879% drug price hike is one of 3,400 in 2019 so far; rate of hikes increasing

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 02 July 2019
Browse Various

The average price increase per drug was 10.5%, a rate around five times that of inflation. About 40 of the drugs saw triple-digit increases. That includes a generic version of the antidepressant Prozac, which saw a price increase of 879%.

"Requests and public shaming haven't worked," Michael Rea, chief executive of RX Savings Solutions, told Reuters last December.

If being nice does not work, make laws for it.

Microsoft Issues Warning For 800M Windows 10 Users

Found on Forbes on Monday, 01 July 2019
Browse Software

What Microsoft confirms it did was quietly switch off Registry backups in Windows 10 eight months ago, despite giving users the impression this crucial safeguarding system was still working. As Ghacks spotted at the time, Registry backups would show “The operation completed successfully", despite no backup file being created.

So why has Microsoft done this? In the company’s own words: “to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows”. And how big is a registry backup? Typically 50-100MB.

This makes you wonder if Microsoft runs monthly "Make the dumbest possible decisions" competition. To save space, turn off backups. There's hardly anything more stupid you can do. At the same time they preinstall useless gaming apps nobody needs.

Microsoft's Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM

Found on Wired on Sunday, 30 June 2019
Browse Various

Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good.

And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them.

Microsoft will refund customers in full for what they paid, plus an extra $25 if they made annotations or mark-ups.

For certain types of readers, particularly lawyers and academics, markups and annotations can be worth far more than $25.

Just refuse to buy products infected with DRM malware.

Boeing's 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers

Found on Bloomberg on Saturday, 29 June 2019
Browse Various

The Max software -- plagued by issues that could keep the planes grounded months longer after U.S. regulators this week revealed a new flaw -- was developed at a time Boeing was laying off experienced engineers and pressing suppliers to cut costs.

Rabin, the former software engineer, recalled one manager saying at an all-hands meeting that Boeing didn’t need senior engineers because its products were mature.

Cutting costs is not a viable long term business plan. All this would be such a perfect and costly lesson to teach management that outsourcing is not a solution for everything if there would no be 346 reasons why it should have never happened in the first place.

Seven Considerations for Doing Secure Cloud Migration

Found on eWEEK on Friday, 28 June 2019
Browse Internet

Looking forward, executive management at technology-dependent industries—including manufacturing, high-tech and telecom—are increasingly driving toward become 100% cloud-enabled.

Successful cloud migration also requires successfully migrating security to the cloud, enabling organizations to deploy and manage a single, consistent security framework that spans the entire multi-cloud infrastructure.

Going 100% cloud based is like pointing two really big guns a both of your feet. Let them learn their lessons the hard way.

Gmail’s API lockdown will kill some third-party app access, starting July 15

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 27 June 2019
Browse Internet

Google is locking down API access to Gmail data (and later, Drive data) soon, and some of your favorite third-party apps might find themselves locked out of your Google account data. The new API policy was announced back in October, but this week Google started emailing individual users of these apps, telling them the apps will no longer work starting July 15.

One absolute doozy of a requirement kicks in if the app stores user data on a third-party server. Google will now require those apps to pass a third-party security audit, which the app developer must pay for. According to the company, the cost "may range from $15,000 to $75,000 (or more) depending on the size and complexity of the application."

After restricting API access for adblockers, Google locks itself down even more. A pity for those who trusted Google (or "the cloud") with their data in the first place.

Robots to take 20 mn jobs, worsening inequality: study

Found on France 24 on Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Browse Future

The forecast set to be released Wednesday highlights growing concerns that automation and robots, while offering economic benefits, are disproportionately killing low-skill jobs and aggravating social and economic stress.

The research comes amid intense debate on the rise of technologies such as self-driving cars and trucks, robotic food preparation and automated factory and warehouse operations and their impact on employment.

In the end the gap between people who can afford things and those who can no will widen until everything falls apart. Despite what economists and politicians promise: you cannot train every low-skill worker for a high-skill job.

How a ransomware attack cost one firm £45m

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 25 June 2019
Browse Computer

Imagine the excitement when hackers gained a foothold in the computer system of Norsk Hydro, a global aluminium producer.

We don't know when it was, but it's likely that once inside they spent weeks exploring this group's IT systems, probing for more weaknesses.

When they eventually launched their ransomware attack, it was devastating - 22,000 computers were hit across 170 different sites in 40 different countries.

Imagine the hacker's anticipation as they waited to receive a reply to their ransom note. After all, every minute counts for a modern manufacturing powerhouse. They probably thought they could name their price.

But the reply never came. The hackers were never even asked how much money they wanted. Imagine the shock.

That's the only way how to handle such incidents. This, and a reliable backup plan that allows you to go months back if required. To avoid having your backups encrypted too, backup systems should have read-only access to source systems and pull in the data. There is no need to give source systems write access on a backup system.

Robocalls Swamp Hospitals As The Trump FCC Pretends To Fix The Problem

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 24 June 2019
Browse Various

Despite endless government initiatives and countless promises from the telecom sector, our national robocall hell continues. Robocalls from telemarketers continue to be the subject the FCC receives the most complaints about (200,000 complaints annually, making up 60% of all FCC complaints), and recent data from the Robocall Index indicates that the problem is only getting worse.

The problem will only get worse until somebody in government grows a spine and mandates that all carriers must implement anti-spoofing tech and provide completely free robocall-blocking tools to consumers by default, giving consumers full control over who can call them and when.

Spam works via more than one medium it seems. If it didn't, it would not exist.

Slack: Why is this loss-making tech firm worth $20bn?

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 23 June 2019
Browse Various

That values the Silicon Valley-based business at $20bn, not bad for a messaging app that was only publicly released in 2014 and has never turned a profit.

The biggest corporate customers pay at least $100,000 (£78,570) a year for the service. But Slack has never made a profit. Although revenue rose 80% to $400m in 2018, losses were $144m.

Slack may not be an email killer. It may, however, offer an answer to the stress of email overload.

It's not. It's just another tool for another niche; and there are competitors like Mattermost which you can self-host to keep the data of your company in your company. It has absolutely no potential at all to even remotely replace email, because you need an account with the repicient's channel. So instead of using a single emailaccount to contact others, you'd have to manage dozens, or even hundreds of accounts.