Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Hacking Black Friday

leave a comment »

Uber’s back in the sheit again. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bloomberg reports that hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber, a breach that the company concealed for more than a year.

As a results, Uber fired its chief security officer and one of his deputies for hiding the breach, including a $100,000 ransom payment. Uber has hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant to investigate the hack.

Back at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, CEO Meg Whitman has announced she’ll step down as CEO early next year, and President Antonio Neri will take her place.

“Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets,” Whitman said in a statement. “Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”
– via CNBC

Okay, so there’s the relevant tech news for the day…let’s now get down to the important matters at hand, hacking Black Friday.

If you’re getting ready to mix it up either online or at the brick ’n’ mortars looking for the best deals, I’ve been in search of some tips ’n’ tricks to hopefully help you make your travails just a little more painless.

Katie Jackson from Today had some choice bits:

1) Review Amazon price histories on camelcamelcamel.com to get a sense of recent pricing.

2) Always use a new pricing (remembering dynamic pricing can be impacted by browsing patterns based on existing cookies). In fact, Jackson suggests going into “incognito” mode for your holiday shopping.

3) Use today to start scouting stores. That way you know where the stuff you’re looking for is located as you trample your fellow humans bright and early Friday morning so you can be FIRST to get that gold-plated Tickle Me Elmo (KIDDING! Be KIND to your fellow shoppers!)

C:NET suggests starting early (Amazon’s already started discounting items like the Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition and the Kindle Paperwhite)

And yes, visit TheBlackFriday.com to see scans of the Black Friday ads that will help you scout the best deals.

Good luck, and for those of you in the U.S., have a very Happy Thanksgiving and a most fruitful Black Friday!

Written by turbotodd

November 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

Hacking Black Friday

leave a comment »

Uber’s back in the sheit again. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bloomberg reports that hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber, a breach that the company concealed for more than a year.

As a results, Uber fired its chief security officer and one of his deputies for hiding the breach, including a $100,000 ransom payment. Uber has hired cybersecurity firm Mandiant to investigate the hack.

Back at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, CEO Meg Whitman has announced she’ll step down as CEO early next year, and President Antonio Neri will take her place.

“Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets,” Whitman said in a statement. “Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”
– via CNBC

Okay, so there’s the relevant tech news for the day…let’s now get down to the important matters at hand, hacking Black Friday.

If you’re getting ready to mix it up either online or at the brick ’n’ mortars looking for the best deals, I’ve been in search of some tips ’n’ tricks to hopefully help you make your travails just a little more painless.

Katie Jackson from Today had some choice bits:

1) Review Amazon price histories on camelcamelcamel.com to get a sense of recent pricing.

2) Always use a new pricing (remembering dynamic pricing can be impacted by browsing patterns based on existing cookies). In fact, Jackson suggests going into “incognito” mode for your holiday shopping.

3) Use today to start scouting stores. That way you know where the stuff you’re looking for is located as you trample your fellow humans bright and early Friday morning so you can be FIRST to get that gold-plated Tickle Me Elmo (KIDDING! Be KIND to your fellow shoppers!)

C:NET suggests starting early (Amazon’s already started discounting items like the Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition and the Kindle Paperwhite)

And yes, visit TheBlackFriday.com to see scans of the Black Friday ads that will help you scout the best deals.

Good luck, and for those of you in the U.S., have a very Happy Thanksgiving and a most fruitful Black Friday!

Written by turbotodd

November 22, 2017 at 9:34 am

Posted in 2017, black friday, retail, uber

Reach Out and Touch Someone

leave a comment »

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing to block AT&T’s $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner, reports CNBC.

And here’s how a press release from the Department of Justice explained its action:

The United States Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T/DirecTV’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. The $108 billion acquisition would substantially lessen competition, resulting in higher prices and less innovation for millions of Americans. The combination of AT&T/DirecTV’s vast video distribution infrastructure and Time Warner’s popular television programming would be one of the largest mergers in American history.  Time Warner’s network offerings include TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, HBO and Cinemax, and its programming includes Game of Thrones, NCAA’s March Madness, and substantial numbers of MLB and NBA regular season and playoff games.   According to the complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the combined company would use its control over Time Warner’s valuable and highly popular networks to hinder its rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for the right to distribute those networks.  The combined company would also use its increased power to slow the industry’s transition to new and exciting video distribution models that provide greater choice for consumers, resulting in fewer innovative offerings and higher bills for American families.
– via www.justice.gov

Bloomberg reports that “a defiant Randall Stephenson told antitrust enforcers that AT&T would see them in court…”

The CEO [Stephenson] briefly addressed what he called “the elephant in the room” — whether the lawsuit had anything to do with Trump’s very public and intense dislike of CNN. “Frankly, I don’t know,” he said. “But nobody should be surprised that the question keeps coming up, because we’ve witnessed such an abrupt change in the application of antitrust law here.”
– via Bloomberg.com

Recode’s lead explained the rationale behind DOJ’s trying to stop the deal this way: “The Comcast-NBCUniversal deal was bad. So the AT&T-Time Warner deal is worse — because it’s even bigger.”

The argument goes that “if it’s worrisome for a regional distributor to buy a big content company, it’s an even worse one for a distributor with a national footprint.”

Looks like this one’s headed to the courthouse.

Written by turbotodd

November 21, 2017 at 9:34 am

Let the Chips Fall…

leave a comment »

Some big deals brewing early on a Monday morning.

Reuters reported that chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. would buy smaller rival Cavium Inc. in a $6 billion deal “as it seeks to expand its wireless connectivity business in a fast consolidating semiconductor industry.”

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Marvell makes chips for storage devices while San Jose, California-based Cavium builds network equipment.
– via U.S.

 

China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba, will buy a big stake in China Wal-Mart rival, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, for $2.88 billion, which would give it a 36 percent stake in the company.

Alibaba, which runs the world’s largest online shopping operation, sees traditional retail venues as a way to expand its reach into fresh foods while also creating new demand for its Alipay mobile-payment business and its logistics services. “Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,” Alibaba chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said in a statement.
– via WSJ

This follows on the heels of Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of U.S. grocer Whole Foods.

But China’s not done. One of its leading phone and appliances makers, Xiaomi Corp., has also indicated it would invest as much as $1 billion in 100 startups in India over the next five years. The move is apparently an effort to build an ecosystem of apps around its smartphone brand.

And if you’re still waiting for your Uber, you may not have to wait much longer. Just don’t look for the driver.

Reuters is reporting that Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, building on a three-year relationship between the two companies.

Geely-owned Volvo said in a statement on Monday it would provide Uber with its flagship XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021. A Volvo spokesman said it covered up to 24,000 cars. The self-driving system that would be used in the Volvo cars — which have yet to be built — is under development by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group.
– via U.S.

That would be the single largest purchase for Volvo, and the broader autonomous vehicle industry, and would give Uber its first commercial fleet of cars.

No financial details were disclosed for the purchase, which would be a massive new investment for Uber and mark a change from Uber’s long-standing business model where contractor drivers buy or lease and maintain their own cars.
– via U.S.

Written by turbotodd

November 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

Fusion Genomics Using IBM Cloud To Support Advances Against Global Pandemics

leave a comment »

IBM today announced that Vancouver-based company Fusion Genomics selected IBM’s cloud capabilities to help advance Fusion’s ability to detect pandemics before they happen.

Fusion Genomics has developed disruptive DNA and RNA technology that it believes can positively identify infectious diseases and enhance the surveillance of emerging pathogens like MERS, SARS, avian flu, and swine flu.

Fusion Genomics selects IBM Cloud as scientists advance RNA and DNA genome sequencing for infectious disease diagnostics.

Vancouver-based company Fusion Genomics selected IBM’s cloud capabilities to help advance Fusion’s ability to detect pandemics before they happen. Fusion Genomics has developed disruptive DNA and RNA technology that it believes can positively identify infectious diseases and enhance the surveillance of emerging pathogens like MERS, SARS, avian flu, and swine flu. (Credit: IBM)

According to Fusion, Fusion Genomics’ technology when employed for pre-emergence surveillance can help proactively identify threats, like swine flu, by taking aerosol samples in high risk areas, then analyze the sample to determine if there is potential to affect humans.

If there is a risk, Fusion Genomics can help groups like governments and hospitals make rapid and informed decisions for the health and safety of those that rely on them before an outbreak occurs.

Requiring a cloud platform tuned for machine learning workloads, which also provides secure infrastructure capable of hosting sensitive genomic data, Fusion Genomics determined that the IBM Cloud was the ideal solution.

The global infrastructure footprint of the IBM Cloud helps Fusion Genomics create a more coordinated and efficient delivery system that can scale up or down as needed. In addition, IBM Cloud positioned the company to analyze genomic data in minutes.

The IBM Cloud enables Fusion Genomics’ system to gather and process four core elements in unison:

  • Beginning with testing, the sample genome is captured and DNA sequenced.
  • Fusion Genomics’ machine learning algorithms then analyze the genomic data to identify the presence of a pathogen, including any forms that could cause public harm.  
  • Once identified, physicians using Fusion Genomics’ technology can provide appropriate therapeutics; thus, treatment can be determined while tracking the transmission dynamics of the pathogen.
  • Since the system is delivered via the IBM Cloud, Fusion Genomics can easily run analytics and share information across boundaries.

“With a quickly growing global population, potential outbreaks of infectious diseases pose an increasingly pressing threat to our public health”, said Mohammad Qadir, CEO of Fusion Genomics.  “We chose IBM over other cloud providers because of its ability to quickly scale up or down while ensuring that sensitive data is protected with one of the most secure clouds available. This accelerates our capacity to react to infectious diseases that can pose dangerous threats to both the economy and human life.”

Organizations around the world are working with Fusion Genomics to access their DNA and RNA technology system built on IBM Cloud, including government agencies in both Canada and the European Union. 

For more information about IBM Cloud, please visit https://www.ibm.com/cloud-computing/.

Written by turbotodd

November 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

China Tops Top500 Supercomputing List

leave a comment »

For the first time ever, China has the most systems on the Top500 supercomputers list with 202, up from 159 six months ago.

By comparison, the U.S. dropped from 169 to 144, according to a report from CNET.

China also sits atop the Top500 list, with its Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer at China’s National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi reaching 93.01 petflops, or 93 quadrillion calculations per second.

But don’t rule out the U.S….

The United States might reclaim the top spot on the Top500 list, though. An IBM-built machine called Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is designed to reach about 200 petaflops, double the performance of Sunway TaihuLight. It’s in a 10,000-square-foot facility that’s got a 20-megawatt power system for running the machine and keeping it cool. That’s enough electricity to power about 16,300 houses.
– via CNET

Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2017 at 9:34 am

Posted in 2017, china, ibm, supercomputing

A Deal to Boost Mobile App Speeds

leave a comment »

ZDNet is reporting that web performance and security provider Cloudflare has acquired Neumob, a mobile accelerator for apps.

They report that Neumob will allow the company to provide improved end-to-end optimization across desktop and mobile, with no disruptions or speed loss based on the device used.

VentureBeat wrote of the deal:

Neumob’s technology is designed to replace traditional internet protocols that weren’t necessarily designed with the issues of wireless networks in mind, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told VentureBeat. He said that TCP, one of the core protocols behind the internet, assumes that packet loss means there’s a router in a wired network being overwhelmed somewhere and backs off of transmitting data. “[That] makes a ton of sense on a wired network, but on a mobile network, when you start to see packet loss, that could just mean someone turned on the microwave or you’re driving through a tunnel, there are solar flares, or any number of things that the right reaction isn’t to back off,” Prince said. Neumob built a new set of capabilities that are designed to do away with issues like that. The technology is able to make applications load up to 3 times faster and reduce app errors and timeouts by up to 90 percent.
– via VentureBeat

Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2017 at 9:12 am

%d bloggers like this: