Tag Archives: Equifax

SourceCast: Episode 107: Fired Up About Equifax

The Equifax hack from last September is making headlines again as news hits that hackers likely got even more information than originally disclosed. As this story unfolds, there are reports that the government is ending investigations into the original breach and no legal action is being taken against the company or Equifax executives.

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: Mohamed Nohassi

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Supplier Report: 2/16/2018

Moves are being made this week!  Both Oracle and Google (along with Roche and OpenText) announced acquisitions.  If you pair that with comments made by Oracle CEO Mark Hurd about the economy, it seems that the M&A drought is subsiding.

Equifax, the company that allowed hackers to gain access to all of the information needed to open a line of credit in your name, announced that hackers probably got even MORE information that initially reported.  News also came out this week that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stopped investigations into the breach.

Amazon is going after UPS and Fedex and also reducing their workforce in certain areas (while increasing headcount in their Alexa and AI departments).

Acquisitions

  • Roche to Acquire Healthcare-Software Company Flatiron for $1.9 Billion

    Pharmaceuticals firm Roche Holding AG RHHBY 1.16% has agreed to buy the shares it doesn’t already own of Flatiron Health Inc., an oncology software company, for $1.9 billion, the companies said Thursday.

    Switzerland-based Roche said the deal is part of an effort to accelerate its development and delivery of medicines for cancer patients. Roche already owns 12.6% of New York City-based Flatiron Health, which was launched in 2012.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/roche-to-acquire-healthcare-software-company-flatiron-for-1-9-billion-1518732811

  • Google to acquire Xively IoT platform from LogMeIn for $50M

    Google announced today that it intends to buy Xively from LogMeIn for $50 million, giving Google Cloud an established IoT platform to add to their product portfolio.

    In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Google indicated it wants to use this purchase as a springboard into the growing IoT market, which it believes will reach 20 billion connected things by 2020. With Xively they are getting a tool that enables device designers to build connectivity directly into the design process while providing a cloud-mobile connection between the end user app and the connected thing, whatever that happens to be.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/15/google-to-acquire-xively-iot-platform-from-logmein/

  • Oracle acquires cloud security startup Zenedge

    Oracle announced today that it reached an agreement to acquire Zenedge, a company that provides firewalls and denial-of-service mitigation to enterprises.

    The deal is part of Oracle’s overall work to build out its cloud platform, providing customers with security features for their applications that help them stay secure and running in a hostile web environment. Zenedge fits in with the company’s previous acquisition of Dyn, a domain name system (DNS) provider that helps determine how traffic gets directed between different applications.

    https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/15/oracle-acquires-cloud-security-startup-zenedge/

  • Consolidation in the cloud as OpenText buys Hightail and Carbonite grabs Mozy from Dell

    Mark J. Barrenechea, who holds several titles at OpenText including vice chairman, CEO and CTO, says the addition of Hightail helps them meet yet another content management use case. “The acquisition of Hightail underscores our commitment to delivering differentiated content solutions in the cloud that enable marketers and creative professionals to share, produce, and securely collaborate on digital content,” Barrenechea said in a statement.

    This could allow them to compete with Adobe, at least on the file sharing side. Adobe has a big stake in the creative market and providing solutions for creating and sharing the large files they produce.

    Today’s acquisition comes on the heels of the sale of another early cloud company when Dell sold Mozy to Carbonite yesterday for $145 million. Mozy, a cloud backup service, which launched in 2005, was sold to EMC in 2007 for $76 million. You may recall that Dell purchased EMC in Oct 2015 for $67 billion. That deal closed in September 2016.

    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/14/consolidation-in-the-cloud-as-opentext-buys-hightail-and-carbonite-grabs-mozy-from-dell/?ncid=rss

  • Equinix acquires Infomart Dallas hub for $800m

    Equinix, which was recently listed as the top data centre operator in the world by Cloudscene’s latest leaderboard rankings, will benefit greatly from the acquisition of the 1.6 million gross sq ft landmark facility. The highly interconnected hub will further strengthen Equinix’s global platform.

    The Dallas metro represents one of the largest enterprise and colocation markets in the Americas and the eight Equinix IBX data centres house more than 100 network service providers—more than any other data centre provider in the Dallas metro area.

    http://www.capacitymedia.com/Article/3787932/Equinix-acquires-Infomart-Dallas-hub-for-800m

Cloud

  • LinkedIn still hasn’t moved to Azure, continues to run its own data centers

    However, despite Microsoft owning LinkedIn, the company has no obligation to adopt Azure, a pattern seen before. Last year, Amazon acquired Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal, and the company made no public announcement of adopting AWS. At the time of acquisition, Whole Foods ran on Azure.

    Still, Microsoft is the “preferred” cloud vendor for some heavyweight companies including Adobe and Columbia Sportswear. However, if companies don’t adopt Azure, Microsoft often boasts enterprise customers through its SaaS solutions.

    https://www.ciodive.com/news/linkedin-still-hasnt-moved-to-azure-continues-to-run-its-own-data-centers/516748/

  • Oracle to Launch 12 Cloud Data Centers Around the World

    Oracle announced Monday a plan to add 12 locations to the list of availability regions hosting its new enterprise cloud platform. Today, the platform is hosted in two locations in the US and one in Europe.

    Most of the expansion will be in Asia, where the new platform, launched in 2016, currently has no physical presence. Oracle’s plan includes new cloud data centers in China, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. (It’s expanding in China in partnership with Tencent, according to The Wall Street Journal.)

    Oracle is also adding data centers in Europe (Amsterdam and Switzerland), where the platform is currently hosted in Frankfurt, with an upcoming London region.

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/oracle/oracle-launch-12-cloud-data-centers-around-world

Security

  • Apple intern reportedly leaked iPhone source code

    According to Motherboard, the intern who stole the code took it and distributed it to a small group of five friends in the iOS jailbreaking community in order to help them with their ongoing efforts to circumvent Apple’s locked down mobile operating system. The former employee apparently took “all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot,” according to one of the individuals who had originally received the code, including additional source code that was apparently not included in the initial leak.

    The plan was originally to make sure that the code never left the initial circle of five friends, but apparently the code spread beyond the original group sometime last year. Eventually, the code was then posted in a Discord chat group, and was shared to Reddit roughly four months ago (although that post was apparently removed by a moderation bot automatically).

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/9/16997266/apple-source-code-leak-intern-internal-tools-jailbreaking-github-ios-9

  • Equifax breach may have exposed more data than first thought

    The 2017 Equifax data breach was already extremely serious by itself, but there are hints it was somehow worse. CNN has learned that Equifax told the US Senate Banking Committee that more data may have been exposed than initially determined. The hack may have compromised more driver’s license info, such as the issuing data and host state, as well as tax IDs. In theory, it would be that much easier for intruders to commit fraud.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/10/equifax-breach-may-have-exposed-more-data/
    32 senators want to know if US regulators halted Equifax probe

    Earlier this week, a Reuters report suggested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had halted its investigation into last year’s massive Equifax data breach. Reuters sources said that even basic steps expected in such a probe hadn’t been taken and efforts had stalled since Mick Mulvaney took over as head of the CFPB late last year. Now, 31 Democratic senators and one Independent have written a letter to Mulvaney asking if that is indeed the case and if so, why.

    Reuters sources said that Mulvaney has neither ordered subpoenas against Equifax nor collected any sworn testimony from company executives. Additionally, reviews of how Equifax protects its data and on-site cybersecurity exams of other credit bureaus — which the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency all offered to assist with — have been put on hold. The bank regulators who had offered to help were reportedly told that there were no exams planned and their assistance wouldn’t be needed.

    https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/08/senators-ask-if-us-regulators-halted-equifax-probe/

  • Consumers prefer security over convenience for the first time ever, IBM Security report finds

    “We always talk about the ease of use, and not impacting user experience, etc, but it turns out that when it comes to their financial accounts…people actually would go the extra mile and will use extra security,” Kessem said. Whether it’s using two factor authentication, an SMS message on top of their password, or any other additional step for extra protection, people still want to use it. Some 74% of respondents said that they would use extra security when it comes to those accounts, she said.

    https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ibm-security-report-security-now-outweighs-convenience/

  • ‘BuckHacker’ Search Engine Lets You Easily Dig Through Exposed Amazon Servers

    Digging through S3 buckets certainly isn’t new. Chris Vickery, director of cyber risk research at security firm UpGuard, has cornered something of a niche for himself by regularly finding noteworthy datasets in exposed buckets. According to research published in September 2017, some 7 percent of S3 servers may be exposed.

    And tools already exist for quickly grinding through leaky Amazon servers: ‘AWSBucketDump’ “is a tool to quickly enumerate AWS S3 buckets to look for loot,” the project’s Github page reads. As the BuckHacker administrator pointed out, you can also find some exposed buckets with a specific Google search.

    BuckHacker doesn’t only return results for exposed servers. It also includes entries labelled as “Access Denied”, and “The specified bucket does not exist,” meaning, obviously, you can’t simply go access whatever data they contain. But it may still be useful for scoping out whether a target is using S3 at all.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/j5bgm3/buckhacke-amazon-server-search-engine-aws-security

  • Don’t use Huawei phones, say heads of FBI, CIA, and NSA

    During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said the government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.” He added that this would provide “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

    These warnings are nothing new. The US intelligence community has long been wary of Huawei, which was founded by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army and has been described by US politicians as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government.” This caution led to a ban on Huawei bidding for US government contracts in 2014, and it’s now causing problems for the company’s push into consumer electronics.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/14/17011246/huawei-phones-safe-us-intelligence-chief-fears

Datacenter/Hardware

  • One Man’s Quest to Make Google’s Gadgets Great

    Google could no longer afford to make ho-hum gadgets. Alphabet, its parent company, had become the world’s second-largest corporation by building software that worked for everyone, everywhere, delivered through apps and websites. But the nature of computing is changing, and its next phase won’t revolve around app stores and smartphones. It will center instead on artificially intelligent devices that fit seamlessly into their owners’ everyday lives. It will feature voice assistants, simple wearables, smart appliances in homes, and augmented-reality gadgets on your face and in your brain.

    In other words, the future involves a whole lot more hardware, and for Google that shift represents an existential threat. Users won’t go to Google.com to search for things; they’ll just ask their Echo because it’s within earshot, and they won’t care what algorithms it uses to answer the question. Or they’ll use Siri, because it’s right there in a button on their iPhone. Google needed to figure out, once and for all, how to compete with the beautiful gadgets made by Amazon, Apple, and everyone else in tech. Especially the ones coming out of Cupertino.

    https://www.wired.com/story/one-mans-quest-to-make-googles-gadgets-great/

Other

  • Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS

    Amazon expects to roll out the delivery service in Los Angeles in coming weeks with third-party merchants that sell goods via its website, according to the people. Amazon then aims to expand the service to more cities as soon as this year, some of the people say.

    While the program is being piloted with the company’s third-party sellers, it is envisioned as eventually accommodating other businesses as well, according to some of the people. Amazon is planning to undercut UPS and FedEx on pricing, although the exact rate structure is still unclear, these people said.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-launch-delivery-service-that-would-vie-with-fedex-ups-1518175920

  • Amazon is cutting hundreds of employees to shift resources to fast-growing businesses

    The Seattle Times first reported that Amazon was laying off “hundreds” of employees and “managing out” others as the company consolidates its retail operations.

    A person familiar with the matter says the cuts are focused on Amazon’s Seattle headquarters and will affect some workers globally. The layoffs will occur in the consumer retail business, a unit that includes Amazon’s toys, books and groceries units, to make room for head count in businesses that are growing, like Alexa, AWS and digital entertainment. Jeff Bezos, in a statement in the last earnings report, said Amazon would “double down” on Alexa after blowing past projections.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/amazon-laying-off-hundreds–report.html

  • Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Says Corporate IT Spending Set to Jump

    “People have not invested in IT for a decade, so we have old stuff out there,” Mr. Hurd told senior corporate technology managers Monday at the company’s CloudWorld event in New York.

    Mr. Hurd said most companies have shied away from spending as U.S. economic growth hovered below 3% in recent years: “If the market is only growing at 2%, that means your business is only going to grow 2%,” he said.

    Business spending on IT has been flat “because GDP is flat,” he said, referring to gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic growth. To hedge against lackluster growth, companies have cut IT budgets to improve cash flow, while funneling costs into managing the increasing risk of cyber attacks, breaches and other risks, he said.

    https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2018/02/12/oracle-ceo-mark-hurd-says-corporate-it-spending-set-to-jump/

  • Cisco to Bring $67 Billion to U.S. After New Tax Law

    The networking-gear maker said Wednesday it would repatriate $67 billion of its foreign cash holdings to the U.S. this quarter, in one of the largest repatriation plans yet revealed.

    Cisco plans to spend much of the newly repatriated cash on share buybacks and dividends, it said Wednesday while reporting earnings, amounting to about $44 billion over the next two years.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/cisco-returns-to-growth-after-two-year-sales-slump-1518645580

Photo: Anastasia Yılmaz

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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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