capacity for wireless communications—offering faster web-searching as well as the development of smaller, less expensive and more readily upgraded antenna arrays for radar, signals intelligence, and other applications.+More on Network World: Einstein was right: Gravitational waves exist!+The work was led by Columbia University electrical engineers Harish Krishnaswamy and Negar Reiskarimian and funded under DARPA’s Arrays at Commercial Timescales (ACT) program, which is looking to develop wireless electronic components that can be integrated into larger, more advanced systems quickly. DARPA said ACT products aim to “shorten design cycles and in-field updates and push past the traditional barriers that lead to 10-year array development cycles, 20- to 30-year static life cycles and costly service-life extension programs.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The OS X command line developer tools include an old version of the Git source code management system that exposes Mac users to remote code execution attacks.The Git client allows developers to interact with source code repositories. It is not installed by default on Mac OS X, but it is included in the Command Line Tools package for Xcode, Apple's integrated development environment (IDE).Software developers who create applications for OS X or iOS are likely to use Xcode and to have Apple's Command Line Tools package installed on their Macs. The latest version of this package includes Git version 2.6.4, released in December.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Technology vendors and law enforcement agencies need to look for a compromise that allows police to gain access to encrypted devices during criminal investigations, lawmakers say.Many tech vendors and privacy advocates have suggested there is no available compromise between strong security for device users and police access to encrypted communications. But members of a congressional committee on Tuesday pushed both sides in the ongoing encryption debate to look again for a possible middle ground.As Apple and the FBI continue to argue in court about whether the company should assist the agency with unlocking iPhones, "it's time to begin a new chapter in this battle, one which I hope can ultimately bring some resolution to the war," said Representative Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Fixstars' Olive is like the Raspberry Pi of servers, but with a twist -- it packs 13TB of solid-state drive storage in a system that can be held in one hand.Olive could be viewed as a full-fledged computer crammed into a 2.5-inch SSD drive. The 13TB drive makes it one-of-a-kind in a market where compact computers are hungry for storage.Some unique features make the server better suited for businesses than homes. It is customizable, with an FPGA (field-programmable gate array), which can be reprogrammed for specific tasks. It can also be used as a portable server to dish out movies, or to collect, store and distribute data related to databases or the Internet of Things.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
General Electric is on an aggressive pursuit of going embracing cloud services, the company's CTO – IT Chris Drumgoogle told me recently.GE has tens of thousands of apps; petabytes of storage and more than $100 billion in annual revenue. So it can’t rely on just a single vendor. Drumgoole says that GE’s highest value apps in the cloud straddle across at least two providers. Lower-priority apps can run in one cloud.
Chris Drumgoole, CTO of IT, General Electric: Hybrid cloud hype is 'overblown'To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
A couple of years ago I wrote a story critiquing what I saw as some very emotive reporting. Essentially a technology vendor went bust as a direct result of their data being compromised while sited on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers. The article in question essentially suggested that because of that particular incident, we should all be aware that the cloud isn't a safe place to store our data. As I said in my piece:“I’ve visited data centers that host cloud infrastructure. They have by far the highest level of physical and virtual security available. They are exemplars of due process. Compare this with the vast majority of organization’s IT resources. I’ve seen enough servers in cleaning cupboards or under desks to know what the norm is for organizations. To glibly suggest that penetrating a cloud platform is easier than a corporate data center is plain wrong.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
If you follow my blog at all you know that I am quite passionate about the cybersecurity skills shortage and its ramifications. Just to put this issue in perspective, ESG research indicates that 46% of organizations claim they have a “problematic shortage” of cybersecurity skills in 2016 as compared to 28% in 2015 (note: I am an ESG employee). Yup, the ESG research seems to indicate that things are getting worse on an annual basis, and ESG isn’t alone in this belief. For example:
According to Peninsula Press (a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program), more than 209,000 US-based cybersecurity jobs remained unfilled and postings are up 74% over the past 5 years.
Analysis of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow 53% by 2018.
Adding to this trend, Computerworld research indicates that more than half of security managers expect their organizations to increase cybersecurity headcount this year adding more pressure to the pot. To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Facebook’s Messenger chat-bots and an update to the React Native cross-platform mobile development framework—both announced last week week—could relieve the pain felt by businesses trying to shift customer interaction from the web to mobile.It might seem there is an app for everything, but not every business has one. Building a token app that lives a lonely existence on the app store doesn’t help keep customers buying as they shift from the web to mobile. And meaningful mobile relationships and revenue-generating campaigns still elude most businesses because of the high cost of having Android and iOS development teams and the challenges of recruiting developers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Almost a year after Italian surveillance software maker Hacking Team had its internal emails and files leaked online, the hacker responsible for the breach published a full account of how he infiltrated the company's network.The document published Saturday by the hacker known online as Phineas Fisher is intended as a guide for other hacktivists, but also shines a light on how hard it is for any company to defend itself against a determined and skillful attacker.The hacker linked to Spanish and English versions of his write-up from a parody Twitter account called @GammaGroupPR that he set up in 2014 to promote his breach of Gamma International, another surveillance software vendor. He used the same account to promote the Hacking Team attack in July 2015.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are here to stay and promise to benefit both consumers and the organizations that exploit these advanced technologies.That was the sentiment from “Dawn of the Cognitive Era” panelists representing mostly startups (startup wannabe IBM being the exception) at the annual TiE StartupCon event in Boston this past week.MORE: 10 Internet of Things Companies to WatchWhereas it wasn’t long ago that the public’s view of AI was influenced disproportionately by books and movies, an increasing number of real-life cognitive computing applications such as those enabled by IBM Watson have begun to seep into the public’s consciousness. In fact, many people are taking advantage of cognitive computing, whether or not they realize it, when they use tools such as Apple’s Siri or various bots, said panel moderator and DataXylo CEO Abhi Yadav. Such applications, enabled in large part through the access to relatively cheap computing power via the cloud, have resulted in the technology finally living up to the hype -- and dissuading fears it will lord over us.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Because Apple no longer supports QuickTime for Windows, users are being encouraged to uninstall the program immediately. The warning from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comes on the heels of a warning from antivirus vendor Trend Micro that the video playback software is vulnerable to a pair of zero-day exploits.Apple has not updated the Windows version of QuickTime 7 since January and it would seem does not plan to release any more security patches to fix the exploits. Trend Micro notes that even Apple recommends Windows users uninstall the player. QuickTime for Mac is unaffected and remains supported by Apple.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
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To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Cloud computing is changing the game for one of the hardest problems in IT: running a network.
Users are counting on fast, secure access more than ever, even as networks get more complex and threats more dangerous. Often, there’s a lot of data available about the state of a network and its performance, but more data by itself can't solve a problem. So startups are turning to the growing power of the cloud for answers.
Nyansa, based in Silicon Valley, emerged from stealth mode on Monday with Voyance, a cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) offering that analyzes inputs from wired and wireless LANs to gauge users' actual experiences on a network.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
A British Airways aircraft was possibly hit by a drone Sunday near Heathrow airport as it was coming to land, which is likely to increase demands for greater checks on the flights of the devices.
The Airbus A320 flight from Geneva, carrying 132 passengers and five crew members, appears to have not been significantly impacted and was cleared for its next flight, according to news reports.
The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority said it was aware of “a possible incident” with a drone at Heathrow on Sunday, which is subject to investigation by the Metropolitan Police. It reminded drone users of the country’s "dronecode," which prohibits drones from flying above 400 feet (about 122 meters) and requires them to stay away from aircraft, helicopters, airports and airfields.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
A data scientist is one of the most in-demand, high-profile careers in IT today, but Tom Walsh and Alex Krowitz have been working behind the scenes in the field for years. Walsh, a research engineer and Krowitz, a senior research engineer at cloud workforce management solutions company Kronos, sift through the influx of proprietary and customer data to identify patterns and gain insights based on that data."We both work in the workforce management and timekeeping division here at Kronos. There are generally two kinds of projects we regularly handle; mining patterns within data to improve our own products is one and the other is taking on specific sets of customer data to gather and deliver insights from that," says Walsh.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Over the last few years, Apple's mobile product cycle has revolved around "bigger and thinner." Now that mantra has been flipped on its head by Apple's latest releases -- the 9.7-in. iPad Pro and the 4-in. iPhone SE -- that emphasize the notion that smaller might just be better.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The HR departments and hiring managers in Silicon Valley have a challenge. They can’t ask an applicant’s age because their companies have lost brutal discrimination lawsuits over the years. Instead, they develop little tricks like tossing in an oblique reference to “The Brady Bunch” (“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”) and seeing if the candidate gets the joke. Candidates who chuckle are deemed a poor cultural fit and are tossed aside.Alas, the computer industry has a strange, cultish fascination with new technologies, new paradigms, and of course, new programmers. It’s more fascination than reality because old tech never truly dies. Old inventions like the mainframe may stop getting headlines, but they run and run. As I write this, Dice shows more than five times as many jobs postings for the keyword "Cobol" (522) than "OCaml," "Erlang," and "Haskell" combined (11, 52, and 27, respectively).To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here