What do IT professionals look for in an employer?

New statistics from KPMG reveal that the current skills shortage has led to the sharpest growth in demand for IT staff in August in more than 15 years. Whilst IT vacancies are increasing year on year, it’s growing increasingly difficult to find people with the right skillset for the job. As a result, employers have to work harder than ever before to beat off the competition and recruit and retain the best talent.

As IT companies gear up for the busy Autumn recruitment drive, now is the time to think about how to stand out from the crowd and bridge the looming skills gap. So what do IT professional look for when deciding which company to join?

While salary will always remain a key consideration, our research has found that feeling cared for by an employer is one of the most important factors when IT professions decide whether to join or stay with a company. In fact, a third of people working in the sector say they would consider leaving a job as a result of poor wellbeing and a further 26% say it would make them less likely to stay with an employer long-term. Continue reading

  

An average Android user has 95 apps installed, only uses 35, says Yahoo

How many apps you have on your phone? An average Android user has 95 but only uses 35 throughout a regular day. Often each app gets used more than once, you’re likely to have 100 interactions with apps by the time you turn in for the day.

These numbers come from the Aviate launcher for Android, with the help of Yahoo Labs.

Peak app usage is in the evening and there’s another notable increase around lunch (isn’t everyone busy taking photos of their food?).

What apps get used naturally changes throughout the day. You start by checking the weather and then launching a navigation app. Those two get a second wind as you head back home and check the weather again before you head out to social events.

Productivity apps along with phone calls and SMS are most used during the day, but Facebook and Netflix usage steadily rises as the day goes by, reaching their peak at the end of the day. There’s still a fair amount of usage during work hours though, so it’s best that your boss doesn’t see this infographic.

Aviate was recently acquired by Yahoo and its claim to fame is a dynamic homescreen that adjusts as you go about your day. It shows one set of shortcuts and widgets early in the day, others as you travel to work, others still when you get there, food tips as you go out to lunch and so on. This infographic shows the wisdom of this approach, you need different apps at different times.

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Apple iPad with 12.9-inch display rumored to arrive in early 2015

According to a report in Bloomberg, Apple plans to release an iPad with a 12.9” display in early 2015. Apple suppliers are allegedly preparing to begin manufacturing the device by the first quarter of next year.

This is not the first time we hear about a large-screen Apple iPad in the works. Back in January, a word got out that the Cupertino giant will release such model at some point this fall.

When announced, the 12.9” iPad will become the company’s largest tablet to date. Currently, Apple’s full-size tablet on offer is the iPad Air with a 9.7” display on board.

Furthermore, the report points that Apple will release an updated iPad Air and iPad mini in the coming months. The duo will hit the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season.

Finally, Bloomberg confirms that Apple will out a new iPhone model on September 9.

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Apple iWatch will reportedly debut alongside iPhone 6 on September 9

According to a report from re/code, we won’t have to wait long for the debut of the Apple iWatch. The hotly anticipated wearable device is tipped for launch alongside the iPhone 6 in less than two weeks, on September 9.

Unsurprisingly, the wearable device will likely be closely integrated with the built-in health-tracking suite in iOS 8. Another feature, likely to be available on the gadget is home automation via HomeKit.

An Apple iWatch launch alongside iPhone 6 makes perfect sense for the Cupertino giant. Previous reports have already suggested that the device will be available in October, with price tag in the $300 range.

Thankfully, September 9 is right around the corner, so we won’t have to wait long to find out all about the new product. Apple will likely begin sending media invites any moment now.

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Google Glass wearers can steal your password

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Cyber forensics experts at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have developed a way to steal passwords entered on a smartphone or tablet using video from Google’s face-mounted gadget and other video-capturing devices. The thief can be nearly ten feet away and doesn’t even need to be able to read the screen — meaning glare is not an antidote.

The security researchers created software that maps the shadows from fingertips typing on a tablet or smartphone. Their algorithm then converts those touch points into the actual keys they were touching, enabling the researchers to crack the passcode.

They tested the algorithm on passwords entered on an Apple (AAPLTech30) iPad,Google’s (GOOGLTech30Nexus 7 tablet, and an iPhone 5.

 


  

Why you’ll keep getting hacked

raining hacks
Hacked companies have exposed the personal details of 110 million Americans — that’s half of the nation’s adults. Here’s why it keeps happening.

Don’t like getting hacked? Sorry, you’d better get used to it.

Every few weeks, we learn about another data breach. It’s the privacy world’s version of an oil spill. A hacker breaks into a company and grabs a database of our personal details. They’re sold on the black market, and the exposure puts us at higher risk of fraud and identity theft.


  

Kill Switch’ coming to Google, Microsoft phones

 

cellphone kill switch

Google and Microsoft will include a so-called kill switch in the next version of their smartphone operating systems, authorities announced Thursday.

The technology allows for a stolen Google (GOOG) Android and Microsoft (MSFT,Tech30Windows Phone-powered Nokia (NOK) device to be disabled, making it useless to the thief.

Continue reading


  

Windows XP hack resurrects patches for retired OS

A simple hack of Windows XP tricks Microsoft’s update service into delivering patches intended for a close cousin of the aged OS, potentially extending support for some components until 2019, a security researcher confirmed today.

What’s unclear is whether those patches actually protect a Windows XP PC against cyber criminals’ exploits.

The hack, which has circulated since last week — first on a German-language discussion forum, then elsewhere as word spread — fools Microsoft’s Windows Update service into believing that the PC is actually running a close relation of XP, called “Windows Embedded POSReady 2009.”

Unlike Windows XP, which was retired from security support April 8 and no longer receives patches, Embedded POSReady 2009 is due patches until April 9, 2019.

As its name implies, POSReady 2009 is used as the OS for devices such as cash registers — aka point-of-sale systems — and ATMs. Because it’s based on Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), the last supported version of the 13-year-old OS, its security patches are a superset of those that would have been shipped to XP users if support was still in place. Many of POSReady 2009’s patches are similar, if not identical, to those still offered to enterprises and governments that have paid Microsoft for post-retirement XP support.

Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher at Malwarebytes, an anti-malware software vendor, tried out the hack and came away impressed.

“The system is stable, no crashes, no blue screens,” Segura said in an interview, talking about the Windows XP virtual machine whose updates he resurrected with the hack. “I saw no warnings or error messages when I applied patches for .Net and Internet Explorer 8.”

The Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) update Segura applied appeared to be the same one Microsoft released May 13 for other versions of Windows, including POSReady 2009, but did not deliver to Windows XP.

But although he has run the hacked XP for several days now without any noticeable problems, he wasn’t willing to give the trick a passing grade.

“[POSReady 2009] is not Windows XP, so we don’t know if its patches fully protect XP customers,” Segura said. “From an exploit point of view, when those vulnerabilities are exploited in the wild, will this patch protect PCs or will they be infected? That would be the ultimate proof.”

Microsoft, not surprisingly, took a dim view of the hack.

“We recently became aware of a hack that purportedly aims to provide security updates to Windows XP customers,” a company spokesperson said in an email. “The security updates that could be installed are intended for Windows Embedded and Windows Server 2003 customers and do not fully protect Windows XP customers. Windows XP customers also run a significant risk of functionality issues with their machines if they install these updates, as they are not tested against Windows XP.”

 

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China accuses Cisco of supporting US cyberwar efforts

China is attacking secret surveillance programs of the U.S. government with harsh words from its state-controlled press, accusing Cisco of helping the U.S. in cyberespionage.

The criticisms come a week after the U.S. indicted five Chinese military personnel for allegedly hacking into several U.S. companies for trade secrets. It marks the first time the U.S. has tried to criminally charge China for state-sponsored cyberattacks. But so far, the indictments have done more to damage relations between the two nations, compelling China to accuse the U.S. of hypocrisy with its own spying programs.

China hit back again Monday when state-controlled media released a government report about the “unscrupulous” U.S. surveillance activities.

“These operations have flagrantly breached International laws,” said the report, adding, “They deserve to be rejected and condemned by the whole world.”

The government report, authored by China’s Internet Media Research Center, largely cited leaks from former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, as well as articles written by foreign press groups. But it added that China had carried out its own investigation over several months and confirmed the spying activities.

The report claims that China has been the main target of U.S. surveillance programs. “Chinese government offices are a particular target of U.S. spy operations,” the report said, adding that local banks, telecommunication companies and schools have also suffered cyberattacks from the U.S.

China Youth Daily also published an editorial Monday alleging that U.S. networking gear supplier Cisco had aided the spying activities. While the company has helped build China’s Internet infrastructure, Cisco also deliberately installed backdoor surveillance tools into its equipment, the editorial said.

The company “has played a disgraceful role, becoming a pillar to help spread the U.S.’s power over the Internet,” it added.

The editorial demanded that all Cisco equipment be checked for security threats and that China create an organization to inspect networking gear, especially imported products.

China is already moving in that direction. The government said last Thursday that it would create a “vetting system” to check major IT products for security threats. Products that don’t pass will be banned from the Chinese market.

Cisco sent a letter earlier this month to U.S. President Barack Obama, asking that he work to restore trust in U.S. technology sales. This came after reports that the National Security Agency intercepted telecommunication equipment from Cisco and others to plant surveillance tools inside.

Cisco could not immediately be reached for comment.

- See more at: http://www.itnews.com/regulation/79033/china-accuses-cisco-supporting-us-cyberwar-efforts#sthash.A5pTT3KB.dpuf

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Report: Apple to unveil ‘smart home’ system

Apple is planning to introduce a smart home concept at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, according to a report.

The Financial Times says the company is planning to showcase a system that lets users control their lights, appliances and security systems with their iPhones when the conference kicks off June 2. The rumored introduction comes after Google purchased Nest Labs, a smart thermostat started by former Apple execs Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, for $2.8 billion in January.

SEE ALSO: Why Google Just Paid $3 Billion for a Thermostat Company

A “select number” of device makers will be certified to offer products that work with Apple’s upcoming system, according to the report, which didn’t name any of the manufacturers.

Apple could not be reached for comment. The company signaled its interest in the category in a June 2012 patent filling for a technology that connects lighting systems, security systems, garage-door openers, music controllers, climate controllers or kitchen appliances with mobile devices.

The Internet of Things, as the class of smart appliances that interact with mobile devices and desktops is known, will account for 9 billion products by 2018, according to Business Insider.

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