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Posted by Graham Keen on Mon 13th Jun 2011
Last week's revelation that the iOS 5 developer-only beta release contains pointers to new iPhones and iPads was followed this weekend by the next Apple smartphone is currently in "final testing".
That, a "previously accurate Apple source" told website 9to5Mac, indicates a September iPhone release date.
Other sources made the same claim just recently.
Will it be the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4-something, a tweak to match the upgrade from the 3G to the 3GS? The mole doesn't say beyond referring to the "next-generation iPhone".
That's what Apple would call a souped-up iPhone 4 in any case, but with the simultaneous release of iOS 5 - which Apple has publicly stated will ship this coming autumn - Apple will probably call the handset the iPhone 5 no matter what
Tony Smith
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 9th Jun 2011
A) Press the "Blackberry Button"
B) Next go in to Options;
C) Scroll down to Password;
D) Select "disabled and click enable;
E) It'll ask you for a password and once again to confirm it;
F) Save... and it'll say enabled!;
You're now a bit more secure than you were yesterday!
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 8th Jun 2011
It's a long time since Victor last set foot in a school. Memories of sweaty feet, bleach, and long echoing corridors flooded back the instant he crossed the threshold of Crow Lane Primary.
His company recently signed a contract to support the school's servers - quite a coup as it was in competition with the Local Education Authority. Apparently the headmaster didn't taken too kindly to the news that the LEA's IT support function was to be outsourced offshore.
The call came through first thing that morning, from the panicky school secretary. None of the computers could access the internet.
'What's that, mate?'
Victor turns round and looks into the face of a boy, blue eyes big as golf balls in the lenses of his black-framed spectacles. No higher than Victor's waist, the kid's gelled hair sticks out like Dennis the Menace.
'This?' Victor opens his hand, revealing the Blackberry.
'It's a phone.'
The kid's eyes narrow. 'No, it isn't. Phones don't look like that.'
'This one does.'
'Has it got a camera?'
A smirk crosses the kid's face as he takes an iPhone 4 out of his pants pocket. 'Mine does. Five megapixels. Can yours do this?' He turns the phone in his hand and the image on it flips from portrait to landscape.
'No,' says Victor.
'That means it hasn't got a three-axis giro.' He leans closer to Victor. 'What are you doing?'
'Fixing your school's server - that's this big computer. There's a problem with the internet.'
'There's nothing wrong with the internet.'
'Excuse me?'
'It's Mister Fiddler. He changed the IP address of the gateway. I tried pinging it from my laptop but it wouldn't.'
Victor's jaw heads for his chest. 'You know about pinging?'
The kid's eyebrows knot like spaghetti. 'Who doesn't? Except maybe Mister Fiddler.''
'Look, who's Mister Fiddler?'
'He's the Headmaster.'
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 8th Jun 2011
The LinkedIn social networking site is being used to find victims to target with malicious phishing emails
Prospective employers and job applicants are not the only ones using LinkedIn for research. Cyber-criminals are increasingly using the social networking site for professionals to identify potential victims, according to security experts.
Security firm Trusteer uncovered spam messages designed to look almost the same as legitimate notification messages from LinkedIn, Trusteer CEO Mickey Boodaei wrote in the company blog on June 2. When users click on the link in the message, usually an invitation to connect with someone, they are redirected to a malicious server in Russia serving up malware.
Through LinkedIn, cyber-criminals can build a profile of targeted enterprises and locate key people within the organisation. The spam messages sent to those people could be used to install malware which could steal login credentials or other confidential information.
“Sounds unlikely? Well, think again,” Boodaei said.
The fraudulent LinkedIn messages take users to a salesforceappi.com domain. Despite the name, the domain has nothing to do with Salesforce.com. It was registered May 31 and the server associated with the IP address is based in Russia.
The users are then hit by drive-by-download attacks based on the BlackHole exploit kit to install Zeus 2 Trojan on the computer, according to Trusteer. This Zeus variant transmits the stolen data to a server in Zhejiang, China.
While commonly associated with banking fraud, Trusteer’s Boodaei said Zeus has other capabilities and can allow attackers to access workstations and other data stored on the corporate network.
“We’ve recently seen evidence of Zeus targeting enterprise networks in order to steal proprietary information and to gain unauthorised access to sensitive systems,” Boodaei said.
A recent Trusteer survey found that 68 percent of enterprise users who receive a fake LinkedIn message are likely to click on it. It is not entirely their fault, as LinkedIn and other social networking sites “educate us to click on links “, Boodaei said. The sites regularly send out calls for actions to encourage users into going back to the site.
“This is extremely dangerous as many users almost automatically click on these links without trying to verify their authenticity,” Boodaei said, especially considering that LinkedIn hides the link behind a button, which makes it even harder to check the URL.
It is increasingly becoming harder to identify phishing and malicious email messages as attackers get more creative. Trusteer recommends users to train themselves to never opening emails from social networking sites, let alone clicking on the links in those messages. Users should access the social networking Website by typing the address manually, and handle all the notifications from the site directly, Boodaei said.
Recent attacks against RSA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory tricked employees into opening attachments or clicking on links in malicious messages. “Cyber criminals are putting a great deal of effort in these attacks and are unfortunately successful,” Boodaei said.
There have been several variations of the LinkedIn scam, with researchers at Cisco Systems reporting a similar campaign last autumn.
The BlackHole exploit kit locates vulnerabilities on a computer and prepares a customised payload depending on operating system and installed software, according to Bitdefender. It used to sell for $1,500 (£900) back when it appeared on the black market a year ago, but nowadays can be obtained for free.
Fahmida Y Rashid
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 8th Jun 2011
The security software market rebounded well in 2010 following a disappointing 2009, Gartner has claimed.
The market grew 12 per cent last year as total revenue hit $16.5 billion - up from 2009 revenue of $14.7 billion.
"Products within the security market are undergoing rapid evolution, in terms of both new delivery models — with security as a service showing increasing popularity — and new technologies being introduced, often by startup companies," said Ruggero Contu, principal research analyst at Gartner.
"Key vendors continued to expand their product portfolios, buying companies where appropriate and expanding their reach into emerging markets."
Symantec remained the dominant force in the industry, although experienced below average growth over the year.
It achieved 18.9 per cent market share in 2010, compared to McAfee on 10.4 per cent in second place.
Out of the top 5 players, Trend Micro in third saw the lowest growth with 5.8 per cent.
IBM was in fourth, followed by EMC, which achieved an impressive 25.6 per cent growth over 2010.
As for a breakdown of the different segments of the market, Gartner noted more mature areas like endpoint security and web access management showed single-digit growth.
In comparison, areas including security information and event management (SIEM) and secure web gateway products experienced double-digit growth.
Tom Brewster
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Posted by Graham Keen on Tue 7th Jun 2011
Microsoft has announced general availability of its major software-as-a-service (SaaS) play Office 365, which will launch on 28 June.
Office 365 brings together online versions of Microsoft's Office applications Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word along with online versions of email platform Exchange and the SharePoint and Lync collaboration technologies.
The news was broken on Twitter by corporate VP of Microsoft's worldwide partner group Jon Roskill.
Although a Microsoft spokeswoman wouldn't confirm the launch date, she told silicon.com there will be a press event held on 28 June "to hear the latest news about Office 365".
Office 365 launched in beta in October 2010.
Microsoft's SaaS offerings have been relatively piecemeal until now. The company made online versions of Office apps available with Office Web Apps in June 2010 and offered email and collaboration tech as Business Productivity Online Suite in April 2009.
Office 365 updates the applications - most notably replacing Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting with Lync - and brings them under a single banner.
By bringing these SaaS technologies together in Office 365, Microsoft is hoping to take on the likes of Google Apps and Oracle Cloud Office to boost its share of the SaaS applications market.
The Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed Roskill's comment that there are now more than 100,000 customers taking part in the limited beta programme of Office 365, which was first announced in April.
Tim Ferguson
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 6th Jun 2011
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Fri 3rd Jun 2011
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Posted by Damien Biddulph on Thu 2nd Jun 2011
Thousands of council and local authority jobs could be at risk of being outsourced abroad, the Unite union has warned.
It follows the news that dozens of Birmingham City Council staff are to see their jobs "offshored" to India.
Up to 100 posts are to be transferred by the end of the year.
The cost-cutting move is thought to be the first time a council or local authority has outsourced part of their direct workforce abroad.
The posts are with Service Birmingham, a joint venture between Birmingham City Council and the management firm Capita.
A redundancy notice has already been served which will see more than 70 Birmingham-based IT jobs go.
Service Birmingham began looking at offshoring in the autumn.
The first tranche will see 18 roles move to India. A further 37 will go by the end of the summer.
A total of 100 are likely to go by the end of the year.
Service Birmingham has confirmed that employees have already been recruited in the Indian city of Pune.
It is understood that they will shortly travel to the UK for a formal induction.
"Once these jobs go they will not come back”
Peter Allenson
Outsourcing first
Offshoring jobs has become common in the IT and financial services sectors, but this is thought to be the first time a council has moved posts abroad.
The Local Government Association said it was not aware of any other local authorities who have outsourced any part of their direct workforce overseas.
"It is a matter for local authorities as individual employers to decide in consultation with their workforce," said Sarah Messenger of the Local Government Employers organisation.
Union outrage
But the Unite union says it fears council workers here could be forced to train workers from overseas to do their jobs.
"This is an outrageous decision and Unite will fight tooth and nail to stop this Tory-led council from exporting these valuable jobs overseas," Unite's national officer Peter Allenson said.
"We fear that this could be just the beginning and other councils could follow suit.
"Thousands of public sector jobs could go. Once these jobs go they will not come back."
Cost savings
Service Birmingham says it is on track to meet a jobs promise made in 2006 that will see more than 700 jobs created in the city by April 2013.
But a group spokesman also said: "We need to offer the council the best combination of operating models to deliver cost savings and efficiency gains while maintaining our existing service levels.
"We are talking about a limited number of back office technical roles. No customer-facing staff will be affected."
The spokesman emphasised that this was just one element of the work that Service Birmingham does for the council, and said the group would work with trade union representatives.
"We remain absolutely committed to our Birmingham workforce," he said.
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Posted by Graham Keen on Wed 1st Jun 2011
As Victor pulls up at Howling Wind Farm, rain pelting down, he finds the farmer, Harry Bellweather, leaning on the five bar gate, waiting for him.
Harry doesn't look pleased.
The call came in first thing that morning, Harry venting a string of expletives into poor Magda's ear, until he stopped, breathless.
'I cleaner,' she said. 'No fix computer.'
Of course, Victor should have been there to take the call - after all, he is on earlies. But a pair of Nike Air Max 90 Premiums took his fancy the previous weekend and, even at ninety-five quid, he couldn't wait to have them. Besides, Touchwood is only a couple of miles out of his way. It wouldn't take more than ten minutes.
If only the shop wasn't crammed for the sales . . .
'Forget desk duty,' said his boss. 'You can go and sort Mr Bellweather's little problem. He gave me an earful this morning.'
'What's the matter?'
'Problem with internet connectivity. I wanted to run some questions by him but I didn't get the chance, the air was that blue.'
'About bloody time, son. I'm losing money hand over fist, thanks to you. C'mon, follow me.'
Harry swings open the gate with a meaty hand, then storms off across the yard in the direction of the byre. Victor looks down at the ground, a mush of mud and cowpats, and curses. Why did he leave the Nikes on? Now he'll have to spend hours picking out the unmentionable from between the treads with a matchstick.
Inside the byre, Harry is holding a netbook in his hand. 'Here, have this before I take a hammer to it.'
Victor takes the netbook (he's never seen a pink one before), balances it on top of a bale of hay and fires it up.
Perfect. Almost.
Except it can't find a wireless network.
'Well?' The farmer's face is inches from Victor's. His breath smells of fried egg mixed with whisky.
'Where do you keep the router?'
'The what?'
'The router. It's like a box with aerials. Connects to your telephone socket.'
'If that's an excuse to flog me something, you can beggar off right now.' He clenches his fists. The vein in his neck is standing out like a rope.
'No, no . . you can't access the internet without a router. Didn't they tell you that when you bought the netbook?'
'They never mentioned anything at IT IS US. I said I wanted a cheap laptop and they said this fitted the bill. Look,' he points at a label Wireless Enabled. 'That means it connects to the internet, doesn't it?'
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