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HPE Is Texas Bound| Gestalt IT Rundown: December 2, 2020

HPE is Texas bound, IBM creates quantum-safe encryption and AWS has a Kinesis problem. We’ll discuss these topics and much more on this week’s Rundown!

Salesforce to Buy Slack?

After the close of the market on Tuesday, Salesforce announced their intent to purchase the Slack communications platform. The deal is valued at $27.7 billion and will be a half stock, half cash transaction. The move is another in the long line of acquisitions Salesforce has made this year and is expected to put the company in direct competition with Microsoft and their Teams solution.

Ajit Pai Stepping Down in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced this week that he will be leaving the FCC on January 20, 2021. He leaves along with Michael O’Reilly, whose renomination was canceled. Pai has been under fire during his term for rescinding Net Neutrality laws in favor of telecom providers. This wil leave the incoming president with a 2-1 majority on the FCC, which is expected to reinstate those neutrality rules before the two empty chairs are filled in 2021.

AWS Gets Back To Mac

On Day 1 of AWS re:Invent, the biggest announcement was all about Apple. Amazon will now be offering Mac instances to developers looking to create and test apps for macOS, iPhone, and iPad. The instances are running on Mac Mini hardware of the Intel variety, with plans to move to the new M1 chips coming in the first half of 2021.

Apple Patches Zero Click Wi-Fi Exploit

Ars Technica is reporting that Apple patched a huge issue in the iPhone earlier this year and is just now releasing the details. The vulnerability was in the mesh networking protocol that helps run AirDrop between phones. The kernel module was vulnerable to our old favorite buffer overflow exploit and could be triggered without notification because of the way the driver is always scanning for packets over the air. The bug was patched in iOS 13.5 and Apple is sure most devices are secured now.

AWS has a Kinesis Problem

On November 25th, Amazon found out just how important their services are to the world. Issues started cropping up with the Kinesis Data Stream API reported issues. As the problem grew it affected a large chunk of US-EAST-1. This caused outages in a variety of services, including CloudWatch, Lambda, and even the health dashboard that let people know what was going on with AWS. The trigger for the issue appears to have been the addition of capacity to the Kinesis service that cause the API to start polling at an extremely rapid rate which effectively created a DDoS attack against AWS. This was compounded by the fact that US-EAST-1 is the default location for software to use when no region is specified. Services were eventually restored when the changes were rolled back and Kinesis was brought under control

IBM Creates Quantum-Safe Encryption

IBM announced that they have created an encryption algorithm that’s safe from quantum computing. Using the Cryptographic Suite for Algebraic Lattices, or CRYSTALS, with Kyber and Dilithium, IBM has hardened this encryption scheme against the computing power that can be brought to bear by quantum computers. The result is an equation that is too difficult to be cracked by the current state of computing power.

HPE Is Texas Bound

During their recent fourth quarter earnings call, Hewlett Packard Enteprise announced they are shifting their headquarters location from San Jose, CA to Houson, TX. The Houston HQ barely had time to get the last coat of paint on the walls earlier this year before the pandemic sent everyone home. The move shifts the HPE executive team to the Lone Star State while the current San Jose HQ building will be getting a new tenant – Aruba.

The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on YouTube every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for the show each week.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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