The threat of a data breach is one that every company faces and it is also an eventuality that they all know can happen at any time. The number of daily attempt to penetrate corporate security is staggering as is the number of successful attack where at least some data is taken. It is for this reason that we still a confused when companies want to move to a cloud based or subscription style software agreement. Once all of that billing information is stored in a single spot (even multiple data centers) it becomes a very big target. Adobe has found that out the hard way as they are now reporting a breach that lost the information for approximately 2.9 Million users and source code for Cold Fusion and Acrobat.
Shortly after Edward Snowden revealed the massive surveillance programs being run by the NSA we all were treated to speeches and claims that these programs were essential to national security. These claims further talked about the vital role the NSA plays in protecting the US from the bad guys around the world. Of course they never touched on the violations individual rights protected by the constitution, but that was such a small matter than they felt it was not important.
According to Newton there is a reaction for every action. Now this law was intended to be applied to the world of physical objects and how they interact with each other. However it would seem that it also applies to how we interact with each other on more than just a physical level. One new example of this is that stock holders are looking to remove Bill Gates from Microsoft as Chairman of the Board. Gates was a strong supporter of Steve Ballmer during his tenure. He supported the move to a products and services company and many other moves that Ballmer took.
Pirate Pay founder Gottfird Svartholm has managed to successfully appeal the two year sentence imposed after he was found guilty of hacking Logica, a Swedish IT company (as well as aggravated fraud and attempted aggravated fraud). Although throughout the trial Svartholm maintained his innocence the court (Nacka District) still felt he was responsible for at least hacking the IT company. Svartholm was also found guilty of hacking a local bank (Nordea). The court sentenced him to two years in prison.
Big data is a big business these days. Having information about the billions of people on the planet (or more importantly the hundreds of Millions of consumers) is something that can make you money. These companies collect every bit of information about us and store if for retrieval. In many cases they are the core of background check services, credit check services and other forms of personal investigation that you have to go through in your life. For years they have been putting important information in what amounts to one big basket… with a large bullseye on it.
After the announcement of both the SteamOS and the Steam Machine (most call it the Steam Box) we read more than a few naysayers that were claiming Valve would have a hard time competing in the market. The theory behind these arguments is that the incumbents, Microsoft and Sony, are so entrenched in the market that gamers and regular consumers will not want to move away from those platforms. The problem with that theory is that many consumers are not too happy with the current state of the console gaming market. Anyone that watched the furor that unfolded after the launch of the Xbox One or the mass complaints after the PSN (Play Station Network) knows that this market is not a happy one.
The purchase of Nokia’s devices (and services) divisions by Microsoft has drawn quite a bit of attention from the media and it seems that it has also raised the eyebrows of a few other people. The $7 Billion + deal that is in the works would put the handset division into Microsoft’s control which is something that Microsoft has wanted for a while now. The problem is that many could be wondering if the troubles that Nokia have been having were planned. At the forefront of the debate is the 18.8 million euro (over $25 million US) pay-off (um pay-out) that Steven Elop will be getting as part of the deal.
Not all that long ago we reported on the fact that the gaming community was making a shift away from Microsoft (and Apple) and considering Linux as a viable operating system for gaming. One of the leading proponents of this was (and still is) Valve. For those of you that do not know Valve is the company that created HalfLife and many other very popular games. They also have one of the most popular content distribution services on the market.
Despite some members the effort of some members of the tech press to claim that Apple is back on the path of innovation it would seem that many of the “new” features in the iPhone 5s are little more than refreshes of existing technology. One of the new features that everyone has been talking about is the new fingerprint scanner. Well it turns out that this too is just a slight improvement over existing technology. This comes out as the security has been broken by the Chaos Computer Club.
Personal computing has had its ups and downs of the last 10 years and these have not always been because of consumer reaction. In many cases the manufacturers have failed to meet the expectations of the people they are selling to. One of the biggest places where the market has failed the consumer is when they moved to “good enough” computing. We saw this as far back as the Pentium III when Intel pushed for onboard audio, networking, modem etc. These devices were not the greatest of components, but they were “good enough” in the eyes of the manufacturers. Now the situation is shifting (very slowly) as these components are no longer good enough in the consumer’s eyes. They are demanding more from their hardware. One place where this shift has been the most obvious is in the audio market. Today we have a product that is supposed to fall well outside the good enough range. This is the CMStorm Pulse-R gaming headset. Let’s take a look and see if it really can.