Weekly tech bulletin 2015-05-03. Top 12 Technology news from previous week.

Published: Mon, 04 May 2015 by Rad


1. AWS continues to dominate cloud infrastructure services market

Published: Apr 27, 2015 cloud

The cloud infrastructure services market continues to grow at a rapid rate with Amazon Web Services (AWS) at the summit, and latest Q1 data from Synergy Research reveals AWS remains bigger than its four nearest competitors.

Not the fastest growth though

The data reveals how the trend of the cloud infrastructure market has been similarly plotted for the past year. AWS was not the fastest growing company during Q115, with only 49% growth, yet retains a larger slice of the market than Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Google combined. Microsoft keeps its second placed position in the market, with 96% growth in Q1 - the greatest out of all the vendors analysed.

On a strict like-for-like basis AWS remains streets ahead of the competition in cloud infrastructure services - Synergy Researchsaid, adding: "Furthermore, this part of the cloud market is growing much more rapidly than SaaS or cloud infrastructure hardware and software."

Follow   www.cloudcomputing-news.net to read more.

2. German prosecutor to investigate state spy agency’s partnership with the NSA

Published: May 03, 2015 government

The German parliament recently revealed that the country's electronic surveillance agency BND had been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and defense contractors for over a decade. Now Germany's top public prosecutor will investigate to see if the country's NSA partnership was violating any laws, Reuters reports.

Communication of politicians intercepted

As part of an ongoing agreement, the BND fed sensitive data to the NSA, including communications between several German and French politicians, as well as defense contractors like Airbus, European Aeronautic Defense, and Space Company. In response to a review of the agreement, the German parliament said it hoped to limit the selector terms used by the NSA in data collection, which would be a small, but still noticeable move toward's suppressing the NSA's overreach.

Follow   www.theverge.com to read more.

3. Google tries to win EU friends with €150 million Digital News Initiative fund

Published: Apr 28, 2015 money

Google has announced the Digital News Initiative - a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation - which sees it working with eight European news organizations to help with product development and putting €150 million into a three-year innovation fund.

Attempt to mend bridges

This evident attempt by Google to mend its bridges with the European news publishing industry comes in the wake of years of complaints about the effects of Google's services on traditional newspapers, and against a background of the European Commission's antitrust investigation into Google's search and Android businesses, with the threat that it could be widened to include other services.

It's not the first time Google has used this approach to placate critics. After a small-scale agreement with Belgian news publishers in December 2012, Google went on in 2013 to set up the €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund in France.

Follow   arstechnica.com to read more.

4. Banking Malware Delivered via Macro in PDF Embedded Word Document

Published: May 03, 2015 security

Delivering banking malware through Microsoft Word documents has been a less common method. However, it is currently being used for spreading malicious macros and PDF files in a single item - Avast Experts warned.

Resurrection of less common methods

Researchers at Avast have identified that the previously less common method of spreading banking malware has suddenly been increased. They further noted that this method has evolved and it now embeds Microsoft Word documents into a PDF file.

The email claims to provide financial details embedded in an attached PDF. Actually this is a rigged document containing a JavaScript code and the DOC file comprising of the macro containing the nefarious commands.

Inside the DOC file we found malicious macro code, which users must activate, as the code is disabled by Microsoft Office by default. The code obfuscates DOC files by creating new documents with unique methods names, variable names, and URLs, making it difficult to detect the malicious files.

Follow   www.hackread.com to read more.

5. Microsoft facial recognition tool claims it can guess your age, but does it?

Published: May 01, 2015 tech

Finding someone's age and gender, no longer a problem! With Microsoft's newest API all the age secrets are to be exposed — Well.. not really, the tool sucks.

Patented face recognition

So, people who try to hide their age can be in big trouble with this new (application program interface) API. Microsoft, right in the middle of Microsoft's BUILD dev conference has unleashed a new API to identify a person's age and gender via uploading a photo to the interface provided at How-Old.net (site is powered by Microsoft Azure's Face APIs).

While testing the technology many people were surprised to see near accurate results. However, some argued on inaccurate results, though they didn't realize the images that they provided were old too.

This API will be used as Windows 10 login feature as announced by Microsoft there would be the facial recognition login option fir Windows 10 users in its one of the recent statements.

Follow   www.hackread.com to read more.

6. Computer cooling system could save U. S. $6. 3 billion in electricity a year

Published: Apr 27, 2015 tech

A patented passive cooling system for computer processors that's undergoing optimization at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) could save U.S. consumers more than $6.3 billion per year in energy costs associated with running their computer cooling fans.

3M's Fluorinert FC-72 liquid

It uses convection to circulate 3M's Fluorinert FC-72 liquid through channels in a computer's processor and then into a heat sink that serves as an external radiator.

Fluorinert FC-72, the 3M brand name for an electronic cooling liquid and electrical insulator, is a colorless, odorless, biologically inert and chemically stable dielectric liquid that is nonflammable and has a boiling point at 56 degree Celsius (133 degrees Fahrenheit).

Follow   www.sciencedaily.com to read more.

7. Startup launches subscription model for buying SSL certificates

Published: Apr 30, 2015 tech

A Utah-based startup has launched a subscription model for buying SSL certificates, an essential but at times onerous task. New model enables you to pay monthly flat fee for various types of certificates.

Current models too expensive

Buying and managing SSL certificates has never been pleasant. The pricing models have been characterized as a racket, with customers charged per certificate, type of certificate, how long it is valid for and how many servers its used on. It's not unusual for a single, average EV (extended validation) SSL certificate to cost between $600US to $800US.

Companies and organizations are using more and more SSL certificates as the need for secure machine-to-machine communication has increased with cloud computing, virtualization and mobile devices. There's also been a widespread movement by major players such as Google to get more websites using SSL, driven by concerns over rising cyberattacks and government surveillance.

HydrantID thinks it has a better model for SSL certificates, and one that is cheaper and makes managing certificates easier. It has launched a subscription service where an organization pays a flat monthly fee for a set number of certificates, regardless of type.

Follow   www.itworld.com to read more.

8. Tesla jolts future of energy with new home battery

Published: Apr 30, 2015 tech

The lithium-ion battery modules can store electricity from solar panels and serve to balance loads from the grid, charging up during non-peak energy usage hours, then providing energy to a home or facility during peak hours.

For home and commercial use

Homeowners will be able to get the module called the Powerwall, which Tesla will sell in 7- and 10 kilowatt-hour modules. Musk said that certified installers could buy the smaller pack for $3,000 and the larger pack for $3,500. (UK and Australian details were not announced.)

For industrial applications, Tesla will offer the Powerpack, sold in 100-kilowatt-hour modules at $25,000 each. Musk said that Tesla would work with industrial customers on these installations. The battery backup systems come under a new product line at Tesla called Tesla Energy.

Follow   www.cnet.com to read more.

9. Spotify Raises $350M At $8B Valuation As Music Streaming Rival Grooveshark Shuts Down

Published: May 01, 2015 legal

Spotify has announced a new $350 million funding round which puts the company valuation at more than $8 billion dollars. On the flip side, former rival Grooveshark has closed its doors following defeat in a long legal battle with the record labels.

Minimalistic and basic browser

According to CNBC, Spotify is now valued at more than $8 billion after a new $350 million financing round. Goldman Sachs institutional clients are believed to have taken part in the funding.

The news will be a boost to the Swedish music streaming service as it braces itself for competition with Apple, which is expected to launch a competing service in June. Spotify is currently the dominant player in the market with 60 million customers worldwide, 15 million of whom pay for a subscription service. Presumably this new round of funding will help them compete with whatever Apple is planning and stop Spotify going the way of the beleaguered Grooveshark.

Six-year-long legal battle

The company had been in a six-year-long legal battle with major record labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Grooveshark has agreed to wipe its servers clean of any unlawful music files, and encouraged users to use subscription services like Spotify, Google Play, Deezer and Beats instead.

The U.S. company (Grooveshark) had operated for nearly 10 years but unlike Spotify and others it didn't agree any licensing deals with the record labels. Instead, Grooveshark built a catalogue of music from users' uploads, which was what attracted the wrath of the music industry. The company admitted in the closing statement posted April 30 that it was wrong to do this and apologised.

Follow   www.techtimes.com to read more.

10. This is Microsoft Edge, the replacement for Internet Explorer

Published: Apr 29, 2015 software

Microsoft first revealed its new browser plans back in January. Known as Project Spartan initially, Microsoft is revealing today that the company will use the Microsoft Edge name for its new browser in Windows 10. The Edge naming won't surprise many as it's the same moniker given to the new rendering engine (EdgeHTML) that Microsoft is using for its Windows 10 browser.

Minimalistic and basic browser

While Microsoft Edge is the successor to Internet Explorer, Microsoft will keep its aging browser around for enterprise customers. Microsoft Edge is designed to be basic and minimalist for the future, and early previews include new features like digital ink annotation, Cortana integration, and a built-in reading list.

You're going to care about the blasting fast technology that's inside it, said Joe Belfiore on stage at Build. Microsoft Edge will be the default browser in Windows 10, and the one that most consumers will use to browse the web in Microsoft’s next operating system.

Follow   www.theverge.com to read more.

11. Microsoft Launches Visual Studio Code, A Free Cross-Platform Code Editor For OS X, Linux And Windows

Published: Apr 29, 2015 software

At its Build developer conference, Microsoft today announced the launch of Visual Studio Code, a lightweight cross-platform code editor for writing modern web and cloud applications that will run on OS X, Linux and Windows. The application is still officially in preview, but you can now download it - download Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft's first time ever cross-platform editor

Visual Studio Code offers developers built-in support for multiple languages and as Microsoft noted in today's Build keynote, the editor will feature rich code assistance and navigation for all of these languages. JavaScript, TypeScript, Node.js and ASP.NET 5. Developers will also get a set of additional tools.

The editor features all of the standard tools you would expect from a modern code editor, including syntax highlighting, customizable keyboard bindings, bracket matching and snippets. It also works with Git out of the box.

Today's announcement will surely come as a surprise to many. It does, however, fit in well with the direction the company's developer group has been on for quite a while now, be that the open sourcing of .NET Core (and taking that platform cross-platform) or the launch of the free Visual Studio Community edition.

Follow   techcrunch.com to read more.

12. FBI dumps 5,000 redacted pages on its cellphone-tracking device

Published: May 02, 2015 government, security

It's no secret that local law enforcement offices around the US are using a tool called Stingray to track cellphone locations without the approval of a judge. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from MuckRock's Alex Richardson, the FBI released thousands of pages of heavily-redacted documents, emails and more concerning the project, including one titled "Cellphone Tracking for Dummies."

Super secret Stingray

The super secret Stingray device is provided to local authorities by the FBI, creating fake cell towers that force nearby handsets to connect to it -- even those belonging to folks other than a suspect. And as you might expect, in addition to tracking, it also reveals the identity of the phone's owner.

Included in the collection is loads of correspondence between the Bureau, Boeing, the Harris Corporation and local law enforcement. Those two middle companies, by the way, are manufacturers of the tech.

There's the massive volume of PowerPoint slides and other materials related to training so how big the project is. These indicate that not only was the FBI training a lot of agents to use the device, but that it was also passing on its knowledge to state and local departments around the US.

Follow   www.engadget.com to read more.

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