Tag Archives: Equifax

News You Can Use: 11/22/2017

  • For Tech’s Deepest Problems, Women Are The Canary In The Data Mine

    The book proposes this simple but radical solution: Women should not try to adapt to the male-centric corporate world, instead women should “lean out” and create their own companies. “I’ve figured out a way to create safe space for myself in tech,” wrote Shevinsky.

    In a recent conversation, we discussed how the culture of overwork contributes to the problem of misogyny in many companies, and about how the singular focus on growth and profit drowns out ethical concerns that in the long run ultimately ruins companies. We also spoke about how feminism has said all it can, and yet things don’t seem to be getting better. And we discussed how a hostile workplace for women often indicates that a company has other ethical issues as well.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40494460/for-techs-biggest-problems-women-are-the-canary-in-the-data-mine

  • The Surprising Thing I Gained When I Switched to a Remote Workforce

    One way that businesses are trying to stem employee turnover and are working to improve employee well-being is embracing the paradigm shift to a telecommuting workforce, aka “working from home.” A 2014 PGi survey of 1,000 workers found that 80 percent of their employers offered a telecommuting option, and about half of these employees exercised this option at least once a week. The millennial generation is all about this lifestyle, where 68 percent of millennials are more interested in a position that involves working from home and 64 percent would like the opportunity to work remotely.

    Also:

    One of the aspects of telecommuting that I didn’t think of when we first started was the increase in quality hires I was able to make. Before the switch, we were pigeonholed into hiring from the localities surrounding our business, or hiring someone who was willing to make the long commute every day — something that weighs heavily on even the best of employees.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304422

  • A pro wrestler’s guide to confidence
  • It’s Time to Tax Companies for Using Our Personal Data

    The data tax could be a minor cost, less than 1 percent of the revenue companies earn from selling our personal data, spread out over an entire industry. Individually, no company’s bottom line would substantially suffer; collectively, the tax would pull money back to the public, from an industry profiting from material and labor that is, at its very core, our own.

    This idea is not new. It is, essentially, a sales tax, among the oldest taxes that exist, but it hasn’t been done because assigning a fixed monetary value to our data can be very difficult. For a lot of internet businesses, our personal data either primarily flows through the business or remains locked within.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/business/dealbook/taxing-companies-for-using-our-personal-data.html

  • The Washington Post Is A Software Company Now

    Since 2014, a new Post operation now called Arc Publishing has offered the publishing system the company originally used for WashingtonPost.com as a service. That allows other news organizations to use the Post’s tools for writers and editors. Arc also shoulders the responsibility of ensuring that readers get a snappy, reliable experience when they visit a site on a PC or mobile device. It’s like a high-end version of Squarespace or WordPress.com, tailored to solve the content problems of a particular industry.

    By offloading the creation of publishing tools and the hosting of sites, media companies can concentrate on the journalism itself rather than the technical requirements of getting it in front of readers. Scot Gillespie, the Washington Post’s chief technology officer, says that Arc’s value proposition is “let us run the CMS [content management system] for you, the creation of circulation. You focus on differentiation.”

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40495770/the-washington-post-is-a-software-company-now

Photo: Felix Russell-Saw

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Supplier Report: 9/29/2017

It was a very unstable week…

Equifax’s CEO is stepping down, Google is implementing organizational and policy changes in the wake of the EU ruling, HPE is cutting another 5,000 jobs, and we found out that Alexa is not HIPAA compliant… oh and IBM bought another Israeli company.

Acquisitions

  • Google Cloud acquires cloud identity management company Bitium

    Google Cloud announced today that it has acquired Bitium, a company that focused on offering enterprise-grade identity management and access tools, such as single-sign on, for cloud-based applications. This will basically help Google better manage enterprise cloud customer implementation across an organization, including doing things like setting security levels and access policies for applications working across their Cloud and G Suite offerings.

    Bitium was founded in 2012, and targets both mid market and larger enterprise customers,. It’s been offering a single-stop solution for managing Google Apps, Office 365, social network, CRM, collaboration and marketing tools, while ensuring organizations remain compliant with security standards.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/google-cloud-acquires-cloud-identity-management-company-bitium/?ncid=rss

  • SAP buys customer identity management firm Gigya for $350M

    SAP, the German enterprise software giant, today announced an acquisition to strengthen its hybris e-commerce division. It has acquired Gigya, a firm that helps online properties manage customer identities and profiles. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed officially, but our sources tell us it is for $350 million.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/24/sap-is-buying-identity-management-firm-gigya-for-350m/?ncid=rss

  • IBM acquires Israeli company Cloudigo

    IBM has acquired Israeli data centre company Cloudigo, Globes reported. No financial details were disclosed but the acquisition was for a small amount, according to sources close to the deal. Cloudigo is building next-generation data centre infrastructure and networking services.

    IBM Watson and Cloud Platform general manager John Considine said in a blog on IBM’s website that IBM had acquired a high-performance team focused on advanced networking technology that moves the networking function from the server to the edge, increasing data centre efficiency.

    https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ibm-acquires-israeli-company-cloudigo–1213172

Artificial Intelligence

  • Microsoft Aims to Make Business AI Cheaper, Faster, Simpler

    The new product, a customer-service virtual assistant, is designed to let people describe problems in their own words and respond with suggestions drawn from user manuals, help documents and similar materials. Users can request a human agent, in which case the bot will try to assist the customer-care representative. Managers can view a dashboard overview of the results.

    The bot is one of what Microsoft says will be a series of customizable programs running on the company’s Azure cloud-computing platform. The programs, called Dynamics 365 AI solutions, will draw on basic AI capabilities such as natural-language processing as well as a trove of data and algorithms from Microsoft’s Bing search engine, productivity apps and LinkedIn network.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/microsoft-aims-to-make-business-ai-cheaper-faster-simpler-1506344400

  • Analysis: Amazon Alexa’s biggest healthcare problem? It’s not HIPAA compliant

    Alexa, Amazon’s voice technology, creates ample opportunity for physicians and health systems. For example, it could be used as for a remote patient monitoring or to help physicians transcribe notes during patient visits.

    While not all health app developers are subject to HIPAA, covered entities and their business associates must be compliant. This means developers can, for example, train Alexa to recommend advice related to health and wellness, but not record patient’s health data in a hospital setting, according to Ms. Farr.

    Amazon acknowledged this problem at its “Alexa Diabetes Challenge” event Monday in New York City. The competition invited a series of partners to promote uses for Alexa that would benefit patients with diabetes.

    https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/analysis-amazon-alexa-s-biggest-healthcare-problem-it-s-not-hipaa-compliant.html

  • MIT’s new robot can put on different exoskeletons to gain new powers

    These robots could prove incredibly flexible when built at scale, and in more complex configurations. You can imagine deploying a single robot with a range of “suits” to do something like explore the surface of an alien planet, or even to chart more remote portions of our own Earth, and to switch between search and rescue tasks.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/27/mits-new-robot-can-put-on-different-exoskeletons-to-gain-new-powers/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Google Goes Tit for Tat With Amazon On Cloud Pricing

    Last week, Amazon made a huge change in how it charges businesses for its cloud services, saying it would start to bill on a per-second basis starting Oct. 2 instead of by the hour. Now rival Google is also going to per-second increments, but is making the change effective immediately.

    Google’s new price model is for its basic computing units (which it calls virtual machines, or VMs) as well as its container engine and a few other offerings. And the price covers all VMs whether they run Windows Server, Red Hat Linux or SUSE Linux operating systems. Amazon’s per-second pricing applies only to Linux, not to Windows. Google’s pricing on “persistant disk” storage attached to these VMs has been billed per second for quite some time.

    http://fortune.com/2017/09/26/google-matches-amazons-price-change/

Datacenter

  • Report: HPE to shed 5,000 jobs, or 10% of its staff, by year-end

    “If the reports are true, it is sad what has happened to HPE,” said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc.

    Mueller said that although HPE has successfully weathered numerous industry changes in the past, it seems to be losing out in this latest transition where the focus is on things such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing.

    “At some point the writing was on the wall with the end of Helion [HPE’s OpenStack cloud product] and with the sale of the software assets,” Mueller said.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/09/21/report-hpe-shed-5000-jobs-around-10-staff-end-year/

Software/SaaS

  • Microsoft is going all in on Teams and plans to phase out Skype for Business

    Microsoft Teams, the company’s Slack competitor with deep integrations into the Office 365 apps, has seen a lot of pickup over the last few months, with over 125,000 organizations now using it in one form or another. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the company today announced it is going all in on Teams as its core communications platform for the enterprise.

    Until now, Skype for Business was the company’s product for this. Over the course of the last few years, Microsoft improved the Skype infrastructure to allow for better and faster text chats, calls and video conferences (though some Skype users would surely argue that the quality hasn’t actually improved all that much). But as Ron Markezich, the company’s corporate VP for Office 365 noted ahead of today’s public announcement, Microsoft Teams will evolve “as the core communications client” for its cloud-connected users running Office 365. Teams will become the “hero and primary experience for all voice, video and meetings.” Over time, Teams will replace the current Skype for Business client.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/microsoft-is-going-all-in-on-teams-and-plans-to-phase-out-skype-for-business/?ncid=rss

  • Micro Focus bosses in line for a £65m payout if they hit merger targets

    The executive chairman of Micro Focus could receive a payout of more than £26 million in two years’ time after the British company’s acquisition of Hewlett Packard’s software business.

    Kevin Loosemore has been granted options over 1.1 million shares in an additional share grant scheme intended to “incentivise management to deliver exceptional returns to shareholders”. The shares were worth £26.8 million at yesterday’s closing price of £24.36.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/micro-focus-bosses-in-line-for-a-65m-payout-if-they-hit-merger-targets-6pqrkqqgg

  • IBM Is Beating Microsoft in This Emerging Tech (Hint: BlockChain)

    Moreover, the year-over-year growth of IBM’s “strategic imperatives” (cloud, mobile, social, analytics, and security) has slowed down in recent quarters, torpedoing the bullish notion that its higher-growth businesses can offset the softness of its legacy (IT services, business software, and hardware) businesses.

    Nonetheless, the increased adoption of IBM’s blockchain solutions could strengthen its older global business services and technology/cloud platform services units, and potentially expand Big Blue’s enterprise ecosystem. Investors should also remember that the vast majority of the world’s biggest banks, telcos, and retailers still use IBM services — so it has plenty of room to expand its blockchain business.

    Therefore, IBM’s lead in the blockchain market might not matter over the next few quarters, but it could widen its moat as more companies secure and streamline their businesses with blockchain solutions.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/09/21/ibm-is-beating-microsoft-in-this-emerging-tech.aspx

  • Amazon Looks to Deliver Shake Shack, Chipotle Amid Food Push (app)

    Amazon has teamed up with a company called Olo, which provides digital order and pay technology to 200 restaurant brands with about 40,000 U.S. locations, potentially giving Amazon access to a slew of delivery orders. Buca di Beppo, which runs about 90 Italian eateries, is the only Olo customer so far to publicly say it will use Amazon Restaurants.

    The $1.5 trillion U.S. food market is split roughly between groceries and restaurants. Food deliveries appeal to Amazon because of the frequency of orders, putting it in constant contact with shoppers and helping it collect valuable data about their preferences even if they don’t make much, if any, money on individual transactions.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-22/amazon-looks-to-deliver-shake-shack-chipotle-in-restaurant-push

Other

  • IBM Now Has More Employees in India Than in the U.S.

    Today, the company employs 130,000 people in India — about one-third of its total work force, and more than in any other country. Their work spans the entire gamut of IBM’s businesses, from managing the computing needs of global giants like AT&T and Shell to performing cutting-edge research in fields like visual search, artificial intelligence and computer vision for self-driving cars. One team is even working with the producers of Sesame Street to teach vocabulary to kindergartners in Atlanta.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/technology/ibm-india.html

  • Amazon is hiring 2,000 people in New York City as the $5 billion bidding war for its new headquarters rages

    The online retail giant is hiring 2,000 more employees over the next three years at a new office in New York City. The office is part of the Manhattan West megadevelopment on the west side of Manhattan.

    The company is leasing 360,000 square feet at 5 Manhattan West, with space for its advertising, Amazon Fashion, and Amazon Web Services teams.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-hiring-2000-people-for-new-nyc-office-2017-9

  • Equifax CEO Richard Smith to Exit Following Massive Data Breach

    Equifax Inc. moved to take concrete action over its massive hack ahead of congressional hearings next week, announcing Tuesday that Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Smith would step aside while leaving the door open to compensation clawbacks.

    Mr. Smith, CEO since 2005, is being succeeded as chairman by current director, Mark Feidler, who will serve as nonexecutive chairman, Equifax’s board said. It added that Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., who was most recently Equifax’s president for the Asia-Pacific region, has been appointed interim CEO.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/equifax-ceo-richard-smith-to-retire-following-massive-data-breach-1506431571

  • SEC Draws Scrutiny for Slow Response to Hack

    The SEC’s new chairman, Jay Clayton, uncovered the extent of the hack only after he launched a wholesale review of the agency’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the spring, according to a statement he released this week. The SEC’s other commissioners learned about the hack in recent days. A former chief operating officer wasn’t told about the intrusion when it was detected last year.

    The pace of discovery and the way that information was disclosed is likely to increase scrutiny of an agency that in recent years has pushed financial firms to gird against attacks and urged public companies to tell shareholders about the risks of cyberintrusions. Information about the hack was included in a lengthy statement by Mr. Clayton about the agency’s cybersecurity program that was released just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The agency didn’t say when the hack occurred or what information hackers accessed.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-sec-officials-only-recently-learned-of-2016-company-database-hack-1506017614

  • Uber Loses Its License to Operate in London

    The decision on Friday by Transport for London, which is responsible for the city’s subways and buses, as well as regulating its taxicabs, illustrates the gravity and severity of the issues confronting Uber.

    The agency took direct aim at Uber’s corporate culture, declaring that the company’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”

    Uber’s London license will expire on Sept. 30. But the company has been given 21 days to appeal — it immediately vowed to do so — and will be allowed to continue operating in the city during the appeal process.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/business/uber-london.html

  • The EU Suppressed a 300-Page Study That Found Piracy Doesn’t Harm Sales

    The report found that illegal downloads and streams can actually boost legal sales of games, according to the report. The only negative link the report found was with major blockbuster films:“The results show a displacement rate of 40 percent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally.”

    The study has only come to light now because Julia Reda, a Member of the European Parliament representing the German Pirate Party, posted the report on her personal blog after she got ahold of a copy through an EU Freedom of Information access to document request.

    https://gizmodo.com/the-eu-suppressed-a-300-page-study-that-found-piracy-do-1818629537

  • Google Offers Concessions to Europe After Record Antitrust Fine

    Google said the changes would be introduced early on Thursday morning, meeting a deadline to open up its shopping platform to greater competition or potentially face further fines from the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm. As a result, about a dozen shopping sites from companies besides Google could become more visible and accessible.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/business/google-eu-antitrust.html

Photo: Jakob Owens

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SourceCast: Episode 88: The Equifax Hack

The Equifax hack dominated the news last week… so I am taking 10 minutes to fully understand how this impacts consumers, how badly Equifax handled the situation, and share some advice on what to do if your personal information was impacted by the hack (and it probably was).

To freeze your credit, contact each of the credit bureaus using these phone numbers:

Equifax: 1-800-349-9960
Experian: 1‑888‑397‑3742
TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872

If you would prefer to use a website, here are the links (be sure to record the PIN they give you at the end of each process):

Equifax: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
Transunion: https://freeze.transunion.com/sf/securityFreeze/landingPage.jsp
Experian: https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html#content-01

Photo: Markus Spiske

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Supplier Report: 9/22/2017

Google is showing the world that crafting hardware is a major ambition for them with the purchase of phone maker HTC’s research division. Google seems to be developing a pattern of buying phone companies for intellectual property (see Motorola), but at least they didn’t buy the entire company this time.

Larry Ellison doing what he does best… making sound-bytes.  Larry talked about AWS pricing, the Equifax hack, and Oracle’s new autonomous database product. While I like to poke fun at Larry’s bombastic ways on the podcast, I agree with most of his statements this week.

Oh… and there are rumors of a Sprint and T-Mobile merger for the 1,000,000th time.

Acquisitions

  • Google to Buy Part of Phone Maker HTC

    With the acquisition, Google may get deeper access to HTC’s research and development, as well as sales and distribution channels, analysts said. That could help Google as it seeks to make a bigger splash in the increasingly competitive smartphone market as it prepares to launch an updated version of the Pixel this fall.

    The deal shows “Google is very serious about building its own hardware,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-is-set-to-buy-part-of-taiwanese-phone-maker-htc-1505934852
    So why did they sell Motorola again (they took a big loss on that sale)?

  • T-Mobile and Sprint are in active talks about a merger

    Both companies and their parents, Deutsche Telekom and Softbank, have been in frequent conversations about a stock-for-stock merger in which T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom would emerge as the majority owner.

    People close to the situation stress that negotiators are still weeks away from finalizing a deal and believe the chances of reaching an agreement are not assured. The two sides have not yet set an exchange ratio for a deal, but are currently engaged in talks to hammer out a term sheet.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/19/t-mobile-and-sprint-are-in-active-talks-about-a-merger.html

  • Slack lands $250M funding round led by Japan’s Softbank Group

    The company said on Sunday it has just closed on a $250 million funding round led by the Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant, which saw the participation of Accel Partners and other investors. The announcement confirms a rumor that first surfaced in July that said Softbank was looking to invest in the company.

    The new round means that Slack is now valued at $5.1 billion, up from its previous $3.8 billion valuation, Bloomberg reported. However, that figure remains well below the reported $9 billion takeover price that was bandied about when rumors emerged that cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services Inc. was interested in acquiring the company.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/09/17/slack-lands-250m-funding-round-led-japans-softbank-group/

Artificial Intelligence

  • Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

    Now, computer engineers are fashioning more complex systems. Rather than funneling all tasks through one beefy chip made by Intel, newer machines are dividing work into tiny pieces and spreading them among vast farms of simpler, specialized chips that consume less power.

    Changes inside Google’s giant data centers are a harbinger of what is to come for the rest of the industry. Inside most of Google’s servers, there is still a central processor. But enormous banks of custom-built chips work alongside them, running the computer algorithms that drive speech recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/16/technology/chips-off-the-old-block-computers-are-taking-design-cues-from-human-brains.html

  • Google’s AI chief thinks reports of the AI apocalypse are greatly exaggerated

    The company also needs to share the architecture of its AI products because Google wants to avoid biases as much as possible. “We have been spending a lot of time looking at machine learning fairness,” Giannandrea said. “If your data is biased, then you build biased systems. We have many efforts at Google and research collaboration around this question of fairness in machine learning and unbiased data.”

    And finally, the term artificial intelligence itself might not be the right one. According to Giannandrea, artificial intelligence doesn’t mean much. “I almost try to shy away from this term artificial intelligence — it’s kind of like big data,” he said. “It’s such a broad term, it’s really not well defined. I’ve been trying to use the term machine intelligence.”

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/19/googles-ai-chief-thinks-reports-of-the-ai-apocalypse-are-greatly-exaggerated/?ncid=rss

Cloud

  • Amazon Web Services will now charge by the second, its biggest pricing change in years

    The move is historically significant. Since AWS became available in 2006, it has charged by the hour. Then, in 2013, Alphabet’s Google, which had introduced its direct competitor to AWS a year earlier, said it would start charging by the minute, after a 10-minute minimum. Microsoft’s Azure followed suit shortly thereafter.

    Now Amazon is hitting back by becoming even more granular when it comes to making people pay only for the computing resources they use, with a one-minute minimum.

    The price change is only applicable for Linux virtual machines, AWS’ chief evangelist, Jeff Barr, wrote in a blog post.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/18/aws-starts-charging-for-ec2-by-the-second.html

  • Amazon’s AWS is Now Hosting the Defense Department’s Most Classified Data

    Earlier this week, the DoD granted Amazon a provisional authorization to host its Impact Level 5 workloads, which are the Pentagon’s and U.S. military’s most classified information. Only two other tech companies are allowed to store this data: Microsoft MSFT and IBM IBM .

    “This further bolsters AWS as an industry leader in helping support the DoD’s critical mission in protecting our security,” said Amazon in a statement . “The AWS services support a variety of DoD workloads, including workloads contained sensitive controlled unclassified information and National Security Systems information.”

    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/amazons-aws-is-now-hosting-the-defense-departments-most-classified-data-cm846402

  • Oracle’s Larry Ellison pokes Amazon again with new cloud pricing plan

    Actually, Ellison claimed that Oracle’s infrastructure runs faster and therefore ends up costing less, but it’s clear that the company is focusing more on its traditional strengths one tier up from the infrastructure: so-called platform as a service offerings such as the Oracle Database. So today, Oracle said it will allow customers to move their existing licenses for databases, middleware and analytics to Oracle’s platform services, just as they’ve allowed them to bring licenses to its infrastructure before.

    “The way we want to compete is to deliver a high degree of automation to our customers,” Ellison told press, customers and Oracle employees at the event. And the biggest payback, he said, will be in eliminating human error. “If you don’t patch the database at Equifax, thatoraclecloudpricing could be expensive,” he said pointedly.

    https://siliconangle.com/blog/2017/09/19/oracles-larry-ellison-pokes-amazon-new-cloud-pricing-plan/

Software/SaaS/Security

  • Equifax Breach ‘Won’t Be Isolated Incident,’ Says Oracle Founder Larry Ellison

    Warning that the world is in the midst of “a cyber war that’s going to be going on for a long, long time,” Ellison said the challenge for not only Oracle but the tech industry overall is to dramatically enhance its cybersecurity capabilities across two very different types of environments: the data centers many big customers currently operate, and the cloud-computing data centers to which many businesses are turning for their computing, applications, and storage needs.

    And the key technology in this counteroffensive, Ellison said, is machine learning—and specifically how it can enhance cybersecurity via extensive analysis of log data.

    “Based on machine learning, this new version of Oracle Database is a totally automated and self-driving system that does not require a human being either to manage the database or tune the database (emphasis mine),” Ellison said.

    “Using artificial intelligence to eliminate most sources of human error enables Oracle to deliver unprecedented reliability in the Cloud.”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobevans1/2017/09/20/equifax-breach-wont-be-isolated-incident-says-oracle-founder-larry-ellison/#4d418e1fce3b

Other

  • Google Has Spent Over $1.1 Billion on Self-Driving Tech

    Now, a court filing in Waymo’s epic and ongoing lawsuit against Uber has accidentally revealed just how big a bet Google placed on autonomous vehicles. Between Project Chauffeur’s inception in 2009 and the end of 2015, Google spent $1.1 billion on developing its self-driving software and hardware, according to a recent deposition of Shawn Bananzadeh, a financial analyst at Waymo.

    Bananzadeh was testifying as part of the lawsuit, in which Uber stands accused misappropriating trade secrets and violating patents from Waymo, Google’s self-driving-car offshoot. Because Waymo has yet to commercialize any of its technology in a meaningful way, the company thinks any damages in the case should be calculated on the basis of how much it spent building the technology in question.

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/google-has-spent-over-11-billion-on-selfdriving-tech

  • Cisco Chairman John Chambers to Step Down, Ending an Era at Tech Company

    Mr. Chambers, who has been executive chairman for two years and chairman since 2006, notified board members of his decision in an email last Wednesday.

    “It is time for Cisco to move on to its next generation of leadership,” he said in the letter. “It is also time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life, on both a personal and business level.”

    Cisco plans to appoint Chief Executive Chuck Robbins, 51 years old, to fill the role.

    Mr. Chambers, 68, was Cisco’s CEO for more than 20 years ending in 2015, when Mr. Robbins took over. Neither Mr. Chambers nor Cisco shared details about his next plans.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cisco-chairman-john-chambers-wont-stand-for-re-election-1505742050?mg=prod/accounts-wsj

  • Equifax Stock Sales Are the Focus of U.S. Criminal Probe

    The federal probes add a serious challenge to Equifax as lawmakers, state attorneys general and regulators scrutinize the breach that may have compromised the privacy of 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax shares were little changed. The shares have fallen 35 percent since the breach was disclosed after market close in New York on Sept. 7.

    Investigators are looking at the stock sales by Equifax’s chief financial officer, John Gamble; its president of U.S. information solutions, Joseph Loughran; and its president of workforce solutions, Rodolfo Ploder, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the probe is confidential.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-18/equifax-stock-sales-said-to-be-focus-of-u-s-criminal-probe

Photo: ANGELA FRANKLIN

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Supplier Report: 9/15/2017

The Equifax breach that compromised 143 million Americans personal data has dominated the news this week. Reports have been rolling in about the potential issues hacking victims face, how Equifax handled the response (and how they addressed the vulnerability), to issues with how they notified potentially impacted people.

Simply put, the entire situation is a mess.

Oracle had strong earnings this quarter thanks to their legacy software division. However, investors are worried that this was a one-off boost with no long term potential. Oracle is also (finally) spinning off Java EE to open source (which has long been rumored).

 Acquisitions

  • Rackspace acquires Datapipe as it looks to expand its managed services business

    The two privately held companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction, but Datapipe has raised more than $310 million in equity funding since its launch in 1998 and this deal surely didn’t come cheap. Datapipe’s majority owner, Abry Partners, will become an equity investor in Rackspace and the combined company will have more than 6,700 employees and do more than $2.4 billion in annual revenue.

    “The reason we’re buying them is that we want to extend our leadership in multi-cloud services,” Rackspace chief strategy officer Matt Bradley told me. “It’s a sign and signal that we’re going for it.” Bradley expects that the combined company will make Rackspace the largest private cloud player and the largest managed hosting service. He also noted that the fact that Rackspace is now a private company again, with a single owner, allowed it to go for this deal. “This would have been very hard to get done under our old structure,” he noted.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/11/rackspace-acquires-datapipe-as-it-looks-to-expand-its-managed-cloud-business/

  • Japan’s SoftBank Wants Big Chunk of Uber, But at Steep Discount

    SoftBank and its $93 billion tech-focused Vision Fund are proposing to buy 17% to 22% of Uber through a combination of share purchases from the company and a tender offer extended to employees and investors, according to people familiar with the matter. But the tender offer would represent a discount of 30% or more from Uber’s last valuation of almost $70 billion, the people said.

    Existing Uber shareholders have expressed concern that the process could devalue the company as it heads toward an initial public offering in as few as 18 months.

    As part of the offer, SoftBank also is seeking two board seats, these people said, adding to Uber’s nine sitting directors.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-shareholders-divided-over-softbanks-investment-offer-1505409810

  • Trump Blocks China-Backed Fund from Buying U.S. Chip Maker Lattice

    But Canyon Bridge and Lattice waged an unusually public fight to try to save their deal, which became a lightning rod in a broader battle between the U.S. and China over chip technology and foreign direct investment.

    According to a statement from the White House, Mr. Trump believes the transaction could risk U.S. national security due to “the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer, the Chinese government’s role in supporting this transaction, the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the United States Government, and the use of Lattice products by the United States Government.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-blocks-china-backed-fund-from-buying-u-s-chip-maker-lattice-1505335670

Artificial Intelligence

  • As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

    Complicating the equation even more, Amazon is also on the forefront of automation, finding new ways of getting robots to do the work once handled by employees. In 2014, the company began rolling out robots to its warehouses using machines originally developed by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon bought for $775 million two years earlier and renamed Amazon Robotics. Amazon now has more than 100,000 robots in action around the world, and it has plans to add many more to the mix.

    The robots make warehouse work less tedious and physically taxing, while also enabling the kinds of efficiency gains that let a customer order dental floss after breakfast and receive it before dinner.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/10/technology/amazon-robots-workers.html

  • Facebook’s New Lab Bolsters Montreal’s Bragging Rights As An AI Hub

    Among those behind Montreal’s emergence as a leader in AI research is University of Montreal professor and director of the school’s Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer in deep learning.

    “Facebook is clearly a leader in AI,” Bengio said in a statement, “and the creation [of] Facebook’s AI lab here is going to contribute to the expansion of Montreal as an international hub for AI, an ecosystem joining universities [and] established companies as well as startups.” (Bengio is also a consultant to Microsoft, which is putting down stakes of its own in Montreal’s AI community; in January, it bought Maluuba, a Montreal-based AI startup he had advised.)

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40465968/facebooks-new-lab-bolsters-montreals-bragging-rights-as-an-ai-hub

Datacenter

  • Dell EMC and HPE vie for top spot in server market, trading revenue and shipment lead

    Though Dell EMC still trails HPE in server revenue, the company’s lead in shipments reflects positive growth and the potential for leading the market in revenue in the future. However, both companies are also competing in the cloud space. Last year, HPE held its spot as the number one cloud infrastructure provider, but that was before Dell Technologies could test its presence in the market.

    In contrast to last year’s Q2 report, where global server revenue fell 0.8% year-over-year, there was an uptick in this year’s report. As a whole, the server market is having to respond to market needs as more companies store data through cloud providers over traditional, on-premise systems.

    http://www.ciodive.com/news/dell-emc-and-hpe-vie-for-top-spot-in-server-market-trading-revenue-and-shi/504777/

Software/SaaS

  • Oracle: Pullback Is An Opportunity

    Despite continued strength in cloud SaaS (+62%, nearly 12% of total revenues), I was most surprised to see the company’s on-premise software and hardware business (what I collectively call “legacy”) return to positive growth this quarter. I believe this was the most important component of the revenue beat this quarter, as growth in cloud landed less impressively just an inch above the mid-point of management’s guidance. While I welcome the news, I also fear that some investors may see the strong numbers in the slow-to-no growth part of the business as a one-off occurrence that does little to support the cloud-centric investment thesis.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4107175-oracle-pullback-opportunity

  • MicroFocus updates its security portfolio after HPE merger

    When MicroFocus completed its spin-merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the company claims it created the seventh-largest pure-play software company in the world. It also is now among the largest security companies.

    The company announced that analytics from the HPE Vertica embedded database will be built in to ArcSight, the company’s security console that is built on an open architecture to enable data sharing through the enterprise. Also, a new partnership with Elastic – an open-source DIY platform for building visualizations into data – will empower security teams to gain deeper insights from data exploration to threats.

    http://sdtimes.com/microfocus-updates-security-portfolio-hpe-merger/

  • Why Blockchain May Be Key to IBM’s Future

    According to Business Insider, the Swiss financial services giant UBS thinks the company should be betting it’s future on blockchain. UBS would know about blockchain. It jumped on the distributed-database bandwagon early and has become a major proponent of the technology’s use:

    Both IBM and Microsoft are looking to monetize blockchain, but we think IBM is ahead and that blockchain is more important for IBM. IBM’s legacy businesses are in decline; we think technologies such as blockchain and cognitive computing are its best hope for recovery.

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/ibm/why-blockchain-may-be-key-ibms-future

  • Oracle prepares to spin off Java EE to Eclipse Foundation

    Oracle has recently admitted that “although Java EE is developed in open source with the participation of the Java EE community, often the process is not seen as being agile, flexible, or open enough, particularly when compared to other open-source communities. We’d like to do better.”

    The company is now moving quickly to make Java EE better. For example, Java EE code is now available on GitHub. Interestingly, Oracle isn’t moving Java EE by itself.

    Delabassee said, “First, we have reached out to IBM and Red Hat, the other largest contributors to the Java EE platform, to solicit their support for this new direction. Oracle, IBM, and Red Hat are collaborating on an ongoing basis to refine an approach that we can collectively support.” This is not the way Oracle used to do things.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/oracle-prepares-to-spin-off-java-ee-to-eclipse-foundation/

  • The Equifax hack is really good for Symantec

    That’s because LifeLock, the identity-theft protection service owned by Symantec, is now enrolling 10 times the amount of people per hour in its program, reports Bloomberg“We’re over 100,000 new members and counting since the breach. Most are paying the full price, rather than discounts. It’s a really incredible response from the market,” Symantec’s Fran Rosch revealed. Further, the people signing up after the Equifax breech are on average 10 years younger than typical LifeLock customers, and they opt for the premium $29.99 a month plan, not the cheaper $9.99 a month one. Oh, and while Equifax’s stock is tanking, Symantec’s is up over 10% after the breach

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40467320/the-equifax-hack-is-really-good-for-symantec

Other

  • Equifax Reports Data Breach Possibly Affecting 143 Million U.S. Consumers

    Credit-reporting company Equifax Inc. said Thursday that hackers gained access to some of its systems, potentially compromising the personal information of roughly 143 million U.S. consumers in one of the biggest and most threatening data breaches of recent years.

    The size of the hack is second only to the pair of attacks on Yahoo disclosed last year that affected the information of as many as 1.5 billion customers. It also involves nearly twice the number affected by one of the highest-profile breaches at a financial firm, the cyberattack at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. about three years ago.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/equifax-reports-data-breach-possibly-impacting-143-million-u-s-consumers-1504819765
    Equifax execs dumped stock before the hack news went public

    As Bloomberg reports, three of the company’s senior executives sold nearly $1.8 million in shares after the company learned internally that it had exposed the private data, including social security and driver’s license numbers, of as many as 143 million people in the U.S.

    The transactions in question were initiated by Chief Financial Officer and Corporate VP John Gamble, who sold $946,374 worth of shares; President of U.S. Information Solutions Joseph Loughran, who dumped $584,099; and President of Workforce Solutions Rodolfo Ploder, who sold $250,458 in shares. As Bloomberg notes, these transactions were not pre-scheduled trades and they took place on August 2, three days after the company learned of the hack.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/07/equifax-managers-dumped-stock/?ncid=rss
    It’s time to build our own Equifax with blackjack and crypto

    We must look outside the US for leadership. Estonia, for example, has already released a number of solutions to this problem including a cryptographically secure ID card. This card connects to our computers and unlocks our data. Without it no one can access our data. An even easier solution could include government-provided 2-factor ID generator. These are cheap and portable and rugged and far more secure than any static number. Further, we must also outlaw SMS two-factor authentication. In fact, thanks to the data stolen from Equifax, that process can be easily broken by (you guessed it) telling a CSR the last four digits of our Social Security Number.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/08/its-time-to-build-our-own-equifax-with-blackjack-and-crypto/?ncid=rss

  • Google appeals $2.4 billion EU antitrust fine

    While Google has appealed the decision, it has not requested that the court suspend it in the meantime, and it appears as though the company will continue to work towards fulfilling the changes ordered by the June ruling. At the end of last month, the company met the deadline to submit its plan on how it will change its practices to make them fall in line with EU antitrust laws. An initial review of that plan was met with approval by EU officials. Google is required to stop the offending practices by September 28th or face additional fines that could amount to five percent of Alphabet’s daily average worldwide revenue.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/11/google-appeals-eu-antitrust-fine/

  • There’s Blood In The Water In Silicon Valley

    The tech industry has also benefited for years from its enemies, who it cast — often accurately — as Luddites who genuinely didn’t understand the series of tubes they were ranting about, or protectionist industries that didn’t want the best for consumers. That, too, is over. Opportunists and ideologues have assembled the beginnings of a real coalition against these companies, with a policy core consisting of refugees from Google boss Eric Schmidt’s least favorite think tank unit. Nationalists, accurately, see a consolidation of power over speech and ideas by social liberals and globalists; the left, accurately, sees consolidated corporate power. Those are the ascendant wings of the Republican and Democratic parties, even before Donald Trump sends the occasional spray of bile Jeff Bezos’s way — and his spokeswoman declines, as she did in June, to defend Google against European regulators.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/theres-blood-in-the-water-in-silicon-valley?utm_term=.jirpNeB2m#.ve6eW0NZq

Photo: Katie Frego

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