Apple has become a legal juggernaut. It’s taking on everyone and everything for presumed violations of its patents and trademarks. Billions are at stake. Its bitten-into-apple logo is sacred. The color red is sacred. So are red apples of any kind, apparently. Then it tried to squash a cafe in Germany, owned by a stubborn entrepreneur with a vision.
“Introducing the new iPhone 5nSa, the best surveillance device to date. Aiming to put your freedom… in the cross hairs.” Hilarious, but also very serious video.
Marseille has a problem: “account settlements” – a guy machine-gunned at close range for a drug deal gone awry. So the city is getting drones to keep an eye on hot neighborhoods. It’s not the only city. One more element in how privacy is traded in for corporate profits, governmental controls, spookily personalized ads, and harebrained hype about security.
IBM announced today that it would throw another billion at Linux, the open-source operating system, to run its Power System servers. It may be making hay of the revelations that the NSA has roped in American tech companies to perfect a seamless spy network. Linux, being free of NSA influence, would be a huge competitive advantage for IBM. Or so it would seem.
Countries like Germany and Turkey have demanded explanations from the U.S. and U.K. governments regarding the NSA’s and GCHQ’s surveillance and wire-tapping program. But Spain’s Rajoy regime has remained conspicuously silent – despite the fact that this surveillance is a clear infringement of Spain’s domestic and external affairs.
I expected the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) to contact me in an icily polite manner and make me recant, and I almost expected some goons to show up with an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I half expected Microsoft to shut down my computers remotely and wipe out my data. But none of that happened. Instead, the BSI confirmed the key points.
Experts at the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) determined that Windows 8, the touch-screen enabled, super-duper, but sales-challenged operating system is dangerous for data security. It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a backdoor – with keys likely accessible to the NSA.
China is the promised land for our revenue-challenged tech heroes: 1.2 billion consumers, economic growth several times that of the US, and companies splurging on IT. Layer the “cloud” on top, and China is corporate nirvana: a high-growth sector in a high-growth country. Or was nirvana, now that the NSA’s hyperactive spying practices have spilled out.
Cisco CEO Chambers gushed with positive vibes during the earnings call: “unbelievably strong results,” he said about the quarter. He talked about record revenues. “We have strong momentum,” he said, “very solid execution.” But he lowered guidance, lamented the debacles in China and Japan, and announced layoffs. Then he uttered the word “lumpy.”
“According to intelligence officials,” who remained unnamed, the NSA is not just looking at meta-data when Americans send emails and texts overseas, as the government had proclaimed when the scandal first broke, but is actually searching the content, however steamy it might be.