News Rundown

Cisco Live Europe Reactions | Gestalt IT Rundown: January 29, 2020

Reactions from Cisco Live Europe, VMware layoffs hit hard, Google looking to compete with Microsoft Teams. Rich Stroffolino and Tom Hollingsworth are talking about all these and more on the Gestalt IT Rundown, your weekly IT news briefing.

This week on the Rundown:

Google Bug Bounty Payouts up 91%

Google announced that since it rolled out its bug bounty program in 2010, it’s paid out more than $21 million to research, distributing $6.5 million in 2019 to 461 different researchers. That’s up 91% from 2018, and the payouts had hovered around the $3 million mark for the past several years. Android led the bounties with $1,9 million paid, with $1 million paid for Chrome bugs, $800,000 for Google Play, and $2.1 million across other Google products. The biggest single reward paid was $201,000 (the max possible is $1.5 million for a single bug).

Thunderbird Goes Corporate

Mozilla announced its moving the Thunderbird email client to a new subsidiary called MZLA Technologies Corporation. It will remain free and open source, but Mozilla is looking to a corporate model to better monetize the project and pay for development. Thunderbird almost died for lack of funding in development throughout the mid-2010s.

App Maker Shutdown

Surprise surprise, Google killing a service! The company announced it will start shutting down App Maker, G Suite’s low-code environment for building custom business apps, citing the dreaded “low usage”. The app will be completely dead on January 19, 2021. Interestingly Google just acquired AppSheet, a no-code development platform for business apps with plans to integrate that into Google Cloud.

LoRaWAN Security Issues?

Long Range Wide Area Network, or LoRaWAN is a ultra-low power radio-based protocol to connect IoT sensors, often on battery power back to an edge site or DC. This integrates two layers of 128-bit encryption to authenticate the device to the network server and against backend applications. But security researchers at IOActive say that the tech is prone to misconfiguration to an almost comical extent. QR codes meant for initial configuration with Device IDs and encryption keys are often left on devices, encryption keys from open source libraries are left in place on production hardware, and insecure network servers.

ServiceNow Shifts Focus

ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott has been on the job since October, and is looking to shake up the company. He’s announced that the company will focus on developing workflows and digital transformation services for banking and telecommunications verticals. They’ll be furthering integrations with Deloitte and Accenture, and have already begun acqusiitions to better fillout their offerings, from chatbots with Passage AI to AIOps company Loom Systems.

Google Testing Comms App for Business

The Information reports that Google Cloud is working on a unified messaging app aimed at businesses. This would reportedly integrate emails from Gmail, online storage through Google Drive, text with Hangouts Chat, and Hangouts Meet video calling, with Google Calendar hooks, although it would not replace that as a standalone app. A mobile app is in testing, and a source tells The Information “G Suite team is almost exclusively working on products with enterprise customers in mind.”

Proposed UK IoT Rules

The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport and National Cyber Security Center recently proposed measure to deal with the consumer IoT security hellscape. They would require all internet-connected device passwords to be unique and not offer a stock password factory reset option, basically so someone doesn’t reset it a known stock answer. IoT manufacturers would also have to provide a public point of contact so any can report a vulnerability and provide a timely response. And devices must have an explicitly stated minimum length of support time for things like security updates from point of sale.

VMware Layoffs

If you were on IT Twitter in the last day, it will come as no surprise that VMware announced it seemingly annual layoffs, reportedly affecting over 200 people. This comes after the company announced about 150 employees from their Pivitol acquisition were laid off last month. The layoffs seems to have hit the vSAN inside sales team particularly hard. VMware employees over 20,000 worldwide, so by percentage this is not huge.

AI But For WebEx

Last year we covered Cisco buying the AI startup Voicea, now Cisco is rolling out its first integration of their IP. The company announced that WebEx Assistant will now be able to assist with things like translation, closed captioning and transcriptions. Users can ask the assistant to highlight certain portions of meetings and create action items as well. Cisco also announced Voice Integration with Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI, which can now do transcription, call summaries, and sync highlights to CRM systems.

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. To watch along, “Like” our Facebook page. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for even more weekly video content.

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

Leave a Comment