Attribution & Retribution in the age of Aurora and Stuxnet

This post is  inspired by my attendance at the Sydney session of the  McAfee Focus 2010 Security Seminar and recent discussions around the Stuxnet malware. At  McAfee’s  Focus 2010 Security Seminar, one of the more interesting sessions  was an analysis of Operation Arurora presented by McAfee’s head of Threat Research,  Dmitri Alperovitch.  Outside of  IT security circles, the name Operation Aurora probably doesn’t ring any bells.  But in January 2010,  the Aurora cyber-attack  was making headlines across the globe due to Google’s sensational claims it had been the victim of a security breach which had its origins in China. Google wasn’t the only company infiltrated.  A number of other US companies in industries such as finance, defence and technology, were also targeted. But it was […]

Telstra’s first Android is mostly Desirable

Just over a  year ago,  Optus brought the first Android phone to Australia in the form of the HTC  Dream.  Now Telstra has joined the Android ranks with the launch of the  HTC Desire.  This recent addition to HTC’s Android lineup is an impressive device and after two weeks of use, the verdict is “mostly desirable”. So what makes this phone so desirable? And why the qualification of “mostly”?

First impressions: Motorola DEXT & Backflip

The Android invasion of Australia is set to  ramp up with this month with new handsets being launched by both Telstra and Optus. Telstra will be launching the HTC Desire on April 27th, followed by the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 on May 4th. Optus meanwhile, has already hit the market with the Motorola DEXT and Motorola Backflip. After having a quick hands on with the DEXT and Backflip at a local Optus store, here’s my initial thoughts on the features that stood out for me.

Smarter searching for all – Part 1

For most people , putting a few words into the standard Google search box is about as sophisticated as their searching gets. But in certain jobs, like competitive intelligence (CI), being able to go beyond basic searching is a critical skill. Earlier this year, smarter searching was one of the topics discussed at a get together of Sydney based CI practitioners.  Inspired by the suggestions shared at that session, plus my own experience, I thought I might do a few posts on how  to improve your search for information on the net.

Can Google shareholders gain from the China confrontation?

It’s hard to see exit from the Chinese market as maximizing Google’s profits. China is, after all, very large (though Chinese growth in searching is slow). It may be that Google is being, at least in part, high-minded. After all, it’s motto is “Don’t be evil” & it is reported that Sergey Brin’s aversion to totalitarian states played a role here. Yet, it is not Google’s fiduciary duty to be high-minded: rather the organization must act in its shareholder’s interests. But there are two points to be made in favour of Google’s China stance:

Palm needs more than Pixies to save it

How the mighty have fallen. Once a pioneering leader in handheld computing, the smartphone market has not been kind to Palm Inc. Palm’s latest quarterly loss means the company is heading for its third year of losses in a row. As ZDNet’s editor in Chief Larry Dignan points out, Palm now finds itself in a viscous cycle. ” Sales in the third quarter were weak. So weak that Palm’s sell through in the third quarter was 408,000 units vs. a sell-in of 960,000 units. That means Palm seriously overestimated demand for its devices….Now Palm will have to discount, take charges for inventory and suffer a gross margin hit to lower the inventory of Pre and Pixi devices.” (ZDNet 19/03/2010) So just how bad are things […]