10 tech things we didn't know a week ago

10 tech things we didn't know a week ago

Summary: Behind on the news and hungry for more? Here's what we learned this week — like how you can hack an entire company from their thermostat, and what Apple needs to compete?

TOPICS: Tech Industry

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  • 1. Steve Ballmer approved Office for iPad, not incumbent CEO Satya Nadella

    No matter what you may think of former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, whose tenure included hit-and-miss operating systems and a stagnant stock price, there's one success you can attribute to him — even if he has left the company's executive stage. Office for iPad has been one of the major successes the Redmond, WA.-based software giant has seen in recent months, but it wasn't the work of recently appointed chief executive Satya Nadella. As ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported on Tuesday, it was Ballmer who pushed ahead with the project, which she cited sources as saying it had been years in the making. 

    Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

  • 2. Hackers are able to hack into networks through thermostats, air-con units

    Hackers are increasingly looking to third-party apps, including air-conditioning units and thermostats, to gain full access to internal company networks, according to a report by The New York Times on Monday. The report said: "Break into one system, and you have a chance to break into them all." In many cases, around one-quarter of all data breaches were attributable to negligence on the part of third-party apps and hardware.

    Image: CNET/CBS Interactive

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Windows XP

    Wonder, what the excuse will be for Microsoft to start supporting it again.

    For example: It was claimed that there will be no more support, not even for (big) money and yet many corporations state they do have contracts with Microsoft to support Windows XP.
    • I never read anywhere saying "no more support, not even for (big) money"

      where was that article mentioned?
    • Paid support

      has always been an option for major customers, not just for XP, but for all MS products. You just needed enough PCs running the software and be prepared to pay for the support.
  • Starting your own Internet provider

    Wouldn't it be easier in declaring Broadband internet a Utility, and have the power companies deliver it.
    Don't they have the infrastructure all ready setup. They would be regulated so we could receive what we pay for.

  • Very, very rich? Not!

    The quoted revenue figure of $40,000 for the Virus Shield app is certainly a windfall for the scammer, and a nice nest egg or bankroll for another project, but after costs and taxes it hardly qualifies for the description of "very, very rich indeed."
    • You also forgot

      to take away 30% for Google's coffers.
  • Hacked English....again!

    'Heartbleed' bug that unraveled the internet was caused a simple programming glitch'....another wannabe Asian English copy editor who can't speak grammatical English....Oh, the humanity of it.......
  • XP

    XP, I hope you live beyond humanity! LOL
  • More than 44% XP, but thank you for admitting it's not 27%

    I'm so tired of people claiming the XP share was less than 1/3; when everywhere you go, XP is on the desktop. So the market for MSFT to instead offer paid support, is much larger. So they can reduce the price of paid support, and even offer it in tiers:

    TIER ONE: For about $50 per machine per year, offer to fix bugs and keep patching security. They would make more money offering that, and make people happier, than if they insist on people updating. Seriously, the only reason we don't update, is that the newer OS offering by MSFT will WRECK all our current systems, requiring so much retraining: the time and money cost for all that, is prohibitive. Why couldn't MSFT have made a COMPATIBLE newer OS version in the first place? Oh, because they hate us. So they won't do the smart thing to make money for themselves and their shareholders, and offer this TIER ONE.

    TIER TWO: improvements which are close to bug fixes, like enabling XP machines to read/write DVDs, better file management, etc. Includes all of TIER ONE, as well. Could charge an added $50 per year for this, total $100 per year per machine. Since the OS price is usually between $150-$300, MSFT makes 33% more, than by their current business model of selling only the OS. And their customers would be far happier!

    TIER THREE: Offer to pass on the under-the-hood improvements in the later OSes, but NOT change the interface. This tier includes the other two, so pretend an annual subscription cost of $150 per machine. Thus it's like getting a new OS every year, MSFT making more 3x money than by its current model; and, we are far happier as a result, since the INTERFACE is the same.

    So obvious, how to solve the problems of customer complaints. So ridiculous, that MSFT won't do this. Even a brainout can understand the advantages, and how the above would make MSFT a hero, overnight!
    • Why not switchable desktops for Windows ?

      Why didn't msft put more than one desktop on the OS ? They could have put an XP desktop on Win 8.1 and those that like xp could have familiar usage of the computer but it would be supported by the modern and powerful Win 8 . Some Linux distros have a choice of desktops built into the OS. eg., gnome , KDE, maybe something else. Call it Super XP ? PCs nowadays have such large drives it should not be a problem. Some people do not like touch screens. Perhaps Win9 will have a choice of desktops built into the OS.
      ivvan iskra
  • Hacking Thermostats with a Power Supply?

    I didn't know this was possible.
    • I think that was an allusion to Target.

      Also remember that a number of devices are now being powered through a USB connection to a wall USB power plug.

      And USB controllers have been known to permit scanning of the system memory without CPU interaction. Tnature of DMA permits most of the capability, and if they are not protected by an IOMMU then the controller can perform DMA from all of physical memory - thus, hacked "through a power supply".