Lara Bytes

  • Cloud Computing May Finally End the Productivity Paradox

    One of the darkest secrets of Information Technology (IT) is called the Productivity Paradox. Google it and you’ll learn that for at least 40 years and study after study it has been the case that spending money on IT — any money — doesn’t increase organizational productivity.


  • TRIPLE MELTDOWN: HOW SO MANY RESEARCHERS FOUND A 20-YEAR-OLD CHIP FLAW AT THE SAME TIME

    ON A COLD Sunday early last month in the small Austrian city of Graz, three young researchers sat down in front of the computers in their homes and tried to break their most fundamental security protections. Two days earlier, in their lab at Graz’s University of Technology, Moritz Lipp, Daniel Gruss, and Michael Schwarz had determined to tease out an idea that had nagged at them for weeks, a loose thread in the safeguards underpinning how processors defend the most sensitive memory of billions of computers. After a Saturday night drinking with friends, they got to work the next day, each independently writing code to test a theoretical attack on the suspected vulnerability, sharing their progress via instant message.


  • How fast? How far? Chips inside the NFL’s new footballs track every last stat

    During Monday night’s showdown between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions, I looked up from my seat and saw Jamal Agnew maneuver though a sea of Giants ready to take his head off en route to a stunning 88-yard punt return touchdown at Metlife Stadium. Seconds after he deflated a stadium full of fans, I looked down at a Microsoft Surface tablet and saw who kicked the ball, how fast it traveled, and even how fast Agnew was running.


  • Sophisticated, persistent mobile attack against high-value targets on iOS

    Persistent, enterprise-class spyware is an underestimated problem on mobile devices. However, targeted attack scenarios against high-value mobile users are a real threat. Citizen Lab (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto) and Lookout have uncovered an active threat using three critical iOS zero-day vulnerabilities that, when exploited, form an attack chain that subverts even Apple’s strong security environment. We call these vulnerabilities “Trident.” Our two organizations have worked directly with Apple’s security team, which was very responsive and immediately fixed all three Trident iOS vulnerabilities in its 9.3.5 patch.


  • ‘Five-dimensional’ glass discs can store data for up to 13.8 billion years

    Photographs fade, books rot, and even hard drives eventually fester. When you take the long view, preserving humanity’s collective culture isn’t a marathon, it’s a relay — with successive generations passing on information from one slowly-failing storage medium to the next. However, this could change. Scientists from the University of Southampton in the UK have created a new data format that encodes information in tiny nanostructures in glass. A standard-sized disc can store around 360 terabytes of data, with an estimated lifespan of up to 13.8 billion years even at temperatures of 190°C. That’s as old as the Universe, and more than three times the age of the Earth.


  • Why VR will bring arcades back

    Remember arcades? Long before Dave & Buster’s made them a place for office bros to get sloshed and hit on Karen from accounting, and “barcades” made them a place to for hipsters to fetishize the ‘90s over $4 PBRs, arcades were a place to play with fun technology you simply couldn’t get at home.


  • The PC: Suddenly, Surprisingly Alive

    What you’re looking at in the picture above is the $149 Intel Compute Stick. It’s plugged into the HDMI port on the back of an HDTV. It comes loaded with Windows 10, an Atom processor, 2 gigabytes of memory, and 32 GB of storage with a Micro SD slot for storage. It’s a little bigger than a pack of gum. This, my friends, is Exhibit A in this year’s edition of “Why the PC isn’t dead.”


  • Does this man hold the key to practical wireless charging? Cota sure looks like it

    We might call phones, laptops, and tablets “mobile” devices, but true mobility is more elusive than it seems. Sure, we’re no longer tethered to our landline phones and desktop PCs, but we’re still limited by how much juice our batteries can hold, and more importantly, where we’re going to be when the juice runs out. Instead of enjoying our newfound freedom, we have to be ever mindful of our surroundings. We bog ourselves down with charging cables and battery packs; we read up on strategies to stretch our battery life as long as possible, instead of actually enjoying the gadgets they power.


  • Cisco Disrupts Major Ransomware Campaign

    Security professionals generally spend their lives playing defense against adversaries that are not only anonymous, but often invisible. It’s a rare event when hackers and malware authors have their operations curtailed, shutdown or even impacted by members of the infosec community…


  • Google and Microsoft end all patent litigation

    Whatever disputes arch-rivals Google and Microsoft have, today they’ve agreed that patent litigation isn’t the right way to settle them. The two companies have released a joint statement announcing that they’ve reached “an agreement on patent issues,” which includes dismissing all patent lawsuits between the two companies, including Motorola cases. Financial terms are confidential.