UN human rights chief warns of worldwide privacy implications of Apple-FBI case

A ruling ordering Apple to help the FBI access the iPhone of San Bernardino mass shooter Syed Rizwan Farook could make it impossible for the company or any other major international IT vendor to safeguard users’ privacy anywhere in the world, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Friday.

A decision against Apple would be “potentially a gift to authoritarian regimes, as well as to criminal hackers,” Zeid said. Authorities in other countries have already made efforts to force IT and communications companies such as Google and BlackBerry to expose their customers to mass surveillance, he added.

hc al hussein largeUnited Nations Human Rights Office

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

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HPE takes on Nutanix, Cisco with hyperconverged system

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will enter the fast-growing but crowded market for hyperconverged systems with a new product that it plans to unveil this month.

CEO Meg Whitman spilled the beans about the product during HPE’s quarterly earnings call Thursday. She took aim at Nutanix, one of the startups that pioneered the category.

“Later this month, we’ll announce a new, market-changing hyperconverged offering based on our Proliant virtualization server,” Whitman said. “Our new solution will offer customers installation in minutes, a consumer-inspired, simple, mobile-ready user experience, and automated IT operations — all at 20 percent lower cost than Nutanix.”

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HPE will take on Nutanix and Cisco with hyperconverged system

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will enter the fast-growing but crowded market for hyperconverged systems with a new product that it plans to unveil this month.

CEO Meg Whitman spilled the beans on the product during HPE’s quarterly earnings call Thursday. She took aim at Nutanix, one of the startups that pioneered the category.

“Later this month, we’ll announce a new, market-changing hyperconverged offering based on our Proliant virtualization server,” Whitman said. “Our new solution will offer customers installation in minutes, a consumer-inspired, simple, mobile-ready user experience, and automated IT operations — all at 20 percent lower cost than Nutanix.”

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Trump says ‘I’m changing’ H-1B position — then says he isn’t

Early in his quest for the Republican nomination for president, Donald Trump promised major H-1B reforms. But Thursday night, at a debate in Detroit with his fellow Republican candidates, Trump said he was “softening” his position.

The move created an instant mess for Trump. So early this morning, his campaign issued a statement condemning the H-1B program and stressed the need to “hire Americans first.”

But the damage was done.

Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis and a leading critic of the visa program, noted in a post-debate blog post: “I’m getting e-mail messages from some absolutely furious supporters of Donald Trump — who are now FORMER supporters of Trump.”

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IDG Contributor Network: Your business should demand more from machine learning

I remember clearly my disappointment when I learned, as a college student, how computers were able to play skilled chess. I was taking my first course in artificial intelligence, and had assumed that such a mysterious and powerful topic must have similarly impressive methodologies. In fact, the Minimax algorithm used by Deep Blue and other game-playing computers is quite intuitive (1). Ultimately, though, my disappointment was replaced by excitement: I could build an algorithm to play chess!

I’d like to provide you with that same sense of disappointment regarding machine learning. Machine learning is powerful but needn’t be mysterious. Its basic capabilities, like regression, classification and clustering, are easy to understand, and nontechnical knowledge of those capabilities is sufficient to make clear requests of data scientists.

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San Bernardino prosecutor raises ‘cyber pathogen’ concerns in terrorist’s iPhone

The district attorney of San Bernardino County, Michael Ramos, has raised concerns about the possibility of a ‘dormant cyber pathogen’ in the iPhone 5c used by a terrorist in attacks in the county on Dec. 2.

Security experts are questioning whether such a thing as a cyber pathogen at all exists.

The submission was made in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Eastern Division, which recently ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock by brute force the iPhone used by terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Apple has refused to help the FBI and raised privacy and security issues.

The iPhone, owned by the San Bernardino county, may have connected to the county computer network, and “may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County’s infrastructure,” according to the court filing.

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