Archive for May, 2012

RIM Warns Of Loss To Come…. Stock Nosedives After Hours….. RIM Is Screwed

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 29, 2012 by itnerd

If RIM wasn’t dead before, it is safe to say that it is now. A press release came out today with this stunning news:

The on-going competitive environment is impacting our business in the form of lower volumes and highly competitive pricing dynamics in the marketplace, and we expect our Q1 results to reflect this, and likely result in an operating loss for the quarter.

But there’ s more:

To further enhance our commitment to successfully completing our transformation, after the release of our year-end financial results, we engaged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to assist the Company and our Board of Directors in reviewing RIM’s business and financial performance.  These advisors have been tasked to help us with the strategic review we referenced on our year-end financial results conference call and to evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives.

This news made RIM shares fall almost 14% in after hours trading before recovering slightly. It’s a safe bet that investors have had enough and gave sell orders from their Android or iPhones.

Now RIM will tell you that Blackberry 10 will save the day. The problem is that they have to get to the fourth quarter to try and leverage that. I don’t think they can get there. At least not as an independent company. It’s a safe bet that they’ll be bought out. Assuming that they don’t go belly up first.

 

Flamer: A New And Scary Marware Threat

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 28, 2012 by itnerd

There seems to be a new marware threat making the rounds in the Middle East. Called Flamer, it’s not your average piece of Marware according to Symantec:

The complexity of the code within this threat is at par with that seen in Stuxnet and Duqu, arguably the two most complex pieces of malware we have analyzed to date. As with the previous two threats, this code was not likely to have been written by a single individual but by an organized, well-funded group of people working to a clear set of directives. Certain file names associated with the threat are identical to those described in an incident involving the Iranian Oil Ministry.

While our analysis is currently ongoing, the primary functionality is to obtain information and data. Initial telemetry indicates that the targets of this threat are located primarily in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The industry sectors or affiliations of the individuals targeted are currently unclear. However, initial evidence indicates that the victims may not all be targeted for the same reason. Many appear to be targeted for individual personal activities rather than the company they are employed by. Symantec detects this threat as W32.Flamer.

Lovely. Keep in mind that it may be in the Middle East today, but it will be elsewhere tomorrow. So what does this marware do? Here’s a description:

The overall functionality includes the ability to steal documents, take screenshots of users’ desktops, spread through removable drives, and disable security products. Additionally, under certain conditions, the threat may also have the ability to leverage multiple known and patched vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows in order to spread across a network.

The take home message? Make sure your security software is up to date and make sure that your computer is fully patched.

Samsung And Apple Don’t Make Progress In Patent Talks…. So Much For Peace In Our Time

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on May 23, 2012 by itnerd

You might remember that Apple and Samsung were getting together this week to see if they could put an end to their patent war. Well, from the file marked #fail comes news that the talks between Apple and Samsung have ended and they haven’t gone so well:

The two technology giants could find no clear agreement through the talks, according to a Samsung official. Apple Korea declined to comment on the matter.

The patent battle is now headed for trial on June 27, despite both firm’s stated wish to avoid legal proceedings.

According to foreign media outlets, both technology giants held firm on their assertions: Samsung continued to demand Apple pay royalties for using its wireless transmission technology and Apple insisted that Samsung copied its design in various products.

I think it’s a safe bet to say that this will be decided in court and there will be no peace in our time. Cue the lawyers (or iLawyers in the case of Apple).

Instead Of Unfriending Facebook, Investors Sue

Posted in Commentary with tags , on May 23, 2012 by itnerd

Well, this IPO mess is just getting worse for Facebook. It’s been announced today that the social networking site among others is being sued:

Facebook Inc. chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, and several banks led by Morgan Stanley were sued by shareholders, who claimed the defendants hid the social networking leader’s weakened growth forecasts ahead of its $16-billion initial public offering.

The defendants were accused of concealing from investors during the IPO marketing process “a severe and pronounced reduction” in Facebook revenue growth forecasts, resulting from increased use of its app or website through mobile devices.

Sucks to be Zuckerbeg et al. But there’s actually worse news:

On Wednesday a Democratic aide to the Senate Banking Committee told The Associated Press the panel wants to learn more about the initial public offering. The committee seeks briefings with representatives of Facebook, regulatory agencies and others. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the committee’s planned inquiry hasn’t been publicly announced.

If that’s true, this could quickly spiral downward.

Oh yeah, Facebook stock was shockingly up today closing at $32 which is up $1 from yesterday’s close.

27,000 Jobs Slashed At HP

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 23, 2012 by itnerd

You might remember that I posted a story about thousands of jobs being slashed at HP. The number is now out. It’s 27,000 which is 8% of HP’s workforce. So, where will the money go? Here’s what HP said:

  • Services will invest in cloud, analytics, and high-value delivery.
  • Software will invest in analytics, big data, application management, and security.
  • The servers, storage, and networking unit will bet on cloud and big data technologies

They’re a bit late to those parties, but I’m sure someone did the math and said that this makes sense. Speaking of math, you’d never know it but HP actually put up pretty good numbers. They beat the streets in terms of revenue and earnings. But I guess when you slash 27,000 jobs, nothing else matters.

Hey IT Nerd! Do I Have To Install Those Security Updates For My PC/Mac?

Posted in Tips with tags on May 22, 2012 by itnerd

I get this question a lot. Why do one have to bother to install those security updates that are always popping up on my PC or Mac? The answer is simple. Those security updates help to keep you safe and fix bugs in whatever operating system you use. Sometimes they even provide performance enhancements. Let me circle back to the first point. Hackers are always testing to see if they can find ways to compromise your computer. Microsoft, Apple, Red Hat, and everybody who puts out an operating system are trying to stay one step ahead of the hackers. Thus they release updates. Thus it’s in your interest to update your OS as soon as these patches come out.

While I’m at it, let me explain a phrase that you might of heard of: “Patch Tuesday.” It’s the second Tuesday of every month that Microsoft chooses to release patches to the world. The reason why they do it on a schedule is that major corporations wanted some degree of predictability when it came to when patches are released. This is followed by “Exploit Wednesday” which is when exploits that are reverse engineered by hackers based on patches that have just been released. Another thing that happens on “Exploit Wednesday” is that net new exploits are often released which give hackers an advantage of at least a month before a patch is released.

Bottom line: Make sure you apply those patches as soon as they come out. You are better off if you do.

Facebook Continues To Nosedive While Investigatons Begin

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 22, 2012 by itnerd

Clearly people continued to hit the sell button when it comes to Facebook stock. Today it closed down almost 9% and it continues to slide in after hours trading. If it wasn’t clear before it’s becoming clear now. The stock is overvalued and I believe that it may have a ways to fall before it settles. To add to the turmoil, there are calls for an investigation into how this stock was IPO’ed:

The separate calls for review, by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and FINRA Chairman Rick Ketchum, added pressure on the company, its underwriters and the Nasdaq, all of which have taken blame for the stock’s harried opening and subsequent sharp decline.

Lovely. It’s clearly going to get worse before it gets better. We’ll see if the drop continues tomorrow.

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