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FCC Admits Its Website Wasn’t Hacked During Net Neutrality Commenting. Ajit Pai Blames Obama Hire
August 7, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

The FCC’s inspector general said that the agency’s commenting system was not hacked by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on May 7, 2017, despite claims by FCC officials then and a refusal to address the issue by FCC Chair Ajit Pai and others in intervening months. This included the FCC failing to respond to congressional demands for more information. The comments related to the Pai’s plan to overturn network neutrality rules clarified during the Obama administration.

The actual cause? A technical failure to handle many people simultaneously heeding John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight to post comments in favor of net neutrality.

Pai now states that he was misled, despite ample time within the agency to review the information and made a determination separate from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), especially after it admitted to Gizmodo in July 2017 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that it had no record of an analysis that led to the conclusion of an attack, nor any written record of the IT staff documenting that an attack had occurred.

Separately, the issue that as many as 94% of the 23 million comments successfully submitted were clogged with duplicates and contained mostly forgeries remains unaddressed, and has also dogged the credibility of Pai and others at the FCC. The attorney general of New York at the time opened an investigation. In May 2018, two Democratic senators demanded new security measures for commenting and accountability for previous failures in a letter to Pai.

The OIG report denying an attack in May 2017 has not yet appeared, but FCC Chair Ajit Pai released a statement to try to set the news coverage agenda, ascribing all blame on one person, David Bray: “I am deeply disappointed that the FCC’s former Chief Information Officer (CIO), who was hired by the prior Administration and is no longer with the Commission, provided inaccurate information about this incident to me, my office, Congress, and the American people.”

This wasn’t the first time the comment system locked up, nor the first time Bray was fingered as making an unsupportable statement. In 2014, Oliver also asked viewers to post comments supporting net neutrality and the system went down. According to reporting in August 2017 from Gizmodo, Bray allegedly leaked information to Motherboard in 2014, following that crash, claiming that malicious activity was responsible.

Gizmodo reported that no information emerged showing an attack in 2014. Pai’s statement purports that the contents of the FCC’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reveals the same.

The FCC voted December 14, 2017, in a party-line 3-2 split, to repeal rules set in 2015 that prohibited Internet service providers from throttling, prioritizing, or discriminating data based on site, service, or device, among other regulations.

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Canada's Trudeau to meet Amazon CEO Bezos during U.S. visit
February 7, 2018 6:24 pm|Comments (0)

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet Amazon.com (AMZN.O) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos on Thursday during a tour of three major U.S. cities this week to bolster support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is being renegotiated.

Amazon is in the process of identifying a location to build a massive new second headquarters and has shortlisted 20 cities, including Toronto, the only non-U.S. city to make the list.

Trudeau will meet Bezos in San Francisco, the government said on Wednesday.

During his trip, Trudeau will also meet with other technology executives, including eBay Inc (EBAY.O) chief executive officer Devin Wenig.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos gives some closing comments after opening the new Amazon Spheres with some help from Alexa during an opening event at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

“The point of those meetings is to portray Canada as a good place to invest … and to explore opportunities related to job growth with those prominent business leaders who may be interested in expanding their operations in Canada,” said spokesman Cameron Ahmad.

Ahmad declined to comment specifically on the meeting with Bezos.

Amazon’s decision on where to locate its second headquarters is expected this year. The tech giant has promised to invest $ 5 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the city it chooses. The 19 U.S. cities on the list include Chicago, Boston and New York.

Trudeau’s trip also comes as Canada and Mexico strive to address U.S. demands for NAFTA reform, with the fate of the trade pact uncertain. Last week, Trudeau reiterated a tough stance, saying Canada could walk away if he was not happy with talks to modernize the agreement.

Trudeau is due to give a speech in Chicago on Wednesday to sell the merits of bilateral trade.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr and David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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Twitter may notify users exposed to Russian propaganda during 2016 election
January 17, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twitter may notify users whether they were exposed to content generated by a suspected Russian propaganda service, a company executive told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.

The social media company is “working to identify and inform individually” its users who saw tweets during the 2016 U.S. presidential election produced by accounts tied to the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Army, Carlos Monje, Twitter’s director of public policy, told the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

A Twitter spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about plans to notify its users.

Facebook Inc in December created a portal where its users could learn whether they interacted with accounts created by the Internet Research Agency.

Both companies and Alphabet’s YouTube appeared before the Senate committee on Wednesday to answer lawmaker questions about how their efforts to combat the use of their platforms by violent extremists, such as the Islamic State.

But the hearing often turned its focus to questions of Russian propaganda, a vexing issue for internet firms who spent most of the past year responding to a backlash that they did too little to deter Russians from using their services to anonymously spread divisive messages among Americans in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. elections.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia sought to interfere in the election through a variety of cyber-enabled means to sow political discord and help President Donald Trump win. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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Soybean Export Sales Hit New Low During Week Ending November 16
November 25, 2017 12:09 pm|Comments (0)

By G C Mays

The USDA released its export sales report for the period November 10-November 16, 2017. After the previous week’s dismal sales, futures prices dropped across the board. The price declines were not enough to stimulate sales as discussed below.

Wheat

Wheat sales declined for the second straight week to 199,800 metric tons. This was 72 percent below the same week a year ago. The USDA recently raised its estimate of global wheat exports to 182.2 million metric tons. Russia is clearly capturing the expanding market share so far. I discuss Russia’s emerging dominance in a recent analysis entitled “Wheat Exports From Russia May Dominate In 2017/18 While U.S. Market Little Changed“. One of the factors contributing to Russia’s market share grab is its decision in October to offer a transportation discount on grain exports. U.S. exporters will have to decide if they want to counter with similar transportation discounts, further price reductions, or simply stand pat.

December wheat futures continue to move in sync with cash prices. Futures and cash prices ended the week down 1.7 percent. Prices in the Gulf diverged slightly, falling only 1.3 percent. The Teucrium Wheat ETF (WEAT) declined 1.4 percent over the same period.

Corn

While corn export sales of 1.08 million metric tons were up just under 14 percent during the week ending November 16, they were below their four-week average of 1.3 million metric tons and 36 percent below the same week a year ago. Japan (289,000), Mexico (139,100), and Peru (207,000) accounted for nearly 59 percent of net sales. Accumulated marketing year-to-date net sales are down 15 percent.

Corn futures dipped $ 0.05 cents or 1.4 percent during the week, moving mostly in line with cash prices. Prices in Chicago and the Gulf decreased 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Price movement in Toledo was more subdued, falling just 0.3%. The Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN) plunged $ 0.31 cents, or 1.8%. The reason for this decline is unclear. However, the ETF did rebound the day after the end of the measurement period, recovering $ 0.28 cents of the original decline.

Soybean

Soybean (SOYB) export sales are down for the fourth week in a row, dropping to 869,100 metric tons, a marketing year low. Accumulated net sales had trended from flat to slightly down year over year. Over the last two weeks, year-over-year accumulated net sales have moved solidly into negative territory and are now down 7.9 percent. As previously discussed, competition from Brazil is pressuring sales. According to the USDA, Brazil is continuing to dispose of inventories from its large 2016/17 harvest.

Since last week’s sales failed to rebound, soybean futures continued to decline. January futures were down $ 0.15 cents, or 1.5%. Cash prices in Toledo and Chicago lost 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively. However, prices in the Gulf were firm, rising just under a penny.

Notably, China backed away from the market. China made net purchases of only 407,100 metric tons. This includes sales to the U.S. of 129,000 metric tons and cancellations of 205,500 tons. From China’s perspective, this makes good business sense in my opinion given the higher prices. Given that prices have risen by nearly $ 0.20 cents at the Gulf during the current week, it will be interesting to see export sales numbers for soybeans next week. Stay tuned.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Half of the top 100 retail sites had slow load times during AWS’s S3 outage, vendor finds
March 6, 2017 5:35 am|Comments (0)

Yesterday Amazon Web Services had a bad day. And when AWS has a bad day, so do a lot of other sites.

Vendor Apica is a website monitoring services that keeps a close eye on some of the top retail websites around the country. All in all, the retail website Apica tracks had trouble dealing with the elevated errors rates AWS reported in S3 starting around mid-day Eastern Time.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: 5 Lessons from Amazon’s S3 cloud blunder, and how to protect yourself from the next outage +

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here


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Global Healthcare Cloud Computing Market to Grow at a CAGR Of 21.24% During The Period …
February 14, 2017 9:05 am|Comments (0)

Cloud computing helps enterprises effectively reduce their capital and operational costs. It is gaining traction in the global healthcare industry as …
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