Tag Archives: 2018

Venture capital funding of cybersecurity firms hit record high in 2018: report
January 17, 2019 12:13 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Venture capital investments in cybersecurity firms hit a record high last year amid a surge in cyber crime over the last few years, according to a report released on Thursday by U.S.-based Strategic Cyber Ventures.

Total venture capital funding in the space totaled $ 5.3 billion in 2018, up 20 percent from $ 4.4 billion seen in 2017.

“We’re seeing mega-breaches happening on an extremely frequent basis,” Chris Ahern, data scientist and principal at Strategic Cyber Ventures, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“I don’t think that’s going to stop anytime soon. And investors are seeing that as an opportunity for investment.”

Cybersecurity has become the focus for governments and corporations around the world as digital crime increases.

The latest quarterly data from cybersecurity firm ThreatMetrix showed that it detected 210 million attacks in the first quarter last year, with another 151 million seen in the second quarter. Compared with 2015, cyberattacks have surged more than 100 percent, illustrating an overall heightened risk landscape over the last two years, ThreatMetrix said.

U.S. cybersecurity firms took the bulk of investments, accounting for 46 percent of investments in 2018, according to the Strategic Cyber Ventures report. Asian and European companies took 22.6 percent of global investment, up from 12.7 percent in 2014.

“We’ve seen this trend in the broader tech ecosystem as well, with many large international funds and investment outside of the U.S.,” the report said.

“Simply put, amazing and valuable technology companies are being created outside of the U.S.”

That said, Ahern sees a bit of a pullback in investments for this year. “There is still a lot of money being put to work in 2019. I do think investors are a little bit weary, there’s a bit of vendor fatigue,” he added.

Asked about the biggest cybersecurity threat in the world, Strategic Cyber Ventures co-founder and chief executive officer Hank Thomas told Reuters that he considers the People’s Liberation Army — China’s armed forces — as the largest cyber threat actor in the world.

“They’re playing the long game. They have been able to use cyber to facilitate all sorts of things beyond just information warfare,” said Thomas, who is a former U.S. army intelligence officer focused on cyber, signals intelligence, information operations, and military intelligence planning.

Strategic Cyber Ventures has a $ 100 million portfolio that includes four cybersecurity companies.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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This Week In Money – December 29, 2018
December 30, 2018 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

Produced by HoweStreet.com

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This Week In Money – December 1, 2018
December 2, 2018 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

Produced by HoweStreet.com

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From Work to Play, the Most Innovative Holiday Gifts of 2018
November 27, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

Need a Cyber Monday jolt? Time published its best Inventions of 2018 last week.  While this is not a gift list per say, you can draw inspiration from this collection of innovations, which I have organized into three categories for the office, relaxation and night riders (for all of you cyclists out there). Let’s start with the richest price tag and work our way down. 

Work

Open-office plans are all the rage today, but several studies have shown that they lead to distractions and sick days for workers. Help your employees find privacy with this soundproof phone booth by ROOM ($ 3,495).  Zenbooth offers a slightly larger model with an even steeper price tag.

Want supplies in a flash? Zipline made history by launching the first commercial drone service in Rwanda, expediting the delivery of blood and medical supplies to remote areas. This year, the California startup unveiled a new version of its craft that carries up to 3.85 lb. at 80 m.p.h. for up to 100 miles per round-trip.  They also streamlined their launch and recovery process, enabling Zips to make 500 deliveries per day.  While Zipline will continue serving rural communities in Africa, the startup has broad ambitions.  Zipline started testing emergency medical-supply delivery in the U.S. and will begin regular service in North Carolina in early 2019.

When it comes to safety, StrongArm Tech’s Fuse Risk Management Platform, helps employers protect vulnerable workers–and, by extension, their own bottom lines. On-the-job injuries and accidents cost U.S. companies some $ 59.9 billion per year. Since debuting in April, Fuse has been used by more than 10,000 workers, including those from 10 Fortune 100 companies.

Sleep

With a cold Thanksgiving in the northeast, weighted blankets were a hot topic around our dinner table. Gravity has sold $ 18 million worth of it’s weighted blankets ($ 249 each), which are available in 15, 20 or 25 pound varieties. Many swear by the therapeutic benefits, and they are certainly a fad on Instagram. 

Bose Sleepbuds ($ 250), are designed specifically to enhance your slumber. They are small enough to fit inside the ear without bothering your face or your pillow, and light enough to feel weightless. Their silicone tips are said to stay in place, even if you toss and turn.  Users choose from a preset menu of 10 soothing sounds, such as ocean waves, warm static or rustling leaves.

When you are ready to wake up, Philips’ Somneo ($ 199) is designed to simulate a natural sunrise every morning–along with soothing audio that gently rises in volume–to provide a less jarring wakeup experience.  If you can get this to work with the sleepbuds that would be brilliant. When it’s time for bed, the Somneo can simulate a sunset, as well, dimming the lights until you are fast asleep.

Play

Nocturnal athletes can now glow in the dark with this Solar Charged Jacket ($ 350) from Vollebak. The jacket’s phosphorescent membrane absorbs light during the day and releases “kryptonite green energy” after sunset. Part of the jacket’s appeal, of course, is novelty: because it can absorb light from almost any source, but more importantly from a safety standpoint, it allows runners and bikers to be visible after dark. If you get stranded, rescuers can spot you.

Cyclists will also love the story of Eu-wen Ding, a business-school student living in Boston who was looking for a better way to ride. “All I wanted to do was get from point A to B without dying,” said Ding. Eventually, that goal led to the creation of Lumos Kickstart Helmet ($ 180), whose LED lights not only increase a cyclist’s visibility but also blink to indicate a left or right turn. Riders can trigger the signal by clicking a wireless remote mounted to their handlebars or by syncing the helmet with their Apple Watch and making a hand signal. The Lumos launched in 2017 after a Kickstarter raise, and became the first light-up helmet sold in the Apple Store. 

Beyond these examples, the full list of inventions encompasses breakthrough products for fashionistas, new parents and even environmentalists.  Enjoy.

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iPad Pro (2018) Review: Laptop Killer
November 5, 2018 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

Like a college graduate ready to head off into the workforce and start a career, Apple has graduated the iPad from tablet school. As he prepared to lift the curtain on the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro last week, CEO Tim Cook explained that Apple sees the iPad as a personal computer now. Apple says that new designation makes iPad the top-selling line of PCs in the world.

It’s a fair comparison. After using a new iPad Pro 12.9 for a few days, I can say that it’s most definitely a refreshing, positive step forward for the iPad. It could also be called a “computer.” Is it the right computer for you? That’s another story.

As Thin As Can Be

The first thing you’ll notice about the new iPad Pro is what it’s missing. Like the iPhone XR and its peers, the Pro has no home button. Instead, its screen stretches from edge to edge… to edge to edge. All four sides are rimmed with thin and equally-sized black bezels, making it easier to forget where the top of the device really is. Sometimes iOS will actually point out where the power button is on the edge because, rightfully, it thinks I may have forgotten.

The back of the 5.9mm aluminum shell feels incredibly sturdy, and sheds the tapered edges that have defined the iPad for most of its existence. The back is now flat like the bottom of a box, right up to the side. The design looks like a refined version of the iPhone 5. The shape also feels like what the original 2011 iPad was trying to accomplish—this time with no bump in the back, except for the camera.

The Liquid Retina LCD displays are huge, stretching 11 or nearly 13 inches, depending on which model you choose. They’re gorgeous and packed with pixels. Like the iPhone XR, the corners of the display are rounded thanks to precision-milled glass and a host of other tech treats. Color is vibrant and precise enough for Photoshopping and minute color tweaking if needed. (Apple tests the color accuracy of its displays in 160 different points.) The Pro also adapts the warmth of its display to the lighting in your room.

The new iPad Pro also comes with Face ID, which uses a collection of cameras, sensors, and algorithms to identify your face in a way that it claims is more secure than fingerprint authentication or passwords. It works well, and doesn’t require that cut-out notch on the screen like the iPhone. It’s not quirk-free, though. We usually hold our iPhones in a portrait (vertical) orientation because that’s just how they fit in our hand. With an iPad like this, you almost always use two hands, and that means there isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to hold it. From time to time, my hands would sometimes accidentally block the Face ID camera when I held it in landscape (widescreen) orientation. And if I’m lounging around, my face may also be out of view. As I’ve gotten used to keeping my head in front of the tablet screen, and my hands away from its front-facing camera, Face ID evolved from a hindrance to a helpful, secure aid. I’ve never bothered to put a passcode use Touch ID on older iPads. Now it’s easy enough that I just might.

The 7-megapixel front camera is also pretty proficient at selfies, Animoji, and video chatting—-provided your hand isn’t blocking it. The 12-megapixel shooter is also up to iPhone standards, though I’ve found it a little too cumbersome (and embarrassing!) to use a 13-inch tablet as a camera while I’ve roamed around San Francisco this weekend. Apple did show me some impressive demonstrations of its augmented reality capabilities, made possibly by that camera. I examined the inside of a plant to learn all about how it lives in an app called Plantale, and had fun bringing a Lego Ninjago playset to life as an iOS game. I grew up as one of those kids who hated damaging his beautiful Lego creations. I may have had more fun if I could have blown them up digitally.

Yet As Powerful As a PC

The inside of the iPad is just as impressive as the outside. The Pro has an A12X Bionic chip, which is kind of a turbocharged version of the processor that’s packed into every iPhone XS and XR. It has eight cores: four for super demanding work, like playing Fortnite, and four more for easier tasks, like perusing your email. This year, it can mix and match those cores more efficiently, giving it almost 2x better multi-core performance than before. The graphics chip also pumps out around 2x more power, all without compromising the 10-hour battery life every iPad has gotten.

Apple claims the new iPad Pro is faster than 92 percent of all laptops sold in the past year, including some with an Intel Core i7 CPU, and compared its game graphics prowess to an Xbox One S. No apps or games I’ve used have been able to make the Pro break a sweat at all and benchmark numbers have been impressive.

Photographers and video editors might like the new storage options. The Pro comes with 64GB of memory by default, but you can bump that number as high as 1TB. And since this tablet has a USB-C charging port, you can more easily connect it to a camera, external monitor, and other accessories. Yes, that is singular. There is only one port. Start shopping for dongles if you need more. Apple now sells a ton of them. And pick up some good wireless headphones while you’re at it. Though Apple’s redesigned quad speakers sound amazing for a tablet (or laptop), the headphone jack is gone.

Pencil or Keyboard?

Apple redesigned its two key accessories for the new iPad Pro. The new Apple Pencil ($ 129) and Smart Keyboard Folio ($ 179) each got noticeable upgrades this year. The one you choose may indicate how much you’ll like your new iPad Pro.

The Apple Pencil is my favorite. It now has a matte plastic design and comes flat on one side so it can magnetically snap onto the edge of either size iPad Pro—automatically pairing via Bluetooth and charging. It’s hard to stress how much of a game changer this simple magnetic charging is, but it eliminates a lot of needless steps. The Pencil is always charged, paired, and ready to go. (Just be careful; it can still snap off in your bag.)

I’m a god-awful artist, but I found myself doodling on the iPad Pro. Three years after its debut, the refined Pencil is still the most responsive, accurate digital writing tool I’ve ever used. It’s fun to try out different virtual drawing tools, like colored pencils, and as a leftie, I love that iPad never thinks I’m trying to draw with my palm.

The 12.9-inch Pro is still a huge tablet, but feels more manageable this year thanks to the thinner bezels. In fact, it’s now about the size of a magazine (or sheet of paper, as Apple likes to point out), which is a comfortable, familiar size for reading and writing.

The Smart Keyboard Folio is also improved. It magnetically snaps onto the back of the tablet with an equally pleasant click and also just works. It now has two angles you can choose from and the keys are naturally spaced and have enough travel (depth) and click to them that it didn’t take me any time to adjust from my MacBook Pro. My only complaints? It would be nice to have even more angles, and the larger iPad can feel a bit unstable if you use it on your lap. Since the camera sits on the left side, it’s tough to frame yourself properly for a video chat.

The Best Tablet

By every measure I can think of, these are the best, most powerful, most capable iPads I’ve ever used. They put other tablets to shame.

But Apple has begged the question: Can an 11-inch ($ 799) or 13-inch ($ 999) iPad Pro replace your need for a MacBook or Windows PC at work? It’s possible, but you’ll need the right kind of occupation, and a lot of patience and determination.

No laptop can emulate the drawing capabilities of the Apple Pencil, or feel as natural to hold and use with touch. It’s not even close. The iPad Pro has a clear lead over PCs there.

As a more traditional work PC, it sometimes struggles. In a pinch, the iPad Pro and its Smart Keyboard are usable. For example, I wrote this review on the Pro in Google Docs while also opening webpages on the right side of my screen, but it took me longer than normal to do research and collect links—and a good long while to figure out how to do other tasks. I wanted to use the normal web version of Docs, but I had to use the app. My office also uses a collaboration tool called Airtable that wouldn’t work in an iPad browser. It also tossed me to the app, which lacked key features. Attaching specific files was kind of a nightmare in the Gmail app, too. Some apps, like Spotify, don’t allow Split View multitasking (side-by-side viewing) at all yet. You have to use them full screen. Spreadsheets are also tougher (slower) to manipulate in the apps I’ve used.

I found solutions to all of these problems, and I’m sure I can keep finding creative solutions to make the iPad Pro work as a PC, but the hassles will keep coming. The iPad’s web browsers are still treated more like their less-capable smartphone counterparts, and the apps that are supposed to work in their place also sometimes lack desktop features. Part of this is the fault of developers, but Apple bears responsibility, as well.

It doesn’t feel like the world is ready to treat my iPad as an equal to a PC yet—even if that iPad is a lot more powerful and user friendly. Now that Apple has declared the iPad is a PC, it should take more of the guardrails off of iOS and strongly encourage developers to treat it like they do the Mac. It’s time for iOS to grow up and get a job.

The iPad Pro is one of the most powerful computers you can own. It could be the best PC, too. Or better than a Mac. For now, it still has to settle for being best tablet money can buy.

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Silvercrest Asset Management Group (SAMG) CEO Rick Hough on Q3 2018 Results – Earnings Call Transcript
November 4, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

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REI End of Season Sale (Fall 2018): Patagonia, CycleOps, Rumpl, Suunto, Dakine
October 13, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

At this time of the week, we usually like to scour the web for great prices on our favorite headphones or gaming consoles. But this is a special occasion: REI’s End of Season sale started yesterday, and will continue through Monday, October 15. This is your best chance to snag the outdoor gear you’ve been coveting all summer for unbelievable prices. We combed through thousands of deals to bring you some of our favorite picks.

Rumpl’s soft, eye-catching blankets are made out of technical ripstop nylon with a DWR finish. It will shed dirt and dog hair, repel moisture, and keep you warm on your next fireside outing. Buy the Rumpl Puffy Blanket for $ 72 (was $ 129).

  • Dakine Cassette Stomp Pad for $ 4 (was $ 8). According to the reviews, it might not last that long. But it will look amazing on the day that you stick it on.

  • Darn Tough Crew Socks for $ 7 (was $ 20). You knew these would show up here. Everyone always needs more indestructible socks. Unless your socks are already all Darn Tough socks, in which case you might be set. REI’s entire selection of socks is worth browsing; there are plenty of men’s versions on sale too.

  • Brooks Juno Bra for $ 24 (was $ 65). This is one of the best-selling sports bras from Brooks’ sister company, Moving Comfort, which is best known for bras that, er, strap it all down.

  • Patagonia Black Hole Gear Tote for $ 27 (was $ 49). Patagonia’s tote in the Black Hole line serves as a tough, durable catch-all for everything from wet hiking boots, dirty gym clothes, or laundry. It stuffs down into its own pocket when not in use.

  • REI Co-op Midweight Base Layer for $ 29 (was $ 80). The end-of-season sale is a great time to stock up on a lot of essentials that would otherwise be extremely pricey, like merino wool base layers. REI’s in-house line offers a lot of value for the money, but if you prefer other brands, they also have a lot of Smartwool and Icebreaker on sale too.

  • Patagonia Baggies for $ 30 (was $ 55). Depending on where you live, you probably won’t need these for a while. But these are the some awesome outdoor shorts. They’re also made from recycled materials and come in a variety of fun prints.

  • Chacos Classic Z/1 Sandals for $ 45 (was $ 105). You won’t be able to use these for awhile either. But now is a good time to stock up, if you don’t currently have a pair of Colorado’s or Oregon’s official summer state shoe.

  • Nathan Speed 2L Hydration Vest for $ 31 (was $ 85). Are you running in the Los Angeles, Eugene, or, God help us, the Boston Marathon this spring? You’ve probably been looking for a hydration vest, which sits close to your body, has breathable mesh panels, and won’t bounce like a bladder backpack would.

  • Manduka Prolite Yoga Mat for $ 37 (was $ 82). Manduka’s high-density, closed-cell yoga mats are very popular, and usually very heavy. This one is light enough to tote to and from class.

  • Vuori Movement Hoodie for $ 44 (was $ 118). REI carries a lesser-known outdoor brands, like Bridge & Burn, United by Blue, and Topo Designs. Vuori’s soft, moisture-wicking hoodies have a cult following and very rarely (if ever?) go on sale.

  • Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Jacket for $ 48 (was $ 80). Ruffwear’s doggy jacket is waterproof, windproof, and even has reflective trim. If you’re going to be decked out to protect yourself from the elements, maybe your pup should be too.

  • Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket for $ 74 (was $ 199). All of Patagonia’s vaunted midweight jackets (Nano Air, Nano Puff, Micro Puff?) will quickly become the layer that you never take off.

  • REI Co-op Camp Bundle for $ 134 (was $ 239). Have you put off camping because all the gear seemed incomprehensibly expensive? This is an amazing value for a three-season tent, air-foam sleeping pad, and 30-degree sleeping bag. Now all you need is a cookstove, a headlamp, a backpack…

  • Suunto Ambit3 Vertical GPS Watch for $ 246 (was $ 469). Suunto’s GPS watches are good-looking, lightweight, and offer incredible capabilities for the price. The Ambit3 Vertical tracks vertical gain (no doy!) for ultrarunners, trail runners, and hikers.

  • Lib Tech Attack Banana 2017/2018 for $ 310 (was $ 589). If you’re an all-mountain rider who is more likely to carve around in powder or pop into the park, rather than bomb down as fast as possible, Lib Tech’s poppy Banana boards are a great choice.

  • Coalition Snow Bliss Skis for $ 359 (was $ 599). Do you need another reason to get excited about ski season starting up? Coalition Snow is just one of many great snow brands that are on sale right now.

  • CycleOps Magnus Bike Trainer for $ 412 (was $ 600). ‘Tis the season, for bringing your bike indoors and pedaling while watching The Great British Baking Show, instead of biking outside.

  • Surftech Universal 10’6” Stand Up Paddleboard for $ 668 (was $ 1049). ‘Tis also the season for buying paddleboards on clearance and fantasizing about going out on lakes and rivers again.

  • When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.

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    Podcast: VMWorld 2018, Google Assistant, IFA Announcements
    September 2, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

    This week’s Tech.pinions podcast features Carolina Milanesi and Bob O’Donnell discussing VMWare’s (NYSE:VMW) VMWorld conference, chatting about new multi-language additions to Google Assistant (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and analyzing a variety of product announcements from the IFA show in Europe, including those from Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGF), Dell (NYSE:DVMT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) and others.

    Disclaimer: Some of the author’s clients are vendors in the tech industry.

    Disclosure: None

    Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $ 1 per share and/or with less than a $ 100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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    5 best Chromebooks for school in 2018
    August 9, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

    I started my “portable” computer life with a 22-pound KayPro II in 1982. Since then, I’ve used IBM and Lenovo ThinkPads, Compaq luggables, Nec Ultralites, Dell XPS 13s, the list goes on and on. These days, my laptop of choice is the Google Pixelbook.

    At a starting price of $ 999, this is not a Chromebook for everyone. But, if you want to make the most not just from Chrome OS, but from Android and Linux as well, it’s your Chromebook.

    There are often discounts for the Pixelbook. You can also get a 10-percent discount on the Pixelbook if you’re a student.

    At a minimum the Pixelbook comes with a 1.2GHz 7th gen Intel Core 7Y57 processor, 256GB of SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM. Unlike the others, the Pixelbook comes not with a 100GB free Google Drive storage for two years, but 1TB of free storage for two years. That’s a value of almost $ 240 alone.

    The Pixelbook also has Google Assistant, built-in. You can get to it via its own dedicated button on the Pixelbook’s keyboard or by simply saying “OK Google.” It’s context sensitive, so it will open with search results for what you already have on screen.

    This luxury-model Chromebook comes with a pair of USB-C ports. One of these, however, is used to power the system up. For Wi-Fi, it uses 802.11ac.

    With a battery life of about 10 hours, it won’t last long as some of the others, but then you can do a lot more with it. On my high-end model, I’ve had over 100 tabs open, while running Android and Linux applications.

    You sure wouldn’t want to give this Pixelbook to an elementary student, but an advanced high-school or college student would be another matter. The Pixelbook is meant for power users and developers, if that describes your daughter or son, then get them this one. You’ll be glad you did.

    Back-to-school tech: More resources

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    2 Sales On Dividends You Can't Miss In 2018
    June 16, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

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