Join us for the Gestalt IT Rundown for August 19! We have stories about Intel’s newest chips, IBM’s take on AI processors, News from Cohesity and Pure Storage, and the latest on the TikTok saga.
This Week on the Rundown
The Mozilla Foundation, which produces the popular Firefox broswer, announced that it is cutting 250 of its 1,000 staff members. The reported reason is signifcantly reduced revenue. A reported deal with Google to bundle their search engine in Firefox has been producing the majority of the funding for the Foundation, but the deal has not been renewed by Google.The contract is set to expire in November. Mozilla’s 2018 revenue was $435 million, which is not easy to replace. The foundation has tried to diversity and has been pushing their VPN service to users in an effort to increase non-Google revenue. Mozilla said this move was intended to help the foundation “live within its means” for 2020.
According to a report. the US Secret Service has gone outside the box to track credit card fraudsters. The USSS purchased data from a company named Babel Street that has a product called Locate X. Locate X uses anonymized location data from a number of popular apps that many users have installed on their phones. Locate X aggregates this data and provides a history of the movement of the device. US Customs and Border Protection supposedly had a contract to track users with the same company back in March.
The shambling zombie that is Internet Explorer may be getting closer to the end. This week, Microsoft announced that it is dropping support for Teams on November 30th. In addition, Office 365 will no longer work on IE on August 17, 2021. Microsoft has tried to move users to Edge, their new Chromium-based browser, since 2015 but have left IE installed by default in Windows 10.
Oh, Canada! Over the weekend, the Canadian Revenue Agency disclosed that it was forced to shut down its online portal due to a cyberattack. Unknown persons turned a botnet on the portal and attempted a credential stuffing attack aimed at harvesting usernames and passwords to mine personal data of users of the service. The attackers managed to compromise 11,000 accounts before admins were able to take the portal offline. According to the head of Canada’s Centre for Cyber Security, the attack succeeded because users are prone to resuing passwords. Accounts using strong, unique passwords appeared to hold up.
The US Government has announced that TikTok must be sold to a US compnay within the next 90 days or be banned from use. The current front runner to take the reins is Microsoft. Never one to let a sure thing go unchallenged, Larry Ellison has decided to jump feet first into the mess. The Financial Times has reported that Orcal has been talkling to ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, about purchasing the operations of the app in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Other tech companies have been reported to have interest, but the common wisdom is that Microsoft’s bid was big enough to stand on it’s own. Oracle is known for throwing cash at problems to try and stay on top.
Continuing our TikTok block, a report from the Wall Street Journal states that the popular vidoeo app had been exploiting a loophole in Google privacy requiremnts to harvest user MAC Addresses for over a year.The hole is known to Google and had not been patched. TikTok stopped collecting MAC addresses last November and admits that the app no longer collects this specfic data from devices. The privacy issue detection was also hampered by TikTok’s development style of encrypting everything to hide things like data collection.
During Hot Chips 2020, Intel announced Tofino2, the newest update to the processor designed by Barefoot Networks. The latest offering is a 12.9 Tb/s capable chip with full programmability via the P4 language and built on a 7nm process. As in the past, the focus for Tofino is high speed switching with the ability to be fully programmable to meet the needs of changing workloads in the data center. AI is a use case that has been mentioned, but the flexiblity of the platform could lend itself to a variety of applications
IBM announced the latest generation of their Power CPU line. The Power10 has been designed over the last 5 years and is the first 7nm process chip from IBM. Leaner and meaner from a power consumption perspective, Power10 can accelerate cryptography by 40% thanks to AES-dedicated cores. Also included on the spec list are container protection via hardware and isolation to protect VM intrustions. The target market for Power10 is AI and data analytics.
Last week, Pure Storage announced that they were teaming up with Cohesity for a new joint offering called FlashRecover. This brings the all-flash storage array specialist together with the secondary storage darlings to deliver Pure’s first non-primary offering. Another aspect of FlashRecover is that it uses Pure’s “other” platform, FlashBlade, and could help grow the market for this one.
Blocks and Files scooped Dell and Liqid’s deal to bring better composability to Dell’s MX7000 platform. The Liqid technology will enable Dell to better compete in AI and ML, with GPUs, FPGAs, and Optane SSDs accessible over PCIe in a flexible manner. Liqid brings a PCIe expansion chassis, enabling up to 20 full-size GPUs to be added to the MX7000 mix. Liqid is a favorite here at Gestalt IT and we’ve loved the MX7000 since it was launched two years ago. It’s great seeing these technologies being brought together!
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.