Mozilla has unveiled three new test features for Firefox, including one that separates YouTube videos from the browser and another that may signal towards a more aggressive ad-blocking strategy by the open-source developer.
“We’re excited to announce the release of three new Test Pilot experiments,” said Nick Nguyen, the vice president of Firefox, in a post to a company blog. “These features will help you share and manage screenshots; keep streaming video front and center; and protect your online privacy.”
Test Pilot was re-introduced in May when Mozilla resurrected a 2009 moniker and used it on a 2015 project that had fallen into disuse. Test Pilot was designed to collect feedback on proposed new features for Firefox before they were added to the browser.
The three features that debuted today were a screenshot taker, called “Page Shot,” that also includes a search mechanism for finding what has been snapped; “Min Vid,” which plays YouTube and Vimeo videos in a Lilliputian window atop Firefox; and “Tracking Protection,” a tool brought over from Firefox’s already-extant Private Browsing.
The last of the trio — Tracking Protection — had the most significant implications for the browser.
As part of Private Browsing — Firefox’s incognito mode — Tracking Protection has blocked web ads, page analytics measuring tools and the sharing buttons, such as those for Facebook and Twitter, that may record users’ site-to-site travels. Mozilla added Tracking Protection to Private Browsing in November 2015.
“This experiment will help us understand where Tracking Protection breaks the web so that we can improve it for all Firefox users,” Nguyen wrote today.
By testing Tracking Protection, Mozilla signaled that it’s thinking of adding the feature to Firefox, where it would be used — whether by default or as an option — by all users, not just those calling up Private Browsing.
Apple Inc and Deloitte LLP announced a partnership in which the consultant will open a new practice to encourage business clients to work with Apple products, the tech firm’s latest attempt to boost enterprise sales as its key product, the iPhone, shows signs of maturation.
More than 5,000 Deloitte advisers will be included in the Apple initiative, the companies said. The consulting firm also launched EnterpriseNext, a program aimed at helping clients make better use of Apple products and services.
Apple has announced a steady stream of enterprise partnerships in recent years as it aims to draw more revenue from a market that some say it has traditionally overlooked.
A partnership struck with IBM in 2014 signaled Apple’s intentions of getting more serious about corporate clients, or enterprise, and deals with Cisco and SAP have followed.
The deal with Deloitte will ensure that Apple is top of mind as companies think strategically about their practices, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview.
“What’s needed now is more of a focus on transforming the enterprise and helping businesses identify which areas have the highest either return on investment or highest impact on customer satisfaction,” Cook said. “Deloitte is well positioned for this.”
As part of the EnterpriseNext program, customers can meet with designers and engineers who specialize in Apple’s operating system.
“The intent there is to, in one location, bring the best engineers, the best products and the best thinkers to try and address clients’ problems,” Punit Renjen, CEO of Deloitte Global, said in an interview.
Apple faces mounting pressure to find new streams of revenue after sales of the iPhone, which drives more than half of its revenue, declined for the first time this year.
Cook said in 2015 that Apple’s enterprise business had reached $25 billion in annual revenue. He declined to provide a new figure on Wednesday but stressed the company is gaining ground.
“The momentum is significant, and we see this as a very important growth vector,” he said.
The Intel backed blockchain project has apparently passed its tests with more than eight finance outfits on their bond transactions.
For those that came in late, blockchain is similar technology which is behind bitcoin and is being looked at by the finance houses as a secure way to carrying out banking translations. Intel has baded a financial innovation start-up R3 to push the tech and it trialed it with eight banks, including HSBC and State Street.
The platform featured advanced smart contract technology that enabled trading, matching, and settlement of U.S. Treasury bonds, as well as automated coupon payments and redemption, R3 said in a statement.
Tim Grant, chief executive officer of R3’s Lab and Research Center said the goal at R3 was to bring our members together with the strongest technology players and work collaboratively to evaluate and accelerate this technology to production using real-world use cases.
R3 is leading a consortium of more than 60 of the world’s largest financial institutions created to develop commercial applications of blockchain technology for the financial services industry. The R3 consortium members involved in U.S. Treasury debt project included CIBC, ING Bank, HSBC, Scotiabank, Societe Generale scgly , State Street stt , UBS ubs , and UniCredit.
The blockchain trial was undertaken at R3’s Lab and Research Center. R3, Intel and each of the banks used physical, “non-cloud-based nodes” hosted across the U.S., Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe to interact and simulate US Treasury trading on the blockchain.
Developers will be able to use six different coding languages to work with 25 different Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in payment, data, security and experimental areas. The experimental category includes APIs for bot commerce such as chatbots and virtual reality and augmented reality devices.
In one example of how a bot commerce API could be rolled out in an actual setting, Mastercard and Pizza Hut Asia are piloting a commerce application with Pepper the humanoid robot, who acts as a restaurant waiter capable of taking orders, serving food and collecting payment at the table.
Pepper is a humanoid robot developed by a subsidiary of Softbank Group of Japan.
Mastercard’s role in the Pepper pilot is the commerce element through MasterPass, a service that allows secure payments across various devices. Restaurants could soon deploy the waiter robots in Japan because of a serious labor shortage in restaurants there, said Oran Cummins, senior vice president for APIs at MasterCard.
MasterCard is also experimenting with blockchain, a distributed database first implemented in 2009 as the underpinning of bitcoin. Blockchain can be used as a public ledger to automatically maintain a continuously-growing list of records.
“It’s very much exploratory,” Cummins said in an interview. “We’ve done a lot of work in blockchain and we’ve been experimenting with a number of things in exposing APIs and blockchain functionality.”
It isn’t clear when blockchain will be part of the Mastercard Developers platform, however.
Mastercard first started offering third-party developer APIs six years ago, and has seen a 400% increase in API usage in 2016. With the growing interest from tens of thousands of individual developers and those inside large companies globally, Mastercard decided to expand the program to provide open APIs for all of its products.
Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has emphasized the freedom that Oculus VR allows its employees to support their personal views, a freedom he said also applied to Palmer Luckey.
In a post on his Facebook page, Iribe spoke about Luckey’s regret at the negative impact the situation had created for “the company, our partners, and the industry.” However, he offered a measure of support for Oculus VR’s founder, citing Luckey’s right to independent political beliefs.
“Everyone at Oculus is free to support the issues or causes that matter to them, whether or not we agree with those views,” he said. “It is important to remember that Palmer acted independently in a personal capacity, and was in no way representing the company.”
Original Story: After numerous publications (GamesIndustry.biz included) no doubt flooded Oculus with requests for comment on Friday, when the story broke that Palmer Luckey allegedly had been funding a pro-Trump “shitposting” group, the man himself took to Facebook (which owns Oculus) to apologize for his actions.
“I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views,” he wrote. “Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organization had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards. I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well.”
Luckey went on to deny that he was the author behind the ‘NimbleRichMan’ posts on Reddit and the vice president of Nimble America: “I am committed to the principles of fair play and equal treatment. I did not write the ‘NimbleRichMan’ posts, nor did I delete the account. Reports that I am a founder or employee of Nimble America are false. I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America. Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.”
The original Daily Beast article, however, confirmed that Luckey was indeed the man behind “NimbleRichMan” and author Gideon Resnick reiterated that fact on his Twitter account today.
Here is where I sought that clarification from him and what he said. pic.twitter.com/pPfLKUX5Cg
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) September 24, 2016
One more email: Luckey clearly states in here that the NimbleRichMan account represents him. pic.twitter.com/RC4mXPFDkM
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) September 24, 2016
So it’s essentially Resnick’s word against Luckey’s, but Oculus Head of Content Jason Rubin urged people to take Luckey at his word. “I wanted to give @PalmerLuckey a chance to respond before I posted… knowing Palmer, I take him at his word,” Rubin tweeted, adding, “30 years in the Game business I would not work in a place that I thought condoned or spread hate. Nor would I remain silent if I saw it.”
Denials from Luckey and support from Oculus colleagues aside, the development community is already reacting, and some are pulling support for the Rift. Polytron, which is making a VR game called SuperHyperCube, noted on Twitter that it will not be supporting Oculus now. Scruta Games took it one step further, asking that Luckey leave the company he founded: “Until @PalmerLuckey steps down from his position at @oculus, we will be cancelling Oculus support for our games,” the developer said. Tomorrow Today Labs issued a similar sentiment: “Hey @oculus, @PalmerLuckey’s actions are unacceptable. NewtonVR will not be supporting the Oculus Touch as long as he is employed there.”
Edge of Nowhere developer Insomniac Games said it “condemns all forms of hate speech” and issued the following statement to Polygon as well: “While everyone has a right to express his or her political opinion, the behavior and sentiments reported do not reflect the values of our company. We are also confident that this behavior and sentiment does not reflect the values of the many Oculus employees we work with on a daily basis.”
Not all developers are punishing Oculus for Luckey’s actions, however. James Green, co-founder of VR developer Carbon Games, commented to Motherboard, “This backlash is nonsense. I absolutely support him doing whatever he wants politically if it’s legal. To take any other position is against American values.”
Oculus has had a number of obstacles to overcome on its path to retail, with Rift headsets not making it out to Kickstarter backers for months after launch and some consumers feeling that they had been misled on what the actual price of the unit would be. Luckey admitted that he “handled the messaging poorly” back in January, and now just as manufacturing of the headset has finally improved and the flow of software has started to increase as the company prepares to launch its Oculus Touch controllers, this PR storm and accusations that its founder is vice president of a racist, pro-Trump organization could represent a significant setback. It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out in the next few weeks and as we head into the holiday shopping season.
Microsoft has inked a deal to aid the Renault-Nissan Alliance in developing next-generation connected services for self-driving cars that will be enabled through Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure.
Azure cloud services, the companies said, will be the foundation for more advanced navigation features, vehicle monitoring and predictive vehicle maintenance and for mobile connectivity and over-the-air updates.
Renault-Nissan plans to develop connectivity technologies and features to support the launch of more than 10 vehicles with autonomous driving technology by 2020 “with services to maximize better use of newly found in-car free time.”
While still separate companies, Renault and Nissan in 1999 created an alliance to develop and sell vehicles under their namesake brands as well as seven others, including Dacia, Infiniti and Mitsubishi Motors. The partnership between the two automakers also established them as the world’s largest plug-in electric vehicle manufacturers.
Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice president of Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services, said that as cars become “increasingly connected, intelligent and personal,” partnering with Microsoft will allow the companies to accelerate services customers want and build new “ones they haven’t even imagined.
“We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform,” Redzic said in a statement.
Renault-Nissan said it selected Azure in part because of its enterprise-grade security and Microsoft’s “rigorous commitment to compliance.”
Azure also supports multiple operating systems and programming languages, which will provide flexibility in building a common platform for Renault-Nissan to deploy services to both Alliance brands, the companies said.
When Yahoo confirmed that data from at least 500 million user accounts had been hacked, it wasn’t just admitting to a huge failing in data security — it was admitting to the biggest hack the world has ever seen.
Until last Thursday, the previous largest known hack was the 2008 breach that hit almost 360 million MySpace accounts, according to a ranking by the “Have I been pwned” website. Like the Yahoo breach, the hack was only publicly disclosed this year after data was offered on a hacker forum.
And only three breaches had ranked above the 100 million level:
LinkedIn reported a loss of 167 million email addresses and passwords. They were originally stolen in 2012 but not publicly disclosed until 2016, again after the data was offered on an underground “dark market” site.
A 2013 hack of Adobe saw 153 million account details lost. They included user names, email addresses, and encrypted passwords, but the encryption was poorly implemented and reversed on some accounts.
And there’s been a reported but unverified hack of dating website Badoo. Data including email addresses, names, and passwords for about 112 million members was found online.
The LinkedIn and MySpace data sets, along with 200 million Yahoo records, were put up for sale by the same hacker, peace_of_mind.
Major hacks can turn out to be a headache for users, even if the data is old and the account in question is no longer used. That’s because many people use the same password or a similar password across services, so a successful hack of Yahoo could expose an email address and password that would work on other sites.
The vulnerability was announced by Cisco last week and it affects the IOS, IOS XE and IOS XR software that powers many of its networking devices. The flaw allows hackers to remotely extract the contents of a device’s memory, which can lead to the exposure of sensitive information.
The vulnerability stems from how the OS processes IKEv1 (Internet Key Exchange version 1) requests. This key exchange protocol is used for VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and other features that are popular in enterprise environments.
Cisco discovered the vulnerability internally after analyzing an exploit for Cisco PIX firewalls that was leaked last month by a hacking outfit called Shadow Brokers. The exploit was part of a larger set of attack tools that Shadow Brokers claimed are being used by a cyberespionage group known in the security industry as the Equation, believed to be linked to the NSA.
Because other hackers could find the same flaw by analyzing the exploit leaked by Shadow Brokers, Cisco decided to inform its customers about it through a security advisory, even though the company is still working on developing and releasing patches.
Many of the affected IOS, IOS XE and IOS XR releases don’t yet have fixed versions, but Cisco released detection signatures for intrusion prevention systems that could be used to protect networks from potential attacks.
The Shadowserver Foundation, an organization that tracks cybercrime and assists with botnet takedowns, has started an internet-wide scan to find Cisco devices affected by this vulnerability — with the goal of reporting them to their owners.
Its latest scan identified devices with 840,681 distinct IP addresses that responded as vulnerable to the probe.
The new messaging service, which was unveiled in May, will compete with Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp and Messenger. The much-anticipated launch comes a month after Google rolled out Duo, its video calling app.
Allo features a chatbot powered by Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant like Apple Inc’s Siri.
Users can call up the assistant in a chat by typing “@google” followed by a search query and the results will be displayed in the chat itself.
“The more you use it, the more it improves over time,” Amit Fulay, group product manager, wrote in a blog post.
The app has a “Smart Reply” feature that suggests responses to chats and can be send with just a tap.
“If your friend sends you a photo of their pet, you might see Smart Reply suggestions like ‘aww cute!’,” Fulay wrote.
Users can also use stickers and scribble on photos before sending them.
Allo will have end-to-end encryption only while chatting in “Incognito” mode. Whatsapp chats have end-to-end encryption.
Google has started rolling out Allo and said the app would be available worldwide in the next few days.
It looks like the rush by Apple and Samsung to create digital wallets has been pretty much useless.
Apple in particular thought there was a pile of money to be made from setting up digital services with the banks so that people did not need to carry cash about with them.
However, according to the chief executive of consumer banking for JPMorgan Chase & Co, Gordon Smith, users are ignoring the technology in droves.
Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are being used for less than one percent of payments at retailers, Smith said, citing industry data at an investor conference.
He does not think that it will always be this dismal, but it seems that it is taking longer to get adoption.
Smith thought that the convenience of paying with phones will bring a surge of use from consumers, but it is impossible to know when that inflexion point will be reached.
Chase last year announced its own application called Chase Pay to hold account credentials for use at checkout counters.
AMD has been on the blower to point out that figures from Mercury and Jon Peddie Research, show that it has been growing market share for the fourth consecutive quarter.
A spokesman for AMD said that for the last nine months, AMD has got its mojo back through its Radeon Technologies Group. During that time, the company has made significant investments in hardware, marketing, and software for the graphics line-up leading to four straight quarters of market share growth.
Mercury Research said that AMD gained three points of unit volume share in Q1 2016. The Mercury Research and Jon Peddie Research market share data for Q2 2016 shows AMD seeing its fourth consecutive quarter of desktop discrete GPU share growth, driven by AMD’s strongest quarter of channel GPU sales since 2015 and the commencement of shipping of the next generation Polaris GPUs.
In total discrete graphics, AMD gained 4.8 share points to 34.2 per cent of market by unit volume (based on Mercury Research). In desktop discrete sector, AMD saw a 7.3 share point increase, rising to 29.9 per cent market share.
“This is another positive testament AMD’s strategy is working as the company drives forward towards “Vega” offerings for the enthusiast GPU market, which AMD expects to bring to market in 2017 to complement our current generation of “Polaris” products,” the spokesperson said.
“AMD believes it is well positioned to continue this trend in market share gains with the recently launched Radeon RX 480, 470, and 460 GPUs that bring leadership performance and features to the nearly 85 per cent of enthusiasts who buy a GPU priced between $100 and $300,” she added.
Owners of a Seagate NAS might like to check to see if it is not infected with Mal/Miner-C, also known as PhotoMiner, which is infecting the devices and using them to mine for the Monero cryptocurrency.
Miner-C, or PhotoMiner has been around since June but now it is specifically targeting Seagate Central NAS hard drives, according to Sophos. The Miner-C iterations are using a design flaw in the Seagate Central NAS devices to place a copy of itself on their public data folders.
According to Sophos, Seagate Central devices contain a public folder accessible to all users, even anonymous non-logged-in users, which can’t be deactivated or deleted.
Miner-C is copying files to this public folder on all Seagate Central NAS devices it can find. One of the files it copies is called Photo.scr, a script file that malware coders have modified to use a standard Windows folder icon. Whenever the device owner accesses their NAS, they see this file as a folder, and are fooled by the fake icon.
When they try to access the folder, they’re actually executing the Photo.scr file, which installs a cryptocurrency mining application on their PC.
Sophos said: “Since it generates a new initialization file when it is launched, it helps the malware avoid security solutions. It also gives the botnet operators a chance to change the payload of the threat in the future, for example, dropping ransomware to the victim’s machine after the mining business is no longer profitable.”
Sophos thinks that there are more than 5,000 Seagate Central NAS devices infected – or about 70 per cent of the total.
Seagate Central owners have no way to protect their device. Turning off the remote access NAS feature can prevent the infection, but also means they lose the ability to access the device from a remote location which removes the only reason to have an NAS.
Intel has sold the Intel Security business for $3.5bn less than it paid for it six years ago.
Intel Security, previously and better known as McAfee, has been sold to private equity firm TPG for $4.2bn, despite Intel paying $7.7bn for it in 2010.
The chip firm will receive $3.1bn in cash as part of the transaction and retain a 49 per cent minority stake. TPG will take control with a 51 per cent stake, and will invest $1.1bn in the company.
Intel Security is based on the McAfee business and was renamed two years ago. The company will revert to the better known McAfee brand, despite John McAfee reportedly suing Intel over the use of his name.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, and Chris Young, general manager of Intel Security Group, will become CEO of McAfee.
Young described TPG in an open letter to stakeholders as a “seasoned technology investor” that was “attracted to our current momentum and long-term potential”.
He claimed that McAfee currently protects “more than a quarter of a billion endpoints” and more than 200 million consumers, and is present in two thirds of the world’s 2,000 largest companies.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claimed that, despite the sale, security “remains important in everything we do at Intel”.
“We will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices,” he added.
Bryan Taylor, a partner at TPG, said that the company had “long identified the cyber security sector, which has experienced strong growth due to the increasing volume and severity of cyber attacks, as one of the most important areas in technology”.
Intel’s acquisition of McAfee Security in 2010 was intended to enable the company to beef up security around PCs and sell McAfee antivirus and other security software around its core business.
However, the combination never worked as the money to be made in the security business became increasingly focused on the data center and cloud computing.
Google is now providing more information to webmasters whose online properties are temporarily tagged as unsafe by its Safe Browsing technology as a way to help them fix the identified problems faster.
Google Safe Browsing is a technology used by Google’s search engine, the Google Chrome browser, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Android to steer users away from websites that host malicious or deceptive content.
On the back-end, Google uses robots to scan the web and build a list of websites that host malware, harmful downloads, or deceptive ads and pages. Software developers can then plug into an API to integrate this list into their own applications.
The problem is that many websites hosting malware or bad ads don’t do so intentionally but were hacked by attackers. The owners of those websites can ask Google to rescan their properties and have them removed from the Safe Browsing blacklist once the security problems have been corrected.
Unfortunately, the review process is not always straightforward, because some website owners might not completely understand the issues affecting their websites and often fail to completely clean the malicious content.
To help reduce the number of such cases, Google has now updated the information available in its Search Console service to provide clearer explanations about six types of security issues that could be detected on a website, the Google Safe Browsing Team said in a blog post Tuesday.
“These explanations give webmasters more context and detail about what Safe Browsing found,” the team said, “We also offer tailored recommendations for each type of issue, including sample URLs that webmasters can check to identify the source of the issue, as well as specific remediation actions webmasters can take to resolve the issue.”
Webmasters are encouraged to proactively register their websites in the Search Console even if those websites have never been affected by a security issue. This will save them time when something does happen because Google will send notifications through the service as soon as Safe Browsing detects a problem
Google estimates that more than a billion users are protected by its Safe Browsing technology, and more than 60 million of them encounter Safe Browsing warnings on a weekly basis.
AMD CTO, Mark Papermaster, has told the world+dog that despite claims to the contrary Moore’s Law is not dead, it is getting better, and be going Vroom any day now.
Intel co-founder Gordon Moore said in 1965 that computing power would double every two years thanks to developments in technology over time leading to shrinking transistor sizes and while he has been right until now, Intel said it would move away from the prediction for the first time, shifting transistor size from two to 2.5 years.
Papermaster said that Moore’s Law is alive and well, and said only narrow-minded people think its evolution is just about transistor size.
“It’s not just about the transistor anymore; we can’t just have transistors improving every cycle. It does take semiconductor transistor improvements, but the elements that we do in design in architecture, and how we put solutions together, also keep in line with a Moore’s Law pace.
He said that AMD had adopted an idea called Moore’s Law Plus. This means you stay in a Moore’s Law pace of computing improvement. So you can keep in with a Moore’s Law cycle but you don’t rely on just semiconductor chips, you do it with a combination of other techniques.
These include design changes and how you architect those system solutions that will keep on the Moore’s Law pace.
You can mix and match combinations of CPU and GPU, other accelerators, different memory configurations, or how they are pieced together – there is room for lots of innovation at the next level.