Lyft co-founder speaks of revenue and says Uber's strategy didn't work

Chris Smith | Software & Apps | Dec 3, 2014 9:02 PM CST

Lyft's co-founder John Zimmer has appeared in an interview with Bloomberg TV today, covering issues based around privacy questions on user data, their main competitor 'Uber' and plans for expansion throughout the new year.

As we see ride-share applications begin to hit the mainstream market, there have been reports on the downturn in the traditional Taxi business alongside some reasoning for people making the change to this new-age format.Ride-share services currently have the general reputation for being more timely and neat, this is coupled with reported issues in the past of Taxi drivers being unsafe and potentially harmful toward their customers - sparking of public outrage here in Australia and throughout other parts of the Western world.

Zimmer defended Lyft's privacy options today, stating that "We (Lyft) do not share, currently share information like this with any third party. So that's definitely something that we can talk about." He went on to mention that Lyft's user-base has skyrocketed, seeing their year-over-year rides rise by 6 times, alongside their year-to-days rides reaching a 5 times increase - which is mirrored by their revenue increase.

Continue reading: Lyft co-founder speaks of revenue and says Uber's strategy didn't work (full post)

Kmart Australia is another Aussie retailer to drop GTA 5

Chris Smith | Gaming | Dec 3, 2014 8:58 PM CST

Target Australia had only just announced they are pulling all copies of Rockstar games' GTA V off their shelves, now another Aussie retailer has joined the pledge. K-Mart has vowed to also remove all support for this controversial title, disclosing this information to Kotaku today over the phone.

As online activists gathered a 41,000 signature petition together, Australian retail giants have started to quiver. K-marts official statement on this matter was: "Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately, Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game."

Reports have brought to light that both Target and K-Mart are owned by the same corporate group, Wesfarmers, so for those in the know - this shouldn't be a huge shock as we're sure the executives are covering their behinds against some kind of apparent public uproar. Who's going to fall next? In other news, this is great for online retailers as customers will now likely take their business to the internet in search for this massively popular title.

Continue reading: Kmart Australia is another Aussie retailer to drop GTA 5 (full post)

Cybersecurity efforts improving, but data breaches will continue

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Dec 3, 2014 7:16 PM CST

The Target breach was a nasty wakeup call for retailers, cybersecurity experts and consumers, as criminals were able to compromise millions of American shoppers. Since the incident, there has been a reported eight percent increase in IT security spending, but that still hasn't been able to slow down a tidal wave of follow up breaches.

"The reality is that companies that have taken these steps are treating the symptoms but not the underlying problems," said Dr. Barbara Rembiesa, CEO of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM). "By focusing only on narrowly focused and superficial IT security 'solutions,' companies are putting the cart before the horse and they're going nowhere."

In fact, security issues will continue to plague retailers in 2015, with companies too focused on trying to fix IT security gaps while not looking at the big picture. Dr. Rembiesa recommends companies to be fully aware of their PC systems and networks, as they cannot defend against a breach if they didn't know which systems are working on their networks.

Continue reading: Cybersecurity efforts improving, but data breaches will continue (full post)

Success for some as GTA 5 has been taken off Target retailer shelves

Chris Smith | Gaming | Dec 3, 2014 6:18 PM CST

Just yesterday we wrote about a Change.org petition to remove Rockstar's controversial next-gen release, GTA V, off popular retail chain 'Target' shelves. The petition claimed that the game was sexist, containing misogynist values and promoted violence towards and rape of women.

Target has just pushed a media release, claiming that due to public outcry the game has now been pulled from all shelves.

Their statement claims that "Target Australia will stop selling the R-rated video game Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) following feedback

Continue reading: Success for some as GTA 5 has been taken off Target retailer shelves (full post)

Report: Americans streaming more online video, watching less TV

Michael Hatamoto | Internet & Websites | Dec 3, 2014 4:24 PM CST

Americans are embracing online video, enjoying more freedom in choosing the content they watch, which has hurt TV viewership, according to a new report from Nielsen. The shift to online video is going to pressure cable and satellite TV providers - despite many consumers not necessarily cutting the cord, less viewership will hurt advertising and pressure providers to find ways to evolve.

More consumers have broadband Internet access and can choose from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and other services - as more broadcasters and content providers test online video services - with 45 percent of Americans streaming television shows at least once per month, eMarketer said.

"Content is still king, but consumers are shaping their own content-discovery experience, and the evolving media landscape has not lessened consumer demand for quality, professionally produced content," said Dounia Turrill, Nielsen SVP of insights, in a statement. "What has changed is the number and reliability of new media available to viewers."

Continue reading: Report: Americans streaming more online video, watching less TV (full post)

FBI issues warning over disk-wiping malware used in Sony hack

Paul Alcorn | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Dec 3, 2014 1:27 PM CST

The Sony Pictures hack has had an immediate impact in the form of several soon-to-be-released movies popping up on torrents, and Sony's employee personal records and passwords have also been leaked. Sony has been placed into a lockdown of sorts, and employees are not being allowed to login to their computers. The long-term effects may be even more devastating, as the FBI is warning that the malware used to execute the Sony attack is on the loose. The FBI's five-page flash warning was issued to major US corporations on Monday. The malware was specifically created to attack Sony, but other hackers often modify existing malware for their own purposes. There is an increasing threat of hackers creating a large number of mutations now that the exceptionally virulent bug is on the loose.

The nefarious bug not only steals data, but it also eventually overwrites all information on the storage device. This is particularly devastating. Once overwritten, the data is almost surely unrecoverable. The malware even overwrites the Windows master boot record (MBR), which makes any hope of salvaging data even harder. The warning from the FBI is targeted at businesses, but as with any malware, it will soon trickle out to the wider world at large. Nation-state developed malware is on the rise as shadowy global cyber-warfare campaigns continue unabated. Nations have many more resources at their disposal to create these electronic arms of mass destruction, but completely ignore the fact that these sophisticated hacks eventually spread to the public.

Components of the insidious malware have been tracked back to North Korea, which was very upset over a pending Sony movie that outlines an assassination attempt of the oft-ridiculed Kim Jong-un. Surprisingly, North Korea has a sophisticated cyber-warfare unit that has been linked to other large scale attacks in the past. A North Korean spokesperson offered a weak denial in the attack, but added in the comment that "I kindly advise you to just wait and see" if they were behind the attack.

Continue reading: FBI issues warning over disk-wiping malware used in Sony hack (full post)

QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges

Paul Alcorn | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Dec 3, 2014 12:04 PM CST

NVM Express, or NVMe, is an optimized interface designed specifically for non-volatile memories, such as flash. As detailed in our Defining NVMe article, NVMe offers unparalleled performance over the PCIe bus. The NVMe specification lays the groundwork for the base technology, but complementary technologies are entering development to further enhance its capabilities. One particularly promising specification is the NVMe Over Fiber standard. This allows for end-to-end NVMe over Infiniband, Ethernet with RDMA, and Intel's Omni Scale Fabric.

QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges

Flash has long been confined inside the server in DAS (Direct Attached Storage) configurations. This keeps the SSD as close to the processor as possible, and eliminates network latency. NVMe Over Fibre offers refined performance by removing the SCSI translation layer, which adds latency when communicating over the network. According to recent surveys, network congestion is the most pressing issue for IT professionals. The NVMe Over Fibre standard will refine communication between clusters, and SSDs can be addressed from remote servers as if the PCIe SSD were plugged directly into the server. Qlogic is one of the leading suppliers of server networking products, and their entrance into the NVM Express consortium will likely speed development and adoption of NVMe Over Fibre as well.

SAN and NAS deployments are falling out of favor in the datacenter, and there is a move to VSAN and other server-SAN implementations. Much of this migration to DAS configurations is prompted by latency-inducing network protocols. Unadulterated NVMe SSD performance over the network will surely have administrators salivating as it moves closer to market, and could yet again alter high-performance storage deployments in the datacenter.

Continue reading: QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges (full post)

Patriot makes unannounced re-entry to SSD market with new Torch Series

Paul Alcorn | Storage | Dec 3, 2014 11:16 AM CST

Patriot Memory was one of the early pioneers in the consumer SSD market and had several successful product lines. Patriot backed away from the SSD market as competition became stiff and the market consolidated. They never really gave a reason, but the SSD market is brutally competitive and margins are shrinking. They still have three models listed on their site, but these are older models with SandForce processors. New controller manufacturers, such as Phison and SMI, have begun to experience success. These controllers allow smaller SSD players without NAND fabrication capability to compete with leading SSDs from the fab-enabled behemoths.

A new unannounced Patriot SSD recently popped up on Amazon. The Patriot Torch is available in capacities of 120 and 240GB, and features a Phison controller. The Torch is outfitted with 16nm Synchronous NAND and features 555/535 MB/s sequential speeds. There is precious little information available on the new SSD, such as random performance and endurance. We do know the SSD features a three-year warranty and sports a 6Gb/s SATA controller. The SSDs are competitively priced, but the relatively small capacity points may be leading the way for high capacity versions.

There is no word on accessories or any toolbox-type applications available for the SSD. Patriot may be testing the waters with this new SSD, and hopefully they can expand it out into larger versions as well.

Continue reading: Patriot makes unannounced re-entry to SSD market with new Torch Series (full post)

Toshiba launches HK3E2 and HK3R2 enterprise SSDs

Paul Alcorn | IT/Datacenter & Super Computing | Dec 3, 2014 10:36 AM CST

Toshiba has been aggressively pushing further in to the datacenter SSD market. Toshiba is surfing the wave of flash pouring into the datacenter, and they recently posted a 70.5% quarter over quarter jump in Q2 2014. There are other sharks swimming in the same pool, and competition for slots has been tough as Intel, Micron, and Samsung also have very competitive products. Toshiba has a long history with flash, they actually invented it, but they also have an often-overlooked advantage of being the only fab-enabled SSD manufacturer with HDD manufacturing as well. This provides them a complete portfolio in the two backbones of enterprise storage.

NVMe and PCIe are hot topics as of late, but SATA SSDs are also one of the fastest growing segments in the datacenter. Toshiba has announced two new SSDs to address this market. The HK3E2 is a value-endurance 6Gb/s SATA SSD that offers 3 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of endurance, tailoring it well for mainstream enterprise applications such as exchange mail servers, web servers, database servers, indexing servers and data center storage workloads. Power loss protection is included and the HK3E2 sports speeds of 75,000/30,000 random read/write IOPS. The HK3E2 also features sequential read/write speeds of 500/400 MiB/s.

Toshiba is also providing the HK3R2 series to address read-centric workloads. The HK3R2 features 1 DWPD of endurance and speeds up to 75,000/12,000 random read/write IOPS. It also offers a beefy 500/400 MiB/s sequential write speed, and is designed for read intensive applications and workloads such as read caching, video streaming and data center storage. Both SSDs feature power loss protection and Toshiba's proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error control algorithms, which provide enhanced resilience to data failures.

Continue reading: Toshiba launches HK3E2 and HK3R2 enterprise SSDs (full post)

Rockstar's GTA 5 under attack by multiple parties

Chris Smith | Gaming | Dec 3, 2014 4:13 AM CST

Social justice has been steadily creeping its way more and more into gaming culture, seeing many people fight back on social media and news outlets posting opinion articles damning certain games, developers and personalities who express views that are alleged as misogynist, promoting senseless violence and/or rape culture.

In recent news, since the next-gen and PC release of Rockstar Studio's latest hit, Grand Theft Auto 5, there has been a major public outcry globally against the game. This passionate dislike for the game and it's morals has seeing peoples social media feeds explode with petitions to take the game off the shelves, alongside many negative opinions of the game they have worked so hard to produce.

The latest group targeting this game is a group of former sex workers, who are spearheading a Change.org petition to remove this title from the popular Australian department store, named Target. Their allegations include the statement that it "encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women".

Continue reading: Rockstar's GTA 5 under attack by multiple parties (full post)