Tuesday, October 27, 2015



Link to TechEye

Russia’s war plans could involve killing the internet

Posted: 27 Oct 2015 02:01 AM PDT

Vladimir Putin - Wikimedia CommonsThe Russian navy is developing a plan to cut undersea internet cables in the advent of a war.

According to the New York Times, military sources are concerned about a spike in Russian naval activity near the locations of undersea cables.

Keir Giles, associate fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at think tank Chatham House has been quoted as saying that such a plan would be possible, but it would be more of an inconvenience than much else.

But it could be used to control other countries which were depended on their undersea cables.

It is only going to work in locations where the internet geography is going to create a vulnerability in communications and there are parts of the world where such action might be considered viable, he said.

Ukrainian telecoms providers reported disruptions to a key internet exchange point and cable connections during Russian military activity in the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

The incident is mentioned in a Chatham House report on Russian information war tactics which is being published later this year.

He said the Russians have been building a lot of submarines lately and some specialised vessels. It wouldn’t be surprising that they would want to do this.

What is more likely is that the Russians might be hoping to tap cables in undersea locations, and the US is reported to have done this in the 1970s.

GCHQ and the NSA can intercept data communications at listening sites such as Bude in Cornwall, where a major transatlantic cable comes ashore in the UK.

Apple shares expected to plummet

Posted: 27 Oct 2015 02:00 AM PDT

elepantsThe cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street have been consulting their tarot cards and are predicting a huge fall in the price of Apple shares.

For years Apple shares have grown on the basis that it will come up with new ideas and enter new markets. However the fear is that neither is happening.

Apple is about to release numbers, and there are fears that an earnings miss will really punish its shares. Numbers predicted will be a 20 percent fall, which is a drop similar to the one it suffered early this summer.

Part of the problem is that analysts have historically talked up Apple and they have been setting targets which are nearly impossible. Revenue estimates are close to $53 billion To make matters worse, Wall Street expects it to "beat its numbers".

The Apple earnings this quarter will be based on two numbers. The first is sales of its flagship product, the iPhone. The second is China sales. Apple management has already said that Apple needs to have impressive Chinese sales to move overall revenue forward. In the July quarter (the one released just prior to the current release), Apple revenue in China rose 112 per cent to $13.2 billion, and was 27 per cent of the quarter's total.

The iPhone 6S is a sticking point. It is widely seen as dated and already the hype is building for the iPhone 7. Apple managed to convince the world that it was selling well on its opening days by launching in China and the US at the same time to give the impression sales were up. Anyone with a calculator saw through that cunning plan.

China sales are expected to fall anyway due to the slowing economy which means Jobs' Mob would have to make up sales by taking them away from rivals.

This is something less likely to happen on any great scale.

Apple is on the edge. In theory it should not be doing as well has it has. Other technology companies have been seeing revenue gains on the cloud while traditional smartphone and PC sales have slumped.

The company has been largely propped up by the hype it has received from its allies in the press. But without killer technology or sales, it is unlikely that the markets will continue

Online harassment meetings closed by IT bullies

Posted: 27 Oct 2015 01:59 AM PDT

Nelson_and_the_bulliesConference sessions to investigate harassment in the computer gaming world has been closed because of the bullying of its organisers.

SXSW Interactive has cancelled two sessions for the 2016 event entitled “SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games.”

In the seven days since announcing these two sessions, SXSW has received numerous threats of on-site violence related to this programming.

In a statement the convention organisers said that SXSW Interactive means that dialogue needed to be "civil and respectful. "

"If people cannot agree, disagree and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised," the statement said.

Maintaining civil and respectful dialogue within the big tent is more important than any particular session, it added.

So clearly a win for internet terror campaigns. Apparently all you have to do to silence opposition to your backward misogynistic ideas is put in a few calls making threats and your opposition will give in.

Clearly SXSW did not realise that the people running anti-women campaigns like gamergate were bullies. The moment they realised it, they did what any tech people do when faced with bullies – they surrender and turn over their lunch money before they are given a wedgie.

Coppers arrest 15 year old over TalkTalk hack

Posted: 27 Oct 2015 01:59 AM PDT

7e9ab0acfbfcbb07c89eeaa3c910d851A 15 year-old boy has been arrested in Northern Ireland in connection with the TalkTalk hacking.

Inspector Knacker of the Yard had searched a house in County Antrim on Monday afternoon and arrested a boy on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences.

He has been taken into custody at Antrim police station and is being questioned by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

A police statement said this was a joint investigation involving the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and detectives from the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU).

The TalkTalk website was hit by a “significant and sustained cyber-attack” last week and banking details and personal information could have been taken.

The company said it did not know how much of its customer information had been encrypted. Over the weekend, TalkTalk’s chief executive claimed the attack was “smaller” than originally thought.

Dido Harding said any credit card details taken would have been partial and the information may not have been enough to withdraw money “on its own”.

Card details accessed were incomplete – with many numbers appearing as an x – and “not usable” for financial transactions, it added.

The hack sparked calls for the government to do more to force companies to encrypt data. Culture minister Ed Vaizey told the House of Commons the government was not against compulsory encryption for firms holding customer data.

Clearly he has not talked to his boss. David Cameron believes that encryption is the tool of choice of terrorists and companies should be forbidden from using it.

Sharp set to make a loss

Posted: 26 Oct 2015 08:23 AM PDT

sharp2Troubled Japanese giant Sharp – which got a $1.7 billion bailout earlier this year – looks like it's still in trouble.

It said that it would report an operating loss for the six month from April to September, hit by declining sales of smartphones. Smart makes displays used in the phones.

It had said in July that it expected to make a profit of around $100 million but instead it will report an operating loss of $215 million this Friday.

The bailout by the banks in May included a requirement that Sharp restructure but it's reported that it may have to sell off its formerly highly profitable display business.

Sharp formerly supplied its displays to a number of companies including Apple, but is faced by competition from a far wider range of display companies now.

Ofcom to auction military high capacity spectrum

Posted: 26 Oct 2015 07:27 AM PDT

HTC smartphoneRegulator Ofcom said today that next year there will be an auction for high capacity spectrum used by the military.

The spectrum is being made available by the Ministry of Defence after the UK government made it plain it wants to free the airwaves for civil use.

The auction will of 190MHz of high capacity spectrum in two bands – 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz. Ofcom said these are well suited for high speed mobile broadband services and equivalent to three quarters of the spectrum released by Ofcom in the 2013 4G auction.

Ofcom is setting reserve prices of £70 million for the spectrum.

The regulator said there won't be a cap on the amounts that bidders can buy with large blocks supporting very fast download speeds, paving the way for a future 5G standard.

Most smartphones from major manufacturers including Samsung and Apple are already compatible with the 2.3GHz spectrum, while the 3.4GHz band is being used for 4G wireless broadband in six countries including the UK.

Netflix forces TV channel rethink

Posted: 26 Oct 2015 07:19 AM PDT

old-school-tvA survey from IHS said that the success of Netflix is prompting TV channels to totally re-think their strategy.

IHS said that outside of sports, Netflix outspent companies like ITV and Amazon – and in the case of both those channels that's by a factor of two.

IHS research director Ted Hall said: "The traditional linear channel will be around for a long time to come,but it will become increasingly marginalised by a plethora of online services, from catch-up TV to TV Everywhere, pay TV channels' streaming offerings and Youtube multi channel networks."

The broadcasters want a piece of the online subscription cake.

IHS said that in 2019 Netflix will have over 100 million subscribers worldwide and between now and 2019 subscriptions will grow by 22 percent.

In Western Europe in particular, IHS said, Netflix will see "huge growth" with 10 million new subscribers.

IHS said the UK will be the biggest market in Europe for Netflix, with 7.1 million paying subscribers by 2018.

Indian cloud service market worth close to $1 billion

Posted: 26 Oct 2015 07:10 AM PDT

cloudsPublic cloud services revenues in the sub-continent are set to generate $731 million by the end of this year, according to a report from market research outfit Gartner.

That's an increase of $176 million from 2014 revenue, and the growth is being fuelled by sectors including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud management and security services and software as a service (SaaS).

Gartner believes that by 2019 revenues from India will total $1.9 billion.

Sid Nag, a research director at the firm, said that the rapid growth of IaaS and SaaS shows that Indian enterprises are moving away from creating their own on premises infrastructure and shifting from the traditional software licensing model.

Gartner thinks that emerging markets including China and India will show real GDP growth from now through to 2017. But Brazil, Russia and Turkey will be exceptions because of currency fluctuations.

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