How many times have you heard that television is dead? Gone are the days of MASH, when television shows were an event. It’s all about going digital, they say.
While many are cutting the cord, it’s not time to give up on the power of TV. TV advertising remains a highly effective advertising medium -- one that digital complements well. In fact, according to ARF, out of 3,200 advertising campaigns, TV advertising was “the most effective vehicle for driving ROI, and adding digital to a TV campaign yields a 60 percent kicker effect.” This is not something brands can ignore.
A Microsoft manager this week offered IT administrators a way to replicate -- in a fashion -- the security bulletins the company discarded last month.
"If you want a report summarizing today's #MSRC security bulletins, here's a script that uses the MSRC Portal API," John Lambert, general manager of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center, said in a Tuesday message on Twitter.
Lambert's tweet linked to code depository GitHub, where he posted a PowerShell script that polled data using a new API (application programming interface). Microsoft made the API available in November when it first announced that it planned to axe the security bulletins it had issued since at least 1998.
At Microsoft’s Build conference this week, Microsoft set up what it calls a “shared immersive experience”: a group of HoloLens users perched high up in a virtual sky, directing another group of mixed-reality users on the “ground” through a short maze. It’s easy to see this as a metaphor to describe the relationship between the two devices.
And in some ways, it works. Microsoft’s HoloLens is priced at a lofty $3,000 for commercial partners and developers; mixed-reality devices are literally a tenth of the price, or $300. I’ve tried both. I’m cautiously impressed with the Acer Mixed Reality Developer Edition that will be sold as a consumer device this holiday, but it could still learn a trick or two from the HoloLens.
Street View is finally ready for its closeup. Earlier this week, Google announced a new certification program for 360-degree cameras, letting anyone shoot and upload their interactive experiences right to Maps. And now, Google is looking to use those images and videos to help get you from point A to point B.
The next time you go to start a new drive, you’ll notice something a little different about your route. A new tweak to the Google Maps interface puts a greater emphasis on Street View, showing small pictures of each turn alongside the description, where available. When you tap one of the thumbnails, you’ll get a full view of the scene, with a route marker indicating where to turn or what to do.
A ransomware attack appears to be spreading around the world, leveraging a hacking tool that may have come from the U.S. National Security Agency.
The ransomware, called Wanna Decryptor, struck hospitals at the U.K.’s National Health Service on Friday, taking down some of their network.
Spain’s computer response team CCN-CERT has also warned of a "massive attack" from the ransomware strain, amid reports that local telecommunications firm Telefonica was hit.
It’s the quiet before the storm in the world of Android. Google I/O is next week, when we’re likely to hear more about Android O and other initiatives going on at the Googleplex.
In the meantime, owners of the unlocked Galaxy S7 Edge and Huawei Wear both received their long-sought updates. Let’s get to the details.
Each week, we round up all the major software updates to hit the Android ecosystem, including phones and tablets on U.S. carriers, unlocked phones, smartwatches, and Android TV devices. Make sure your device is running the latest available software so you can enjoy new features—and fewer bugs and security holes.Android Wear
Huawei Watch: One of the best watches from last year has been languishing without Android Wear 2.0 until it arrived this week. You get most of the cool Android Wear 2.0 features, like the on-device Play Store, redesigned interface, and swankier animations. You can check by going to Settings > About > System updates. Some were able to trigger the update by repeatedly tapping the green “System is up to date” screen. That trick didn’t work for me, so if you’re in the same situation you’ll just have to wait.
Apple wasted no time putting its $1 billion U.S. manufacturing fund to work, announcing Friday that it will invest $200 million into Corning’s Harrodsburg, Kentucky glass-making plant.
Corning, as everyone knows, manufactures the glass that Apple has used in iPhones and iPads since day one.
“Corning is a great example of a supplier that has continued to innovate and they are one of Apple’s long-standing suppliers,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a Friday statement announcing the investment. “This partnership started 10 years ago with the very first iPhone, and today every customer that buys an iPhone or iPad anywhere in the world touches glass that was developed in America. We’re extremely proud of our collaboration over the years and we are investing further with Corning who has such a rich legacy of innovative manufacturing practices.”
Hospitals across England have fallen victim to what appears to be a coordinated ransomware attack that has affected facilities diverting patients to hospitals not hit by the malware.
The attackers are asking for $300 in Bitcoin to decrypt affected machines, payable within 24 hours or the ransom doubles. If the victims don’t pay within seven days, they lose the option to have the files decrypted, according to U.K. press reports.
While multiple healthcare facilities have been hit, the country’s health service says other types of groups have also fallen victim.
According to The Register, a spokesperson for the country’s National Health Service’s digital division said: "The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor.” The spokesperson said the attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS, but affects organizations across a range of sectors, but didn’t specify which.
Attackers behind the highly successful Locky and Bart ransomware campaigns have returned with a new creation: A malicious file-encrypting program called Jaff that asks victims for payments of around $3,700.
Like Locky and Bart, Jaff is distributed via malicious spam emails sent by the Necurs botnet, according to researchers from Malwarebytes. Necurs first appeared in 2012 and is one of the largest and longest-running botnets around today.
According to an April analysis by researchers from IBM Security, Necurs is made up of about 6 million infected computers and is capable of sending batches of millions of emails at a time. It is also indirectly responsible for a large percentage of the world's cybercrime because it's the main distribution channel for some of the worst banking Trojan and ransomware programs.
Have you noticed how much better things are for customers of the major wireless carriers these days? Not many years ago, consumers were locked into two-year contracts, monthly charges kept going up, and there weren’t a lot of new services on offer. That’s changed, and a good deal of the credit belongs to T-Mobile.
Its “uncarrier” campaign sounded the death knoll for lock-in contracts, its aggressive pricing touched off a spate of competition in a once-stagnant market, and its willingness to launch innovative services like “Binge On” forced its larger rivals to follow suit.
That all may change – and not for the better.
The Japanese conglomerate that owns Sprint wants to buy T-Mobile, and it has been buttering up the White House in hopes of stopping anti-trust action before it starts. I have my criticisms of T-Mobile and its over-the-top CEO, John Legere, but the very real chance that it will disappear under a wave of merger mania is terrible news for consumers.
While at DellEMC World this week [Disclosure: DellEMC is a client of the author] there was an interesting panel, led by The Institute of the Future, on how increasingly more intelligent machines will interact with humans by 2030. The panel included experts on millennials, human machine interfaces and two future facing analysts (otherwise known as futurists). Given this is a topic that will likely define us as a race and drive products and services more and more as we exit this decade and enter the next.
[ Related: The future of AI is humans + machines ]
Add Germany to the list of places where businesses can test their self-driving cars on the open road -- as long as they have a driver sitting at the wheel ready to take control at any time.
That's one of the restrictions imposed by a new law voted by the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) on Friday.
The move will be a welcome one for Germany's automotive industry, allowing manufacturers such as Audi to test self-driving vehicles in their home country, rather than taking them all the way to California.
Other requirements of the new law for anyone wanting to put a self-driving car on the German roads include the fitting of a "black box" recorder like those in planes -- with the same goal of helping investigators reconstruct what happened in the event of an accident.
PR and marketing communications people experience occasional gaffes and nightmare situations. It’s how we learn. I've certainly faced my fair share of face palm circumstances with clients. Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate for it to happen before an interview so I’ve been able to formulate a strategy ahead of time, or it’s been with a journalist friend willing to cut me some slack and give me more time to overcome the laughable incident.
The current White House? Not so much. Which is why many PR people watch political news and shake their heads incredulously at the answers given by Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer and the increasingly visible Sarah Huckabee Sanders, not to mention the hiding in bushes, interviewer eye rolls and follow-up zingers. But we feel for them and deep down inside, most of us (at last I do) think, “Thank God that is not me. I’ll take all my worst clients back to never be them.” Absolutely, 100% - I mean that. That is a tough job and I’m not sure what salary would be enough to live that life.
Amazon is winning the home assistant wars, and the tech company took another step forward on Tuesday by unveiling the Echo Show, a touchscreen version of the Amazon Echo. The Echo Show practically combines the Echo with a tablet, meaning that it can play videos, perform video calls, and even display the lyrics to the a song it is playing.
The Echo Show has prompted some privacy concerns as well as controversy about whether Amazon ripped off a partner’s product to build the Echo Show. But regardless of how successful the Echo Show may be, Amazon has secured a decisive advantage in the home assistant wars. Investor’s Business Daily notes that Amazon has an estimated 70 percent of the home assistant market and has sold over 10 million Echo devices altogether, compared to 24 percent for Google and the Google Assistant.
The reviews of President Donald Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on cybersecurity were coming in within hours of its signing yesterday afternoon, and they were most definitely mixed.
There was general agreement that the intent of the EO – delayed more than three months from late-January, when it was originally scheduled to be signed – was good.
Several experts called it “a good start,” and a few, including Jacob Olcott, vice president at BitSight and former legal advisor to the Senate Commerce Committee and counsel to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, thought it was much better than a good start.
Olcott called it, “smart policy and a big win for this administration.”
Autodesk has partnered with a Michigan foundry in a 3D printing proof-of-concept project that resulted in a new magnesium commercial airline seat frame so light it could save an airline more than $200 million in fuel costs.
Autodesk used its Netfabb 3D design software to produce a complex geometric model for a new aircraft passenger seat frame just as strong as a traditional seat, but vastly lighter.
The CAD program created a file used to 3D print in plastic the seat frame, which was then coated in ceramic material and heated to a high temperature to evaporate the inner plastic.
New research finds that 25% of all physical servers -- and 30% of all virtual servers -- are comatose. These are systems that have no activity in the last six months.
The problem with comatose, or zombie, physical servers is well known. Past studies have routinely put the number of undead enterprise physical servers in the 20% to 30% range. But this latest research looked at virtual servers as well, and they may represent a significant cost to IT departments.[ Further reading: The march toward exascale computers ]
That's because users may be paying licensing fees on their virtual servers, as well as on the software they support, said the researchers.
The future of Windows
Image by Microsoft
The feature-packed Windows 10 Creators Update hasn’t even hit every PC yet but Microsoft’s already taken the wraps off of its successor.
A lawsuit by Waymo, alleging the use by rival Uber Technologies of stolen trade secrets relating to autonomous vehicle technology, has been referred by a federal judge to a U.S. attorney, raising the possibility of a criminal prosecution.
“This case is referred to the United States Attorney for investigation of possible theft of trade secrets based on the evidentiary record supplied thus far concerning plaintiff Waymo LLC’s claims for trade secret misappropriation,” wrote Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California late Thursday.
“The Court takes no position on whether a prosecution is or is not warranted, a decision entirely up to the United States Attorney,” Judge Alsup added.