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Facebook Makes Web Browsing More Secure

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 31 July 2013 5:02 pm

Facebook Makes Web Browsing More Secure

For two years, Facebook has allowed users to implement a more secure connection to the site. But it hasn’t been the default for all users until today, when Facebook announced that it would move all of its 1 billion-plus users to Web browsing using HTTP Secure, or HTTPS. HTTPS is a more secure connection between browsers and the Web servers companies like Facebook run. In a statement made today on its website, Facebook reported that all traffic to www.facebook.com, the version of its site used by most desktop PCs, and 80% of traffic going to m.facebook.com, its mobile website, will be secure. The social media giant says that it’s not as simple as adding an “s” to the end of “http,” in its Web address. It outlined in-depth steps it had to undertake for the migration, and planned improvements for the fall.

Apple said to use Samsung components on A7 iPhone chip

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 31 July 2013 10:57 am

Apple’s A6 and A6X chips are made by Samsung. It’s rumored that the A7 chip could be too.


After much back and forth, it is now rumored that Apple’s forthcoming A7 processor will have at least some Samsung components.

A developer told 9to5Mac that he found references to a new A7 chip within the code of the
iOS 7 file system. Another person familiar with Apple’s chip design process told 9to5Mac that an analysis of this iOS 7 code revealed that some Samsung components will be used on the supposed chip — most likely those that power the display.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Apple has used Samsung components for its processing chips. The A6 chip uses Samsung components, as does the A6X. However, in June, it was rumored that Apple reached a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company for its next generation of chips.

It’s possible that Samsung will work on the A7 series of chips and TSMC will do A8, A9, and A9X chips — or that there will be some mixture of the two.

It’s been said that the A7 chip is for the rumored
iPhone 5S and possibly future iPads.

CNET contacted Apple for comment. We’ll update the story when we get more information.

Earlier Wednesday, another iOS 7 code sniffer said that he believes three new models of the iPad Mini are on the way, including an “2,8,” “2,9,” and “2,10” which represent higher numbers than Apple’s existing trio of
iPad Minis, which are listed in code as “2,5,” “2,6,” and “2,7.”

Black Hat and the InfoSec Community Lose Barnaby Jack

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 30 July 2013 4:12 pm

barnaby black hatFrom the ‘Life is Precious’ files:

I woke up this morning to check my email, in the hope that I got an overnight confirmation from celebrated hacker extraordinaire Barnaby Jack that we’d be talking soon about his upcoming Black Hat session.

Instead, my inbox/twitter stream was filled with comments/praises about his life – as Jack passed away last night.  

Life is sudden, it is busy and it is precious….

Barnaby Jack was well known in the security community. In 2009, he joined the ranks of the epic mythos of Black Hat talks that had to be pulled due to ‘concerns’ about his ATM hacking research.

Instead of walking away from the research, he walked away to a new employer that supported his 2010 return to Black Hat, where he presented the research.

Of the last 16 years of Black Hat talks, that one presentation remains in my memory at the top of the list. Standing in front of a crowded room, literally ‘jackpotting’ ATMs with his skills and of course his inimitable  humor.

Jack was supposed to be talking next week about hacking medical devices. Black Hat GM Trey Ford was among the many in the InfoSec community saddened by Jack’s passing today and he made it clear that Black Hat won’t be filling Jack’s speaking session with someone else.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and all those who knew and worked with him.

*UPDATE* The Black Hat Conference has just issued the following statement:

We have lost a member of our family. Everyone would agree that the life and work of Barnaby Jack are legendary and irreplaceable. Barnaby had the ability to take complex technology and intricate research and make it tangible and accessible for everyone to learn and grow from. Beyond his work in our industry, Barnaby was an incredibly warm hearted and welcoming individual with a passion for celebrating life. We all have a hilarious and upbeat story about Barnaby. He is truly a shining example of what we love about this community.

Black Hat will not be replacing Barnaby’s talk on Thursday, Aug. 1. No one could possibly replace him, nor would we want them to. The community needs time to process this loss. The hour will be left vacant as a time to commemorate his life and work, and we welcome our attendees to come and share in what we hope to be a celebration of his life. Barnaby Jack meant so much to so many people, and we hope this forum will offer an opportunity for us all to recognize the legacy that he leaves behind.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Barnaby Jack’s family and loved ones. Words cannot adequately describe how much he will be missed, but it is certain that Barnaby will NEVER be forgotten.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurity Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Apple Faces App Review Backlog After Developer Center Breach

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 30 July 2013 3:38 am

Apple Faces App Review Backlog After Developer Center Breach

As Apple plows towards the release of the next iPhone, it is working with developers to get their apps ready for the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7. But Apple hit a major hiccup in the middle of The Summer Of iOS 7 and has had a big hit on developers.

Apple’s developer center for iOS was hacked by a “security researcher” a little more than a week ago. The researcher, Ibrahim Balic, insisted that he was just probing the developer center for bugs he could then report back to Apple, but he also may have been able to access the personal information of 100,000 iOS developers. His research, or hack, has had consequences larger than Balic probably intended.

For most of the last week, iOS developers did not have access to the tools they needed to build apps for the iPhone and iPad. The loss of access to the developer center for a critical week in the middle of summer was a blow for developers that already have a lot to digest with Apple’s new operating system version. But it also appears that Apple’s app reviewers are getting bogged down by the crash of the developer center.

One developer, who asked not to be identified, said they received a letter from Apple saying that the app it submitted for review would require additional time.

The letter stated:

“We are currently reviewing an app that you submitted for inclusion on the App Store, and want to let you know that the review process will require additional time. We apologize for the delay and will provide you with an update on the status of your app as soon as possible.” 

A conversation with one other developer revealed that they also had received similar letters from Apple. The developer said that it had never received a letter like that from Apple before in submissions to Apple for its apps and updates.

On one hand, it is perfectly reasonable for Apple to tell a developer it needs more time. Especially considering the issues the company is dealing with concerning the iOS developer center. On the other hand, this is fairly unusual behavior for Apple’s app reviewers who are normally able to turn an app review in anywhere between one to three days.

The developer said that it was six days from the time of submission until it got the notice from Apple requesting additional time for review. It has since between another five days and the developer’s app still has not been approved.

In addition to the app approval delays, the downtime for the iOS developer center meant that app publishers were without the certifications and provisioning profiles needed to add functionality to their apps and publish them to the App Store. Those capabilities were fixed when the developer center came back online earlier this week and Apple released iOS 7 beta 4 for developers. 

The iOS developer forums, technical support, Xcode Automatic Configuration and videos continue to be unavailable. That means that iOS developers currently have no official avenues of support from Apple or the iOS community currently. Developers are likely flocking to the regular destinations for coder communities like GitHub, StackOverflow, the App Developers Alliance and Code Project can be consulted.

Zynga said to lose three top execs this month

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 29 July 2013 9:38 pm


Three top executives have reportedly left Zynga in the past month, the latest in a stream of executive exits from the troubled social games maker.

John Osvald, a senior vice president of games, Jesse Janosov, a vice president who ran Zynga’s casino division, and Nathan Etter, a vice president of games, all resigned from the company this month, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Etter has since joined Disney Interactive as a vice president, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The revelation comes as new CEO Don Mattrick completes his first month at the helm of the game developer, replacing founder Mark Pincus after leading
Xbox for Microsoft. The departures add to an executive exodus from the struggling company that has seen more than a dozen top-level employees depart in the past year, including COO and board member John Schapper.

Zynga, which reported declining second-quarter revenue and bookings last week, continues to lose users. The company reported 39 million daily active users for Q2, a figure that’s down 45 percent from last year. Monthly active user went down by 39 percent to 187 million.

CNET has contacted Zynga for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

OpenDaylight Races Toward December Open Source SDN Debut

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 29 July 2013 3:25 pm

OpenDaylight operates under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, no stranger itself to running large scale collaborative projects. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, told Enterprise Networking Planet that OpenDaylight is now accelerating at a rapid rate.

“There is code now coming in that delivers a broad set of functionality,” Zemlin said. “We’ve now got members and non-members contributing stuff and people scratching their own itches around security and other components.”

Zemlin noted that the companies and individuals that now contribute to OpenDaylight form a broad and diverse community.

“We’re also aiming to build an ecosystem around the platform,” Zemlin said. “When we have our release in December, companies will be building products and services based on OpenDaylight.”

Read the full story at Enterprise Networking Planet:
OpenDaylight Grows Open Source SDN

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

F5 Reports 3Q13 Earnings

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Sunday 28 July 2013 10:11 pm

F5 reported third quarter fiscal 2013 earnings late Wednesday, with revenue coming in at $370.3 million for a 5 percent year-over-year gain. The bulk of F5 revenues came from its ADC business, which generated $366.8 million. Revenue from F5’s ARX file virtualization business hit $3.5 million.

Looking forward, F5 provided fourth quarter guidance for revenue in the range of $378 million to $388 million.

Growth for F5’s business comes from a combination of new product introductions and competitive displacements.

Read the full story at Enterprise Networking Planet:
F5 Continues ADC Growth

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Pinterest Embraces Do Not Track

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Sunday 28 July 2013 3:11 pm

Pinterest Embraces Do Not Track

Social media curatorial giant Pinterest will support the Do Not Track privacy standard, a browser preference that lets users opt out of having their data and activity tracked by the site. The fast-growing pinboard site followed the privacy lead of Twitter, which implemented Do Not Track in May 2012.

Pinterest also said it added an “Edit Your Home Feed” button, a feature intended to personalize things by suggesting pins and boards based on Pinterest pages you’ve visited before.

Michael Dell plans to stay with company if his buyout bid fails

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Sunday 28 July 2013 9:06 am

Regardless of his battle for control of Dell shakes out, its chief executive has intends to stay with the computer maker he founded.

Michael Dell, who is trying to take his namesake company private, told the Wall Street Journal he will stay with Dell even if his deal doesn’t win shareholder approval. However, he said he has no intention of supporting an asset sale or leveraged recapitalization as proposed by activist investor Carl Icahn, who opposes Dell’s privatization effort.

“I will not support the kind of recapitalization and sale of assets some shareholders are suggesting,” Dell wrote in an e-mail interview with the newspaper. “Given where we are today, I believe the challenges we would face as a public company, including a potential proxy fight, would be significant. But I am ready to fight and I am committed to doing what I believe is right for the company.”

Michael Dell, along with his partner, investment firm Silver Lake, recently announced they would increase their offer to take the computer maker private, paying $13.75 per share, 10 cents a share more than their previous offer of $13.65 per share. However, Michael Dell wants approval of the deal to hinge on a simple majority, arguing that the board’s allowance of a provision that shares that are not voted count as votes against the merger is “unfair.”

Opposing Michael Dell in his buyout bid is Icahn, who owns 8.7 percent of Dell stock. Icahn argues that the privatization plan undervalues the company and proposed last month that Dell buy back 1.1 billion shares at $14 per share. After earlier skepticism about Icahn’s proposals, the mood changed after the billionaire announced he had secured $5.2 billion in loans from several banks and institutional investors to finance his Dell buyout proposal.

Shareholders were supposed to vote on whether to approve Michael Dell’s offer, but that vote was postponed, and speculation surrounding it suggested that Michael Dell and his supporters weren’t quite sure they had enough votes to gain approval.


Steve Jobs: The Least Disruptive Entrepreneur Ever

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 27 July 2013 2:31 am

Steve Jobs: The Least Disruptive Entrepreneur Ever

Last night, as I watched “Jobs,” the new Apple-founder biopic starring Ashton Kutcher, I realized something: Jobs was not a disruptor.

The movie doesn’t open until August 16, but Open Road Films, the studio releasing it, had invited me and the ReadWrite community to a private screening in San Francisco, after which I moderated a question-and-answer session with Kutcher and the film’s director, Joshua Michael Stern.

Kutcher may be burned into the American pop-culture mind as the unduly good-looking comic talent of such hits as “Dude, Where’s My Car?” But in recent years, he has become a more serious actor and a key figure bridging Hollywood and Silicon Valley as an angel investor, backing startups like Flipboard, Path, and Airbnb, among many others.

Kutcher never met Steve Jobs, he told the audience, but he loved him and mourned him.

“I loved a man I never knew,” he said. That’s because Jobs sought to be loved through the products he created, Kutcher argued.

You Can’t Disrupt Your Way To Love

There is a vogue in Silicon Valley today for disruption—the eruptive flood of change, washing away the old and leaving in place the new. Founders are courted by venture capitalists based on their brash declarations of which billion-dollar industry they will overturn.

But the message of “Jobs” is quite different. What we learn by watching Jobs over the decades, from the ’70s to the earliest years of the present millennium, is that he was at his best not when he disrupted but when he took what was broken and fixed it.

Disruption is facile. Disruption is easy. Disruption is ineffective. It’s the technological equivalent of a temper tantrum—nothing more.

What Jobs did at Apple is the exact opposite.

A Brief History Of Change

If you don’t live in San Francisco or the office-park sprawl and leafy suburbs to its south, it is easy to mistake Apple’s recent innovations as bursts of change from out of nowhere. And the classic Jobs marketing style—the flashy unveiling, the “one more thing” surprise—sought to cast every new product as revolutionary.

In an all-too-brief two hours, “Jobs” tells the story of Apple and its early team at a pace that shows how every product it brought out built on the last one.

The Apple 1, for example, lacked a keyboard and monitor (though it was more complete than other computer kits of its time). That taught Jobs and cofounder Steve Wozniak that they needed to make an all-in-one device to reach the mass market—that was the Apple II.

And the Apple II’s stronghold in classrooms laid the groundwork for the Macintosh’s success in that same market.

While the story of “Jobs” ends at the creation of the iMac and the iPod, those inventions, too, relied on decades of effort in industrial design and a courtship of music creators.

What followed—the iTunes Music Store, the iPhone, the App Store, the iPad—were all logical progressions, one building on top of another. They may have been unexpected, but they could never have come other than stepwise, innovation by innovation. These were not disruptive waves—these were stairs of change, solidly constructed, taking Apple and the rest of us to the next level.

Fixing What’s Disrupted

Obituaries for Steve Jobs often list the industries whose fates he altered. But he did not disrupt those industries, I’d argue: He came in with solutions to problems at a time when they had already been disrupted.

Take music, for example. Napster had already done its damage by the time Apple appeared on the digital-distribution scene. Likewise, Jobs saw Apple’s opportunity in books only after Amazon had already upset the balance of power with book publishers.

When Jobs genuinely tried to disrupt things—say, with the Lisa computer, or his NeXT workstations—he fell flat on his face.

The best inventions do not arrive abruptly. Think of Square, the payments service that doesn’t replace credit cards, but makes taking them a little easier for the smallest of businesses. Or consider Twitter, whose evolution from quirky insider-chat tool to worldwide town square took long years of struggle. These are not disruptive technologies: They are evolutionary ones, driven by patience and vision.

If there’s any reason for the masses to watch “Jobs,” it’s this: to learn that truly valuable technology is not about disruption and chaos. Instead, it requires inspiring teams to work for greater goals and creating institutions that last beyond the founder.

I just wasn’t expecting to learn that lesson from the star of “That ’70s Show.”

Lead image from “Jobs”; photo of Ashton Kutcher as himself by Euan Rannachan

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