tsamsoniw writes: The tech community has been abuzz over the past week over Canoncial's Ubuntu Edge campaign — enough so for a lively Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit with the company's CEO, Mark Shuttleworth. There's no denying that the company's vision of a cutting-edge "superphone" that doubles as a PC and that runs both desktop Ubuntu and Android is intriguing to gadget-loving geeks, open source advocates, and developers. While Canonical is understandably focused on securing buy-in from those groups, the company also has its sights set on a market that could make or break the project: enterprise users. Just how eager is Canonical to secure enterprise backing? One of the packages (or "perks") in the company's $32 million Indiegogo campaign is called the Enterprise 100 Bundle. For $80,000, a contributor will receive "100 Ubuntu Edge smartphones, plus access to best-practice workshops and 30 days of online support to help CIOs and IT managers integrate Ubuntu for Android into the workplace." InfoWorld challenged Canonical to lay out the business case for the Ubuntu Edge, both from a technology and financial perspective. The company's head of engineering Victor Palau (read: an actually in-the-trenches techie, not a marketing executive) accepted the challenge.
snydeq writes: The U.S. health care industry is undergoing several massive transformations, not the least of which is the shift to interoperable EHR (electronic health records) systems. The ONC's Doug Fridsma discusses the various issues that many health care IT and medical providers have raised regarding use of these systems, which are mandated for 2014 under the HITECH Act of 2004, and are all the more important in light of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , aka Obamacare. Key to the transition, says Fridsma, is transforming health IT for EHRs into something more akin to the Internet, and less like traditional ERP and IT systems. 'I think what we're trying to do is the equivalent of what you've got in the Internet, which is horizontal integration rather than vertical integration,' Fridsma says. 'We've done a lot of work looking at what other countries have done, and we've tried to learn from those experiences. Rather than trying to build this top down and create restrictions, we're really trying to ask, "What's the path of least regret in what we need to do?"'
tsamsoniw writes: California Attorney Kamala Harris says her office will start cracking down on companies in the Golden State that don't encrypt customer data and fall victim to data breaches; she's also calling on the state to pass a law requiring companies to use encryption. That's just one of the recommendations in the state's newly released data breach report, which says 131 companies in California suffered data breaches in 2012, affecting 2.5 million residents.
tsamsoniw writes: Mozilla and The National Science Foundation recently doled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to winners of the Mozilla Ignite awards, for which developers submitted prototype apps primed for the faster, smarter Internet of the future. Here's a look at standout submissions, which range from a high-quality, open source Web conferencing application to tools for collaborating in 3D environments.
tsamsoniw writes: Mozilla today unveiled Persona Beta 2, the newest edition of the organization's open authentication system. The release includes Identity Bridging, which lets user sign in to Persona-supported sites using their existing webmail accounts, starting with Yahoo. Mozilla used the releases as an opportunity to bash social sign-in offerings from Facebook and Twitter, which "conflate the act of signing into a website with sharing access to your social network, and often granting the site permission to publish on your behalf," said Lloyd Hilaiel, technical lead for Mozilla Persona. He added that they are built in such a way that social providers have full visibility into a user's browsing behavior.
tsamsoniw writes: Emergency-service providers and other organizations are being targeted with TDoS (telephony denial of service) attacks, according to a security alert [PDF] from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, obtained by security expert Brian Krebs. TDoS attacks use high volumes of automated calls to tie up target phone systems, halting incoming and outgoing calls. Perpetrators are using the attacks to extort cash from target organizations, who receive a call from a representative from a purported payday loan company, who demands payment of $5,000 for an outstanding debt — usually speaking in an unspecified "strong accent."
tsamsoniw writes: "Using a combination of relatively low-tech techniques and tools, security researchers have discovered that they can access the contents of one in six Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets whose owners had them set to Public instead of Private. All told, researchers discovered and explored nearly 2,000 public buckets, according to Rapid 7 Senior Security Consultant Will Vandevanter, from which they gathered a list of more than 126 billion files, many of which contained sensitive information such as source code and personal employee information. Researchers noted that S3 URLs are all predictable and public facing, which make it that much easier to find the buckets in the first place with a scripting tool."
tsamsoniw writes: "Hoping to strike a blow against sexism in the tech industry, developer and tech evangelist Adria Richards took to Twitter to complain about two male developers swapping purportedly offensive jokes at PyCon. The decision has set into motion a chain of events that illustrate the impact a tweet or two can make in this age of social networking: One the developers and Richards have since lost their jobs, and even the chair of PyCon has been harassed for his minor role in the incident."
tsamsoniw writes: "Researchers from the University of Glasgow have discovered that they could fully recover images, audio files, PDFs, and Word documents deleted from Dropbox, Box, and SugarSync, using both an HTC Android smartphone and an iPhone. They created 20 different test files, including Words docs, PDFS, and JPGs, uploaded them via a PC to the various services, and synced the services with the mobile devices. They accessed and manipulated the files in varying ways (e,g accessing them online once, saving them offline), then used a forensics toolkit to attempt to reconstruct files with artifacts saved to the phone."
mk1004 writes: Patrick Thibodeau at ComputerWorld writes that lawmakers are listening, behind closed doors, to business owners who are opposed to bringing in IT workers using H-1B visas. Reducing H-1B IT workers could make careers in IT desirable again, argues one CEO.
tsamsoniw writes: "Although the newly appointed Pope Francis I has proven himself technologically savvy enough to use Twitter, the Vatican dropped the ball when it came to quickly registering a domain name for the pontiff after his appointment earlier this month: Within hours, cyber squatters grabbed up more than 600 domain names containing derivations of the pontiff's name, including popefrancisi.com, popefrancis.co.uk, popefrancis.org, and popefrancis.fr, according to domain-name company names.co.uk."
tsamsoniw writes: "The U.S. government has at long last called out the Chinese government for tolerating, if not outright supporting, cyber attacks against American businesses. In a speech yesterday, President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon called on China to acknowledge that cyber crime poses a threat to international trade; to investigate and put a stop to cyber crime emanating from China; and to work with the United States to "establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace." Donilon's speech comes on the heels of a report released by security company Mandiant that laid out evidence of a cyber espionage outfit dubbed APT1 is actually a branch of the Chinese military called PLA (People's Liberation Army) Unit 61398."
tsamsoniw writes: "Miguel de Icaza, co-founder of the Gnome and Mono projects, has revealed that he dumped Linux months ago in favor of Mac OS, citing fragmentation and incompatibilities among the various Linux versions as the reasons for his switch. In a post to his personal blog, he wrote that he has long recommended Macs to new users and has gifted them to friends and family, adding that 'Linux just never managed to cross the desktop chasm.' The Linux Foundation's response: 'We agree with Miguel that Apple makes great products. As to the broader question, we see Linux diversity as its strength rather than a weakness.'"
tsamsoniw writes: "The Obama Administration and the FCC today came out in favor of changing new legislation that makes it difficult for consumers to unlock their rightfully owned mobile devices — cell phones, smartphones, and tablets — without risk of fines, jail time, or other criminal penalties. The announcements come on the heels of a successful online petition campaign to change a recent Library of Congress ruling made the unlocking of smartphones purchased after Jan. 26 illegal. Notably, neither the White House nor the FCC came out with any definitive recommendations for rewording the Library of Congress's ruling. They said that the Obama administration, Congress, the FCC, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) need to hash that out."