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Have I been pwned?

Have I been pwned?

773 million email addresses exposed in ‘mega data breach’ — here’s how to see if yours is one of them

If you haven’t changed your password after one of the countless data breaches over the past few years, the time is now.

Nearly 773 million records, including email addresses and passwords, were exposed in a data breach publicized by security researcher Troy Hunt this week. Hunt said this large collection of files, which could be the largest breach yet to be made public, were collected from a number of breaches and uploaded to popular cloud service MEGA. That platform has since removed the data, which was promoted on popular hacking forums.

“The unique email addresses totaled 772,904,991,” Hunt wrote on his website. “This is the headline you’re seeing as this is the volume of data that has now been loaded into Have I Been Pwned (HIBP). It’s after as much clean-up as I could reasonably do and per the previous paragraph, the source data was presented in a variety of different formats and levels of ‘cleanliness.’ This number makes it the single largest breach ever to be loaded into HIBP.”

First published in MarketWatch – Read the complete article By KARI PAUL

Six Ways the Shutdown is Affecting the Tech Sector

Six Ways the Shutdown is Affecting the Tech Sector

It’s Day 24 of the partial government shutdown, and its effects are rippling through the technology sector.

As the longest shutdown in U.S. history drags on, it is increasingly impacting agencies that enforce vital protections for consumers in the digital age, which shield the public against everything from spam to privacy violations. And the technology companies themselves are not immune — their business plans could be derailed as the shutdown prevents agencies from responding to regulatory filings and causes delays in reviews of new devices.

The effect of the shutdown on the tech sector puts a fine point on the increasing interdependence of Washington and Silicon Valley. Though technologists have long tried to keep an arms distance from policymakers and regulators, here are some ways this industry can’t escape the reach of the stalemate between the White House and Democrats in Congress:

  1. The Federal Trade Commission is closed for business — tying up the federal agency responsible for policing Big Tech.
  2. The SEC is operating in a limited capacity — potentially stymying a rush of long-awaited tech companies to the public markets.
  3. Robo-call and identity theft victims are left in the lurch.
  4. The Federal Communications Commission isn’t certifying new devices heading to market.
  5. Stories of employees without paychecks could affect the government’s ability to recruit top tech and science talent.
  6. Dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inactive.

First published in The Washington Post by: By Cat Zakrzewski

Will 5G go gangbusters in 2019?

Will 5G go gangbusters in 2019?

After a relatively ho-hum 2018 for mobile phones, 2019 is looking to be a gangbuster year for smartphones and the whole wireless industry.

In addition to the launch of foldable phones, 2019 also promises to see the debut of the world’s first devices that can connect to next-generation 5G wireless networks.

Current smartphones use 4G LTE networks to send and receive all the photos, videos, texts, social media updates, emails, phone calls and other types of information that we consume on our trusty devices. While 4G networks have gotten faster and more reliable since their debut in 2009, technology innovations continue to move forward and the entire industry is on the verge of a once-a-decade generational shift to the next “G” – hence 5G.

And 5G promises to bring with it not just faster connections to the mobile telecom networks offered by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint – although that’s certainly an important part of it – but the ability to create new types of experiences as well.

From more immersive virtual and augmented reality applications to telemedicine and autonomous cars, 5G is expected to unleash an exciting array of new products and services, many of which haven’t even been invented yet. (For point of reference, it took the debut of 4G networks to enable cloud-based services like Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Airbnb and others that quickly became commonplace, but weren’t conceived of prior to the last wireless generation shift from 3G.)

First published in USA Today by Bob O’Donnell

Happy New Year! + EV vs IC

Happy New Year! + EV vs IC

Happy New Year South Florida!

As we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome 2019, I’m reminded that we are living in the future. It’s 20 years ago that the millennium bug was big news across the IT world. Looking back, the millennium bug was a bit of a non-event compared to the real issues we are facing today like massive security breaches and hacks involving hundreds of millions of private data records.

But with the future comes some really cool tech – Cloud computing, AI augmented apps, voice assistants, wearable tech, the blockchain, 5G networks and more.

All this splendiferous technology will need great talent to design and implement it successfully. Email me at [email protected] for the tech talent of today and beyond.

Think Electric Vehicles Are Great Now? Just Wait…

Originally published in the WSJ, Dec. 26, 2018

AT YEAR’S END it seems appropriate to give thanks for the wonders of the automotive world. So I’m waiting. Waiting to choose one of the scores of electric vehicle models that I know are coming down the pipeline in the next 18 to 36 months—the exact timing of my purchase depends on whether it’s possible to paint the whole van with rattle-cans. In any event, I’m waiting, because internal-combustion (IC) just doesn’t work for me anymore. In the car market, I am a human headwind.

This is above all a pocketbook issue for me. A gas-powered vehicle would be too expensive. I plan to keep my next vehicle for 10 years, at least. Over that time the cost of ownership for an EV, including fuel (on the order of a penny a mile for the electricity), repairs and maintenance would be considerably lower than comparable costs of an IC car.

My other big worry: resale value. In case you haven’t been following the news from the Paris climate talks, most nations of the world have put the IC vehicle under a death sentence. Post-Paris, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there will be between 125 and 220 million EVs on the road by 2030.

We are living through the S-curve of EV adoption. The total number of EVs on global roads surpassed 3 million in 2018, a 50% increase over 2016, according to the IEA. In November Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling small/midsize luxury sedan in the U.S; and Model S sales (26,700, year to date) outsold Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW 6- and 7-Series, and Audi A8 combined, according to industry-tracker goodcarbadcar.net.

During the reasonable service life of any vehicle I buy today, I expect the demand for IC-powered vehicles will drop to practically zero, equivalent to the current market penetration of flip phones. No one will want them and there will be nowhere to get them fixed; by that time widespread fleet electrification will have cratered traditional dealerships that depend on service dollars to survive.

I’m not missing anything staying out of the car market. The twilight of the IC engine is pretty awful, actually. All the technical gymnastics to reduce consumption and emissions from IC engines—stop-start, cylinder deactivation, CVT transmissions, high-strung turbos hooked up to small displacement motors—it all feels junky and compromising.

The greatest offenders are also the most complex, like Volvo’s T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain, with electric motors, CVT, batteries, power inverter and a supercharged/turbocharged 2.0-liter engine thrashing away at one another, all so it can eke out a few miles of EV range. The steady improvement in lithium-ion batteries’ energy and power-density over cost will render the latest plug-in hybrids comically superfluous in a matter of years.

Internal combustion isn’t going to get any better. Last year the chief financial officer for Continental, the Tier 1 global automotive supplier, lit up the chat rooms with his prediction that IC development at the German carmakers will effectively end by 2023.

Meanwhile, EVs just keep evolving. The Tesla Model 3 is amaze-balls, crazy good. But I’ve got hauling and choring to do, so I’m going to wait and kick the tires on the Rivian R1T pickup, due in about two years. Rivian, with offices in California and Michigan, last year acquired the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Ill., to build what it calls “electric adventure vehicles.” Its makers claim the R1T will have 400-plus miles of range. Its four electric motors inboard of the four wheels will together produce 750 hp and 14,000 Newton-meters of torque at the wheel.

Here a yoking of unlikely attributes: The R1T will accelerate to 60 mph in 3 seconds and have a wading depth of 3 feet. In it you could jump over the woods and through the river to grandmother’s house.

Don’t agree? Fine, fine. You go ahead and finance that $70,000 pickup with V8 power for 60 months. It’ll be a two-ton albatross around your financial neck before it’s over. Gasoline could be free and you would still hate it. Better cars are just around the corner.

Read the complete article by Dan Neil in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/think-electric-vehicles-are-great-now-just-wait-11545838139

Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen?

Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen?

This is a really cool story and underscores what happens when we’re not paying attention.

Just a few years ago, Microsoft was seen as a lumbering has-been of the technology world.

It was big and still quite profitable, but the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing. Its stock price languished, inching up 3 percent in the decade through the end of 2012.

It’s a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable company, both worth about $850 billion, thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 percent over the last 12 months. At the end of trading Friday, Microsoft was just ahead of its longtime rival.

So what happened?

Click here to read the full sort by Steve Lohr, NYT

 

Building the Toy Wall at ITPalooza

Building the Toy Wall at ITPalooza

Bring a toy and give more joy this holiday season.

Since our first ITPalooza on 12/12/12, we’ve raised over $250,000 for charity and supported the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Each year we’ve built the magnificent Toy Wall – a testament to the generosity of the South Florida tech community.

If you’ve visited ITPalooza, you’ll know what I mean. The Toy Wall stands apart as a shining example of our community pulling together for a cause greater than each of us.

This year, I know many of you have already secured your Toys for Tots pledge tickets and many of you have purchased your passes. My appeal to you, is that every visitor to ITPalooza brings a toy and helps to build the Toy Wall gift by gift.

Over past 6 years, ITPalooza has raised more than $250,000 in toys and cash making us the 3rd largest single-contributor in the region to the Toys for Tots Foundation.