software

Broadcom acquires CA Technologies for $18.9B in cash

Broadcom, the massive semiconductor supplier you may remember from its failed attempt to acquire Qualcomm, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement with CA Technologies, a major IT management software and solutions provider. The price of the acquisition is $18.9 billion in cash. CA’s shareholders will receive $44.50 per share, a 20 percent premium over the closing price of the company’s stock today. It’s a bit of a surprise to see chip manufacturer Broadcom acquire a major software and services company. “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies,” Broadcom CEO and president Hock Tan explains in today’s announcement. “With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely posit...

China’s largest music streaming business is planning a US IPO

Fresh from Spotify’s unique direct listing in the U.S., another huge streaming service is about to follow suit and go public in America. Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) has nothing like the global profile of Spotify, but China’s top streaming service is heading for the U.S. public markets according to a filing made this weekend by parent company Tencent, the $500 billion Chinese internet giant which plans to spin the music business out. At this point, specific financial details around the listing aren’t being released, but past reports have suggested that it could raise as much as $1 billion and give TME a valuation of $30 billion. That would be quite a jump from its most recent $12 billion valuation and certainly not guaranteed given that others from China, including Xiaomi, has fallen ...

Apple’s Shortcuts will flip the switch on Siri’s potential

Matthew Cassinelli Contributor Matthew Cassinelli is a former member of the Workflow team and works as an independent writer and consultant. He previously worked as a data analyst for VaynerMedia. At WWDC, Apple pitched Shortcuts as a way to ”take advantage of the power of apps” and ”expose quick actions to Siri.” These will be suggested by the OS, can be given unique voice commands, and will even be customizable with a dedicated Shortcuts app. But since this new feature won’t let Siri interpret everything, many have been lamenting that Siri didn’t get much better — and is still lacking compared to Google Assistant or Amazon Echo. But to ignore Shortcuts would be missing out on the bigger picture. Apple’s strengths have always been the device ecosystem and the apps that run on them. With S...

Google rolls out Messages on the web for Android users

Messages, Google’s more recent focus for its scattered messaging efforts following its decision to “pause” work on Allo, is now available for web users. The company announced that it would begin rolling out Messages for web starting today, with the full rollout completing over the next week. The feature, along with others including GIF search, smart replies, and more, is part of an updated messaging experience for Android users that aims to be Google’s response to iMessage. The company earlier this year moved its Allo team to work on Android Messages, Google’s app that utilizes the RCS messaging standard. The standard, adopted by numerous mobile operators worldwide, offers more feature parity with iMessage, thanks to its support for things like read receipts, typing indicators, high-res ph...

Tainted, crypto-mining containers pulled from Docker Hub

Security companies Fortinet and Kromtech found seventeen tainted Docker containers that were essentially downloadable images containing programs that had been designed to mine cryptocurrencies. Further investigation found that they had been downloaded 5 million times, suggesting that hackers were able to inject commands into insecure containers to download this code into otherwise healthy web applications. The researchers found the containers on Docker Hub, a repository for user images. “Of course, we can safely assume that these had not been deployed manually. In fact, the attack seems to be fully automated. Attackers have most probably developed a script to find misconfigured Docker and Kubernetes installations. Docker works as a client/server architecture, meaning the service can be ful...

Adblock Plus wants to use blockchain to call out fake news

eyeo, the company behind the popular browser-based ad block product Adblock Plus, is no stranger to controversy. Which is just as well given its new “passion project”: A browser add-on that labels news content as ‘trusted’ or, well, Breitbart. The beta browser extension, which is called Trusted News (initially it’s just available for Chrome), is intended to help Internet users spot sources of fake news when they’re exposed to content online. And thus to help people avoid falling for scams or down into political sinkholes — at least without being aware of their inherent bias. The system, which is currently only available for English language content, “democratically scores the integrity and trustworthiness of online news sources”, as eyeo puts it. After being added to Chrome, the browser ex...

Truecaller makes first acquisition to build out payment and financial services in India

Sweden’s Truecaller started out life as a service that screens calls and messages to weed out spammers. In recent times the company has switched its focus to India, its largest market based on users, adding services that include payments to make it more useful. Now Truecaller is putting even more weight behind its India push after it announced its first acquisition, mobile payment service Chillr. The vision is to go deeper into mobile payments and associated services to turn Truecaller into a utility that goes beyond just handling messages and calls, particularly payments — a space that WhatsApp is preparing to enter in India. Truecaller doesn’t have WhatsApp -like scale — few companies can match 200 million active users in Indua, but it did recently disclose that it has 100 million daily ...

US startups off to a strong M&A run in 2018

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Scaling startups are setting up secondary hubs in these cities Here is where CEOs of heavily funded startups went to school With Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub this week, we can now decisively declare a trend: 2018 is shaping up as a darn good year for U.S. venture-backed M&A. So far this year, acquirers have spent just over $20 billion in disclosed-price purchases of U.S. VC-funded companies, according to Crunchbase data. That’s about 80 percent of the 2017 full-year total, which is pretty impressive, considering we’re barely five months into 2018. If one included unreported purchase prices, the totals would be quite a bit higher. Fewer than 20 percent of acquisitions in our data set came with reported prices.1 ...

To truly protect citizens, lawmakers need to restructure their regulatory oversight of big tech

Gillian Hadfield Contributor More posts by this contributor To control AI, we need to understand more about humans If members of the European Parliament thought they could bring Mark Zuckerberg to heel with his recent appearance, they underestimated the enormous gulf between 21st century companies and their last-century regulators. Zuckerberg himself reiterated that regulation is necessary, provided it is the “right regulation.” But anyone who thinks that our existing regulatory tools can reign in our digital behemoths is engaging in magical thinking. Getting to “right regulation” will require us to think very differently. The challenge goes far beyond Facebook and other social media: the use and abuse of data is going to be the defining feature of just about every company on the planet as...

Some low-cost Android phones shipped with malware built in

Avast has found that many low-cost, non-Google-certifed Android phones shipped with a strain of malware built in that could send users to download apps they didn’t intend to access. The malware, called called Cosiloon, overlays advertisements over the operating system in order to promote apps or even trick users into downloading apps. Devices effected shipped from ZTE, Archos and myPhone. The app consists of a dropper and a payload. “The dropper is a small application with no obfuscation, located on the /system partition of affected devices. The app is completely passive, only visible to the user in the list of system applications under ‘settings.’ We have seen the dropper with two different names, ‘CrashService’ and ‘ImeMess,’” wrote Avast. The dropper then connects with a website t...

Trump’s North Korea Gamble May Rely on Iran Monitors He Trashed

Donald Trump’s White House is undermining the international system for detecting illicit nuclear activity just as he may be about to need it. U.S. National Security Council adviser John Bolton said in an interview this week with ABC that “we don’t have adequate inspections” in Iran, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has established the most comprehensive monitoring regime ever imposed without a military invasion. That’s the same United Nations organization that will have to keep track of North Korea’s uranium stocks if Trump’s efforts to broker an agreement with Kim Jong Un bear fruit. “If the idea prevails that the IAEA system isn’t strong enough under the most stringent and intrusive safeguards regime in history, then it raises profound questions about the world’s confidence i...

Exploit puts popular web and mobile apps at risk

A new exploit could allow users to bypass security checks in Electron, a popular cross-platform development framework. The exploit, posted by Trustwave, has been patched and developers should update their apps as soon as possible. The exploit could allow cross site scripting in some apps by turning on nodeIntegration, a method that allows the app to not only connect to its own modules but also Node.js modules. From the announcement: Electron applications are essentially web apps, which means they’re susceptible to cross-site scripting attacks through failure to correctly sanitize user-supplied input. A default Electron application includes access to not only its own APIs, but also includes access to all of Node.js’ built in modules. This makes XSS particularly dangerous, as an attacker’s p...

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