Monday, August 24, 2015

3 things Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins needs to focus on

Windows 10 still contacts Microsoft even when told to stop | In defense of Uber

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3 things Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins needs to focus on
Last week, Cisco made history, in a way: for the first time in over 80 quarters, someone other than John Chambers led the quarterly earnings call.Although July 27th was the official passing of the torch from Mr. Chambers to Chuck Robbins, for me the earnings call was more symbolic given the highly public nature of the event, particularly in light of Cisco's position as the industry bellwether.Now that the reins have been turned over, I'd like to offer Mr. Robbins some advice as he looks to take Cisco to the next level. If you've read any of my posts in the past, it's no secret that I was a fan of John Chambers. Under his leadership, Cisco became the company that it is today and literally changed the way we "work, live, learn and play."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

WHITE PAPER: Citrix Systems

2015 State of the WAN Report
A discussion of wide area networking is extremely timely because after a long period with little if any fundamental innovation, the WAN is now the focus of considerable innovation. The goal of this e-book is to provide research-based insight into the current state of the WAN. Learn More


Unpopular HIPAA Disclosure Requirements
The question is not whether healthcare consumers will ultimately get the right to learn of disclosures of their data, but when. Senior IT leaders and business executives in healthcare organizations that use lobbyists should focus on regulators' renewed attention to this long-dormant HIPAA issue. Learn More

Windows 10 still contacts Microsoft even when told to stop
There has been considerable concern over the intrusive and spying nature of Windows 10, so much so that multiple apps have been rushed to market to make it easy to turn off all the spying activity. Well, it seems even that doesn't work, as Windows 10 keeps right on poking around in users' systems, according to multiple reports. Over at Ars Technica, they found that even with Cortana and searching the Web from the Start menu disabled, Windows still sends a query to Some of this was harmless, but as the author put it, it shouldn't be happening.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

In defense of Uber
Ever since I've been writing the TechWatch blog, I've been pretty hard on Uber. I've taken the company to task for mis-classifying its drivers as contractors, for "stealing" value from the actual service providers, and for mis-using user data. And I haven't even touched on alleged attacks on the press or what's generally considered Uber's most contentious issue: Refusing to play by the same safety and public-interest rules and regulations that affect the competitors it's trying to disrupt.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Quantum computing breakthrough renews concerns of cybersecurity apocalypse
The term "cryptopocalypse" was probably first coined at the Black Hat USA information security convention in 2013.A talk presented by four security and technology experts at the show explored cryptographic weaknesses and attempted to answer the hypothetical question: "What happens the day after RSA is broken?"RSA is a widely used public-key cryptosystem used in digital signatures.The answer, they determined then, was: "almost total failure of trust in the Internet," for one thing. The reason? Almost everything we do on the Internet is in some way protected by cryptography.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

iPhone 6s launch likely set for Friday, September 18
A pair of rumors earlier this week both point to Apple releasing its next-gen iPhone on Friday, September 18.First off, the Japanese language blog ITHome reports that Apple's big iPhone unveiling event is set to take place on Wednesday, September 9. This of course jibes with a previous report which pegged September 9 as the date of a big Apple event. The report further adds that iPhone 6s preorders will open up on Friday, September 11 to soon be followed by a worldwide launch seven days later on September 18.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

WHITE PAPER: Blue Coat Systems

Optimizing Application Traffic on MPLS WAN Links
MPLS is a common type of service offering that removes much of the cost and complexity of more traditional point-to-point networks. The change from point-to-point to any-to-any or cloud networking presents new application delivery challenges, requiring a response from services that depend on the packet delivery infrastructure. Learn more >>

New image recognition app brings context to smartphone photos
We've all seen the QR code. That's the pixelated-like mobile phone-readable barcode that marketers place on or near products. Point your smartphone at the encoded icon, scan it with an associated mobile app, and the device links to a website.Then there's the regular, stripy barcode that you can use to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores.Both of these technologies are likely to be superseded.Image recognition The Blip is a proprietary marker-less image recognition technology. It doesn't use any kind of barcode because it doesn't need to. The technology actually identifies the image and then delivers the marketing message.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Microsoft issues emergency patch for zero-day IE flaw being exploited in the wild
Microsoft issued an emergency out-of-band security update on Tuesday to address a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer. All supported versions of Internet Explorer need patched as the remote code execution vulnerability is actively being exploited in the wild. While some publications have reported the hole is not being exploited, Microsoft listed “yes” under “exploited.”MS15-093 is rated critical for Internet Explorer 7 – 11, which happen to be all supported versions of IE on Windows clients; it's rated moderate for Windows servers. The patch addresses the vulnerability by modifying how IE handles objects in memory.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

iPad Pro with Force Touch stylus set for 2015 release
There's no getting around the fact that iPad sales are faltering. For eight straight quarters, iPad sales have trended downwards. Even if we play off slumping sales to a slower refresh cycle, the fact still remains that Apple is having trouble attracting new users to the iPad.While the iPad Mini provided a temporary bump when it was released in 2012, it's now 2015 and Apple clearly needs to inject a bit of life into its iPad lineup.The answer? The rumored iPad Pro.Rumors of a larger screened iPad have persisted for well over a year now and there's now enough evidence to suggest that Apple in 2015 will take the wraps off of a 12.9-inch iPad. Without question, Apple is hoping that a new form factor along with a few bells and whistles will help bump up quarterly iPad sales.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Anti-privacy award for most monitoring across the web goes to US wireless carriers
Wireless carriers worldwide are still tracking users via “supercookies” or “perma-cookies,” yet Americans are tracked by US wireless carriers more than any other carrier in any other country, according to a new report by the digital rights group Access. “Injecting tracking headers out of the control of users, without their informed consent, may abuse the privileged position that telcos occupy.” Those tracking headers “leak private information about users and make them vulnerable to criminal attacks or even government surveillance.”It came to light in 2014 that Verizon Wireless and AT&T were injecting special tracking headers, aka “supercookies,” to secretly monitor users’ web browsing habits. So Access setup the “Am I being tracked?” ( website for users to find out if their mobile carriers were tracking the websites they visited on their phone. More than 200,000 people from 164 different countries tried out the Amibeingtracked tool; 15.3% were being tracked by tracking headers deployed by their wireless carriers. Of those, the most monitoring occurred in the US.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

WHITE PAPER: CrowdStrike

Beyond Malware: Detecting the Undetectable
Download this white paper to understand how successful attacks targeting high-profile government and corporate entities are able to easily bypass traditional defenses. Find out how some organizations are now able to detect and respond to malware-free intrusions using next generation endpoint protection technology. View more

In-ear computer improves noise-canceling technology
Seventeen million dollars in Series B funding and a recent successful Kickstarter campaign means innovative in-ear computer, adaptive-filtering earbuds are likely on the way.Hear Active earbuds, still in development, are algorithm-driven Digital Signal Processors wrapped in a tiny earbud-sized package.The idea is that the wearer will be able to manipulate live, real-world sounds in a more defined way than with regular noise-canceling headphones.Audio curation Scenarios where one could use the frequency-adjusting tech could include changing live music EQ levels, suppressing airplane engine noise, hiding office hubbub, and reducing traffic noise.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Car hacking news: Ransomware threat could reach auto dealerships
It would be a heck of time to be shopping for a new set of wheels. The theme of digitally beating up cars continued with two teams of security researchers at the 24th USENIX Security Symposium.After two years of having their research suppressed by Volkswagen and a UK court, Flavio Garcia, Roel Verdult, and Baris Ege were finally able to present their research (pdf) at USENIX. The researcher paper details "how the cryptography and authentication protocol used in the Megamos Crypto transponder can be targeted by malicious hackers looking to steal luxury vehicles."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

How Adblock Plus could work as malware protection
Last week I discussed one of the pros of ad blockers – how they could significantly reduce the amount of network traffic consumed by pesky advertising, especially auto-playing videos.As I said then and will repeat now, it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I don't blame users of ad blockers, now numbering close to 200 million worldwide. Ads are obnoxious. They aren't content to just be there, they have to grab you, oftentimes rudely. See also: Adblock Plus could improve network performance, too At the same time, Network World and every other tech news site lives and dies by ads, so I and everyone else published here (plus those folks behind the scenes) need you to see and click on those ads.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Apple's car plans are further along than you think
Over the past few months, the rumors surrounding Apple's next big thing quickly transitioned from the Apple Watch to reports that Apple was, believe it or not, actively developing its own branded car.While some rumors tend to come go, the past few months have provided quite a bit of substance to a rumor that would have seemed outlandish even just two years ago. Not only has Apple hired a large number of auto industry experts, but The Wall Street Journal reported just a few months back that Tim Cook had authorized the formation of a 1,000 person team tasked with developing an electric car.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More

Hey Samsung! 2007 called, and it wants its Blackberry-style keyboard back!
I remember when one of the world's leading smartphone makers pretty much bet the company that its physical keyboard would save the company from the onslaught of superior devices that relied on touchscreen typing. Blackberry lost that bet, of course, and physical keyboards haven't garnered much attention in the last few years.See also: A Requiem for Blackberry  But last week, Samsung trotted out a time machine, and introduced a snap-on physical keyboard accessory for its new Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 Smartphones. By all accounts, the new devices are exemplary in many ways (and in the changing landscape of smartphone economics, any high-priced new flagship phone had better be awesome). But for me, several factors made the physical keyboard accessory far more interesting than the brand new phones it attaches to.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here Read More


Top 10 techie vacation spots

Whether you want to unplug or plug-in, check out these getaways.


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1. Why corporate security pros should care about the Ashley Madison

2. Here's hoping no Amazon workers were harmed in the sending of this email

3. 10 reasons you shouldn't upgrade to Windows 10

4. 3 things Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins needs to focus on

5. 19 free cloud storage options

6. 5 Problems with big data

7. iPhone 6s launch likely set for Friday, September 18

8. Cisco: Flash exploits are soaring

9. Latest Ashley Madison data dump reveals emails, source code for websites

10. 7 free Wi-Fi stumbling and surveying tools for Windows and Mac

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