Friday Essentials: Big 3 This Week

Truth be told, we were in a bit of tizzy to bring to you the most interesting tidbits from the tech fraternity this week. After all, bearded men are the talk of the month! It’s the ‘No Shave’ month, in case you don’t remember (or don’t know, the probability of which is rather low). Okay. That’s enough hairy talk!

So here’s our Top 3 picks from the week that was. Regardless of how tech savvy you are, these three bits concerning Cyber Security, Office Tech and Personal Tech, respectively, are worth a read. So here you go!

#1 Tricky Halloween: Hackers publish information allegedly linked with NSA

Julian Assange is not the only one giving sleepless nights to the secret keepers of USA!

On Halloween morning, the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group of hackers ‘leaked’ IP addresses of computer servers supposedly comprising The Equation Group. The latter in turn is allegedly a hacker outfit linked with the National Security Agency (NSA).

An article on Fortune stated, “The list allegedly catalogues hundreds of the NSA-linked group’s cyber-espionage targets from the 2000s, including a number of email providers and universities in China as well as targets in countries such as Iran, Russia, Pakistan, India, and South Korea.”

What is more worrisome for the NSA at the moment is that the leaks back Shadow Brokers’ claims to have hacked into an as-yet undisclosed set of electronic lock picks from the agency.

The information was displayed as a ‘dump’ which basically means the cache of files published looked like raw data copied from the source (main memory). Although the general public wouldn’t be able to read the information, access to such classified information is a serious cyber security threat for an agency like NSA. However, Dumps are useful for diagnosing bugs. It gives cyber security experts the chance to study and analyze the contents of the memory from which information is stolen and the possible vulnerabilities/exploits which leads to the hacking in the first place.

#2 Latest from Microsoft: It’s very own online Chat Service for organizations

If your job entails lots of file transfers and information sharing (well which job doesn’t!), then we are sure online chat services like Slack is little short of Oxygen at the work place.

Microsoft finally seems to have realized the significance of online chat services in everyday office affairs. So they are adding a new software called ‘Teams’ to the Office 365 Suite of internet productivity software. It’s an on trend thing to do. Even Facebook is competing to offer specialized networking services to organizations. Emails and simple file sharing tools have too many limitations. Services like Slack combine the best of IM and file sharing creating a much more convenient and fun way to get things done on time.

“Like competing services, Microsoft’s new “Teams” product provides a central place online for workplace groups to chat, share files and perform other tasks. But unlike competitors, Microsoft is offering the ability to easily transition into other widely used Microsoft programs, such as Outlook for email and calendars and Skype for voice and video conferences. “Teams” can also incorporate artificially intelligent “bots” and other software programs created by outside developers.”

~ From Top Tech News

#3 Uber’s New App: Smarter, Simpler, More Fun

Everyone’s favorite ride hailing app is going for a relaunch of sorts. In its 4 years of operation this is going to be the biggest overhaul. Uber now operates in 450 cities across the world and usually has a pricing which is lower than traditional taxis.

“As part of the new look, Uber will more clearly spell out how much it will cost to reach a destination in different types of available cars and estimate how long it will take to get there. The app will also recommend the best places to be picked up in congested areas to make it easier for the driver and rider.

The reprogrammed app also will study a rider’s traveling history and list frequently ordered destinations as “shortcuts” so they can be chosen with a tap instead of having to type in an address.”

~From Top Tech

As new features were added to the app, navigation became confusing for passengers. This led to the decision of redesigning the app by the San Francisco-based company. The new app will be rolled out on Wednesday although users won’t get all updates immediately.

On the downside, an experimental feature – which will be launched later – in the app will seek personal information from users, raising privacy concerns. However, it will be up to the users to grant the app permission for taking a look into their private itinerary for more convenience, or not.

That’s it from this week’s Friday Essentials Bulletin. Did we miss something bigger? Let us know in the comments below.


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