12 09, 2020

Stories in the Spotlight – September 2020

2020-09-24T20:40:08-05:00September 12th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Contact tracing apps are finally coming Contact tracing is a popular method to track who's been exposed to Covid-19. It's been done manually, up to this point; however, several months ago Google and Apple announced that they were joining forces to create technology that automates the process. Netform is one company that creates exposure notification technology that uses Bluetooth to track who you've come across and whether or not they've tested corona-positive. Netform's app has been successful in the UK and is coming to America next month. The Oracle of Tiktok Tiktok chose Oracle as it's "technology partner" in an attempt to avoid being banned by the Trump administration. Why Oracle?  It could be because Oracle already has a large database infrastructure and a deep pedigree in software applications. It could also be because Oracle executives are ultra buddy-buddy with Trump. Either way, Tiktok sees an Oracle partnership as the best chance to not be deported (virtually speaking). The deal still has to be approved by federal regulators so we'll see what happens. Biden/Trump auto-complete controversy Google has removed autocomplete functionality for Biden and Trump. Google's auto-complete feature attempts to predict what you're going to search for based on the popularity of searches that start with similar words. They've removed this feature, exclusively for Biden and Trump, to avoid being seen as attempting to influence the election. Users can still search for whatever they want...Google just isn't going to make any suggestions through auto-complete. Portland bans facial recognition Portland became the strictest US city to ban the use of facial recognition. Facial recognition [...]

19 07, 2020

Stories in the Spotlight – July 2020

2020-09-24T20:40:47-05:00July 19th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Twitter hacks Twitter was hacked by a group with the intention of running a bitcoin scam. We're assuming they were Nigerian princes, but that hasn't been proven....yet. They targeted 130 accounts of high profile people such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Kanye West and sent bogus messages that encouraged people to send them Bitcoin. All told, they gained about $120,000 in currency. It happened from the inside The investigation is showing that the group gained access to the accounts by targeting mid-level employees at Twitter. Two scenarios: 1. The employees were victims of complex phishing schemes (social engineering attacks designed to get people to give away sensitive information like user names, passwords, etc.) 2. An employee was in on it. Neither situation is good for Twitter as it reveals significant security vulnerabilities. Twitter released a statement saying that they have "taken significant steps to limit access to internal systems," but that's easier said than done. This type of mess isn't easy to clean up and often creates additional vulnerabilities. Word of advice to all: Don't click a link (any link) unless you know exactly what it is, who it's from, and where it's taking you. Clicking on mystery links is a great way to get your information stolen. 5G: What should we expect?  Let's start with a quick overview of 5G. There are three aspects to it: Low-Band: Transmits on the 600mhz frequency and has a very long range. Useful for covering rural areas where towers and antennas are sparse. Speeds can be around 300 Mbps if you're close to [...]

14 07, 2020

Edge Computing in 60 seconds

2020-07-23T22:11:11-05:00July 14th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

Get Smart: Edge Computing Let's face it, we only use apps that function well. We like smooth, well-functioning apps that get and send our information quickly. We don't like buffering and we don't like delays. The reason why some applications and websites function better than others is because of how much money they're willing to spend on edge computing. Edge computing is all about how to bring the data closer to the end-user (you). Think about it as if a Costco opened up down the street. Now you don't have to drive an hour away to get your supersized bag of chips. The information sits in data servers at physical locations (the cloud). When you click on a link, that request has to go through multiple processes to get to the cloud, which then has to transmit the information back to you. As the amount of data grows and more requests are generated, this can result in a delay or latency. This is when your video takes more than 2 seconds to load. Edge computing is more important than ever because it figures out how to bring the data as close to the user as possible to make the experience better. By conducting operations on the edge, systems and networks can perform more reliably, swiftly, and efficiently without compromising functionality. Companies like Cloudflareand Fastlyare hired by Big Tech to use their technology to bring the data as close to the edge (end-user) as possible. Edge computing is currently a $20 Billion industry that is [...]