April 27, 2013

APK Clues: Better Gaming Services Coming to Android?
The games service probably has nothing to do with Google Glass; Glass can't run complex apps. The Glass team accidentally shipped the full suite of Google Play Services with their new app, which is not normal. This included a never-before-seen backend for an extensive multiplayer gaming service, with just about every gaming feature you could possibly imagine.

Authentication with iOS and Windows Azure Mobile Services
This article will cover how to connect the Mobile Service we set up there with an iOS client using the Mobile Services SDK for iOS. All of the source code for this iOS app is available here in GitHub. I’m going to cover a few different areas in the app in this post: giving users the choice of how to login, creating and logging in with custom accounts, logging users out and returning to the root view controller, caching user tokens so we won’t have to login each time, and dealing with expired tokens now that we’re caching them.

What do people mean when they say "the PC is dying"?
What is meant by "the death of the PC" is that the relevance of the PC within people's lives is being diluted by compute devices that are not PCs and the ability to use them for activities that are rewarding yet do not require PCs. This has in fact been going on a long time (e.g. SMS), it's just that we've reached a tipping point over the past few years where the whole world seems to be full of smartphones and tablets and everyone is now talking about it.

Islamic group expands targets in bank DDoS attacks
With each new wave of attacks the group has shifted to other targets. The first wave, which lasted about six weeks from mid-September to mid-October, targeted mostly major financial institutions. Targets included Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and PNC Bank. In the second phase, which went for seven weeks from December to late January, the attackers expanded to mid-tier banks and credit unions.

U.S. council warns of threat of cyber attacks, market runs
"Technological failures, natural disasters, and cyberattacks can emanate from anywhere, at any time," the report said. "Preparation and planning to address these potential situations are essential to maintain the strength and resilience of our financial system." The FSOC, a powerful body chaired by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, voted on Thursday to adopt its annual report, which includes a set of recommendations to other regulatory agencies. The heads of those agencies are members of the council.

Two-factor or not two-factor? That is the security question
As if to underscore the point that mere passwords are passé, the Twitter hack coincided with the release of Verizon's 2013 data breach report, which pointed the finger at single-factor authentication as a primary culprit in security spills. According to the report, 76 percent of network intrusions in 2012 exploited weak or stolen credentials. The case for two-factor authentication would appear to be a slam dunk. But not all security experts praise the solution as a remedy for all security ills.

Is it time to create your own succession plan?
If you’re in a senior leadership role in a large organization, there’s a good chance there is a succession plan for your position in case you get promoted, win the lottery, get hit by a bus, leave for another company or need to be replaced for poor performance. In smart companies, an orderly replacement of high-level, critical positions is considered to be strategically important to the continued success of the company. A failure to proactively plan for succession is the same as failing to safeguard the financial assets of an organization.

The Internet of Things gets a protocol -- it's called MQTT
"One of the big challenges for right now is that there is not a clear open standard" for message communication with embedded systems, said Mike Riegel, an IBM vice president of mobile and application integration middleware. "We know historically that unless you get to an open standard like this, it is not possible to drive the breakthroughs that are needed."

Moves, mistakes prove Steve Jobs era at Apple over, say analysts
"I just don't think Apple is running quite as well as in Jobs' days," said Ezra Gottheil, analyst with Technology Business Research. "Mistakes have been made, like the poor performance of newer OSes on older hardware, Maps, the miss on the iMac, the neglect of the professional market." Cook, in fact, rued the decision to launch the iMac, the firm's hallmark all-in-one desktop, last October even though Apple had no hardware to ship.

Java Security Questions Answered
Most of the products tested (except Windows Server 2012), use Oracle's Java in one form or another, at least for client access and also in some cases within the management interface. With numerous vulnerabilities recently discovered in Java, leading to guidance from Department of Homeland Security and others to disable it entirely, this raised some questions about usability and possibly even security of the devices tested.

Quote for the day:

"Winning becomes easier over time as the cornerstones of confidence become habits" -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter

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