Google project aims to preserve privacy when collecting software stats

Google is applying a surveying technique from the 1960s to a project that aims to collect data about users’ computers without potentially compromising their privacy.The project is nicknamed RAPPOR, which stands for Randomized Aggregatable Privacy-Preserving Ordinal Response. Google plans to present a paper on it next week at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security. RAPPOR is intended to collect statistics about software, such as security flaws, but in a way that doesn’t expose sensitive information. It can do that by applying a technique used for randomized response surveys, wrote Ulfar Erlingsson, tech lead manager for security research.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 8:15 pm

Major banks ready their own mobile payment apps

Several major national and international banks are planning to launch their own mobile payments apps next year.The banks would be major competitors to handset makers Apple and Google because unlike others pushing mobile wallet technology, such as mobile phone carriers and retailers, they already have an intimate relationship with consumers and know their spending habits.“Banks all around the world are working on this right now,” said James Anderson, senior vice president for mobile and emerging payments at MasterCard.Anderson didn’t name any of the banks, but said MasterCard is already in conversations with them on how to add mobile payment capability to the existing apps that millions of consumers already have on their phones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 8:05 pm

Android creator Andy Rubin leaving Google

Andy Rubin, the engineer who developed Google’s Android OS and was lately in charge of its robotics efforts, is leaving the company, Google confirmed Thursday.Rubin cofounded a company called Android, which Google acquired in 2005 for its mobile OS. Android has gone on to become the world’s most widely used mobile operating system.Last year, though, Rubin was moved off the Android team and put in charge of Google’s robotics projects. His work was taken over by Sundar Pichai, who now leads Google’s Android, Chrome and other products.The reasons for Rubin’s departure weren’t clear, though it had something to do with the structure of his team at Google, according to a report on tech news site The Information.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 7:50 pm

Zuckerberg to connect with regular folk in first 'community Q&A'

If you’ve always wondered if Mark Zuckerberg has a favorite hoodie, or a favorite programming language, now’s your chance to find out.Facebook’s chief will host his first community Q&A next Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern, giving the public a chance to ask any questions they might have for him.The event will be livestreamed and last about an hour. It expands on the internal Q&A sessions that Zuckerberg holds each Friday with Facebook employees.The event is structured similar to an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A on Reddit, but could draw considerably more attention given that it involves the CEO of one of the most used services on the Internet.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 6:00 pm

RCA gives unexpected boost to tablet market in Q3

RCA unexpectedly jolted an otherwise slowing tablet market in the third quarter as Apple’s iPad shipments continued to decline.Global tablet shipments totaled 53.8 million units during the third quarter, growing by 11.5 percent compared to the same quarter the previous year, according to research released Thursday by IDC.The surprise of the report, though, was that RCA shipped 2.6 million tablets worldwide, up 194 percent year-over-year, vaulting the company into fifth place among global tablet vendors. The venerable brand was established in 1919 as the Radio Corporation of America and had never before cracked the list of top vendors.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 4:10 pm

Facebook's Internet.org app launches in East Africa

Facebook is broadening the scope of its Internet.org initiative in Africa, launching its app for the program in the East African country of Tanzania.In July, Facebook launched its Internet.org app in the Southern African country of Zambia.Tanzanian mobile phone operator Tigo has announced that it is offering customers an opportunity to buy low-cost smartphones for them to be able to access the Internet.org app.Facebook and other tech companies launched Internet.org last year as a project to make the Internet accessible to people in emerging markets. Facebook has been working with local telecom providers to roll out Internet.org apps free, with options to upgrade to paid services.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 3:25 pm

HP exec: Unlike Amazon, we don’t have to hire enterprise sales experts

In a wide-ranging interview with Bill Hilf, HP’s VP of Helion cloud product and services, Network World editor in chief John Dix and I asked him among other things about competition with Amazon Web Services - the leading public IaaS cloud computing vendor.Hilf says he found it amusing when he saw reports that AWS hired a head of enterprise strategy. “I kind of laughed at that,” Hilf said, noting that HP’s heritage is selling to enterprise customers. “We don’t need one of those,” he added. “That’s all we do. We don’t have a special enterprise guy.”+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Microsoft adds IoT, big data tools to Azure +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:36 pm

Petition targets Apple over ‘spyware’ in OS X Yosemite

Apple should remove “spyware” from its new Yosemite release of OS X, according to an online petition that has received 14,450 signatures as of early Thursday afternoon. The petition’s complaints center on the Spotlight feature of Yosemite. Spotlight is a unified search service that lets users search everything from their own file structure to their installed apps, web results and a lot more besides. The petitioners say that Spotlight’s default settings, in Yosemite, automatically transmit location data and search terms to Apple, Microsoft “and other third parties.” + ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Competition is holding Apple Pay, mobile payments back | Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’ +To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:35 pm

Vulnerabilities found in more command-line tools, wget and tnftp get patches

The critical Shellshock vulnerabilities found last month in the Bash Unix shell have motivated security researchers to search for similar flaws in old, but widely used, command-line utilities.Two remote command execution vulnerabilities were patched this week in the popular wget download agent and tnftp client for Unix-like systems. This comes after a remote code execution vulnerability was found last week in a library used by strings, objdump, readelf and other command-line tools.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:25 pm

Republican gains in Congress would have limited impact on big tech issues

Anticipated Republican gains in the U.S. Congress after next Tuesday’s election have limited implications for tech-related issues like net neutrality and reform of National Security Agency surveillance programs, with some observers expecting no huge changes.Many pollsters and prognosticators are predicting Republicans will add to their majority in the House of Representatives and possibly take over majority control of the Senate, allowing Republicans to set the legislative agenda for the next two years.In recent years, with split party control in the two chambers of Congress, it’s been difficult for lawmakers to pass any major pieces of legislation, particularly involving anything controversial. That may not change with Republican majorities, with many in their ranks resisting new regulations, with a few exceptions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:20 pm

Hurricane fails to stir Bacardi's business continuity plan

As Hurricane Gonzalo bore down on Bermuda recently, IT Security Services Manager Ronald W. Stan had spirits maker Bacardi prepared for the worst. The 152-year-old company was not shaken by the Category 2 storm, despite tens of thousands on the island without power.With winds reaching 110 mph and Gonzalo taking down trees and tossing around boats, Stan and his crew stuck to its operating procedure to make sure Bacardi’s headquarters and network remained standing and secure (Bacardi does not manufacture its product on the British island).[ STORM RELATED: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in a Tornado Zone ]To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:54 pm

2014’s biggest cloud deals (so far)

The top cloud deals of 20142014's slate of cloud deals reflect a few important trends in the market for the open source cloud software. One is that traditional enterprise vendors continue to see potential in OpenStack and they're willing to shell out the cash to buy the expertise and technology they need to pursue the market.The second is that despite interest from those big vendors, actual adoption of OpenStack hasn't happened as quickly as some people might have hoped. The result is that some of the startups, even trendsetters like Cloudscaling, are open to acquisition as they realize they may not be able to make it on their own.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:51 pm

Where to find security certifications

Security certificationsThe debate rages on whether gaining security certifications means much. Regardless of whether you think they aren't even worth the paper they are printed on, there are others who believe certifications prove the individual knows what they are doing. With that, here are a group of vendors who offer security certifications.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:49 pm

What you should know about Lenovo's Motorola acquisition

China’s Lenovo finally has the global smartphone presence it has craved, finalizing the purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google for US$2.91 billion.Motorola’s offerings in mature markets will complement Lenovo’s growing smartphone presence in developing countries. Lenovo hopes to unseat the likes of Apple and Samsung, and has an ambitious goal of shipping 100 million devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones, by the end of March next year.Details of the joint product road map were shared in a Thursday press conference and these are some points that stood out.No Motorola or Lenovo brands are being discontinuedTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:25 pm

Sencha melds desktop and smartphone management with Space

An upgraded version of Sencha’s Space platform has the potential to bring together desktops, smartphones and tablets, with lower management costs along the way.So far, mobile devices have been managed using separate tools, but in the long run that’s too expensive. The big trend in the management sector is a move from separate to integrated tools that can manage smartphones, tablets and PCs.Sencha is best known for its cross-platform development tools. But the company also has designs on the management market with Space, which is a managed application platform for HTML and Javascript-based applications.Instead of running the apps in a browser, Sencha has developed a more secure client for them to run in. With version 1.2 of Space, the client can run on desktops in addition to smartphones and tablets. Once the client has been installed, users can access the same apps they have previously used on their mobile devices.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:20 pm

IDG Contributor Network: Just where are the world's hackers located?

Here’s a question I was asked recently by an IT buddy: where do hackers live? Where are they from?Well, new studies and reports have been bubbling up over the last month or so, and although I don’t have a definitive answer, I can take a stab at answering his question.HistoryRumors have persisted for years that countries with good education systems but poor job prospects have been the ones that generated hackers. The kids are taught well about computers and the like, but when it comes time to enter the job market, there isn't any work, so they use their skills messing with computers and end up hacking.Nick Farrell, writing for IDG Connect earlier this year, says Bulgarians at the turn of the century used hacking to vent frustration at corrupt governments that had "ruined their lives" after the fall of communism. The kids tested their skills against foreign governments and others.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 12:16 pm

Guinness World Record: Amplifier operates at a speed of one trillion cycles per second

DARPA said today that a solid-state amplifier developed under its Terahertz Electronics program was recognized by Guinness World Records as the fastest ever recorded -- one terahertz (1012 GHz), or one trillion cycles per second—150 billion cycles faster than the existing world record of 850 gigahertz set in 2012. Northrop Grumman developed the amplifier known as the Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) and said the device exhibits power gains several orders of magnitude beyond the current state of the art.+More on Network World: IBM/DARPA turn out brain-like 5-billion transistor superchip+To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 12:13 pm

Microsoft releases stopgap POODLE protection for Internet Explorer

Microsoft on Wednesday gave Windows customers an easier way to block attacks against Internet Explorer (IE) meant to steal browser session cookies and impersonate victims.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: 10 (FREE!) Microsoft tools to make admins happier Two weeks after Google researchers revealed the "POODLE" attack method and about the same length of time before Microsoft releases its next round of security updates, Microsoft offered one of its automated "Fixit" tools to disable SSL 3.0, an aged and vulnerable Internet encryption standard.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 10:23 am

Microsoft adds IoT, Big Data orchestration services to Azure

Microsoft added three new big data services to its Azure cloud platform yesterday as part of its ongoing efforts to make Azure a leading platform for big data services and to make it ready to tackle the Internet of Things (IoT)."Every day, IoT is fueling vast amounts of data from millions of endpoints streaming at high velocity in the cloud," says Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Machine Learning at Microsoft. "Examples of streaming analytics can be found across many businesses, such as stock trading, fraud detection, identity protection services, sensors, web clickstream analytics and alerts from CRM applications. In this new and fast-moving world of cloud and devices, businesses can no longer wait months or weeks for insights generated from data."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 10:21 am

Drupal: If you weren't quick to patch, assume your site was hacked

Users of Drupal, one of the most popular content management systems, should consider their sites compromised if they didn’t immediately apply a security patch released on Oct. 15.The unusually alarming statement was part of a “public service announcement” issued by the Drupal project’s security team Wednesday.“Automated attacks began compromising Drupal 7 websites that were not patched or updated to Drupal 7.32 within hours of the announcement of SA-CORE-2014-005 - Drupal core - SQL injection,” the Drupal security team said. “You should proceed under the assumption that every Drupal 7 website was compromised unless updated or patched before Oct 15th, 11pm UTC, that is 7 hours after the announcement.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 10:00 am

Smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales stalling at 70 percent

Smartphones during the third quarter again accounted for about 70 percent of total mobile phone shipments. Prices need to fall even further to attract more users in emerging markets, but that won’t happen overnight.Though the smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales increased year over year, it has been flat, sequentially, at around 70 percent for the last couple of quarters, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. For the smartphone share to increase, prices have to come down so more users in parts of the world such as Africa and India can afford them.Today the cheapest smartphones cost about US$35 at wholesale, but prices under $20 are needed. Getting there will take a couple of years, at least. “In the short term, the component cost, IPR costs and the software costs are too high for smartphones to compete at the very bottom end of the market, so feature phones aren’t going away,” Mawston said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 9:10 am

Pirate Bay co-founder found guilty of hacking in Denmark

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was found guilty of hacking and serious vandalism in the Court of Fredriksberg in Denmark on Thursday.Warg was found guilty for hacking the mainframe of IT service provider CSC in Denmark. A 21-year old Danish man was also found guilty, as he acted as Warg’s accomplice, according to the ruling. To protect the man’s privacy, Judge Kari Sørensen, who presided over the case, ordered news outlets not to publish his name.Svartholm Warg’s sentence will be announced on Friday at 1 p.m. local time, said Sørensen. She declined to discuss further details of the case over the phone.The prosecutor in the case is requesting a prison sentence of five years for Svartholm Warg.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 8:20 am

BrandPost: So, I Use COS 1 for My Voice Services Over My MPLS VPN

The coming decade will see enterprises employ a wide range of commercial software, cloud, and mobile IP-based applications. This deployment will raise the importance of having robust WAN IP-connectivity solutions that include the use of more on-demand network resources.Enterprises are evaluating and adopting hosted or cloud WAN solutions for selected applications, such as Voice over IP (VoIP), Unified Communications, storage, and video.Communication service providers, or CSPs, with advanced Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks that enable a flexible MPLS VPN service, will be well-positioned to deliver a broad and compelling range of enterprise class IP-based services, including virtual private cloud-based services. Enterprises’ expectations for service quality for their MPLS VPNs are becoming increasingly important as applications, such as VoIP, are delay sensitive and require lower latency. To execute Class of Service (CoS), an enterprise must identify its most business-critical or delay-sensitive applications and then assign priorities through CoS settings.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 8:00 am

Tim Cook: ‘I’m proud to be gay’

That Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay couldn’t even be call called an open secret because it has been so widely understood and on several occasions reported. Yet Cook himself had never publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation.Today that changed.Writing himself – and eloquently -- on BloombergBusinessweek: For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 7:42 am

Cloud migrations require big changes in IT staffing

Three CIOs discuss how they have learned to handle the staffing and organizational changes caused by cloud computing.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here(Insider Story)

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 7:07 am