Firefox ‘death sentence’ threat to TeliaSonera over gov spy claims
Firefox-maker Mozilla could issue a “death sentence” to TeliaSonera’s SSL business over allegations the telecoms giant sold Orwellian surveillance tech to dictators. The punishment would be an embarrassing blow to the company: it would effectively cut off HTTPS-encrypted websites verified by TeliaSonera from Firefox users, who make up one-fifth of the planet’s web surfers. Crucially, it will be seen as a tough stance against corporations that trade with authoritarian states. TeliaSonera, which has globe-spanning operations and sells SSL certificates to Nordic websites, asked Mozilla to include its new root certificate in Firefox’s list of trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs)
Smart meters threaten weather forecasts
The introduction of smart meters in UK homes could play havoc with weather forecasts, according to the Met Office. Ofcom is currently undertaking a consultation over removing restrictions on extending the frequencies home-networking hardware works on to help with the roll out of web-connected smart meters. But according to Met Office officials, freeing up the spectrum could have disastrous consequences on its forecast modelling, with interference casting a cloud over results.
4G spectrum auction to be investigated by National Audit Office
Ofcom’s auction of the 4G communications spectrum is to be investigated by the National Audit Office, amid claims that the process did not generate the intended revenue. The auction, carried out in June 2012, raised £2.3 billion as mobile phone carriers bid to acquire portions of the UK’s high speed data spectrum that had previously been occupied only by Everything Everywhere. But the Treasury forecast that a total of £3.5 billion would be raised, while estimating a possible maximum of £6.3 billion.
Now ‘not the right time’ for Apple iTV release says expert
With a flurry of Apple iTV rumours continuing to circulate, industry experts have suggested to TrustedReviews that now ‘is not the right time’ for Apple to launch its first own-branded television set. Speaking at the company’s HQ in Seoul, South Korea, LG executives have suggested it would not make sense for Apple to enter the television market now, with the iPad and iPhone manufacturer unable to hit the same levels of image quality as established television manufacturers.
UK firms need to work harder at trust online, survey shows
UK firms need to work harder to address a serious lack of trust by customers who regularly shop and bank online, a survey has revealed. One in four UK consumers do not trust any organisation with their personal data online, according to research by information security and risk management firm Integralis. While 65 per cent of the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed said they trust banks, this “trust factor” drops to 36 per cent for online retailers, 34 per cent for insurance companies, and 24 per cent for supermarkets. “Businesses should be concerned about is this intrinsic lack of trust by customers in online companies,” said Mick Ebsworth, information security consulting practice director at Integralis.
Two takes on lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries have transformed our lives. Without them, we wouldn’t have laptop computers or cell phones—at least, not the long-lived, lightweight kindwe’re used to—and in the near future they may become more important yet. With sufficiently powerful batteries, renewable energy and electric cars become viable, but we first need to overcome some serious technological challenges. At the recent American Physical Society March Meeting in Baltimore, two Berkeley Lab researchers highlighted different aspects of the problem.
How to build apps for Google Glass revealed
Google also gave a limited developer preview of Google Mirror API, which it told developers allows them to build Web-based services, called Glassware, that interact with Google Glass. It provides this functionality over a cloud-based API (application programming interface) and does not require running code on Glass, it added. Timeline cards, which can be text, rich HTML, images, or video, are at the core of the user experience and display the content that users see, Google said. Developers can specify menu items on timeline cards and these can include built-in actions like read aloud, reply-by-voice, and navigation tools, or custom actions specific to the service the developer offers, according to the post.
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IBM makes major commitment to flash
In his 1956 dystopian sci-fi novel “The City and the Stars”, Arthur C. Clarke puts forth the fundamental design tenet for making eternal machines, “A machine shall have no moving parts”. To someone from the 1950s current computers would appear to come close to that ideal – the CPUs and memory perform silent magic and can, with some ingenuity, be passively cooled, and invisible electronic signals carry information in and out of them to networks and … oops, to rotating disks, still with us after more than five decades. But, as we all know, salvation has appeared on the horizon in the form of solid-state storage, so called flash storage
Android remains main target for mobile malware writers despite iOS having more vulnerabilities, says Symantec
Mobile malware remains a small and nascent issue, especially when compared to the scale of threats crowding around desktop OSes, but the threat that is out there continues to mostly affect Google’s Android platform. This despite Apple’s iOS technically having more vulnerabilities, according to a new report by security software firm Symantec. The difference in threat level is a natural consequence of the two differing mobile ecosystem approaches: Apple’s walled garden vs Android’s open playground.
Grow your own vegetables with Crunchd
As we’re sure you’re all aware, National Gardening Week is now upon us. And, in a bid to encourage people to start growing and sharing their own fruit and veg, Crunchd has launched a new social platform to inspire budding gardeners. The Crunchd social platform combines a website and a free app for iOS and Android smartphone users, enabling anyone with a Facebook account to use the Crunchd app to find out what’s in season, what others are growing and cooking and whether people in their area would like to trade their produce during harvest time.