snydeq writes: "Security pros and government officials warn of a possible cyber 9/11 involving banks, utilities, other companies, or the Internet, InfoWorld reports. 'A cyber war has been brewing for at least the past year, and although you might view this battle as governments going head to head in a shadow fight, security experts say the battleground is shifting from government entities to the private sector, to civilian targets that provide many essential services to U.S. citizens. The cyber war has seen various attacks around the world, with incidents such as Stuxnet, Flame, and Red October garnering attention. Some attacks have been against government systems, but increasingly likely to attack civilian entities. U.S. banks and utilities have already been hit.'"
snydeq writes: "Deep End's Paul Venezia questions whether Cisco can ever be trusted again in the wake of its automatic Linksys firmware update that forced customers to create Cloud Connect accounts and agree to have their browser histories tracked. 'In the intervening days since the discovery of this disgusting display of corporate thuggery, Cisco has backtracked. The company promises to modify the terms of service to remove some of the more egregious language, but as ExtremeTech points out, that doesn't matter — Cisco can still update those terms at any time. Cisco has also provided a way to downgrade affected devices, but that leaves users without an upgrade path in the future. It's actions like this that make open source solutions all the more attractive,' Venezia writes. 'These cases highlight the lag between regulation and technology. Prior to the past decade or so, the idea of a manufacturer purposefully breaking a product after purchase in order to spy on you and profit from that information was so outlandish, there was no need for concern. We're now living in a world where it could easily be done clandestinely."
snydeq writes: "The big data revolution is creating a new breed of business-IT jobs — and threatening to destabilize dyed-in-the-wool IT careers, InfoWorld's Dan Tynan reports. Among the new jobs being created by 'big data' are those that 'blend business knowledge and powerful IT tools to the benefit of tech-savvy line-of-business professionals — and the possible detriment of IT pros oblivious to the big data trend,' Tynan writes, detailing five hybrid data-driven jobs born of the big data revolution — and one in danger of being sidelined by the deluge, as yesterday's "superusers" transform into tomorrow's business-IT professionals."
snydeq writes: "A U.S. Federal Reserve contractor has been charged with copying the source code of software that keeps track of large exchanges of money between U.S. government agencies, InfoWorld reports. Bo Zhang, of Queens, N.Y., worked for the Reserve Bank of New York as a computer programmer on behalf of an unnamed third-party contracting firm. He was arrested Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Although Zhang is a Chinese national employed in the U.S. through a work visa, the FBI gave no indication that the alleged theft was espionage."
snydeq writes: "A recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sheds light on the business cycle for the tech industry, and if the dot-com bust is any indication, we may soon witness the implosion of today's mobile tech jobs boom. Venture capital firms are drastically reducing investment in the mobile industry, a trend that could render many mobile ventures unable to meet their rapidly increasing payrolls in the near future. And while the dot-com era is remembered for its profligate excess and perks, 'the real destroyer of the balance sheet was the payroll' — so much so that U.S. BLS chief regional economist Amar Maan suggests that many tech entrepreneurs would be better off opening a restaurant."
snydeq writes: "Flooding near Bangkok has taken about 25 percent of the world's hard disk manufacturing capacity offline, InfoWorld reports. 'Disk manufacturing sites in Thailand — notably including the largest Western Digital plant — were shut down due to floods around Bangkok last week and are expected to remain shut for at least several more days. The end to flooding is not in sight, and Western Digital now says it could take five to eight months to bring its plants back online.' Toshiba's Thailand plants have also been affected, as have key disk component suppliers, including Nidec and Hutchinson Technologies."
snydeq writes: "The Chinese government has renewed Google's Internet Content Provider license, enabling the company to continue to provide Web search and other local products to users in China. If Google had been unable to renew its license, it could have meant the end of the company's operations in China, leaving search engine rival Baidu to dominate the market. Last week Google began making efforts to win over Chinese officials. Rather than automatically redirect Google.cn visitors to Google's Hong Kong search engine, the company now sends visitors to a "landing page" where they can choose to click on a link leading to the Hong Kong site."
snydeq writes: "Closing arguments concluded Monday in the city of San Francisco's case against Terry Childs, the network administrator charged with violating California hacking laws by refusing to hand over network passwords for the city's FiberWAN during a 12-day period in 2008. Childs was charged in July 2008 and has been held on $5 million bail ever since. The highly technical trial, which featured testimony from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Cisco Chief Security Officer John Stewart, has dragged on for nearly six months. By Monday, five of the 18 jurors and alternates selected for the trial had dropped out, and the remaining jurors seemed relieved to see the arguments wrap up as they left the courtroom Monday afternoon. They will return Tuesday to start their deliberations. Childs faces five years in prison if he is convicted for disrupting service to the city's computer system by withholding administrative passwords — a verdict that, if rendered, puts all IT admins in danger."
snydeq writes: With a setup ripped right out of a reality show — or, perhaps more fittingly, 'The Shining' — a French-language public broadcasters association will put five journalists in a French farmhouse for five days, giving them no access to newspapers, television, radio, or the Internet, save Facebook and Twitter, to see how much world news they can report. The reporters will report this news on a communal blog. 'Our aim is to show that there are different sources of information and to look at the legitimacy of each of these sources,' said France Inter editor Helene Jouan. 'This experiment will enable us to take a hard look at all the myths that exist about Facebook and Twitter.'