TinTops writes: "They will walk in, they will point guns, and they will shoot people. We're very clear with our directives: you don't argue with those guys."
Oxfam GB's chief information officer Peter Ransom insists "every CIO has their own challenges," although he will admit that managing the IT for a charity operating in 94 countries is a bit "different".
Violent data theft happens around every 18 months, with seemingly no real way of knowing when or why. "It's recognised that we have data – financial and human data. Sometimes it's just because they think we have more information than we have. When they come it could be militia, it could be government. It's very difficult to tell. And then they'll set fire to the room to cover their tracks."
Ransom said this is the nature of the job, but the charity does have protocols in place to minimise risk and damage. If they have enough notice, they will attempt to download and wipe all the information from local drives before they are stolen.
TinTops writes: The head of HSBC's technology services arm fears that the financial services industry is being stifled by out-dated laws in the handling of data. He believes that IT execs — who outsource their data to cloud providers which are subsequently compromised — could face jail time despite not being directly responsible for the loss.
Barry Childe said at Cloud Expo Europe: “Right now a financial services IT professional is at risk if he outsources a service elsewhere and a leak happens. There is a risk that he would potentially go to prison. There’s no get out of jail free card because he used a third party."
TinTops writes: Intel has distanced itself further from the controversial (to put it mildly) John McAfee, but gradually phasing out his eponymous brand from its security products. Re-branding to Intel Security, the only reminder of McAfee's involvement will be the "red shield" icon within Intel Security's logo. John McAfee was oddly delighted:
"I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet," he said. "These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words."
TinTops writes: The next micro-usb equivalent will be a thin, USB 3.0 speed connector which can be inserted either way up. Hopefully this will let the rest of the smartphone industry catch up with Apple's Lightning.
"The new specification is currently under development and will be called USB Type-C, according to the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. In addition to an orientation-neutral design, the Type-C will feature USB 3.0 speeds – around 640MBps – with the addition of scalable charging, meaning devices with larger batteries can be charged more quickly."
TinTops writes: Future-looking British online grocer Ocado says it is researching how it could create custom food and non-food to order on a mass scale. Although, it would seem they're using the term "printing" liberally.
Speaking to V3, Ocado's technology director Paul Clarke said his firm saw significant potential in 3D printing for the grocery business and custom foods. "The commercialisation is very interesting for us," he said. "The ability for us to use 3D printing when it comes to food, to be able to deliver that sort of personalisation is of interest to us. We're uniquely equipped to be able to do it in a way that many retailers wouldn't be."
Citing examples such as customised icing on cakes, pasta and pizza, Clarke said there are multiple "stealth" skunkwork projects going on within Ocado to see exactly how a business case could be made for 3D printing.
"You have to think about how you'd produce this at scale," he explained, adding that he believes Ocado would have to produce its own bespoke 3D printing units to do so. "It's one thing to prove you can do it, but you'd also have to think about how to do it on a scaled-up basis and still have it be economic. It's those engineering issues that are relevant to us."
Ocado also runs a non-food business, and Clarke maintains that 3D printing could play just as big a role there as in the grocery business with items such as tabletop decorations and spare parts for other products seemingly economically viable. "We think 3D printing will have an impact on how non-food goods are produced for customers. It's definitely an area to watch," he said.
TinTops writes: Apple puts in hundreds of patents per year, and often we see nothing of them. Some of its more interesting ones include a very odd-looking notebook which features a transparent keyboard/touchscreen, car controls and sporting equipment touch sensors.
More realistically, Apple's also patented detchable notebook screens and gesture controls. Oh, and a watch/bracelet. How many of these appear on shelves remains to be seen, but it's interesting to look back on them.
TinTops writes: Well, they're thinking about it anyway. It may not be printed burgers, but it's a start.
McDonald's UK IT services director is chewing it over: "As we know, you don't always get every toy in a set. So how about as part of a value exchange or as a reward to give the ability to reprint a toy in the restaurant?"
This comes as the fast food chain looks to play catchup with the rest of the brick and mortar retail sector, trying to generate more customer data in order to learn more about their punters: "I have to say we're just thinking about what that data means to us," he said. "We're trying to get some customer insight as to what they want from us as a value exchange. We're not sure what that means for a McDonald's customer. My challenge within retail is that if you're not gaining insight on your customers, someone else is."
TinTops writes: Afraid of the dark? Perhaps you should be afraid of the lights. That's the twisted future envisioned by light bulb-wielding Fujitsu chief technology officer Joseph Reger.
"I'm not concerned about someone hacking into your home and turning off your lights," he said. "What I'm talking about is that someone hacking into your home and looking at the usage pattern of your light bulbs and determining whether you're on vacation. And when it might be a good time to break in."
It gets worse:
"If this light bulb is a little bit more intelligent, if they're intelligent enough, you can inject malicious code into the bulb itself if it's not protected properly. What's the problem with that? All of a sudden I have an army of attackers I've just programmed and I can launch a denial of service attack on anybody using billions of soldiers."
So, who to believe? It's very difficult to know exactly how much of a threat these things are, especially because the amount of people with intelligent light bulbs in there home is so low crooks probably couldn't even DDoS your mum's laptop.
TinTops writes: Tesco has sparked privacy concerns following its decision to install technology that scans shoppers' faces in order to display video advertising on screens at its petrol stations.
The UK's privacy watchdog the ICO is looking into the technology.
This is the first national rollout of the system, known as OptimEyes, which claims to recognise facial characteristics that determine a customer's gender and age in order to show more relevant video adverts on screens as they queue at the till.
Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, the firm which sells the technology, has admitted it has connotations of science fiction, but is looking to increase its reach further. "Yes, it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible," he said.
TinTops writes: Businesses still running XP should switch to Windows 8 as soon as possible, as Microsoft details its own findings into the relative security of its operating systems:
"If you look at the infection rate on Windows systems you can see older versions are infected more than newer machines. Windows XP is six-times more likely to be infected than Windows 8, even though it has the same malware encounter rate," said Mike Reavey, GM of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, at the RSA Conference in Amsterdam.
He added: "The downward rate is a sign of secure development practices," he said. "In pretty much every service in Microsoft we have people devoted purely on security, focused on what's going on in the marketplace and what's needed to secure it."
TinTops writes: Global financial firm UBS's head of online media IT Peter Barnes has offered a candid insight into the regulatory nightmare that is the setting up of internal social collaboration software. His firm took on Jive in 2010, but it hasn't been a smooth ride:
V3: "Following a scandal in 2011 in which a rogue trader lost the firm over $2bn, the system was shut down. The shutdown was not related to Jive, but rather a cultural shift that resulted in a significant increase in accountability and greater regulatory requirements, according to UBS's global head of online media IT Peter Barnes. Peter Barnes is UBS' head of online media IT. "The lawyers felt we didn't have enough control on what employees could or couldn't comment on," he explained at an event attended by V3. "I then had the joyous task of putting millions of controls in so the lawyers were happy that we weren't going to get sued and that everyone felt they knew what the rules of the game were."
TinTops writes: Yahoo's director of security Ramses Martinez announced in a candid post on Yahoo's developer blog that successful bug reports would now warrant a minimum reward of $150 and a potential top payment of $15,000 for the most severe and unique discoveries.
Martinez, who claimed he paid for t-shirts for developers out of his own pocket in the past, said a process had already been set in motion before this week's "t-shirt-gate" scandal broke to properly compensate hackers for their finds. "We recently decided to improve the process of vulnerability reporting. My 'send a t-shirt' idea needed an upgrade. This month the security team was putting the finishing touches on the revised program. And then yesterday morning 't-shirt-gate' hit. My inbox was full of angry email from people inside and out of Yahoo. "How dare I send just a t-shirt to people as a thanks?", he lamented. Ilia Kolochenko, chief executive of Switzerland-based High-Tech Bridge which conducted the gift voucher-exposing research, maintained that while he did not do the research for money, he believes Yahoo's change in policy was an important step for its future.
"The fact that Yahoo is changing their programme is a good sign because it will definitely help them to facilitate relationships with security researchers," he said.
Kolochenko added that Martinez' policy of buying t-shirts with his own money was "definitely an example of how a CSO [chief security officer] should behave", but said Yahoo was better off sending no reward at all instead of corporate gifts, something he said could be interpreted as "insulting". Martinez had the last word on the issue, saying that even Kolochenko's firm would get their just reward. "This includes, of course, a cheque for the researchers at High-Tech Bridge who didn't like my t-shirt," he said.
TinTops writes: The IT chief of supermarket giant Tesco has said he believes there is a market for 3D printing in large supermarkets, and that it will be "good for customers":
Tesco IT chief Mike McNamara told V3: “I think it will help Tesco as a company, I don’t think it will be a bad thing,” he said. “It’ll be a great thing for customers, we’ll have 3D printing in our stores. As retailers you’ll always adapt. So new things come along — the internet came along, we adapted to that one. We kind of have the internet version two with smartphones now, which has been a bigger impact than the wired internet, we’ll adapt to that, we’ll adapt to 3D printing, we’ll adapt to RFID. You live, you change.”
TinTops writes: Current F1 champions Red Bull Racing acknowledge both internal and external threats — CIO Matt Cadieux explained that the "incestuous" nature of Formula One meant that data theft was a constant risk, as well as the efforts of constant — albeit amateur — cyber attacks:
"Our laptops are very locked down, we don't allow portable media unless it's by exception and it's been audited. We use a tool which filters web traffic, we don't allow personal email, we don't allow file exchange sites." He added that smartphones are not on the Infiniti Red Bull network either. "We're good at communicating and collaborating today without smartphones and tablets and social apps in the enterprise. We could take the next step up and use better, more friendly hardware tools, but we won't do that if it opens up big holes for our intellectual property."
TinTops writes: Speaking in a keynote at Intel's Developer Forum (IDF), Microsoft's vice president of marketing Tami Reller said the firm has "now seen about three quarters of Windows enterprises moving to modern desktops" from Windows XP, with the last leg of Windows XP migrations being spurred by the imminent availability of Windows 8.1. However, Reller did not offer a breakdown of the enterprise uptake of Windows 8 compared to Windows 7, both of which are counted by Microsoft as modern desktops.