Category Archives: OtherNews

Soluções de Wi-Fi cnPilot da Cambium Networks ganha prêmio de melhor produto na SMB Techfest

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� A Cambium Networks, provedora l der mundial de mercado de solu es para rede wireless, anunciou hoje que seus produtos de Wi Fi cnPilot ganharam o pr mio de “melhor produto” no evento da SMB Techfest em Anaheim, Calif rnia.

“Essa é uma importante conferência sobre Wi-Fi, que inclui grandes produtos das melhores fornecedoras do setor”, disse o presidente e CEO da Cambium Networks, Atul Bhatnagar . “A escolha do cnPilot para receber esse prêmio é uma honra”, ele declarou.

Wi-Fi sem fricção Empresas e provedoras de serviços têm agora um painel, através do recurso de provedora de serviço gerenciado da Cambium, para visualizar suas redes Wi-Fi e podem gerenciar privacidade de dados, gestão de marca (branding) e acesso baseado em função às informações da rede. O sistema de administração cnMaestro™ também tem APIs para gerenciar eventos, relatórios de alarmes e formatação e integrar sistemas de CRM.

Arquitetura adaptativa A arquitetura adaptativa única da Cambium fornece três maneiras flexíveis de implementar redes gerenciadas por controlador:

“O autoPilot torna a implementação do controlador fácil e acessível”, disse o vice-presidente sênior de Produtos da Cambium Networks, Vibhu Vivek . “Com o autoPilot, o ponto de acesso Wi-Fi é o controlador, dando suporte a 32 pontos de acesso ou a 1.000 clientes. Essa solução não requer licença ou taxas recorrentes, ao mesmo tempo que oferece proteção do investimento ao administrador da rede Wi-Fi, com a opção de migrar para a solução de controlador na nuvem ou local, quando necessário”.

“A Cambium Networks entende claramente as necessidades de serviços de Wi-Fi oferecidos por empresas e operadoras de rede. O cnPilot tem um custo de equipamento atrativo e garante economias significativa em custos de licenciamento”, disse o líder de Prática da Ovum, Daryl Schoolar .

Soluções comprovadas Hotéis conseguem se diferenciar por oferecer Wi-Fi superior com o cnPilot. “Atualmente, temos diversos pontos de acesso cnPilot E400 internos, que fornecem serviço de Wi-Fi no quarto”, disse o gerente do Hotel Aquarios em Baja , México, Jose Barrios . “Os pontos de acesso E500 externos fornecem serviços de Wi-Fi na área da piscina e no estacionamento privado. A Cambium Network nos forneceu a solução perfeita”.

A Easyweb Digital conectou cidades remotas na Austrália com as soluções de Wi-Fi cnPilot. “As verbas para esse importante projeto de conectividade eram limitadas”, disse o gerente de Negócios da Easyweb Digital, Daniel Sacchero. “Precisávamos de uma solução de conectividade custo-eficiente e de pouca manutenção e que pudesse resistir às condições ambientais do sertão australiano. Conseguimos exatamente isso com a Cambium Networks e a bonificação foi um valioso conjunto de recursos que não esperávamos de tal plataforma tão competitiva em termos de preço”.

Webinar ao vivo A Cambium Networks vai promover uma sessão gratuita de transmissão continua (streaming) ao vivo sobre o “AutoPilot” em 25 de julho, às 9h (CDT — horário de Chicago ). Inscreva-se aqui para assistir a sessão.

Sobre a Cambium Networks A Cambium Networks é uma importante provedora mundial de soluções wireless confiáveis, que conectam os desconectados — pessoas, lugares e coisas. Através de seu amplo portfólio de plataformas confiáveis, redimensionáveis e seguras de banda estreita e banda larga wireless, a Cambium Networks torna possível a todas as provedoras de serviços e operadoras de redes industriais, empresariais e governamentais construir conectividade de alto desempenho, acessível e confiável. A empresa tem atualmente mais de sete milhões de rádios empregados em milhares de redes exigentes, em mais de 150 países. Com sede nas cercanias de Chicago e com centros de pesquisa e desenvolvimento nos EUA, Reino Unido e Índia, a Cambium Networks comercializa seus produtos através de uma variedade de distribuidoras mundiais de confiança. www.cambiumnetworks.com.

Contato com a imprensa: Sara Black 1-213-618-1501 sara@bospar.com

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FONTE Cambium Networks

SOURCE Cambium Networks

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Netflix is much better at picking original TV shows than original movies

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When it comes to original programming, it seems as if everyone is trying to catch up to Netflix. As it stands now, I think it’s fair to say that Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos’ remarks about supplanting HBO has become a reality. Recall, Sarandos back in 2013 said that “the goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.”

True to form, Netflix in a relatively short time frame has managed to churn out an absolutely staggering amount of original content that spans every type of genre imaginable. And while everyone is familiar with Netflix’s biggest hits, such as House of Cards and the nostalgia-fueled Stranger Things, the streaming giant has been steadily bolstering its lineup of kids programming and stand-up specials as well. Suffice it to say, Netflix’s batting average when it comes to original programming is rather impressive.

That said, Netflix’s expertise when it comes to picking and choosing which original programs to back doesn’t appear to transfer over to the movie realm. According to an interesting report from Rob Toledo over at Exstreamist, the average rating on a Netflix original movie is markedly lower than what one finds with Hollywood movies. In putting together the data, Toledo looked at a number of 2017 movie releases across a variety of genres.

Netflix is averaging an IMDB rating of 5.92 for most of their original films. For reference, the recent ‘Baywatch’ film received a 5.8 IMDB star rating. Studio movies are scoring significantly better, at 6.77 average stars. Most notably, Netflix’s standard deviation is far smaller, with very few movies getting high ratings or low ratings, most falling squarely in the middle, meaning no big winners, something they’re still looking for in a film release.

Netflix, though, likely doesn’t care too much about IMDB ratings. If viewers seem to be tuning in to watch Netflix original movies, despite their apparent mediocrity, we can expect more middle of the road films coming down the pipeline next year.

Scientists have a new plan for finding extraterrestrial life in our Solar System

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Humanity hasn’t even scratched the surface of exploring the Milky Way galaxy, much less the rest of the universe, but when it comes to our own Solar System, we have a pretty good idea of what’s here. We know there’s no space-faring races hiding out in the craters of Mars or silently spinning inside of Jupiter’s great red spot, but there’s still the chance that life exists in our little planetary backyard outside of Earth, and researchers have a new strategy that could help us find it. The target? Saturn’s ice-covered moon, Enceladus.

A new paper from Jay Nadeau and his team of researchers from Caltech, published in the journal Astrobiology, breaks down a new imaging technique that could provide scientists with the tools they need to detect and identify microscopic life in space — more specifically, microbes hiding in the water of Saturn’s frozen moon.

Enceladus is completely encased in ice, which doesn’t sound like a very hospitable place for life to take root, but the good news is that there’s water under its frozen surface. We know this because images of the planet taken by NASA’s Cassini probe have shown massive jets of water being spewed out from between cracks in its icy shell, and because Enceladus is so small, its gravitational pull isn’t strong enough to keep the water vapor from flying off into space. That makes the job of sampling the water much easier, but NASA would still need the right tool for the job.

Nadeau and his colleagues have proposed a solution in the form of a holographic microscope specifically designed to detect microbial life and differentiate between tiny living organisms and specks of dust and debris that would also likely litter the sample.

“It’s harder to distinguish between a microbe and a speck of dust than you’d think,” Nadeau says. “You have to differentiate between Brownian motion, which is the random motion of matter, and the intentional, self-directed motion of a living organism.” In testing, the new microscope system has proven capable of doing just that, and while further testing and implementation remains on the to-do list, it’s a promising start for a technique that could provide the first evidence of extraterrestrial life.

Sprint is just straight-up trolling Verizon now

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In absence of actually having a good network, Sprint is relying on some top-notch PR to bother Verizon. Sprint already stole away Verizon’s signature spokesperson — Mr “Can You Hear Me Now?” — and it’s now hitting on Verizon’s pricing with a savage stunt.

For one day only, Sprint has opened up a “Twice the Price” shop next to a Verizon store in Queens, NY. The concept is a store filled with regular things that are twice the price, just like Verizon’s plans are twice the price of Sprint.

It’s an incredibly brazen attempt to hit Verizon where it hurts most, and it is kinda funny. Verizon has arguably the best network around: it comes joint-top in most speed tests with T-Mobile, and its coverage is hands-down the best in rural areas and indoors.

But Verizon’s pricing is undeniably high. Even the new Unlimited plan, which was meant to be Verizon’s answer to T-Mobile One, is $80 a month for the first line.

Now, you can argue that Verizon’s plans are still value for money. The Unlimited plan comes with good perks like 10GB of hotspot data, which you pay extra for on T-Mobile (or anyone else), and Verizon does get you more consistent coverage.

But for the average user, Sprint’s betting that paying half the price makes up for any shortcomings in service. Sprint doesn’t have the money to build out its network to compete with Verizon, so the “Twice the Price” store is going to have to do as a competitive strategy for now.

FDA forces recall of coffee laced with ‘Viagra-like’ ingredient

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It’s estimated that as much as 83% of adults in the United States drink coffee. The murky liquid offers a boost of energy that many of us simply can’t live without, and there’s countless brands and types of coffee to choose from, but any guys who picked up a bag of grounds from one particular Texas-based coffee company got a little more than they may have bargained for, according to the FDA. Now, a recall is being issued for the product, which the government says contains an ingredient that can mimic Viagra’s erection-boosting effects.

Bestherbs Coffee LLC is the company behind New Kopi Jantan Tradisional Herbs Coffee, which the FDA says could cause serious issues for some consumers. The coffee’s controversial ingredient, called desmethyl carbondenafil, works in much the same way as sildenafil, which is the active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

The ingredient is not listed on the product bag, and because of its ability to lower blood pressure, it may interact harmfully with prescription medications that contain nitrates, such as those prescribed for chest pain, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The mix also contains milk, which was similarly left off of the ingredients list.

The coffee was reportedly marketed as a “male enhancement” product, and while its undeclared ingredients have the potential to cause serious harm for some, there have been no reported cases of illness linked to the coffee. Anyone who purchased the coffee, which was sold online for almost two years, starting in July of 2014, is eligible for a full refund.

Creating a bootable VMware ESXi USB drive in Windows

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Image: iStock/kvsan

Virtualization is a big player in IT these days, regardless of the sector you’re in. Most businesses can benefit from consolidating servers—and to a greater degree, converging server, storage, and network infrastructures for centralized management and scalability.

With regard to consolidating servers by virtualizing them, the industry standard is VMware, with its extensive software and support offerings for businesses of all sizes. It even has a free offering—ESXi—which is its base hypervisor that can be run on any bare-metal supported server hardware to get IT pros familiar with the product and help organizations on their way to migrating their servers to virtual machines.

While many newer servers have added modern touches to facilitate VMware deployments, such as internal SD card readers for loading the hypervisor onto the SD to maximize all available resources, these servers have also done away with legacy items, like optical drives—and that makes loading VMware onto the servers a bit difficult initially.

But fret not, as USB flash drives (UFDs) have proven to be more than capable at replacing optical media for booting operating systems. And given their flexible read/write nature, even updating installers is a breeze using the very same UFD.

Read on and we’ll cover the steps necessary to create a bootable UFD, with VMware ESXi on it, from your Windows workstation. However, before jumping into this, there are a few requirements:

  • Windows workstation (running XP or later)
  • Rufus
  • VMware ESXi ISO
  • USB flash drive (4GB minimum)
  • Internet access (optional, but recommended)

SEE: VMware vSphere: The smart person’s guide (TechRepublic)

Creating the USB installer

Start by inserting your UFD into the Windows computer and launching Rufus. Verify that under Device, the UFD is listed (Figure A).

Figure A

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In the next section, Partition Scheme, select MBR Partition Scheme For BIOS Or UEFI from the dropdown menu (Figure B).

Figure B

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Skip down to the CD icon and click on it to select the previously downloaded VMware ESXi ISO image (Figure C).

Figure C

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Finally, click on the Start button to begin the process of formatting and partitioning the UFD and extracting the contents of the ISO to your USB drive. Please note that any data on the drive will be erased (Figure D).

Figure D

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The transfer process will vary depending on the specifications of your workstation, but typically it should be completed within several minutes. During this process, you may be prompted to update the menu.c32 file, as the one used by the ISO image may be older than the one used by Rufus on the flash drive. If this occurs, click Yes to automatically download the newest compatible version from the internet. Once the process is complete, your USB-based VMware ESXi installation media will be created and ready to boot the hypervisor setup on your server.

Note: If the USB will not boot on your server, ensure that the USB boot functionality is enabled in the BIOS or UEFI listing. In addition, before the ISO is downloaded from VMware, it is highly recommended that you peruse VMware’s Compatibility Guide on its website, which allows users to verify that their hardware is supported by VMware and for use with its products. If not, perhaps a previous version of ESXi may be a better fit or supplemental drivers may be needed to be included before your specific server will boot properly.

Also read…

Your take

Did we miss something? Or do you have another method that works to install ESXi? We’d like to hear from you below in the comments.

Delta will let you use your fingerprint as a boarding pass

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Your fingerprint already serves as the key that unlocks your smartphone — and possibly also your laptop, tablet, and other gadgets — and now you can use it as your boarding pass, too. That is, as long as you fly Delta. The airline is in the midst of launching a new feature for its SkyMiles loyalty club members that lets you ditch the paper pass and bar codes and use your fingerprint as proof of your identity. 

The new system uses small kiosks that scans two fingers in place of a traditional boarding pass, and sends passengers on their way quicker than just about anything. However, while the new biometric ID option is slick, it comes at a cost. In order to use the feature, passengers must be enrolled both in Delta’s Sky Club, as well as the CLEAR airport security program, the latter of which will set you back a cool $179 per year.

“It’s a win-win program,” Delta’s COO said in a statement. “Biometric verification has a higher level of accuracy than paper boarding passes and gives agents more time to assist customers with seat changes and other skilled tasks instead of having to scan individual tickets – and customers have less to keep track of as they travel through the airport.”

The company is also planning on looping the fingerprint scanning into its luggage checking process as well, allowing passengers to check their bags with their biometric identity. At the moment, the biometric scanning is currently only available at the Reagan Washington National Airport.

Edge computing: The smart person's guide

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Many companies want Internet of Things (IoT) devices to monitor and report on events at remote sites, and this data processing must be done remotely. The term for this remote data collection and analysis is edge computing.

Edge computing technology is applied to smartphones, tablets, sensor-generated input, robotics, automated machines on manufacturing floors, and distributed analytics servers that are used for “on the spot” computing and analytics.

Read this smart person’s guide to learn more about edge computing. We’ll update this resource periodically with the latest information about edge computing.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s smart person’s guides

Executive summary

  • What is edge computing? Edge computing refers to generating, collecting, and analyzing data at the site where data generation occurs, and not necessarily at a centralized computing environment such as a data center. It uses digital devices—often placed at different locations—to transmit the data in real time or later to a central data repository.
  • Why does edge computing matter? It is predicted that by 2020 more than five million smart sensors and other IoT devices will be in use around the world, and these devices will generate at least 507.5 zettabytes of data. Edge computing will help organizations handle this volume of data.
  • Who does edge computing affect? IoT and edge computing are used in a broad cross-section of industries, which include hospitals, retailers, and logistics providers. Within these organizations, executives, business leaders, and production managers are some of the people who will rely on and benefit from edge computing.
  • When is edge computing happening? Many companies have already deployed edge computing as part of their IoT strategy. As the numbers of IoT implementations increase, edge computing will likely become more prevalent.
  • How can our company start using edge computing? Companies can install edge computing solutions in-house or subscribe to a cloud provider’s edge computing service.

SEE: Ultimate Data & Analytics Bundle of Online Courses (TechRepublic Academy)

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Image: iStock/allanswart

What is edge computing?

Edge computing is computing resources (e.g., servers, storage, software, and network connections) that are deployed at the edges of the enterprise. For most organizations, this requires a decentralization of computing resources so some of these resources are moved away from central data centers and directly into remote facilities such as offices, retail outlets, clinics, and factories.

Some IT professionals might argue that edge computing is not that different from traditional distributed computing, which saw computing power move out of the data center and into business departments and offices several decades ago. Edge computing is different because of the way edge computing is tethered to IoT data that is collected from remote sensors, smartphones, tablets, and machines. This data must be analyzed and reported on in real time so its outcomes are immediately actionable for personnel at the site.

IT teams in every industry use edge computing to monitor network security and to report on malware and/or viruses. When a breach is detected at the edge, the menaces can be quarantined, thereby preventing a compromise of the entire enterprise network.

From a business standpoint, here is how various industries use edge computing.

  • Corporate facilities managers use IoT and edge computing to monitor the environmental settings and the security of their buildings.
  • Semiconductor and electronics manufacturers use IoT and edge computing to monitor chip quality throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Grocery chains monitor their cold chains to ensure that perishable food requiring specific humidity and temperature levels during storage and transport are maintained at those levels.
  • Mining companies deploy edge computing with IoT sensors on trucks to track the vehicles as they enter remote areas. These companies also use edge computing to monitor equipment on the trucks in an attempt to prevent goods in transit from being stolen for resale in the black market.

IoT and edge computing are used in a broad cross-section of industries, which include the following.

  • Logistics providers use a combination of IoT and edge computing in their warehouses and distribution centers to track the movement of goods through the warehouses and in the warehouse yards.
  • Hospitals use edge computing as a localized information collection and reporting platform in their operating rooms.
  • Retailers use edge computing to collect point of sales data at each of their stores, and then they transmit this data later to their central sales and accounting systems.
  • Edge computing that collects data generated at a manufacturing facility could monitor the functioning of equipment on the floor and issue alerts to personnel if a particular piece of equipment shows signs that it is failing.
  • Edge computing, combined with IoT and standard information systems, can inform production supervisors whether all operations are on schedule for the day. Later, all of this data that is being processed and used at the edge can be batched and sent into a central data repository at the corporate data center where it can be used for trend and performance analysis by other business managers and key executives.

For IT, edge computing is not a slam-dunk proposition—it presents significant challenges, which include:

  • The sensors and other mobile devices deployed at remote sites for edge computing must be properly operated and maintained;
  • Security must be in place to ensure that these remote devices are not compromised or tampered with;
  • Training is often required for IT and for company operators in the business so they know how to work with edge computing and IoT devices;
  • The business processes using IoT and edge computing must be revised frequently; and
  • Since the devices on the edge of the enterprise will be emitting data that is important for decision makers throughout the company, IT must devise a way to find sufficient bandwidth to send all of this data (usually over internet) to the necessary points in the organization.

Additional resources

Why does edge computing matter?

It is projected that by 2020 there will be 5,635 million smart sensors and other IoT devices employed around the world. These smart IoT devices will generate over 507.5 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes) of data.

By 2023, the global IoT market is expected to top $724.2 billion. The accumulation of IoT data, and the need to process it at local collection points, is what’s driving edge computing.

Businesses will want to use this data—the catch is the data that IoT generates will come from sensors, smartphones, machines, and other smart devices that are located at enterprise edge points that are far from corporate headquarters. This IoT data can’t just be sent into a central processor in the corporate data center as it is generated, because the volume of data that would have to move from all of these edge locations into HQs would overwhelm the bandwidth and service levels that are likely to be available over public internet or even private networks.

SEE: Internet of Things Policy (Tech Pro Research)

As organizations move their IT to the “edges” of the organization where the IoT devices are collecting data they are also implementing local edge commuting that can process this data on the spot without having to transport it to the corporate data center. This IoT data is used for operational analytics at remote facilities; the data enables local line managers and technicians to immediately act on the information they are getting.

Companies need to find ways to utilize IoT that pay off strategically and operationally. The greatest promise that IoT brings is in the operational area, where machine automation and auto alerts can foretell issues with networks, equipment, and infrastructure before they develop into full-blown disasters.

For instance, a tram operator in a large urban area could ascertain when a section of track will begin to fail and dispatch a maintenance crew to replace that section before it becomes problematic. Then the tram operator could notify customers via their mobile devices about the situation and suggest alternate routes. Great customer service helps boost revenues.

Additional resources

Who does edge computing affect?

Edge computing as a way of managing incoming data from IoT will affect companies of all sizes in virtually every public and private industry sector.

More about Big Data

Projects can be as modest as placing automated security monitoring on your entryways, to monitoring vehicle fleets in motion, controlling robotics during telesurgery procedures, or automating factories and collecting data on the quality of goods being manufactured as they pass through various manufacturing operations half a globe away.

One driving factor is a focus on IoT by commercial software vendors, which are increasingly providing modules and capabilities in their software that exploit IoT data. Subscribing to these new capabilities doesn’t necessarily mean that a company has to invest in major hardware, software, and networks, since so many of these resources are now available in the cloud and can be scalable from a price point perspective.

Companies that do not take advantage of the insights and actionability that IoT and edge computing can offer will likely be at a competitive disadvantage in the not so distant future. The tram use case cited earlier in this article is an excellent example: What if you operated a tram system, and you did not have IoT insights into the condition of your tracks or the ability to send messages to customers that advise them of alternate routes? What if your competitor has these capabilities? You would be at a competitive disadvantage.

Additional resources

When is edge computing happening?

Companies in virtually every public and private industry sector are already using IoT technology with an edge computing approach. Tech Pro Research in 2016 revealed that over half of all companies surveyed (which included large enterprises to very small businesses) had either implemented or were planning to implement IoT in the next 12 months; many of these organizations will use edge computing with their IoT strategies. (Tech Pro Research is a sister site of TechRepublic.) Regardless of where a company is with its IoT implementation, edge computing should be on every enterprise IT strategic roadmap.

Major IT vendors are the primary enablers of edge computing because they will be pushing their corporate customers to adopt it. These vendors are purveying edge solutions that encompass servers, storage, networking, bandwidth, and IoT devices.

Affordable cloud-based solutions for edge computing will enable companies of all sizes to move computers and storage to the edges of the enterprise. Cloud-based edge computing vendors also know the best ways to deploy edge computing with IoT to optimize results for the business.

Additional resources

How can our company start using edge computing?

Businesses can implement edge computing either on premise as a physical distribution of servers and data collection devices, or through cloud-based solutions. Intel, IBM, Nokia, Motorola, General Electric, Cisco, Microsoft, and many other tech vendors offer solutions that can fit on-premise and cloud-based scenarios. There are also vendors that specialize in the edge computing needs of particular industry verticals and IT applications, such as edge network security, logistics tracking and monitoring, and manufacturing automation. These vendors offer hardware, software, and networks, as well as consulting advice on how to manage and execute an edge computing strategy.

SEE: Free ebook—Digital transformation: A CXO’s guide (TechRepublic)

To enable a smooth flow of IoT generated information throughout the enterprise, IT needs to devise a communications architecture that can facilitate the real-time capture and actionability of IoT information at the edges of the enterprise, as well as figure out how to transfer this information from enterprise edges to central computing banks in the corporate data center. Companies want as many people as possible throughout the organization to get the information so they can act on it in strategically and operationally meaningful ways.

Additional resources

Worried about ransomware? Here are 3 things IT leaders need to know before the next big outbreak

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Ransomware: It’s a fast-growing form of malware that has the potential to disrupt business in a huge way. Some, like the recent WannaCry outbreak, even have the potential to spread from computer to computer.

Ransomware’s continued spread may be due to how simple it is to use. After all, why do all the work of harvesting information from a victim when you can just wait for them to send you money?

In short, it’s dangerous, it’s spreading, and it could disrupt your entire network. If you’re a tech decision maker you need to educate yourself on this growing threat. Eric Ogren, cybersecurity analyst at 451 Research, spoke with TechRepublic about some important things you may not know about Ransomware.

1. Ransomware operations are sophisticated, but not cutting edge

It’s not just a couple of people sitting in a cramped room trying to steal your money—ransomware operations can get pretty sophisticated. “Some ransomware organizations even have help lines if you aren’t sure how to use Bitcoin,” Ogren said. “They’re surprisingly sophisticated.”

SEE: Despite hype, ransomware accounted for only 1% of malicious programs in 2016, according to report (TechRepublic)

Sophistication doesn’t mean ransomware companies are on the cutting edge of advanced technology, though. When it comes down to it ransomware campaigns, however advanced their encryption methods and worm capabilities, are using old, well-known tricks to proliferate.

Phishing attacks are the most common methods of spreading ransomware, Ogren said, “because it’s so much easier. Why waste time trying to write scripts to break through security when you can just rely on a person to make a mistake?”

Once a piece of ransomware is on a system it isn’t doing anything unknown either: Most are exploiting well-known, and likely already patched, flaws. Recent ransomware outbreaks have been perfect examples of this exploit—those who fell prey to WannaCry and Petya were all lacking an essential security patch that Microsoft had released in March 2017.

2. Most people don’t pay

Of those hit by ransomware, according to 451 Research (note: study is behind paywall), 81% don’t pay. Instead, they simply reimage the affected machines, and the majority of those restore from backups that minimize data loss.

Excepting ransomware that worms its way into the BIOS, wiping and reimaging is certainly the best solution for getting rid of ransomware. That’s cold comfort for those who don’t back up their data regularly, though, so make sure you have a solid backup plan in place.

“It’s not a question of will you get hit by ransomware or other malware,” Ogren said. “It’s a question of when.” He added that businesses should never pay ransoms—all that does is encourage ransomers to keep trying.

If you’ve heard that companies are stockpiling Bitcoins in anticipation of paying ransoms, you may have considered such a drastic move, but don’t—funnel those funds toward establishing a good backup protocol instead.

SEE: Gallery: 10 free backup applications to help you prevent disaster (TechRepublic)

3. There is no silver bullet against ransomware

“You can do everything right,” Ogren said, “and still end up getting an infection.” Ransomware exploits people in order to spread, and therein lies the problem: Computers can be patched, but a person just needs to see a phishing message that seems like it’s real.

Minimizing your chances of getting ransomware is the most you can do. That includes:

  • Keeping systems up to date
  • Training users to spot suspicious emails
  • Making sure your IT department or MSP is ready for an attack
  • Backing up computers and essential data
  • Disabling hyperlinks in email so users can’t open phishing messages
  • Blocking attachments from unverified sources

Search for every possible malware ingress point and shut them all down. It won’t guarantee your safety, but nothing really will. All you can do is minimize your risks.

Top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. Some 81% of ransomware victims just wipe and reimage their machines. Make this your go-to plan when prevention fails, and make it practical by ensuring everything is backed up regularly.
  2. Ransomware operations may be sophisticated, but the software isn’t. Most (including WannaCry and Petya) exploit security holes that are known, and in many cases ones that have already been patched. Those who keep up with updates won’t fall victim.
  3. Ransomware prevention is never a guarantee—there’s always the potential for an infection. All you can do is stay on top of good security practices.

Also see

Open Source Flaw 'Devil's Ivy' Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk

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Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras, Senrio reported this week.

The firm found the flaw in a security camera developed by Axis Communications, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of the devices.

The Model 3004 security camera is used for security at the Los Angeles International Airport and other places, according to Senrio.

The problem turned out to be a stack buffer overflow vulnerability, which the firm dubbed “Devil’s Ivy.”

Axis notified the security firm that 249 different models of the camera were affected by the vulnerability. It found only three models that were unaffected.

Buried Deep

The problem lies deep in the communication layer of gSOAP, an open source third-party toolkit that is used by all kinds of device makers for IoT technology, according to Senrio.

gSOAP manager Genivia reported that the toolkit has been downloaded more than 1 million times, according to Senrio. Most of the downloads likely involved developers. Major companies including IBM, Microsoft, Adobe and Xerox are customers of the firm.

Genivia issued a new patch for gSOAP within 24 hours of being alerted to the vulnerability, and said it notified customers of the problem, according to CEO Robert van Engelen.

The obscure flaw was caused by an intended integer underflow, followed by a second unintended integer underflow that triggered the bug, he told LinuxInsider.

“The trigger happens when at least 2 GB of XML data is uploaded to a Web server,” van Engelen explained. “This bug was not discovered by proprietary static analysis tools or by our source code users who looked at the source code since 2002.

Certain ONVIF devices act as Web servers, making them vulnerable when configured to accept more than 2 GB of XML data, he noted.

Wide-Ranging Problem

Many large manufacturers are using the same source, the ONVIF forum, for their networking protocol libraries, noted Ryan Spanier, director of research at Kudelski Security.

Because it is a shared library, the vulnerability exists in a large number of devices, he told LinuxInsider.

“Companies regularly integrate hardware and software into their devices that they did not write themselves,” Spanier said. “In some ways, this is similar to the Mirai botnet, but in that case they targeted an insecure backdoor present in a chip used by multiple camera manufacturers.”

The Mirai botnet, which struck last year, was one of the biggest incidents ever recorded, targeting the KrebsOnSecurity blog with a massive DDoS attack that measured 620 gigabytes per second.

An incident like Devil’s Ivy was inevitable, observed Bryan Singer, director of industrial cybersecurity services at IOActive.

“In the veritable push to technology, it is all too common that the drive towards first-to-market functionality will badly outpace solid, secure design,” he told LinuxInsider. “Unfortunately, this head-smack moment is all too common.”

Vendors need to audit components appropriately for security purposes, Dustin Childs, communications manager for Trend Micro’s zero day initiative, told LinuxInsider, as “misunderstood or poorly implemented open source software allows attackers a path to bypass security mechanisms.”


David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.

Seattle, not San Francisco, is the fastest growing market for software engineers, report says

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Seattle—not the San Francisco Bay Area—has the fastest growing market for software engineers, according to new research from LinkedIn. The report, published on LinkedIn’s blog, also noted that Seattle offers a median compensation rate of $132,000, the second highest in the country, despite being a cheaper place to live than other big cities.

For the report, LinkedIn mined its own data on software engineers, looking at skill popularity, geographic spread, and professional networking opportunities. The number of open tech jobs continues to grow, and certain skills stand out in the job market, the report found.

According to the report, machine learning and data science are the most in-demand skills in tech. There are far more open jobs for those skills than there are professionals to fill them, the report said.

SEE: How to build a successful data scientist career (free PDF)

In addition to being sought-after, jobs in data science and machine learning also pay well. Despite the novelty of the field, it has the highest media compensation of any tech job in the US, $129,000, the report said.

In terms of geography, Seattle may be the fastest growing market, but San Francisco still dominates in terms of compensation, job demand, and available talent. However, Seattle also offers a much lower cost of living than San Francisco. Seattle’s median compensation is also $20,000 higher than New York City, also with a lower cost of living.

As software engineers leave San Francisco, many are choosing to settle in cities like Los Angeles and Boston, the report said. Los Angeles lays claim to a major diaspora of mobile engineers, while Boston boasts the third-highest median compensation rate at $111,000.

Professionals in the market for a new job shouldn’t rule out cities like Dallas and Philadelphia, either. The report said that they have low talent supply relative to their job markets, calling them “hidden gem” cities.

Networking also plays into the job search, as 56% of software engineers already new someone at the organization they moved to before they took the job. Software engineers also regularly look for job opportunities, and update their resumes and profile pages, the report found.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Seattle has a faster growing software engineering market than San Francisco, a LinkedIn report found.
  2. Skills in data science and machine learning are the most sought-after among engineers by hiring organizations, the report found.
  3. More than half of all software engineers who take a new job know someone at that company already, according to the report.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/domoyega

10 time-saving tips to speed your work in Word

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Most users pick up efficiency tips, such as using styles, keyboard shortcuts, and Format Painter, as beginners. What you’ll find, though, is that even experts sometimes do things the hard way. In this article, I’ll share 10 tips for working faster in Word. They’re not new by any means, but a few of them might be new to you.

SEE: Microsoft Office 365: The smart person’s guide (TechRepublic)

1: Reduce keystrokes with AutoText

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AutoText entries eliminate the need to manually enter frequently used text and graphics. You reduce your keystrokes and the potential for typos, and you can share these entries with others in your organization. Simply type the text (or insert the graphic) and then format it, if required. Then, select the content and press Alt+F3. Enter a meaningful but short name, as shown in Figure A. By default Word stores the entry in your Normal template.

Figure A

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Name the AutoText entry.

To use the AutoText entry, type the entry’s name—ssh—and press F3. Word will replace ssh with the formatted text or graphic—Susan Sales Harkins. To learn more about this time-saving feature, read Seven tips to tap into Word’s AutoText power.

2: Prevent mistakes with AutoCorrect

AutoText is great for frequently used and reusable content, but it won’t make you a better typist. We all have words we misspell, and sometimes our fingers just work faster than our brains. AutoCorrect automatically corrects several universally misspelled words, such as switching the for teh. Word fixes it for you as you type, and you don’t have to do a thing.

Even better, you can add custom AutoCorrect entries. Click the File tab and choose Options in the left pane. Then, select Proofing in the left pane. In the AutoCorrect Options section, click AutoCorrect Options. Enter the content you want replaced in the Replace control and the replacement content in the With control. Figure B shows an entry that replaces maintnance with maintenance. The next time you type maintnance, AutoCorrect will correct the misspelling automatically.

Figure B

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Let AutoCorrect fix your typos automatically.

3: Change your Paste default

Nothing annoys me more than pasting content from another source and then having to reformat it because the content doesn’t match my document’s formatting. You’ve probably run into it too. If you remember to use the Keep Text Only option from the Paste dropdown, you can avoid the extra reformatting step—if you remember. If this occurs often enough, you need to take control of the situation and change Word’s default settings by clicking the File tab, choosing Options, and then choosing Advanced in the left pane. In the Cut, Copy, And Paste section, choose Keep Text Only from the Pasting From Other Programs dropdown, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

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Change Word’s paste default.

After setting this option, Word will match your source document’s formatting when pasting content from another source, including the web. This is an application-level setting so it will affect all documents, not just the current one.

SEE: Microsoft Office Certification Training Bundle (TechRepublic Academy)

4: Undo styles

If you can’t change your paste default, there are other ways to remove source formatting when pasting content when you forgot to use Keep Text Only from the Paste dropdown. With the pasted content selected, you can do either of the following to remove its styles, leaving plain text:

  • Press Ctrl+Spacebar
  • Click Normal in the Styles gallery

5: Take advantage of real-time collaboration

Office 365 (2013) started the real-time journey with Office Online. Office 365 (2016) takes it up a notch by offering more flexibility. Now the feature offers instant interaction within Word.

Simply save a Word 2016 document to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online. Click Share (upper-right corner) and enter or choose individuals you want to collaborate with, as shown in Figure D. Click Share when you’re ready to send an invitation email with a link to the document. With that link, invitees can open the shared document and make immediate changes. When you open the shared document, Word will tell you who else is currently working in the document. Invitees will see others as well.

Figure D

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Send email links to share documents.

Using real-time collaboration, you save time spent waiting on email exchanges—you can all work online at the same time. The whole process from beginning to end is efficient and easy to implement.

If you’d like step-by-step instructions for collaborating in Word 2016, read Word real-time co-authoring—a closer look.

6: Get info with Tell Me

This new tool lets you ask a question in plain language and returns its best-guess responses about appropriate tools and features. Sometimes the response is textual information, sometimes it’s a link to a feature. It’s easy, but more important, it’s quick.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

7: Gain consistency and design help with templates

There are tons of free templates available by download. If you can’t find what you need, you can tweak something that’s close, which is quicker than starting from scratch. Every time you start a new project, take a minute to review templates at Office templates & themes.

8: Use the Word mobile app

With some Office 365 business subscriptions, you get mobile apps. Using Word mobile app, you can view, edit, and create documents on the go using your phone or tablet. With quick access to files in the cloud, you can share via email or link. Better still, your finished documents offer consistency, whether you’re using Word desktop, the browser version, or your phone or tablet. You get consistent results using familiar tools.

To get started, use your mobile app’s browser to sign in to your Microsoft.com account. Once you’re in, choose the app and start working. Word mobile has limitations; in this context, efficiency is the freedom to access and manipulate documents wherever you are instead of waiting until you can get to the office. If your organization is supporting devices, you might need help from your administrator because they can control which devices to support.

9: Make a custom table format your default

If you frequently apply a custom table format, you’re working harder than necessary. You can make your custom table format Word’s default table format. If the custom table style already exists, right-click it in the Table Styles gallery on the contextual Design tab and choose Set As Default, as shown in Figure E. If the style doesn’t exist, create it first, then make it the default.

Figure E

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Make a Table style the default.

10: Write anywhere

One of my favorite tips is writing anywhere on the page with a simple double-click. Most users don’t realize how easy it is to get to access a document’s white space. Try it: Open a blank document and double-click anywhere—anywhere at all. Start typing.

Send me your question about Office

I answer readers’ questions when I can, but there’s no guarantee. Don’t send files unless requested; initial requests for help that arrive with attached files will be deleted unread. You can send screenshots of your data to help clarify your question. When contacting me, be as specific as possible. For example, “Please troubleshoot my workbook and fix what’s wrong” probably won’t get a response, but “Can you tell me why this formula isn’t returning the expected results?” might. Please mention the app and version that you’re using. I’m not reimbursed by TechRepublic for my time or expertise when helping readers, nor do I ask for a fee from readers I help. You can contact me at susansalesharkins@gmail.com.

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Jab Harry Met Sejal Trailer is a blockbuster

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Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma starrer Jab Harry Met Sejal has already been the talk of the town, for all the right reasons. (Obviously) And now finally, after all the mini trailers, here is the extended official trailer.

And by what we see, it’s a definite blockbuster! With Shah Rukh in his carefree and hot tourist guide character Harry, Anushka in the typical gujju character of Sejal and Imtiaz with his love lost tales, Jab Harry Met Sejal will be one entertaining ride for sure!

And for now, all you guys need to know is that Jab Harry Met Sejal releases on August 4th.

Game companies are forerunners of the next wave of business tech innovation

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Image: Sandbox Interactive

Game companies are early adopters. Many innovations common in today’s enterprise and SMB technology environment—the cloud, micro-payments, robust mobile apps, SaaS, and cyber-attack mitigation solutions—were first pioneered by video game developers.

For Sandbox Interactive, developers of a mobile and PC game released this month called Albion Online, the cloud was instrumental in keeping costs manageable while still developing a AAA product that hosts hundreds of thousands of concurrent users.

The game deploys a hybrid of mechanics used in traditional multiplayer games like World of Warcraft coupled with loops used in modern mobile free-to-play games. The product is buy-to-play and costs $30 dollars, half the price of products distributed by major publishers. The price, said the studio, filters out resource-sapping trolls but is accessible to most of the market.

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The gaming market is a growing at a rapid clip, driven in large part by the cloud and mobile apps that lower production costs and speed the development process. Newzoo, a site that tracks business technology trends in gaming, reports that gaming was nearly a $100 billion market in 2016 and is expected to grow 20% by 2020. Mobile games and apps enabled by the cloud gobbled up 30% of the total market.

SEE: Intellectual property: A new challenge in the cloud (Tech Pro Research)

Albion Online is as much of an economy simulator as it is a game. Hosted in the cloud are hundreds of so-called mega-servers—shards that are seamlessly blended to allow thousands of users to play simultaneously. Nearly every item in the game is created by players, and virtual items are bought and sold at in-game auction houses at prices set by the market. This keeps gamers engaged longer, said Stefan Wiezorek, CEO of Albion’s parent company, Sandbox Interactive.

TechRepublic spoke with Wiezorek about what enterprise companies and SMBs can learn about tech from game companies.

Can you explain the emerging games-as-a-service model?

We do not think games-as-a-service is an entirely new concept. Depending on how exactly you’d define “Games-as-a-Service,” you can see its emergence ever since games went online. For online games, nothing stops a developer from patching, improving, and expanding it post release.

We think it’s best looked at from two points of view: the product side and the revenue side. These two components are often linked but do not necessarily have to be.

Even if there are no further revenues tied to this, it will often pay off in the long term for developers who do this. A great example here would be Blizzard, who have kept extensively supporting even those games that are not generating any subscription or in-game revenues. Starcraft:Brood War was released in 1998 and has received tons of patches and balance updates since, the latest one being rolled out in April 2017. Blizzard’s strategy of supporting and improving old titles gives them the benefit of selling box copies of said titles for longer, but more importantly, significantly improves the reputation and trustworthiness of the developer. After all, if I spend money on an online game, I want to know if it will receive ongoing support or if a developer will just take their money and run once overall numbers go down.

SEE: What startups and enterprise companies should learn from game devs (TechRepublic)

Now, in most cases, games-as-a-service entails a more direct link between the revenues generated by the players and the services provided by the developer. Ongoing revenues —generated through subscriptions or in-game purchases—allow a developer to substantially improve and expand a game post-release and hence are ideally able to provide the players with a great game experience that never grows old. This concept is even more important for very ambitious and complex games that provide ample opportunities for expansion. When we release Albion Online we will by no means consider the game “complete.” There is a huge list of ideas, concepts, and features that would perfectly fit the game and that we plan to add in regular expansions post-launch. As our business model—games-as-a-service—already provides us with an ongoing revenue stream, we can roll out further expansions free of charge.

Your game is very similar to a AAA, enterprise-grade product. What can enterprise companies learn from nimble game companies?

Our main advantage is that we are not part of a large corporate structure and are not reliant on external funding from publishers. This is what actually allowed us to realize Albion Online. The game’s concept is extremely innovative, and larger companies tend to perceive this as a risk rather than an opportunity and hence would not even attempt it. From our point of view, the opposite is true: Rather than trying to compete in the MMORPG space with “just another World of Warcraft clone,” our goal is to fill the Sandbox MMORPG niche, which, as we see it, has been lacking great releases over the past 10 years. This is not for lack of ideas, though. Sandbox MMORPGs are probably the hardest type of game to make; it takes a lot of endurance, innovation, and trial and error. Smaller independent developers often lack the time and funding to make this work. In our case, thanks to having collected $9 million from our founders and additional funds from friends and family, we have managed to grow from a small indie developer to a medium-size one, giving us enough power to take Albion Online across the finish line and beyond.

How has the cloud changed the business of games?

Thus far, at least in our case, the most noticeable change is reduced server costs and easier server administration. We feel that a true transformation would happen if the actual graphics processing would happen in the cloud, too, with the client just acting as a streaming and input device. If that happens—and is technically feasible—suddenly system requirements cease to be an issue, creating vast opportunities for better and more immersive games on any device.

What emerging technologies are most important to your product?

When we started working on Albion Online in 2012, having decided on the Unity game engine, we made the bold decision to support iOS and Android tablets, despite the fact that hardcore sandbox MMORPGs simply do not exist on these platforms and are considered to be exclusive the domain of PC gamers. What was important for us here was that we would make no compromises on the game just to make it work on tablets, and when we figured that this wouldn’t be the case, we went ahead.

We feel that mobile gaming, in particular on tablets, is slowly graduating towards more complex games. A ton of PC players also have a tablet and will very often miss “proper” games on that device, even though it’s technically possible. Albion Online will be one of the first games that breaks this wall.

Our vision with Albion is that tablets essentially become a 2nd device for people who mainly play on PC. After having some challenging PvP combat using your mouse and keyboard, you might want to do some crafting on your sofa while watching a movie. It’s a little bit similar to what Nintendo is currently doing with its Switch console.

How are game mechanics deployed in companies outside the game industry?

Using game mechanics outside of games, to influence and direct human behaviour, is called gamification. It has a lot of applications in business, education, sports, and other fields. Ultimately, its goal is to make doing or completing certain tasks more pleasurable, and hence, increase the likelihood and quality of these tasks being done.

An example from sports would be fitness watches and trackers that become more and more popular. You can track your performance, share it with others, complete certain tasks, and have little contests with other users—all of these elements being a core component of almost all games.

Another example would be various apps and tools in the education sector, ranging from “brain trainers” to apps that teach you how to code. Most of these again use classical game mechanics such as tracking your score, giving you rewards for completing certain tasks, and telling you which tasks to do next.

What’s important to understand about gamification is that something does not have to look and feel like an actual computer game to be “gamified.”

It’s very much a question of degree. The underlying goal is not to turn an activity into a game; this is rather a means to an end. The goal is always to increase motivation, perseverance, fun, and quality of outcome for people doing certain activities and tasks. If somebody found a way to make doing homework as enjoyable as playing console games, they’d probably do more for the quality of education than any school reform could.

What does the near future—say 18 or 36 months—of game tech look like?

Something we believe in is the evolution cycle of games on new devices, from simple to more complex. When the first personal computers came about, the first games we saw were very simple titles, such as Pong, Tetris, etc. Then, over the years, games become larger and more complex, ending up with titles such as World of Warcraft or Civilization.

We saw the same evolution pattern on consoles, in the social games space and in the mobile games space, each device being at a different stage of that evolution right now. High end consoles are now almost at the same level as PC games, social games progressed a lot but were largely overshadowed by mobile games, and mobile games we think will continue on their evolution for years to come, until they’ll be very similar to where consoles are now.

SEE: Augmented reality gaining more traction than virtual reality in the enterprise (Tech Pro Research)

While Albion Online is first and foremost a PC game, it also tries to be far ahead of the curve in the mobile space, and we are hoping to be one of the first movers for more complex and deep tablet games.

From a purely tech point of view, the main thing to watch is of course the development of VR. Some people are skeptical about its long term prospects. We do not share this skepticism; we believe it’s here to stay and to take a massive role in tomorrow’s game world.

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50% of low-skilled jobs will be replaced by AI and automation, report claims

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While artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are poised to shake up the workforce by becoming skilled at performing human tasks, it has not been clear exactly how many—and which—human workers will be affected by the changes. And although AI is expected to master a variety of human tasks—351 scientists just offered a timeline for when human tasks will be completed by machines—the vast majority of US workers still do not fear that their entire job will be replaced by robots, according to the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research.

A new report, however, sheds light on which human workers will be most impacted by advances in automation and AI, by geographic region. Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, recently released a report from its Center for Business and Economic Research making a bold prediction: Half of low-skilled US jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation.

The report examined how AI and automation will impact the workforce in America by mapping out two variables: Risk of automation, and offshore job losses. It found a “very strong regional concentration of potential automation and trade job losses facing American communities.”

According to the report, job losses will not be spread evenly across income— lower-wage, low-skilled workers are most at risk of losing work due to automation. In both cases—losses due to offshoring as well as losses due to AI and automation—rural communities are more at risk, with the report stating that “urban places tend to offer more resilience due to existing forces of agglomeration.”

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It’s clear that AI and automation will force both employers and employees to change the way we think about work. TechRepublic’s Alison DeNisco has also reported on the effects of automation, from a geographical standpoint, looking at how US cities will be most impacted. “Low-wage cities such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and El Paso will be hit the hardest by job automation, according to a recent report from the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA),” DeNisco wrote. She went on to add that job losses are likely to be more drastic than previously predicted, and that the jobs that may take the greatest hits—due to advances in machine learning—are in truck driving, healthcare diagnostics, and education.

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Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto