Around the IT Industry 11/11-11/15

by Modis on November 15, 2013

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iSnapchat Vetoes $3 Billion Acquisition Offer from Facebook

Snapchat, an increasingly popular mobile messaging service turned down an all-cash acquisition offer from Facebook, for close to $3 billion. Snapchat declined the offer as other investors and potential acquirers are persuading them. Tenacent Holdings, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is offering an investment that values the two-year-old company at $4 billion. 23-year-old founder and co-CEO Evan Speigel will not consider an investment or an acquisition offer until early next year, according to people briefed on the matter. It is his hope that, by then, the service will have grown enough to justify an even larger valuation. Snapchat’s spokeswoman declined to comment.

United States Tech Industry Files Complaint Over FBI Legal Tactics

Google and Microsoft are among the number of tech industry companies seeking to have the FBI lift gag orders. These gag orders prevent the companies from disclosing the number of surveillance request they receive, but the FBI won’t show them the legal arguments they are using to keep the gag orders in place. Tech companies are now asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to strike the blacked-out portions of the government’s filing. The heavily redacted information would allow the court could decide the ruling based on information the tech companies cannot see. Other companies involved in the case include Facebook, Yahoo, and LinkedIn. They’re making the claim based on free speech rights to disclose requests under the Patriot Act.

Verizon Network Faces Traffic Pressure in Large Cities

Verizon Wireless admits to pressure to increase bandwidth amounts to handle all the LTE devices on the network, particularly in large cities such as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. The rapid growth has continued to network issues that are actually compromising the quality of service. In response, the carrier is “pouring money into the problem” to ensure the issues dissipate by the end of the year. Both AT&T and Verizon claim to be the nation’s “most reliable network” but cite different studies to prove the claim. However, it appears to be the fact that Verizon has the largest and longest running LTE network that contributed to a larger number of customers draining bandwidth that caused the problem.

Amazon Cloud HPC Reaches “Petaflop” Status

HPC software company Clyde Computing has been helping researchers use the power of Amazon Web Services for years. They help them use it when they need tremendous amounts of computing power for short periods of time. Now, they’ve reached their largest Amazon cloud run to date, developing a cluster that ran for 18 hours, hitting 156,314 cores at a theoretical peak speed of 1.21 petaflops. A petaflop is one quadrillion, or a million billion, operations per second. To use all this power, the cluster ran in data centers all over the world simultaneously in: Sydney, Tokyo, Ireland, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Virginia, Oregon, and Northern California. Amazon billed $33,000. The cluster, according to USC chemistry professor Mark Thompson, was needed to design materials for converting sunlight into solar energy.

Microsoft Retires SHA1 to Avoid Attack

In an attempt to avoid increasing vulnerability to attacks that seemed unlikely a mere 10 years ago, Microsoft is retiring two widely used cryptographic technologies. The company announced Tuesday they will stop recognizing the validity of any digital certificates using SHA1 after 2016. SHA1 certificates are used to underpin transport layer security (TLS) and secure socket layer (SSL) certificates used to verify software as legitimate. Microsoft made the decision to retire the algorithm after realizing, thanks to hardware improvements and research breakthroughs, it is becoming susceptible to “collision” attacks.

 

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