(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A burst of 9 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
China smartphone maker Xiaomi apologizes for unauthorized data access >> Yahoo News
Xiaomi Inc said it had upgraded its operating system to ensure users knew it was collecting data from their address books after a report by a computer security firm said the Chinese budget smartphone maker was taking personal data without permission.
And the in-depth examination of MIUI begins.
Beware of US-based tech support scams >> Malwarebytes Unpacked
Most people associate tech support scams (AKA the fake Microsoft support call) with technicians sitting in a crowded and buzzing boiler room somewhere offshore.
Indeed all of the tech support scams we have tracked so far were with companies located either in Mumbai, Kolkata or elsewhere in India. But last month, we stumbled upon fake warning pages urging users to call a number for 'emergency tech support'.
When we rang the number, we were surprised to hear that the technician sounded American. It turned out that their company was based in 'the sunshine state' of Florida, USA.
The FTC walloped a number of Indian companies doing this, so the American ones shouldn't expect to last long.
For the love of open mapping data >> TechCrunch
Steve Coast, as OpenStreetMap hits its tenth year:
There were other people who were trying to do open mapping, but they maybe two mistakes. One is they concentrated on the shiny stuff: the editor and the website and so on. I focused on making the backend work. That wasn't quite as much fun to work on. The other projects also wanted to limit you in some ways. They'd say you can map whatever you want, but it has to be in England, or it has to be footpaths. What we did was say: hey, it's open source for everything. That made it relevant to everyone.
Time to renew: why I stayed with Windows Phone >> CITEworld
Simon Bisson, two years into his contract, got a Lumia 930:
It's not just the ability to dip in and out of work that's happening elsewhere. It's also the ability to use my Lumia to start new work in the mobile version of OneNote, or to use its camera to quickly capture information that can be used elsewhere.
With OneNote notebooks in the cloud at the heart of how I work, it turns out that one of the most useful tools on Windows Phone is Office Lens, a quick way of taking photographs of slides and other presentation materials and dropping them into OneNote. Office Lens will reformat slides automatically, cropping out background and handling perspective adjustments -- as well as supporting OneNote's cloud-based optical character recognition.
Office Lens has become a key part of my workflow, as I use it to deliver images from presentations straight into an open notebook on a PC or tablet, so I can have them ready for annotations as I take notes in a meeting.
Ransomware race (part 2): personal media the next frontier? >> F-Secure Weblog : News from the Lab
It seems malware authors have recently taken a liking to the network-attached storage (NAS) devices manufactured by Synology Inc. First they were hit by Bitcoin mining malware in the beginning of this year and now by file encrypting ransomware similar to CryptoLocker. NAS devices are used by home and business users alike to easily store and share files over a network. Many, like ones manufactured by Synology, also feature remote access. In this case, it would seem hackers were able to abuse the remote access feature, possibly by exploiting a vulnerability in older versions of the Synology DSM -operating system, to gain access to the devices. Once they had access, they proceeded to install a ransomware they have dubbed "SynoLocker".
And here's part 1 of the ransomware race.
Will Google or Apple disrupt Intel? >> EE Times
Google may undermine Intel's x86 in servers with its work with IBM on the OpenPower Consortium, Ditzel said, and he makes a good case. The search company could probably save a lot of money and maybe even gain some performance/watt advantages if it could come up with a custom Power design for its data centers.
We know from seeing job reqs that Google has been hiring circuit designers and other kinds of chip engineers. Google's head of data center server technology leads the OpenPower group and has shown custom Power board designs.
I'm skeptical because I know Google tries everything and has the cash to do it. Nevertheless, Ditzel helped me see it also has the motive to make something real here that could deprive Intel of many hundreds of thousands of Xeon sales a year.
If Google gets something working, it might motivate Amazon, Facebook, and other big data center companies to follow. These folks represent 20% of the server business -- the hungry 20%.
Apple could put one of its next-generation A-series SoCs in a MacBook Air in the not-too-distant future, Ditzel said. Once it got the SoC up and running on its full Mac OS, it could easily spread use of the chip to other Mac notebooks and eventually desktops.
That's not a game changer for Intel, but it's another loss of x86 sockets and part of a scenario of death by a thousand cuts.
Also expected: a 64-bit ARM-based CPU from NVidia.
Why does Windows think that my wireless keyboard is a toaster? >> Super User
Because it connects to your oven-fridge?
YouTube for education >> Jana
YouTube is a popular resource for education and learning among smartphone users in emerging markets, according to the results of a Jana survey on May 14. Among the 1,748 people surveyed in India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil, YouTube is the app most frequently chosen for education and learning. The survey also highlighted unique market conditions in each country, where apps designed to compliment school curricula and university courses were popular among respondents
Bitcoin momentum grows in emerging markets >> Forbes
Companies—mostly startups—are building exchanges, trading and payment platforms, wallets, and storage and remittance services. There are now around 65,000 bitcoin transactions a day currently, and 13m bitcoins are in circulation globally. (That converts to about $8bn at a recent USD/BTC exchange rate of $589/BTC). But bitcoin's ability to scale further hinges on consumer confidence and the development of services that allow users to securely store and transact in bitcoins.
To be sure, consumers are increasingly familiar with many of the concepts behind bitcoin in emerging markets like parts of Africa, where alternative cashless payment solutions like M-Pesa's mobile money are already popular. A recent survey by mobile payment company Jana found that over half of respondents from Asia and Africa expressed confidence in investing in bitcoin. Consumer confidence is especially high in Kenya, home of M-Pesa, and 74% of Kenyan respondents said they would feel comfortable investing in digital currency.
Momentum doesn't necessarily translate into use, and while bitcoin doesn't have inflation (often an emerging economy problem) it does have value swings. Still, this could be the space to watch.
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