China has begun talking to ten nations in the South Pacific with an offer to help them improve their network infrastructure, cyber security, digital forensics and other capabilities – all with the help of Chinese tech vendors.
Newswire Reuters broke the news of China’s ambitions after seeing a draft agreement that China’s foreign minister Wang Yi is reportedly tabling on a tour of Pacific nations this week and next.
The draft agreement proposes assistance with data governance, training local police, and mapping the marine environment. Supply of customs management applications, possible funding of data links to island nations, and cyber-security assistance are also reportedly on the table.
Broadcom has signaled its $61 billion acquisition of VMware will involve a “rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions.”
That's according to Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, on Thursday's Broadcom earnings call. He was asked how the semiconductor giant plans to deliver on its guidance that VMware will add approximately $8.5 billion of pro forma EBITDA to Broadcom within three years of the deal closing – significant growth given VMware currently produces about $4.7 billion. And subscriptions was the answer.
Krause also repeatedly said Broadcom intends to invest in VMware’s key product portfolio and is pleased to be acquiring a sales organization and channel relationships that give it reach Broadcom does not currently enjoy.
At the Workshop on Offensive Technologies 2022 (WOOT) on Thursday, security researchers demonstrated how to meddle with AirTags, Apple's coin-sized tracking devices.
Thomas Roth (Leveldown Security), Fabian Freyer (Independent), Matthias Hollick (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO), and Jiska Classen (TU Darmstadt, SEEMOO) describe their exploration of Apple's tracking tech in a paper [PDF] titled, "AirTag of the Clones: Shenanigans with Liberated Item Finders."
The boffins discuss tools they've developed and released to advance the exploration of AirTag hardware and firmware, made possible by existing imperfections.
In what is either a creepy, weird spin on Robin Hood or something from a Black Mirror episode, we're told a ransomware gang is encrypting data and then forcing each victim to perform three good deeds before they can download a decryption tool.
The so-called GoodWill ransomware group, first identified by CloudSEK's threat intel team, doesn't appear to be motivated by money. Instead, it is claimed, they require victims to do things such as donate blankets to homeless people, or take needy kids to Pizza Hut, and then document these activities on social media in photos or videos.
"As the threat group's name suggests, the operators are allegedly interested in promoting social justice rather than conventional financial reasons," according to a CloudSEK analysis of the gang.
Microsoft Build Microsoft Azure on Thursday revealed it will use AMD's top-tier MI200 Instinct GPUs to perform “large-scale” AI training in the cloud.
“Azure will be the first public cloud to deploy clusters of AMD's flagship MI200 GPUs for large-scale AI training,” Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott said during the company’s Build conference this week. “We've already started testing these clusters using some of our own AI workloads with great performance.”
AMD launched its MI200-series GPUs at its Accelerated Datacenter event last fall. The GPUs are based on AMD’s CDNA2 architecture and pack 58 billion transistors and up to 128GB of high-bandwidth memory into a dual-die package.
New York City this week ripped out its last municipally-owned payphones from Times Square to make room for Wi-Fi kiosks from city infrastructure project LinkNYC.
"NYC's last free-standing payphones were removed today; they'll be replaced with a Link, boosting accessibility and connectivity across the city," LinkNYC said via Twitter.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, "Truly the end of an era but also, hopefully, the start of a new one with more equity in technology access!"
Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.
ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.
"ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."
Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.
Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair.
In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today.
IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.
For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.
Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.
While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.
Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021.
Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.
Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.
Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.
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