Cyberspace insecurity

Diplo Learning Corner

Cyberspace is inherently insecure. Achieving acceptable information security requires building awareness of what it takes to achieve it, mitigating vulnerabilities in people, processes and technologies and constant adaptation to a rapidly changing environment.

Ed Gelbstein’s ‘Information security for non-technical managers’, downloadable for free at, provides a concise overview and some useful suggestions covering the information security “problem”.


Bookboon provides a collection of valuable free ebooks for professionals.

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JOLLA Sailfish OS (new Meego) to be presented November 21 2012.

A date and place has been set to reveal the new Jolla smartphone user interface and deliver the Jolla developer story and SDK. Jolla Ltd. will demonstrate the Jolla user interface, based on the recently announced Sailfish alliance OS, at the Slush event in Helsinki, Finland on 21-22 November. Jolla is very excited to be able to share the user interface, and talk about the Jolla SDK and application ecosystem with the developers. Jolla will publish the device information, ID and expected availability before Christmas.

Peter Vesterbacka, a founder of Slush: “Slush has grown up to be the biggest entrepreneurship event in Northern Europe. It’s great to see hot new startups like Jolla use Slush as the venue for their major announcements. New business creation and innovation is alive and kicking at Slush and in the region”.

Mikko Kuusi, CEO of Startup Sauna: “Jolla is a great example of what happens, when you combine the extreme technical talent found in Finland with the right attitude and ambition level of companies like Rovio.”

In addition, Jolla will be hosting a separate, in-depth session to showcase the user interface, and a press Q&A session. The Jolla user interface will be incorporated into the previously announced Sailfish alliance software. Jolla has been working on the scalability and user experience based on MeeGo in order to be able to support multiple different device categories. This development has now reached a point that Jolla can showcase the user interface, its differentiation from the existing mobile UI’s and its possibilities as part of the Sailfish alliance.

Jussi Hurmola, CEO of Jolla: “I’m thrilled to finally be able to show the user interface we have been working on, and it will be exciting to open the developer story with SDK and applications to the public.”

Jolla Ltd.

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini for October 11?


Samsung has issued an invitation for a press event to launch something, and it’s hard not to connect the dots with the tantalizing clues it’s given — though skepticism always reigns in the absence of fact. The large ‘S’ logo in the middle of the page is the first hint that it’s likely to be some kind Galaxy S-class smartphone. The tagline offers the next clue: “Prepare for something small to make a big entrance,” and elsewhere, “Ready for a little sensation?” Considering that the rumor mill has already churned out the idea of a Galaxy S III Mini — as some don’t cotton to the pocket-unfriendly 4.8-inch screen of the current model — it’s tempting to conclude a smaller version will be launched. However, we could also be looking at the Galaxy Ace 3, so don’t forget to keep your expectations in check.

Nissan NSC-2015 self-driving car with LTE and smartphone connectivity (video)


NCC-1701 is the machine that took the world’s imaginations to strange new worlds in the ’60s. If Nissan has its way, NSC-2015 will be the machine that keeps us out of strange new parking lots. It’s a concept car from Nissan, part of the CEATEC 2012 Smart Mobility Zero exhibit that has half the show floor covered by crazy electric-powered cars of all shapes and sizes. Nissan’s Leaf is one of the more conventional looking ones, but the technology that lets it drive itself down the road is far from standard. We just took it for a spin, so please cruise down past the break to read how it went.

From the outside, if you ignore the decals, the NSC-2015 looks like any other Leaf. That is to say, a bit unusual but far from unconventional. It’s only the piercingly bright RGB LEDs built into the steering wheel that give you a clue something is amiss as it drives across the show floor slowly — that and the fact that there’s nobody sitting behind the steering wheel.

Here at CEATEC the car is literally making the rounds, driving in circles around a stretch of concrete. Using a series of sensors, cameras and servos the car is able to turn the steering wheel plus activate the throttle and the shifter to navigate across this stretch of road, relying on the road markings painted on the floor to both keep it driving in a straight line and to have it stop, respectfully, at the crosswalk.

The idea is the car could drive itself down the street, find a parking spot and tuck itself in there — and then return to you at the touch of a button. Not quite KITT-style but it could at least put some valets out of work. However, due to current legalities that’s not entirely possible, as someone must be sitting behind the wheel. But, in a private parking lot it could at least navigate the aisles without you onboard.

While all this is going on you can watch the status of the car remotely on a smartphone, as the car has an integrated LTE connection. You can see where the car is, where it’s going and even get a notification whenever it has detected that someone is tampering with it. You can then bring up a full 360-degree view of what’s going on around the car and, if you see something shady, set off a car alarm remotely. This was demonstrated on a Galaxy S III.

Our test ride was short, just out and back with a U-turn and a few stops in the middle, but it was enough to leave us impressed — especially since Nissan believes it could have the system in production cars by 2015. In this case it would primarily be used for driver assistance, automatically stopping if someone steps out in front of you. But, if Nissan can bring automatic, smartphone-controlled parking too, we think it’ll be something worth getting excited about.

Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS agree on T-Mobile merger

Apparently the “significant issues” that stood in the way of a prospective T-Mobile and MetroPCS deal couldn’t have been too onerous. Just a day after acknowledging that talks were underway both boards have approved the deal according to the Wall Street Journal. Details of the deal haven’t been officially announced yet, but Financial Times Deutschland are reporting that the two carriers will be combined into a single unit in which Deutsche Telekom will hold 74 percent of shares. MetroPCS will have a 26 percent stake in the company and receive a $1.5 billion check for its troubles. Expectations are that this will put the kibosh on a recent deal T-Mobile struck with Crown Castle to lease its mobile towers for $2.4 billion. The new larger carrier will maintain the T-Mobile branding with new CEO John Legere at the helm, though, it appears the deal is structured as a reverse merger. Meaning that MetroPCS is in essence taking over T-Mobile and not the other way around.

Even with its combined subscriber base, the new T-Mobile will lag Sprint in the battle for AT&T and Verizon’s table scraps. However, it will finally give Deutsche Telekom the graceful exit from the US market that its been so desperately seeking for some time. This merger with a much smaller competitor is unlikely to raise the ire of regulators and will allow the German company to reduce its involvement and investment in a slow controlled manner by selling off stocks. We’re still awaiting official announcements from both companies and will update as the statements roll in.

Official PR from T-Mobile and a video statement from CEO Legere are now waiting for you after the break. There’s a few new interesting details, including that MetroPCS’s CFO will be holding on to his position post merger. Interestingly, even though the carriers will become one company, for the foreseeable future they will maintain separate pools of customers. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that change as the LTE rollout accelerates and gives T-Mobile a true 4G offering. As Legere notes in the clip below, this is just the first step and the deal isn’t expected to close until sometime during the first half of 2013.

As part of the strategy moving forward the new company plans to move customers off MetroPCS’ CDMA network and on to T-Mobile’s GSM frequencies for 3G service by 2015. The spectrum would then be repurposed to build out an LTE network.

iPhone 5 officially announced with 4-inch display, A6 CPU and LTE; on September 21st

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Apple may be notoriously secretive and tight lipped, but the company appears to be getting worse and worse at actually keeping things under wraps. The iPhone 5 appears to be the most leaked handset in existence. Thankfully, the suspense is over, the next-gen iPhone is finally here and it does, in fact, go by the numerical title of 5. Just like the parts that have been circulating on the web, this is a glass and aluminum two-tone affair and, at 7.6mm it’s a full 18 percent thinner than the 4S.

It’s even 20 percent lighter at 112 grams, which is even less than the mostly plastic Galaxy S III. It’s all those “magical” things and it packs a larger 4-inch in-cell display. The new version of Apple’s Retina panel is 1136 x 640, which clocks in at a more than respectable 326ppi. It also sports better color saturation with full sRGB rendering. That new longer screen allows for an extra set of icons to be displayed on the home screen, and first party apps have already been tweaked to take advantage of the additional real estate. The iWork suite, Garage Band and iMovie have all been updated. Older apps will still work too, though they’ll be displayed in a letterbox format until an update is issued. The tweaked ratio puts the iPhone 5 display closer to 16:9, but it’s not quite there.

The most exciting news is likely the addition of LTE. There’s still HSPA+, EV-DO, EDGE and all that jazz on board, but it’s the true 4G that is really generating excitement. In the US Sprint, Verizon and AT&T will all be able to take advantage of the single chip (data and voice) LTE solution inside. And, if you’re stuck on one of those tiered data plans, the 802.11 a/b/g/n antenna should help you keep your wireless usage in check. Notably missing however is NFC, which had been rumored to make its Apple debut with the iPhone 5, but is nowhere in sight. What that means for the burgeoning mobile payment industry (or for Apple’s ability to keep pace with its competitors) remains to be seen. However, it does add EV-DO rev. B to the mix and keeps both GLONASS and GPS for navigating your way around the globe.

If the brand new radios weren’t enough of a raw spec update to get your geek blood pumping, the new A6 CPU (probably quad-core) inside should push you over the edge. Apple claims its a full two times faster than the chip inside the 4S, but we’ll have to wait and see how accurate that assertion is. The A6 is reportedly 22 percent smaller than its predecessor, which probably helped Cupertino achieve such slim dimension on the iPhone 5 and it’s also more energy efficient — allowing the handset to chug along for 8 hours of talk time, despite the addition of LTE. Keeping your data usage to Wi-Fi will allow you to milk up to 10 hours out of the device.

As for the camera, it’s more or less the same as that in the iPhone 4S, just a little bit slimmer. It’s a backside-illuminated 8 megapixel sensor with a 5 element lens and an f/2.4 aperture. The biggest improvement in the image capturing department is the “shutter” speed. Apple is claiming the new setup is 40 percent quicker at turning a beautiful sunset into a cold hard series of 1s and 0s. There’s also a new panoramic shooting mode that stitches together an “effective” 28 megapixel photo. And, what camera update would be complete without the ability to capture 1080p video. The front facing cam has also received a mighty boost, getting its own backside-illuminated sensor capable of capturing 720p clips. Even better, that iSight cam can be paired up with FaceTime for high-res video chats over that fancy new 4G network you’ll be surfing on.

Apple even gave the microphone an upgrade to a five-magnet transducer that should improve voice quality on networks that support it and enable Siri to better decipher your mumblings. And, as expected, the dock connector has gotten a long-overdue revamp. The eight-pin plug is 80 percent smaller and all digital — it even has a catchy marketing name: Lightning. If you’ve got a bunch of accessories designed for the old connector, you’re not completely left out in the cold. Apple will happily sell you an adapter, of course, provided that’s a luxury you’re willing to spend $29 on.

Obviously, no new iPhone would be complete without a new version of iOS, and the 5 will be rocking iOS 6 right out of the box. The latest mobile system from Apple packs a boat load of exciting improvements, including tweaks to Siri and the new Passbook (which would have worked really well with that rumored, but ultimately non-existent NFC chip).

When the iPhone 5 ships, you’ll have your choice of two colors: black or white. The white has a raw aluminum back (not unlike the original iPhone) and the black sports a dark anodized body. As expected the iPhone 5 will start at $199 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB will cost $299 and the 64GB $399 with 2 years carrier contracts (in US) — so no changes there. Shipments in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore start on September 21st, but you’ll be able to pre-order starting on the 14th. Apple plans to add 20 more markets on September 28th like Italy, Austria and many more.

Viber comes for Symbian 3^, Anna, Belle and S40, download on Ovi Store is available!

Viber has essentially been a smash hit right from its conception. The company hit 50 million registered users in February of last year, extending that to 70 million by May. But today marks one of the company’s greatest milestones: Viber has just surpassed 100 million registered users.

To celebrate, and continue to fuel that momentum, Viber is releasing new features and various platform support. The app, which essentially lets you make free phone calls, send messages or send photo messages over 3G and WiFi, is currently available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia’s Lumia brand of Windows Phone.

By any normal standards, support for all four of these platforms would be ahead of the curve, but Viber is stepping it up a notch announcing support for S40, Symbian, and Bada.

According to Viber, 1.5 billion S40 phones have been sold since the OS went live, meaning that these platforms still comprise a good deal of mobile subscribers in emerging markets. It’s a smart move for the app that wants to freely connect people all over the world.

Viber is also announcing that the Windows Phone version of the app (currently only available on Nokia’s Lumia line) will now be able to perform HD voice calls in addition to sending text and photo messages.

Last time we checked, Viber was sending about 2 billion text messages every month, but that has grown to 6 billion monthly texts, along with 2 billion minutes of calls per month. For the record, that’s about 10 million calls a day.

Apple Iphone 5 taller screen and the Banner at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts of San Francisco

We’re just two days away from September 12th, the biggest date for Apple this year when the new iPhone 5 is expected to make its first official on-stage appearance, but Apple has already started preparing and has hung the banner for the upcoming event at the “Yerba Buena Center for the Arts” in San Francisco.

At first sight, it’s just a colorful mix of colors in no particular order and no significance, giving away no details about the iPhone 5. But look at it closely, with the investigative eye of an Apple fan and you’d see what seems like vertically stretched out icons of some of the stock applications in iOS.

Dive deeper into the conspiracy theories and you start to wonder why would Apple show stretched out icons of its applications. The only logical answer seems to be that it’s a hint that the new iPhone will feature a taller display, hence the stretched out icons on the banner.

The new iPhone is rumored to come with a 4-inch screen with a new aspect ratio of 16:9, perfect for watching video online. Now, is that digging too deep or do you think this could well be Apple’s hidden message?

Windows Phone battle! Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung ATIV S vs Nokia Lumia 820 vs Lumia 900. Check this out!

After the event in Berlin, IFA 2012, let’s see some specs about the most important new announced smartphones from

Redmond, USA!