In the modern interconnected world, we rely on technology to complete work, and enjoy various forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, this means there are unscrupulous individuals who try to exploit any loopholes and attack networks. Perhaps, they feel this is a way of exposing a company’s poor security or attempt to ruin people’s free time in a bitter manner. Whatever the case, there’s numerous examples of networks being breached including PlayStation Network. Recently, Xbox Live has suffered from some downtime, due to cyberattacks. This isn’t acceptable for either Sony or Microsoft because they are charging a fee to access a service.
On another note, Steam encountered problems due to a caching error, and allowed access to other people’s accounts. This emphasizes the need for extremely secure networks which involves a great deal of investment. Back in November, Microsoft opened a new facility which brings together around 50 security experts from various divisions including the Office, Windows, Azure, Xbox and other groups. This means they can unify different teams with roughly 3,500 other security employees throughout various offices. Hopefully, this should improve security measures, and help prevent cyberattacks from occurring. While the new facility’s cost is unknown, reports suggest the company has spent $1 billion on security last year. Duncan Brown, research director at IDC Research Inc said:
“Microsoft has been on the fringe of security for some time,”
“Now, they are putting it at the center of operations.”
According to Microsoft, every second matters when dealing with cyberattacks, and it’s essential to have a rapid response. The best form of this is via “machine learning”. So how does this work? Microsoft hired a group of white-hat hackers known as Red Team to attack its networks. The information during these breaches are monitored by programs alongside real attacks to form a database which should help with future cyberattacks. It’s always a difficult task to deal with complicated attacks from criminals, but it’s clear that Microsoft is investing in security infrastructure.
Apple has a lot of cash and now it seems that they’re looking to spend some of it. The company announced yesterday that they would be building a $2 Billion ‘Global Command Center’ at the site of the former GT Advanced sapphire plant – the place that went bankrupt when it failed to deliver sapphire screens for iPhones.
This ‘Command Center’ is not going to be a place for Tim Cook to rule the world, but rather a massive data centre, to centralise all of Apple’s online services.
“This multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S. Like all Apple data centers, it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, much of which will come from a new local solar farm,” Apple said in a statement on the project.”
Despite the company’s massive cash hoard and insane profits, Apple really is quite frugal. While companies like Microsoft and Google acquire big companies all the time, Apple’s last big acquisition, that of Beats headphones, was its largest purchase since 1996 – when Apple bought NeXT, the company that Steve Jobs founded when he was forced out of Apple in 1985.
It’ll be interesting to see what Apple is planning to do with this plant, with some suggesting that it could be part of future plans to increase its online services.
Apple has updated iTunes with a bunch of the usual fixes and tweaks, but also with one handy new feature.
In OS X, iTunes users can now control music being played in the Notification Center – you can skip songs, pause, play and more. There’s also information about the particular song you’re listening to as well as information about the playlist or album.
Notification Center was a feature included with OS X Mavericks in 2013, as part of Apple’s wider efforts to tie-in features across OS X and iOS. It was with OS X Yosemite in 2014 that the company brought along widgets, a feature that allows users to install small gadgets and tools inside Notification Center that can be used to manipulate the wider system and specific apps.
The new update to iTunes is available now via Software Update in the App Store.