IT News

 

Apple's record-breaking $18 billion profit in context

Workers prepare for the opening of an Apple store in Hangzhou, China.

Conrad Walters and Inga Ting 5:50 PM   Eighteen billion is a tough figure to wrap your head around. Here are 18 ways to think about Apple's record-breaking profit.

Trade

China targets foreign tech vendors with new trade rules

Chinese has taken another step in its fight against foreign technology vendors.

Paul Mozur 2:33 PM   China has adopted new regulations requiring companies that sell computer equipment to Chinese banks to turn over secret source code, submit to invasive audits and build so-called back doors into hardware and software.

WorkMail: Amazon rolls out email and calendar app for businesses

Amazon Web Services is entering the email in the cloud business.

Jay Greene 12:44 PM   Amazon is launching a web-based corporate email service, available on any device.

Results

Facebook revenue tops estimates on back of mobile advertising

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out a long-term plan for how Facebook will make money.

Sarah Frier 10:29 AM   Facebook has reported quarterly revenue that topped analysts' estimates, fueled by the mobile-advertising business that the company is now expanding beyond its main social network.

Workforce

Apple supplier Foxconn seeks to slim workforce over time, eyes robots

Jobseekers pass their resumes to representatives from Foxconn Technology Group at a job fair in Zhengzhou, Henan province.

Michael Gold and Yimou Lee   The world's largest contract electronics manufacturer, wants to reduce its massive workforce with the help of automation.

Spin-off

How Yahoo will cash in its $50b Alibaba stake without paying tax

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Michael J. de la Merced   Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, has announced that the internet company would spin off its 15 per cent stake in Alibaba, China's leading e-commerce company, into a separate company, avoiding any taxes on the transaction.

Cyber security

Web attacks growing in volume and intensity: report

Australia experienced large DDoS attacks in 2014.

Lia Timson   Amidst claims and denials that Tuesday's Facebook and Instagram outage was the result of a DDoS attack by a hacker group, a new report finds attacks on websites are growing with no sign of abating.

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Jobs

US scrambling to hire enough cyber security agents

A Hollywood billboard for Sony Pictures’ <i>The Interview</i>. The film caused an unprecedented cyber conflict.

Matthew Hall   With repercussions from the Sony hack continuing to echo around the world, the United States government has warned of a lack of hands-on talent to battle online crime.

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Software

Sluggish Windows still hurts Microsoft

Declining PC sales are hurting Windows sales for Microsoft, whose CEO Satya Nadella is seen here, but the market appears to be stabilising.

Bill Rigby   PC maker's quarterly profit slips to $US5.9 billion on strong US dollar and weak software sales.

Cyber conflict

Australia launches cyber weapons: sources

The frequency and severity of global cyber-attacks is rising rapidly, and Australia has deployed its own weapons.

Christopher Joye   Australia is no innocent bystander to cyber conflict, sources claim.

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Jobs

IBM dismisses report of massive layoffs

Is IBM preparing to lay off more than its usual annual quota?

Company says reports claiming it is preparing to cut 26 per cent of its workforce, are 'inaccurate'.

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Government

Abbott dismisses social media as 'electronic graffiti', again

Defacement: Graffiti, electronic or otherwise, has not always been kind to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Lucy Battersby   While the Prime Minister dismissed social media criticism as "electronic graffiti", his government has been spending millions of dollars on social media strategies.

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Security

Hackers deface Malaysia Airlines website, upload rap song

A screenshot of the defaced Malaysia Airlines website.

The Malaysia Airlines website has been commandeered by hackers who referenced Islamic State and claimed to be from the "Lizard Squad", a group known for previous denial-of-service attacks.

Privacy

Use of mobile 'supercookies' a threat to privacy

Mobile phone cookies used but some telcos could allow third parties to track customers.

NATASHA SINGER and BRIAN X. CHEN   Codes used to tag and follow telco mobile subscribers around the web could make those consumers vulnerable to covert tracking.

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Business

The Apple executive who made more than her boss

Angela Ahrendts is senior vice-president of retail and online sales at Apple.

Ben Grubb   Angela Ahrendts, poached from Burberry last year to run Apple's retail and online stores, earned a package worth $US73.4m ($93.14m).

Security

'Path to Hell': Davos elites warned about catastrophic cyber attacks

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Labs, saw cyber threats coming.

Richard Carter   Moves and shakers were warned Saturday of the terrifying possibilities of modern cyber terrorism.

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Security warning for NSW traffic and water systems

Traffic light

Nicole Hasham   Hackers could break into Sydney's traffic lights and water supply systems, says report

Abbott promotes Turnbull to take charge of e-government

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) have announced the creation of a new Digital Transformation Office within government.

James Massola   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has bolstered Malcolm Turnbull's ministerial duties, handing him greater responsibility for e-government in a push to expand the use of a single digital identity for Australians.

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Metadata

Obama abandons telephone metadata spying reform proposal

President Barack Obama

Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel   The US administration does not think allowing third parties to hold Americans' metadata is a good idea.

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Microsoft

Windows 10: Has the trusty ol' Redmond dog learnt new tricks?

headset.

Joe Sweeney   Microsoft had been slow to adapt to a new economic landscape, but Joe Sweeney argues, its latest move signals it can change.

Data

Open data: how Tennis Australia is using information to improve the game

australian open

Marc Moncrief   The new roof that spans Margaret Court arena does more than keep out the weather. Built into the gantries that surround the sliding ceiling are Wi-Fi antennas that beam web access to every ticket holder.

Business

eBay to slash thousands of jobs in bid to 'compete and win'

eBay

Lehar Maan   Online retailer eBay says it plans to cut about 2400 positions, or 7 per cent of its workforce across eBay marketplaces, PayPal, and eBay enterprise in the current quarter to simplify its organisational structure.

Government

State of a tech-savvy union: Obama's tech policy wish list

Barack Obama delivering the State of Union address

Matthew Hall   US President Barack Obama wants to support a secure, free and open internet, but the Republican-controlled Congress may thwart him.

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Business

SpaceX gets $1 billion from Google and Fidelity

elon musk

Quentin Hardy, Conor Dougherty and Kenneth Chang   Google likes its ambitions sky high. This time, it has gone a little further.

Melbourne IT calls for more hardware as service problems continue

Keyboard

Hannah Francis   Australia’s largest web registry and services company has had to ship new hardware to resolve its latest issue.

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Surveillance

Microsoft handed FBI data on Charlie Hebdo probe in 45 minutes

A rally for free speech at Dam Square in Amsterdam.

Tracey Lien   Company lawyer says private companies can cooperate with governments within limits.

Acquisitions

Microsoft buys data analysis start-up Equivio

Microsoft has made another acquisition, this time in data analytics.

Matt Day   Company seeks a slice of the big data market via start-up that already has runs on the board.

Tablets

HP seeks mobile relevance with tablets for professionals

HP is launching industry-specific tablets.

Jack Clark   After failing to keep up with the boom in mobile and cloud computing, HP is fighting back with tablets designed for doctors, retailers and other professionals.

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Scams

Credit card fraud: 8 ways your details can be hijacked

Skimming: Physical forms of credit card fraud can be difficult to trace.

Brian Krebs   Eight ways criminals can get your credit card details, and what you can do about it.

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Cybersecurity

The Sony hacker trail that led the US to North Korea

A poster for Sony Picture's "The Interview" which was allegedly made the company a target of North Korean-backed hackers.

David E. Sanger, Martin Fackler   The trail that led US officials to blame North Korea for the destructive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November winds back to 2010.

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Diversity

The face of Facebook on diversity

Facebook's Head of Diversity: Maxine Williams.

Jessica Guynn   Maxine Williams is very visible on the Facebook campus. And not just because she's one of the few black people working there.

'This company is destroying my business': Australian websites offline as Melbourne IT struggles with migration

WWW.

Hannah Francis   Angry customers of web hosting firm are threatening to leave the company after a "migration" gone wrong.

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Smartphones will tell Canberrans where to park

Drivers will be able to get parking information on their smartphones.

Clare Colley   Pick up your smartphone, enter the address of where you want to go and be directed to the closest car-parking space.

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Antitrust

Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe to pay $505m to settle class action

Michael Devine, one of 64,000 plaintiffs in a class-action suit accusing Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to keep down the salaries of software engineers.

Employees affected by Silicon Valley companies' collusion may not get their day in court, with Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe prepared to reach a $US415 million settlement.

Security

No substitute to gathering bulk communications intel, US report shows

Report released in response to US President Barack Obama's call last year for a review of potential software-based alternatives to data collection.

Alina Selyukh, Mark Hosenball   Intelligence officials maintain that collecting telephone metadata in bulk is critical to US counter-terrorism efforts.

Hack

In Twitter hack, US learns danger of social media exposure

The front page of the US Central Command Twitter account after it was breached.

Phil Stewart   In the wake of attack on Twitter account US officials updated passwords and some distributed tip-sheets to help bolster online security, but they haven't shifted their social media strategy.

Comment

The tech industry is on fire, so why so many job cuts?

HP and Microsoft delivered the biggest portion of the pink slips in 2014.

Katie Benner   Despite the overall strength of the tech sector, employers in the computer industry saw the heaviest downsizing of 2014, announcing a total of 59,528 planned layoffs.

Obama's cybersecurity push may elicit bipartisan compromise

President Barack Obama.

Roberta Rampton and Alina Selyukh   President Barack Obama on Tuesday will announce a renewed push to beef up US cybersecurity laws after recent headline-grabbing hacks against companies like Sony Pictures and Home Depot.

Bugs

Microsoft blasts Google for revealing Windows flaw days before patch

Microsoft has lashed out at Google for putting Windows users 'at risk'.

Microsoft has complained publicly about tech rival Google revealing a security flaw in its Windows 8.1 system just days before Microsoft was scheduled to roll out a fix for the problem, potentially exposing users to hacking.