Apple Enjoy Is Sprint’s First CDMA-Absolutely free Telephone | Information & Opinion

The new LTE Apple Enjoy Sequence 3 won’t have the CDMA radio procedure on which Dash and Verizon have lengthy relied. And however it tends to make phone phone calls. No Dash machine has put together those people things ahead of, and the watch’s skills hint at a potential when a wider assortment of products will be accessible on these networks.

Beyond getting technically intriguing, this opens up hope that Verizon and Dash subscribers will be capable to use phones that haven’t been pre-approved by their carriers. You will find some superior information and negative information there.

CDMA, Make Way

CDMA2000 is a 2G mobile typical which is utilized by Verizon, Dash, U.S. Mobile, and carriers in China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and a couple of other international locations. It truly is less well-liked than the even larger GSM/UMTS typical. One particular of its aspects that carriers love, but shoppers have a tendency to hate, is that CDMA carriers can prohibit their networks so only approved phones can be utilized. GSM networks will have to accept any suitable phone.

Both of those Verizon and Dash want to rusticate their CDMA networks … eventually. It truly is a 2G, 20th-century technological innovation that is achieving the finish of its handy existence. Verizon has established a day at the finish of 2019 to destroy CDMA.

Sprint’s in a tougher position simply because it has not matched its CDMA protection with 4G LTE however. It truly is not giving a day to transform off CDMA, I imagine simply because it is really waiting for self-confidence that it can offer LTE protection everywhere you go it currently has CDMA.

Other than protection, the one issue CDMA does effectively is make phone phone calls. Verizon has been working on moving all of its people to VoLTE, voice-over-LTE, which lets Verizon people make phone calls on 4G LTE with out possessing to contact that 2G network.

Dash has not however announced any rollout day for industry typical VoLTE. But it has a stopgap. In June, the firm introduced “Contacting In addition,” which effectively routes Wi-Fi phone phone calls over the LTE network. It isn’t the broad VoLTE typical that the other carriers use, nevertheless, which indicates that phones have to assist Dash Contacting In addition as a specific added feature.

But wait around! It will get even weirder. In accordance to Dash, the Apple Enjoy won’t use Contacting In addition or VoLTE. It works by using yet another type of voice-over-IP to make phone phone calls, which I could not get far more aspects on.

Both of those carriers have experienced a couple of LTE-only products. Sprint’s Slate 8 and Slate 8 In addition tablets, and its LTE-only mobile hotspots, didn’t have to make phone phone calls. The Enjoy is the first “phone” on Dash to run with out CDMA. (I have to insert here: Dash won’t connect with it a phone, they connect with it a wearable. But it is really a wearable that works like a phone.) That’s a big complex milestone for Dash.

Verizon has been experimenting with LTE-only products for lengthier than Dash has, in part simply because it has improved LTE protection. It currently has the Asus Zenfone AR smartphone and a flip phone, the LG Exalt LTE, managing as LTE-only phones.

No CDMA Doesn’t Necessarily mean Liberty

Here is the rub, nevertheless. It won’t search like receiving rid of CDMA is going to make buyer independence on Verizon’s and Sprint’s networks.

For now, supporting phone phone calls on Dash indicates supporting proprietary Dash software, which indicates working with Dash.

Verizon says it works by using world wide LTE standards. But we’ve tried a couple of products that Verizon has not approved, and mysteriously, they will not operate. They just will not authenticate. Users of the ZTE Axon 7 phone have observed how their supposedly suitable phone demands to be constantly attended to, massaged, and sometimes hacked to go on to operate on Verizon. So for now, Verizon subscribers will have to stick with phones approved by Verizon.

This phase is usually superior information for Verizon and Dash and their people, nevertheless, for a diverse rationale. The two carriers commit a ton of their worthwhile wireless spectrum to CDMA. As they get far more LTE-only products on line, they can flip far more of that spectrum over to LTE, reducing LTE congestion and expanding speeds. So your mobile Apple Enjoy will aid to lead to a improved contacting encounter for absolutely everyone on your network.

Apple market cap after iPhone 8, iPhone X reveal

Source: FactSet

To put that in perspective, Apple has lost more than the entire market value of Target, eBay, TJX, Northrop Grumman, or Ford Motor, which all have market values of less than $50 billion.

To be sure, $780 billion is still a massively large valuation for investors to put on a company — Apple is about $100 billion larger than Google-parent Alphabet. And there are many factors that can affect market valuations — investors may consider the company’s expected future returns, sentiment about the stock market at large, whether they are maximizing short-term or long-term gains, dividends and overall macroeconomic conditions, just to name a few.

Nonetheless, Apple shares were down more than 1 percent on Friday with slightly heavier-than-average trading volume, on pace to end the week down more than 5 percent. The stock had the most negative point impact on the S&P 500, according to FactSet.

Gene Munster, an investor at Loup Ventures and a former top Apple analyst, has said that Apple’s shares could see a 5 to 10 percent pullback after the release of the latest iPhones, even if the products were well-received (CEO Tim Cook says they have been.)

“The simple reason is this: The stock’s up 50-plus percent in the past year because investors have been anticipating the return to growth of the iPhone. As soon as that product comes out, people are going to shift their focus to the March and June quarters of next year. That’s when the iPhone cycles are made or missed,” Munster told CNBC earlier this month. “So there’s naturally going to be some people taking some profits.”

As of Friday, Apple shares are still up more than 30 percent over the past year.

Shentong Robotic Training Team Co Ltd (8206.HK) Triple EMA Gaining Momentum – The Business enterprise Union



Shentong Robot Education Group Co Ltd (8206.HK) Triple EMA Gaining Momentum


Shentong Robotic Training Team Co Ltd (8206.HK) has watched the Triple Exponential Going Regular (TEMA) of it is share cost trend bigger more than the past 5 session.  This is a prospective sign that toughness is developing for the upward trend.  TEMA is a special mix of a single exponential transferring regular, a double exponential transferring regular, and a triple exponential transferring regular that presents much less lag than any of people a few separately. It can be used rather of traditional transferring averages for smoothing cost facts or other indicators.  TEMA can also be used as a momentum indicator.  Consistent negative worth implies momentum is lowering when a favourable trend suggests growing momentum.

Traders are preserving a near eye on some added levels of Shentong Robotic Training Team Co Ltd (8206.HK). The Regular Directional Index or ADX is a technological assessment indicator used to explain if a sector is trending or not trending. The ADX alone measures trend toughness but not path. Applying the ADX with the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) may possibly help identify the path of the trend as very well as the all round momentum. Numerous traders will use the ADX along with other indicators in buy to help spot proper buying and selling entry/exit factors. Following a recent verify, the 14-day ADX is 19.86. Generally speaking, an ADX worth from -25 would point out an absent or weak trend. A worth of 25-50 would point out a solid trend. A worth of 50-75 would sign a extremely solid trend, and a worth of 75-100 would point out an very solid trend.

Shentong Robotic Training Team Co Ltd (8206.HK) presently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of 19.86. Commonly, the CCI oscillates over and down below a zero line. Normal oscillations are inclined to continue to be in the assortment of -100 to +100. A CCI looking through of +100 may possibly depict overbought problems, when readings in close proximity to -100 may possibly point out oversold territory. Though the CCI indicator was formulated for commodities, it has turn into a popular tool for equity analysis as very well. The Relative Power Index (RSI) is a momentum oscillator that measures the speed and improve of inventory cost movements. The RSI was formulated by J. Welles Wilder, and it oscillates in between and 100. Generally, the RSI is considered to be oversold when it falls down below 30 and overbought when it heads over 70. RSI can be used to detect normal tendencies as very well as discovering divergences and failure swings. The 14-day RSI is now at 49.03, the 7-day stands at 42.53, and the 3-day is sitting at 16.89.

Using a peek at some Going Averages, the 200-day is at .46, and the 50-day is .41. Committed investors may possibly be on the lookout to utilize yet another tool for performing technological inventory assessment. The Williams % Array or Williams %R is a technological indicator that was made to measure overbought and oversold sector problems. The Williams %R indicator can help display the relative condition of the current cost near to the interval becoming noticed. Shentong Robotic Training Team Co Ltd (8206.HK)’s Williams % Array or 14 day Williams %R presently is at -46.67. In normal, if the looking through goes over -20, the inventory may possibly be considered to be overbought. Alternately, if the indicator goes under -80, this may possibly display the inventory as becoming oversold.

I Helped Create Facebook’s Ad Machine. Here’s How I’d Fix It

This month, two magnificently embarrassing public-relations disasters rocked the Facebook money machine like nothing else in its history.

First, Facebook revealed that shady Russian operators purchased political ads via Facebook in the 2016 election. That’s right, Moscow decided to play a role in American democracy and targeted what are presumed to have been fake news, memes, and/or various bits of slander (Facebook refuses to disclose the ad creative, though it has shared it with special counsel Robert Mueller) at American voters in an attempt to influence the electoral course of our 241-year-old republic. And all that on what used to be a Harvard hook-up app.



Antonio García Martínez (@antoniogm) was the first ads targeting product manager on the Facebook Ads team, and author of the memoir Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley. He wrote about the internet in Cuba in WIRED’s July issue.

Second, reporters at ProPublica discovered that via Facebook’s publicly available advertising interface, users with interests in bigoted terms like “how to burn Jews” could be easily targeted. In the current political climate, the optics just couldn’t be worse.

For me, reading the coverage from the usual tech journalist peanut gallery was akin to a father watching his son get bullied in a playground for the first time: How can this perfect, innocent creature get assailed by such ugliness?

You’re likely thinking: How can the sterile machinery of the Facebook cash machine inspire such emotional protectiveness? Because I helped create it.

In 2011, I parlayed the sale of my failing startup to Twitter into a seat on Facebook’s nascent advertising team (for the longer version, read the first half of my Facebook memoir, Chaos Monkeys). Improbably, I was tasked with managing the ads targeting team, an important product that had until then dithered in the directionless spontaneity of smart engineers writing whatever code suited their fancy.

“Targeting” is polite ads-speak for the data levers that Facebook exposes to advertisers, allowing that predatory lot to dissect the user base—that would be you—like a biology lab frog, drawing and quartering it into various components, and seeing which clicked most on its ads.

My first real task as Facebook product manager was stewarding the launch of the very system that was the focus of the recent scandal: Code-named KITTEN, it ingested all manner of user data—Likes, posts, Newsfeed shares—and disgorged that meal as a large set of targetable “keywords” that advertisers would choose from, and which presumably marked some user affinity for that thing (e.g. “golf,” “BMW,” and definitely nothing about burning humans).

Later that year, in another improbable turn of events that was routine in those chaotic, pre-IPO days, I was tasked with managing the cryptically named Ads Quality team. In practice, we were the ads police, a hastily assembled crew of engineers, operations people, and one grudging product manager (me), charged with the thankless task of ads law enforcement. It was us defending the tiny, postage-stamp-sized ads (remember the days before Newsfeed ads?) from the depredations of Moldovan iPad offer scammers, Israeli beauty salons uploading images of shaved vulvas (really), and every manner of small-time fraudster looking to hoodwink Facebook’s 800 million users (now, it’s almost three times that number).

So now you’ll perhaps understand how the twin scandals—each in a product that I helped bring to fruition—evoked such parental alarm.

What can Facebook do about all this?

Let’s set aside the ProPublica report. Any system that programmatically parses the data effluvia from gajillions of users, and outputs them into targeting segments, will necessarily produce some embarrassing howlers. As Buzzfeed and others highlighted in its coverage of the scandal, Google allows the very same offensive targeting. The question is how quickly and well those terms can be deleted. It’s a whack-a-mole problem, one among many Facebook has.

Also, there’s zero evidence that any actual ads targeting was done on these segments (beyond the $30 that ProPublica spent). Actual ad spend on the million-plus keywords that Facebook offers follow what’s called a long-tail distribution: Obscure terms get near-zero spend, and Facebook’s own tools show the reach for the offensive terms was minimal. Keyword targeting itself isn’t very popular anymore. Its lack of efficacy is precisely why we shipped far scarier versions of targeting around the time of the IPO; for example, targeting that’s aware of what you’ve browsed for online—and purchased in physical stores—nowadays attracts more smart ad spend than any keywords.

No, the real Facebook story here is the Russia thing, which should be of concern to anyone worried about the fate of our republic. While the amount of Russian spend Facebook admitted to is peanuts ($100,000) and certainly didn’t influence the election’s outcome, this should be considered a harbinger of what’s to come. Even US politicians didn’t spend much on Facebook in 2008; now they certainly do, and you can be sure the Russians will grow their budgets in 2018 unless Facebook acts.

The good news for democracy (and Mark Zuckerberg) is that these problems, unlike the unscalable miracles that most Facebook plaints would require to address, are eminently solvable. On Thursday, in fact, as this piece was being edited, Mark Zuckerberg livestreamed an address wherein he broadly elucidated the company’s next steps, which were remarkably in line with what I imagined—with one big exception.

Facebook already has a large political ad sales and operations team that manages ad accounts for large campaigns. Zuckerberg hinted that the company could follow the same “know your customer” guidelines Wall Street banks routinely employ to combat money laundering, logging each and every candidate and super PAC that advertises on Facebook. No initial vetting means no right to political advertising.

To prevent rogue advertisers, Facebook will monitor all ad creative for political content. That sounds harder than it is. Take alcohol advertising, for example, which nearly every country in the world regulated heavily. Right now, Facebook screens every piece of ad creative for anything alcohol-related. Once flagged, that content goes into a separate screening workflow
with all the varied international rules that govern alcohol ads (e.g. nothing in Saudi Arabia, nothing targeted to minors in the US, etc.).

Political content would fall into a similar dragnet and be triaged accordingly. As it does now, Facebook would block violating ad accounts, and could use account meta-data like IP address or payment details to prevent that advertiser from merely creating another account. It would be a perpetual arms race, but one Facebook is well-equipped to win, or at least keep as a stalemate. Zuckerberg’s video shows commitment to waging that war.

Next, based on Zuckerberg’s somewhat vague wording, Facebook will likely now comply with the Federal Election Campaign Act, a piece of 1971 legislation that governs political advertising, and from which Facebook finagled a self-serving exemption in 2011. The argument then was that Facebook’s ads were physically too small (no longer true) to allow the usual disclaimer—“I’m Joe Politico, and I approve this message…”—required on every piece of non-Facebook media. Facebook also claimed at the time that burdensome regulation would have quashed innovation at the burgeoning startup.

With Facebook’s market value now hovering at half a trillion dollars, that’s a preposterous thought. The company needs to put its big boy pants and assume its place on the world stage. The FECA disclaimers could easily live inside the upper right-hand-side dropdown menu that currently carries some ads targeting information (check it yourself), and would seamlessly integrate with the current product. Reporting of malicious political content could act in a similar manner to the recently added buttons that allow the reporting of fake news.

Lastly, the step I didn’t see coming, because of its inherent weirdness.

The biggest promise, at least at the product level, that came out of Zuckerberg’s video concerns the ominously named ‘dark posts’. The confusion around these is vast, and worth clearing up.

The language is a pure artifact of the rudimentary nature of Facebook’s ads system in the bad old days. Before the Newsfeed ads we have today, there was no commercial content in Feed at all, beyond so-called ‘organic’ (i.e. unpaid) posts that Pages would publish to whomever had liked their page. A Like was effectively license to spam your Feed, which is why companies spent millions to acquire them.

It would be a perpetual arms race, but one Facebook is well-equipped to win.

But modern digital advertisers constantly tweak and experiment with ads. When big brands requested the ability to post lots of different creative, it posed a real problem. Brands wanted to show a dozen different ad variations every day, but they didn’t want to pollute their page (where all posts necessarily appear). ‘Dark posts’ were a way to shoehorn that advertiser requirement into the Pages system, allowing brands to create as many special, unseen posts as they’d like, which would only be seen by targeted audiences in their Feeds, and not to random passers-by on their page. The unfortunate term ‘dark post’ assumed a sinister air this past election, as it was assumed that these shady foreign elements, or just certain presidential candidates, were showing very different messages to different people, engaging in a cynical and hypocritical politicking.

Zuckerberg’s proposes, shockingly, a solution that involves total transparency. Per his video, Facebook pages will now show each and every post, including dark ones (!), that they’ve published in whatever form, either organic or paid. It’s not entirely clear if Zuckerberg intends this for any type of ad or just those from political campaigns, but it’s mindboggling either way. Given how Facebook currently works, it would mean that a visitor to a candidate’s page—the Trump campaign, for instance, once ran 175,000 variations on its ads in a single day—would see an almost endless series of similar content.

As big a step as the transparency feature sounds, I don’t see how Facebook can launch it until these Pages product concerns are worked out. The Facebook Pages team product managers must be sitting right now in a conference room frantically scrawling new design ideas on a whiteboard. I’d bet anything that the Ads Quality and Pages teams are prioritizing that as you read this. This is one scandal Facebook isn’t going to weasel its way out of with generic appeals to “openness” and “community”.

Despite Zuckerberg’s sudden receptiveness to user (and government) feedback, should Facebook be pilloried for these blatant shortfalls, or even sanctioned by Washington? You’ll accuse me of never having taken off my corporate-issue Facebook hoodie, but the answer is not really.

It would take the omniscience of a biblical deity to correctly predict just what Facebook’s two billion chatting, posting, scheming, and whining users are up to at any given moment. If you’d come to me in 2012, when the last presidential election was raging and we were cooking up ever more complicated ways to monetize Facebook data, and told me that Russian agents in the Kremlin’s employ would be buying Facebook ads to subvert American democracy, I’d have asked where your tin-foil hat was. And yet, now we live in that otherworldly political reality.

If democracy is to survive Facebook, that company must realize the outsized role it now plays as both the public forum where our strident democratic drama unfolds, and as the vehicle for those who aspire to control that drama’s course. Facebook, welcome to the big leagues.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Android Oreo news: Beta take a look at for Samsung S8 and S8 Furthermore products coming before long Challenge Treble integrated in characteristics

The Galaxy S8 and S8 FurthermoreSamsung/smartphones/galaxy-s8

The most recent Android Oreo update has now appear out, initial arriving on Pixel and Nexus products and it is about to department into the Nokia 8 device and the Essential Cell phone. For Samsung end users who are waiting around for an update, it looks that the tech business is now functioning on bringing the update to the Galaxy S8, and the wait will not be long.

As all those who now have Android Oreo on their products now know, the update is not particularly the biggest, but it does carry on some changes that establish to be really practical, in conditions of user-confront as properly as the history. In Samsung’s case, this update is vital since Android Oreo has Challenge Treble, which is Google’s way of earning it less difficult for Unique Tools Manufacturers to keep their styles up to date.

According to SamMobile, they have found out some firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S8 as properly as S8 Furthermore that indicates that the beta versions for Android Oreo could possibly be arriving for all those two styles. How? These serial codes G950FXXE1ZQ17 for Galaxy S8 and G955FXXU1ZQ17 for Galaxy S8 Furthermore have the “Z” that Samsung takes advantage of to indicate the testing firmware, as they have beforehand done with Android Nougat beta assessments on the S7 line.

The timeframe for this has nevertheless to be identified, but even so, it is very clear that Samsung continues to perform on bringing the most recent Android update to the two new telephones. This would necessarily mean that updates next Android Oreo will be predicted to clearly show up a lot quicker.

Talking of the beta testing, the beta edition of Android Oreo is predicted to be out before long. However, Samsung and Google have not nevertheless introduced when the update will arrive to its products. Apart from S8 and S8 Furthermore naturally getting this update, the S7 products are also probably to be eligible for an up grade. As for the S6 line and down below, there is a possibility that they will stay with the Android Nougat.

Other than the Challenge Treble, Android Oreo has a more powerful protection heart which is superior for end users who are involved about likely mobile phone hackers.

How Your Kids Can Use Google Home   

Photo via Google and StoryCorps

Sometimes, I’ll hear the voice of my four-year-old daughter in the other room, and I’ll wonder, who is she talking to? And then I’ll realize, oh, it’s Google Home, the wifi-connected, voice-controlled smart speaker that has become her little buddy. (Yes, I realize how weird that sentence sounds.)

The future is now, and there are many ways that Google Home can help and entertain kids. They just need to begin any command or question with “Hey Google” or “OK Google.”

Here are some ideas to get started. (Note: Look out for similar guides for other smart assistants soon.)

Call Grandma

Home can make phone calls, which is handy for kids who don’t yet have phones. Grandma and grandpa would so thrilled. Also, if they have their own Google account with contacts, you can add it so that when they say, “Hey Google, call Dad,” Home will distinguish their voice and ring their dad, not your dad.

Article preview thumbnail
How to Add Users to Google Home

Sometimes all I need in this crazy world is a brisk walk to clear my head and some good music…

Read more

Get Homework Help

Google Home is able to … Google. Kids can ask questions they’re stumped on, and it will find answers from trustworthy sources. For instance: Hey Google, who has the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence? Hey Google, what’s the capital of Arkansas? Hey Google, how many different shark species are alive today? Hey Google, how far aways is the moon? Hey Google, how do you spell ‘extraterrestrial’? It even tackles questions you might not hear every day. Hey Google, what’s the gestation period for camels? (It’s around 410 days, in case you’re curious. Oof.)

Play Games

We played Mad Libs with Google Home and it was silly fun, resulting in a story about nuns with sticky armpits. There are also other simple games kids can play: Hangman, Ding Dong Coconut (a memory game where you associate words with sounds), the Name Game (you start with a name and then come up with words that rhyme with it), Magic Door (a choose-your-own adventure game), Akinator the Genie (a character guessing game) and Magic 8 Ball.

To further stretch kids’ brains, Home has loads of quizzes, including ones on American Presidents and math. The most elaborate game seems to be “I’m Feeling Lucky,” a trivia show complete with a buzzer, audience reactions and quippy one-liners from the host. It supports multiple players, making it a fun family night activity.

Hear Stories

Saying, “Hey Google, tell me a human story,” or “Hey Google, tell me a summer story” will play an interview with a real person from a StoryCorps collection. A great way to introduce kids to those with experiences different from their own.

Settle a Sibling Argument

Kids can’t decide who gets to choose the night’s movie or test the new scooter first? Flip a virtual coin. Just say, “Hey Google, flip a coin.” Done. No more complaining that it was a trick spin or that it bounced off Mom’s hand. There’s also a virtual dreidel and virtual dice if you want to get fancy.

Be Entertained

Home knows how to (mildly) party. It can tell jokes (“What is a sea monster’s favorite snack? Ships and dip.” Da-dum-bum, chhhhh.) It can also make animal noises, sing songs and beatbox (or, well, it tries.)

Turn on Captions

If your kid is watching TV, say, “Hey Google, turn on subtitles (or captions).” An easy way to help them gain reading skills.

Article preview thumbnail
Turn on the Subtitles When Kids Watch TV 

A week or so has passed since school’s been out for the summer, which means you’ve likely already…

Read more


When kids need some down time, ask Home to open Headspace. It will play one of three different free meditation sessions that are only two-minutes long.

Why Equifax’s error wasn’t hiring someone with a music degree

All those people are about to be proven so, very, very wrong in an upcoming, in-depth report from internet infrastructure organization Packet Clearing House in collaboration with Prof. Coye Cheshire at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information. Their findings show data concluding that most infosec professionals don’t hold a degree in a computer science-related field. What’s more, the report shows that degrees are the least important feature of a competent practitioner and degree programs are the least useful places to learn security skills.

Portions of the report prior to its November publication, titled “A Fragmented Whole: Cooperation and Learning in the Practice of Information Security” were shared with Engadget. It combines surveys, interviews, and ethnographic research.

The project’s lead researcher Ashwin Mathew told us via email, “There are many things for which we should fault Equifax, which other coverage has already pointed to, such as insufficient staffing and bad practices.”

He added:

The CISO not having a CS degree is a distraction at best from the underlying problems — and it is incredibly problematic the fact that the CISO is a woman who is called upon to defend her qualifications, in a field dominated by white men, many of whom do not have CS degrees or infosec certifications.

The question of Ms. Mauldin’s fitness for the position became a lens for many — mostly dudes — to exact their anger at Equifax for probably ruining millions of people’s lives with a single missed patch. And as far as we’ve been told, that’s what it came down to: A flaw in Apache Struts that should’ve been fixed in March led to its major breach the same month, which we only found out about on September 7.

That’s not all, of course. Right when we were learning about the theft of sensitive information belonging to at least 200 million U.S. consumers, as well as information on some Canadians and up to 400 thousand British residents, we found out that Equifax execs sold off stocks before the breach was made public. Shares of Equifax plummeted 35 percent since the disclosure of its breach. Those shady Equifax stock sales are now the focus of a criminal probe by the FBI in conjunction with U.S. prosecutors in Atlanta.

Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo in this illustration taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illutration

In addition to the FBI, several attorneys general in various states have announced formal investigations. Collectively, U.S. senators “want copies of all Equifax penetration test and audit reports by outside cybersecurity firms,” according to Bloomberg.

To top it all off, Equifax has behaved horribly in the wake of the breach. Its website to help consumers was broken, Equifax itself sent the public to the wrong website that was a fake phishing site set up by a white hat hacker, and the company quietly disappeared its apps from both the Apple App and Google Play Stores.

But when the male-dominated discussions about infosec heard about Ms. Mauldin’s degree in music, it was decided that she was a suitable target for their rage, with some well-deserved anger at Equifax as the catalyst. The hate was visible on Twitter, Reddit, and Slashdot, and put into press by MarketWatch’s Brett Arends (a history major himself). He wrote,

When Congress hauls in Equifax CEO Richard Smith to grill him, it can start by asking why he put someone with degrees in music in charge of the company’s data security.

And then they might also ask him if anyone at the company has been involved in efforts to cover up Susan Mauldin’s lack of educational qualifications since the data breach became public.

This thinking begins to look unqualified, and worse, in light of the upcoming Berkeley report. Lead researcher Mathew told us, “I spoke with CISOs and senior engineers at large Silicon Valley firms who both did and didn’t have degrees.”

He explained that among those who even had degrees, those with degrees outside of computer science outnumbered those with a degree in CS. “For many of the positions which they hired for (including their own), degrees are not a consideration,” he said. “Degrees are in general important only as a marker of character.”

What’s more, Mathew confided, “As several interviewees told me, having a degree shows a certain level of persistence and fortitude when evaluating junior positions, with the degree indicating that a candidate was willing to sit through several years of coursework — but the subject of the degree is irrelevant. Many of the online services which we take for granted are secured by people who do not have degrees, or whose degrees are not in CS.”

Insofar as what the report will tell us about what all those people in infosec actually have degrees in, Mr. Mathew told Engadget:

“Respondents indicated a diverse array of fields of study from “hard” sciences like biology, chemistry and physics, to agriculture, languages, journalism, sociology, and so on.”

I hope we find out what happened with the Equifax breach, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe Ms. Mauldin and her forcibly retired colleague were part of a decision-making chain that deprioritized a single patch, or maybe they’re just scapegoats. Or maybe they were the ones who hired penetration testing teams to audit the company, but couldn’t get their superiors to take the audit’s finding seriously — a situation that happens so often it’s insane.

After all, according to her now private LinkedIn page, Mauldin was the Senior Director of Information Security Audits and Compliance for Hewlett Packard from 2002-2007.

Short of literally punching a baby, it’s hard to imagine what else Equifax has done wrong. The sky seems to be the limit here, and Ms. Mauldin was a part of it. So the only thing that’s certain is that things aren’t going to get better for anyone involved with Equifax, past or present. Especially all of us, who are involuntarily Equifax victims.

Either way, we should all be looking forward to “A Fragmented Whole: Cooperation and Learning in the Practice of Information Security.” It’ll be announced, and findable, on the front page of The Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity in early November.

Striving to improve the energy market

I CATCH up with Colin Calder between his calls to government officials and energy bigwigs.

He is a busy man; a busy man with a mission. A mission to change the energy market for the better.

And he is leading that charge from his Newbury company, PassivSystems.

“I am pretty passionate about trying to change the energy market for the better,” he explains.

“Two years ago I started working with the Government, providing input to the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“I am currently leading an industry consortium that is pushing Government to create an energy framework so we have a better understanding for the future.

“It means we are fundamentally going to have to change what the gas and electricity grid does and that has a huge impact on what we invest in as a country.

“We need a long-term investment strategy.”

Colin’s interest in climate change began back in 2007, when he met a professor from the University of Milan.

“At that time Italy was the only county to roll out smart meters to all homes,” says Colin, who was born and grew up in Newbury.

“I ended up meeting the head of faculty at the University of Milan and got talking to him about how that had been managed and what the benefits were.

“I was surprised to hear that the Government were nervous to move to using time-sensitive tariffs for fear of civil unrest.

“It got me thinking that this isn’t just an Italian problem, but a global problem.

“There were huge political issues tied up with it, but at that point I decided to set up PassivSystems and do more work on it.”

In the early days, PassivSystems focused entirely on the home consumer market – looking at how to engage consumers with the energy industry and how to get consumers value for money while de-carbonising everything.

“Around 80 per cent of energy into the home goes on heating and hot water, so we set about developing ‘learning algorithms’ – an algorithm that learns the thermal dynamic model of your home,” Colin says.

“It learns about the rate at which your home loses or gains heat.”

PassivSystems was the first company in the world to launch a smart thermostat when it showcased it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2010.

It was named in the top six hottest products of the entire show, which was a phenomenal achievement for a relatively small start-up from West Berkshire.

Since then the company has put more and more capability in to its thermostat, which now includes 24-hour weather forecasts too.

The thermostat can predict how much energy your home will be using, and when, to offer you the perfect environment.

That data can then be used to see how much it could be altered, in terms of timing and temperature and therefore demand on the nation’s supply, while still maintaining your ‘comfort level’.

Consumer studies have so far shown that PassivSystem’s products, which can be controlled from a mobile phone, are all very well received.

“Over time we will be moving more and more towards using electricity rather than gas and electricity networks will become volatile,” explains Colin.

“The rate at which renewable generation changes will affect the stability of the electricity network and if the National Grid doesn’t keep the network stable on a second-by-second basis then it could trip out a lot of systems.

“Consumers can help keep the grid stable by moderating demand.

“We must reverse the model from turning power stations on and off to moderating demand to fit when the grid has the power.”

Colin is now involved in a number of trials with government departments and the energy industry to try to establish a sustainable future.

“It is about buying it [energy] when it is cheap,” he says. “And giving people comfort, ease of use and better value for money.”

Adding another string to its bow, the company has developed an asset management capability and currently maintains around 40,000 rooftop solar PV systems across the country.

More than 800,000 homes in the UK have solar PV panels and a large part of that market is social housing, where a ‘rent a roof’ scheme is employed.

“We can help minimise operational costs and maximise output yield,” adds Colin. “We have made huge investments in advanced software techniques.”

The company is now also branching out into some of the more hard-to-reach places of the country, including an EU-funded project to help the Isles of Scilly become more carbon efficient, and trials are currently ongoing there.

“The consumers are becoming energy traders,” says Colin.

“We are currently doing some really interesting work around getting consumers best value for money and that involves looking at when to buy and store energy.

“We are looking at how to reshape the energy market and working with all of the big energy companies and the Government to do that.”

PassivSystems is a profitable company that currently employs 50 people at its offices in Newbury. It is now looking to expand into Denmark and the Middle East.

Nest’s cheaper thermostat is better than the original

Usually when a company releases a cheaper version of its flagship product, it’s notably worse in some way in order to justify the cheaper price and to keep from cannibalizing the original, more expensive option.

Nest didn’t do that. Instead, the company that made the smart thermostat popular with a $250 device made a new thermostat that is just as good as the original, and knocked $80 off the price (mainly because it won’t be compatible with some higher-end heating and cooling systems).

If you’re in the market for a smart thermostat and the Nest Thermostat E works with your system, you should buy it. (If you have a two story house or a basement you might want to look at an Ecobee thermostat, which comes with remote temperature sensors.) It works just as good as the flagship Nest Thermostat, it’s cheaper, and the features it is missing are inconsequential at best.

Here are the differences between the $249 Nest Thermostat and the $169 Nest Thermostat E:

  1. The Nest Thermostat has a full-color display and a feature called Farsight that will show you the time, weather, or temperature from across the room. The Nest Thermostat E has a frosted display that only shows the indoor temperature.
  2. The Nest Thermostat works with 95 percent of homes. The Nest Thermostat E works with 85 percent of homes.
  3. The Nest Thermostat has a metal ring and comes in multiple colors. The Nest Thermostat E has a plastic ring and only comes in white.

They both work with services like Alexa and Google Assistant (still no HomeKit support for some reason), you can control them both away from your home with the Nest app, and all of the energy-saving features that make the original Nest great are fully available on the cheaper edition.

Photo by Micah Singleton / The Verge

I’ve been using the Nest Thermostat E for the past few weeks, trying to decipher why anyone would buy the more expensive version if both are compatible with your heating and cooling system. There are no build quality issues, installation was easier than I expected, and the auto-scheduling feature works well enough that it hasn’t been too hot or too cold in my house in days.

I waffled for years on buying a Nest because, well, it’s $250 and I spend literally no time looking at my thermostat. But if you knock nearly $100 off that? With no missing features? Now we’re talking. And I think that’s how most people will feel about it.

If spending $170 will lower my energy bill and let me control the temperature from my phone, that’s hard to pass up. And that’s what Nest is ultimately hoping for. The company says it wants to sell two to three times as many units over the next four years, and the E will likely help it do that. But I don’t know if Nest expected its budget option to potentially cannibalize its flagship device. That’s always a possibility when you make similar products at different price points, and safeguards are usually put in to stop that from happening.

That apparently didn’t happen this time around. The best Nest is no longer the original. It’s the Thermostat E.

Deal of the 7 days: Save £150 on a Samsung Galaxy S8 when you trade in your aged Iphone

Trade in your aged Iphone to acquire a low cost of up to £156 on the newest Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphones.

What’s the deal accurately?

Samsung has launched a scheme which allows consumers trade in their aged Iphone and acquire a low cost on the newest Samsung Galaxy phones, the S8 and S8+.

Until 8 Oct, if you location an get for a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, you’ll be specified the alternative to deliver Samsung your aged Iphone (should be an Iphone 4 or later on), which will enable you to get a low cost of £156 on the S8 and £113 on the S8+. This brings the obtain cost down to £533 and £666 respectively.

Even so, this selling price is not compensated upfront, as payments are instead unfold, desire absolutely free, more than two a long time. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S8 would cost an original deposit of £53.30 additionally every month payments of £19.99 for 24 months.

While no desire is charged, this is a credit history settlement with Near Brothers, so be prepared to be credit history checked.

Why really should I care?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 typically prices £689 while the S8+ is £779. This suggests you can conserve £156 on the S8 and £113 on the S8+ by taking benefit of this offer.

What’s the catch?

The Iphone you swap should be an Iphone 4 or newer, be equipped to electrical power up and can not be a blacklisted machine, i.e. a telephone which has been described as stolen.

This deal is just for the telephone itself and does not consist of any calls, details or texts. You will will need to obtain a SIM card from a cell telephone company, so use a selling price comparison site these as MoneySupermarket or uSwitch to see what deals are readily available.

As pointed out previously mentioned, it is vital to recognize that by taking this deal you are entering into a credit history settlement.

What other alternatives do I have?

If you have the far more latest Iphone 7, you could uncover it far more rewarding to trade it in for dollars utilizing a telephone recycling service, these as Envirofone or Mazuma, and then use that dollars to obtain a new telephone.

For instance, buying and selling in an Iphone 4 8GB will gain just £2 from Envirofone but the newest Iphone 7 32GB is value at minimum £250, which is far more than the Samsung offer.

But remember these telephone recycling expert services will fork out considerably less if your telephone is broken whereas Samsung only needs the telephone to electrical power up.

Use sites, these as Sellmymobile and Comparemymobile, to uncover out which recycling service will offer you the most income.

Where by can I uncover out far more?

You can go through the entire terms and conditions on the Samsung site.