News Roundup: Those Zuckerberg for President headlines just won’t go away Credit: Image: Brian Solis via Flickr

News Roundup: Those Zuckerberg for President headlines just won’t go away

A roundup of the week’s technology news including self-driving fridges, AWS re:Invent, and burger emojis.


Would you bet on Zuckerberg for President?

Although he has denied he has any intention to run, the rumours about Mark Zuckerberg making a run for the White House won’t go away. The Facebook CEO is 12-1 odds to clinch the 2020 Democratic nomination (level with Tim Kaine, Mark Cuban, and George Clooney) and 20-1 on winning the whole election (level with Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan).

“First and foremost, the reason why [Zuckerberg has such favourable odds] is because we’ve had a lot of attention from the punters,” said Paddy Power’s PR. “It was as short as 16-1 last month, so there’s a lot of interest around him.”

The fact the man in charge of the biggest internet community in the world – and one currently being investigated for being used to influence US elections – could be making a serious run for the top job in US politics is scary.

Elsewhere, Bahtiyar Duysak aka the man who deactivated President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, has been speaking to the press about that day. Duysak told TechCrunch the deactivation was a “mistake” and he never thought the account would actually get deactivated.


Kaspersky vs the world

Eugene Kaspersky isn’t afraid of being open and honest. This week he claimed that he and his company are at the centre of a “designed and orchestrated attack” from the US. He also said Russian intelligence agencies had “never” asked him to help spy on people through his eponymous security company, and he would refuse if they ever did.

“If the Russian government comes to me and asks me to (do) anything wrong, or my employees, I will move the business out of Russia,” he said. “We never helped the espionage agencies, the Russians or any other nation.”

Misconfigured Amazon S3 buckets are becoming an increasingly common source of data leaks. The NSA and US Army were left embarrassed this week after over 100 gigabytes of data about a joint intelligence project codenamed ‘Red Disk’ were found online.


Hide a data breach, go to jail?

The incoming GDPR will require companies to divulge if they have suffered a data breach within three days, or potentially face a hefty fine. But a new proposed bill in the US could see executives imprisoned for up to five years if they knowingly conceal data breaches from the public. The Data Security and Breach Notification Act was filed by Democratic Senator Bill Nelson after proposing similar legislation last year.

“We need a strong federal law in place to hold companies truly accountable for failing to safeguard data or inform consumers when that information has been stolen by hackers,” Nelson said in a statement. “Congress can either take action now to pass this long overdue bill or continue to kowtow to special interests who stand in the way of this common-sense proposal.

Tim Erlin, VP Product Management and Strategy at Tripwire, however, said was “unlikely” that meaningful disclosure laws will get serious consideration as the administration is “clearly supportive of big business interests.”


AWS re:Invent

Amazon Web Services just can’t stop releasing stuff. The Cloud giant announced many, many, many new products this week at its re: Invent conference.

AWS has moved into the security space with a threat detection service called GuardDuty; Alexa for Business looks to bring digital assistants to the office; and there’s a host of Internet of Things-related offerings. There were also a host of new Machine Learning tools, a Graph Database, a Deep Learning camera, privacy tools, Bare Metal instances, a new IDE, Kubernetes support, Go support for Lambda and container management offerings.

One area that AWS isn’t moving into yet is blockchain.

“We don't yet see a lot of practical use cases for blockchain that are much broader than using a distributed ledger,” said AWS CEO Andy Jassy. “We don't build technology because we think the technology is cool, we only build it if we think we can solve a customer problem and building that service is the best way to solve it.”



Since last week the value of  one Bitcoin hit $9,000, then $10,000, then $11,000, dropped back to around $9,000 within hours, and is somewhere around $10,500 at time of writing. 

Investor Carl Icahn said it “seems like a bubble”, one hedge fund manager said its value could reach as high as $40,000 by the end of 2018.

John McAfee repeated his promise to eat his penis if the value of the cryptocurrency doesn’t reach $1 million by the end of 2020, and once fully mined the value per coin will be “in the tens of billions”.

One writer accused Tesla’s Elon Musk of being Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto based on the fact he was alive at the time, is very clever, and has the ability to code in C++. Musk replied by tweeting “Not true.”



McAfee has acquired Sky High Networks, Samsung has snapped up Fluenty, Dropbox has hoovered Verst, Trend Micro now owns Immunio, WeWork has got its hands on MeetUp, Alibaba has snapped up Visualead tech and people, Qualys has taken over some of NetWatcher, and investment firm Thoma Bravo is taking Barracuda private.

Nokia is denying any interest in buying Juniper Networks. Microsoft has killed off its Delve app. The UK Government’s Catapult programs need to get better or face having their funding removed, according to a new report.


The Girl Scouts get cyber-ready

The Scouts are generally known for helping with practical skills. Making fires, knot-tying, that kind of thing. But we’re in the 21st century now and times change. The US Girl Scouts now offer badges for cyber-security and robotics.

“From arming our older girls with the tools to address this reality to helping younger girls protect their identities via internet safety,” said Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA, “the launch of our national cybersecurity badge initiative represents our advocacy of cyber preparedness.”


Furlexa, self-driving fridges, and smart decanters

Someone has put Alexa in a Furby.

Panasonic has created a self-driving fridge.

Jim Beam has made a smart decanter that comes with all kinds of Whiskey-soaked wit.

None of these things need to exist. Stop.




Thanks Sundar. Although I’m surprised it took so long since you promised to “drop everything” in order to fix this dangerous and serious issue.


«Cybersecurity giant McAfee puts collaboration at the heart of its strategy


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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