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Showing posts from August, 2014

Time Warner Cable Inc will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation

Time Warner Cable Inc will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation that last year found the cable and Internet provider did not properly report multiple network outages, the regulators said this week.
"TWC (Time Warner Cable) failed to file a substantial number of reports with respect to a series of reportable wireline and Voice over Internet Protocol network outages," the FCC said in a report revealing the settlement released on Monday. "TWC admits that its failure to timely file the required network outage reports violated the Commission's rules."
The FCC requires providers of fixed Internet connection or voice-over-Internet-Protocol calling to promptly report some network outages that last 30 minutes or longer, for instance those that potentially affect emergency response 911 facilities or those that impact enough consumers to collectively result in at least 900,000 minutes of disrupted Internet or phone use.
After the p…

Health Canada pulling last of citronella-based bug sprays

Fraudsters are targeting JPMorgan Chase & Co customers

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JPMorgan Chase Tower (Dallas) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Fraudsters are targeting JPMorgan Chase & Co customers in an email "phishing" campaign that is unusual because it attempts to collect credentials for that bank and also infect PCs with a virus that steals passwords from other institutions.
The campaign, dubbed "Smash and Grab," was launched on Tuesday with a widely distributed email that urged recipients to click to view a secure message from JPMorgan, according to security researchers with corporate email provider Proofpoint Inc.
JPMorgan, the No. 1 U.S. bank by assets, confirmed that spammers had launched a phishing campaign targeting its customers.
"It looks like they sent it out to lots of people in hopes that some of them might be JPMorgan Chase customers,” said bank spokeswoman Trish Wexler.
She said the bank believes most of the spam was stopped by filters at large Internet providers, adding that the email looked realistic because the attacke…

Why science literacy matters: Bob McDonald

CME Group delayed the start of trade on its electronic platform

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CME Group delayed the start of trade on its electronic platform by four hours on Monday due to technical problems, the latest glitch to hit the world's largest futures market operator.
But traders in Asia said the delay would have only a limited impact, with volumes likely thin on Monday morning in the absence of major market-moving news over the weekend.
The start of trade in all contracts on the Globex Markets platform, apart from Bursa Malaysia derivatives, was halted because of an unspecified technical glitch, the top U.S. exchange operator said on its website.
Trade eventually began at 2200 EST, but a spokesman for CME in Singapore declined further comment.
Among contracts traded on CME include the benchmarks for U.S. crude and agricultural markets such as wheat, corn and soybeans. U.S. gold and silver futures are also traded on the system.
The delay marks another headache for CME, which shut electronic trade for leading agricultural contracts on April 8 in the worst-ever tra…

Windows phone and the U.S. Government

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Microsoft's love-hate relationship with the U.S. government is turning a bit more amicable, at least when it comes to Windows Phone.
The U.S. governent is a big technology buyer. The 2014 federal IT budget weighs in at over $81 billion. For fiscal 2015, federal IT spending will to dip somewhat to $79 billion, according to the White House's budget (PDF).
Microsoft is hoping that Windows Phone 8.1's built-in capabilities will help the Redmond, Wash.-based software company's newest mobile operating system catch the eye of the U.S. government and its security-minded agencies, which are under pressure to adopt mobile-enabled work styles. Stymieing those efforts are concerns that smartphones are the IT equivalent of leaky faucets.
Rick Engle, Microsoft's principal Windows technology specialist, combats the notion that increased mobility means increased risk in a blog post detailing the measures his company has taken to help Windows Phone 8.1 safeguard data. Having collab…

world's first OLED TV with 4K resolution

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Ahead of next week's IFA trade show in Berlin, LG today announced pre-sales of what it calls the world's first OLED TV with 4K resolution.
Available in 65- and 77-inch screen sizes, the TV sets promise the very best in display technology, boasting a 3,840-by-2,160 curved screen projecting Ultra HD quality.
"LG 4K OLED TV is the pinnacle of technological achievement and a new paradigm that will change the dynamics of the next generation TV market," LG CEO Hyun-hwoi Ha said in a statement. "As the next evolutionary step in display technology, OLED will play a major role in reshaping our industry."
Aside from its brighter colors, deeper blacks, and more natural hues, the TVs also come with LG's multi-channel Ultra Surround sound system for a heightened sense of immersion.
The sets will run WebOS, the platform LG acquired from HP last year. It comes with a leaf-shaped stand, but can be wall-mounted.
"OLED TVs are expected to overtake LCD in sales with…

FCC to accept comments through to Sept. 15

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Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday said it would accept public comments on its proposed new "net neutrality" rules through Sept. 15, giving Americans extra time to weigh in on how they think Internet traffic should be regulated.
The FCC has received more than 1 million comments already on new rules for how Internet services providers should be allowed to manage web traffic on their networks.
The FCC had set a deadline of July 15 for the initial comments and then September 10 for replies to those initial comments. However, the surge in submissions overwhelmed the FCC's website and the agency had delayed the first deadline by three business days.

"To ensure that members of the public have as much time as was initially anticipated to reply to initial comments in these proceedings, the Bureau today is ex…

Glen Villa: Site and Insight: North Hatley in Bloom

Glen Villa: Site and Insight: North Hatley in Bloom: This week I was a judge in the North Hatley in Bloom contest. Organized by the town council, the contest is designed to encourage residents ...

back to school specials on computers, pads and phones

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Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP filed its second lawsuit

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Freddie Mac (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP filed its second lawsuit in two days against the U.S. government over bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, court documents show.
In Friday's complaint with the U.S. District Court, Pershing Square alleged that the Department of the Treasury illegally seized tens of billions of dollars in Fannie and Freddie profits.
Pershing Square, the largest shareholder of both the mortgage companies, said in the complaint that it was told the Fannie and Freddie stockholders no longer have fundamental shareholders rights.
Fannie's and Freddie's conservator, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), denied "written demands by Pershing Square to the companies' boards of directors for a books and records inspection", according to the complaint.
In the second lawsuit, Pershing suggests the mortgage companies' dividends being paid to the Treasury should be shared among other common s…

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575 Million U.S. Payment Cards to Feature EMV by 2015
More than 575 million U.S. payment cards will offer EMV chip security by the end of 2015, according to the Payment…

internet acting slower these days

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When the number of destinations on the internet surpasses 512,000, users will experience overall internet slowness if they rely on an internet service provider that uses older, affected routers. Shutterstock
Internet outages and slowdowns spiked earlier this week, and more are likely on the way in coming weeks, as the internet grows too big for some network hardware to handle.
According to Vancouver-based internet monitoring firm BGPMon, this past Tuesday, outages were "well above the daily average" and the number of affected systems and addresses was "the highest we've seen in the last 12 months."
The issue arose when the number of routes on the internet temporarily jumped beyond 512,000 or 512K – the maximum that some older networking gear can handle by default.
The cause was a bug at U.S. internet service provider Verizon that dumped 15,000 new internet destinations onto the network for about 10 minutes, said Andree Toonk, founder and lead developer for BGPM…

Battling the board of directors

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Men's Wearhouse Inc (MW.N) and Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N), a series of boardroom battles across North America underscore how difficult it can be for companies to part ways with their founders.
In each of these cases, the boards decided it was time for the founders to step down from their roles either as chief executive or chairman, but faced stiff resistance from the founders, some of whom used their substantial equity stakes to fight back.
Corporate governance experts expect more such corporate dramas as shareholders are increasingly holding boards accountable for succession planning, investment returns and overall fiduciary duties. As a result, boards are asserting their authority more frequently, which can put them on collision courses with CEOs, including founders.
"Today's boards are increasingly feeling pressure to anticipate the CEO leadership needed to drive future success. This is especially true when the CEO is the founder of the company," said Jane Stevenson,…

Cisco to cut another 6000 jobs

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Cisco Systems Inc
(CSCO.O) forecast tepid current-quarter results and said it plans to cut another 6,000 jobs, as the network equipment maker works through a transition toward a new cycle of high-end switches and routers.
The latest round of layoffs is at least the third workforce reduction in about as many years for a company once synonymous with the Internet boom, but which has lately struggled to sustain growth.
The company announced in August 2013 that it would cut 4,000 jobs. And in 2011, it said it planned to reduce its workforce by more than 11,000.
Shares in the company slipped 0.95 percent to $24.96 in extended trading, from a $25.20 close on the Nasdaq.
“The market doesn’t wait for anyone. We are going to lead it, period," Chief Executive Officer John Chambers told analysts on a conference call. "The ability to do that requires some tough decisions. We will manage our costs aggressively and drive efficiencies.”
Chambers partly blamed the cuts on the uncertainty in …

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Lawsuit against Bell over expiry of prepaid plans gets green light

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Best Friends launched

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Seriously, the new kid on the mobile gaming block, has wasted no time making a play for the in-crowd. The startup today launched its Best Fiends website, providing a first look at an animated game heading to your smartphone or tablet in October.
"Discover the world of Minutia and its population of cute, courageous and fiendish inhabitants," the site said. "Collect them all and level them up to discover their special powers."
The first in a series, Best Fiends tells the story of these unlikely heroes' epic journey, and their battle against the greedy Slugs of Mount Boom.
Fiends—"mythical, mischievous little creatures inhabiting the world of Minutia"—grow up with each subsequent level, transforming, say, from a one-eyed critter to a 12-eyed beast.
Players will encounter individuals from the lands of Green Glades, Strawberry Patch, Mellow Flowers, Glowshroom Garden, and Dewdrop District, each with their own unique characteristics.
Take Gene the showbiz cen…

China’s wealthy elite is fleeing the country for a better quality of life

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Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)China’s wealthy elite is fleeing the country for a better quality of life—better education, better air, and greater personal security. China’s Ministry of Public Security has just added a further potential reason: fleeing the police.
“The U.S. has become the top destination for Chinese [economic] fugitives,” Liao Jinrong, a ministry official told state-run China Daily on Monday. According to the English-language newspaper, “More than 150 economic fugitives from China, most of whom are corrupt officials or face allegations of corruption, remain at large in the United States.”
While this is a rather incredible admission, the intent of the article—no doubt placed by China’s propaganda authorities—seems to be to make the case for an extradition treaty between the U.S. and China. “We face practical difficulties in getting fugitives who fled to the US back to face trial due to the lack of an extradition treaty and the complex and lengthy legal procedu…
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Microsoft opened Gamescom convention with a smorgasbord of gaming news, including new Xbox One console bundles and the launch of a white Xbox console and controller.
Led by the news that Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch exclusively on Xbox during the 2015 holiday season, the briefing also featured announcements about blockbusters Assassin's Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and FIFA 15, coming this winter.
Redmond's rundown included the unveiling of three new console bundles, most notably the Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle, complete with white console and wireless controller (pictured). It was previously available only to Microsoft employees, but news of its arrival for the general public leaked earlier this month. Microsoft today confirmed that it will indeed arrive on Oct. 28 with a digital copy of Sunset Overdrive and special Day One edition in-game items for $399.
Sure to be a popular seller, the Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanc…