Social media platform TikTok is now facing efforts from Congress to shut down its operations amid ongoing talks with the Biden administration about data security and surveillance.

Following TikTok’s secretive launch of its retail sales integration in November, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. announced bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to ban the popular China-sponsored app from operating in the United States.

The new bill follows Rubio’s pushback at the White House in May for not addressing concerns over the app’s ties to China-based parent company ByteDance and the Chinese government’s approach to surveillance through technology. Rubio issued a statement urging President Biden to clarify that the TikTok shop would not be allowed to operate in the United States.

The law increases pressure on ByteDance, as the US fears the app could be used to spy on Americans and censor content. If approved, the effect could have far-reaching effects on influencers, social media users, and companies using it for marketing purposes.

Rubio’s bill would block all transactions with any social media company from or under the influence of China and Russia, according to a news release from Rubio’s office. The announcement said Republican Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi sponsored a companion bill in the US House of Representatives.

Cloud Insight can clean up the data flow

Congressional hearings on TikTok may reveal how much security and compliance with data privacy rules is at stake with Oracle, which provides cloud storage services for TikTok’s domestic operations.

Platform executives revealed in June that its US traffic goes through Oracle’s servers, and TikTok executives also said it maintains its own data backups.

Oracle did not respond to inquiries about compliance with its data collection practices with TikTok. But the company could have a significant impact if the congressional hearing pursues clarity about TikTok’s handling of US data distribution and storage, agreed Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Enterprises, a Canada-based digital marketing and social media management company. .

“TikTok poses a real threat when it is collecting and storing more data points about users than any other social media platform. A full audit of Oracle’s data storage is likely to take place to look at the exact agreements and policies between ByteDance and Oracle,” Lintz told the E-Commerce Times.

why worry

The proposed ban law, titled “Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Repressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (Anti-Social CCP Act),” would block and restrict all transactions from any social Will protect Americans by doing so. Media companies in or under the influence of China, Russia and several other foreign countries of concern.

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said in the announcement. It’s not about creative videos — it’s about an app that’s collecting data from hundreds of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it is used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know that this is the answer of the People’s Republic of China. No more time to waste on meaningless conversations with the CCP-puppet company. The time has come to ban Beijing controlled TikTok forever.”

Representative Gallagher called TikTok a “digital fentanyl” that is addicting Americans, collecting their data, and censoring their news.

According to Gallagher, TikTok is also an increasingly powerful media company that ultimately reports to the CCP. He said that China is the biggest enemy of America.

“Allowing the app to continue to operate in the US would be like allowing the USSR to buy the New York Times, the Washington Post and the major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with the slightest interest in its own security, Which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”

The Chinese Communist Party and other adversaries abroad seek any advantage against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance. Noted Representative Krishnamurthy said it is imperative not to allow hostile forces to potentially control social media networks, which can easily be weaponized against us.

“The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP ACT is a strong step forward in protecting our country from nefarious digital surveillance and influencing the operation of totalitarian regimes. Recent revelations about the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the need to protect Americans from these risks before it is too late,” he said in the announcement.

Support for TikTok Ban Widens

Recently, Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas have banned the use of TikTok on government equipment, citing potential national security threats. On Monday, Alabama and Utah also barred the use of the TikTok app on state government equipment and computer networks due to national security concerns.

Discussing the expansion and security concerns of TikTok Shops, Laura Perez, Global Director of B2B Communications for TikTok, told E-Commerce Times that the company was in active talks with the US government to address some of their fears. He added that TikTok was transparent about the issues it had with its brand and merchant partners.

As of the writing of this article, neither Perez nor other TikTok officials have responded to our request for comment on the potential banning law. However, an unnamed TikTok spokesperson pointed out elsewhere that the national security review and politically motivated ban of TikTok was troubling and would not advance US efforts to enhance national security.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, suggested that despite growing support for banning TikTok’s operations in the US, negative reactions from the platform’s massive user base could become an issue.

Tik Tok owner ByteDance’s reliance on the Chinese government and how the company handles user information has been a concern for years, he agreed. But after the GOP’s below-expected performance in the midterm elections, there is finally growing apprehension among politicians.

“If TikTok users old enough to vote are angry enough, they could voice their displeasure in the 2024 elections,” King told the E-Commerce Times.

possible pushback possible

Banning Tiktok will no doubt affect the growing use of social media marketing. This will be hugely impactful and disruptive, especially for companies targeting the younger consumers who make up the vast majority of Tik Tok users and influencers, King observed.

“It is difficult to predict which alternative platform millions of TikTok users will choose instead,” he added.

Lintz said banning TikTok would have little effect on the trajectory of other outlets. The increasing use of social media year after year will remain unchanged.

“Currently, the average social media user uses 6.6 different platforms, which clearly indicates that users are rarely committed to one platform,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

However, Lintz anticipates a massive backlash, primarily from content creators and companies who have spent hundreds of thousands of hours building their audiences.

“Some businesses and individual brands have paid us hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to build their brands with TikTok-specific videography, daily posting and growth strategies. If they ban it, it will all disappear overnight, leading to extreme resentment,” he offered.

Concerns grow beyond user responses

Matthew Marsden, vice president at endpoint management company Tanium, said some could argue that TikTok is dangerous because of the influence of social media on the younger generation.

“There is an even more real possibility that the popular platform is backed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and used to conduct influence operations and collect sensitive personal and biometric data,” Marsden told the E-Commerce Times.

TikTok’s privacy policy states that they may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints. Marsden said the app can also share the data it collects with others.

“This is incredibly worrying because the CCP can easily coerce China-based companies to share information to support the party’s objectives,” he said. “The Chinese intelligence strategy is focused on long-term objectives and is driven by the continuous collection of data.”

why worry?

TikTok’s vast user data collection now includes commerce and purchase information combined with biometrics and activity tracking. Marsden warns that all this gives detailed intelligence to be used in the operation.

“This data can be leveraged to provide targeted, timely and often personalized psychological operations against individuals or groups of citizens. This has been seen in recent years during election cycles and politically charged events,” he said. Explained.

Perhaps an even more important concern is that TikTok users can no longer trust that an app or website will keep their data secure. Proactive measures are necessary as cybersecurity threats become a pervasive aspect of our daily lives, offered Craig Luray, CTO and co-founder of cybersecurity software firm Keeper Security.

“There are also concerns about who has access to this data, especially when it’s a nation-state,” Luray told the E-Commerce Times.

Need other actions?

Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at Vulkan Cyber, suggested that two separate issues may be involved. His company provides SaaS solutions for enterprise cyber risk mitigation.

“Opening an online marketplace is a natural evolution of the TikTok e-commerce space and a fusion of marketplace platform and social media influencers. Whether or not social commerce itself and TikTok getting into that market is a good idea is a different question,” Parkin told the E-Commerce Times.

Lintz doesn’t think banning TikTok is the right solution. The impact on American content creators and businesses that make a living from TikTok could be dire. “I believe the right solution is to set guidelines for a US majority stake in TikTok,” he said.

Thanks largely to Nvidia, GPUs have almost eclipsed CPUs as a technology driving advancement. When it comes to AI, especially on the training side, GPUs reign supreme. In general, GPUs make our games and even the most advanced photo and video editing tools work better — and with social media, many people are becoming creation experts.

But while AMD, Nvidia, and, more recently, Intel have played in this highly competitive space, all three have come to market recently with distinct strategies, each with unique benefits, risks, and opportunities. As we here in the US recover from our Thanksgiving food coma, let’s explore these strategies.

Then we’ll close with our product of the week: Microsoft’s new Arm-based Surface Pro 9 that could point to the near future of PC advancement.

Marketing Strategies: The Apple Example

My first degree was in merchandising, which deals with branding, shelving, product placement, and product strategy. As a result, I’m a little fascinated with how different companies approach the PC market.

For example, Apple is old school, vertically integrated, and uses lock-in to mine its base for money. This strategy resulted in massive profits, but the company was no longer able to lead the market with innovation. Granted, public companies are measured by profits, not innovation, and if you had to choose one over the other as a CEO who wants to keep your job, profits would also be your focus.

Except for the Microsoft Surface, other PC companies are more liberal, have higher interoperability, no lock-in, and enjoy far more innovation but face less customer loyalty and smaller margins. But they are also less likely to fail catastrophically because they are not mining their customers for money.

IBM’s near collapse in the early 1990s was largely due to a strategy similar to that of Apple. This happened because the clients usually do not like to stake money or do mining for money for extreme profits. Eventually, a company using this approach goes too far, and its customers leave the platform. This is roughly what happened with IBM and it prejudged the strategy Apple still uses.

For now, the strategy still works for Apple. However, this probably won’t work for Dell, HP, or Lenovo, because none of those companies can afford the Microsoft part of the solution individually and because their enterprise buyers are aware of the tactics used by Apple and have common Normally try to avoid it. Plague – Because it reduces customer power and corporations love buyer power a lot.

Having said that, while Apple’s marketing efforts have declined significantly since the departure of Steve Jobs in both magnitude and execution, Apple still leads the PC market in marketing, indicating that it once was under Jobs. How much was ahead, even though the company was far less profitable. Then.

Marketing goes to the core of the GPU strategies that we will be discussing.


Nvidia is arguably the segment leader and displays with it’s deepest line, and it’s the only one of the three with a Halo product. It’s interesting because on the CPU side, AMD’s Threadripper spun that market on its ear and allowed AMD to move aggressively on Intel’s workstation opportunity. It usurped key leadership positions for AMD and Lenovo, using it in part to gain segment dominance.

On the GPU side, the closest thing to AMD’s Threadripper is Nvidia’s 4090 RTX card, which is a beast. It performs more than most need and draws so much power that it’s melting power connectors and forcing power supply upgrades to run the part. But, in terms of raw performance, now no one in its segment can touch it.

A halo strategy uses an expensive showcase product to attract people to the brand and, if done correctly, can lead to increased sales of more affordable products that will sell in higher volumes. In the automobile market, it’s like having a Mercedes-Maybach or a supercar (Ford most recently used the Ford GT) to drive people to the dealership.

Since there is no such thing as an Nvidia store, the traffic aspect of the 4090 RTX remains untested and untapped. However, it still gives Nvidia performance bragging rights and solidifies its perceived market leadership, even though most buyers will be buying more affordable and underpowered alternatives.


As mentioned, it’s interesting that, given AMD’s success with Threadripper, it hasn’t come up with a similar strategy, which would be a Threadripper CPU and Threadripper-like GPU in a killer workstation or gaming rig. For now, it’s the Nvidia 4090 RTX card.

Instead, AMD has pulled out two cards in the performance sweet spot. Unlike what Ford did with the Ford GT, GM did with the Corvette, specifically with the new C8. It provides most of the performance advantages that the Ford GT offers in a far more useful and affordable fashion, allowing the Corvette to massively outperform the Ford GT while costing a fraction of what the Ford costs.

The idea of ​​performance at a price you can afford resonates with buyers and doesn’t create some of the image problems that a halo product can create, such as excessive cost and excessive power use, resulting in negative coverage It is possible sustainability.

Buyers love the values, and while you don’t get the same performance bragging rights or visibility as with a Halo product, you also don’t have a problem with a part that’s pushing performance boundaries resulting in meltdowns. There may be problems like connectors (which Nvidia reports are still few in number and may be the result of assembly errors).


Intel is new to this market and has two big problems. The first is that people know and trust GPU parts from AMD and Nvidia, and the second is that those two companies are chasing each other so hard that it’s hard for another firm to catch them from behind. Almost impossible. Intel needs to build market share and performance isn’t up to the top end, but it can deliver on features.

This approach is closer to how Honda entered the car market by creating an affordable part that offers features beyond its price class and where the real volume is, especially during a tight financial market where consumers are more willing to spend their money. are looking.

Right now, people are becoming very frugal, and Intel is working hard for the frugal buyer who only has the budget for an entry-level part. Intel’s cards aren’t performing competitively with Nvidia’s and AMD’s top offerings, but they’re a fraction of the price and have many of the same features typically not in cards in Intel’s sub-$300 price bracket.

Wrapping Up: The Best Strategy

The plan of action that best reflects the seller’s capabilities is the one to implement. The halo product strategy works for Nvidia as it must maintain its mark of the performance leader in the segment.

Given the success of AMD’s Threadripper, I’m surprised AMD hasn’t employed a similar strategy. Still, its approach to providing all the performance you need and creating an impression of superior performance value is in line with the historical brand image AMD has built against Intel, where it was historically the value play.

Intel doesn’t yet have the performance to compete with AMD or Nvidia at the high end, but it has a similar feature set, and the idea of ​​providing value play is the only way it’s open. The timing was fortunate for Intel as the market is looking for higher valuations given current economic conditions, providing a significant boost to Intel’s outlook.

So, Intel’s approach isn’t the only one the company can currently execute. Luckily, it was incredibly well timed, suggesting it will be far more successful this year than it otherwise would have been.

tech product of the week

surface pro 9

The Surface was built to compete with Apple and has many of the same features: a limited, focused line, a design-forward configuration that’s as much art as it is function, and a premium experience.

Microsoft missed out by making its stores Microsoft stores instead of Surface stores, so the stores tend to underperform their Apple counterparts. But Microsoft is a fundamentally different company and needs to keep Dell, Lenovo, HP and others happy, I understand how this decision came about. I think it was wrong, given its aim.

That said, the Surface Tablet was the primary weapon it had, when it first came to market, against the threat the iPad represented: a tablet that had long battery life, was extremely light, and at the time, effectively Was positioned as a laptop killer.

Steve Jobs, who piloted that product, died and since then Apple has decided not to replace the laptop with the iPad. Instead, it wants people to buy both, stalling the replacement effort.

But Microsoft didn’t get that memo. The initial surface was somewhat patchy. It would run Office, but its battery life was poor for a tablet. Over the years, both performance and battery life have improved.

This most recent Surface Pro 9 Arm Edition is the ultimate tablet. It does the best job of providing an iPad-like experience while still delivering PC-level performance. In fact, in some cases, it outperforms PC performance due to its unique AI NPU (Neural Processing Unit).

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Surface Pro 9 | Image credit: Microsoft

I initially noticed a drop in performance in Microsoft Hello’s facial recognition capability. Normally, it takes a few seconds for a typical PC to recognize you, and this new Arm-based Surface Pro 9 does it almost instantly. My desktop PCs with specialized cameras are not as fast.

The video game I play most often is City of Heroes. On low performing PCs, it has to be scaled back to run on an arm machine, and it crashes or fails to load. However, on this new Surface Pro 9, it loaded and ran and even gave me advanced graphics options that I usually don’t get unless I’m running a discrete GPU (although, I hope , if I turn them on, the frame rate will be unplayable). Still, the fact that the game even loaded and was playable was a first with such a tablet, especially a running arm.

Another interesting aspect of this latest Surface Pro 9 tablet is that it accepts not only the proprietary magnetic Surface charger but also a generic USB-C charger. I really like the magnetic charger because I trip over the power cord, and if you pull on it the cable detaches and doesn’t cause the laptop to fall to the floor. On the other hand, a USB-C charger is much more useful as you can use a third-party charger, borrow a charger or even use it to charge your phone.

The optional pen and keyboard are now nicely nested together (I’m forever losing the pen). While I generally prefer a larger screen and a notebook form factor, this latest Surface was surprisingly usable and incredibly portable. At less than two pounds, with up to 19 hours of battery life, 5G WAN capability, and vastly improved video conferencing camera features (thanks to that NPU), I think the Surface Pro 9 is the future of ultra-portable products.

When Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 launched, I knew it would be very different, and it is. It’s the first Arm-based product I’ve tested that not only feels compromised but outperforms its x86 counterpart in battery life, connectivity, and conferencing, which begs the question: What will the next generation do?

Ultimately, I think the Surface Pro 9 arm product is a milestone for the next generation of PCs, and it’s my product of the week. Let’s hope Microsoft does the same for the Surface Laptop!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor last week. The key improvement is the enhanced AI that will work behind the scenes to improve the user experience on the phone due to launch in a few weeks.

This AI implementation should significantly improve most tasks, from how well the modem works to optimizing both voice and data connections for image capture, viewing, and improving overall power efficiency.

In short, the next generation of Snapdragon 8 premium smartphones should outperform any previous generation and any phone that doesn’t use Qualcomm technology (like, say, oh, iPhones).

Let’s talk about how AI will exponentially improve your smartphone experience, then close with my product of the week, an AMD-based business notebook from HP that’s the new norm in size and capacity for performance-oriented mobile workers. Could

Qualcomm’s coming AI disruption

2020 is likely to be known as the decade of AI. The vast majority of where artificial intelligence is used today is in externally-focused applications for sales and marketing. The AI ​​we deal with most, such as those from Google and Apple, are not really AI at present, but speech front-ends for existing Internet search engines.

This is the reason why the promised experiences of Siri-like interactions on our phones have fallen short of expectations. But just as AI is evolving in the rest of the tech industry, so are the AI ​​capabilities in our smartphones, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 solution is a significant AI boost.

This AI improvement will initially benefit performance and battery life, both of which received criticism in the first generation of the Snapdragon 8.

For graphics performance, AI can be used to allow for real-time upsampling, resulting in better images for things like video and games, with less processing overhead, up to 25% faster GPU performance, 4.35 Up to times faster AI performance (depending on use case), and more efficient power usage for better battery life.

Now moving on to the feature improvements which are also important.

network, camera, sound

Networking improvements include Wi-Fi 7, the latest Wi-Fi technology, which should offer much faster data rates and potentially greater range. However, testing will have to wait for the availability of Wi-Fi 7 routers that are expected to hit the market soon.

AI improvements to the camera include more accurate face and object recognition, including a sharp increase in processor-intensive features like background blue, which has become popular for video calls since the pandemic (since we all share our offices). don’t keep it neat enough to do).

Expect AI camera features to better provide for automatic picture editing, making the resulting image look more professional and all objects in the frame clearer. The new camera capability should include 8K HDR video encoding, which is coming in time for 8K TVs and monitors to ramp up in 2023 and hopefully cost much less than we have today.

For most of us, it’ll just be premature obsolescence protection, assuring that when we finally do get an 8K display, we’ll have something we can show on it.

Improved image segmentation enables the camera to better capture or block out elements at different depths in the picture, allowing the AI ​​to apply custom lighting and contrast to these elements to make them pop out of the image. want to see and more easily allow you to remove whatever you want from the picture, like your cousin photobombing you.

Hear significantly enhanced sound with levels of active noise cancellation that many of us have only experienced. In the demo, turning on this feature seemed to remove all external noise except for the speaker’s voice, which is important for those of us either calling or doing video conference calls in noisy environments Huh. This technology is potentially applicable to both smartphones and laptops.

futuristic mix of smartphone and laptop

Most of the features showcased with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor will also be available on the laptop. With Microsoft removing the need for emulation from the Arm processor, the performance jump on laptops based on this part should be much greater than it would have been for the newer processors.

This opens the door to a new hybrid product potential that allows a single device to meet the needs of both a laptop and a smartphone with accessories for use cases, creating a unique advantage for this superior Qualcomm technology .

Longer battery life, greater performance, and the vastly improved videoconferencing capability that x86-based systems can exceed will go a long way toward turning Qualcomm-based PCs from niche products to mainstream offerings.

Furthermore, the ever-tighter integration of smartphone and laptop use cases could ultimately result in a hybrid solution that renders both existing platforms obsolete and creates something new that is potentially more capable, less expensive, and less demanding. is complex enough to support very different offerings today. ,

Conclusion: Our AI Future

AI applied to our personalized technology that promises far better pictures and sound Automatic, advanced, and more easy-to-use security features such as biometrics Better network and system performance Longer battery life and longer battery life Is.

However, this is only the beginning of the AI ​​revolution, as the changes to come will edit your video image in real time to make sure you look your best in pictures, movies and especially video calls, and make your device look like the real world. Allow problems to be solved better. — Like real-time foreign language translation.

With improvements in head-mounted displays, mixed reality technologies and the coming metaverse revolution, we are at the tip of the iceberg that new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 solutions are anticipated. As amazing as it is, the best is yet to come.

tech product of the week

HP EliteBook 865 G9

There was a time when there was a huge difference in price and performance between Intel and AMD notebooks. Intel-based systems performed better, especially with regard to battery life in laptops, but they cost more. The AMD notebook performed nearly as well, but took a bigger battery life hit and cost less. Those days are essentially over, as shown by this latest HP EliteBook 865 G9.

It’s an AMD-based, high-performance notebook with good battery life and the first notebook with USB 4, matching Intel’s Thunderbolt technology in terms of performance. As you’d expect, a product with performance that potentially exceeds Intel’s with a larger screen and total security will be expensive, so expect a price tag of around $2,000 when fully configured. The admission price is closer to $1,500, depending on the specials available at the time of purchase.

HP EliteBook 865 G9 Notebook PC

HP EliteBook 865 G9 Notebook PC | Image credit: HP

The 16-inch display works well in a coach seat on a plane for movies and is probably the largest display you can reasonably use while in coach, though not comfortably unless you have Don’t have an extended legroom seat. Otherwise the keyboard is too close.

The HP EliteBook 865 G9 also comes with LTE-A Pro if you want WAN network capability on top of its Wi-Fi 6E capability. It’s got integrated AMD Radeon graphics, so it’s no gaming box, but it plays the games I play mostly just fine, and streamed or downloaded movies and TV shows are amazing, which I used it the most while traveling on an aeroplane. ,

Battery life for video playback is an impressive 20-plus hours, with the only downside being the display, which is an adequate IPS panel but would have been better with a 4K OLED option that wasn’t available this round.

Finally, with HP’s pioneering Wolf security package, which is critically important in this less-secure digital world, the HP EliteBook 865 G9 is the perfect offering for the road warrior who also wants a decent-sized screen — and This is my product of the week.

MediaTek’s brand is often associated with affordable, budget, Android phones. However, the company has made incremental inroads into more premium, high-performance models. The launch of the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 chipset is a powerful step in that direction.

Like all smartphone chips, the Dimensity 9200 is a system on a chip (SoC), meaning it has integrated functionality in a single solution for wireless and cellular connectivity, graphics and system performance, among other capabilities.

Similar to Apple silicon or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offerings, this integrated approach facilitates the smaller form factor designs that have always been important in mobile devices, longer battery life and increased power efficiency without compromising speed.

MediaTek is promoting this mobile chip to be the first in the industry to use the Armv9 Gen 2 architecture, which requires new cores. A so-called “big” Cortex-X3 core handles the toughest tasks with the help of three Cortex-A715 performance cores.

In addition, the 9200 includes four Cortex-A510 “low-power” cores to optimize battery life. This combination facilitates performance improvements of up to 10% to 12% compared to the legacy Dimension 9000, but is believed to reduce power consumption by a meaningful 25%.

I spoke with MediaTek GM/Corporate Marketing Finbar Moynihan about the Dimensity 9200 at its launch last week. The following video clip highlights that conversation.

better graphics performance

The attractive element of the Dimensity 9200 is the improvement in graphics performance. The solution is one of the first chips in the industry to take advantage of Arm’s new Immortalis-G715 GPU, which provides hardware raytability, one of the most popular gaming technologies in the PC and laptop arena. According to MediaTek, the Dimensity 9200’s implementation is 32% faster than the Dimensity 9200’s CPU while using a remarkable 41% less power.

Given MediaTek’s legacy strengths in Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, it’s not surprising that the Dimensity 9200 shows improvements in those areas. Unlike previous generations of its mobile chips, the Dimensity 9200 includes both millimeter wave 5G and sub-6GHz connectivity, which will benefit consumers who look for faster cellular data in more parts of the world.

The Dimensity 9200 also offers Wi-Fi 7 support. With Wi-Fi 6 and 6e still trending in routers, smart home devices, and smartphones, MediaTek should be commended for future-proofing the Dimensity 9200 with Wi-Fi 7 capability as it delivers potentially game-changing latency and performance. Provides wireless speed advantages.

Another interesting feature of the Dimensity 9200 is that the chip’s Image 890 signal processor is the first to fully support RGBW camera sensors. These sensors not only provide more brightness and detail in images than native RGB, but they can also blur background images in real-time video. A demo showing this capability was one of the highlights of the announcement event.

analyst comments

During its recent analyst event in Sonoma, California, where it launched the Dimensity 9200 among other announcements, the company took great pains to underline that MediaTek is “more than mobile”. This claim isn’t surprising, as the smartphone market has slowed down dramatically over the past few years. After all, the company has a strong presence in the router, smart TV, IoT, and other device categories.

MediaTek isn’t usually a company to talk about in the US smartphone market, given that Apple and Qualcomm dominate the space with their respective silicon and Snapdragon solutions. But this may change soon as MediaTek is increasing its presence in mid and low-end handsets.

Furthermore, if the US economy slips into a recession in 2023, as many economists predict, the high-end segment of the market is likely to come under tremendous pressure. MediaTek’s strategy to push bleeding-edge technology into the more affordable mid-range segment of the market could pay big dividends as consumers find it challenging to pay $1,500 or more for the highest-end Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. looks like.

Leader in Smartphone Chip Shipments

There are definite signs that this strategy is working. MediaTek has been the No. 1 global smartphone chip shipment provider for the past two years. Industry reports indicate that MediaTek accounts for 37% of global smartphone chips, compared to Qualcomm’s 28%.

Of course, MediaTek’s chips don’t appear in the sexier mobile devices people are used to. Nevertheless, they offer the right mix of performance, innovation, and affordability that increasingly appeals to “mainstream” consumers.

To be clear, MediaTek doesn’t want to walk away from the mobile phone space – and shouldn’t. The “More than mobile” moniker is an effective marketing slogan because it correctly suggests that the company is into more products than casual users beyond smartphones. However, it also allows the company to remind people that it is focusing on future markets, such as VR, automotive, Wi-Fi 7 and 5G.

Apple and Qualcomm get much of the media attention when they release a new chip, but with its Dimensity 9200, MediaTek shows it can play with the big boys. Even if it doesn’t grab all the industry headlines, MediaTek appears to be successful – and the company’s leadership team likes it.

We are approaching a major technological pivot, where the processing we do personally is not on our local PCs but in the connected cloud.

At the forefront of this charge is Qualcomm, which uses Arm technology to round out its PC solution. Microsoft has followed Apple to Arm, but unlike Apple, it partnered with Qualcomm to get there. To chase this opportunity, Qualcomm also bought Nuvia, which on paper has better technology than Apple.

In response to this acquisition, Arm pulled Nuvia’s license to halt progress, apparently forgetting that Qualcomm’s license already included similar efforts. Looking at history, there’s a good chance that Apple is at least partly behind this and working to prevent the creation of a better solution than its own, as well as the PC-targeted Arm by Arm. Steps have been taken ahead of time to maximize the benefits from the solutions.

Let’s explore this litigation mess, and we’ll close out with our product of the week, which is AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 processor.

Incoming PC spindle

The PC market is moving towards cloud services and connectivity for battery life with a heavy focus on local performance.

In my last two trips, I’ve noticed that airplane Wi-Fi, which until now barely worked for web browsing and email, now works for streaming. It’s still not fast enough to stream games, but the jump in performance is notable. This was an area that lags far behind home use, and remote 5G performance in particular, seems to have stalled this pivot.

This limiting factor will disappear as we move to 6G in the second half of the decade, making connectivity and battery life more compelling. Assuming that Qualcomm and Microsoft’s efforts continue to be successful, it would prefer that solution over others.

Intel has begun shifting its roadmap to the occasion, and it looks like it will be ready to pivot. Intel’s solution, which promises a hybrid approach with the performance you need when you need it and the battery life and connectivity you want in a bi-model solution, should provide a decent hedge of its dominant PC market share.

AMD and Nvidia’s response to this trend is less defined, especially since Nvidia’s attempt to buy the arm failed. But I hope that both companies also see this opportunity and risk and are moving to address it.

bad times

This means that if Qualcomm doesn’t execute fast, its gains could be lost due to its inability to perform and a successful pivot by existing strong vendors. What Arm should be doing is throwing all its support behind Qualcomm’s anything-but-sure gamble assuring to improve Arm-centric results rather than trying to cripple the effort before it gets to critical mass. Can go

On the economic side, while I understand the desire to get a higher license fee for a portion that has the potential to lead to higher gross margins, pivoting the market comes with higher costs. The anticipated additional gross margin will be consumed by marketing efforts and sales discounts designed to drive this arm-favored pivot.

In other words, it’s time to negotiate a new pricing deal once the effort is successful and Qualcomm has the extra income to make such growth work — not when the company enters a hostile market. and needs every financial resource.

In short, Arm acts as if Qualcomm is taking unfair advantage of Arm’s favorable pricing, which could be sustainable if Qualcomm is already successful. Even so, Qualcomm’s current license agreement will still have to be fleshed out, but at least the numbers will work in its favor.


Apple undoubtedly has a lot to say in Arm because it has licensing terms that could be more favorable than Qualcomm’s. This last one will likely be a veiled secret, but will be in line with deals I’ve seen with other Apple suppliers. Apple is known for deals that are so good that its suppliers often wonder if they would have been better off passing them on.

As I see it, Apple doesn’t really want an Arm solution, especially one blessed by Microsoft, to be better than the one it’s using. The Qualcomm solution using Nuvia’s technology looks vastly better. Apple already hides the high margins that result from using cheaper technology in its premium lines – such as avoiding touch screens that are common in competing PC products.

A significant performance loss, as well as a lack of compelling cloud performance solutions, will cost Apple too much for its less religious base, especially creators.

Moving again to cripple Qualcomm so that its better solution doesn’t hit the market would be in line with what Apple attempted in prior efforts, which included a hostile takeover backed by Broadcom and a bogus complaint with the FTC.

RISC-V Benefits

What really makes this interesting is that before this happened, there was an anti-Hands effort on the part of the RISC-V consortium. RISC-V has similar capabilities to Arm but with a more modern and licensee-friendly business model.

This model had already led many developers to move from Arm to RISC-V, so this ill-advised hostile action between Arm and one of its largest licensees gave rise to RISC-V’s superior (in terms of licensee benefits). ) has put a spotlight on the business model.

Thanks to Nvidia’s failure to acquire Arm and the resulting IPO, which funded Arm independence but did not adequately fund development, Arm’s future revenue could be at risk, which could affect its ability to finance debt. For this it will need to advance its technology.

Ultimately, Qualcomm and Microsoft should look more favorably at RISC-V over arm due to this mis-timed and poor legal action.

wrapping up

It often happens that when companies are struggling, they turn to litigation for their operational problems. This rarely works because CEOs usually don’t understand how litigation really works, and as a result, they place more faith in this approach than in history.

Arm is in trouble primarily because it depends on acquiring Nvidia for its future growth and success, and now it’s starved for revenue. But a licensing model (both Arm and Qualcomm are licensing experts) requires trust between the parties and a deep understanding of the big picture so that the end result is successful and profitable for both entities.

Qualcomm is advised to be crippled on the frontlines of a massive war against x86, given that Qualcomm’s success was never assured and that Intel, in particular, would be facing this threat to its market share. Successfully making spindle to remove.

Qualcomm needs Arm’s help to be successful. Instead, the arm is damaging the effort to a degree that it may fail. The obvious move for both Qualcomm and its Microsoft partner is to move to RISC-V, putting the entire issue in the rearview mirror.

Such a move would either kill Arm or, more likely, effectively turn it into a poorly funded Apple subsidiary. This end would make Apple less competitive over time as well.

I think we are starting to see the end of Arm, and while Arm can blame others, it will only blame itself.

Technical Product of the Week

AMD Ryzen 7000

For most of its life, AMD has been under Intel. This is how the PC market was conceived: Intel required another x86 vendor to meet IBM’s requirement that the part not be sole-source.

Relations between Intel and AMD were anything but friendly as AMD did not like to be subordinate to Intel and wanted a greater market share than Intel. To be fair, Intel was still doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of market creation and maintenance, so it took advantage.

Over the past decade, Intel tried to treat x86 as a cash cow and cut back on development and ecosystem maintenance significantly, allowing AMD to catch up first in terms of performance and then a significant gap on servers, workstations and PCs. allowed to bypass Intel.

Intel maintained the lead in terms of installed base, compliance, and overall resources, but AMD took the performance crown. Intel is attempting to catch up and, as noted above, is aggressively pivoting to address the battery life and connectivity threat that Qualcomm represents.

But when it comes to PCs, AMD’s Ryzen 7000 owns the performance crown at the moment. Be aware though, that performance is relative, and Intel’s 13th generation parts look more competitive.

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series Processors image credit: amd

I’ve assembled my first Ryzen 7000 desktop system, and one huge advantage is that, as Intel did a few years ago, AMD has gotten rid of the pins on the chip, which pretty much eliminates where Many of us broke ours (breaking a pin on the assembly was almost a given). Plus, you no longer need to replace the backing plate when adding a heavy air or water cooler.

All of this makes building a system faster and easier than ever before. So, more power, easier assembly, and a great result make the new Ryzen 7000 processor line my product of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Germany-based Tuxedo Computers has released its specific operating system as a stand-alone distribution that provides a reasonably productive choice among a bloated supply of Linux variants.

Previously, you could only get Tuxedo OS pre-installed on company computers. Now anyone can try it out as a separate distro, making good on its mission statement of making Linux accessible to the general public. At first blush, Tuxedo OS is identical to a default install of Kubuntu (Ubuntu’s classic iteration of the KDE distro), just with custom startup and shutdown screens and wallpapers.

Buying a dedicated Linux computer instead of reusing new or old Windows or Mac hardware is often hindered by a lack of manufacturers. Perhaps one of the more well-known and accessible outlets is US-based System76, which has launched its own in-house Linux version, POP! _OS as a separate Linux distribution.

Tuxedo Computers based its OS on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and fine-tuned the KDE Plasma desktop to accommodate its own hardware. System 76 tweaked GNOME Desktop. Both versions run on most computer configurations without hardware requirements or the need for a dedicated set of additional software.

Standard 1.0. No

Don’t let the Tuxedo OS version 1.0 label deter you from trying out this latest Linux offering. The actual coding has been around as long as the pre-installed OS on the company’s hardware lineup. Therefore, its public release is far more polished than its version 1.0 moniker.

The KDE Plasma Desktop is not a full clone of what you can download in other iterations. The in-house developers took six months to develop, test, document and design the stand-alone offering.

Tuxedo OS left-side panel

Tuxedo OS The left side panel shows windows open with Alt+Tab.

The Tuxedo version of this desktop environment includes Tuxedo Control Center, Tuxedo Tomte Driver Configuration Service, and a few other changes.

These include an accent color and wallpaper set, a natively packaged Firefox and Nvidia drivers. Flatpak comes pre-installed instead of Snap, though it’s disabled by default unless you flip the switch for this alternative software distribution package.

troublesome loading routine

My biggest disappointment with Tuxedo OS is the cluttered approach to setting it up. Especially for newcomers to Linux, developers made running live sessions — whether from DVD or USB thumb drives — anything but convenient.

So much so that I almost gave up on installing it out of frustration. Once installed, the operating system is a relatively pleasant experience, provided you prefer the KDE desktop. Loading it up to try it out before even clicking the Install button is a painfully slow process of trial and error.

The problem is not with running an OS originally made for factory installation on dedicated hardware. Developers need to design a more “fail-proof” installation engine if they expect users to adopt Tuxedo OS.

My horror story started with a sophisticated GUI-driven interface. Typically, with most Linux installations the process boots the computer with the ISO files into an easy-to-follow menu where you click on an option and go to the next set of options. But this menu was confusing and often didn’t work without heavy troubleshooting.

For example, the first screen shows options like “Boot from USB/HDD” and “Boot from DVD/VM”, followed by options like “WebFAI Notebook” and “WebFAI Desktop Installation”. Then there was a separate list for “UEFI Firmware Settings”.

Tuxedo OS Live Session Boot

Any readme file options or other sources of information about the meaning of the options were lacking. The menu and website were of no such help.

too many guesses

The first option is ambiguous and suggests starting the computer from a hard drive or removable media. How was this different from the other option specifying HDD or VM?

When I selected the top option, the result was only a terminal screen displaying command prompt. The second entry started the live session of the temporary virtual machine through the ISO installation medium.

But it only works on computers configured with an agreed BIOS setting. Since I tried the installation on four different computers, some had BIOS settings, and some had UEFI settings already disabling Secure Boot on Windows machines.

On some of my machines, the installation started and wandered along the way, and on others, it never started. That encounter prompted me to play with the menu’s fifth option, which involved changing the BIOS and UEFI settings.

I later learned that Integrated WebFAI (short for Fully Automated Installation), a custom Linux deployment tool, requires a special USB key, which the company provides, or you can create one yourself, assuming So that you know the directions. It also requires a wired network connection to complete this type of installation.

long wait plan

Each attempt to install this distro resulted in the painful omission of blank screen before the first menu screen was displayed at the end. Seriously, I mean up to 15 minutes. Sometimes the blinking indicator light on the optical drive would go off, so I had to wait for the blinking to resume before I turned the box off and tried again.

Once I got the right combination of options on one of my four test bench computers, the DVD installation was completely complete. The time factor to do this was much longer than what I typically experience in most other Linux installations.

Once the actual installation process has gone beyond the initial menu selection, response times vary from step to step. The starting language is the default German, and I had to figure out that I needed to click a blank entry field at the bottom of the screen to activate the languages ​​list.

On some of my test gear, the window never opens; On another rig, creating a language selection or time zone with a location lock locks the computer.

On a computer that actually went through these steps, a progress bar increased to 40% and seemingly froze. Then, after a gap of 10 or more minutes, the desktop started showing up on the screen so I could start trying out Tuxedo OS.

I didn’t test Tuxedo OS after the live session. So whatever glitches were waiting for the hard drive installation to complete, I’ll never know.

Why try Tuxedo OS?

This public release without pre-installation on Tuxedo computers will once more invite developers to pull out the installation ISO. The tweaked combination of Ubuntu 22.04 Roots and the revamped KDE desktop brings some useful features to the package.

It comes with LibreOffice and a small selection of games pre-installed. It also includes a Tuxedo Tools group with two custom applications installed and the Tuxedo Control Center system-monitoring app. Tuxedo WebFAI Creator runs as a panel applet by default, although you can easily turn it off.

The developers bundled the OS Probe feature by default. Before Grub 2.06, it was easy to install Ubuntu as a dual boot next to other operating systems. Prober detected the other OS and gave users a boot menu to choose which OS to use for each session.

The same ISO handles encrypted and unencrypted options when installed on a hard drive. A corresponding prompt appears before the installation begins.

The stand-alone version of Tuxedo OS lets you choose the file system of your choice. So, you can configure btrfs or XFS in addition to the standard ext4.

ground level

No doubt, I’ll circle back when the developer releases the upgrade. Neither KDE nor GNOME is a compelling reason for me to swap out my favorite daily driver yet.

But Tuxedo’s approach has piqued my interest and it has the potential to take a mainstream platform position. I use a number of KDE applications on my main productivity computer, and now the “newer” distro has a lot in its suite of apps bundled in. You can find Tuxedo OS on the Tuxedo Computers website.

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Is there a Linux software application or distro that you would like to recommend for review? Something you love or want to know?

Email me your thoughts and I’ll consider them for future columns.

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With the San Francisco 49ers being trounced by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, it’s fair to say that Infineon Technologies had a much better week than the Niners. Eventually, Infineon used Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers, to host their annual OktoberTech event.

OktoberTech is organized in many cities around the world. Infineon uses the event to showcase its wide portfolio of component semiconductor solutions that often appear in automobiles, industrial power control products, power and sensor systems, and secure connected offerings.

Given Levi’s Stadium’s reputation as one of the most energy-efficient and sustainable arenas in the National Football League, Infineon has extended its decarbonization and digitization themes pervading their product offerings, especially to host Oktobertech. Place chosen for promotion.

Infineon is not light in terms of technology. As of September 2021, the company employed over 50,000 employees globally and recorded revenues of EUR 11.06 billion, or approximately US$10.9 billion.

Objectives of OktoberTech

As articulated by Infineon’s North America President Bob Lefort, OktoberTech is an engaging medium that showcases its solution catalog in a friendly and casual environment and encourages enthusiastic discourse with event attendees and company partners. does.

The OktoberTech moniker pays tribute to the company’s German heritage. Headquartered in Neubiberg, Germany, Infineon was spun off from its former parent company, Siemens AG, in 1999.

Several executive presentations given at the event highlighted the company’s efforts to fight global warming. Thematically, 30 product demos tied directly or indirectly to reducing the impact of carbon emissions and optimizing electrical energy use.

Infineon’s mission is fueled by its legacy of success in several high-profile market categories. The company reports about 20% in the industrial electronics space, 15% in microcontrollers, 44% in sensor technology, and 25% in security-based products.

Infineon Automotive Solutions

Many of the demos showcased at the OktoberTech event included automotive capabilities. For example, Infineon’s Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) microphone technology was shown at the event in collaboration with AI specialist Cerence.

Demo held at Infineon’s OktoberTech event at Levi’s Stadium on October 20, 2022

Essentially the same Infineon microphones that automakers currently use for voice recognition, these microphones are ideal for outdoor applications, such as detecting dangerous road conditions or siren warnings.

The unique engineering challenge with identifying sirens is that police and emergency vehicles use over 1,500 different sirens around the world. However, Cerence’s AI technology can accurately detect a siren, then automatically stop the car, and pull it over to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

Infineon’s MEMS microphone technology is also “hardened” for use outside the car because it is qualified to the AEC-Q103-003 standard, which means it can work in low (-40 degrees F) and high (221 degrees F) temperatures. can work. These microphones also have a form of noise cancellation for capturing distortion-free audio that is needed for loud environments.

Analyst Tech

The extensive library of content capabilities available in the market by Infineon is hard to digest. Many of the end-user products that consumers and businesses use every day and are taken for granted, would not be possible without Infineon’s innovation, design-in prowess, and perhaps most important, cost-effectiveness.

From an external marketing standpoint, Infineon’s main challenge is that most consumers are unfamiliar with the company, as its technology is often not clear to the end user. Other ingredient companies are also not immune to this problem, but I think Infineon will benefit from awareness work and messaging.

However, without this the final product itself would not be possible. In product categories such as automobiles, silicon technology that comprises the overall bill of materials is growing rapidly as cars become more digital, EV-oriented and technology-based.

Even in today’s non-EV vehicles, there are estimated to be around 1,000 chips embedded, and in EVs that number rises to 2,000, underscoring Infineon’s strategic business opportunity.

closing thoughts

Undoubtedly, there are several market tailwinds in the back of Infineon. With automobiles increasingly becoming “computers on wheels” – a phrase used in many interviews with Infineon executives during the OktoberTech event – Infineon’s know-how in this area is a tremendous asset to continued growth.

But supporting decarbonization and adopting digitization more aggressively at the macro-market level could fuel the company’s growth over the next several years.

Another point needs to be made: more progress must be made to dramatically reduce bureaucracy in the local permitting and regulatory areas related to EV chargers. As I reported a few weeks ago, companies like Infineon are able to delve into the EV charger space if it takes several weeks to meet local permitting regulations, which quickly lose their appeal with consumers and businesses.

Infineon’s position in IoT solutions, always one of its forte, should remain solid, with the Matter Inoperability initiative, expected to grow at the hyper-level of the consumer market. eventually It is set to appear in tangible products in early 2023.

Finally, Infineon’s 2016 acquisition of Cyprus Semiconductor has the potential to set the company apart from its competitors. The addition of Cypress allows Infineon to focus on the company’s core growth and a much broader range of applications.

In an extended interview with Infineon’s senior executive team, it appears that its leadership understands its business opportunity and corporate responsibility to maximize decarbonization with its solutions.

Interview with Infineon’s leadership at the OktoberTech event at Levi’s Stadium on October 20, 2022

Bob Lefort quoted from the film “Spider-Man” as saying that Infineon believes that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Not many profit-driven companies will apply that adage during an important corporate event, and it’s refreshing to see that type of clarity and reality uttered by a senior executive in the technology sector.

The sentencing of former Uber chief security officer Joseph Sullivan could lead to a quiet re-evaluation of how the chief information security officer (CISO) and the security community handle network breaches going forward.

A San Francisco federal jury indicted Sullivan on October 5 for failing to tell US officials about the 2016 hack of Uber’s database. Judge William H. Orrick did not set a date for sentencing.

Sullivan’s lawyer, David Angeli, said after the verdict was announced that his client’s sole focus was to ensure the security of people’s personal digital data.

Federal prosecutors noted that the case should serve as a warning to companies about how to comply with federal regulations when handling their network breaches.

Officials accused Sullivan of working to hide the data breach from US regulators and the Federal Trade Commission, and attempting to link his actions to prevent hackers from being caught.

At the time, the FTC was already investigating Uber after the 2014 hack. Two years later, hackers in Uber’s network repeatedly emailed Sullivan about the theft of large amounts of data. According to the US Justice Department, they promised they would delete the data if Uber paid the ransom.

The conviction is a significant precedent that has already sent shock waves through the CISO community. This dynamic policy highlights the personal liability involved in being a CISO in a legal and attacking environment, noted Casey Ellis, founder and CTO of Bugcrowd, a crowded cybersecurity platform.

“This calls for clear policy at the federal level around privacy protection and treatment of user data in the United States, and it emphasizes the fact that here a proactive approach to handling vulnerability information rather than a reactive approach is an important The component is flexibility for organizations, their security teams and their shareholders,” he told TechNewsWorld.

problem description

There is a growing tendency for companies afflicted with ransomware to interact with hackers. But the trial discourse showed prosecutors reminding the companies to “do the right thing,” according to media accounts.

According to published test accounts, Sullivan’s employees confirmed widespread data theft. This included theft records and 600,000 driver’s license numbers of 57 million Uber users.

The DOJ reported that Sullivan sought the hackers’ agreement to pay out US$100,000 in bitcoin. That agreement included the hackers signing a non-disclosure agreement to keep the hack from public knowledge. Uber reportedly hid the true nature of the payment as a bug bounty.

Only the jury had access to the evidence in the case, so it’s counterproductive to testify to specific details of the case, said Rick Holland, chief information security officer and vice president of strategy at Digital Shadows, a provider of digital risk management solutions.

“There are some general conclusions to draw. I am concerned by the unintended consequences of this case,” Holland told TechNewsWorld. “CISO already has a daunting task, and the outcome of the case has made CISO a scapegoat. Have given.”

important unanswered questions

Holland’s concerns include how the results of this trial could affect the number of leaders willing to take on the potential personal liability of the CISO role. He is also concerned about dismissing more whistleblower cases such as the escalating cases from Twitter.

He expects more CISOs to negotiate the insurance of directors and officers into their employment contracts. That type of policy provides personal liability coverage for decisions and actions a CISO may take, he explained.

“Furthermore, given the way both the CEO and CFO became responsible for corruption on the heels of the Sarbanes Oxley and Enron scandals, the CISO should not be the only culpable role in the case of wrongdoing around intrusions and breaches,” He suggested.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is a federal law that established comprehensive auditing and financial regulations for public companies. The Enron scandal, a series of events involving questionable accounting practices, resulted in the bankruptcy of energy, goods and services company Enron Corporation and the dissolution of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

“CISOs should effectively communicate risks to the company’s leadership team, but should not be solely responsible for cybersecurity risks,” he said.

twisted conditions

Sullivan’s conviction is a kind of ironic role reversal. Earlier in his legal career, he prosecuted cybercrime cases for the United States Attorney’s Office in San Francisco.

The DOJ’s case against Sullivan hinged on obstructing justice and acting to conceal a felony from officers. The resulting conviction can have a long-term impact on how organizations and individual authorities approach cyber incident response, particularly where it involves extortion.

Prosecutors argued that Sullivan actively concealed the massive data breach. The jury unanimously agreed with the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt.

Instead of reporting the breach, the jury found that Sullivan, backed by the knowledge and approval of Uber’s then CEO, paid the hackers and signed a non-disclosure agreement with them, falsely claiming that he had stolen data from Uber. did not do.

A new chief executive who later joined the company reported the incident to the FTC. Current and former Uber executives, lawyers and others testified for the government.

Edward McAndrew, an attorney for Bakerhostetler and former DoJ cybercrime prosecutor and national security cyber expert, told TechNewsWorld that “Sullivan’s prosecution and now conviction is unprecedented, but it needs to be understood in its proper factual and legal context.”

He said that the government has recently adopted a very aggressive policy towards cyber security. This affects white-collar compliance, where organizations and officials are increasingly cast in the simultaneous and separate roles of crime victim and enforcement target.

“Organizations need to understand how the actions of individual employees can expose them and others to the criminal justice process. And information security professionals need to understand the actions they take in response to criminal cyberattacks. How to avoid becoming personally liable for that,” warned McAndrew.

Is your favorite Linux desktop Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce? Or are you longing for something different and potentially better?

Then one of your best options is the upgrade to Linux Mint 21 “Vanessa” released on July 30th. It comes in a choice of Ubuntu- or Debian-base flavors.

It is an important step for me to make this recommendation. Once my daily Linux driver, I had a major fallout with this distribution several years ago, when an upgrade caused some troubling issues, leading to unpleasant reactions to — and no solution at all — Linux Mint tech support. from the community.

I then jumped into Linux Mint, a near-clone of Phaeron OS, and was a happy user until the distro’s developers made a radical design change and moved away from the traditional Cinnamon desktop.

So I jumped to distros again. I had reviewed the then new Cinnamon Remix distro released by an independent Linux developer. My go-to Linux distro became Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix, later renamed Cinabuntu. I’ve been very happy with its performance and usability options since then.

The ability to pick and choose operating system and configuration options is one of the shining beads you can polish your way to with Linux. It is not possible with Windows or macOS to be able to quickly install a replacement OS with the same look and feel.

However, with the release of Linux Mint 21 my Linux reviewer got the best of me. I was curious what I was missing.

I have detected some features that are not available in my current Cinnamon version. Those new features are in the MATE and Xfce versions as well. LM 21 versions include the latest versions of the three supported desktop environments: Cinnamon 5.4, Xfce 4.16, and MATE 1.26.

Read on to see what’s pulling me back to Linux Mint. Since Cinnamon is my favorite desktop, I focused on that version for this review.

hello old friend

The Vanessa release rekindled my appreciation for how tightly knit Linux Mint is as a computing platform. From the initial loading of the live session DVD to the impeccable installation, I was up and running in less than 30 minutes.

The welcome screen is becoming a standard setup routine for Linux installations. They can all take lessons on how to do this correctly using Linux Mint as an example. Even for experienced Linux users, Linux Mint’s approach is fast and convenient to perform all first-run tasks.

The left column panel of the panel provides general information, documentation, and a great index for completing the first steps. This is especially useful for new users who are unfamiliar with Linux in general – and LM in particular.

The main window area walks you through each step of updating system components and basic desktop configuration. Each section briefly describes what is included. The green themed launch button sets each part of the process in motion.

Steps include desktop color selection, choosing a traditional or modern panel layout, updating drivers and system components, setting up system settings, and software manager. The process also includes activating the built-in firewall, which is an item that many users overlook.

Linux Mint 21 Welcome Screen

The Linux Mint 21 welcome screen guides you through all the setup steps after installation, and it’s also a handy reminder that updates need to be made from time to time.

desktop difference

Design and usability features are one of the reasons I favor the Cinnamon desktop. It has one of the most detailed and organized configuration panels of any Linux distribution.

The System Settings panel keeps all the configuration options in one place. But unlike other desktop layouts with very few options, Linux Mint organizes all system controls into four general categories. In total, 40 icons hide related subcategories until you click an icon to open it.

KDE Plasma is the only other desktop with such an amount of configuration options. But that design is a series of separate settings panels that scatter controls and user options across a lot of menu locations.

While the configuration options available in the MATE and Xfce versions are less extensive, they still offer the ability to customize the look and feel to suit your computing needs.

Linux Mint does a better job than other desktops in how it handles the screen design and usability aspects. It has a wide range of quick access tools called desktops that reside on the desktop screen. Its use of applets that reside on the lower panel adds flexibility.

lm also provides a collection of extensions that provide even more usability options (similar to those available in the KDE Plasma desktop). This combination of features is a solid reason to try this distro.

Linux Mint 21 Desktop Configuration Options

The desktop configuration options available in the MATE and Xfce versions are less extensive than in Cinnamon. They still offer the ability to have the same look and feel as your computing needs.

under the hood

Linux Mint 21 is based on Ubuntu 22.04 and provides a full WIMP display like Windows, Icon, Menu, Pointer. This is a Long Term Support (LTS) release supported until 2027.

Vanessa, which continues the LM’s imagination for naming all releases with female names ending in the letter “A”, is packed with notable improvements in performance, compatibility, and stability. It ships with the Linux kernel 5.15 LTS.

Other changes include a new NTFS file system driver that simplifies interaction with Windows partitions, improvements to the default EXT4 file system, as well as improved hardware support, security patches and bug fixes.

A major Bluetooth change to the LM Blueman circuitry replaces the Blueberry app, which relies on GNOME-desktop plumbing. Like Blueberry, Blueman is desktop-agnostic and integrates well across all environments. It depends on the standard bluez stack and works universally, including from the command line.

Blueman Manager and Tray Icons have features that were not previously available in Blueberry. It handles more information for connection monitoring or troubleshooting Bluetooth issues and brings better connectivity to the headset and audio profiles.

Linux Mint 21 Cinnamon Desktop

Linux Mint 21 classic Cinnamon desktop design sports a favorites column, application category list, and a changing sublist of installed titles.

pain point solution

Welcome to Vanessa. Its lack in earlier releases was a usability issue. To address this, a new XApp (Linux Mint Exclusive Application) project called xapp-thumbnailers was developed for Linux Mint 21.

Process Monitor is a pain point solution for me. It places a special icon in the system tray when automated tasks are running in the background. Such tasks can slow down the performance of the system until it is completed. This new monitor is a silent alert that explains computer slowdowns.

Timeshift was an independent project for backing up and restoring OSes. The producer abandoned the application. LM took over the maintenance of Timeshift prior to the release of the LM 21. Timeshift is now an XApp.

One immediate benefit is the change in the way rsync mode works. It now calculates the space required for the next OS snapshot storage. If there is less than 1 GB of free space on the disk when the snapshot is executed, it quits proceeding.

Another pain point remedy is how LM21 now handles package removal. This prevents removal from the main menu (right-click, Uninstall) if the evaluation shows that other programs will be affected. This triggers an error message and stops the operation.

If no damage is found to major system components, uninstalling an application from the main menu also removes dependencies for applications that were installed automatically and are no longer needed.

Linux Mint 21 Scale and Expo Window View

Scale and Expo window views in Cinnamon are triggered by heated corners and applets on the lower panel.

ground level

The computer hardware requirements for Linux Mint 21 have not changed. You need a modern computer because LM is not as light on system resources as it used to be. That means a box with a 64-bit processor, at least 2GB of RAM, and 15GB of free space.

If you need help installing Linux Mint 21, the Linux Mint website has a comprehensive installation guide. But that shouldn’t be a possibility. Installation Engine is well polished. Most of my computers run multiple partitions, which usually forces manual intervention.

The LM 21 installer does not stumble. It simply asked where to put the OS. The installer handled all the splitting and adjustments in the background.

suggest a review

Is there a Linux software application or distro that you would like to recommend for review? Something you love or want to know?

Email me your thoughts and I’ll consider them for future columns.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Scalable cloud-based solutions are widely popular among IT professionals these days. The cost, convenience and reliability of ready-to-use software as a service make this disruptive technology a favorable choice.

Still, the market needs some reassurance that backing up to the cloud is a smart and secure thing to do, as suggested by Paul Evans, CEO of UK-headquartered data management provider RedStore.

Redstor has over 40,000 customers globally, over 400 partners, and over 100 million restores a year. Last month in London, RedStore was named Hosted Cloud Vendor of the Year at the 2022 Technology Reseller Awards.

“Companies should not only say goodbye to on-premises boxes, they should celebrate because their removal reduces the risk of ransomware or the effects of fire or flooding in the data center,” Evans told TechNewsWorld.

SaaS is a software delivery model that provides great agility and cost-effectiveness for companies. This makes it a reliable choice for many business models and industries. It is also popular among businesses due to its simplicity, user accessibility, security and wide connectivity.

According to Evans, SaaS trends are disrupting the industry this year. Spiceworks Jiff Davis predicts that next year half of all workloads will be in the cloud.

Many organizations are undertaking cloud-first migration projects. Of particular interest are hard-hit businesses that are looking for infrastructure through operational excellence (OpEx) models and frameworks to avoid huge upfront investments.

“Data will become increasingly cloud-native in the coming year, especially with the continued growth of Kubernetes, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and Salesforce,” he said.

Danger Landscape Driving Factor

Grand View Research recently reported that the global managed services market, which was valued at US$ 239.71 billion in 2021, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4 percent from this year to 2030. Many Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are looking to become more service driven.

At the same time, value-added resellers are looking to become cloud service providers. Evans said other distributors are trying to figure out which way they might be the best fit.

“The backdrop of this is a threat landscape that has changed dramatically, especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. State-sponsored malware and cyber warfare are coming to the fore in opposition to renegade shrewd criminals,” he said. .

US President Joe Biden has called for the private sector to step in and close its “digital doors” to protect critical infrastructure. Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of the UK’s intelligence, cyber and security agency GCHQ, warned that the Russian regime is identifying institutions and organizations to bring down, making it only a matter of time before the attacks come.

“Threats are not only increasing in scale and complexity. The range of ransomware attacks makes it abundantly clear that companies of all shapes and sizes will increasingly become targets. As a result, we will see more businesses increase their IT, cyber security and compliance Enlisting MSPs to run the programs,” predicted Evans.

During our conversation, I discussed further with Evans how RedStore and other providers can strengthen digital security.

TechNewsWorld: What’s unique about Redstor technology compared to other solutions for data management and disaster recovery?

Paul Evans: Our approach focuses on the concerns of businesses regarding their risk position, resource constraints and profitability challenges while IT skills are lacking. Redstor offers what we believe is the smartest and simplest backup platform for MSP.

One factor is the ease associated with onboarding. With three clicks and a password, users are up and running and can scale easily. In addition, it requires lightweight support for multiple data connectors and is purpose-built from the ground up for MSPs that manage multiple accounts.

It’s not a monster of some Frankenstein’s hastily achieved solutions bolted together.

What makes Redstor’s platform technically smart?

Evans: Whether MSPs are protecting data on-premises or in the cloud – Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or cloud-native Kubernetes – they can do it easily and all with one app. By being able to span the on-premises cloud and SaaS worlds from a single location, rather than moving to several different interfaces, MSPs save time and money.

Redstor is smart because we enable user-driven recovery by streaming backup data on demand, so organizations have everything they need to get straight up and running in the event of data loss.

You don’t need to mirror everything, copy everything, or recover everything before it starts working again. During an outage, InstantData technology restores critical data back in seconds, while less critical recovery continues in the background.

This platform is also smart because it offers more than just backup. You also get archive and disaster recovery with high-end search and insights – all from one app.

Redstor is influenced by AI, and our machine learning model automatically detects and isolates suspicious files in backups so that they can be removed for malware-free recovery. MSP can do data classification with tagging. In the future, we will introduce anomaly detection.

How do cloud-based SaaS data protection and recovery systems compare to other solutions?

Evans: Organizations find that they need multiple boxes onsite to quickly pull data down to get a faster experience with the cloud. But on-premises Frankenstein solutions, coupled with technology from multiple acquisitions, aren’t going to meet today’s challenges.

Paul Evans, Redstor .  CEO of
Redstore CEO Paul Evans

Also, with hardware, there can be supply-chain issues and the lack of critical components such as semiconductors. Moving your data security to the cloud eliminates both these issues and the responsibility rests entirely on the MSP.

Without cloud-based security, you lack the best means of securing data. SaaS security is constantly updated and built in. Free updates are provided on a regular release cycle to keep customers ahead of the risks. MSP ensures reliable and secure connectors for many sources and popular applications now and in the future.

Also, storing backups securely in geographically separated data centers creates an air gap between live data and backups to enhance security.

What is driving the popularity of SaaS data protection?

Evans: The most important reason was when being onsite became problematic during the pandemic. Those with hardware-connected data security faced challenges fixing and swapping out the box. Many organizations also do not want boxes onsite because they are hard to come by because of supply-chain issues. Furthermore, the devices are known to be ransomware magnets.

SaaS overcomes these issues and more. MSPs are open to data portability requests and enable tools and services designed for today’s challenges. They can also complete the services digitally and distributors appreciate the value of SaaS made to channel supplied through online marketplaces.

Most SaaS applications now stress the need for a separate backup. More people are realizing that just because you have Microsoft doesn’t mean you can’t be compromised. You may have an internal user that destroys the data, or you may not have enough retention. Backing up SaaS applications is now the fastest growing part of our business.

What should an MSP look for from a vendor besides good technical support?

Evans: Technology built for MSPs should be partner-friendly from the start and include deep sales and marketing support. It should offer attractive margins with clear, transparent pricing so that MSPs can easily sell services.

The software should rapidly enhance data security, and by the end of the first negotiation, MSPs should be able to offer a proof of concept by deploying backups and performing rapid recovery to close deals faster.

Vendors are required to provide MSPs with the ability to purchase whatever they need from a single source, whether it’s protection for a Kubernetes environment, malware detection for backup, or data classification.

The key is also an interface to eliminate the complexity of switching between different solutions and consoles. Plus, having the ability to view and manage data from a single interface saves valuable time.

A vendor’s platform should be designed for multi-tenancy and provide a high-level view of MSP’s own usage and customer consumption. It also requires that the types of data protected and where it resides. The vendor must have a history of using new advances, particularly AI, to detect and remove malware, data classification and cyberattack predictions.

How should businesses assess seller suitability?

Evans: Many vendors make a bold claim to be the best solution to the challenges in the market. MSPs should receive direct feedback from their peers and adequately field-test the solutions.

Top 20 Backup Software, Top 20 . Check the rankings for the G2 lists online backup software, and other user-supported reviews. Focus on reports based on user satisfaction and review data. For example, Redstor ranks first with the G2.

Also look for vendors that provide a clear road map of future growth that the MSP should be able to influence. Lastly, MSPs should focus on smart solutions that provide simplified security.