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Opinion

Computer forensics follows the bread crumbs left by perpetrators

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 11:36am

The boss gets tipped off that an employee might be leaving the company and in so doing is trying to grab as many clients as possible to take with him to his new job. The company brings in computer forensic specialists to look through the employee’s actions online to find the evidence before confronting the employee.

Alfred Demirjian, president and CEO of computer forensic company TechFusion, has seen that and many other scenarios in the 30 years he has been in the business--anything from an employee sabotaging a former company through hijacking an email account to misusing the internet on company time. Commercial software allows his company to dig deep into an employee’s social media postings and texts, or to track them by GPS if they have a company-owned smartphone.

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Categories: Opinion

Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 11:00am

If you hate waiting for your smartphone to charge, relief is coming soon.

After some hiccups, Qualcomm's superfast charging technology, called Quick Charge 4, will be in smartphones around the middle of this year.

Qualcomm says Quick Charge 4 is one of the fastest smartphone battery technologies. It can charge a smartphone up to 50 percent in less than 15 minutes, or give enough juice for five hours of talk time in five minutes, the chip maker claims.

The new charging technology is about 20 percent faster than its predecessor, Quick Charge 3, which is in many smartphones from Sony, LG, HTC and Motorola.

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Categories: Opinion

Bridgestone modernizes data center, hauls out 13 tons of copper wire

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 11:00am

In October 1968, Lyndon Johnson was president, the Beatles released Hey Jude, and computer scientist Douglas Engelbart presented the "Mother of All Demos."

It was also the year tire-making giant Bridgestone Corp. opened a data center in Akron, Ohio. If walls could talk, this data center could tell the story of IT.

That center opened on Oct. 9, 1968, with racks and racks of tapes and a water-cooled mainframe. Today, it is the home of systems supporting an almost completely virtualized environment.

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Categories: Opinion

Azure, AI, JavaScript headline Microsoft Build 2017

CIO.com - News - May 8, 2017 - 11:00am

At its Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle this week, Microsoft will put its Azure cloud and Windows 10 front and center with sessions ranging from cloud services to artificial intelligence to programming languages.

The company will provide a road map for the Azure Compute platform and discuss how to use the cloud service for continuous delivery. Brendan Burns, co-founder of the Kubernetes container orchestration platform and the lead on Azure Container Services, will talk about containers redefining how reliable cloud systems are built, while another session will cover Windows Communication Foundation microservices in Windows containers for use on Azure. Build will also feature a session on linkage between the Node.js JavaScript platform and Azure.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: One day wearables will save your marriage

CIO.com - Opinion - May 8, 2017 - 1:34am

There is a current global surge in popularity of the use of “wearables” for various health and fitness applications. The beeping of fitness watches and devices is the ever-present soundtrack to gyms and tarmac these days as people embrace the information age.

Recently, intensive research has examined the use of biometric data in prediction models for human interactions.

Potentially, you could wear a device on your wrist that could warn you that you were about to have a fight, and consequently suggest appropriate responses. Problems arise in most marriages usually due to some form of miscommunication.

These wearable devices alert the individual of rising emotional responses using physiological data and thus can provide a point of intervention by either party. For example, as your temper rises because your spouse has left his socks on the floor, your device vibrates in response to your rising heart rate and issues a message to take a deep breath. This could essentially stop arguments before they occur and remove the pressure of conflict resolution.

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Categories: Opinion

Why your next business phone will be an Amazon Echo

CIO.com - Opinion - May 6, 2017 - 12:00pm

"The phone is already dead."

That's what Microsoft visionary and HoloLens honcho Alex Kipman said this week.

The "phone call is making a comeback."

That's what one tech publication said this week, based in part on wishful thinking by MIT egghead and Reclaiming Conversation author Sherry Turkle.

Could both be true?

The answer is yes. Phones are definitely dead. Phone calls are forever. But the reasons why may surprise you.

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Categories: Opinion

Email dump hits French candidate Macron ahead of election

CIO.com - News - May 6, 2017 - 1:59am

Another political campaign has been hit by an email dump. This time, the target is French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

On Friday, his campaign said a massive and coordinated hack had breached the email inboxes of several staffers. This came after a mysterious user named “EMLEAKS” apparently dumped the stolen data through torrent files on text storage site Pastebin.

It’s unclear if the information in the dump is genuine. Allegedly, the dump contains a 9GB trove of emails and photos. The torrent files, which were hosted on Archive.org, are no longer available there.

But Macron’s campaign said the leaked files have been spreading over social media as the country prepares to vote for a new president on Sunday.

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Categories: Opinion

Patch to fix Intel-based PCs with enterprise bug rolls out next week

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 9:46pm

Next week, PC vendors will start rolling out patches that fix a severe vulnerability found in certain Intel-based business systems, including laptops, making them easier to hack.   

Intel on Friday released a new notice urging clients to take steps to secure their systems.

The chipmaker has also released a downloadable tool that can help IT administrators and users discover whether a machine they own has the vulnerability.

In addition, vendors including Fujitsu, HP, and Lenovo have released lists showing which products are affected and when the patches will roll out. 

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Categories: Opinion

We've gotten our first look at an Echo with a built-in screen, and it's straight out of 2005

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 8:55pm

Alexa is poised for a major breakout. Over the past few months, Amazon’s AI assistant has expanded to the iPhone in the Amazon app, Android with the Huawei Mate 9, and gotten a camera upgrade with the fashion-minded Echo Look. But a new leak suggests Amazon has even bigger plans for Alexa.

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Categories: Opinion

Java modular battle heats up as Oracle criticizes Red Hat, IBM

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 7:06pm

Amidst a budding controversy surrounding the module system planned for Java, Oracle’s chief Java architect, Mark Reinhold, lashed out today at Red Hat and IBM’s opposition, saying the companies are just guarding their own self interests.

In an open letter to the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Commitee published Friday morning, Reinhold was highly critical of the two rival vendors. The current disagreement centers on Java Specification Request 376, which focuses on the module system featured as part of Project Jigsaw. Red Hat Mid­dle­ware ini­tially agreed to the goals and re­quire­ments of the JSR, but then worked con­sis­tently to un­der­mine them, Reinhold said.

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Categories: Opinion

Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 6:55pm

In a slowing PC market, Chromebooks siphoned market share away from Windows PCs in 2016 as their popularity grew outside the education market.

Chromebook shipments grew by a stunning 38 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Gartner estimated 9.4 million Chromebooks shipped, compared to 6.8 million units in 2015.

The number is just a fraction of overall PC shipments, but growth came in an otherwise down PC market. Overall PC shipments in 2016 were about 270 million units, a decline of about 6.2 percent, according to Gartner.

Looking forward, 2016 may go down as the best year ever for Chromebook shipment growth. Gartner is estimating shipments to continue growing in the coming years but at a slower pace.

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Categories: Opinion

Android device updates: T-Mobile sends out a fix for the Galaxy S8, S8+ red screen

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 5:47pm

The few Galaxy S8 and S8+ models that were seeing red shouldn’t do so for much longer. T-Mobile is the first to push out a fix for the strange tint that appeared on some users’ new phones.

It was a busy week for updates on other fronts, with the monthly patch out for Google’s devices and Nougat hitting a few more Samsung phones.

Each week, we round up all the major software updates to hit the Android ecosystem, including phones and tablets on U.S. carriers, unlocked phones, smartwatches, and Android TV devices. Make sure your device is running the latest available software so you can enjoy new features—and fewer bugs and security holes.

T-Mobile

Galaxy S8, S8+: Samsung has no room to play with fire (it never gets old) when it comes to a problem with its smartphones. So when some users reported a strange, red tint on the screen the company went into overdrive on a fix. After first rolling out in Korea, it’s now hitting stateside. T-Mobile has detailed an update for the S8 and S8+ that adds in two options to tweak the display color. Samsung says this should fix the issue, otherwise you may be able to get a replacement phone if you’re still unsatisfied.

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Categories: Opinion

Motorola could be working on a killer new feature for a tablet that no one will want to buy

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 5:31pm

Unsurprisingly, the Android tablet market on the decline. You don’t have to be an analyst to see that usage is dramatically down, and a new report confirms that very fact. But that’s not stopping Motorola from trying to resuscitate it.

According to Android Police, Motorola is working on a new Moto tablet, it’s first in a number of years. And according to a screenshot it received from a source, the tablet isn’t just another run-of-the-mill 10-inch affair with a metal-and-glass build. It might include a cool new feature that could actually make you want to buy one.

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Categories: Opinion

PC makers will ship Windows 10 mixed reality headsets in Q4

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 5:28pm

Microsoft's hardware partners will flood the market with Windows Mixed Reality headsets by the holiday season this year, offering up a new way to enjoy Windows 10.

A Windows Mixed Reality headset from Acer is already being seeded to select developers by Microsoft, but isn't available to consumers yet.

So far three PC makers -- Lenovo and HP as well as Acer -- said they would ship headsets later this year. Dell is still mulling a release date. The headsets will start at $299, the rough minimum price suggested by Microsoft.

The headsets need to be wired to Windows 10 PCs. Once on, they will transport you to a virtual world where you can, for example, roam, Skype-chat and play Xbox games. It's like computing in a 3D world, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.

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Categories: Opinion

Trump presidency offers lessons in how not to lead

CIO.com - Opinion - May 5, 2017 - 4:41pm

As we watch what is shaping up to be a failed presidency, one historic problem becomes clear. Time and again we witness how CEOs who have been advanced to leadership roles without first building a breadth of competencies cannot succeed. It all comes down to the need to ensure an adequate foundation for success, something that often separates successful firms from those that fail. Other than being defined by irony, the Trump presidency is, so far, as much a showcase of what not to do when you have a relatively inexperienced leader running the effort.

[ Related: How a CEO can kill a company in 5 easy steps ]

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Categories: Opinion

UK seeks end to end-to-end encryption

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 4:38pm

It could put an end to end-to-end encryption in services such as WhatsApp: The U.K. government wants telecommunications providers to help it tap their customers' communications, removing any encryption the provider applied.

The government's desires are set out in a draft of the regulations obtained by Open Rights Group (ORG), which campaigns for digital civil rights.

"These powers could be directed at companies like WhatsApp to limit their encryption. The regulations would make the demands that [Home Secretary] Amber Rudd made to attack end-to-end encryption a reality. But if the powers are exercised, this will be done in secret," said ORG executive director Jim Killock.

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Categories: Opinion

Cyberspies tap free tools to make powerful malware framework

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 3:55pm

Over the past year, a group of attackers has managed to infect hundreds of computers belonging to government agencies with a malware framework stitched together from JavaScript code and publicly available tools.

The attack, analyzed by researchers from antivirus firm Bitdefender, shows that cyberespionage groups don't necessarily need to invest a lot of money in developing unique and powerful malware programs to achieve their goals. In fact, the use of publicly available tools designed for system administration can increase an attack's efficiency and makes it harder for security vendors to detect it and link it to a particular threat actor.

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Categories: Opinion

IDG Contributor Network: Six highlights of Red Hat Summit 2017

CIO.com - Opinion - May 5, 2017 - 3:36pm

At the Red Hat Summit 2017, the company showed how it is evolving from being a Linux vendor to a cloud provider and recognized the work of individuals and partners who have contributed to the popularity of open source.

Collaboration with AWS: Multi or hybrid cloud is the future. Companies are using a mix of cloud technologies and Red Hat is working on making it easier to access AWS services right from Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

Customers can use the Red Hat OpenShift console to configure and deploy a huge set of AWS services, including Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift, Amazon EMR, Amazon Athena, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, and Elastic Load Balancing.

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Categories: Opinion

Most U.S. households have ditched landlines for mobile phones

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 3:24pm

In America, landlines aren’t the norm anymore.

A recently released survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PDF) estimates that during the second half of 2016 50.8 percent of U.S. households were wireless only. That’s up from 48.3 percent during the same time period in 2015—a rise of 2.5 percentage points.

The story behind the story: It might seem odd to hear that the CDC is tracking phone usage, but there’s actually a good reason for it. Every year, the CDC conducts a face-to-face survey with 40,000 households called the National Health Interview Survey. Since 2003, the NHIS has monitored what kind of phone connectivity respondents had: landline or mobile. This data gives the CDC useful information that correlates to the health status of people without landlines.

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Categories: Opinion

Facebook nears 2 billion users, warns ad growth will slow

CIO.com - News - May 5, 2017 - 3:21pm

Facebook is on track to surpass 2 billion monthly active users (MAU) before the end of this summer. The company ended the first quarter of 2017 with 1.94 billion MAUs and 1.28 billion people using the social network every day.

While the monthly user base grew 17 percent year-over-year, daily usage jumped at a slightly higher rate of 18 percent during the same period. Overall growth remains steady, which is unique for a company with such a massive global user base. Facebook reported identical growth rates on a percentage basis in the previous quarter.

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Categories: Opinion

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