Stories for Nov. 20, 2013
In Brief

The New Jersey Attorney General has fined online video gaming company E-Sports Entertainment for exposing its players, who utilize the service to play “anti-cheat” CounterStrike competitions, to code that turned their computers into rogue Bitcoin miners, according to Wired.  The Attorney General’s statement said that the malicious code came in an update package, infecting up to 14,000 computers and allowing ESEA to monitor gamers’ computers and use them to mine a total of 30 Bitcoins.  In addition to the Attorney General’s fine, the company faces a class-action suit in California.

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Stories for Nov. 19, 2013
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On The Web

This is a good blog post from Gartner analyst Alessandro Perilli about some of the problems facing vendors selling OpenStack as private-cloud software. You should read it. My two cents: If OpenStack vendors really are at a loss for how to describe their products, perhaps they should look at how the Hadoop market has been able to (seemingly) thrive thanks to a strong community and clear product visions among the vendors involved, beyond the open source code.

Apple TV users just got another option to watch Antiques Roadshow: PBS launched an app on Apple’s streaming box Tuesday, promising access to “thousands of hours of your favorite PBS programming.” But don’t expect whole seasons of Downton Abbey: Amazon got an exclusive for that show, […] Read more »

In Brief

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Verizon Wireless unveiled its new destination store concept on Tuesday in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, showing off a massive floorspace more akin to an Apple store than a carrier’s usually cramped retail accommodations. What’s most striking about the new format is how phones take a backseat to a variety of internet of things gadgets and peripherals on display. Verizon EVP and COO Marni Walden said the new stores are meant to highlight all the objects and apps its network can connect both directly and indirectly. Verizon will be opening up several more of them starting in Chicago (perhaps not coincidentally where AT&T’s first showcase store is located).

In Brief

The days of the cold call might be gone for salespeople. Actually, the days of the not-too-promising call might soon be gone, too. On Tuesday, a company called InsideSales introduced a new capability that infuses neural network technology (the basis of deep learning) into its products to help identify the best leads and even the best ways to approach them. However, scoring sales leads is becoming the new black. We recently covered a company called Infer that delivers a similar service, and companies such as Intel are even doing some of this internally.

On The Web

T-Mobile has been ferreting a lot of cash under the mattress in preparation for the day it can pounce on new mobile broadband airwaves. It raised $1.8 billion through a stock sale last week, and on Monday it filed the paperwork for a bond sale, which could add an additional $2 billion to its coffers. According to the Wall Street JournalT-Mobile is considering using the new funds for a spectrum buy from another company. There’s not much loose 4G spectrum in the market these days, but the most likely targets are the 700 MHz licenses Verizon Wireless agreed to shed when it bought up the cable companies airwaves.

Compass-EOS icPhotonics - In Hand

Compass-EOS is an Israeli company that is trying to rethink routing. It has invented a new optical chip to do that. And all that means it has needed money – about $160 million in total, of which $42 million came just recently. Read more »

On The Web

Well, that was fast. About a month after Twitter unveiled the ability to direct message someone who is not following youTime reports that the feature is now missing from the Settings section. My colleague Mathew Ingram told me that he noted the change a few days ago, and sent a message to Twitter about it — only to be redirected to the company’s blog post on experiments in September. So, it’s likely that the feature was an experiment that has now been put to bed , perhaps to the benefit of Twitter’s celebrity user base.

In Brief

SmartThings, the startup that offers people a hub and sensors so they can connect devices within their home, has fewer than 10,000 people using its hubs since its launch in June (one of which is mine). What’s more interesting is that those homes generate 150 million data points a day according to Jeff Hagins, the CTO of SmartThings, who shared those stats during a question and answer session on the internet of things hosted by the Federal Trade Commission. That’s a lot of data, and the FTC today is wondering what that data availability means for privacy and security.

In Brief

Nokia’s extraordinary general meeting, convened to discuss the takeover of the Finnish firm’s handset division by Microsoft, is still ongoing at the time of writing. However, The Financial Times reports that it’s a formality — 99.7 percent of shareholders who voted before the meeting (that’s 4 in 5) have already said yes to the $7.2 billion deal. The remaining bits of Nokia are nothing to be sneezed at: the Here location business, a division creating new advanced materials, sensors and so on, and of course the NSN networking business.

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