Amazon Catches Heat for Alexa’s Dependence on Human Intellect

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Amazon Alexa is relaying recorded consumer speech for analysis by Amazon staff and contractors for product improvements.
  • There is a simple workaround to turn off the default communications between Alexa and Amazon employees.

Alexa apparently needs a little help from human sources to better decipher user requests. Amazon acknowledged that individual staff and contractors in a number of countries including Romania, India, Costa Rica, and the U.S. each evaluate as many as 1,000 recorded requests to Alexa during their nine-hour shift. The staffers feed notes into software that provides better context to requests, which Amazon said will ultimately produce a better user experience. Continue reading “Amazon Catches Heat for Alexa’s Dependence on Human Intellect”

Deutsche Telekom’s Car SOC is Ready to Protect Drivers—Is the Auto Industry?

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• Connected cars are vulnerable to the same threats facing any Internet user or device

• Deutsche Telekom proposes its Car SOC to the industry, but as of today no one is responsible for protecting drivers from cyber attacks

Connected cars, like anything else using the Internet, are exposed to a range of vulnerabilities most drivers dare not even contemplate. Even without being connected, the digital technology in place is at risk from attackers, whether through the cloning of remote control key entry and engine starting, or from malware introduced to internal systems via infected diagnostic tools at the local garage. Continue reading “Deutsche Telekom’s Car SOC is Ready to Protect Drivers—Is the Auto Industry?”

Google in Hot Water Over Latest Privacy Misstep

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Google is under fire for failing to disclose that its Nest Secure home alarm system has an embedded microphone.
  • Privacy advocates are calling for significant change in light of the digital giant’s checkered data handling history.

When Google announced in early February that the company had added a feature to its Google Nest Secure system that allows it to work with Google Assistant to become a smart speaker, some consumers were surprised to learn the home security and alarm system has an embedded microphone. Google copped to failing to disclose the integrated microphone, admitting that detail should have been included in product information. Continue reading “Google in Hot Water Over Latest Privacy Misstep”

Alibaba Cloud Looks for Growth Outside of China, and Indonesia Is a Good Target

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

  • Alibaba Cloud is gaining a stronger foothold in Indonesia with its second data centre, a growing partnership ecosystem and an initiative to support start-ups to develop their business through a cloud-native approach.
  • Alibaba needs to grow its international presence, and it is establishing an early presence in markets such as Indonesia where competitors do not yet have a local presence.

Alibaba Cloud has launched a second data centre in Indonesia after launching the first data centre 10 months earlier. The second data centre enables Alibaba Cloud to increase capacity, provide higher availability and improve disaster recovery capabilities. The company also launched the Internet Champion Global Accelerator Program to support the growth of start-ups and local talents. The program will provide training, mentorship and venture capital opportunities to enterprises and professional services. The program is launching in Jakarta, and it will be extended to Bali in January 2019, as well as other global markets in the future. This is a strategic move since start-ups and SMEs in general are more ready to adopt a cloud-native approach and can become heavy cloud users as they scale up. Continue reading “Alibaba Cloud Looks for Growth Outside of China, and Indonesia Is a Good Target”

Social Media Roasts Apple over Its Subpar Response to the FacePalm Bug

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Reports surfaced that Apple ignored multiple efforts from an Arizona lawyer to alert the company that her teenage son had uncovered a bug which allows one FaceTime user to spy on another.
  • Twitter users blasted Apple for ignoring the lawyer’s attempts and then being slow to disable the affected feature and issue a fix.

News that Apple seemingly ignored repeated reports for a week that its popular FaceTime video app had an alarming privacy-invading bug is going viral on social media. Twitter users questioned whether Apple was ignoring calls to investigate a FaceTime group chat bug that allows the initial caller to listen on the call recipient even if the person on the receiving end didn’t pick up, or if the company might have been surreptitiously working on a fix before notifying users about the embarrassing flaw. Continue reading “Social Media Roasts Apple over Its Subpar Response to the FacePalm Bug”

Orange Cyberdefense on Turning the Skills Shortage into an Advantage

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• At a recent Orange Cyberdefense analyst event, the company addressed (among other things) the familiar topic of the skills shortage in cybersecurity

• In doing so, it illustrated ways in which it might turn this fundamental market challenge into an advantage

The theme at Orange Cyberdefense’s recent analyst event was combining the best of both human and technology resources, so it was no surprise that the inescapable cybersecurity skills shortage was a featured topic alongside sessions dedicated to strategy, portfolio, and innovation. Without directly saying so, the managed security service provider (MSSP) is clearly trying to turn this global challenge into an advantage – at least in France, where it can claim market leadership with only about a 15% share due to a highly fragmented environment involving hundreds of solution providers.

With its strategy for retraining and recruitment well underway, Orange Cyberdefense has managed to increase the size of its team despite the people shortage and its associated side effect of high turnover among qualified employees. With 100 Orange employees upskilled and recruited by its own Cyberdefense Academy since 2017, plus the addition of 300 new external recruits in 2018, the group’s security business now has 1,300 “humans” on board. Continue reading “Orange Cyberdefense on Turning the Skills Shortage into an Advantage”

TM Forum Digital Transformation Asia 2018: CenturyLink Strengthens Asia-Pacific Business

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • CenturyLink expands and enhances its portfolio in Asia-Pacific to challenge other carriers and grab the growing opportunity.
  • However, there are still gaps with its competitors, especially in portfolio and presence in the region.

At the TM Forum Digital Transformation Asia 2018 in Malaysia earlier this month, CenturyLink shared its direction to strengthen its presence and expand the business in Asia-Pacific. The move is in line with its global expansion strategy announced this year at its annual Analyst Forum. In Asia-Pacific, CenturyLink has over 2,000 employees, on-net presence in 12 countries and sales presence in six key markets (i.e., Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore). With the existing resources in the region, the carrier plays to its strength by focusing on inbound MNCs as well as Asian-based enterprises expanding beyond the region. It focuses in certain verticals, including OTT/content, media, entertainment, financial services, energy and utilities, retail and manufacturing sectors. Continue reading “TM Forum Digital Transformation Asia 2018: CenturyLink Strengthens Asia-Pacific Business”

Super Micro Supply Chain Attack May Be Fake, But Supply Chain Risk is Genuine

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

• It turns out a recent bombshell report detailing how rogue microchips infected an unknown number of computer servers may not be true.

• The event illustrates that supply chain risk is legitimate, and enterprises must plan for the risk and implement methods to detect such compromises.

Cybersecurity’s biggest mystery is centered on a microchip so small, it might not even exist.

It all started on 4 October, when U.S. news agency Bloomberg reported that many of the motherboards manufactured by Super Micro Computer had been compromised before they ever left the factory. Continue reading “Super Micro Supply Chain Attack May Be Fake, But Supply Chain Risk is Genuine”

Web Pioneer Lays Out Ambitious Plan to Disrupt Digital World Order

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Consumers’ unease with the misinformation, disinformation, and mishandling of personal digital data is driving new regulations and investment in developing new ways to protect content.
  • Inrupt, a startup founded by Tim Berners-Lee, wants to shake up the status quo with technology that will effectively decentralize the web and put more control in the hands of end users.

Twenty-nine years after the first successful Internet transmission using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the protocol’s developer, Tim Berners-Lee, wants to disrupt the web status quo. In an effort to address mounting concerns about privacy on the web, Berners-Lee is forging a path to return control over data access and storage to end users. Berners-Lee’s new startup, Inrupt, is pushing for adoption of an open source platform which could, if widely implemented, effectively decentralize the web. The platform, known as ‘Solid,’ takes aim at the current digital data model in which a relatively small number of dominant web players maintain significant access and storage control over the majority of end-user information. Continue reading “Web Pioneer Lays Out Ambitious Plan to Disrupt Digital World Order”

Blockchain Platforms Vendors Jockey for Mindshare

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • IBM touts advancements made in Food Trust, its blockchain solution for the food ecosystem.
  • SAP highlights three blockchain technologies built on SAP Cloud Platform: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, and Quorum.

The buzz around blockchain is intensifying, and mindshare grabs among platform vendors are playing out through an upswing in strategy and ecosystem updates. Cloud platform providers are being pressed to define the early stages and use cases of this emerging market, which promises to modernize decades-old financial and supply chain systems into digital ledgers. GlobalData has reported that platform services providers are well suited to expand their cloud services to include blockchain, which represents an abstraction layer for making it easier to incorporate blockchain capabilities into applications improving developer productivity (please see “Blockchain Watch: App Platform Vendors Dominate in Laying the Groundwork for Digital Ledger Transformations,” September 10, 2018). Continue reading “Blockchain Platforms Vendors Jockey for Mindshare”