All posts on August, 2016


Privacy

Innocents Exposed as WikiLeaks Gushes Information

WikiLeaks reportedly has leaked sensitive personal information belonging to hundreds of innocent individuals worldwide, including some residing in several highly repressive countries.
The organization has revealed private credit card data, medical information, personal addresses and other data of various individuals, including the identification as gay of a Saudi Arabian who had been arrested.

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Cybersecurity

Apple Speeds iOS Patch to Bring Down Pegasus

Apple on Thursday issued a patch that addresses three recently discovered critical iOS zero-day vulnerabilities, and advised users to update their systems immediately. State-sponsored actors exploited the flaws to target United Arab Emirates human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, and a Mexican journalist who reported on government corruption. Researchers have dubbed the flaws “Trident.”

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Social Networking

US Government’s Social Media Vetting Idea Draws Fire

A coalition headed by the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Internet Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union this week filed objections to a Department of Homeland Security proposal to collect social media information from visitors entering the United States. The proposal, published in June, calls for the addition of a request to the I-94W form required for aliens seeking entry.

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Government

Defense Department Drifts Toward Commercial Cloud

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to spend nearly half a billion dollars on a project that is designed to further the incorporation of commercial cloud capabilities into DoD’s information technology operations. Vendors have been asked to submit bids for the project, known as “Mil-Cloud 2.0.” The procurement is one element of a comprehensive DoD strategy for expanding cloud operations.

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E-Commerce

Amazon Sets Up New Auto Research Shop

Amazon on Thursday launched Amazon Vehicles, a research and community site that will let users compare new and used cars, and shop for auto parts, among other things. The site will let customers view everything from specs, images, videos and customer reviews of thousands of brand new to classic vehicles, potentially offering stiff competition to Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.com.

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Vendors

Einstein to Make Dreamforce Appearance

Salesforce plans to unveil Einstein, an artificial intelligence product, at next month’s Dreamforce 16. Einstein integration will give Salesforce’s sales, service, marketing, collaboration and e-commerce products predictive suggestion and insights capabilities. It will serve as a new nerve system across the entire business. AI is key to Salesforce’s future, CEO Marc Benioff has emphasized.

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Privacy

WhatsApp Shaves Off a Little More Privacy

WhatsApp on Thursday announced an update to its terms and privacy policy — the first in four years. Among other things, the changes will affect the ways users can communicate with businesses while continuing to avoid third-party banner ads or spam messages, according to the company. However, WhatsApp will begin to share some personal details about its 1 billion users with Facebook.

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Community

25 Years of Linux: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Happy Birthday Linux! You’re 25! When Linux was born on Aug. 25, 1991, it was little more than a hobby for 21-year old Linus Torvald. Today the Linux community is estimated to be upwards of 86 million users strong. It has become the backbone of large enterprises, and it is installed in government systems and embedded in devices worldwide. It has grown into a major mainstream computing platform.

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Tech Buzz

Gadget Ogling: Musical Pizza Boxes, Backup Backpacks, and Tattooing Robots

Call it a gimmick, but I’m very much into the idea of having a pizza box that doubles as a turntable. Pizza Hut partnered with Novalia to make the box, which includes pitch and volume controls, a mixer, and touch-sensitive decks. Using printed electronics, DJs can crossfade, rewind and even scratch. The box pairs with smartphones and computers using Bluetooth and works with DJ software.

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Business

In a Political Season

Many, if not most, people I know don’t want to talk about it — the election, that is. Lots of them have views but they don’t want to share them, based on a dislike of contentiousness. Who likes conflict? There is an article floating around the Internet that I lost track of that says nobody’s mind ever changes in a heated debate about something so vital, so why engage?

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Mobile Advertising

Google Cracks Down on Intrusive Mobile Ads

Google has announced that it soon will downgrade mobile pages in its search rankings if they carry ads that obscure content. Such ads “provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,” explained Doantam Phan, a product manager at Google. Techniques that reduce the accessibility of content include showing users a popup that covers the main content.

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Wall Street

Kobe Bryant Pours Energy – and Money – Into Tech

Kobe Bryant, the retired Los Angeles Lakers basketball champion, has expanded his burgeoning suite of business interests with Monday’s launch of Bryant Stibel, a $100 million venture capital fund for technology, data and media companies. Jeff Stibel, the vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, is Bryant’s long-time business partner. Bryant and Stibel plan to self-fund the new firm for several years.

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