U.S. universities face a bigger threat of security data breaches than the retail and healthcare sectors, according to a recent study published by BitSight. As the school year begins again, hackers are preparing to target universities once again, the report said.
Using data based on major athletic conferences, including the Pacific-12, Big 10, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference and Ivy League from July 2013 to June 2014, all divisions saw a drop in cybersecurity performance.
"From Social Security and credit card numbers to health records and intellectual property produced by research departments, colleges and universities house a vast amount of sensitive data," said Stephen Boyer, BitSight co-founder and CTO, in a statement to FierceCIO. "While not surprising given the unique challenges universities face securing open campus networks, it's concerning to see that they are rating so far below other industries that we've seen plagued by recent security problems."
Auction site eBay might spinoff the PayPal online payments company as early as 2015, with a search for a new PayPal CEO currently underway. It's unknown if eBay is interested in spinning off the entire PayPal business unit, or just part of the company - and likely won't be known until something is officially announced.
Investor Carl Icahn has long wanted eBay and PayPal to separate, but eBay CEO John Donahoe said PayPal was integral to eBay's overall business success. However, Icahn simmered down his demands in April, saying now isn't quite the time for an eBay-PayPal spinoff, but other investors hope PayPal as an independent business unit could attract new interest.
"The eBay board and management team remain focused on maximizing shareholder value," said Amanda Miller, eBay spokeswoman, in a statement to the media. "As we discussed during proxy season and in our second-quarter financial results call, the board will continue to assess all alternatives to create that long term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal. This position has not changed."
Acer today announced its Chromebox CXI line of PCs for low-budget consumers, designed for education, small to medium businesses and budget-conscious users.
The system is powered by an Intel Celeron 2957U dual-core 1.4GHz CPU, 16GB solid state drive, 2GB or 4GB RAM, and should boot in just 8 seconds. Chromebox CXI also includes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0, one HDMI port, combination audio jack for microphones and headsets.
"The Acer Chromebook CXI is an excellent fit for schools and any other institution or business where conserving costs and space are high priorities," said Simon Hwang, Acer President of Stationary Computing and Display Business Group, in a press statement. "Due to the ease of management, the Chromebox can significantly reduce technical support and consequently lower the total cost of ownership."
The UPS Store suffered a data breach at 51 retail locations across the United States, with 105,000 customer transactions, ranging from January 20 to August 11, at risk due to the security incident. If you've shopped at the UPS Store, you're urged to visit the company's website to identify if your UPS Store location was compromised - individual notification letters will not be sent out.
To date, there has been no evidence of fraud related to the incident, with malware found on the company's network. Names, postal addresses, payment information and email addresses are at risk, but it's unknown how many customers might have been affected.
"As soon as we became aware of the potential malware intrusion, we deployed extensive resources to quickly address and eliminate this issue," said Tim Davis, UPS Store President, in a statement. "Our customers can be assured that we have identified and fully contained the incident."
Researchers found full-body X-ray scanners found in U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013 weren't as effective as the TSA led us to believe - with knives, firearms, and explosives successfully concealed. In addition, scanner operating software could be manipulated to alert "all-clear" to the scanner operator, even if there was contraband found.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, Johns Hopkins University and University of Michigan contributed to the study. The scanner in question, the Rapiscan Secure 1000, was pulled from airports last year because of privacy concerns. The test unit was purchased on eBay and featured the same proprietary software and settings as the units used by the TSA.
"Frankly, we were shocked by what we found," said J. Alex Halderman, University of Michigan computer science professor, in a statement. "A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."
Drone pilots might be flying missions thousands away from the battlefield, but can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just like Marines and soldiers with boots on the ground. In a U.S. Air Force study, 4.3 percent of around 1,000 drone operators suffered from moderate to severe PTSD - still a lower number than the 10 to 18 percent of personnel on deployment, however.
It's not uncommon for drone operators to conduct reconnaissance on targets before launching a missile, getting a rare glimpse of their normal lives. Some of the survey respondents noted recurring nightmares, trouble falling asleep, difficulty concentrating and intrusive thoughts, among other symptoms.
"I would say that, even though the percentage is small, it is still a very important number, and something that we would want to take seriously so that the folks are performing their job are effectively screened for this condition and get the help that they [may] need," said Wayne Chappelle, a clinical psychologist and consultant USAF School of Aerospace Medicine.
The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, and subsequent riots and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, led to greater interest in video camera wearables for police officers.
Taser, better known for its stun gun technology, also has several wearable cameras for law enforcement officials. The company has seen a rise in sales and a 30 percent surge in its stock since the Brown incident.
"We believe the concept of using wearable cameras to provide a foundation of transparency has a tipping point," said Rick Smith, Taser CEO, in a statement to the Washington Post. "The intense emotions that arise from uncertainty and diametrically opposed conjecture about what did or did not happen in life and death encounters can tear communities apart. We believe wearable technology, like body-worn cameras, is the future for communities to relate to those entrusted to protect them."
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is enjoying his retirement from the technology world, recently stepping down from the Microsoft board. Ballmer looks forward to teaching, learning, and owning the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team during his retirement, as the Stanford dropout heads back into the classroom.
Ballmer is a Harvard University graduate, and then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business for one year. The billionaire wants to stay busy during his retirement, which is why he wants to teach at two of the leading schools in the country - he'll teach at the USC Marshall School of Business next spring, but it's uncertain which course he'll lead.
"This combination of an experienced practitioner with a tenured faculty member is a hallmark of the teaching experience at Stanford Graduate School of Business," said Helen Chang, Stanford spokeswoman, in a statement to the media.
An interesting new game has jumped onto Kickstarter, with Sienna Storm having Sheldon Pacotti, who wrote the first two Deus Ex games. Sienna Storm puts you in "The Game", with the game being espionage. Sienna Storm will feature "stunning hand-drawn environments let the action span the globe" with "2D animations bring to life infiltrations, evasions, fights, and also other influential characters as you mark targets, meet assets, go black or drop heat".
The gameplay of Sienna Storm sounds intriguing, where it is a departure from the games we know and love today. The Kickstarter page for Sienna Storm explains the gameplay: "Sienna Storm is a unique interactive comic-style video game. Every scene is a hand drawn, animated work of art and there are multiple actions points the player may select to progress the game. Dialogues are rich and non-linear, and choices you make throughout the game not only have consequences, but also influence your standings with certain characters and involved parties".
The page continues: "There is a fair amount of challenges to resolve such as combat, hacking computers, and tailing an enemies. When you enter these challenges, you play a short strategic card game using a customizable deck. At the start of each card match, you can modify your deck to best suit the situation, even adding in new cards you've earned over the course of the game. This allows you to pick a strategy - trickery, gadgetry, or straight-up violence - that works best for the mission and your personal play style. But watch out! The matches are dynamic and based on the story, so you never know what new enemies, old allies, or dramatic plot twists are in the cards to keep you on your toes!"
Prior to its launch on the Xbox One, Diablo 3 was rendering at 900p, that is, until Microsoft forced Blizzard to crank it up to 1080p. Blizzard announced during E3 a few months ago that the Xbox One version of Diablo 3 would be rendering at 900p, compared to the PS4 which was splashing things up onto TVs at 1080p.
A day-one patch for Diablo 3 on the Xbox One cranked the resolution up to 1080p, but saw performance issues. Not huge, but there are framerate drops during heavy gameplay in Diablo 3, something that didn't happen when it was rendering at 900p. Blizzard production director John Hight explained to Eurogamer: "We did find it challenging early on to get it to 1080p. That's why we made the decision to drop to 900. That's what we demoed and were showing around E3 time. And Microsoft was just like, 'This is unacceptable. You need to figure out a way to get a better resolution.' So we worked with them directly, they gave us a code update to let us get to full 1080p".