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EE rolls out 4G to another 9 towns and cities

Penulis : Black Rose on Saturday, March 9, 2013 | 6:01 PM

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mobile operator EE says its 4G service is now available in a further nine towns and cities across the UK, bringing the total to 37 since the launch of the UK's first 4G network last year.

This week 4G is being switched on in Barnsley, Chorley, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Rotherham, Telford, Walsall and Watford, with EE claiming its 4G network can now reach 45 percent of the UK population.

By this summer, EE said, the network will be available in at least 72 towns and cities, as well as much of the suburban and rural areas that surround them, "reaching well over half of people in the UK".

EE, along with the other major mobile operators, spent a total of £2.3bn on new mobile spectrum in the recent Ofcom 4G auction, which will allow them to roll out expanded or brand new 4G mobile networks. 

EE was given permission by Ofcom to launch the UK's first 4G service using radio spectrum it acquired in the 2000 Ofcom 3G spectrum auction.

Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE, said: “We’re setting the pace for the delivery of 4G in the UK and it’s a great achievement for our engineering teams to be able to launch in another nine towns this month, enabling more and more consumers and businesses to take advantage of superfast mobile internet.”


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MWC: ARM's Big.Little battery-saving technology wins Samsung backing

Seven companies are expected to release chips this year based on ARM's Big.Little processor technology, ARM said at the Mobile World Congress in Madrid.

Samsung, Fujitsu Semiconductor, MediaTek, Renesas Mobile and CSR were named by ARM, which did not announce the other two companies.

Big.Little design mixes low-power and high-power cores to provide balanced computing power in smartphones and tablets. For example, ARM's latest Cortex-A15 processor handles high-performance processing while the Cortex-A7 design handles low-power tasks like phone calls.

Chips based on the ARM technology usually have an asynchronous design with each separate core handling tasks like application processing, networking and graphics. Big.Little design lets the application processor handle more tasks while saving power.

ARM originally announced Big.Little in 2011, and hopes to put the design on its next-generation 64-bit processors called Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53. ARM claims that Big.Little reduces energy consumption up to 70 percent on common tasks performed by the applications processor.

ARM designs processors and licenses them to chip makers. Samsung has already shown support for Big.Little in its Exynos 5 Octa eight-core chip, which has four Cortex-A15 cores and four Cortex-A7 cores. The chip was announced at the International CES show in January with more information provided at the ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference) in San Francisco earlier this month. A prototype tablet based on the Samsung 5 Octa chip is on display at ARM's Mobile World Congress booth this week in Barcelona.

But some of ARM's biggest licensees like Nvidia and Texas Instruments have resisted adopting Big.Little, instead coming up with their own power-efficient chip designs. For example, Nvidia is taking an approach it calls "4+1" on its Tegra chips in which four cores handle high-power tasks, while one low-power core handles tasks such as phone calls and SMS delivery.


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Adobe pushes out emergency Flash update as hackers hit Firefox

Adobe today patched new vulnerabilities in Flash Player that hackers are now exploiting in attacks aimed at Firefox users, the company said.

The surprise update to Flash Player was the second emergency fix this month, the third overall for February, and the fourth since the start of 2013.

In the accompanying advisory, Adobe confirmed it was patching three vulnerabilities in the popular media player browser plug-in. Two of the trio, said Adobe, are being used by attackers.

"Adobe is aware of reports that CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648 are being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks designed to trick the user into clicking a link which directs to a website serving malicious Flash content," the advisory stated, listing the vulnerabilities by their Common Vulnerabilities & Exposures, or CVE, identifiers. "The exploit for CVE-2013-0643 and CVE-2013-0648 is designed to target the Firefox browser."

The two flaws singled out by Adobe are thus "zero-day" vulnerabilities, meaning criminals have exploited them with attack code before the bugs were patched.

Adobe did not credit a researcher for reporting either CVE-2013-0643 or CVE-2013-0648. And Mozilla did not immediately reply to questions about the attacks Adobe said were targeting only Firefox, or whether its security team had spotted the attacks and notified Adobe.

Tuesday's "out-of-band" came less than three weeks after an 8 February fix for two exploited-in-the-wild flaws. Adobe has also issued two other regularly-scheduled updates for Flash this year as part of its plan to synchronize its security releases with Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesdays.

The frequent Flash updates only add to what has become a hectic start to the year for security experts and IT administrators: Oracle has also shipped multiple updates for Java in the last two months, including a pair of rush updates to quash actively-exploited bugs.

"These past two months have been a whirlwind of advisories from vendors," noted Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, in an interview via instant messaging today. "I think many IT shops have [had] a hard time keeping up."

Kandek also noted that it was unusual for a particular browser to be singled out.

In fact, Firefox recently lowered the boom on plug-ins. At the end of January, Mozilla announced it was automatically disabling all plug-ins in Firefox except the latest version of Adobe's Flash Player, saying the drastic step was needed to safeguard users from "drive-by" attacks, which trigger exploits as soon as a victim visits a malicious or compromised website.

The feature, called "click-to-play," bars plug-in play, and has become popular as browser makers try to keep users safe from a rising tide of exploits that leverage bugs in plug-ins.

But because the attacks mentioned by Adobe were exploiting unpatched vulnerabilities in the most-up-to-date Flash Player, Firefox's click-to-play defense, even had it been fully implemented -- according to Mozilla's blacklist, it had not -- would not have protected its users.

The patched versions of Flash Player for Windows, Mac and Linux can be downloaded from Adobe's website. Windows and Mac users can also wait for Flash's automatic updating tool to kick in. Users of Google's Chrome and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) on Windows 8 will receive the newest Flash via those browsers' own update mechanisms.

View the original article here

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EMC Greenplum tackles Big Data with Hadoop distribution

In a further sign that Big Data is beginning to hit its stride, EMC Greenplum on Monday debuted a new Apache Hadoop distribution that it hopes will soon become the de facto standard, pushing aside current leaders like Cloudera and Hortonworks.

"The bet that we're making at Greenplum is that the future of our Big Data business is Hadoop, so it's important that we have our own distribution,"

"Virtually every customer and prospect we talk to is doing something with Hadoop," says Josh Klahr, vice president of product management at EMC Greenplum. "It ranges from CIOs that have heard of Hadoop and spun up a Big Data team to figure out what to do with it to folks that are being a little more thoughtful about it and have figured out a use case."

"We're seeing rapid adoption," he adds. "The Hadoop business is growing 60 to 70 percent a year. We see this as a real sea change."

Since its emergence as an Apache Lucene subproject in 2006, Apache Hadoop has quickly become the preferred solution for Big Data applications with massive repositories of unstructured data. Hadoop has many things to recommend it: It's flexible, scalable, built on commodity hardware and fault-tolerant.

However, there are hurdles to implementing Hadoop in the enterprise. One critical hurdle is the lack of useful interfaces and high-level tooling for Business Intelligence and datamining. That's where Greenplum sees its opportunity, Klahr says.

Greenplum Bets Hadoop Is the Future of Big Data

"The bet that we're making at Greenplum is that the future of our Big Data business is Hadoop, so it's important that we have our own distribution," Klahr explains. "There are some things we're adding into the distribution that aren't yet supported by Apache. We think that the Hadoop market is going to be so big that we wanted to have our own distribution."

Some elements of EMC Greenplum's distribution, Pivotal HD, may never find their way back into the Apache project. The core of Pivotal HD is the marriage of Greenplum's massively parallel processing (MPP) database technology with the Apache Hadoop framework, a technology called HAWQ. HAWQ is essentially a fully functional, high-performance relational database that runs in Hadoop and which speaks SQL natively.

"Our plan is to actively contribute certain elements back to Apache, but we're going to have HAWQ as a proprietary service that we won't be open sourcing," Klahr says.

Klahr says that HAWQ delivers performance improvements of 50X to 500X when compared with existing SQL-like services (like Hive) on top of Hadoop.

"There's this whole group of data workers and data tools that exist in the enterprises we work with that can't easily talk to Hadoop," Klahr says. "But thousands of folks can talk SQL. We're bringing a pure SQL database engine and we're embedding it into our Hadoop distribution. It's a SQL database that you can connect any BI tool to."

With HAWQ in place, Hadoop can become a singular data repository from which organizations can both run MapReduce queries and SQL queries with ease.

"With Pivotal HD, we can check off many of the items on our Hadoop wish-list--things like plug-in support for the ecosystem of tools, improved data management and greater elasticity in terms of the storage and compute layer," says Steven Hirsch, chief data officer and senior vice president of Global Data Services at NYSE Euronext.

"But above all," Hirsch says, "it provides true SQL query interfaces for data workers and tools--not a superficial implementation of the kind that's so common today, but a native implementation that delivers the capability of real and true SQL processing and optimisation."

"Having a single Hadoop infrastructure for Big Data investigation and analysis changes everything," Hirsch says. "Now add all of this functionality to the fact that the SQL performance is up to 100X faster than other offerings and you have an environment that we at NYSE Euronext are extremely excited about."

EMC plans to make Pivotal HD available at the end of the first quarter as a software-only or appliance-based solution.


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MWC: Operators, GSMA work to simplify integration of apps with mobile networks

Mobile operators are hoping to make it easier for developers to integrate network-based features with their applications using a new platform called OneAPI Exchange.

Mobile operators are working on several fronts to become a more integral part of today's mobile applications, instead of just carrying the traffic they generate. An example of this is the OneAPI program, which aims to let developers access network features such as location, authentication, messaging and payments, according to Marcus Dormanns, senior director at the GSM Association, which is working with its network operator members on the project.

Using the OneAPI Exchange platform, developers will be able to add network-based features to apps that run on Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone as well as browser-based applications, according to the GSMA. Developers can subscribe to an operator network API and then choose additional operators they would like their app to work with. All billing, metrics and usage data is streamlined through a single point, eliminating the need for direct and complex multi-carrier deals, the organization said.

The OneAPI Exchange will be operated by Apigee, and is currently available as a proof-of-concept.

Functionality will be added in several stages; a standardised identity API, which allows consumers to register with applications without the need to share a user identity and password with third parties, will be available via the OneAPI Exchange during the second quarter. A payment API will also go live on the OneAPI Exchange this year, according to the GSMA.

AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone have all helped develop the platform.

Another example of how operators want to make their networks more attractive is a framework called WebRTC. It allows browsers to perform functions usually confined to mobile phones such as voice and video calls and messaging. At Mobile World Congress, Mozilla, Ericsson and AT&T have joined forces to show how it works.


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