Blog

SERVICES
Donald Trump, zingers and all, emerges as sharp H-1B critic
Patrick Thibodeau, Aug 17, 2015
News Businessman Donald Trump's plan for the H-1B visa is to make it harder and more expensive for tech companies to replace U.S. workers with foreign help. Trump's immigration plan, released Sunday, includes the ideas and thinking of some of the Senate's strongest H-1B critics. It was immediately endorsed by one senator. "This is exactly the plan America needs," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), the chair of the Senate's Immigration subcommittee, said in a statement Sunday regarding Trump's overall immigration policy proposal. "Not only would the plan outlined in this paper work, but more quickly than many realize."
SECURITY
Italian teen finds two zero-day vulnerabilities in OS X
Jeremy Kirk, Aug 17, 2015
News An Italian teenager has found two zero-day vulnerabilities in Apple's OS X operating system that could be used to gain remote access to a computer. The finding comes after Apple patched last week a local privilege escalation vulnerability that was used by some miscreants to load questionable programs onto computers. Luca Todesco, 18, posted details of the exploit he developed on GitHub.
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
Bendable, stretchable circuits will bring us the next generation of smart clothing
Tim Hornyak, Aug 16, 2015
News Japanese researchers have developed stretchable, tough electronics that could be incorporated into clothing - transforming wearable technology. The flexible transistors can take a serious beating and can even be laundered along with clothing, according to the researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Possible applications include embedding the transistors into clothing to monitor health signs, as well as using them for the basis of synthetic sensitive skin covering humanoid robots. All electronic devices developed so far contain brittle materials such as metals and thus cannot live up to the natural softness and flexibility of clothing.
INTERNET | SECURITY
Mozilla tests a true stealth mode for Firefox
Zach Miners, Aug 16, 2015
News Mozilla wants to make private browsing truly private. The company is testing enhancements to private browsing in Firefox designed to block website elements that could be used by third parties to track browsing behavior across sites. Most major browsers, Firefox included, have a "Do Not Track" option, though many companies do not honor it. Mozilla's experimental tool is designed to block outside parties like ad networks or analytics companies from tracking users through cookies and browser fingerprinting.
SOFTWARE | APPLICATIONS
Use SAP's mobile platform? Patch now to avoid these 'high risk' vulnerabilities
Katherine Noyes, Aug 13, 2015
News Three high risk vulnerabilities in SAP Mobile could give attackers access to encrypted information stored in mobile devices, security firm Onapsis reported Wednesday. All three vulnerabilities were recently fixed by SAP, but systems are only safe if the patches are applied. "SAP runs so many of the world's largest enterprises that any vulnerability must be taken very seriously," said Nicholas Taylor, CEO of Netlogx, another security provider. One of the flaws enables keystream recovery and could allow an attacker with access to a vulnerable device to decrypt credentials and other sensitive information stored within, Onapsis said.
E-COMMERCE
Flipkart's biggest investor Tiger Global also backs rival Amazon.
Economic Times, Nov 18, 2015
News Amazon, which counts India as its fastest growing market, has enticed Flipkart's largest shareholder, Tiger Global Management, to significantly increase its stake in the US listed e-tailer. The investment vehicles in each case are different entities of Tiger Global, but the investments are a measure of how much upside the New York-based firm sees in global e-commerce. Interestingly, Tiger's increased exposure to Amazon also comes at a time when the Jeff Bezos-led e-commerce powerhouse is narrowing its gap with Flipkart in India. A report in Business Insider, citing data from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said that Tiger Global recently bought 2.44 million shares of Amazon Inc, taking its total holding in the $90-billion US e-commerce giant to more than 3.19 million shares as of the September quarter.
SOFTWARE | INDUSTRY
India youngest start-up nation in the world, says NASSCOM
Business Today, Oct 13, 2015
News India is the youngest start-up nation in the world with about 72 per cent of founders being less than 35 years old. These are numbers shared by software industry body NASSCOM and IT consulting firm Zinnov in its report on start-ups. The report reveals some interesting numbers. There are an estimated 4,200 start-ups in India's booming start-up ecosystem as of now, taking India's global ranking to number three in the world of start-ups. About 1,200 start-ups were born in 2015 alone, of which about 50 per cent are present in areas such as ecommerce, consumer-focused services and aggregation-based business models. Funding coming into start-up ventures from venture capitalists, angel investors and accelerators is also at an all-time high. Start-up companies have raised about $5 billion in funding in 2015 till date, which is a 125 per cent jump over last year.
INTERNETSERVICES
Microsoft to work with AP on White Spaces project & Machine-Learning technology
ChannelWorld, Aug 17, 2015
News Microsoft will be working with Andhra Pradesh on TV White Spaces Project, a technology that uses unused TV spectrum to deliver low-cost Internet connectivity to users. Anil Bhansali, managing director, Microsoft India R&D and Prashant Shukla, National Technology Officer and other executives called on Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to discuss the company’s initiatives. In a first-of-its-kind pilot, Microsoft, DOT, DEITY and ERNET are working with the government of Andhra Pradesh to bring low-cost broadband internet connectivity to four educational institutions in the district of Srikakulam which had no internet connectivity earlier.
INDUSTRY VERTICALS | SOFTWARE
Software upgrade could be cause of US airline disruption
John Ribeiro, Aug 17, 2015
News A computer glitch that disrupted airline traffic in some parts of the U.S. over the weekend was possibly the result of a software upgrade, the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday. The agency, which had earlier described a problem in its "automation system" as the cause of the disruption, said the problem could be possibly traced to a recent software upgrade at a high-altitude radar facility in Leesburg, Virginia. The upgrade was designed to provide additional tools for controllers, the agency said.
SECURITY
Zero-day flaw in Google Admin app allows malicious apps to read its files
Lucian Constantin, Aug 16, 2015
News An unpatched vulnerability in the Google Admin application for Android can allow rogue applications to steal credentials that could be used to access Google for Work acccounts. One of the main aspects of the Android security model is that apps run in their own sandboxes and cannot read each other's sensitive data through the file system. There are APIs for applications to interact with each other and exchange data, but this requires mutual agreement.
STORAGE
CERN's data stores soar to 530M gigabytes
Lucas Mearian, Aug 16, 2015
News Since restarting in June after a two-year upgrade, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been recording about 3GB of data per second, or about 25 petabytes -- that's 25 million gigabytes -- of data per year. Every time the LHC smashes particles together at near the speed of light in its 16 mile-long chamber, the shattered particles fly off in myriad of directions. Those particlaes leave behind traces in space, like footsteps in snow, which are recorded and later analyzed in a search for the most basic element of matter.
BUSINESS ISSUES | CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
Struggling Lenovo to cut 3,200 jobs, streamline handset business
Michael Kan, Aug 13, 2015
News Lenovo is laying off 3,200 employees and trimming down its smartphone portfolio in response to a slowdown in its PC and handset sales. The Chinese company faced a particularly tough market environment during the second quarter, its CEO Yang Yuangqing said Thursday. Demand is down for PCs and tablets, and competition in China's smartphone market is cutting into sales. The company reported second quarter earnings that failed to meet its expectations. Net profit declined 51 percent year over year to reach US$105 million. Revenue increased by only 3 percent from a year ago, to reach $10.7 billion.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Google founder Larry Page hopes Alphabet spells innovation.
Business Today, Nov 03, 2015
News Google founder Larry Page is hoping his newly created company called Alphabet becomes synonymous with innovation. In a Monday night appearance, Page described Alphabet as a way to give engineers and scientists the independence they need to develop breakthrough products that have little or nothing to do with Google's Internet search and advertising business. Along the way, Page hopes Alphabet will take the drudgery and bureaucracy out of work. "Companies have pretty bad reputations," Page told a dinner audience gathered in San Francisco for a forum presented by Fortune magazine. "It's not like a lot of people wake up in the morning and say, 'I want to go work for a company.' They do it because they have to," he said.
SOFTWARE | SECURITY
Google to give away software to Microsoft Office defectors
Economic Times, Oct 20, 2015
News Google is escalating an attack on Microsoft's lucrative Office software in an attempt to hit its longtime rival where it will hurt the most. The assault is targeting companies and government agencies paying for Microsoft's suite of word processing, email, calendar, spreadsheet and other Office programs. If they dump Microsoft, Google will give them free use of a package of its competing software that normally costs $5 or $10 per user each month. The price for the "Google for Work" software will be waived for the duration of the defecting customers' existing contracts with Microsoft or any other supplier. The offer is open for the next six months in the U.S. and will eventually be extended to other countries.
OPERATING SYSTEMS
Microsoft to make Russia's Yandex default search engine on Windows 10
Business Today, Oct 13, 2015
News Russia's biggest search engine Yandex on Tuesday said Microsoft would offer it as the default homepage and search tool for Internet browsers across its Windows 10 platform in Russia and several other countries. "The companies have signed a strategic cooperation agreement, under which users in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine will be offered Yandex when upgrading to Windows 10," Yandex said in a statement.
INTERNET | SERVICES
Accenture Launches Fourth Annual ‘Innovation Jockeys’ Contest, Powered by Yahoo India
ChannelWorld, Aug 17, 2015
News Accenture, in partnership with Yahoo India, has launched the fourth season of #Innovation Jockeys: The Hunt for India’s most Innovative Minds. Undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students across India are welcome to submit innovative ideas for using technology to transform India. This year’s contest, which will focus on disruptive technology innovations related to the themes ‘Cognitive Computing and Internet of Things’ and ‘Digital Application Marketplace’, aims to discover bright, young, home-grown innovators. “We’re looking for India’s next generation of innovators – young people with drive, passion and creativity who will make a difference in the way businesses and society function,�? said Raghavan Iyer, Managing Director, Technology Delivery and Innovation Council lead for Accenture in India.
MOBILE
Microsoft tests app that will read you the news
Blair Hanley Frank, Aug 16, 2015
News Microsoft is quietly testing an app that seems designed for people who feel overwhelmed by the media's endless stream of news stories and who wish they had a helper app that reads them article summaries. The app, called NewsCast, hasn't been formally announced, but it was first spotted by Neowin's Brad Sams. It takes in articles from around the web and starts reading summaries of them to users in an ongoing playlist. Users can save articles for reading later and view the full text of any article NewsCast pulls in using a built-in browser or a distraction-free reading view.
ENVIRONMENT | HARDWARE SYSTEMS
Tianjin explosion shuts down Chinese supercomputer
Michael Kan, Aug 16, 2015
News The deadly explosion that rocked the Chinese city of Tianjin has caused the country to shut down a nearby supercomputer, also one of the fastest in the world. The supercomputer, the Tianhe-1A, was housed in a facility just a kilometer away from Wednesday's explosion. The warehouse blast was so massive it killed 50 people and sent 701 people to the hospital, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency. The Tianhe-1A, however, managed to continue running smoothly, following the blast, Xinhua said on Thursday. The machine is housed in a protected room, and its database also remains unharmed. As a security precaution, staff at the facility decided to manually shut down Tianhe-1A thirty minutes after the blast had occurred, according to Xinhua.
INTERNET | CLOUD COMPUTING
Google moves two cloud data analysis services out of beta
Joab Jackson, Aug 13, 2015
News Two Google big data toolsets have finally moved out of beta and into full commercial release, adding to its cloud portfolio a data analysis framework and a service for managing data streams in real-time. Google Cloud Dataflow, which could serve as a possible replacement for Hadoop, provides a framework for fusing different sources of data within one processing pipeline. Google Cloud Pub/Sub is the company's service for managing data streams in real time.