Archive | Technology

Partner Series

SpaceX to Launch Korean Communications Satellite Today: Watch It Live

Live Science
 
Partner Series
SpaceX to Launch Korean Communications Satellite Today: Watch It Live
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B space plane into orbit on Sept. 7, 2017.

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX aims to pull off another launch-and-landing double play today (Oct. 30), and you can watch all the spaceflight action live.

A SpaceX two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch the KoreaSat 5A communications satellite at 3:34 p.m. EDT (1934 GMT) today from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch the launch live here at Space.com courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company at http://www.spacex.com/webcast.

If all goes according to plan, the booster’s first stage will return to Earth for a soft landing less than 10 minutes after liftoff, settling vertically onto a SpaceX “drone ship” stationed off the Florida coast. [Relive a SpaceX Rocket Launch and Landing in Pictures]

 

Such landings are part of SpaceX’s plan to develop fully and rapidly reusable rockets and space vehicles, a key priority for the company and its billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. To date, SpaceX has aced 18 Falcon 9 touchdowns and re-launched landed boosters on three different occasions.

SpaceX has also re-flown a Dragon cargo capsule once and aims to do so again on its next resupply run to the International Space Station for NASA, which will launch no earlier than December.

KoreaSat 5A is owned by the South Korean company KTSat. The satellite will provide TV and other communications services to people in South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asia, according to the company’s website. The satellite will also aid maritime communications from East Africa to East Asia.

KoreaSat 5A will replace KoreaSat 5, which launched in 2006.

Posted in Education, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology0 Comments

Dominica 8

Caribbean disaster experts to discuss ways to assist region during SOTIC conference

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 4, CMC – Leading experts in disaster preparedness and mitigation, recovery, funding, airport development and maintenance among other stakeholders will meet in Grenada net week to discuss ways on how the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference in Jamaica in November can assist Caribbean countries battered by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett Wednesday said that the four hour discussions will be held on October 12 as part of the weeklong Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) to be held in St. George’s.

Dominica 8He said it is the hope that the outcome of the meeting could into the special session of the November 27-29 UNWTO conference in Jamaica “and that a document will emerge from SOTIC which will help to inform that session at the Jamaica/UNWTO summit”.

“Recover & Rebuild will focus on the economic cost of the disasters, including the potential impact on gross domestic product, employment, the cost to rebuild and the recovery time. Key recommendations emerging from Recover & Rebuild will form part of the comprehensive document which we believe will have industry-wide international significance,” Bartlett said.

He said he was urging all stakeholders within the tourism industry to attend both the Grenada and Jamaica meetings adding that “these two crucial events will help set the course for recovery and growth for all of us over the next year and shape the future of tourism for the Caribbean region”.

Several Caribbean countries, notably, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Maarten were battered by the hurricanes last month as they made their way through the Lesser Antilles leaving a trail of death and destruction estimated at billions of dollars.

Bartlett said that Jamaica “continues to extend our thoughts and prayers to our Caribbean brothers and sisters” and recognises that the entire Caribbean region will be adversely impacted by the lasting results of two hurricanes.

He said Kingston has recognised the efforts of the Barbados-based CTO, in conjunction with the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) as well as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in assisting the region and ensuring that timely and accurate information is disseminated.

“We are aware that CTO and CDEMA technical teams have been on the ground in the various islands doing rapid needs assessments and coordinating with the national authorities in managing the various interventions, to mitigate the pain and hardships that are so pervasive at this time.”

He said a meeting held last month in China of the UNWTO and attended by 10 countries from the Caribbean and Latin America agreed on the need “to assist in the Caribbean natural disaster risk management and response initiatives” and to include in the Jamaica conference an opportunity for all interested parties to discuss and implement a plan of action.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

seashore-1783904_1920

World Bank approves funds to support marine resources in Eastern Caribbean

WASHINGTON, Sep. 28, CMC –  A grant amounting to US$6.3 million has been approved by the World Bank to help Eastern Caribbean countries preserve and strengthen the resilience of coastal and marine resources.

Th funds will also be used to implement regional policies to stimulate ‘blue growth’, where sustainable ocean-based industries help deliver jobs, reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity across the region.

According to the World Bank the money will “allow countries to better manage natural infrastructure, which is the first line of defence against storm surges and damage from rising frequency of extreme weather events, such as the recent hurricanes.”

seashore-1783904_1920The international lending agency says the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape project will be implemented through the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

This project will support the Eastern Caribbean policy-makers in identifying smart policies to harness the ocean and all its natural assets, and prepare for a successful transition to a blue economy and socially equitable ‘blue growth’”, said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.

“As the region is greatly affected by recent hurricanes, it is equally important to build the resilience of coastal communities and promote sustainable development of the ocean resources,” she added.

According to World Bank report  – “Toward A Blue Economy, A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean”, the Caribbean Sea generated US$407 billion in value added in 2012, including mainland Caribbean coastal countries.

The Caribbean Sea covers an area of 2.75 million square kilometers and is a crucial resource for the 40 million people who live along its shores.

OECS countries play a key role in the regional ocean governance as they rely heavily on coastal ecosystems for their income, employment, health and well-being.  At the same time, poorly planned development poses threats to local communities as it erodes the coastal and marine natural protection and other important natural ocean assets.

“This project supports the implementation of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy, a comprehensive policy endorsed by all OECS Heads of State. This initiative sets forth the long-term vision to ensure the future health of the ocean space while sustainably deriving ocean wealth,” said Sylvia Michele, World Bank Environment Specialist.

The Caribbean Regional Oceanscape project supports Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines to transition towards a ‘blue economy’ model, where sustainable ocean-based industries help deliver jobs, reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity across the region.

The bank says the project will include support for the implementation of regional policies, including mapping ocean assets; collaborating with private sector technology companies and education platforms to advance ocean education; and improving OECS ocean data coverage and access through collaborative public-private platforms.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, Local, News, Regional, Technology0 Comments

CXCC

CXC launches first mobile App

 
 
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jul. 27, CMC  – The Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) has launched its first mobile App – CXC Connect – as the agency continues to incorporate technology to make learning relatively seamless.

CXCCAt the launching ceremony on Wednesday, Education Minister Ronald Jones said CXC is moving at a rapid pace.

“ As Minister, I am trying to stay apace of what you are doing – e-marking and now you are doing submission of e-SBAs in a preliminary way. You now have CXC connect, a mobile app, e-testing, e-books, e-syllabi…This is a dizzying pace but you have to stay current, and CXC as the leading provider of examinations within the Caribbean has to be in concert with what is happening in the wider world…. You have to be on the cutting edge,” he said.

Director of Operations at CXC, Stephen Savoury, said 19 territories in the region dealt directly with CXC daily, and its services were wide and varied.

Stating that the App aimed to provide a new avenue for them to engage the Council, he said: “In addition to the hundreds of thousands of students preparing for exams, CXC also interacts with about 10,000 stakeholders across the region and the world during the year. This App allows us the opportunity to provide what we call a ‘ubiquitous experience’ for these our stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, CXC’s Public Information Officer, Cleveland Sam, noted that in 2011, CXC declared itself as an IT-intelligent organisation and was using modern information and communication to work more effectively and efficiently. He said the launch of its first mobile App was therefore “a logical step in the progression forward” on the ICT journey of the CXC.

The five main features of the App are a news feed, Frequently Asked Questions, live chat, events and examinations results.

It  also has the potential to give information on registration and exam dates, and also offers a chat feature with five categories, namely learning support resources, general examination results, e-testing, transcripts and certificates.

Additionally, persons can send voice notes, attach documents and explore upcoming events.

CXC Connect is designed for Android and iOS devices, including mobile phones and tablets, and can be downloaded from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

Posted in Education, Local, News, Regional, Technology0 Comments

site-masthead-logo@2x

5 ways to test your computer’s security – USA TODAY special

USA Today columnist Kim Komando guides you on how to test your computer’s security.

The moment you log onto the internet, your computer starts its game of Russian Roulette. I know that sounds bleak and frightening, but it’s true. Your personal data stored on the hard drive is a magnet for hackers and cyber-criminals, and they will stop at nothing to break into your system.

These attacks are often overt and frightening. Virtual bandits have committed wave after wave of digital crimes. They have extorted untold Bitcoin dollars from regular users desperate to decrypt their files.

Tip in a Tip: Just a few weeks ago, ransomware affected some 200,000 Windows computers all over the world. Learn how to protect yourself from ransomware attacks.

So how do you know if the security you set up on your computer really works?

Hackers use many different methods to invade your computer, so you’ll want to approach the problem from several angles. Think of it like a rancher leaning on the fence to make sure it’s still sturdy. Here are some ways to keep that fence from falling over.

1. Test your settings

The first tool in your arsenal is Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. This free tool examines your Windows and Office settings for any potential problems, especially contamination.

First, MBSA will test your user account passwords and let you know if any account has a weak or disabled password, which is easy prey for hackers.

MBSA will also check many of your account settings. Is your computer set up to get automatic updates? Do you have more than one administrator account on the computer? This software will check all of that information for you.

MBSA also has guides to what settings are preferred and why. Just click the “What was scanned” or “Result details” links to read them.

Also, pay attention to your shared folders. MBSA will show you folders set up for sharing. You may have opened up some private folders in the past, so anyone on your network can access files in these folders. Make sure you’re only sharing what you meant to share, and with whom. Learn more about MBSA and download this free tool.

Related:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Keep your browser updated. Only the latest, safest version will help protect you from infections and attacks.

But an up-to-date browser is just the beginning. You need to make sure your browser plug-ins are up to date, as well. Just like an old browser, an outdated plug-in leaves your browser and your computer vulnerable.

Open up the browsers on your computer, even the ones that you don’t use, and go to Mozilla’s Plugin checker. It will show you every plug-in installed on the browser and whether it’s up to date. Even though it’s the same company that makes Firefox, the Plugin checker works for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and other browsers.

If you want to remove any plug-ins or toolbars you find, follow the instructions I provide here.

3. Test your firewall

One of the most fundamental security setups is a firewall. Windows and Mac have decent firewalls built in, and many third-party security programs include them.

A firewall keeps hackers from seeing your computer online when they’re searching for victims. Even if they know where your computer is, the firewall keeps them out.

But they’re not perfect. A wrong port setting can send up a flare, revealing your computer or giving hackers an opportunity to slip past. If you have a virus, it might have changed your settings without you even knowing.

A port test service like PortTest scans your firewall to make sure your computer is invisible. If it can see you, so can the hackers. Click here to test your computer’s firewall.

4. Permanently delete files

Newsflash: Deleting your files doesn’t actually remove them. They can still hang around your hard drive for days or weeks. Anyone who knows what they’re doing can recover them.

That’s why it’s a good idea to permanently delete any sensitive files that you no longer need. Here are step-by-step instructions.

But even then, you don’t want to just dust your hands and assume the files are gone. To confirm they’ve been deleted, fire up a file-recovery program like Recuva and see what it can even find on your system.

If it doesn’t find the files you permanently deleted, you’re in good shape.

5. Check your Facebook settings

Your computer isn’t the only place you store information. Facebook is packed with personal data that a scammer would love to mine.

That’s why they invented the “View As” tool. It shows you what your profile looks like to the public or specific people. If any of your information has the wrong settings, you’ll be able to spot it immediately.

Go to Facebook and open Settings >> Timeline and Tagging. Next, go to “Who can see my things on my Timeline” and click “View As.”

Consider this the “au naturel” setting of Facebook. You’ll see exactly what your profile looks like to strangers. Click through your Timeline, About, Photos, Friends, and other sections, and see whether vulnerable tidbits have slipped through.

Remember, you can edit every single thing in your profile. To the right of each item, you’ll find an icon with an upside-down triangle. Click this to choose who can see the information. It’s a shortcut that will save you a lot of headaches down the line.

There are plenty more settings you can use to change your Facebook privacy. Click here for a full walk-through of Facebook’s privacy settings and how they work.

How else can you keep your computer secure from trespassers? Be sure to listen or download my podcasts, or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

MORE KIM KOMANDO:

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Featured, News, Technology0 Comments

The world’s latest cyber attack – WannaCry

The world’s latest cyber attack – WannaCry

 Microsoft slams government secrecy

WASHINGTON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Officials across the globe scrambled over the weekend to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at car factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft on Sunday pinned blame on the U.S. government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

Cyber security experts said the spread of the worm dubbed WannaCry – “ransomware” that locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries – had slowed but that the respite might only be brief amid fears new versions of the worm will strike.

In a blog post on Sunday, Microsoft President Brad Smith appeared to tacitly acknowledge what researchers had already widely concluded: The ransomware attack leveraged a hacking tool, built by the U.S. National Security Agency, that leaked online in April.

“This is an emerging pattern in 2017,” Smith wrote. “We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world.”

He also poured fuel on a long-running debate over how government intelligence services should balance their desire to keep software flaws secret – in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare – against sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet.

“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” Smith wrote. He added that governments around the world should “treat this attack as a wake-up call” and “consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.”

The NSA and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the Microsoft statement.

Economic experts offered differing views on how much the attack, and associated computer outages, would cost businesses and governments.

The non-profit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit research institute estimated that total losses would range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but not exceed $1 billion.

Most victims were quickly able to recover infected systems with backups, said the group’s chief economist, Scott Borg.

California-based cyber risk modeling firm Cyence put the total economic damage at $4 billion, citing costs associated with businesses interruption.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday night ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to convene an “emergency meeting” to assess the threat posed by the global attack, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Senior U.S. security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the FBI and the NSA were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The investigations into the attack were in the early stages, however, and attribution for cyber attacks is notoriously difficult.

The original attack lost momentum late on Friday after a security researcher took control of a server connected to the outbreak, which crippled a feature that caused the malware to rapidly spread across infected networks.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too difficult to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said.

Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.

Code for exploiting that bug, which is known as “Eternal Blue,” was released on the internet last month by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers.

The head of the European Union police agency said on Sunday the cyber assault hit 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries and that number would grow when people return to work on Monday.

MONDAY MORNING RUSH?

Monday was expected to be a busy day, especially in Asia, which may not have seen the worst of the impact yet, as companies and organizations turned on their computers.

“Expect to hear a lot more about this tomorrow morning when users are back in their offices and might fall for phishing emails” or other as yet unconfirmed ways the worm may propagate, said Christian Karam, a Singapore-based security researcher.

The attack hit organizations of all sizes.

Renault said it halted manufacturing at plants in France and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware.

Other victims include is a Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northeast England, hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the British National Health Service, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and international shipper FedEx Corp

A Jakarta hospital said on Sunday that the cyber attack had infected 400 computers, disrupting the registration of patients and finding records.

Account addresses hard-coded into the malicious WannaCry virus appear to show the attackers had received just under $32,500 in anonymous bitcoin currency as of (1100 GMT) 7 a.m. EDT on Sunday, but that amount could rise as more victims rush to pay ransoms of $300 or more.

The threat receded over the weekend after a British-based researcher, who declined to give his name but tweets under the profile @MalwareTechBlog, said he stumbled on a way to at least temporarily limit the worm’s spread by registering a web address to which he noticed the malware was trying to connect.

Security experts said his move bought precious time for organizations seeking to block the attacks.

 

Posted in Opinions, Technology0 Comments

More disruptions feared from cyber attack; Microsoft slams government secrecy

More disruptions feared from cyber attack; Microsoft slams government secrecy

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration
 Reuters
Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Information, Rudiantara, speaks to journalists during a press conference about the recent cyber attack, at a cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
A worker is seen completing final checks on the production line at Nissan car plant in Sunderland, northern England, June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/File photo
Pedestrians walk past an accident and emergency department at a hospital in London, Britain May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
An ambulance is parked at The Royal London Hospital in London, Britain May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, U.S. on January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in front of the displayed cyber code in this illustration picture taken on March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Officials across the globe scrambled over the weekend to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at car factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft on Sunday pinned blame on the U.S. government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities.

Cyber security experts said the spread of the worm dubbed WannaCry – “ransomware” that locked up more than 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries – had slowed but that the respite might only be brief amid fears new versions of the worm will strike.

In a blog post on Sunday, Microsoft President Brad Smith appeared to tacitly acknowledge what researchers had already widely concluded: The ransomware attack leveraged a hacking tool, built by the U.S. National Security Agency, that leaked online in April.

“This is an emerging pattern in 2017,” Smith wrote. “We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world.”

He also poured fuel on a long-running debate over how government intelligence services should balance their desire to keep software flaws secret – in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare – against sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet.

“This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem,” Smith wrote. He added that governments around the world should “treat this attack as a wake-up call” and “consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.”

The NSA and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the Microsoft statement.

Economic experts offered differing views on how much the attack, and associated computer outages, would cost businesses and governments.

The non-profit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit research institute estimated that total losses would range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but not exceed $1 billion.

Most victims were quickly able to recover infected systems with backups, said the group’s chief economist, Scott Borg.

California-based cyber risk modeling firm Cyence put the total economic damage at $4 billion, citing costs associated with businesses interruption.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday night ordered his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, to convene an “emergency meeting” to assess the threat posed by the global attack, a senior administration official told Reuters.

Senior U.S. security officials held another meeting in the White House Situation Room on Saturday, and the FBI and the NSA were working to help mitigate damage and identify the perpetrators of the massive cyber attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The investigations into the attack were in the early stages, however, and attribution for cyber attacks is notoriously difficult.

The original attack lost momentum late on Friday after a security researcher took control of a server connected to the outbreak, which crippled a feature that caused the malware to rapidly spread across infected networks.

Infected computers appear to largely be out-of-date devices that organizations deemed not worth the price of upgrading or, in some cases, machines involved in manufacturing or hospital functions that proved too difficult to patch without possibly disrupting crucial operations, security experts said.

Microsoft released patches last month and on Friday to fix a vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across networks, a rare and powerful feature that caused infections to surge on Friday.

Code for exploiting that bug, which is known as “Eternal Blue,” was released on the internet last month by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers.

The head of the European Union police agency said on Sunday the cyber assault hit 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries and that number would grow when people return to work on Monday.

MONDAY MORNING RUSH?

Monday was expected to be a busy day, especially in Asia, which may not have seen the worst of the impact yet, as companies and organizations turned on their computers.

“Expect to hear a lot more about this tomorrow morning when users are back in their offices and might fall for phishing emails” or other as yet unconfirmed ways the worm may propagate, said Christian Karam, a Singapore-based security researcher.

The attack hit organizations of all sizes.

Renault said it halted manufacturing at plants in France and Romania to prevent the spread of ransomware.

Other victims include is a Nissan manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northeast England, hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the British National Health Service, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and international shipper FedEx Corp

A Jakarta hospital said on Sunday that the cyber attack had infected 400 computers, disrupting the registration of patients and finding records.

Account addresses hard-coded into the malicious WannaCry virus appear to show the attackers had received just under $32,500 in anonymous bitcoin currency as of (1100 GMT) 7 a.m. EDT on Sunday, but that amount could rise as more victims rush to pay ransoms of $300 or more.

The threat receded over the weekend after a British-based researcher, who declined to give his name but tweets under the profile @MalwareTechBlog, said he stumbled on a way to at least temporarily limit the worm’s spread by registering a web address to which he noticed the malware was trying to connect.

Security experts said his move bought precious time for organizations seeking to block the attacks.

(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle, Neil Jerome Morales, Masayuki Kitano, Kiyoshi Takenaka, Jose Rodriguez, Elizabeth Piper, Emmanuel Jarry, Orathai Sriring, Jemima Kelly, Alistair Smout, Andrea Shalal, Jack Stubbs, Antonella Cinelli, Kate Holton, Andy Bruce, Michael Holden, David Milliken, Tim Hepher, Luiza Ilie, Patricia Rua, Axel Bugge, Sabine Siebold, Eric Walsh, Engen Tham, Fransiska Nangoy, Soyoung Kim, Mai Nguyen and Nick Zieminski; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Peter Cooney)

 

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, Regional, Technology0 Comments

The top five winners in PitchIT were women. Nerissa - second rt.(PitchIT Caribbean photo)

Nerissa Golden Wins at PitchIT Caribbean Challenge

BY · DECEMBER 5, 2016

 

The top five winners in PitchIT were women. Nerissa - second rt.(PitchIT Caribbean photo)

The top five winners in PitchIT were women. Nerissa – second rt. (PitchIT Caribbean photo)

An idea from a tiny island broke the stranglehold that Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago were about to have on the second installment of the PitchIT Caribbean Challenge.

Nerissa Golden from Montserrat won a coveted Top 5 spot in the mobile application competition held December 2 and 3 in Trinidad.

PitchIT is a competition to discover new startup and mobile app ideas from across the Caribbean. It is funded through EPIC which is a World Bank Group and Government of Canada program to stimulate entrepreneurship in the region.

The two-day event followed an intense two days of boot camp where 25 finalists from the Caribbean worked to reinvent their ideas and early startups. The five winners will each be awarded a coveted spot in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators located in Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago, as well as US$5,000 in seed funding to help develop their businesses. The acceleration services will include mentoring by business and technology experts, networking opportunities, working space and facilities, expense-paid trips to international conferences and competitions, as well as intense product development and investor readiness training.

“It really was a good experience. We worked with coaches from various disciplines on how to articulate our problem better and to find alternative revenue streams when it was proven our original ideas wouldn’t be sustainable,” explained Golden, who is a media strategist and editor of Discover Montserrat.

Golden presented in the ideation category an app called IndeTours which is to be a channel for independent tour operators to connect with travellers seeking curated experiences. “I am grateful to Dr Samuel Joseph, Manish Valechha, Dennison Daley and Ursula Barzey who helped me flesh out a lot of the issues I was having with the idea. Also my mentor Alex Straun of St. Kitts who was instrumental with data collection and strategy.”

Four winners were selected from this category and one from the early startup section.

Another remarkable outcome at the competition was that all five winners were women. Kelly-Ann Bethel with SKED, and D Carnival Scene by Ayana St. Louis are from Trinidad & Tobago. QuickPlate by Monique Powell and The Interview JM by Danielle Tait are from Jamaica.

“Considering there were only six women competing out of the 25 for five of us to take the top spots was incredible,” Golden shared. “But the organisers, coaches and judges all commented that they’d never seen the kind of support that existed among the entire group. We wanted to see everyone win so we worked to help make each other’s presentations as strong as they could be.”

Montserrat was one of two OECS member states which made it through to the top 11 spots. The other was Antigua & Barbuda with TickeTing by Ashton Fearon. The other finalists were:  Barbados: Fix Device (Philip Belgrave-Herbert); Jamaica: QuickPlate (Monique Powell), The Interview JM (Danielle Tait), Driving Change (Andre Robb); Trinidad & Tobago: Optimo Cloud (Troy Hector); SKED (Kelly-Ann Bethel); Tech4Agri (Keron Bascombe); D Carnival Scene (Ayana St. Louis); The Billionaires League (Sheldon Powell).

Posted in Featured, International, Local, News, Regional, Technology0 Comments

Apple challenges 'chilling' demand to decrypt San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

Apple challenges ‘chilling’ demand to decrypt San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

Tim Cook publicly attacks the US government for asking Apple to take an ‘unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers’

Apple challenges 'chilling' demand to decrypt San Bernardino shooter's iPhone

Tim Cook has criticised the US government after Apple was ordered to decrypt an iPhone. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

by Stuart Dredge and Danny Yadron

 17th February, 2016

Apple has hit back after a US federal magistrate ordered the company to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, with chief executive Tim Cook describing the demand as “chilling”.

The court order focuses on Apple’s security feature that slows down anyone trying to use “brute force” to gain access to an iPhone by guessing its passcode. In a letter published on the company’s website, Cook responded saying Apple would oppose the order and calling for public debate.

“The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand,” he wrote.

While Cook took pains to stress that Apple was “shocked and outraged” by the San Bernardino shooting last December – “we have no sympathy for terrorists” – he said company is determined to push back against the court order.

Cook wrote that opposing the order “is not something we take lightly”.

“We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the US government,” he added.

“Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone,” he wrote.

“Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation.”

Cook claimed that “in the wrong hands” this software could be used to unlock “any iPhone in someone’s physical possession”, and warned that Apple would not be able to guarantee that the software would only be used by the FBI in this case.

“The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals,” he wrote.

“The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe. We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack.”

FBI director James Comey has said that his agents are searching for evidence about the mass shooting on 2 December 2015 which killed 14, but have been locked out of one of the killers’ phone.

The investigators are trying to determine to what extent married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were influenced by radical Islamic terrorist groups, as well as who they had been communicating with before the shootings. Investigators have been unable to access Farook’s iPhone 5C

Sheri Pym, the federal judge, has ordered Apple not to turn off its encryption but to make it easier for federal agents to randomly guess the iPhone’s passcode. Apple has built a security feature into iPhones so that a phone slows down anyone trying to “brute force” his way into a phone by guessing passcode after passcode.

The built-in delay is so substantial that Apple said it would take someone 5 1/2 years to guess every possible code for a single device.

The court order requires Apple to circumvent that delay. “[Apple] will ensure that when the FBI submits passcodes to the SUBJECT DEVICE, software running on the device will not purposefully introduce any additional delay between passcode attempts beyond what is incurred Apple hardware,” it reads.

The magistrate also wants Apple to turn off any “auto-erase” functions on the phone, if enabled. This will be done with a program Apple is ordered to write and will allow FBI agents to install it on the suspect’s phone at a federal or Apple facility, according to the order.

Apple is allowed to provide a cost estimate and rebuttal if it “believes that compliance with the Order would be unreasonably burdensome”. It also allowed Apple the option of coming up with another way to achieve the same result.

Some security experts believe it would be technically possible for Apple to comply with the court order because the phone in question is an older model, while it probably wouldn’t be possible on a newer iPhone due to improvements in security.

In his letter, Cook claimed that the FBI’s use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify its request also could have a knock-on effect. The 225-year-old law gives courts broad authority to ensure their orders are fulfilled.

“The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data,” he wrote.

“The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”

Cook concludes: “We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

“While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

Digital-rights body the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has thrown its weight behind Apple’s stance, in a blog post written by its deputy executive director and general counsel, Kurt Opsahl.

“Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security,” wrote Opsahl.

“The US government wants us to trust that it won’t misuse this power. But we can all imagine the myriad ways this new authority could be abused. Even if you trust the US government, once this master key is created, governments around the world will surely demand that Apple undermine the security of their citizens as well.”

 

Posted in Features, International, Local, News, Regional, TechnologyComments Off on Apple challenges ‘chilling’ demand to decrypt San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

Government Information – Notice

PIN Notice

 This is a prior information notice (PIN) only: publication and call for competition will only be conducted when final approval is given for programme design and funding.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) intends to fund the provision of a new submarine fibre optic cable for the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. The new cable will link with the neighbouring islands of Antigua and St Kitts and Nevis. Due to volcanic activity the island has been without fibre optic connectivity since 1997 and has since relied on a precarious and expensive microwave link with Antigua. The lack of fibre connectivity has been one of the main constraints affecting Montserrat’s prospects for economic growth.

The key outputs envisaged for this programme are:

  • The provision of a submarine cable, laid between Montserrat and Antigua and Montserrat and St Kitts and Nevis. This will require the necessary preparation works, including but not limited to obtaining required permissions and Environmental Impact Assessments. The cable will be the property of the Government of Montserrat.
  • The laid fibre optic cable connected to landing site and ready for connection to on island infrastructure.
  • The provision and maintenance of effective fibre optic service for the island of Montserrat.
  • Effective communications and partnership with key stakeholders: DFID, Government of Montserrat Department of Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES), Government of Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis.

DFID would like to ask the market a series of guiding questions about the tender and would like a written response to them. These questions can be found on the DFID Portal https://supplierportal.dfid.gov.uk/selfservice/ using the reference number PO 7271. Further information and supporting documentation is available via the supplier portal.

Parties interested in submitting a written response or requiring any other information should register interest via the DFID Portal. Written responses should be received no later than 14:00 UK time on Monday 10th August 2015 and should be no more than 5 A4 pages in length in Arial font 12.

After we have reviewed the written responses a Partners/Suppliers Information Day is planned at DFID’s offices in Brades and Whitehall with the aim of further gauging interest in the project, engaging with the market to gain expert opinion, exploring possible approaches and increasing DFID’s knowledge on how best to proceed with this programme.

This is Information Day is indicatively planned for Thursday 27th August (9:30 local time and 14:30 UK time), and will be confirmed within the coming days. The two hour session will include a presentation and Q&A session regarding the programme and the services required. This will be an opportunity for interested parties to learn more about DFID, the role expected of any appointed supplier, and to discuss innovative approaches to programme delivery

Partners/Suppliers are encouraged to register on the DFID Portal and use the ‘Dialogue/ Clarification’ function on the DFID Portal in advance of this meeting to raise initial questions or recommendations.

For logistical reasons, the deadline to register an intention to attend the engagement session is Monday 24th August. Attendance should be confirmed via the ‘Dialogue/ Clarification’ function on the DFID Portal.

Posted in Classified, Local, Technology, Uncategorized1 Comment

Newsletter

The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

https://indd.adobe.com/view/fefbe432-457e-4ac8-8976-c4a380014263

Archives