Second week of December and we see Yahoo in more security problems, malware that tests our morality, Cisco bails on their cloud, Verizon puts out the Samsung fire, Slack gains video calling, virtual assistant gets a hologram to keep us company and Henry Heimlich dies.
- New ransomware tests the morality of those infected
This is a new twist in the cyber extortion world. We all know about how malware can target a machine and start deleting files if they do not pay a given amount of money to the hackers. Well there is a way to sidestep this payment – that is to infect 2 other people and if they succumb you will get an unlock key and you are off the hook.
This will be an interesting test of people’s honesty and faith. Would you pass?
- Verizon will disable Samsung’s Note 7 this month
Verizon who previously said they wouldn’t get involved in the deactivation of Samsung’s infamous flame bursting phone have reversed their decision and in an upcoming software update they will disable people from charging the phone. This will effectively render them useless.
Only 7% of handsets are still out there after the vast majority exchanged them. This will hopefully push the last few over the line and stop the airlines from having to issue warnings on each flight.
- Amazon’s cloud claims another; Cisco discontinues their cloud
Cisco’s ‘Intercloud’ which had a $1B budget behind it will be closing its doors in March 2017. While it has not publicly acknowledged Amazon, it has noted that existing clients will be moving to other public cloud operators.
This is another big casualty in the cloud war, and while I am a huge AWS supporter, I don’t want it to be the only player in town. We need competition in this space.
- Slack has added video calling to its app
Slack, the very popular corporate chat system, has finally added video calling to its suite. This brings it inline with pretty much every other chat system. You can do one-2-one video calling, or group calling.
Once they add desktop sharing, then this will be one of the best tools for teams and really take a huge chunk away from the likes of GoTo Meeting.
- Yahoo admits to another earlier attack; 1 billion accounts at risk
The oldest property on the Internet block is just not having a good time of it. They have released details of an earlier attack, circa 2013, where over 1 billion accounts were compromised. This is in addition to the 2014 hack where 500 million accounts were abused.
As you know Verizon are trying to close a deal to purchase Yahoo, and while this probably won’t make Verizon to step away, it gives them yet another excuse to drive down the asking price from the $4.7B.
- Tech titans, minus one, met with Trump this week
The country’s new President-elect met with all the tech titans this week in a summit to discuss various things. The big players were there, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, etc. However one player was noticeably absent from this group – namely Jack Dorsey from Twitter.
The very company that arguably won him the election, was left out because Trump felt they were too small a player. What do you even say to that?!?
- Girl in a box is the face of a virtual assistant
We are all starting to get use to the faceless helpers such as Amazon’s Echo, or Apple’s Siri. Well GateBox have upped the ante here and offered up a hologram to respond to your every move. While this may first appear creepy, it does make a lot of sense, to have something more contextual to react to instead of just a voice. The avatar can feedback using actions which will speed up the interactions.
This I believe is the future of this style AI functions and I can see us all having our own customized avatar that will be with us for life. Watch this space – more to come here I am sure.
- Henry Heimlich, yes that one, has sadly died
The man that invented one of the most famous anti-choking moves in the world, has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Henry invented the technique in 1974 when he discovered an alarming number of people died while eating out. He died of natural causes, as opposed to choking himself – the irony would have been too much.
In honor of the man that saved many, I give you an excellent clip from Eddie Izzard as he performs a stand-up routine around on the technique.
.. the countdown to Christmas day is in full swing and I discovered this seasonal tune from ColdPlay. I am a big Chris Martin fan, so surprised this one slipped by me a couple of years ago.