This week’s headline story: Obama’s Climate Data Initiative
The Obama administration is tapping the expertise and reach of more than a dozen U.S. companies, universities and private groups, as well as the World Bank, for its “Climate Data Initiative,” which is part of the president’s broader plan to fight climate change. A new website at climate.data.gov will be the central site for U.S. government data on climate change, focusing initially on coastal flooding and sea level rise and then expanding to look at health, energy infrastructure and food supply. It will include data not previously released that map hundreds of thousands of U.S. bridges, roads, railroad tunnels, canals and river gauges. Google, Microsoft and Intel are part of the effort to use federal data to develop tools that will help communities adapt to climate change. Google plans to create high-resolution drought mapping for the mainland United States to give communities more data so they can prepare for climate change.
and elsewhere in Tech News.
- N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat [NYTimes]
The U.S. Government has long considered Chinese telecom giant, Huawei a security threat, and has gone as far as blocking business deals between Hauwei and U.S. companies. It suspects Huawei of working with the Chinese military to create “back doors” in its equipment that could allow the Chinese military or Beijing-backed hackers to steal corporate and government secrets. Classified NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the New York Times reveal that the NSA has been creating its own back doors directly into Huawei’s networks. “Many of our targets communicate over Huawei-produced products,” the N.S.A. document said. “We want to make sure that we know how to exploit these products to gain access to networks of interest” around the world. Huawei has reacted to the leaked document stating that it condemns such activities.
- NSA Collects All Phone Calls in a Foreign Country [NewsFactor]
Yet another Snowden leak to the Washington Post, reveales that the NSA has the ability to scoop up literally every single phone call made in a target country, and store the recordings of those calls for 30 days while they are analyzed.
and in Information Security news this week..
and in Tech Industry news…
- Google Unveils Android Wear for Smart Watches [NewsFactor]
Moto 360 may have always-on OLED screen and sapphire glass [ars technica]
Google has announced a new version of Android OS named Android Wear designed for wearable technologies. Shortly after the Android Wear announcement Google-owned Motorola announced the Moto 360, one of the first Android Wear devices. The Moto 360 is the first smartwatch that actually looks like a normal watch, with a round, scratch-resistant OLED sapphire display. When not displaying a classic watch face, the device accepts Google Now voice commands to display information from your smartphone.
- Google’s Chromebooks To Include Cisco WebEx [NewsFactor]
Cisco and Google are partnering to bring WebEx to the cloud-oriented Chromebook. WebEx, the popular web conferencing software, is being recoded in HTML5 so that it can be run in a browser without the need for a plugin.
- All Gmail Traffic Now Fully Encrypted, Google Says [NewsFactor]
Google has announced that all gmail traffic is now fully encrypted. “Today’s change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers — no matter if you’re using public Wi-Fi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet,” said Nicolas Lidzborski, Google’s Gmail security engineering lead.
- Sony Unveils Virtual Reality Headset for PS4 [NewsFactor]
Electronics giant Sony has entered the virtual reality business, unveiling Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 video game console. The adjustable device features a head-mounted display with 1080p resolution and a 90-degree field of view.
- Microsoft Shares Soar on Talk of Office for iPads [NewsFactor]
Shares of Microsoft gained $1.50, or 3.9%, to $39.55 in the stock’s biggest one-day move in seven months. Speculation about a new version of Office for the iPad is seen as fueling the new investments. There’s been no formal announcement about Office for the iPad from Microsoft, but technology watchers increasingly expect it to be one of the first bold moves announced by Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella.
- Will President Obama Soon Tote an Android? [NewsFactor]
Like so many others, President Obama may soon be giving up his beloved Blackberry smartphone. Depending on what company ends up purchasing Blackberry, government security agencies may ask the President to switch to the Samsung Knox – an Android phone that has cleared Whitehouse security.
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