Thursday, December 1, 2016

Safran Identity & Security's MVI solution (Morpho Video Investigator) is now used by the French National Police.

MVI was created by Safran and is the result of adding video analysis functions (including motion detection and license plate detection) to the company’s facial recognition software.

The integrated algorithms process raw video files and then detect important visual sequences before flagging them up for analysis.

This system has been used by the French police force since June 2016 in particular for the counter-terrorism investigations. French investigators have highlighted the gains in operating efficiency that MVI has bought and the potential benefits of a wider-scale use of this type of solution.

"This tool has allowed the forensic police to improve the way they handle video footage and we are now looking to optimize its use to make further gains in productivity during our investigations where time is of the essence," stated Dominique Abbenanti, deputy chief responsible for the forensic police.

"At a time when the amount of video data is rapidly increasing both in the fight against terrorism and in the field of public security, these video analysis technologies allow us to provide investigators with powerful tools to improve public safety", emphasized Anne Bouverot, Chair and CEO of Safran Identity & Security.

Source: Planet Biometrics

Safran to provide French with video analysis solution

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Set up your own home network and you can have Explorer automatically map any remote drives you like, whenever you log on. Connect to another network, though, and Explorer will still try to connect to the drives that aren’t there, along with drives for work, school, or whatever else you might have set up.

Network Drive Control can help by checking a network as you log on, and only mapping the drives you need for that environment.

For example, you could have the program map a backup drive on your home network, a completely different set of drives at work, and none at all if you log on to a network you’ve never accessed before.

Setting this up takes a little work. You must remove any automatic mappings you’ve set up in Explorer, then manually add the details of every drive you’d like to access: network name, the local drive letter to use, the remote drive path, your user ID and password.

Once it’s up and running the program should work largely automatically, although there are tweaks available if you need them.

If automatic mapping doesn’t always work, you can have the program wait before connecting drives, or disable automatic mapping entirely and leave you to connect drives on demand.

If you run into any other problems, a local Help file provides some useful information. Example: if you connect to a network via a VPN, it’ll seem to be a different network than when you connect directly. What to do? Creating two separate mappings should solve the problem -- the Help file explains all.

Source: Beta News

Automatically map the network drives you need with Network Drive Control

Meg Whitman uses opening Discover Europe 2016 keynote to show off HPE's IoT and Hybrid visions

HPE CEO Meg Whitman has talked up the potential of hybrid IT and edge computing to handle the increasing amounts of data being created by business IT systems and IoT devices.

Speaking at the opening keynote of HPE Discover Europe 2016, which is taking place in London this week, Whitman said that IoT devices are becoming increasingly powerful, describing connected cars as computers "with four wheels and a cockpit".

With these sensors and devices creating ever more data and requiring ever more responsive feedback, Whitman said, bringing computing power to the edge (i.e. as close to the sensors themselves, rather than residing in the data centre) has never been more important.

The "intelligent edge", as she described it, reduces latency by extending compute, storage and, most importantly, analytics as close as possible to the connected devices to improve their performance.

As for HPE's role in this, the company will provide businesses with both infrastructure and analytical capabilities to help them make the most of the "exploding" volume of data being generated.

"As I like to say, HPE is going to be the IT in IoT," Whitman said.

In addition to talking about the power of edge computing for the IoT, the HPE CEO also took time to reaffirm the company's hybrid IT message.

"For us, hybrid IT means finding the right mix for you," she said. This mix will inevitably include apps that reside exclusively on a company's data, at least in some cases, as well as data held on private clouds, managed services like Salesforce and Workday, and public cloud, she claimed.

Whitman added that this mix must be flexible and able to evolve as companies' needs change.

"Our goal," she said, "is to make Hybrid IT simple."

HPE Discover runs from 29 November – 1 December at London's Earl's Court. Stay tuned for more from the event.

Source: IT PRO

HPE talks up hybrid IT and edge computing for IoT

The recount was requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein over concerns about voting system hacks

A judge in Wisconsin has refused to order a recount by hand of ballots cast in the state for the U.S. presidential elections, shooting down a petition by Green Party candidate Jill Stein that the use of automatic tabulating equipment, identified as potential targets of foreign government agents, “risks tainting the recount process.”

The Wisconsin Elections Commission decided Friday to recount the votes in the state, after concerns were raised that the voting systems can be hacked. Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton also backed the recount, including the hand count.

In her petition to the Elections Commission, Stein wrote that Wisconsin uses both the optical scan and direct-recording electronic types of voting machines, which are both susceptible to compromise. In a filing to the Dane County Circuit Court in Wisconsin asking for a statewide hand recount, Stein stated that the Elections Commission had acknowledged that a hand recount is not necessarily more time-consuming than an electronic tabulation.

Under rules for recounts, the state can choose to use either automatic tabulating equipment or hand count the ballots, depending on the wards, unless a court orders otherwise.

“The only way to determine whether a cyberattack affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election is to examine the available physical evidence – that is, to count the paper ballots and paper audit trail records, and review the voting equipment, to ensure that the votes cast by actual voters match the results determined by the computers," according to the court filing spotted by Courthouse News Service.

A group of voting security experts and election lawyers said last week that Clinton should ask for a recount in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan as there were outstanding questions about the voting results in the close contests between Clinton and president-elect Donald Trump. Polls before the election had given Clinton the edge in winning those states. Stein’s campaign has said the effort to recount votes in the three states is not intended to help Clinton and is unlikely to change the election outcome.

“We are standing up for an election system that we can trust,” she said in a statement Friday. Stein is aiming for recounts in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

In the decision of Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn late Tuesday, all 72 Wisconsin counties will now be able to proceed with their preferred method of recount, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said it had received nearly $3.5 million from the Stein campaign in payment of the cost of the recount, which will begin Thursday.

In the run-up to the elections, there were significant breaches, including that of emails of the Democratic National Committee and voter registration databases in at least two states. The administration of President Barack Obama blamed Russia for the email compromises.

Source: Computer World

Recount Wisconsin will not be complete by hand

Britons hoping that a quaint historical tradition might stop a Draconian internet surveillance law in its tracks were disappointed on Tuesday morning, when the Queen gave her approval to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

In theory, the Queen has the power of veto over all U.K. legislation as bills do not become law until they receive royal assent.

In practice, though, it's just a formality: no reigning British monarch has rejected a piece of legislation since 1707. Besides, given the post-Brexit backlash against anyone than Parliament deciding British law, it would have been a daring move for a hereditary head of state.

With a stroke of her pen, then, the Queen has granted a whole crowd of police officers and other government officials access to records of the online activities of everyone in the U.K.

Defenders of the legislation, including Prime Minster Theresa May in her previous role as Home Secretary, say that requiring network operators to store a year's worth of communication data, and allowing government officials to sift through it, is necessary and proportionate for protecting national security and public safety.

The communication data does not include your entire browsing history, May pointed out: Only the sites visited are stored, not the exact pages. That only provides a certain degree of privacy: You might be able to pass off your visit to a Facebook group about tax evasion as chatting with friends, but a visit to will be harder to explain away.

The legislation does contain some safeguards to prevent rampant abuse of the data, limiting access to certain government departments and agencies, and imposing strict limits on the ranks of those that can authorize access to the data.

For example, only police officers of the rank of inspector or above can approve access to the data. Of Britain's 126,818 serving police officers, 8,716 held that rank or higher, according to official figures from 2015.

Other organizations allowed to access citizens' internet connection records include Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the U.K.'s tax collection agency. There, only staff with the grade of "Higher Officer" or above can access the data -- but that's almost an entry-level post for applicants with a degree, and there are around 20,000 HMRC employees at that grade or above, according to official figures.

The list also includes senior officers at the Department of Work and Pensions, which overseas the payment of unemployment benefits and old age pensions, and a mishmash of fire services and regulatory authorities covering gambling, farm workers, food health and air safety.

Almost forgotten in that list are those that might be expected to have a real role to play in protecting national security with all that data, the country's three spy agencies: the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service, and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), where officials of grades 3, 6 or 8 and above, respectively, can access the data.

Source: Computer World

The Queen signs off on UK internet surveillance law

German biometrics firm DERMALOG Identification Systems has released the next generation of its AFIS. 

Test body SGS-TÜV Saar has confirmed that the software allows the processing of almost one billion matches per second. 

In a statement, the firm said that after many years of research, the developers and engineers have "succeeded" in perfecting their recognition system for fingerprints.

The world record for fingerprint matching is now 914,959,533 in one second per standard blade server.

DERMALOG will be showcasing its latest biometric innovations from 29 November to 1 December at TRUSTECH 2016 in Cannes - on stand RIVIERA L020.

DERMALOG founder and managing director Günther Mull: "As the speed of fingerprint matching increases, maintaining accuracy is a challenge. However, there is no loss of quality with our AFIS. The experts from SGS-TÜV Saar have confirmed that the quality of our AFIS is outstanding in terms of both coding and matching."

AFIS is one of DERMALOG's core products. The success story has quite a history. The state of Rio de Janeiro has been combating duplicate or false identities with a DERMALOG solution for more than 15 years. AFIS has been instrumental in promoting networking between authorities. The AFIS for Rio is also the first AFIS in Brazil to be used for civil and criminal identification.

As a multi-biometrics provider, DERMALOG is able to link the AFIS fingerprinting system to other biometric parameters. For example, iris and face recognition can be used for multi-modal identification. Günther Mull: "We are a developer, a manufacturer and a system integrator all in one. DERMALOG is the biometrics innovation leader and our products are made in Germany. We stand for the fulfilment of the highest safety requirements and intuitive operation."

Source: Planet Biometrics

Dermalog sets world record for fingerprint software

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

IT administrators should no longer be shackled to the desktop, trapped in permanent rounds of helpdesk visits, security patches and upgrades. The future could be an estate of efficient and remotely managed desktops and mobile devices; freeing IT administrators to focus on deploying IT innovation for competitive advantage.

For many IT administrators the feeling of being shackled to the desktop will be all too familiar. An endless round of responding to helpdesk tickets raised by users, running security patches and rolling out upgrades. "Surely there must be more to life than this?", they ask as they trudge off to solve another user issue. And thank goodness there is.

A new desktop era is upon us in the form of the managed workspace. It’s not perfectly formed as yet, more of an evolution than a revolution, but the future is here. For some IT administrators -- those that run thin client desktops -- life has been more manageable for some time. Easy profile set-ups and plug and play roll-outs, with centralized remote management have been offered by enlightened thin client operators for many years with the free management software included with every device.

And by offering both Windows and Linux firmware versions, with a wide range of codecs and protocols included, they are open devices -- meaning IT administrators are free to deploy the IT infrastructure they wish with the flexibility to change -- without having to worry about the compatibility of their desktop devices.

A Mixed Bag

But the modern day reality for the vast majority of businesses is that they have inherited a mixed bag of desktop devices or the workforce, with its varying requirements, demands a range of different devices from PC’s to notebooks and thin and zero clients. What hope then for the desktop guardians from IT?

Under the banner of workspace management, with some simple conversion and management software, many desktop PCs and laptops can now easily be converted to thin client devices in a matter of minutes. This conversion creates the opportunity to manage the vast majority of business desktops and mobile devices like a single estate.

It makes no difference whether your IT team chooses to work with Citrix, Microsoft or PCoIP solutions, modern thin clients and software thin clients are designed to work with any leading terminal services provider. Even when VMware decided to jump into the market with its VMware Blast Extreme Protocol for Horizon 7 a few months ago, the dedicated thin client providers were quick to integrate the solution into their devices -- ensuring customers maintain the flexibility and freedom to choose as they wish.

The benefits of this approach and flexibility are many and instant. With a uniform desktop estate, the devices can be centrally and remotely managed at the click of a mouse. Firmware upgrades, profile changes and new device set-up can all be carried out remotely, using a simple drag and drop interface.

Simple, Cost-Effective Solutions

And the latest developments in this desktop management software means that it can easily be integrated with enterprise system management software such as IBM Tivoli and Microsoft SCCM to allow the desktops to be managed as part of the wider enterprise IT infrastructure.

Another benefit is that desktop security is instantly improved -- no chance of a virus here. Even in converted PC and notebook devices the USB ports can be simply disabled or controlled centrally with rules to ensure unauthorized material cannot be added to the devices without permissions. This functionality has proved invaluable organizations such as schools, colleges and local authorities.

The chance to move to a virtual or cloud infrastructure also suddenly looks simpler and more cost effective because the need to change all the end user devices has been removed. Businesses can virtualize their server infrastructure and not have to worry about the additional expense of changing all their desktop estate at the same time. Desktops can be converted to thin client devices and then replaced with new devices in a phased and financially smooth transition.

There are added environmental benefits as well. Suddenly the devices are burning less power. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany found that total cost of ownership (TCO) can be reduced by 47 percent if an existing managed PC is converted into a thin client like device as part of a managed workspace environment instead of replacing it with a new Windows PC. With a notebook conversion, this figure is as high as 55 percent. If fat clients are simply replaced by hardware thin clients, then savings of 35 percent can be achieved over a three-year period.

Undeniable Advantage

Today there is very little reason for a widely mixed desktop environment. With thin and zero clients now able to offer the full multimedia experience -- traditionally an advantage held by PC’s -- desktop users often see no difference when PC’s are switched to thin client devices -- other than a much faster boot and login time.

And with the ability to turn even notebooks for mobile workers into mobile thin client devices and homeworkers to access their network via thin client like devices at home, the excuses for a widely mixed environment of different devices has melted away.

Put another way, five years ago, running multimedia in a thin client environment used to be a daily question we’d get asked on projects: why do you need it and how do you get it to work? Now multimedia is mainstream with people pushing for higher end graphics, Skype for Business or Go to Meeting and getting video conferencing working. It’s been solved by adding more CPU processing power to the actual thin client device and using software and redirection to manage the increased bandwidth demands between the client and server and vice versa. It works reliability and well.

There’s been lots happening in this space. VMware historically licensed two protocols: Teradici’s fairly fat PC over IP protocol -- ideal for users on the same campus LAN who required high end graphics -- and Microsoft RDP -- a lighter weight protocol aimed at remote workers limited by data speeds or those who don’t need the same multimedia capability.

Early this year, VMware launched its Blast Extreme Protocol which delivers various video formats via the H264 codec and adds real mobile and desktop cloud capability. In addition, Microsoft announced in May of this year that it is now partnering with Citrix to standardize on Citrix XenExpress not RDP to connect Windows desktops to its Azure cloud back-end infrastructure.

This is a major step change in the ability for SMEs to quickly and simply access apps from the cloud and deliver cloud-hosted desktops at reduced complexity and cost. It is announcement which drives "easy cloud" forward but which has gone relatively unnoticed.

The advantages of a single, centrally managed estate can no longer be denied. Looking to the future, developments in the Workspace Management arena look to continue apace. Can you feel those shackles falling away from your wrists -- feels good doesn’t it?

Source: Beta News

The advantages of thin clients for IT administrators

Monday, November 28, 2016

South Korean media has reported that Samsung will look to domestic fingerprint suppliers for its next entry-level range.

According to The Investor magazine, Samsung Electronics is in talks with two fingerprint module producers in South Korea as it prepares the mass production of its budget smartphone, the Galaxy On.

Despite being an entry-level handset, Samsung wants the Galaxy On to have a fingerprint scanner, perhaps as developing countries explore mobile payments systems.

Insider information revealed that one of the prospective suppliers has actually been trying to supply its fingerprint modules to Samsung for a while now. Meanwhile, another supplier just joined the fingerprint scanner market because it previously focused on producing camera modules until recently.

The media speculates that the two suppliers will be tasked to provide the South Korea tech giant with up to 2 million modules for the company’s entry-level smartphone.

Source: Planet Biometrics

Samsung mulling domestic fingerprint sensor suppliers

Luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover has patented a biometric entry solution.

Cameras mounted under door windows capture video and still images. While the videos use gait or movement recognition, the pictures use facial recognition software.

The patent application states, ''The user of the vehicle must carry out a registration process which requires them to record a still image of their face and a moving image such as a hand gesture or their gait as they approach the vehicle.''

It further adds, ''The vehicle doors may be controlled independently of one another or many be controlled as a single unit. The moving image may be a gesture, such as a hand wave, a salute or another hand signal which the user makes on approach to or arrival at the vehicle.''

This system of Jaguar Land Rover helps in avoiding the hassle of carrying car keys. Using gait analysis also ensures that thieves could not fool the system by holding up pictures of the owner's face.

Owners need not worry in case they sell their vehicle. Jaguar Land Rover said that ''If the vehicle is sold, the stored images can be removed and new authorised image identifiers stored instead.''

This technology has its own challenges which Jaguar Land Rover is working to simplify. ''It is an ongoing challenge of the automotive industry to improve vehicle functionality and design and to further enhance the sophisticated feel of vehicles without additional cost. In particular, vehicle personalisation, where vehicle functions and features can be aligned with specific user requirements is an increasingly common aim. As far as door entry is concerned, such systems must also be robust against misuse, for example theft or loss of a key-fob so that vehicle security is maintained.''

Source: Planet Biometrics

Jaguar Land Rover patents biometric enternace system

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cern is currently searching for a potential supplier for its €5.3 million Helix Nebula hybrid cloud platform and T-Systems, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have made it to the last round.

Initially, 28 different firms from 12 countries submitted bids for the lucrative contract to develop a hybrid cloud platform that will be built upon commercial cloud services, publicly funded infrastructures and each firm's own IT resources.
Cern has narrowed down its list of bids down to the four firms based on the design ideas they have submitted for the project. The scientific organisation will eliminate one more firm and the remaining three will be required to build a prototype platform.

IBM has decided that it will develop its platform independently, whilst  T-Systems will be partnering with the Chinese firm Huawei and several others to create its platform and will also be working alongside Rhea Group in its bid. HPE, Advania, Sixsq and Indra will all make up the fourth group.

Cern is just one of 10 European research organisations that have come together to back the Helix Nebula hybrid cloud platform with the aim of the project being to provide scientific researchers throughout the continent with access to both big data and high performance computing (HPC) capabilities.

The leader of the Helix Nebula initiative at Cern, Bob Jones, said: “We are very pleased with the response to the tender and we would like to thank all the organisations that took the effort of submitting a bid.  We realised it was a lot of work for those companies and we want to acknowledge it.”

Source: Beta News

HPE, IBM and T-Systems contest for the contract Cern Cloud platform

Linux-based desktop operating systems can sometimes be incredible for productivity and security, but they can be deficient from a feature and application perspective too. Windows 10 and macOS Sierra, for instance, are chock-full of some exciting software that is simply not available on Linux, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, although alternatives (LibreOffice and Gimp for example) can sometimes be passable.

With all of that said, Microsoft has delivered an incredible feature to Linux-based desktop operating systems by way of the latest Alpha version of its Skype client. What is this exciting feature of which I speak? Well, the newly-released Skype for Linux 1.13 allows users to send SMS test messages from the operating system!

True, web-based solutions such as Google Voice have long allowed the sending of text messages, but needing to use a web browser can be a chore. There is convenience and elegance in using the Skype for Linux client.

Microsoft shares the following new aspects of the 1.13 version of Skype.

  • Enabled SMS sending
  • Update to Electron 1.4.7
  • Support for remote escalation of the 1-1 call to group call
  • Improved crash reporting
  • Added support for authentication token revocation
  • Bugfixes and performance improvements

Want to give Linux for Skype Alpha 1.13 a try? You can download using the links below.

Microsoft allows Linux workstation users to send text messages with the latest version of Skype Alpha

Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that fingerprint identification in hospitals is not valid.

The decision of the three-member court was taken on Tuesday and fingerprint identification is terminated until the final ruling, reported BGNES.

The supreme magistrates ruled: “It is obvious in this case that the introduction of fingerprint identification, instead of a document which contains information about the health data of persons and grants access to the data in a virtual environment (an electronic health ID), complicates trans-border legitimisation. This contradicts EU legislation since it is aimed at unifying the type of identification in order to ensure movement, security and medical assistance in EU countries.”

However, the Health Ministry announced that they will appeal the decision.

Earlier this month, Bulgarian health ministry officials  announced that fingerprint registration is now required in all hospitals to improve security, treatment and administration of the country’s insurance fund system.

All hospitals operating with the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK) will have to use biometric devices and register patients with them, if hospitals are to be paid for their activities at the end of each month.

All 369 contract partners of NZOK in the country have signed additional agreements to their individual contracts declaring their readiness to work with the system. Apilot implementation of the system started in August in the 20 biggest hospitals in the country and was implemented in stages in the remaining hospitals. 

Source: Planet Biometrics

Bulgarian court rules against biometric system in hospitals

Taiwanese chip makers plan to capitalise on a boom in biometric sensors of devices by making the LED sensors needed for iris and face recognition.

Shipments are expected to start shipping in 2017,  industry sources told the DigiTimes.

Currently, IR LEDs are mainly used in security surveillance and sensing, and most models are wavelengths of 850nm and 940nm, the sources said. However, IR LEDs used in iris recognition use wavelength of 810nm, the sources noted.

Epistar has IR LED chips taking up over 10% of all AlGaInP chip output at present, and the proportion is expected to rise to 30% in 2018, the sources said. Epistar has supplied IR LED chips used in iris recognition to a few smartphone vendors, the sources indicated. Arima Optoelectronics has stepped into production of IR LED chips for iris recognition which are in the process of certification.

LED packaging service provider High Power Lighting holds the opinion that notebook or tablet vendors will adopt IR LEDs for iris recognition faster than smartphone vendors because the software algorithm and related certification are key to adoption, and Windows 10 strongly supports fingerprint, facial, voiceprint and iris recognition, making it easy for notebook or Windows-tablet vendors to support iris recognition without a large R&D effort.

Source: Planet Biometrics

Taiwan companies entering IR LED biometrics market

Australian mortgage broker app Hashching plans to use biometrics to verify the identity of clients.

Hashching, which has processed $2.6 billion of mortgages since launching 15 months ago, is piloting a biometric identity verification service allowing brokers on its platform to satisfy strict "know your client" (KYC) banking regulations by asking a customer on a video call to hold up a proof of identity to the camera on their computer or mobile phone.

Across the banking industry, KYC verification for mortgages – designed to prevent money laundering by criminals – is still conducted with in-person meetings; customers either have to travel into a branch or receive a visit from a bank or broker representative. This delays the process and can be intrusive.

Hashching co-founder Mandeep Sodhi said he will soon begin discussions with major banks to attempt to change their bureaucratic internal processes that have created a tick-a-box compliance mentality and made banks resistant to change.

Source: Planet Biometrics

Hashching uses biometrics for fully-digital loan approvals

DCB Bank in India has said the fingerprint authentication it has installed at ATMs this year is also enabling banks and retailers to offer a host of additional services and benefits.

Earlier this year, the bank launched Aadhaar-based authentication at its ATMs to enable cardless financial transactions.

“As a bank we were looking at an innovative and completely secure solution for our customers, more specifically digitalising customers’ financial transactions. In that direction, Aadhaar-based ATM is one such initiative which all of us have worked together to deliver,” says R. Venkattesh, Head – HR, Technology & Operations, DCB Bank, told the Economic Times.

In addition to the biometrics at ATMS, the bank has decided to use Aadhaar-based authentication to validate customer and enable financial transactions.

Source: Planet Biometrics

India’s DCB Bank stresses benefits of biometrics at ATMs

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Steve Huffman edited abusive posts from Trump fans on the social sharing site
Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman has admitted changing posts written by Donald Trump supporters on the internet forum.

He explained he redirected abuse targeted at him to moderators of the r/the_donald thread instead, but even this small action, rather than editing the content of the posts led to people accusing him of censorship.

Huffman said his decision to change the posts was a response to the attacks he received after the sharing site removed a thread suggesting Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were involved in a paedophile ring that was running from a pizza restaurant in Washington DC.

The owner of the pizza restaurant contacted social media sites including Reddit asking them to take the posts down because he was receiving death threats from people who believed the conspiracy.

"It's been a long week here trying to unwind the r/pizzagate stuff," Huffman said in a post on Reddit. "As much as we try to maintain a good relationship with you all, it does get old getting called a paedophile constantly. As the CEO, I shouldn't play such games, and it's all fixed now."

He added that users of Reddit weren't the only ones who were angry with the website's CEO tweaking posts – his staff were also upset he had put the network's reputation in jeapardy.

Huffman's controversial actions come only a few months after he returned to Reddit as the company's CEO. Although he co-founded the site, he left to work on travel service Hipmunk, but came back last year when previous interim chief executive Ellen Pao resigned.

Pao was forced to leave the company when Reddit moderators closed parts of the site down as a protest to the firing of community manager Victoria Taylor. However, it has since come to light that co-founder and board member Alexis Ohanian was responsible for the decision.

Source: IT Pro

Reddit CEO admits trolling Trump supporters

Huawei: 5G will underpin IoT, but we must prepare for it today

Huawei today revealed more about its “road to 5G” strategy as the global telecommunications community gears up for the next generation of mobile broadband.

Speaking at the company’s annual Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Tokyo, Ryan Ding, president of products and solutions, said Huawei wanted to be able to deliver 5G with “one click” on the first day of its commercial launch, which is broadly expected to be in 2020.

Hu explained: “2G, 3G and 4G is mainly human centric, but from 5G it’s human and ‘things’ centric. For humans we will continue to invest and make sure we can continue to provide the best experience for voice, for data, for video, for gaming and something [that] perhaps will happen in the future.”

“[What] will become more and more important is ‘things’. The 'things’ experience is totally different to human beings. After several years hard working, we believe we [can] evaluate or manage the things’ experience in five dimensions – availability, bandwidth, coverage, delay sensitivity and energy saving,” he said.

Hu gave the example of smart water meters that Huawei is developing with China Mobile and a water company in Shenzhen. For these, coverage and energy efficiency are the most important dimensions, whereas for in-car infotainment, bandwidth is the most important. Remote control smart parking in a connected car, however, would prioritise coverage over everything else.

“For 'things’ experience we believe we should not wait until 2020, we already can start to do something … we already can do a lot of work to make sure of the readiness of our network. This should be end-to-end, not just base stations,” Hu said.

In his remarks, Hu echoed Fotus Karonis, managing director of IT and mobile at BT Group and CTIO at EE.

“5G … evolution, of course, isn’t just about [how much you have] but what you can do with that,” Karonis said. “We’re not trying to get more technology from it only, but … [a] wide range of applications. We should not only focus on the [technology], but on the end service – what are we trying to achieve?”

Arnaud Vamparys, SVP of radio networks at Orange, sounded a similar note, saying 5G isn’t “just mobile broadband” but will allow Orange and others to offer many different services over a single network.

“There’s a lot of challenges to be [overcome] before 5G arrival,” said Vamparys, citing infrastructure and energy consumption as particular hurdles. However there are new opportunities as well, notably in IoT.

Source: IT Pro

Huawei prepares for “one click” 5G

Cyber criminals target HPE contractor's laptop to steal details

A US Navy cyber attack resulted in hackers getting details on 134,386 current and former sailors yesterday.

The hack on a laptop used by an HP Enterprise Services employee could have exposed the personal data of 134,386 current and former sailors.

The HPE employee was working on a US Navy contract when his device was hacked. The data breached included names and sensitive information, such as social security numbers.

HPE told the Navy about the incident on 27 October. In a statement sent to Reuters, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Admiral Robert Burke said: "The Navy takes this incident extremely seriously- this is a matter of trust for our sailors.

"We are in the early stages of investigating and are working quickly to identify and take care of those affected by this breach."

HP Enterprise Services signed a $3.5 billion contract with the Navy in 2013 to develop its Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN), according to Forbes, which was designed to replace the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.

HPE spun off the Enterprise Services division earlier this year, running it with outsourcer CSC as a separate company.

"At this stage of the investigation, there is no evidence to suggest misuse of the information that was compromised," the Navy told Reuters.

No further information about the attack has been released so far, but Burke added that the investigation of the hack and its consequences is still at an early stage.

The navy will tell affected individuals of the incident in the coming weeks.

Source: IT Pro

Hackers steal 130,000 sailors' details in US Navy breach

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is for computers, not your reams of paper!

We always design our data centres and server rooms with the best of intentions. A nice, enclosed space with excellent ventilation and air conditioning, sufficient power points to ensure circuits are never overloaded, and enough space to get at both the front and back sides of the rack – ideally all cordoned off into its own room so nobody has to listen to the noise or be perpetually chilled to the bone.

Of course, space is at a premium in today's economy. Leases are far from cheap, and many SMBs would like to use every extra square inch of space for products or raw materials instead of spare parts for IT.

For many, having a dedicated room for their IT infrastructure is nothing more than a pipe dream. They're working right next to their servers in the IT office, or they've got them stashed away in a closet and are constantly pushing their luck with the thermal profile.

The march of progress gives us everything from new CPUs to hyperconvergence – letting us do more with less – but getting our hands on those costs money. Sometimes you've just gotta make do with what you've got on hand.

Management and IT like to butt heads over everything, and physical space is no exception. When a logistics droid takes a gander around the office, he or she is looking for idle merchandise. Anything that isn't going into something being sold or going on display had better have a good reason for being there.

Those spare hard drives you ordered to go with your servers the last time your department got a decent amount of budget? They're clearly not being used, they've got to go. We're putting $materials on that shelf now!

Administrators spend a great deal of time doing preventative maintenance. Keeping the servers running doesn't mean putting out fires as they come, it means planning for hypothetical scenarios with the resources available. This type of work doesn't immediately present a benefit, and when the time comes to cut some chaff, perception is key.

Management droids who've never experienced the pain of an outage might not have the same respect for having the hardware on hand as you and me, and the blame cannon is somehow never pointed at the penny-pincher who thought doing without a support contract was an acceptable risk.

Battling at the temple gates
IT operations types view the data centre as sacred ground. Woe unto those who set foot into the holy chamber of information. To the untrained eye, these rooms are nothing but a bunch of noisy boxes sitting around doing nothing. To us, they're the very lifeblood of the business.

So when our logistics droid gets tired of arguing about space and starts hauling $materials into the data centre, we get rightfully upset. Doing something as simple as plopping a box in front of a rack can be a risk.

Air flow is of critical concern in a data centre. Access to both sides of the chassis is usually needed to keep cold air moving in and hot air moving out – especially if your air conditioner is struggling with the BTU output of the servers (and the odd fleshbag walking around inside swapping cables!).

Cables aren't always neatly packed away and bundled up, either. Not all server rooms are cable porn. Some are – well... if you're reading this, you know.

In many businesses, as server rooms edge close to refresh time, years of "hair on fire" has meant no time to crimp a fresh cable to the perfect length or feed it through the conduit. Fibre is notoriously fragile. RJ45 connectors break and sit inside switch ports held only by the force of friction. When cables are strewn about the floor, walking on them or dropping boxes could easily take down a production cluster.

The icing on the cake here is that the data centre is always IT's responsibility. If someone walks into the DC and breaks something, the outrage will be directed at IT for any outages caused. If there's a security breach (maybe the logistics droid plugged his phone into a server to charge it), IT must fix it and report back to management.

The best solution, of course, is don't let unauthorised personnel into the data centre. Unfortunately, IT doesn't always have that kind of pull. Moore's Law and the perpetually shrinking server footprint has saved me, but that only works when the IT needs of a company are relatively static.

Stay out of my server room!