'KFS have worked with Discus on a number of projects for IT infrastructure – servers, Local Area Networking, workstations and laptops, Wide Area Networking (VPNs - both site to site and secure remote access), security, email, spa... Martin Davies, Key Forensic Services - Coventry
LONDON — Companies that expose their customers information in data breaches could face far harsher penalties — including fines of up to 4% of their global annual turnover.
On Monday, the British government announced plans to strengthen UK data protection law with the a new Data Protection Bill.
Among the plans laid out in the bill is to give the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) regulator the power to fine companies up to £17 million, or 4% of global turnover, in the "most serious data breaches."
It's a significant increase — the maximum fine that the ICO can currently levy is for £500,000.
The Data Protection Bill will also make it easier for people to withdraw consent for the use of their personal data, and expand the definition of "personal data" so that it includes DNA, internet cookies, and IP addresses, among other changes.
In a statement, secretary for digital Matt Hancock said: "Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.
"The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive."
Once could be considered an accident, but twice???
A Blu smartphone - style on a budget, potentially with a nasty surprise in the firmware
Amazon has suspended sales of smartphones from budget maker Blu for over claims that it was selling devices with data-harvesting malware built-in.
Last week, Kryptowire showed that the silent background data harvest was terminating at a company called Shanghai Adups Technology which, according to our information, offers Firmware Over The Air (FOTA). This means that the whole thing may be perfectly legit, but it's not necessarily entirely transparent.
However, Adups has been repeatedly accused of planting spyware on devices, along with back doors, to make getting more data in and out of devices even easier.
Moreover, Blu isn't a first time offender either. The former partner of Amazon's Prime Exclusive Phones in the US was first suspended last October when its Blu R1 HD was found to be sporting exactly the same tracking software. ZTE and Huawei were also fingered by Kryptowire for the same offence.
At the time, Blu said it was a "mistake" and took the spyware out. Along with the same spyware from the Life One X2 model it was also hidden in. Sometimes the system was even sending SMS messages back to base.
This time, however, the same security company found the same firm using the same company's spyware in more expensive models of phone stocked by the same retailer.
This time, though, they're collecting cell-tower data and even more personal ID.
A statement to CNET last week from Amazon stated: "Because security and privacy of our customers is of the utmost importance, all Blu phone models have been made unavailable for purchase on Amazon.com until the issue is resolved."
According to The Verge, Blu said that it "has several policies in place which take customer privacy and security seriously".
All that aside, the company's smartphones have been well reviewed for their general stylishness, but the mainstream Android smartphone market - like the market for cheap laptops - is fiercely competitive.
"Real people" don't need fully private and encrypted communications, argues home secretary
Amber Rudd MP - official portrait
Home secretary Amber Rudd has taken her campaign for technology giants to provide 'back doors' into their communications services with claims that "real people" don't need end-to-end encryption.
Secure communications, she added, only benefits terrorists.
Rudd is on a summer tour of Silicon Valley to complain to US technology and internet giants that they're not doing enough to help fight terrorism. She is, according to the BBC, meeting with representatives from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft "and others".
While supporting encryption, on the one hand, she also called for the companies offering encryption technologies to enable governments access to encrypted messages for security services and police.
"We support its place in making sure that we have secure facilities in our daily lives," said Rudd.
She continued: "However, there is a problem in terms of the growth of end-to-end encryption. It's a problem for the security services and for police who are not, under the normal way, under properly-warranted paths, able to access that information.
"We want [technology companies] to work more closely with us on end-to-end encryption, so that where there is particular need, where there is targeted need, under warrant, they share more information with us so that we can access it."
"The suggestion that real people do not care about the security of their communications is dangerous and misleading. Some people want privacy from corporations, abusive partners or employers," said Killock.
He added: "Others may be worried about confidential information, or be working in countries with a record of human rights abuses. It is not the home secretary's place to tell the public that they do not need end-to-end encryption."
Killock also warned that Rudd's lack of clarity over exactly what she wants from internet companies risked causing confusion.
"At the moment she sounds like she is asking for the impossible. She must give the public a good idea of the risks she wants to place them under. If WhatsApp turn off or compromise encryption, you can expect criminals to use something else. The people who will suffer are law-abiding citizens who want privacy and security," said Killock.
Amazon is planning a home makeover show featuring YouTube stars
The show, 'Overhaul,' will feature furniture and other products people can buy on Amazon.com
If the model proves successful, it could trigger a trend of shows blending entertainment and commerce
Amazon is planning a home makeover show that will be designed to help the retailer sell products.
The e-commerce behemoth has partnered with Kin Community, a web video production/ad company, to produce "Overhaul," a six-episode show that will feature several YouTube stars having their home's made over.
While the show is designed to be entertainment, it will also be loaded with products people can buy on Amazon, including furniture sold by Lemieux's companies. It will live on a special hub on Amazon.com where people can easily click to purchase items in the show, as well as more affordable alternatives.
"The goal with this show is to both inspire and entertain," said Kin Community CEO Michael Wayne. "It's unique in that it combines the power of Kin's creator community, the award-winning quality of our production studio and commerce."
"Overhaul" is scheduled to premiere in September. The first two episodes feature YouTube baking star Rosanna Pansino and beauty blogger Teni Panosian. In addition to the six episodes, each of the featured digital creators will produce videos showing their home after being made over, which will be distributed on their YouTube channels and other social platforms. These videos will also drive people to Amazon to shop for featured products.
"Amazon Home is constantly looking to innovate and find ways to bring our customers inspiration when searching for products," said Helmick. "The 'Overhaul' series is a great opportunity to provide our customers with some curation and guidance when searching through our large selection of products and we continue to look for new and different ways to do that. ... This is the first time Amazon has had a co-branded storefront tied to a video series."
If successful, "Overhaul" could spark an potent trend, one that Amazon would be uniquely positioned to exploit. For years, people in the media world have talked about a future where you can watch your favorite show and buy a character's outfit (the talk has been around for so long, the example many have used was "you'll soon be able to buy Ross's shirt on "Friends.")
Kin Community was originally built as a web video company focused on women. In recent years, it's evolved into a boutique multi-channel network, working with YouTube talents like Pansino and Hannah Hart to produce and distribute original shows, and also help them connect with marketers. Last year, Kin raised $13.5 million in new funding.
During a Facebook Live broadcast, Zuckerberg was asked about his thoughts on AI by a Facebook user who mentioned that they'd recently watched an interview with Musk where he said his largest fear for the future was AI.
"I have pretty strong opinions on this," said Zuckerberg. "I'm really optimistic. I'm an optimistic person in general. I think you can build things and the world gets better. With AI especially, I'm really optimistic and I think that people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios … I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it's pretty irresponsible."
Zuckerberg went on to say that he believes AI will save lives when it is built into cars because it will make them safer than the human-driven ones we use today. He also highlighted how AI is already being used to help diagnose medical conditions and match people with the right drugs.
"Whenever I hear people saying AI is going to hurt people in the future I think: 'Yeah technology can generally always be used for good and bad and you need to be careful about how you build it and you need to be careful about what you build and how it’s going to be used.
"But people who are arguing for slowing down the process of building AI, I just find that really questionable. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. If you're arguing against AI then you're arguing against safer cars that aren't going to have accidents and you’re arguing against being able to better diagnose people when they're sick."
On Tuesday, Musk hit back at Zuckerberg's comments saying: "I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited." Musk also teased that there's a "movie on the subject coming soon."
The general consensus among AI leaders is that it'll be several decades before computers come close to achieving human levels of intelligence and some question whether they'll get there at all. However, if and when computers do become as smart as us, many experts in the field believe they will quickly go on to become "superintelligent."
We have all heard the horror stories of simple mistakes that lead to costly business disasters. It seems like every day on the news we hear about the next recall or outage that leads to the need for public relations to clean up the mess. More often than not, the damage is too great to overcome and the company that suffered the IT disaster can't recover. Having an IT disaster recovery plan is a critical business need.
Planning for the unknown can be difficult, but having enough funds to implement an IT disaster recovery plan can seem close to impossible. But how unlikely is it that an IT disaster will happen to your company? With the combination of natural disasters, hardware failures and human error, the reality is that data loss is only a matter of when, not if.
According to a NFIB National Small Business poll, man-made disasters affect 10 percent of all small businesses, and a staggering 30 percent have been impacted by natural disasters. A simple power outage could put your whole business at risk. In fact, research by the University of Texas has shown that only 6 percent of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss survive, 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close within two years.
Here are the top 5 reasons why your company should rethink its IT disaster recovery and prevention plans.
5. Machines and hardware fail. While modern IT hardware is fairly resistant to failures, most devices fall far short of a perfect track record. No one is immune to hard disk or internet connection failures. While it can be costly for your company to eliminate any single point of failure in your IT infrastructure, having a disaster recovery plan that does this is the only way to insure that a hardware failure doesn’t interrupt your service or cause data loss. The less expensive and more sensible option would be to have your data backed upregularly. Ideally, and more cost-effective than building your own top-of-the-line data center, would be to outsource your IT infrastructure to a leading Disaster Recovery as a Service managed data center operator. This eliminates any capital expenses while ensuring the strictest protection from service interruptions due to IT infrastructure failures.
4. Much like machines, humans are not perfect. They make mistakes. Have you ever accidentally saved over a word document or had your computer crash before you could save an important file? It happens to the best of us. Even the most cautious can forget a step in an important process causing data loss or the wrong data to being entered. While very common, these mistakes can often be the hardest to prevent and correct. Having a disaster recovery plan that creates a series of incremental online data backups lets you easily restore your files to an error-free state. Having redundant firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software can ensure that security breaches are protected against if one were accidentally disabled or a port left open. Often times the most important way to prevent human error is in process improvements and quality assurance activities. A disaster recovery plan that incorporates checking and double checking is often the best remedy, along withonline backups is best.
3. Customers expect perfection. The Internet and the Web 2.0 revolution have not only forced companies to be more transparent and accountable but competition in all in industries has greatly increased. With increased competition come lower prices, better service, and less forgiving customers. Most customers demand perfection because they know that if your company can’t provide it, the next competitor in line is ready to give it their best shot to win the business. It’s imperative not to give your customers a reason to leave because of something preventable like an outage in service.
2. Customer retention is costly, but customer re-acquisition is devastatingly expensive. While on average it is much cheaper to retain a customer then to acquire a new customer, re-acquiring an old customer after an IT disaster can be next to impossible. It takes a lot to earn customers’ trust, but after an IT disaster like loss of data or an extended outage in service, trust quickly evaporates. This is especially true when your customers are losing up to thousands of dollars per minute of downtime, which is not uncommon in some industries. Most IT disasters are deemed absolutely unacceptable to end users. Get a disaster recovery plan--it is far less expensive to prevent a disaster than try to re-acquire lost customers after one has occurred.
1. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. The age-old saying is as true today as it was when first uttered. You can have one of the most well crafted ships ever made, but if your crew can’t see the iceberg just beyond your line of sight, then it doesn’t matter upon impact. No business is immune to IT disasters, but there are many things you can do to prevent them or quickly recover. There is no excuse not to have an IT disaster recovery plan in place - today. An ideal disaster recovery plan would place your production servers in a top tier data center with no single point of failure on the power and network connections. Your disaster recovery backup servers would be at another data center at least 45 miles away in case of a severe natural disaster. This would ensure that you’re virtually protected from any downtime, and you have put your business in position to survive the most brutal IT disasters.
Conclusion: Save money, save your customers, save your business. Develop a solid IT disaster recovery plan.No business is invulnerable to IT disasters, but speedy recovery due to a well-crafted IT disaster recovery plan is expected by today’s ever-demanding customers. Too many businesses fail because they were ill prepared for an IT disaster, even when a simple solution like online backup could have easily saved them. If you haven't thought about developing an IT disaster recovery plan yet, it should be at the top of your priority list. Your business and customers demand it.
"There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared," he said.
Angle has three firms in mind, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet. Roomba has already opened discussions with Amazon, and he expects to have something official done with at least one of the trio of tech giants by 2020.
It's a fair assumption that the three companies would be interested in acquiring that data because we know that they want to have as much data on humans as they possibly can. Customers of iRobot and other smart devices, though, may not be so positive. Indeed, on Twitter the response is almost entirely negative.
Still, while he was at it he also waxed about patents, how many patents his company has and how that gives it something of an advantage over the competition. "[Patents are a] huge part of our competitive moat," he said. "It is getting really hard not to step on our intellectual property."
Server outages and bugs plagued Niantic’s Pokémon Go at the height of its popularity last summer, and a similar situation occurred early into the game’s first-ever, all-day ticketed event.
Because of the server outages, which began early in the day and were never completed fixed, all roughly 20,000 attendees were given full refunds for their $20 tickets and $100 worth of in-game coins, which can be used to purchase special items.
A Niantic spokesperson told Business Insider during the event that the game studio was working with carriers like AT&T and Verizon to direct more coverage to the park. Not all players were affected by the outage and some carriers, such as T-Mobile, worked better with the game throughout the day.
At roughly 11 a.m. local time and the height of the server outage, Niantic CEO John Hanke addressed players from a stage in the park. He was loudly booed and heckled the moment he stepped on stage.
“I paid $3,000 for this game!” one person in the crowd loudly shouted at Hanke. Pokémon Go offers in-app purchases and is estimated to be the fastest mobile game to reach $1 billion in revenue.
Roughly 20,000 people paid to go to Pokémon Go's first-ever event in Chicago. Alex Heath / Business Insider
Tickets to Chicago’s Pokémon Go Fest event sold out in under 10 minutes for $20 each, and many tickets were later resold online for hundreds of dollars. Hanke said that players from Australia, Europe, and other continents had traveled to Chicago for the event.
Besides the ability to catch rare Pokémon that are typically only available in certain parts of the world, Niantic promised attendees that they would have the chance to catch the first ultra-powerful, so-called Legendary Pokémon at the end of the event.
In reality, there was only one regional Pokémon to be found in the hit augmented reality game, Heracross. At the end of the day, Niantic told attendees that they would all be automatically awarded one Legendary Pokémon named Lugia. Most ticket holders left the park before the event was scheduled to end at 7 p.m.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Google's parent company Alphabet beat expectations for its second-quarter earnings on the top and bottom lines, but investors who have bid up the stock nearly 30% this year wanted more and the shares in the company slid after the announcement.
"I think people were hoping for a bigger beat on the top line, and we didn't get that," Ben Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie told Business Insider.
The rising numbers of searches from smartphones in particular, which require Google to share ad revenue with partners, appear to be eating into Google's revenue and crimping its growth.
Alphabet's stock fell about 3% in after-hours trading Monday.
Here are the results compared to Wall Street's expectations:
Revenue: $26.01 billion, up 21% year-over-year, and above the $25.64 billion expected
EPS (GAAP): $5.01 vs.$4.46 expected
"We've been talking about our bigger investment areas within Google and you can see the momentum here reflecting contributions from our newer revenue streams," CFO Ruth Porat said during a conference call with investors on Monday.
Concerns about "net revenue"
Alphabet's overall revenue topped expectations thanks in part to growth in the "other revenues," the division of Google which includes segments like the hardware and cloud businesses. Other revenues were $3.09 billion in Q2, up from $2.17 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Porat cited strength in Google's cloud business, as well as sales of its new Home smart speaker and wifi products.
But revenue growth in Google's core online search advertising business decelerated during the quarter, as the company pays larger amounts of money to partners that deliver traffic to Google's search engine, including Apple's iPhone.
Net revenue for Google's ad business, which excludes the fees paid to partners, was up 16% during the second quarter, a slowdown from the roughly 20% net revenue growth that Google logged in the year ago period.
Macquarie analyst Schachter pointed to the Q2 net revenue as a "meaningful deceleration." It's not the end of the world, Schachter said, but it illustrates the changes to Google's business model as more and more of its search traffic now comes from mobile devices like iPhones that require Google to share some of the revenue.
Here are some of the key numbers from Q2:
Net income: $3.5 billion (including the impact of a $2.7 billion European Comission fine), down from $4.9 billion in the year ago period
Cash and short term securities: $94.7 billion
Headcount: 75,606, up from 66,575 in year ago period
The cost-per-click on Google ads was down 26% from the year-ago quarter. Paid clicks were up 61% over last year.
Revenues for Other Bets, which include the other companies under Alphabet like Waymo, Nest, and Verily, were $248 million for the quarter. Other Bets lost $772 million.
Alphabet's stock has been in good shape this year, and is flirting closer and closer to $1,000, as shares have surged roughly 27% so far this year. Despite a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine from the EU last month, analysts remain bullish on the future of Alphabet. Alphabet's Q2 results included the fine.
Trusts have purchased more than 400,000 new PCs since 2013, at a cost of £260 million
Upgrading instead of replacing could save £93 million
Figures obtain by freedom of information requests show that NHS Trusts are spending £158,000 per day on new PCs and laptops, at an average cost of £650 per device.
The figures, obtained by memory and storage company Crucial, came from 197 of the 235 Trusts in England. Since the beginning of 2013, they have disposed of 237,422 computers - equivalent to around 144 each day - and spent over £260 million on 401,084 new machines (243 per day).
Crucial said that it is possible that some of the computers are being disposed of by accident - they may have been mistakenly identified as having an unfixable problem, for example. Some may also simply be too old to operate properly, in which case upgrading is another way in which the NHS could save money and avoid electronic waste. By doubling the installed memory of PCs, rather than buying 237,000 new ones, Crucial estimates that the NHS could have saved £95 million.
A separate survey by the firm found that, despite the money spent, 42 per cent of healthcare professionals still feel that IT is a hindrance in their jobs. More than a quarter said that they lack technology skills; 20 per cent did not know how to scan for viruses; and 5 per cent admitted to not knowing how to send an email.
Jim Jardine, director of DRAM product marketing at Crucial, said: "The NHS is clearly investing in new hardware...But despite this spend, it's clear that more training or IT support in using these new systems is needed to help give healthcare workers the means of being productive.
"Our study also highlighted the lack of knowledge doing simple tasks like scan for viruses, but with a bit of training, healthcare staff would feel a lot more confident and can make the most of the NHS's IT investment."