stephendavion writes: A new survey by cloud firm Exponential-e has found that 35% of UK firms are not well prepared for Windows Server 2003's end of life on July 14 this year. The survey of 100 UK IT professionals also found that 63% don't know what Windows Server 2003's termination means for their business. Exponential-e lead technologist Steven Harrison warned that the significance of this end-of-life milestone should not be underestimated. "In less than 100 days time, there will be no updates to software for Windows Server 2003, which brings serious security and operational risks to an organisation's infrastructure.
stephendavion writes: During the VII Summit of the Americas held in Panama from 10 to 11 April, presidents from several Latin American countries, including the Panamanian host Juan Carlos Varela, Cristina Fernandez of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, and Ollanta Humala of Peru posed for a photo with a special guest: Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and spokesperson for Internet.org. Internet.org is a project led by Facebook that brings together technology companies, NGOs and local communities, with the aim, as advertised on their website, of connecting "two thirds of the world without access to the network." Joining Facebook are companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Samsung, collaborating on a joint project to create and distribute tools and services that provide free basic services in markets where Internet access may be less affordable.
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stephendavion writes: AT&T has agreed to pay a $25m (£16.8m) civil penalty to settle a series of data breaches that affected 280,000 of its customers. The attacks on the telecoms firm took place between 2013 and 2014 at its call centres in Mexico, the Philippines and Columbia, which were serving American customers. Tom Wheeler, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said: "As the nation's expert agency on communications networks, the commission cannot — and will not — stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud.
stephendavion writes: Revamp of the updated document preview experience is designed to improve the user experience. Dropbox has announced that it has redesigned the preview experience section on its website. This will mean that users will now be able to preview documents, spreadsheets and other documents and files in full-screen mode within the web browser. Additional features will allow users to use the new toolbar to zoom in, flip between pages and also to print straight from the preview.
stephendavion writes: Flaw in SSL security layer persists almost a year on. The Heartbleed bug is still prevalent among appliances and devices that rely on SSL despite almost a year passing since it was discovered, according to data collected by the security vendor Qualys. An analysis of the most common vulnerabilities between November and January showed that SSL bugs accounted for four out of the top ten, with Heartbleed claiming last place despite the huge publicity around the bug. Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys said that device vendors may still be selling products vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug because the products had been shrink wrapped before the flaw was discovered, and not since patched. He also noted that such items often did not have the automatic patching common to consumer products like smartphones, which was something the vendors should look into implementing.
stephendavion writes: Researchers from the Monash University, CSIRO and Deakin University in Australia have created two 3D-printed aircraft engines. One of the 3D-printed engines is being showcased at the ongoing International Air Show in Avalon, while the other is at Microturbo (Safran) in Toulouse, France. Monash and its subsidiary Amaero Engineering attracted interests from tier one aerospace companies to produce components at the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing (MCAM) in Melbourne. Researchers used an old gas turbine engine from Microturbo to scan components and print two versions. The engine is an auxiliary power unit equipped in aircraft such as the Falcon 20 business jet.
stephendavion writes: Feature is similar to Facebook's 'News Feed'. After hitting iOS, Twitter's new "While You Were Away" feature has been rolled out to Android users. The feature is designed to help users recap of some of the top tweets that they might have missed while offline. According to the micro blogging site, user engagement and other factors will determine the best tweets that will be shown at the top of the home screen, which will allow users to check out all the major tweets that they might have missed while they were away. The feature was first previewed in the fall of 2014, and was initially rolled out to iOS users.
stephendavion writes: Amid deeper investigations into how Apple may be using its operations in Ireland as a means for tax avoidance on tens of billions of dollars in profit, the iPhone maker has announced that it will spend nearly $2 billion (€1.7 billion) to develop two new 100% renewable energy data centers in Europe. The centers — which will use wind power and other green fuel sources — will be located in Athenry, Ireland, and Viborg, Denmark. Apple said that they will power services such as apps in the App Store, Siri and iMessage. Both locations will run on 100 percent renewable energy and Apple said they will have the “lowest environmental impact” of its data centers thus far. It will also be following in the footsteps of companies like Facebook, which has also built sustainable data center operations out in Europe.
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stephendavion writes: Society is feeling more pressurised than ever to look good. This is being brought about by a number of factors such as the belief that society’s perception of what constitutes attractiveness is becoming more narrowly defined, and that better looking people have better opportunities in life, both personally and professionally. This, combined with continued fascination with the lifestyles of celebrities and a perceived lack of privacy due to the popularity of photo sharing, is resulting in more consumers trying to achieve their desired physical look that in reality is neither achievable nor sustainable. This increased pressure to look good has resulted in consumers not only becoming more demanding when it comes to the efficacy of the products they buy, but also ensuring that they are suited to their specific needs and wants, whilst becoming increasingly less willing to compromise. Whilst the concept of personalisation in the personal care market is not a new one, it would appear that consumers are happy for the concept to evolve in order to achieve their desired look.
stephendavion writes: The device has the potential to save millions of lives. A team of researchers from Columbia University have developed a device that can be plugged into a smartphone and used to quickly test for HIV and syphilis. The mobile device tests for three infectious disease markers in just 15 minutes by using a finger-prick of blood, and draws all the power it needs from the smartphone, Science Daily reports. The accessory costs an estimated $34 to make and is capable of replicating tests done in a laboratory using equipment that costs many thousands of dollars.
stephendavion writes: Few, least of all in IT, would dispute that better technology is generally a good thing. Yet in the case of cybersecurity, burgeoning technology and increased usage has been nothing but a headache. As devices and functions proliferate so too must the means of securing it, forcing the industry to create firewalls, antivirus, sandboxes, spam filters and, more recently, complex analytics tools to keep track of everything. And with new opportunities, come new companies. "New capabilities tend to enter the market through new companies," Bob Hansmann, director of product security at the cybersecurity firm Websense. Yet like many of his peers he thinks too many vendors can lead to market fragmentation, with gaps between technologies allowing the crooks to slip through. So what will the industry do about it?
stephendavion writes: Over three decades ago, students at Carnegie Mellon University linked a Coke vending machine to the Internet, to see if the machine had enough stock. This made it the one of the first examples of the Internet of Things (IoT). This example is prophetic because the CPG industry has become the primary leader of IoT-related innovation, turning science fiction into reality. This year, at least one global CPG brand intends to introduce sensor-enabled smart shelves for grocery outlets, which would help the brand to determine the gender and age of passing customers and then accordingly display targeted advertisements. This in fact is only one of the many examples that consumers can expect from brands as the latter gets ready to leverage IoT’s potential. In 2015, CPG brands will make IoT-related investment in two areas. The first would be within outlets, with an aim of boosting sales and bolstering consumer loyalty. For instance, mobile app shopkick rewards consumers with points, dubbed as kicks, on entering a particular area of an outlet or interact with promoted items by using location based information through their mobile phones. This kind of interaction can help consumers gain discounts on a product, and help brands boost consumer awareness.
Amanda Parker writes: In-flight internet service Gogo has defended its use of a fake Google SSL certificates as a means of throttling video streaming, adding that it was not invading its customer's privacy in doing so. The rebuttal comes after Google security researcher Adrienne Porter Felt posted a screenshot of the phoney certificate to Twitter, prompting speculation the firm could eavesdrop on customers in what is known as a man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack.
stephendavion writes: Featuring online check-in, a robotic bar, RFID-based passenger services and one of the world's most advanced entertainment systems, Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas is billed as the first 'smart ship'. Cruise Critic UK editor Adam Coulter talks about his experience on the maiden voyage and whether the cruise liner lives up to expectations.
stephendavion writes: A loan fund of up to £13m is to be made available to Cardiff Airport to attract new airlines, BBC Wales understands. The first £3.5m of the loan, from the Welsh government, will be drawn down by the airport next year. Welsh ministers have described the loan as the most significant step since they bought the airport 18 months ago. On Tuesday, First Minister Carwyn Jones said its future lies in long-haul flights, not competing with Bristol on closer destinations. Because the funding is in the form of a commercial loan the airport will by-pass many of the EU regulations on state aid. The last time such a fund was made available was in 2006 when £4m was used by the then privately-owned airport. Cardiff Airport has had mixed fortunes under public ownership. It was bought by the Welsh government for £52m in March 2013 and has invested about £10m in improvements at the terminal.