Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

You can’t make this stuff up…

Hackers leak Assad’s astonishing office emails
Hundreds of emails from the office of Bashar al Assad have been leaked by the hacker group Anonymous.

By Phoebe Greenwood, Tel Aviv

4:30PM GMT 07 Feb 2012

The group used the simple password “1234” to log into the mail accounts of several of the Syrian president’s closest aids.

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Some sad news earlier this week

Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The death was announced by Apple, the company Mr. Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage. A friend of the family said the cause was complications of pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with the disease, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment, introducing new products for a global market in his trademark blue jeans even as he grew gaunt and frail.

He underwent surgery in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. When he left, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

“I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and an array of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet. He had also become a very rich man, worth an estimated $8.3 billion.

What a shame… He really was the Willy Wonka of Silicon Valley. Perhaps the best epitaph for him is this Apple commercial from a few years ago, with voiceover narration by Richard Dreyfus, I believe:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Also worth noting – the release date for Walter Isaacson’s forthcoming biography of Steve Jobs has been pushed up to October 24 and is now the #1 book on Amazon.

Here’s a good collection of Steve Jobs quotes compiled by the Huffington Post, and his famous commencement address at Stanford in 2005.

RIP, Steve. You truly changed the world and made it a better place.

Cyberwar people are gonna love this

MI6 attacks al-Qaeda in ‘Operation Cupcake’
British intelligence has hacked into an al-Qaeda online magazine and replaced bomb-making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.

The cyber-warfare operation was launched by MI6 and GCHQ in an attempt to disrupt efforts by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular to recruit “lone-wolf” terrorists with a new English-language magazine, the Daily Telegraph understands.

When followers tried to download the 67-page colour magazine, instead of instructions about how to “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” by “The AQ Chef” they were greeted with garbled computer code.

The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.

According to their press release, my former employer CNN has a sweet new gadget to do interviews with guests from remote locations, via holographic projection:

Adding to what promises to be one of the most technologically advanced events in CNN’s 28-year history, CNN will enhance interviews with remote correspondents and guests using hologram projection. The network has built sets powered by hologram technology at both campaign headquarters making it possible to project three-dimensional images into the Election Center. From the New York set, anchors will exhibit more natural conversations with newsmakers and CNN correspondents in the field by interacting in real time with their 3-D virtual images.

Did they rip the idea off from Star Wars or what?

Off With Their Heads!

Posted: September 23, 2006 in Technology

NY Times: Chairwoman Leaves Hewlett in Spying Furor

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 22 — The furor over Hewlett-Packard’s spying operation claimed its highest-ranking victim on Friday with the immediate resignation of its chairwoman, Patricia C. Dunn.

The move was announced by Mark V. Hurd, the chief executive, who will now succeed her. But even as he offered an account of an investigation gone awry, and offered apologies to those whose privacy was invaded, he made it clear that many questions had yet to be answered.

His voice shaking, Mr. Hurd said a review of the means used to trace leaks from the company’s board had produced “very disturbing” findings. He also conceded that “I could have, and I should have,” read a report prepared for him while the operation was under way.

The investigators’ zeal led them into a shadowy world of surveillance, and in the end the giant computer company was embarrassed by its own use of technology.

Two executives who supervised the effort were also reported to be leaving.

Dunn should have been axed when the story broke a couple of weeks ago. There is no way she could have stayed on at HP in any capacity after this mess. In essence, Dunn has become the biggest pariah in corporate America this side of Ken Lay. She had better get some good lawyers fast because I have a feeling things are going to get a lot worse for her in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Hewlett Packard-Gate

Posted: September 22, 2006 in Technology

This couldn’t have happened to a nicer corporate board.

If I were an HP shareholder, I would demand the resignation of everyone who came up with or helped carry out this scheme. Contrary to popular belief, there IS such a thing as bad press and bad publicity, and once it starts to affect the bottom line, it becomes a shareholder issue.