The Unique World Of 2016 Cyber Security Predications

2016 is here and I still want my hoverboard, by this, I mean an authentic Back to the Future machine and not the cheap plastic device that is currently being marketed. Anyway, this year promises to be compelling for a number of reasons including Cyber Security and the nature of locking data away from the many threats that now lurk within the Cyber walls. Various individuals have had their predictions concerning the coming year’s potential cyber security issues and I thought it would be interesting to convey a selection of the many theories below.

A Cyber Attack will look to exploit the 2016 US presidential election
This may be classed as an outside possibility, even though it would be technically possible whether it will happen is a different matter, this prediction arrives courtesy of Ryan Olson, director of threat intelligence for Palo Alto Network who states that hackers could look to obtain private information from candidates via emails or social network accounts.  Any sensitive information that might be released could, in theory, sway an election, unless you’re Mr Trump who says what he thinks anyway.

Virtual Boarders that control access to the Internet
This theory is far from new, but could be a reality if certain powerful figures are able to exert major control over the internet.  According to Kaspersky Lab, we could see a development of Internet borders that divide access to information along country lines.

Hacked data could become a huge commodity
2015 became the year of the hack and included everything from Dating websites to the leaking of huge databases containing sensitive government details, according to Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO and co-founder of Crowdstrike, who states that hackers are aiming to build up huge stocks of information that contain multiple strands of data. This could lead to blackmailageddon, or something equally terrifying, whereby extortion attacks on individuals and companies are widespread.

Chinese VS Russian Hackers
This one sounds like an opening scene from Rush Hour, but no, according to experts with IID predict, as China’s economy stops growing, many cyber hackers might turn from Cyber espionage to cybercrime. This could then lead to criminal activity that is far bigger than that of Easton Europe.  Is it possible?  You never know considering the technical expertise many hackers possess in china.

Cyber attacks will destroy a major brand or product.  
This prediction from Mark Painter who is a security evangelist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprises is quite feasible considering the many holes which exist within certain tech products.  This individual states that “We are increasingly close to finding out in 2016 if a major product will shut down due to security issues”. Adobe Flash springs to mind considering we all know companies would quite happily cut their losses if a product becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

Will any of these come true?  Only time will tell, especially if Ronald McDonald becomes president.

Image courtesy of PCWorld

Logitech Unveils Dramatic Brand Re-Design

Logitech has undergone a major visual overhaul and opting to use more bright colours to differentiate their products from the competition. Additionally, the company plans to launch the “Logi” range which looks set to appear on a wide range of new and unexpected categories. While, the official blog post gives no concrete information, I would predict this may be a new direction perhaps in fashion or something similar. Notice, the branding drops the “tech” portion so it would be fair to suggest this part of the company will not produce technology products. It seems Logitech are fully aware of the struggling nature of the PC peripheral market and trying to expand their product line to remain a competitive force.

Peter Curtis was hired recently and acts as Logitech’s first chief design officer. In a brief exchange with The Verge he stated Logitech would begin ,

“design as an ethos and a mentality.”

Curtis also went onto say,

“whether we as a company completely transition to Logi over the next two or three years is yet to be seen.”

I find this a very intriguing statement to make. Reading between the lines, it’s clear Logitech has no long-term plans to ditch the traditional peripheral sector but if their returns diminished further and the Logi brand was a success, it could be up for discussion. Considering they haven’t given a stern no to this possibly, it’s a cogent theory that Logitech could be restructuring in a revolutionary way.

How do you feel about Logitech’s new brand identity? Do you worry their focus on the PC will be neglected in the coming years?

‘Fury’ Could be Making a Come-back

My fingers are starting to get tired with how much information is coming in regarding the new AMD 300 series. Leaked specifications, names, images and even announcement date information is coming in thick and fast. Now it seems that AMD will be reviving the late 90’s branding of ‘Fury’, possibly dubbing the top end Fiji graphics card ‘Radeon Fury’. The Fury range was once the most revered graphics cards in existence, offering top of the line power and performance for the time; maybe AMD is hoping this graphics card can offer the same.

So what do we know about the Fiji-based graphics card up to now? For one, it’s going to be a serious contender for the most powerful single GPU graphics card on the planet. It will utilise High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which will give to around twice as much bandwidth than the Titan X, host around 1000 more cores than the Titan X and be factory water cooled like the R9 295×2.

I haven’t watched Mad Max Fury Road yet, but how awesome would have the advertising been if they intertwined? Maybe we could see an AMD and Mad Max game combo in September when it launches? Maybe a sort of post-apocalyptic cooling design? Along with this, AMD and Kingston could hold a deal, buy ## amount of HyperX Fury RAM and get so much off a graphics card, or vice versa.

Thank you to EXPreview for providing us with this information.

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer Announces ‘New Exclusive IP at E3’

This year’s E3 could be very exciting! Aside from AMD’s rumour to show the R9 300 series, we have Crytek teasing with their demo and many more other manufacturers/game developers/etc coming with news of their latest ‘contraptions’.

Now Microsoft’s head of Xbox division, Phil Spencer, adds some hype to that E3 date we are all waiting for. He tweeted that the company will come forth with a ‘new exclusive IP’ this time around. This does not mean that they will stop promoting third-parties altogether, but rather shift their focus more on their own stuff.

Now the question is, what does this mean? Will we see more Halo titles cropping up? How about a new Age of Empires game? If you think that the latter are a lot of questions, then we shouldn’t start mentioning the questions about the Windows-makers platform decisions.

As you would have imagined by now, there is no official news about an upcoming title or the platform it will roll out on. In my opinion, the Xbox One platform is the right candidate for the company because the company is more inclined to go with their own gaming platform.

Windows 10 is their latest product and the (only) OS for gaming on PC, but it’s not Microsoft’s own platform at play. So why not kill two birds with one stone?

Palm Brand Sold Off By HP – New Smartphones on the Way?

Go to Palm.com right now and you’ll see the message above. After that address stopped directing people to hpwebos.com it started going to mynewpalm.com suggesting that something interesting was happening behind the scenes.

It was later discovered that HP had sold off the Palm trademarks to a company called Wide Progress Global Limited – a company supposedly linked to Alcatel One Touch, which is in turn owned by Chinese smartphone company  TCL Corporation. As ArsTechnica says, this move could be seen as TCL’s attempt to break into the US smartphone market under a well-known brand. This all leads people to believe that we’ll see a Palm comeback in some form or another.

Palm is famous for dominating the PDA market that pre-dated smartphones, with its popular Palm Pilot. However, with the advent of smartphones, Palm’s PDA business faltered and they ended up falling behind the new surprise market leaders (Apple and Google). Palm was in turn bought by HP and with the use of the WebOS, they tried to rejuvenate a once leading brand.

As we all know now, that failed, and it’ll be interesting to see what is made of this attempt by a different company.

Source: ArsTechnica

Is Your Sony Charging Cable Genuine?

Recently, a charging cable has been released catered toward Sony products. The Chikou charging cable was originally thought of my most to be an official Sony product, brandishing a very similar design to their architecture and color schemes as we’ve seen Sony produce for years. Later on, Sony Taiwan released a statement to IT Home claiming that it was not an officially branded product.

Confusion was still wide-spread as Japanese branches of Sony were claiming through online portals that the Chikou charging cable was a Sony Mobile Authorized product and the production line quality was closely monitored by their servicing staff.

The cable was released with some impressive features, well as impressive as you can get for a cable. Featuring fire retardant materials and a magnetic connection to the phone to hold it in place, this cable can actually only be used with Sony products. It’s designed to clamp only to Sony products bodies, being measured and designed in this fashion.

We’re unable to come to a final answer as to if this is an official Sony product or not, but it heeds as a warning to those looking to buy any ‘official’ product. With so many knock-0ff and dodgy brands around these days, it’s hard to know if what you’re getting is actually genuine, or a cheap replica – or if there’s a third party company producing items (like in this case), is it actually approved by your products company?

If you’re looking for the always-safe option, go ahead and purchase directly only from your smartphone companies website. But, as with all ‘officially licensed’ products – expect to be paying a 200% premium.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Guitar Hero Said to Have Made More Money for Aerosmith than Their Albums’ Sales

The popular American rock band, Aerosmith, also referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”, have apparently sold over 150 million albums, estimating each band member’s fortune at over $100 million. However, the most interesting news is that from 2008 onwards, the majority of their profits have apparently rolled in from a video game.

In 2007, the band is said to have licensed 29 songs to Activision, the American video game publisher behind the popular and very successful franchise, Guitar Hero. In one year’s time, namely in June 2008, the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith title went on sale, having said to have brought over $25 million by selling almost 600,000 copies of the game in the first week and reaching an estimated 4 million copies sold to date. In comparison, the band’s 2004 album, Honkin’ on Bobo, sold about 160,000 copies and received only $2 million in the first week of sale.

This is just an example of one band’s profits coming largely from endorsements, cross-promotions, concerts and even video games in this case, compared to their album sales and digital downloads. It is said that last summer, 11 albums had sold 500,000 copies, having only 5 albums doing so well this year. Some musicians are also suggesting a strategy where they should “make high upfront investments in albums, and then set correspondingly high prices on them at retail.” However, given the album sale decline, the latter strategy would only make the decline in sales faster.

All in all, Aerosmith’s strategy might seem to make the most sense. We all live in an era where it’s more or less free to make digital copies of songs, having music itself not being scarce at all. The key appears not to be the artist’s music, but their brand, having bands earning more from it than from their albums.

Thank you Vox for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Vox

VAIO Line of Computers Making a Comeback After Sony Sells the Brand

Earlier this year Sony made an announcement that their long-standing VAIO notebook and PC sub-brand was to be drawn to a close after a period of poor financial gains and instead the VAIO resources were to be moved over to the already growing mobile department where smartphones such as the Xperia and a number of tablets were proving to be more popular.

Now only five months later, Sony have announced the resurrection of the VAIO brand, although this time it will be setup and run as a company in its own right trading under the VAIO Corporation name tag. Although the VAIO brand will effectively have nothing to do with Sony, Sony are keeping a five percent share in the business, with VAIO products being made available through the Sony online stores.

To get the business up, running and stable, VAIO will run at a considerably smaller scale, with sales and production limited to Japan for the time being, with no more that 240 employees running the outfit. There are no indications that the brand will be expanding outside of Japan in the near future.

Source: Engadget

Lenovo Aims To Crush Apple and Samsung Following Motorola Mobility Acquisition

Following the acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google along with its share of patents, Chinese manufacturer Lenovo now reveals some big plans. Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang gave an interview with Fortune regarding the deal where he talked about his plans to over take his biggest competitors, Apple and Samsung.

By acquiring Motorola Mobility, Lenovo became the third largest smartphone maker worldwide, and when asked how he feels about catching up to his top-seated competitors, Yang said his company’s “mission is to surpass them.” It sounds as though Lenovo will market its smartphones with the Motorola brand, likely a smart choice considering Motorola’s pedigree.

However, Yang also mentioned there was some uncertainty regarding this issue still, saying the company will most likely “leverage the Motorola brand, but it could be something like ‘Motorola by Lenovo.'” Yang also told Fortune a little bit about how Lenovo became interested in Motorola when it split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions back in 2011, as well other plans regarding branding in certain countries.

There will still be a waiting period while US regulatory groups finally green light the deal, according to reports the purchase will go through a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a group responsible for ensuring there are no national security risks taken through deals of this nature.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information