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Equifax CIO, CSO “retire” in wake of huge security breach

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Enlarge / A monitor displays Equifax Inc. signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (credit: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Friday, Equifax announced that two top executives would be retiring in the aftermath of the company’s massive security breach that affected 143 million Americans.

According to a press release, the company said that its Chief Information Officer, David Webb, and Chief Security Officer, Susan Mauldin, would be leaving the company immediately and were being replaced by internal staff. Mark Rohrwasser, who has lead Equifax’s international IT operations, is the company’s new interim CIO. Russ Ayres, who had been a vice president for IT at Equifax, has been named as the company’s new interim CSO.

The notorious breach was accomplished by exploiting a Web application vulnerability that had been patched in early March 2017.

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Solar now costs 6¢ per kilowatt-hour, beating government goal by 3 years

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Enlarge / From the Department of Energy: "This photo shows the construction phase of a 16.5 MW DC solar farm built in Oxford, MA. This 130-acre property was previously known as the largest piggery in Massachusetts." (credit: Lucas Faria/ US Department of Energy)

On Tuesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that utility-grade solar panels have hit cost targets set for 2020, three years ahead of schedule. Those targets reflect around $1 per watt and 6¢ per kilowatt-hour in Kansas City, the department’s mid-range yardstick for solar panel cost per unit of energy produced (New York is considered the high-cost end, and Phoenix, Arizona, which has much more sunlight than most other major cities in the country, reflects the low-cost end).

Those prices don’t include an Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which makes solar panels even cheaper. The Energy Department said that the cost per watt was assessed in terms of total installed system costs for developers. That means the number is based on "the sales price paid to the installer; therefore, it includes profit in the cost of the hardware," according to a department presentation (PDF).

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a DOE-funded lab that assesses solar panel cost, wrote that, compared to the first quarter in 2016, the first quarter in 2017 saw a 29-percent decline in installed cost for utility-scale solar, which was attributed to lower photovoltaic module and inverter prices, better panel efficiency, and reduced labor costs. Despite the plummeting costs for utility-scale solar, costs for commercial and residential solar panels have not fallen quite as quickly—just 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

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Comcast puts YouTube in its TV boxes to entice would-be cord-cutters

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Enlarge (credit: Comcast)

Comcast on Tuesday said that it has started integrating YouTube into its X1 set-top boxes across the US. The two companies first announced the partnership this past February.

Much like the deal Comcast struck with Netflix last year, the move will see the YouTube app sit in the X1’s home screen, allowing subscribers to put the popular video service on their TV without switching to a third-party device like a Roku or Apple TV.

Comcast says it will also plant a handful of YouTube videos in its on-demand video section as well. Clips in the “Music” section of the on-demand menu, for instance, might feature music videos from the YouTube app.

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Comic for September 09, 2017

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OLED iPhone 8 Rumored to Ship Sometime After Standard iPhone 7s Models

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Apple's upcoming OLED iPhone 8 will not ship out alongside the standard LCD-equipped iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, reports TechCrunch, citing "trusted sources."

The high-end iPhone 8 will instead "ship out at a later time," but TechCrunch says it is unclear how long it will be between the availability of the two more affordable models and the iPhone 8.


Apple is planning its iPhone-centric event for Tuesday, September 12, and rumors have suggested the company will start accepting device pre-orders on Friday, September 15, with the first of the new iPhones becoming available on Friday, September 22.

If TechCrunch's information is correct, it's possible Apple will allow people to submit orders for the iPhone 8, but those orders may not ship out until sometime later in the year. Presumably, the iPhone 7s and the iPhone 7s Plus will ship out as planned in September.

Just this morning, The Wall Street Journal said iPhone 8 manufacturing issues could lead to extended supply shortages and shipping delays. Due to problems creating the OLED displays for the device and difficulties integrating Touch ID under the display (a plan that was later abandoned) Apple is said to be approximately about a month behind on its manufacturing timetable.

We have been hearing persistent rumors about serious iPhone 8 supply constraints for months. While it's true that supply issues plague every new iPhone release, especially when it comes to the most popular models, warnings of supply problems have been notably more prominent this year.

Trusted KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the iPhone 8 will see "severe" supply shortages following its release and that it could take into the early months of 2018 for Apple to reach supply/demand balance, while a July report from Japanese site Mac Otakara said Apple may not start shipping the device to consumers until October or early November.

Related Roundup: iPhone 8

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Juicero, maker of proprietary juice bag presser, is shutting down

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In a letter posted on its website on Friday, Juicero said that it would be closing down its business. The Silicon Valley startup sold a cold-press juice machine that squeezed juice out of proprietary bags of fruit and vegetable matter. The bags were delivered to the Juicero owner’s home on a subscription basis.

“[A]fter selling over a million Produce Packs, we must let you know that we are suspending the sale of the Juicero Press and Produce Packs immediately,” Juicero wrote today.

The company was hailed by tech investors, but it ran into problems with price. The juice press was very expensive—it started out at $700 until the company reduced the price of the hardware to $400. That was not including the price of the juice bags, which cost $5-$8 each.

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fxer
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