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Submission + - Microsoft President Calls On World Governments To Join Forces In Cyber War

Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft President Brad Smith has called on governments around the world to put aside their differences to tackle cybersecurity threats.

Speaking at the opening keynote of RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco, he said the 2014 attack on Sony was a "turning point" with regards to cyberwarfare.

“Here was a nation state attack not for espionage, not related to the military, but to attack a private company for engaging in freedom of expression around, as it turned out, not a terribly popular movie," he said, before referring to the recent allegations around Russia.
“For over two thirds of a century the world’s governments have been committed to protecting civilians in times of war. But when it comes to cyber attacks, nation state hacking has evolved into attacks on civilians in times of peace. This is not the world that the Internet’s inventors envisioned a quarter of a century ago but it is the world that we inhabit today,”

Submission + - Cybersecurity Firm's Own Blog Is Hacked With Fake Articles

Mickeycaskill writes: In an era of unprecedented cyberthreats, many organisations turn to security firms for guidance on how to prevent and respond to incidents, and to their researchers for information about the latest threats.

But just to illustrate that you can never be too careful, cybersecurity specialist Trend Micro has confirmed that one of the blogs it uses to communicate with customers was itself the victim of a content spoofing attack.

The culprits exploited a vulnerability in WordPress to inject fake content onto the blog before it was removed by Trend Micro and the bug fixed.

“Unfortunately there are many different URLs attackers can use to carry out the same attack, so a couple of fake ‘articles’ ended up posted on CounterMeasures," head of security research Rik Ferguson told Silicon. "We have responded and shut down the vulnerability completely to resolve the issue."

Submission + - Iris Scans And Fingerprints Could Be Your Ticket On British Rail

Mickeycaskill writes: Rail passengers could use fingerprints or iris scans to pay for tickets and pass through gates, under plans announced by the UK rail industry.

In its current form the mobile technology is intended to allow passengers to travel without tickets, instead using Bluetooth and geolocation technology to track a passenger’s movements and automatically charge their travel account at the end of the day for journeys taken.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, said further development could see passengers identified using biometric technology in a way similar to the facial-recognition schemes used at some UK airports to speed up border checks.

Submission + - BT Is First Telecom Provider To Support Google In EU Antitrust Battle

Mickeycaskill writes: BT has publicly voiced its support for Google’s Android platform in its ongoing anti-competition case with EU regulators, becoming the first major telecoms company to do so.

In a letter written to the European Commission (EC), BT has defended the “stability and compatibility” of the Android mobile operating system, which has been in the sights of regulators for some time due to its domination in the smartphone arena.

Although it’s not clear why BT chose to go public with its support, the move hints at fears that any move to weaken Android would hand more power over to Apple.

"We can confirm that our legal team has written to the European Commission regarding their investigation. We told them BT is free to pre-install its own or third party apps on devices alongside pre-loaded Google apps," BT told Silicon

Submission + - Brexit Means UK Won't Benefit From End Of EU Roaming Charges

Mickeycaskill writes: A leaked document has confirmed the UK will not benefit from the abolition of roaming within the European Union once Brexit is completed -possibly in 2019.

Last week, the European Parliament, Council and Commission finalised regulations for wholesale mobile prices – one of the final barriers to the EU’s longstanding ambition to eliminate additional charges when making calls, sending texts and using data in the EU’s 28 member states.

The only way the UK can still benefit from the legislation is if its government is able to secure a favourable agreement when it departs.

Submission + - Windows 10 Cloud Screenshots Show Off Microsoft's Chromebook challenger

Mickeycaskill writes: Windows 10 Cloud appears to be getting ready to take on Google’s Chrome operating system (OS), as an purported early version of the cloud-powered OS has emerged online.

An ISO image file of Windows 10 Cloud was leaked by Twitter user adguard, who also posted a screenshot of a Window installation process showing the cloud-version of the OS as an option for use with a computer or virtual machine.

Caution is advised for anyone looking to get an early glimpse of Windows 10 Cloud and would be best to make us of a virtual machine rather than set the OS up and running on a local computer.

With access to apps limited to the Windows Store and the inability to run apps based on Win32 despite their presence in Microsoft’s online application store, Microsoft appears to be keeping Windows 10 Cloud as lightweight as possible, which would mean it could run smoothly on affordable laptops rather than rely on more powerful portable devices.

Submission + - Tokyo 2020 Olympic Medals To Be Made From Japanese Recycled Phones

Mickeycaskill writes: The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made from recycled mobile phones in an effort to engage the Japanese nation and meet sustainability criteria.

The Tokyo 2020 organising committee has called on the Japanese public to donate their “discarded or obsolete electronic devices” to provide the eight tonnes of metal required for the production of the medals.

The production process will reduce this eight tonnes down to around two, enough to produce 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals.

Collection boxes will be installed in the stores of partner organisations NTT DOCOMO and the Japan Environmental Sanitation Center (JESC) from April, with the collection ending when the eight-tonne target is reached.

Submission + - Smart Benches Offer Free Wi-Fi, Solar Charging In Fight Against Cancer

Mickeycaskill writes: Cancer Research UK is tapping into the smart device and Internet of Things (IoT) trend by rolling out ten benches in London providing solar powered charging for smartphones and free Wi-Fi connectivity.

Working in partnership with smart city companies Strawberry Energy and MKTG, Cancer Research UK will provide the charging and connectivity for free, but contactless payment tech in the benches will enable people using them to donate £2 to the charity and research organisation.

The pilot of the ten benches has gone live today and cover high footfall areas in the boroughs of Lewisham and Islington, and a further ten benches will be installed in London by the end of February, with an additional 80 planned for placement across the British capital over the course of the year.

The benches can also provide real time air quality information and other environmental data.

Submission + - Dropbox Brands Trump Immigrant Ban 'Un-American'

Mickeycaskill writes: Dropbox says that without immigration it wouldn't exist, never mind become the world's fastest cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) company to reach $1 billion in revenue.

Speaking to Silicon at a press event in San Francisco, CEO Drew Houston and
CTO Aditya Agarwal both condemned Trump’s actions and vowed to do everything they can to support their employees.

“We were disappointed by the executive orders around immigration”, Houston said. “A small number [of Dropbox employees] were directly affected but most importantly, it certainly impacts people’s families, so we and our legal team are taking a close look at this and doing everything we can to support our employees and their families”.

Houston also agreed that technology CEOs should be more outspoken about the issue and rejected the executive orders as being “against the values of our company and I think they’re against the values on which this country was founded. By all means tech CEOs should be speaking about that”.

For Dropbox specifically, there’s the added personal element that Houston’s co-founder Arash Ferdowsi is himself an immigrant from Iran. “If a policy like this were in place 30 years ago then we wouldn’t have a Dropbox and that’s a story that is very similar across many of the great companies in Silicon Valley that have been created here”, he said.

Agarwal reiterated this point, branding Trump’s actions as “completely un-American”.

Submission + - Trump Appoints Net Neutrality Opponent To Lead FCC 1

Mickeycaskill writes: US president Donald Trump has appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the country’s communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a move expected to boost efforts to dismantle US network neutrality rules.

His appointment gives the Republican party a majority at the FCC, something expected to aid efforts to remove regulations put into place by the Obama administration.

Pai was elevated from a commissioner’s role and his appointment doesn’t require a confirmation hearing. His term expires at the end of the year, however, and he will require reconfirmation to continue.

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Faults Caused by Two Separate Battery Faults

Mickeycaskill writes: Samsung's investigation into what caused Galaxy Note 7 devices to overheat and catch fire has concluded two distinct battery faults were the cause — not the handsets themselves.

The company said all the devices it's planning to release this year were designed and manufactured after the Note 7 recall and have been tested according to new measures put into place since then.

That includes the Galaxy S8 expected to be released this spring. Samsung mobile communications president DJ Koh said at a press conference in Seoul the S8's release schedule was not "meaningfully" affected by the Note 7 issues.

Samsung used two separate battery suppliers for the device, and the initial problems were caused by a design flaw found in only one of those batteries, which it called Battery A.

Following the first recall Samsung stopped using Battery A and instead increased its order from the second supplier. But in its efforts to vastly expand production that supplier introduced a separate flaw into Battery B that also caused the batteries to overheat.

The design flaw in Battery A was an external casing that was too small and didn't allow the battery to expand and contract during charge and discharge cycles. As a result the positive and negative electrodes came into contact, causing a short-circuit, Samsung said.

The initial samples of Battery B were not flawed, but after Samsung ordered about 10 million new units, the battery maker introduced errors including protrusions that were left over from the ultrasonic welding process.

Those errors also caused a short-circuit.

Submission + - IOC Picks China's Alibaba As Cloud And E-Commerce Partner For Olympics

Mickeycaskill writes: Alibaba has agreed an 11 year partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to supply cloud infrastructure and services to the organisation and to create a global e-commerce platform for Olympic merchandise.

The Chinese giant will serve every winter and summer Olympic Games until 2028, starting with the winter edition in Pyeongchang, South Korea next year, and the IOC claims the ‘best in class’ technology will help the Olympics operate more efficiently and securely.

The deal will also support the IOC’s ambition to harness the power of big data analytics and help the spread of the Olympic Channel, which has been a pet project of IOC President Thomas Bach.

Submission + - Facebook To Build Data Centre In Denmark Powered By 100% Green Energy

Mickeycaskill writes: Facebook is to open a 55,000 square metre data centre in Denmark, the third such facility has built outside the US, and is to be powered entirely by clean energy.

It was reported last October that the social network had purchased land in Odense, the country’s third largest city, and the Danish government said the deal was the product of “three years of confidential preparation.”

One of the reasons Denmark was selected was because of its abundance of renewable energy. Facebook has few links to Denmark, but the country has been a popular location for US tech firms recently, with Apple building a data centre in Viborg.

Submission + - Blockchain Tech Could Save Banks $12bn a year

Mickeycaskill writes: Accenture research has found Blockchain technology has the potential to reduce infrastructure costs by an average of 30 percent for eight of the world's ten biggest banks. That equates to annual cost savings of $8-12 billion.

A vast amount of cost for today's investment banks comes from complex data reconciliation and confirmation processes with their clients and counterparts, as banks maintain independent databases of transactions and customer information.

However, Blockchain would enable banks to move to a shared, distributed database that spans multiple organisations.

It has become increasingly obvious in recent months that blockchain will be key to the future of the banking industry, with the majority of banks expected to adopt the technology within the next three years.

Submission + - Uk App Store Prices Rise By 25% After Brexit-Fuelled Drop In Value Of The Pound

Mickeycaskill writes: iPhone and iPad apps on the UK App Store will cost the same in British Pounds as in US Dollars after prices were adjusted to address the dramatic fall in the value of the pound since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June.

Essentially, if an iPhone or iPad app costs $0.99 in the US, it will now cost £0.99 in the UK – a rise from £0.79. Changes will take place across all App Store price tiers and will affect in-app purchases. At the time of writing, $0.99 is worth £0.81.

“Price tiers on the App Store are set internationally on the basis of several factors, including currency exchange rates, business practices, taxes, and the cost of doing business. These factors vary from region to region and over time,” an Apple spokesperson told Silicon.

It could be argued Apple has been harsher than most when implementing currency changes as the most recent MacBook Pro and Mac computers were hundreds of pounds more expensive than their predecessors.

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