Tag: tech

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

U.S. companies lobby against China tech bans

The friction shows the difficulties the government faces in translating its national-security agenda into the real world, where influential industries have developed deep ties to China over many years.

Congress and the Trump administration say the measures are necessary to lessen U.S. reliance on a strategic rival that could sabotage, hack or withhold important technology. Some U.S. companies argue that the restrictions will cost tens of billions of dollars and in some cases won’t improve national security.

“We are broadly supportive of the spirit” of a law imposing new restrictions for federal contractors, Wesley Hallman, head of strategy and policy at the National Defense Industrial Association, said in an interview, adding that “some suspicion of Chinese components” is warranted.

But “if you were to apply this law very broadly in the way it is written,” he said, “just about all contractors doing work with the federal government, they would have to stop.”

China hawks in Congress have raised alarms about the corporate pushback, accusing companies of putting profits before national security.

“Tech insiders are trying to gut provisions of the defense funding bill that would restrict use of Chinese tech products. Senate negotiators, don’t give in! This is not the time to go soft on #China,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted Oct. 1.

“Under no circumstances should we weaken or delay implementation of our laws banning the U.S. federal government and government contractors from using Huawei equipment,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted this summer, a position his office said he maintains. “That would be a gift to the Chinese Communist Party.”

The new restrictions have been proposed or enacted in a mix of bills, laws and executive-branch actions affecting a range of industries.

Prohibitions adopted with bipartisan support in an annual defense-spending law are drawing particular industry ire.

As

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

EU targets Big Tech with “hit list” facing tougher rules

A Facebook logo in front of an EU flag in this photo illustration on November 20, 2017.
Enlarge / A Facebook logo in front of an EU flag in this photo illustration on November 20, 2017.

EU regulators are drawing up a “hit list” of up to 20 large Internet companies, likely to include Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Apple, that will be subject to new and far more stringent rules aimed at curbing their market power.

Under the plans, large platforms that find themselves on the list will have to comply with tougher regulation than smaller competitors, according to people familiar with the discussions, including new rules that will force them to share data with rivals and an obligation to be more transparent on how they gather information.

The list will be compiled based on a number of criteria, including market share of revenues and number of users, meaning the likes of Facebook and Google are likely to be included. Those deemed to be so powerful that rivals cannot trade without using their platforms could also be added.

The move to gain new powers is part of a growing effort in Brussels to force big technology companies to change their business practices without a full investigation or any finding that they have broken existing laws.

It follows complaints that the current regulatory regime has resulted in weak and belated action, which has done little to foster competition.

The number of companies and the precise criteria for the list is still being discussed, but it is the latest indication of how serious the EU is about coming up with powers to limit the power of platforms seen as “too big to care.”

“The immense market power of these platforms is not good for competition,” said a person with intimate knowledge of the discussions.

The proposals, which are still being discussed among senior EU officials, could

12
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

Sterling Group acquires Dubai’s computer brand iLife as pandemic makes tech an investor favourite

Tech
Remote work and schooling is making tech and tech brands popular with investors. The Sterling deal will speed up iLife’s moves into new categories.
Image Credit: Pexels

Dubai: The Sterling Group, the private equity firm, has acquired Dubai-based iLife Digital Technology, a PC brand, for an undisclosed amount. The investment will be used to speed up iLife Digital’s growth plans as well as increase its market share. Other geographies too might be added.

“Coronavirus has created PC sales spike – globally,” said Anees Mian, co-founder of iLife Digital Technology. “With accelerated spread of Covid-19 there has been a surge in consumers buying devices in order to work-from-home – partnering with Sterling Group was a strategic move.” 

Pick up COVID-19 generated growth

For Sterling, it meant an exposure in a “lucrative sector buoyed by positive developments”. Headquartered in Dubai, iLife has had a pan-India presence for around three years. It plans to enter new channels such as large format retailers and with dealers, with prime focus on the rapidly growing education market. (Again, a category that has seen growth catapult in COVID-19 times.)

iLife also plans to introduce hardware targeting the enterprise category such as chrome books, commercial desktops, monitors, notebooks and servers. In the next three years, the company projects an overseas expansion.

Syed Faizan, Managing Partner of Sterling Group, said: “We have followed the impressive iLife Digital journey for many years. We are proud to acquire such an innovative company with a strong record of growth and success in consumer tech.”

iLife Digital will continue to operate as a privately held company. Sterling Group’s Louis Dsouza will join iLife Digital as President and Group Chief Financial Officer along with two executives by November.

Source Article

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday. Sign up here to get this email in your inbox every morning.



a group of people standing in front of a store: Fortnite parodied Apple's famous 1984 ad Epic Games


© Epic Games
Fortnite parodied Apple’s famous 1984 ad Epic Games

  1. A judge ruled Apple doesn’t have to bring Epic Games’ ‘Fortnite’ back to the iPhone App Store. Epic sued Apple in August over allegations of anticompetitive behavior.
  2. 60 employees voluntarily resigned from Coinbase over its new ‘apolitical’ policy. Tensions came to a head in a company-wide meeting when employees demanded CEO Brian Armstrong say the words “Black lives matter”. 
  3. Peloton removed QAnon hashtags from its platform as tech companies continued to grapple with the conspiracy theory movement. “Peloton was built on community, inclusivity, and being the best version of yourself,” a spokesperson said.
  4. Leaked audio revealed Google CEO Sundar Pichai saying he plans to expand ‘hub’ offices for a more flexible working future. Pichai said Google would expand the number of offices it considers “hubs” so that Googlers will have “more choice in their lives.”
  5. Strict Facebook NDAs reveal how the company bars some of its ad agencies from speaking about it – and even confirming public information. The broad language shows how Facebook wields its massive power over the ad industry.
  6. Jeff Bezos has bet on a self-driving startup run by former heads of Google, Tesla, and Uber’s AV projects. Mark Norman, a partner at Fraser McCombs Capital, said he has “deep respect” for the Aurora team.
  7. Twilio is reportedly getting ready to acquire data startup Segment for $3.2 billion. Segment was last valued at $1.5 billion in an April 2019 funding round, and counts Accel, Y Combinator, and Alphabet’s GV (formerly Google Ventures) among its investors.
  8. An Arm president said the chip design company’s clients shouldn’t worry about the $40 billion Nvidia
11
Oct
2020
Posted in software

German tech giant Software AG hit by Clop ransomware attack

German tech giant Software AG has been hit by a ransomware attack that caused the company to suspend services.

The attack occurred Oct. 3 and has been attributed to Clop ransomware. As is typical in a ransomware attack in 2020, the company’s files were encrypted and those behind the attack demanded a ransom payment of about $20 million or they would publish internal company data.

Software AG did not pay the ransom and, according to a report on ZDNet Friday, those behind the attack have started to publish internal company information. In one screenshot, the personal details of Software AG Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Brahmawar were published, including a scan of his passport.

The company formally disclosed the ransomware attack in a statement Oct. 5, describing it as a “malware attack.” Although its current recovery status is unknown, for now the company has as its lead story on its website “important customer information.” The statement says that “due to technical issues with our online support system, we kindly ask you to send us an email with your problem description and a number for call back.” It would appear that a week later, it’s still having issues due to the ransomware attack.

Clop ransomware and the related ransomware group have been linked to previous attacks, including data being stolen from pharmaceutical industry outsourcing company ExecuPharm in April.

“Ransomware gangs are becoming bolder and more sophisticated, going after larger and more lucrative targets with their criminal attacks,” Saryu Nayyar, chief executive officer of security and risk analytics firm Gurucul Solutions Pvt Ltd A.G., told SiliconANGLE. “Even with a complete security stack and a mature security operations team, organizations can still be vulnerable. The best we can do is keep our defenses up to date, including behavioral analytics tools that can identify new