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Phone Security

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...wait until they type in payment information, then use it to order yourself a replacement phone.
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19 days ago
21 days ago
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5 public comments
14 days ago
Duress Modes!
19 days ago
J’ai hâte qu’ils soient vraiment capables de faire ça!
Quebec, Quebec
21 days ago
This is a feature set I can get behind.
Warner Robins, Georgia
21 days ago
New York, NY
21 days ago
...wait until they type in payment information, then use it to order yourself a replacement phone.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg unveils $300M in initiatives in response to tax bill

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Ryan and Muilenburg
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg share the stage at a town hall meeting at Boeing’s Everett plant in August. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

The Boeing Co. is moving ahead on $300 million in charitable contributions and workplace investments as a response to the tax bill approved by Congress today.

The commitments were laid out in an announcement from Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chairman, president and CEO. They’re well-timed to demonstrate how the bill’s cut in the corporate tax rate could encourage businesses to open their wallets wider.

“On behalf of all our stakeholders, we applaud and thank Congress and the administration for their leadership in seizing this opportunity to unleash economic energy in the United States,” Muilenburg said. “It’s the single most important thing we can do to drive innovation, support quality jobs and accelerate capital investment in our country.”

Boeing said the $300 million includes:

  • $100 million for corporate giving, with funds used to support demand for employee gift-match programs and for investments in Boeing’s focus areas for charitable giving: in education, in community development, and for veterans and military personnel.
  • $100 million for workforce development in the form of training, education and other capabilities development to meet the scale needed for rapidly evolving technologies and expanding markets.
  • $100 million for “workplace of the future” facilities and infrastructure enhancements for Boeing employees.

“Each of these investments benefits Boeing’s most important strength – our employees – and reflects the real-time impact and economic benefit of the reforms,” Muilenburg said.

Muilenburg said the tax bill’s provisions will make Boeing more competitive with its international rivals.

President Donald Trump’s relationship with Boeing started off on shaky ground when the then-president-elect criticized the multibillion-dollar cost of development for the next Air Force One presidential jets. But Muilenburg quickly mended relations with the White House and has been a strong supporter of the tax plan.

In August, Muilenburg and other Boeing executives hosted House Speaker Paul Ryan for a town hall at the company’s Everett commercial airplane plant, during which the CEO said “this pro-business environment is a big deal.”

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28 days ago
one of those items isn't increased wages for employees... thats weird!?
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What Needs to Happen Before Electric Cars Take Over the World

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On the slope of a thickly forested Czech mountain, three men in hard hats and mud-spattered fluorescent vests dig for the metal that could power a new industrial revolution.

They watch carefully as a mobile rig, mounted on tank treads, hammers and spins a drill bit hundreds of yards into the bedrock. Water gushes from the bore as the bit punctures an underground spring.

The men are prospecting for new sources of lithium, a raw material now found primarily in China and Chile that could become as important to the auto industry as oil is now.

Faster than anyone expected, electric cars are becoming as economical and practical as cars with conventional engines. Prices for lithium-ion batteries are plummeting, while technical advances are increasing driving ranges and cutting recharging times.

“Once the trend gets going, it can happen very fast,” said Guido Jouret, chief digital officer at ABB, an electronics company based in Zurich whose businesses include constructing charging stations.

But this electric-car future is still missing some pieces. Some crucial raw materials are scarce. There are not enough places to recharge. Battery-powered cars still cost thousands of dollars more than many gasoline vehicles.

Car companies are racing to overcome these obstacles. They, and the millions of people they employ, risk becoming irrelevant.

“Many people are nervous about how fast this is coming and how much they have to invest,” said Norbert Dressler, a senior partner at Roland Berger in Stuttgart, Germany, who advises the auto industry.

Here’s a look at what needs to happen before electric cars take over the world.

The cost of building motors and components will have to continue to decrease.

Price of an electric car powertrain:


Price of a conventional car powertrain:


Electric cars will go mainstream when the cost of the powertrain — the motor and other guts that make the vehicle move — is the same as owning cars that burn gasoline or diesel. How soon that day arrives is almost solely a function of the price of batteries.

Battery prices, measured by the power they produce, have already fallen by more than half since 2011, according to analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The unexpectedly rapid drop in prices has sped up the timetable.

Merrill Lynch analysts now expect electric vehicles in the United States will be cheaper than their traditional counterparts by 2024. Just a year ago, they estimated it would take until 2030.

One reason battery costs are falling is that manufacturers are ramping up production. The greater the supply, the lower the price.

Car companies like Daimler are getting into the battery business. Daimler has invested $590 million in a new battery plant in Kamenz, a sleepy city in a rural part of eastern Germany.

“This is an important investment in the future,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told Daimler executives and other dignitaries at a groundbreaking in May. Within a few months, workers had erected prefabricated concrete walls for the enormous new building and assembled the roof girders.

“We could buy batteries,” said Jupp Kaufer, head of quality at Accumotive, Daimler’s battery unit.

But Daimler would rather earn the profits than pay them to a supplier like Samsung or Panasonic. “The battery is a crucial part of the vehicle,” Mr. Kaufer said as he walked through the assembly line of another factory in Kamenz that is already running at capacity.

There must be a steady, affordable supply of the resources required to make batteries.

Price of cobalt:

Up 115 percent this year

Price of lithium:

Up 45 percent

Price of graphite:

Up 30 percent

Carmakers are racing to secure the essential ingredients in batteries like cobalt, lithium and graphite. They need to avoid shortages that would drive prices too high, making electric vehicles unaffordable.

But manufacturers are also dealing with a geopolitical dimension. Three-quarters of the world’s reserves of lithium, a crucial ingredient in the most common kind of electric car battery, are in China and Chile, according to the United States Geological Survey. As demand surges, China could deploy its natural resources as a diplomatic cudgel the same way that Saudi Arabia uses oil.

The risk that a few countries could control most of the ingredients for electric car batteries is what spurred the drilling crew to the mountainside in Cinovec in the Czech Republic. As early as the 1300s, miners dug tin — “cin” in Czech — from the mountains around the town. Later, the area was an important source of tungsten, but the last shaft closed in 1993. Demand for lithium has made mining in the area attractive again.

European Metals Holdings Ltd., an Australian company, is drilling into the bedrock and hauling out core samples to map deposits. The company plans to complete a feasibility study next year and begin mining and processing the ore in Cinovec soon after.

“We are already in touch with some battery makers,” Richard Pavlik, manager of a European Metals subsidiary overseeing the work in Cinovec, said as he watched the drilling crew.

As for cobalt, it comes primarily from the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the world’s most war-torn and unstable countries. Illegal mining operations there have been accused of using child labor.

Mining companies are hunting for sources in less problematic locations. First Cobalt, based in Toronto, has announced plans to reopen a former silver and cobalt mine in the aptly named town of Cobalt, Ontario. “We think we are at a point of no return with electric vehicles,” said Trent Mell, the company’s chief executive.

More charging stations will need to be built, and they’ll need to charge faster.

Average range of a gasoline-powered car:

475 miles

Average range of an electric vehicle:

190 miles

Even when people can buy an electric car for the same price or less than a gasoline model, they face another problem: where to plug it in. And they won’t want to wait all day for the car to recharge.

Electric cars will become commonplace once there is a dense network of high-voltage charging stations where drivers can refill their batteries in the time it takes to use the restroom and drink a cup of coffee.

At the moment, a cross-country drive in an electric car is an adventure.

Edwin Stafford, a professor of marketing at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, carefully plotted his charging stops before setting out recently in his Tesla S for Berkeley, Calif., with his family.

Tesla S owners have free access to Tesla charging stations and can use the waiting time to have a meal or shop. In half an hour, a high voltage Tesla “supercharger” can supply enough juice to travel 170 miles, according to Tesla. But the amenities at charging stations varied, Mr. Stafford said.

At one in Nevada, the only nearby business was a casino, he said. At another, the charging apparatus was blocked by an illegally parked truck. Close to the Bay Area, there were sometimes lines of other Tesla owners waiting to charge, he added.

But an array of start-ups and established companies like ABB are busy installing charging stations around the world, and they are on their way to becoming commonplace. There are already about 16,000 public charging stations in the United States, up from a few hundred in 2010. That compares with about 112,000 gas stations.

Surprisingly, Volkswagen’s emissions scandal has accelerated the rollout. As part of its settlement with diesel owners in the United States who bought cars with illegal software, Volkswagen agreed to spend $2 billion to promote electric cars and build infrastructure. Electrify America, a company established to invest the settlement money, plans to install more than 2,000 fast chargers nationwide by mid-2019 in a first phase, with thousands more to follow.

Drivers will have to shed their attachment to the sound, smell and feel of gas-powered engines.

time from 0 to 60 m.p.h., Audi A8:

4 seconds

time from 0 to 60 m.p.h., Tesla S:

2.3 seconds

One of the biggest barriers for electric vehicles is psychological. People are used to internal combustion engines and the sensations that go with them — the odor of the fuel, the shifting of the transmission, the sound of the engine as the car accelerates.

Electric cars have a different personality that people need to get their heads around before they will buy one.

They may be pleasantly surprised. The physics of electric motors give them exceptional acceleration. A $135,000 Tesla S clocked by Motor Trend magazine went from zero to 60 miles per hour faster than Ferraris, Lamborghinis or Porsches costing hundreds of thousands of dollars more.

Electric cars are quiet, nearly vibration free and they don’t smell like gasoline or exhaust. They don’t need oil changes. They cost less to operate — about 1 cent per mile compared to 10 cents per mile for a gasoline-powered car. Electric cars hug the road because heavy battery packs, typically arrayed underneath the passenger compartment, provide low centers of gravity and high stability.

“There is no question that an electric car gives you significantly better performance,” Mr. Stafford said. “I don’t think the mainstream driver is going to understand that unless they experience it.”

The car industry will have to leave some of its old methods of production by the side of the road.

Carmakers’ investment in electric vehicles:

$100 billion by 2020

Carmakers’ annual profit:

$400 billion

The industry is racing to invest in the future, as electric cars portend sweeping economic and societal changes. The transition will be painful for traditional carmakers and suppliers, potentially even catastrophic.

Electric cars have about 25 percent fewer parts than conventional autos. Companies that make engine parts like pistons, fuel injection systems or spark plugs will have to find new products to sell, or die. Some workers’ skills will no longer be needed.

Governments will lose fuel tax revenues. Filling stations and auto repair shops will go out of business. To compete with Tesla, which allows customers to buy cars online, car companies will have to radically streamline their dealership networks.

“The cake will be smaller,” said Volkmar Denner, the chief executive of Bosch, the auto parts maker.

Established carmakers will face new competitors taking advantage of the technology shift to break into the market. Chinese companies are investing heavily in electric cars. Dyson, a British company hitherto known for its innovative vacuum cleaners, has announced plans to develop an electric car.

Big car companies recognize the threat and argue that they can deploy their enormous manufacturing networks to roll out electric vehicles faster than Tesla, which has struggled to meet demand.

“We won’t have a problem building one million cars,” said Herbert Diess, chief executive of the division that makes Volkswagen brand cars.

But the automakers’ existing expertise — building internal combustion engines — will no longer give them a competitive edge.

“They are losing a lot of their intellectual capital,” said Geoffrey Heal, a professor at Columbia Business School. “And they have to find a way to replace it.”

Jack Ewing writes about business, banking, economics and monetary policy from Frankfurt, and he also contributes to breaking news coverage. Previously he worked for a decade at BusinessWeek magazine in Frankfurt, where he was European regional editor.


A version of this article appears in print on

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of the New York edition

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What’s Stalling Electric Cars

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29 days ago
It feels like this is all inevitable now. Weeeeee.
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Amazon GuardDuty – Continuous Security Monitoring & Threat Detection


Threats to your IT infrastructure (AWS accounts & credentials, AWS resources, guest operating systems, and applications) come in all shapes and sizes! The online world can be a treacherous place and we want to make sure that you have the tools, knowledge, and perspective to keep your IT infrastructure safe & sound.

Amazon GuardDuty is designed to give you just that. Informed by a multitude of public and AWS-generated data feeds and powered by machine learning, GuardDuty analyzes billions of events in pursuit of trends, patterns, and anomalies that are recognizable signs that something is amiss. You can enable it with a click and see the first findings within minutes.

How it Works
GuardDuty voraciously consumes multiple data streams, including several threat intelligence feeds, staying aware of malicious IP addresses, devious domains, and more importantly, learning to accurately identify malicious or unauthorized behavior in your AWS accounts. In combination with information gleaned from your VPC Flow Logs, AWS CloudTrail Event Logs, and DNS logs, this allows GuardDuty to detect many different types of dangerous and mischievous behavior including probes for known vulnerabilities, port scans and probes, and access from unusual locations. On the AWS side, it looks for suspicious AWS account activity such as unauthorized deployments, unusual CloudTrail activity, patterns of access to AWS API functions, and attempts to exceed multiple service limits. GuardDuty will also look for compromised EC2 instances talking to malicious entities or services, data exfiltration attempts, and instances that are mining cryptocurrency.

GuardDuty operates completely on AWS infrastructure and does not affect the performance or reliability of your workloads. You do not need to install or manage any agents, sensors, or network appliances. This clean, zero-footprint model should appeal to your security team and allow them to green-light the use of GuardDuty across all of your AWS accounts.

Findings are presented to you at one of three levels (low, medium, or high), accompanied by detailed evidence and recommendations for remediation. The findings are also available as Amazon CloudWatch Events; this allows you to use your own AWS Lambda functions to automatically remediate specific types of issues. This mechanism also allows you to easily push GuardDuty findings into event management systems such as Splunk, Sumo Logic, and PagerDuty and to workflow systems like JIRA, ServiceNow, and Slack.

A Quick Tour
Let’s take a quick tour. I open up the GuardDuty Console and click on Get started:

Then I confirm that I want to enable GuardDuty. This gives it permission to set up the appropriate service-linked roles and to analyze my logs by clicking on Enable GuardDuty:

My own AWS environment isn’t all that exciting, so I visit the General Settings and click on Generate sample findings to move ahead. Now I’ve got some intriguing findings:

I can click on a finding to learn more:

The magnifying glass icons allow me to create inclusion or exclusion filters for the associated resource, action, or other value. I can filter for all of the findings related to this instance:

I can customize GuardDuty by adding lists of trusted IP addresses and lists of malicious IP addresses that are peculiar to my environment:

After I enable GuardDuty in my administrator account, I can invite my other accounts to participate:

Once the accounts decide to participate, GuardDuty will arrange for their findings to be shared with the administrator account.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of GuardDuty in the limited space and time that I have. You can try it out at no charge for 30 days; after that you pay based on the number of entries it processes from your VPC Flow, CloudTrail, and DNS logs.

Available Now
Amazon GuardDuty is available in production form in the US East (Northern Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), US West (Northern California), EU (Ireland), EU (Frankfurt), EU (London), South America (São Paulo), Canada (Central), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Regions and you can start using it today!


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42 days ago
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In The Works – Amazon Aurora Serverless

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You may already know about Amazon Aurora. Available in editions that are either MySQL-compatible or PostgreSQL-compatible, Aurora is fully-managed and automatically scales to up to 64 TB of database storage. When you create an Aurora Database Instance, you choose the desired instance size and have the option to increase read throughput using read replicas. If your processing needs or your query rate changes you have the option to modify the instance size or to alter the number of read replicas as needed. This model works really well in an environment where the workload is predictable, with bounds on the request rate and processing requirement.

In some cases the workloads can be intermittent and/or unpredictable, with bursts of requests that might span just a few minutes or hours per day or per week. Flash sales, infrequent or one-time events, online gaming, reporting workloads (hourly or daily), dev/test, and brand-new applications all fit the bill. Arranging to have just the right amount of capacity can be a lot work; paying for it on steady-state basis might not be sensible.

Get Ready for Amazon Aurora Serverless
Today we are launching a preview (sign up now) of Amazon Aurora Serverless. Designed for workloads that are highly variable and subject to rapid change, this new configuration allows you to pay for the database resources you use, on a second-by-second basis.

This serverless model builds on the clean separation of processing and storage that’s an intrinsic part of the Aurora architecture (read Design Considerations for High-Throughput Cloud-Native Relational Databases to learn more). Instead of choosing your database instance size up front, you create an endpoint, set the desired minimum and maximum capacity if you like, and issue queries to the endpoint. The endpoint is a simple proxy that routes your queries to a rapidly scaled fleet of database resources. This allows your connections to remain intact even as scaling operations take place behind the scenes. Scaling is rapid, with new resources coming online within 5 seconds. Here’s how it all fits together:

Because storage and processing are separate, you can scale all the way down to zero and pay only for storage. I think this is really cool, and I expect it to lead to the creations of new kinds of instant-on, transient applications. Scaling happens in seconds, building upon a pool of “warm” resources that are raring to go and eager to serve your requests. Special care is taken to build upon existing cached and buffered content so that newly added resources operate at full speed. You will be able to make your existing Aurora databases serverless with almost no effort.

Billing is based on Aurora Capacity Units, each representing a combination of compute power and memory. It is metered in 1-second increments, with a 1-minute minimum for each newly added resource.

Stay Tuned
I’ll be able to more information about Amazon Aurora Serverless in early 2018. Our current plan is to make it available in production form with MySQL compatibility in the first half, and to follow up with PostgreSQL compatibility later in the year. Today, you can sign up for the preview.


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47 days ago
This sounds glorious.
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Say Farewell to Putty as Microsoft adds an OpenSSH Client to Windows 10

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If you need a quick OpenSSH client or server for Windows 10, there is a beta client hidden and available for installation

The post Say Farewell to Putty as Microsoft adds an OpenSSH Client to Windows 10 appeared first on ServeTheHome.

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47 days ago
about goddamn time
47 days ago
This calls for an unironic FINALLY.
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