Wednesday, November 4, 2015



Link to TechEye

VW software crisis deepens

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:36 AM PST

b299405f6eafe0ac98ce9d9405a17663 (1)Adolf Hitler's favourite car maker VW appears to have laid itself down in a ditch and set itself on fire over its testing software.

Not only did it doctor its software to foil emission testing, Reuters said that VW might have fudged petrol consumption figures too.

VW admitted that it had understated the fuel consumption of 800,000 cars sold in Europe, while majority stakeholder Porsche Automobil Holding warned VW’s latest findings could stuff up its its results.

The latest revelation about fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions represented a $2.19 billion economic risk.

Until now the scandal cantered on software on up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that VW admitted vastly understated its actual emissions of smog-causing pollutant nitrogen oxide.

Now it seems that VW understated fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, areas which US  regulators have yet to address.

The findings mostly apply to smaller diesel engines, one petrol powered engine is also affected.

One analyst said that "VW is leaving us all speechless."

Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said in a statement that he had pushed hard for the relentless and comprehensive clarification of events,

“Volkswagen  will stop at nothing and nobody. This is a painful process but it is our only alternative.”


Parallel worlds “discovered”

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:16 AM PST

schrodingers_catAn astrophysicist thinks he has found evidence of alternate or parallel universes.

While mapping the so-called “cosmic microwave background,” which is the light left over from the early universe, scientist Ranga-Ram Chary found what he called a mysterious glow.

Chary who works for the European Space Agency’s Planck Space Telescope data centre at CalTech, said the glow could be due to matter from a neighbouring universe leaked into ours.

Writing in the popular science magazine New Scientist, Chary said that if he is right then our universe might be a region within an eternally inflating super-region.

“Many other regions beyond our observable universe would exist with each such region governed by a different set of physical parameters than the ones we have measured for our universe,” Chary wrote in the study.

While the findings sound promising and have already gained the attention of other astronomers, it could be quite complicated to verify, since the Planck telescope provides limited data for further study.

“Unusual claims like evidence for alternate universes require a very high burden of proof,” Chary noted in the study.

The parallel universe might be the place that missing pens and socks go or be entirely populated by quantum cats.

It is not clear if these parallel universes have anything to do with this one and there is a universe where Bill Gates did not invent the iPad and left nothing for Steve Jobs to copy.

11 security bugs found in Galaxy S6 Edge

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:16 AM PST

bugTwo teams of insecurity experts have found more than 11 security bugs in the popular Samsung Galaxy 6S Edge.

Project Zero selected the Edge to investigate because Samsung is the biggest OEM in the world and most of the bugs found in its phones would be found in other Android phones.

“In particular, we wanted to see how difficult finding bugs would be, what type of bugs we would find and whether mitigations in AOSP would make finding or exploiting bugs more difficult [on an OEM device]. We also wanted to see how quickly bugs would be resolved when we reported them. We chose the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, as it is a recent high-end device with a large number of users,” Project Zero said.

The gave themselves a week to root out vulnerabilities. North American Project Zero members competed against their European counterparts in this exercise. Each side was given three challenges: gain remote access to data stored on the device such as contact information, photos and messages; gain access access to the same data from an app installed from Google Play with no permissions; and using the access gained in either of the first challenges, maintain persistence even if the device was wiped.

None of the official press releases say who won though.

Among the 11 vulnerabilities, the “most interesting” of which was CVE-2015-7888. It’s a directory traversal bug that allows a file to be written as a system. Project Zero said it was a doddle to exploit and it has since been fixed.

After reporting the issues to Samsung, it rolled out fixes for eight of the 11 vulnerabilities, which Project Zero confirmed by re-testing an updated Galaxy S6 Edge. As for the remaining three, they’ll be fixed sometime this month.




Facebook posts could harm your credit score

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:15 AM PST

FacebookSome of the top credit rating companies are now using people’s social media accounts to assess their ability to repay debt.

So if you ever want to loan money from a bank or credit agency it is vital you avoid saying some things on the social notworking site.

Will Lansing, chief executive at credit rating company FICO, told the FT that if you look at how many times a person says 'wasted' in their profile, it has some value in predicting whether they're going to repay their debt."

FICO is working with credit card companies to use several different methods for deciding what size loans people can handle, and using non-traditional sources like social media allows them to collect information on people who don’t have an in-depth credit history.

FICO and TransUnion have had to find alternative ways to assess people who don’t have a traditional credit profile — including people who haven’t borrowed enough to give creditors an idea of what kind of risk they pose.

According to Lansing, FICO is “increasingly looking at data on a spectrum” to determine an individual’s credit-worthiness — with credit card repayment history being the most important factor on one end and information volunteered via social media on the other end.

Credit rating companies are also using individuals’ payment history on phone bills, utility bills and even movie rentals.

IBM buys another company

Posted: 03 Nov 2015 06:43 AM PST

IBM logoScarcely a week goes by without IBM acquiring a company and this week is no exception to that rule.

IBM said it had bought private company Gravitant for an undisclosed amount.

The company makes cloud based software to plan and manage services from multiple suppliers across so-called hybrid clouds.

The software is basically a tool for enterprises to buy computing and software services from different suppliers through a single console.

IBM senior vice president Martin Jetter said that "enterprise IT is many clouds with many characteristics, whether they be economic, capacity or security".

The acquisition of Gravitant means the integration of its software into IBM's Cloud and offering software as a service (SaaS).

Vendors push for notebook growth

Posted: 03 Nov 2015 06:38 AM PST

Dell logoWhile notebook sales have been in the doldrums for much of this year, the third quarter saw a revival of the sector's fortunes with shipments growing to 43.17 million units.

Trendforce said that while that's a growth from the second quarter, it represents a 5.7 percent year on year decline.

Anita Wang, a Trendforce analyst, said that vendors will lower their prices and have to shift boxes because otherwise the warehouses will be full of notebooks and that will affect the first quarter of next year.

Trendforce said that HP showed a sequential quarterly growth of 10.4 percent and is number one in the sector.

Second was Lenovo which managed to dump excess stock.

Dell saw growth in North America and China, and grew its shipments sequentially by 18.3 percent, said Wang.

India’s IT spending to hit $72.3 billion next year

Posted: 03 Nov 2015 06:32 AM PST

Indian flagA report from Gartner said that IT spends in 2016 will rise 7.2 percent from 2015 and be worth an estimated $72.3 billion.

Gartner said spend on internet of things (IoT) hardware will exceed $2.5 million a minute next year.

Mike Harris, group vice president of Gartner, said his company believed that in five years a million new devices will go online every hour.

But the real value of the IoT for India is not in the data itself but in the algorithms that make sense of the billions of connections.

Gartner believes that India will be the fast growing IT market for the second year in a row. By the end of 2019, the market will be worth $87.67 billion in revenues and while India is the the third largest market in Asia Pacific, by 2019 it will be the second biggest market, with China in the lead.

Mobile phones will represent nearly a third of the overall IT spend in 2016.

Gartner is also predicting that data centres will grow by close to four percent next year, with much of the growth from enterprise equipment and servers.

Tsinghua eyes up MediaTek

Posted: 03 Nov 2015 06:25 AM PST

ChinaThe Chinese state backed consortium Tsinghua Unigroup wants to take over successful chip firm Mediatek.

China has a long range plan to grow its semiconductor industry and according to a report in Digitimes, Tsinghua's chairman Zhao Weiguo said that if Taiwan lifts its ban on Chinese firm, there could well be a merger of the companies.

MediaTek said that it would be happy to talk with Tsinghua in a merger provided that Taiwanese government restrictions were lifted.

Although Taiwan does not allow Chinese companies to take shares in companies on the island, there's a great deal of self interest in both countries cooperating.

For example, many Taiwanese semiconductor firms have factories in mainland China.

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