NSA cracks Internet encryption -- GOOGLE APPS go desktop -- APPLE tests iPhablet -- EBAY warming to Bitcoin -- BURNING MAN jumps shark


September 6, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

**Sponsored by Citrix**

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.

>> SNOWDEN STRIKES AGAIN: NSA defeats many encryption efforts, by Grant Gross: "The U.S. National Security Agency has been circumventing many online encryption efforts through a combination of supercomputers, back doors built into technology products, court orders and other efforts... NSA has cracked much of the encryption that protects global commerce, banking, trade secrets and medical records, according to the report, which cites documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The NSA has invested billions of dollars in efforts to defeat encryption since 2000, according to the report." While light on technical details, revelations published last night about the NSA's Bullrun project shake the foundations of internet security. InfoWorld

>>>> Revealed: How US and UK spy agencies defeat Internet privacy and security, by James Ball, Julian Borger, and Glenn Greenwald: The Guardian

>>>> N.S.A. able to foil basic safeguards of privacy on Web, By Nicole Perlroth, Jeff Larson, and Scott Shane: New York Times

>>>> On the NSA: Matthew Green

>>>> The NSA is breaking most encryption on the internet: Bruce Schneier

>>>> How to secure your company against NSA-inspired hacking: InfoWorld

>> CLOUD GOES DESKTOP: How Chrome Apps will finally take on Windows, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles: "[Yesterday], on Chrome's fifth birthday, Google announced the rollout of what it's calling Chrome Apps. Don't feel bad if you're confused by the name. Chrome has been serving up web apps since 2010 when the Chrome Web Store opened up alongside the launch of the Chrome OS. Chrome Apps, however, are different than what's been offered before. They comprise Google's bid to elevate the browser into a true app platform -- one that it thinks could one day be a legitimate rival to Windows, OS X, and someday iOS and even Android." The Verge

>>>> Google seeks to marry desktop and cloud with new Chrome apps, by Juan Carlos Perez: "Google has wheeled out a new type of application for its Chrome browser that according to the company combines the best of desktop and cloud software. Equating them to tablet- and smartphone-like apps for desktops and laptops, Google said on Thursday that they mix 'the speed, security, and flexibility' of the Web with the 'functionality' of software installed on devices." InfoWorld

** Gartner: Mobility's Impact on Remote Access: Organizations need a strategy for enabling productivity while employees are mobile. Read the free Gartner report to learn why a mix of secure wired, wireless, VPN and VDI technologies is needed to support new use cases for remote and mobile access. Download the report.

>> TERMS OF USE: Google fights to kill email-scanning lawsuit brought by Gmail users, by Sharon Gaudin: "The lawsuit contends that Google's automated scanning of emails in the company's free, cloud-based Gmail service violates the Federal Wiretap Act and the California Invasion of Privacy Act... Dan Olds, an analyst for The Gabriel Consulting Group, said it comes down to naïve users expecting to get something for nothing. As long as Google spells out the terms of use, then it's up to the user to decide whether they want to use that service." Computerworld

>> FLIGHT OF THE iPHABLET: Apple tests iPhone screens as large as six inches, by Ian Sherr, Eva Dou, and Lorraine Luk: "Apple has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as 6 inches, people familiar with the matter say. That would be a sizable leap from the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 released last year, and, at the upper end, would be one of the largest on the market." WSJ

>> HIGH INSECURITY: Microsoft to patch dangerous Outlook hack-by-preview bug next week, by Gregg Keizer: "While Microsoft kept to its practice of not disclosing details of the underlying vulnerabilities in its Thursday notification, another researcher predicted that the Outlook flaw would turn out to be extremely dangerous. 'Past patterns in critical Office vulnerabilities have always been through the preview pane,' said Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, in an email. 'It is pretty much the only way to get into Outlook without user interaction, which is Microsoft's criteria for a critical rating.'" Computerworld

>> NEOMONEY: Is eBay warming up to Bitcoin?, by Jeremy Kirk: "An undated post on eBay's Deals blog titled 'What's the Deal with Bitcoins Anyway' featured a two-minute video encapsulating many of the pros and cons of the virtual currency... The post indicates that one of the largest e-commerce vendors is taking notice of Bitcoin, which has seen growing traction with smaller online merchants but has been hampered by ongoing concerns over regulation." PC World

>> IN THE LAB: Elon Musk took the futuristic gesture interface from Iron Man and made it real (video) The Next Web

>> GOING GOOGLE: Microsoft is copying the wrong company, by Paul Thurrott: "Microsoft is no Apple. And yet the firm is so hell-bent on copying the Apple vertical-integration model that it has destroyed its relationships with hardware partners while failing to produce first-party devices that customers actually want. Heads-up, Microsoft. You're copying the wrong company. And the company that is eating your lunch isn't Apple. It's Google." WinSupersite
>>>> Lumia tablets? Surface phablets? Microsoft's tricky new post-Nokia positioning challenges, ZDNet

>> SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE: Microsoft adds a wing, more closets to the homes of SharePoint Online tenants, by Juan Carlos Perez: "Over the coming weeks, Microsoft will roll out a set of changes to Office 365 targeted at SharePoint Online users, including increasing from 250M bytes to 2G bytes the size of files that people can upload to their individual SkyDrive Pro repositories and to SharePoint Online team site document libraries" PCWorld

>> PIVOT: Salesforce realizes nobody wants to store their files in Salesforce, by Matt Rosoff: "Salesforce no longer expects to be an alternate repository for files. Instead, it's going to work with the repositories you already have." InfoWorld

>> RULES FOR GROMS: 4 tips for budding tech startups from New Relic's Lew Cirne, by Barb Darrow: "Hire mensches -- The smartest guy in the room is not necessarily someone you want to work with. It really helps if you like your colleagues -- even as you fight with them -- so make that a consideration." GigaOM

>> KNOWLEDGE BOMB: Disruptive innovation vs. Harvard: Who will win?, by Jose Ferreira: "After graduating from Harvard Business School, I went to work at Goldman Sachs. With few exceptions, all 120 or so members of my associate class were fellow graduates of Harvard, Wharton, and a handful of other top-tier schools... Then, as now, Goldman (and employers like it) use elite brand MBAs as a proxy for ability. What if employers instead had access to far more accurate, real-time, and comprehensive data sets around learning outcomes upon which to base hiring decisions? A revolution in educational data mining is underway that will make this a reality. Within a decade, prospective employees will be able to show down to the atomic concept what they know, how quickly they learned it, and how well they retained it. Goldman Sachs would know whether an HBS recruit was in fact the best, say, at finance concepts or derivatives trading concepts. " LinkedIn

>> JAVA JINX: JVM concurrency is affected by changing the date of the system, by Bruno Bossola: "The implementation of the concurrency primitive LockSupport.parkNanos(), the function that controls *every* concurrency primitive on the JVM, is flawed, and any NTP sync, or system time change, can potentially break it with unexpected results across the board when running a 64bit JVM on Linux 64bit." Bbossola

>> GAME OF THRONES: The man that could have been Nokia CEO calls Elop reign 'a complete failure', by Aaron Souppouris: The Verge

>> QUICK: Online LaTeX editor: ShareLaTeX

>> USE CASE: Toyota to use Google Street View in vehicles, by Charlie Osborne: "Toyota is turning to Google Street View to further interactive dashboard technology and to give drivers visual cues when going towards their destination." SmartPlanet

>> TRIPLE RAINBOW: Mark Zuckerberg helicoptered in to Burning Man; Moskowitz and Winklevii hug BusinessInsider

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "Comment: 'Peyton Manning became first in NFL history to have 450 yards, 7 touchdowns and 20 commercials in a game.'" @codywillard

** 10 Reasons to Fortify Security with Desktop Virtualization: Information security is critical. People access enterprise apps and data from more devices than ever, and to keep up, IT teams must consider new ways to secure sensitive information. Explore the top 10 ways to fortify security with virtual desktops. Download the paper now.

FEED ME, SEYMOUR: Comments? Questions? Tips? Shoot mail to Trent or Woody. Follow @gegax or @woodyleonhard.

Pass it on. Tweet us!

Not a TechBrief subscriber? Sign up for a free subscription.