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  • jkabtech 4:53 am on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , dismal, , ,   

    Slack shares tank after dismal forecast 

    Worst day since the company made its stock market listing in June. Shares of workplace messaging company Slack Technologies Inc were set for their worst day since the company made its stock market listing in June, after it flagged slower revenue growth amid intensifying competition.The business-focused messaging and communications platform, which went public …

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  • jkabtech 8:53 pm on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: causes, , mistaken, , Netbank, payments   

    CBA Netbank app error causes mistaken multiple payments 

    Keep clicking, keep paying…

    Customers of Commonwealth Bank of Australia have woken up on Friday to find that a glitch with some payments in Netbank  and the bank’s recently relaunched app accidentally prompted multiple payments because of a defective error screen.

    Australia’s largest bank on Friday confirmed the incident, saying a small set of users sent multiple payments after they persevered with making another transaction after seeing a screen that told them a payment had not gone through – when in fact it had.

    Which is very, very annoying, especially if you end up penniless on the weekend.

    The CBA says the bug was quickly isolated and nixed, but it’s understood at least a couple of thousand duplicated transactions went through on Thursday afternoon, the day when many pensions and welfare payments land in customer accounts.

    Thursday is also not the best day to make erroneous payments. While CBA’s payments shoot out to other banks in real time, many other institutions still batch process on what’s known as T

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  • jkabtech 12:53 pm on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asian, , , sources, telcos, travellers, Uighur   

    China hacked Asian telcos to spy on Uighur travellers – sources 

    Cyber-espionage campaign targets “high-value individuals”, diplomats, military personnel. Hackers working for the Chinese government have broken into telecoms networks to track Uighur travellers in Central and Southeast Asia, two intelligence officials and two security consultants who investigated the attacks told Reuters.The hacks are part of a wider cyber-espionage campaign …

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  • jkabtech 4:53 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dating, , , , , United   

    Facebook launches dating service in United States 

    Users can add Instagram followers to their “Secret Crush” lists. Facebook Inc is launching its dating services in the United States, the social network said on Thursday, sending its shares up 2 percent.The company said users will be able to integrate their Instagram accounts with Facebook’s dating profile and add Instagram followers to their “Secret Crush” …

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  • jkabtech 8:53 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: contest, deepfake, detect, , , ,   

    Facebook, Microsoft launch contest to detect deepfake videos 

    After House Intelligence Committee Chairman demanded details of countermeasure plans. Facebook Inc is teaming up with Microsoft Corp , the Partnership on AI coalition and academics from several universities to launch a contest to better detect deepfakes, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.The social media giant is putting US$10 million into the “Deepfake Detection …

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  • jkabtech 12:53 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , probes,   

    US states launch antitrust probes of tech companies, focus on Facebook, Google 

    “The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law.”

    Two groups of US state attorneys general on Friday announced separate antitrust probes of large tech companies such as Alphabet’s Google and Facebook .

    The first probe, led by New York and including seven other states and the District of Columbia, focuses on Facebook. The second, announced by Texas and likely to include up to 40 other states, did not specify the targets among large tech companies but was expected to center on Google.

    Once lauded as engines of economic growth, the companies in social media, Internet search, e-commerce and other digital technologies have increasingly been on the defensive over lapses such as privacy breaches and their outsized market influence.

    Politicians including President Donald Trump, consumers, other firms and regulators have criticized that power.

    “I’m launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether their actions endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices or increased the price of advertising,” New York Attorney General Letitia James tweeted.

    “The largest social media platform in the world must follow the law,” she said.

    The Facebook probe will include New York, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office said it was leading an investigation of large tech companies but did not name them.

    That probe, likely to include more than 40 state attorneys general, is expected to focus on Google, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. A second source previously said that the Google investigation would look at the intersection of privacy and antitrust.

    Google’s parent Alphabet said on Friday the Department of Justice in late August requested information and documents related to prior antitrust probes of the company. The company added in a securities filing that it expects similar investigative demands from state attorneys general, and that it is cooperating with regulators.

    On the federal level, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are probing Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon , also for potential violations of antitrust law.

    Trump has called for closer scrutiny of social media firms and Google, accusing them of suppressing conservative voices online without presenting any evidence.

    Facebook’s shares were down nearly 2 percent in afternoon trading. Google, Apple and Amazon stocks were virtually unchanged.

    Will Castleberry, Facebook’s vice president for state and local policy, said after the New York announcement that the company would work constructively with state attorneys general.

    “People have multiple choices for every one of the services we provide. We understand that if we stop innovating, people can easily leave our platform. This underscores the competition we face, not only in the United States but around the globe,” Castleberry said.

    CRITICISMS OVER PRIVACY, MARKET CONTROL

    The tech companies have come under fire repeatedly in recent years. Facebook, for example, has been slow to clamp down on hate speech, and it recently paid a US$5 billion settlement for sharing 87 million users’ data with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The consultancy’s clients included Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

    The social media platform, which owns one-time rivals Instagram and WhatsApp and has more than 1.5 billion daily users, has been criticized for allowing misleading posts and so-called “fake news” on its service.

    Google has faced accusations that its web search service, which has become so dominant that it is now a verb, leads consumers to its own products at the cost of competitors.

    “We look forward to working with the attorneys general to answer questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector,” Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in an email.

    Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, has been accused of unfair tactics with third-party sellers on its website, who must pay for advertising to compete against first-party and private label sales by Amazon itself.

    Apple has come under fire from app developers over practices like making only iPhone apps available through its official App Store. The music-streaming app Spotify has alleged that App Store policies make it difficult to compete against Apple Music for paid subscribers.

    Amazon and Apple had no immediate comment.

    State attorneys general often act jointly to influence policy, including when the federal government lacks the resources or is disinclined to act.

    The attorneys general of 20 states and the District of Columbia teamed up with the US Department of Justice in 1998 to sue Microsoft Corp for trying to extend its monopoly in personal computer operating systems to internet browsing software. That case later settled.

    More recently, 43 states and Puerto Rico sued Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and 19 other drugmakers in May, accusing them of scheming to inflate prices and reduce competition for more than 100 generic drugs.

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  • jkabtech 4:53 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Suncorp's, stalled   

    Suncorp’s new CEO appointment set to return focus to stalled Oracle core 

    Exec who labelled core build a “hostage” scenario made permanent head.

    The saga of Suncorp’s ailing Oracle-based core banking system replacement has taken another twist, with the executive who branded the stalled build a “hostage” scenario, Steve Johnston, confirmed as the institution’s permanent new group chief executive.

    Johnston had been acting as interim CEO for Suncorp group after the sudden departure of Michael Cameron in May 2019, who hailed group’s much-vaunted API-led marketplace strategy and digital transformation a success as he resigned.

    With leadership succession secured after a global search, board attention is now expected to return quickly to the ultimate fate of the $300 million Oracle system that has still not progressed past the test phase, with Suncorp publicly demanding it be shown to successfully work in another bank of scale.

    The appointment of an internal candidate suggests the board is acutely aware of the need for any leader to possess internal knowledge of Suncorp’s complex multi-brand strategy and array of systems to claw back costs and right, or write-off, listing projects.

    Having already moved to restructure technology operations at Suncorp, notably the creation of a new dedicated Customer and Digital function headed by Lisa Harrison after the departure marketplace CEO Pip Marlow, Johnston’s succession will allow to bank to progress housecleaning of legacy problems in earnest.

    Marlow wasted no time pulling the rip cord on Suncorp, deftly jumping ship to run Salesforce’s Australian operations, with her appointment as vendor’s local head announced just days after Cameron was revealed to be exiting Suncorp.  

    The troubled transactions and deposit platform, dubbed “Project Ignite” and based on Oracle Flexcube, was supposed to be up and running in 2016 to replace Suncorp’s ageing Hogan system

    It is understood that with most of the API work now bedded down, the potential to keep running Hogan for the foreseeable is now on the cards, a scenario that leaves the onus on Oracle.

    Cameron had previously bemoaned progress on the Oracle build, however Johnston went one better in August results by putting another shot over the bow of the mega-vendor and questioning the payback of the project.

    “To some extent we are a bit of a hostage to someone else doing it, I think that’s a better way for us to consider it,” Johnston said in August.

    “I don’t think there is any benefit in us being the first mover in deploying a deposit module onto a new core banking system, it’s not within our risk appetite to do that.”

    On the same August earnings call August, Johnston described Suncorp’s marketplace strategy it as “too ambitious” for the bank’s resources.

    With fires now raging across Queensland and Suncorp racing out financial assistance packages to its banking customers, those resources will be more constrained than ever.

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  • jkabtech 8:53 pm on October 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , political, Russia   

    Russia says Facebook, Google distributed political ads on election day 

    “Interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs.”

    Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said tech giants Google and Facebook had allowed political advertising during Sunday’s regional elections despite being asked to ban such publicity.

    “Such actions can be seen as interference in Russia’s sovereign affairs and hindering the conduct of democratic elections in the Russian Federation”, the watchdog said on its website.

    Reuters was not able to immediately reach Google or Facebook for comments.

    Russia is holding regional elections on Sunday, including in Moscow, after the exclusion of many opposition candidates triggered big protests in the Russian capital over the past several weeks.

    Roskomnadzor said on Friday it asked Facebook and Google to ban the publication of political advertising during elections on Sunday and on the preceding day, in line with Russian law.

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  • jkabtech 12:53 pm on October 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , profiles, scraping   

    Microsoft’s LinkedIn loses appeal over scraping of user profiles 

    New precedent for access to publicly visible information.

    A federal appeals court on Monday rejected LinkedIn’s effort to stop a San Francisco company from using information that users of the professional networking website have deemed public.

    The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals let stand an August 2017 preliminary injunction that required LinkedIn, a Microsoft Corp unit with more than 645 million members, to give hiQ Labs Inc access to publicly available member profiles.

    The 3-0 decision by the San Francisco appeals court sets back Silicon Valley’s battle against “data scraping,” or extracting information from social media accounts or websites, which critics say can equate to theft or violate users’ privacy.

    Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon said hiQ, which makes software to help employers determine whether employees will stay or quit, showed it faced irreparable harm absent an injunction because it might go out of business without access.

    She also said giving companies such as LinkedIn “free rein” over who can use public user data risked creating “information monopolies” that harm the public interest.

    “LinkedIn has no protected property interest in the data contributed by its users, as the users retain ownership over their profiles,” Berzon wrote. “And as to the publicly available profiles, the users quite evidently intend them to be accessed by others,” including prospective employers.

    In a statement, LinkedIn said it was disappointed with the decision and evaluating its options, and will “fight to protect our members and the information they entrust” to it.

    Lawyers for hiQ did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The case was returned to US District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco, who issued the injunction.

    Craigslist, the classified ad website, had supported LinkedIn’s appeal, warning that the injunction could have a “dangerous impact” by making it easier for “bad actors” to find targets for unwanted email, text or phone-based marketing.

    Berzon said, however, hiQ had raised serious questions about LinkedIn’s conduct, including whether it could invoke a federal law targeting computer fraud and abuse to block “free riders” from accessing user data.

    “Of course, LinkedIn could satisfy its ‘free rider’ concern by eliminating the public access option, albeit at a cost to the preferences of many users and, possibly, to its own bottom line,” she wrote.

    Gregory Garre, a former US solicitor general under President George W. Bush representing craigslist, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Donald Verrilli, a solicitor general under President Barack Obama, represented LinkedIn. Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe was one of hiQ’s lawyers.

    The case is hiQ Labs Inc v LinkedIn Corp, 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 17-16783.

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  • jkabtech 4:53 am on October 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2023:, China's, , , , , , usage   

    China’s internet data power usage to surge through 2023: study 

    Putting further pressure plans to curb smog and carbon emissions.

    China’s burgeoning internet data sector will increase its power consumption by two-thirds by 2023, putting further pressure on the country’s plans to curb smog and carbon emissions, according to a study published on Monday.

    China, the world’s biggest energy consumer and producer of climate-warming greenhouse gas, is in the middle of a programme aimed at upgrading its economy, easing its dependence on old polluting sectors like steel, and cleaning up its mostly coal-fired energy system.

    Big data is set to play an increasing role in supplying cleaner electricity, especially in the creation of decentralised “smart grid” systems, but it is also becoming one of the biggest consumers of power in China and elsewhere.

    According to the study by environmental group Greenpeace and the North China Electric Power University, soaring power consumption from internet data centres is expected to result in higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the country’s coal-fired power plants.

    The sector was responsible for around 99 million tonnes of CO2 last year, and extra efforts need to be made to encourage firms to source power from renewable sources to prevent that figure from spiralling higher, the study said.

    “Power market reforms and rapid growth in wind and solar power have created unprecedented opportunities for China’s internet giants to procure clean energy,” said Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaigner Ye Ruiqi.

    Power consumption from data centres reached 161 terawatt-hours (TWh) last year, 2.35 percent of China’s total, and it is set to rise to 267 TWh in the next five years, more than Australia’s total consumption from all sources in 2018, the study forecast.

    The study said China was home to 2.7 million server racks, with the sector expanding at a rate of around 30 percent a year. The sector’s CO2 emissions could reach 163 million tonnes by the end of 2023, but that could be cut by 16 million tonnes if its renewable intake is increased from 23 percent to 30 percent.

    “Twenty years from now, it is possible that data centres and big data will account for a third of power consumption, three times as much as electric vehicles,” said Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Innovation Officer of Schneider Electric, which works with big internet and technology companies in the United States and China.

    “It is going to consume a lot of electricity but that doesn’t mean it will be less sustainable – many of the players are thinking about how to innovate,” he said.

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