David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Mobile

Amazon’s Alexa May Get Into Your Head

Developers at Amazon’s secret Lab 126 reportedly have been working on audio-only smart glass technology that would allow users to communicate with its virtual assistant Alexa. The smart glasses would connect wirelessly to users’ smartphones and transfer communications through a bone-conduction audio system that would negate the need for headphones. Amazon plans to release the device this year.

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Government

FTC Confirms Probe Into Equifax Data Breach

In a rare move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the data breach at Equifax that compromised the sensitive personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. The FTC announcement came less than a week after Equifax revealed that an unknown party had gained access to names, addresses, Social Security Numbers and other data belonging to nearly half the U.S. population.

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Enterprise

IBM Touts Top-Notch Security in Next-Gen Linux Mainframe

IBM has launched LinuxOne Emperor II, the second generation of its open source mainframe computer system. The new model has a layer of security and privacy not seen in a Linux-based platform before, the company said. “We saw in our success stories for Emperor that security was a recurring theme attracting new customers to the platform,” noted Mark Figley, director of LinuxOne Offerings at IBM.

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Deals

AI Tool Captures and Updates Contacts Automatically

Nimble has partnered with CircleBack, which offers an AI-powered contact capture and cleaning tool that updates contacts and scans business cards automatically. The CircleBack tool captures email signatures in Gmail and G Suite in real time, automatically adding new contacts to a user’s list. The tool photographs or scans business cards and adds the information to contact lists as well.

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Cybersecurity

Credit Agency Equifax Cracked, 143 Million Consumers Exposed

Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major criminal data breach that exposed personal information of as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. between mid-May and July of this year. The attack exposed a range of sensitive personal data, including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases driver’s license numbers, Equifax said.

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privacy

Vivaldi CEO Claims Google Retaliated for Privacy Criticism

Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner, the brains behind both the new Vivaldi browser and the early Opera browser, has accused Google of retaliating against his company after he questioned its customer privacy practices. Vivaldi’s Google Adwords campaigns mysteriously were suspended just two days after von Tetzchner’s criticisms of Google’s handling of customer data were published this spring, he said.

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Home Tech

Alexa, Cortana Become New BFFs

Microsoft and Amazon this week announced a deal that will let their voice-controlled digital assistants, Cortana and Alexa, engage in cross-platform communications. Microsoft customers will be able to access Alexa voice commands by saying “Cortana, open Alexa” on any device that supports Cortana, which is available on millions of desktops, laptops, tablets and other devices.

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Trends

Consumers’ Embrace of Mobile Apps Is Limited to a Choice Few

Mobile app use has become a powerful habit among U.S. consumers, based on new research findings. An increasing number of users have been spending their time consuming video, music and social media on smartphones and other mobile devices, but many are reluctant to try new apps. A large percentage of mobile app users’ time is spent on apps like Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram.

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Deals

Apple, Accenture Team on iOS Enterprise Apps

Apple and Accenture on Tuesday announced a new partnership to develop iOS tools and services to help enterprises connect with their customers through iPads and iPhones. Accenture will create a dedicated iOS practice within Accenture Digital Studios, staffed by a range of visual and experience designers, programmers, data scientists and architects, as well as hardware and software designers.

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Cybercrime

Cyberthieves Train Their Sights on US Mobile Phone Customers

A relatively new form of cybercrime recently has been plaguing American consumers. Thieves have been hijacking mobile phone account numbers and then transferring services to a different device. Further, hackers have begun using mobile numbers to raid digital wallets and similar accounts. This type of theft has been successful even against the most sophisticated of consumers.

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Enterprise

Microsoft, Red Hat Offer Enterprise Support for Containers in Hybrid Cloud

Microsoft and Red Hat this week expanded their nearly 2-year-old alliance to bridge the gap between Windows and open source computing with the launch of several new initiatives to help enterprise customers more easily adopt container solutions. The announcement bolsters an alliance that began in 2015, when Microsoft began offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.

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Online Entertainment

Report: Apple to Funnel Megabucks Into Original TV Content Development

Apple reportedly has decided to put more than $1 billion toward the acquisition and development of original programming, part of a long-awaited rollout of a new television and film experience. The investment will leverage Apple’s thus far underwhelming Apple TV business, bolstering its core video and music library to fulfill the promise of disrupting traditional television and film studios.

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Trends

Most Businesses Want Agility but Few Have It

Although many organizations recognize that agility enables better responses to changing business conditions, few have taken the necessary steps to reach that goal, a new study from CA Technologies suggests. Although two-thirds of the respondents to the firm’s recent survey saw value in business agility, only about 12 percent said their organizations were on their way to achieving it.

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Cybercrime

WannaCry Hero Arrested on Kronos Malware Charges

In a stunning twist, U.S. authorities have arrested a British cyber-researcher credited with stopping the spread of the WannaCry ransomware virus on charges he helped develop and deploy the Kronos banking trojan that attacked financial institutions around the world in 2014. A federal grand jury in Wisconsin last month handed down a six-count indictment against Marcus Hutchins, a citizen of the UK.

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Social Networking

Facebook Takes Another Stab at Neutralizing Fake News

Stung by charges that it allowed fake news stories to proliferate during the 2016 election cycle, Facebook on Thursday began rolling out broadly a feature meant to regain the trust of its members. The tool effectively will surround questionable stories with related news stories offering different perspectives — a strategy intended to help readers discern where the truth lies.

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Online Advertising

Businesses Leverage Instagram Stories to New Heights

Instagram’s Stories feature, which launched one year ago, has achieved widespread engagement among businesses that want to raise their brand awareness and expand their e-commerce penetration, the company said. The tool, launched in August 2016, allows users to create digital slide shows out of photos and videos in order to convey a story. More than 250 million daily active users are on Stories.

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Cybercrime

Russian Head of $4B Bitcoin Exchange Charged in Massive Money Laundering Scheme

A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted a Russian man for running a massive money laundering operation through the BTC-e bitcoin exchange, a group of federal officials announced Wednesday. The exchange allegedly received up to $4 billion in proceeds from various criminal activities, including the 2014 hack of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange.

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Web Apps

Flash Flames Out – but It Will Smolder for a While

Adobe has decided to pull the plug on its much maligned Flash format, citing the growing use of HTML5, WebGL and Web Assembly open standards. Helper apps have evolved over time to become plugins, which then further evolved to become open Web standards, Adobe noted. However, because gaming, education and video have come to depend heavily on Flash over the years, its phaseout will be gradual.

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Emerging Tech

Who’s Right About AI? Musk’s Dire Warnings Meet Zuckerberg’s Cheerful Optimism

Two of Silicon Valley’s most influential visionaries, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, this week engaged in a public spat over the future of artificial intelligence and whether the government should take the wheel to counter the threat this emerging technology might pose to mankind. Musk, a longtime advocate of AI, has expressed fears that intelligent machines could pose a risk to civilization.

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Developers

Microsoft Releases Long-Awaited Security Tool, Sets Linux Preview

Microsoft has released its long-awaited cloud-based bug detection tool, previously code-named “Project Springfield.” The Windows version became generally available, and a new Linux version became available as a preview last week. The tool, Microsoft Security Risk Detection, uses artificial intelligence to hunt down security vulnerabilities in software that is about to be released.

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