Norton Core Router

Norton by Symantec on Tuesday announced the Norton Core secure router for smart devices in the connected home at CES in Las Vegas.The router protects up to 20 PCs, Macs, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets on a home network, and unlimited devices connected to the Internet of Things.It will update its firmware in background mode automatically, but not the firmware on connected devices, said Ameer Karim, general manager of consumer IoT security at Symantec.

Core Functions

The router scans incoming and outgoing network packets across the home network, quarantines infected connected devices to a separate network, and alerts the user.

It provides a real time security score on network and connected device security, and gives users tips on strengthening security settings.
The router has customizable parental controls.
Users will be able to manage their home devices remotely from a connected mobile device.
The Norton Core supports Wave 2 WiFi and simultaneously transmits at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. It uses MU-MIMO technology.
However, it may need to support other wireless interfaces, like Thread, Zigbee and Bluetooth, suggested Jim McGregor, a principal analyst at Tirias Research.
The Norton Core supports speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps for 4K streaming and lag-free gaming.

‘Stellar WiFi’

The router combines an omnidirectional antenna design with advanced beam forming to “ensure your devices get stellar WiFi anywhere in your home,” Symantec’s Karim said.
It can pause the home network as required, and can identify which devices can and can not be paused, he said. IoT devices such as alarm systems, door locks, IP cameras, healthcare devices and appliances won’t be paused.
Consumers can preorder the Norton Core now; it will begin shipping in the United States this summer.
The router is priced at US$200, which includes a one-year complimentary subscription to Norton Core Security Plus. The subscription will cost $10 a year after that.

A Good First Effort

The Norton Core is not the first such router on the market; F-Secure, for example, has been shipping a router for the connected home for some time.
Still, Symantec is “a widely known security brand in the consumer space, and they’re using Qualcomm’s latest radios to ensure the device is as current as they can make it,”noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
The Norton Core “anticipates mesh networking in the home to provide full coverage,” he told TechNewsWorld, although it has not yet been implemented.
For a first-time product, “this shows an impressive amount of thought,” Enderle remarked. “The only limitation, prior to testing, is that the mesh capability won’t be enabled instantly. Also, Symantec isn’t known as a router vendor.”

Layers of Security

The Norton Core “raises the question of whether your hardware and software solutions should be integrated into a single platform,” Tirias’ McGregor told TechNewsWorld.
“Software needs to change so quickly, and it seems like the top security software solutions change over time,” he said.
The Norton Core is designed as a geodesic dome, but “there’s a reason why the best routers are funky looking,” McGregor noted. “They need to optimize the number and location of the antennas.”
The Core’s design, while unique, “may not provide the best coverage,” he said.
Still, “there is no easy answer when it comes to security,” McGregor observed. “You have to have layers of security, and while the Norton Core is a good potential solution … it shouldn’t be the only one you rely on.”


recognize sounds by watching video

In recent years, computers have gotten remarkably good at recognizing speech and images: Think of the dictation software on most cellphones, or the algorithms that automatically identify people in photos posted to Facebook.

But recognition of natural sounds—such as crowds cheering or waves crashing—has lagged behind. That’s because most automated recognition systems, whether they process audio or visual information, are the result of machine learning, in which computers search for patterns in huge compendia of training data. Usually, the training data has to be first annotated by hand, which is prohibitively expensive for all but the highest-demand applications.
Sound recognition may be catching up, however, thanks to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). At the Neural Information Processing Systems conference next week, they will present a sound-recognition system that outperforms its predecessors but didn’t require hand-annotated data during training.
Instead, the researchers trained the system on video. First, existing computer vision systems that recognize scenes and objects categorized the images in the video. The new system then found correlations between those visual categories and natural sounds.
“Computer vision has gotten so good that we can transfer it to other domains,” says Carl Vondrick, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and one of the paper’s two first authors. “We’re capitalizing on the natural synchronization between vision and sound. We scale up with tons of unlabeled video to learn to understand sound.”
The researchers tested their system on two standard databases of annotated sound recordings, and it was between 13 and 15 percent more accurate than the best-performing previous system. On a data set with 10 different sound categories, it could categorize sounds with 92 percent accuracy, and on a data set with 50 categories it performed with 74 percent accuracy. On those same data sets, humans are 96 percent and 81 percent accurate, respectively.
“Even humans are ambiguous,” says Yusuf Aytar, the paper’s other first author and a postdoc in the lab of MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science Antonio Torralba. Torralba is the final co-author on the paper.

“We did an experiment with Carl,” Aytar says. “Carl was looking at the computer monitor, and I couldn’t see it. He would play a recording and I would try to guess what it was. It turns out this is really, really hard. I could tell indoor from outdoor, basic guesses, but when it comes to the details—’Is it a restaurant?’—those details are missing. Even for annotation purposes, the task is really hard.”
Complementary modalities
Because it takes far less power to collect and process audio data than it does to collect and process visual data, the researchers envision that a sound-recognition system could be used to improve the context sensitivity of mobile devices.
When coupled with GPS data, for instance, a sound-recognition system could determine that a cellphone user is in a movie theater and that the movie has started, and the phone could automatically route calls to a prerecorded outgoing message. Similarly, sound recognition could improve the situational awareness of autonomous robots.
“For instance, think of a self-driving car,” Aytar says. “There’s an ambulance coming, and the car doesn’t see it. If it hears it, it can make future predictions for the ambulance—which path it’s going to take—just purely based on sound.”
Visual language
The researchers’ machine-learning system is a neural network, so called because its architecture loosely resembles that of the human brain. A neural net consists of processing nodes that, like individual neurons, can perform only rudimentary computations but are densely interconnected. Information—say, the pixel values of a digital image—is fed to the bottom layer of nodes, which processes it and feeds it to the next layer, which processes it and feeds it to the next layer, and so on. The training process continually modifies the settings of the individual nodes, until the output of the final layer reliably performs some classification of the data—say, identifying the objects in the image.
Vondrick, Aytar, and Torralba first trained a neural net on two large, annotated sets of images: one, the ImageNet data set, contains labeled examples of images of 1,000 different objects; the other, the Places data set created by Torralba’s group, contains labeled images of 401 different scene types, such as a playground, bedroom, or conference room.
Once the network was trained, the researchers fed it the video from 26 terabytes of video data downloaded from the photo-sharing site Flickr. “It’s about 2 million unique videos,” Vondrick says. “If you were to watch all of them back to back, it would take you about two years.” Then they trained a second neural network on the audio from the same videos. The second network’s goal was to correctly predict the object and scene tags produced by the first network.
The result was a network that could interpret natural sounds in terms of image categories. For instance, it might determine that the sound of birdsong tends to be associated with forest scenes and pictures of trees, birds, birdhouses, and bird feeders.
To compare the sound-recognition network’s performance to that of its predecessors, however, the researchers needed a way to translate its language of images into the familiar language of sound names. So they trained a simple machine-learning system to associate the outputs of the sound-recognition network with a set of standard sound labels.
For that, the researchers did use a database of annotated audio—one with 50 categories of sound and about 2,000 examples. Those annotations had been supplied by humans. But it’s much easier to label 2,000 examples than to label 2 million. And the MIT researchers’ network, trained first on unlabeled video, significantly outperformed all previous networks trained solely on the 2,000 labeled examples.


Yahoo hack

Like InfoWorld itself, InfoWorld’s Technology of the Year Awards have always been about change. We keep an eye out for the platforms and tools pushing against the barriers in application development, mobile, cloud computing, and in other corners of information technology, and we bring them in for review. At the end of the year, we get together and decide which are the very best.

It should be obvious to everyone that technology is evolving faster than ever, and we found ourselves working overtime in 2014 trying to keep up. New languages, frameworks, and platforms for building enterprise mobile apps — invariably powered by Node.js — demanded our attention. The arrival of Java 8 prompted refreshes of the major Java IDEs. The PaaS wars led us to the inevitable dilemma: Cloud Foundry or OpenShift? OpenShift took the crown this year, but keep an eye on IBM Bluemix in 2015.

Little big iron

Even data center hardware is evolving at a breakneck pace as the vendors work to shove more compute power, more IO, and more storage into smaller spaces.

One of our hardware winners, HP Moonshot, packs a whopping 45 server cartridges — ARM, Atom, Opteron, or Xeon — into a 4.3U chassis. With energy-sipping cartridges designed for specific workloads such as virtual desktops and distributed data processing, Moonshot is a triumph of high density and high efficiency.

Another winner, the Dell PowerEdge R730xd, brings together so much flash, disk, and elegance, it makes an ideal platform for software-defined storage solutions such as VMware’s remarkable Virtual SAN (also a winner). The R730xd shows that innovation still lives in 2U, two-socket servers.

It’s fascinating what some vendors can do with commodity parts. The magic, of course, is in the software. In the Tintri VMstore, for example, the Tintri OS uses inline deduplication, compression, and other tricks to turn one part MLC flash and 10 parts SATA disk into something akin to an all-flash array for virtual machines. Lightning-fast flash delivers the IO, while disk provides the capacity.

Managing storage with Tintri might seem magical because Tintri operates exclusively in terms of virtual machines and virtual disks, rather than intermediate concepts like LUNs and volumes. After all, isn’t it high time we assumed that all machines are virtual machines?

You might think so … until something better comes along — say, like Linux containers, which offer the isolation of a virtual machine in a much lighter footprint. Think tiny, OS-less VMs with an instant-on button.

Container craze

It’s a rare product that earns a Technology of the Year Award before reaching version 2. But have we ever seen anything like Docker? A new tool for building, running, and sharing Linux containers, Docker addresses so many pain points in application development and application lifecycle management, it would be difficult to overestimate its impact. Docker makes it easy to ensure that applications are built the same way every time and run exactly the same in development, testing, and production.Docker helps streamline and simplify devops. Developers own what’s inside the container, and operators own what’s on the outside.

Docker is even changing how applications are designed (as loosely coupled containers running microservices) and how the operating system is conceived (as a minimalist runtime for containers). It’s an ambitious project with big issues remaining to be solved (networking, security, orchestration), but it has broad industry support and a rapidly growing user base. It’s exactly the sort of technology that the Technology of the Year Awards were made for.

After so much experimentation in 2013, it was an oddly quiet year in mobile devices, with Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus the clear highlights. Apple impressed us even more with Handoff, a feature in the latest versions of OS X and iOS that allows you to begin a note or an email or another task on one device, and pick up right where you left off on another. Dubbed “liquid computing” by my InfoWorld colleague Galen Gruman, Handoff is the kind of innovation that really matters to users and an easy pick for a Technology of the Year Award.

Something old, something new

The Technology of the Year winners circle is usually a gathering of both established products and young upstarts. We’ve seen the iPhone on this list before, and the same can be said for Node.js, the nimble JavaScript server, and GitHub, the new center of the universe for open source code. One of this year’s winners, Microsoft Office for iOS, might count as both established product and upstart. It’s certainly the first non-Windows Microsoft product to win our award — another sign of how fast the technology landscape is changing.

Technology of the Year veteran Hadoop has owned the big data stage for years, but the time has finally arrived for the elephant to share the spotlight. Recent versions of Hive, a companion Apache project, finally deliver on the promise of real-time, SQL-like queries of Hadoop data, moving us closer to the day when the open source big data stack can replace the traditional enterprise data warehouse.

The push toward real-time and event stream processing is also shifting attention to projects such as Apache Spark and Apache Storm. Spark offers an ingenious way to do distributed processing in memory, and it can run on Hadoop or a stand-alone cluster. Storm is a distributed stream processing system that integrates with any message queue and any database, and work is underway to integrate it with Hadoop.

So just as Hadoop has been freed from the bonds of MapReduce and batch processing, these fresh new options for distributed, real-time processing have emerged to take their place alongside it. They also take a place alongside 30 other 2015 Technology of the Year Award winners.


Yahoo hack

Building a brand online is an important part of business development. This is especially true if your business is primarily concerned with online sales and services.It is important for the success of your business to create a brand that stands out among the crowd and creating an effective web page might be the first step towards it.A professionally designed website with appropriate images and posts can add significant value to your brand.Website branding is all about creating a certain kind of impression about your organization and the products you offer. When you combine the knowledge of what you want with the technical expertise of web development experts, you are all set for the perfect branding exercise that will see your business generate exponential revenues.

Yahoo hack

Verizon Communications Inc said on Thursday it has a “reasonable basis” to believe Yahoo Inc’s massive data breach of email accounts represents a material impact that could allow Verizon to withdraw from its $4.83 billion deal to buy the technology company.

Verizon’s general counsel Craig Silliman told reporters at a roundtable in Washington the data breach could trigger a clause in the deal that would allow the U.S. wireless company not to complete it.

“I think we have a reasonable basis to believe right now that the impact is material and we’re looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact. If they believe that it’s not then they’ll need to show us that,” he said, declining to comment on whether talks are under way to renegotiate the purchase price.

Asked for comment, a Yahoo spokesman said: “We are confident in Yahoo’s value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon.”

The deal has a clause that says Verizon can withdraw if a new event “reasonably can be expected to have a material adverse effect on the business, assets, properties, results of operation or financial condition of the business.”

Silliman said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has approved Verizon’s planned acquisition of Yahoo, but it still needs approval from the European Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing the proxy.

Verizon has had preliminary briefings from Yahoo but it still needs “significant information” from the company before it makes a final decision on the materiality of the hacking of at least 500 million email accounts, Silliman said.

He said Verizon is “absolutely evaluating (the breach) and will make determinations about whether and how to move forward with the deal based on our evaluation of the materiality.”

Yahoo shares ended 1.75 per cent lower at $41.62, while Verizon was largely unchanged, closing at $50.29, down 0.02 per cent.

Yahoo in September disclosed that it had fallen victim to a data breach in 2014 that compromised users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords.

The company has said the cyber attack was carried out by a “state-sponsored” actor, but some private security experts have challenged that assertion.

Several Democratic senators have pressed Yahoo to reveal more information about the hack and why it took so long to discover.

The internet firm said it learned of the breach this summer while investigating claims of a separate intrusion, but it has not provided a specific timeline of events.

Some analysts suggested Verizon may be trying to get a better price.

Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, said “Verizon is rightfully upset about Yahoo not properly disclosing the breach.”


Google is serving a new morsel for fans of its Android software: The next version has been dubbed “Nougat,” extending Google’s tradition of nicknaming each overhaul of Android after a sweet food.The Nougat name comes seven weeks after Google sought suggestions during its annual conference for software engineers.Nougat is scheduled to be released in new smartphones this fall when the makers of existing Android devices will also be able to enable updates to the new software. Nougat’s new features will include the ability to run apps without actually installing them on a device.The nicknames for earlier Android versions have included Marshmallow, Lollipop, KitKat, Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread.Google commemorates the different Android nicknames with statues near its Mountain View, California, headquarters.


Microsoft kicked off the Windows 10 distribution strategy in early 2015 when they announced that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8. The company then moved on with a succession of schemes, including letting customers “reserve” a copy of the upgrade; downloading the upgrade bits in the background to those ‘users’ machines; and finally, saying it would automatically push the Windows 10 upgrade to all eligible PCs, then initiate the upgrade process. Even then, Microsoft promised that customers would have the opportunity to cancel the upgrade once it began, and if they were unsatisfied. The windows 10 users know that this is just ‘name sake’ and cancelling the move was an impossibility. Such a move would be unprecedented for the software industry historically. Upgrades have always been optional. The logic of a “you-must- upgrade” step is inacceptable.


Facebook has just extended its reach in the Indian market with its new venture of offering local businesses information accessible via The social network’s hyperlocal listing of service providers include listing of over 80 services ranging from plumbing, event planners, health, financial, beauty, home care, pet services and DIY services with user ratings. The service allows user to select a particular area and the service type to get the desired results.
As per a report, Facebook has over 2 million registered vendors and businesses in the SME sector on its platform. With this integration, Facebook can help those vendors reach the right audience and also the user would able to filter, and see the right seller.
The service will help the users find the best local services and organisations based on their reviews and ratings on Facebook with the businesses phone numbers, website links and work timings. However, users will not be able to make bookings and will be directed to the website, phone number, or email linked to the service.
Facebook has been testing this feature since November last year and had already launched the portal in the US market. In India, the new service will compete with some known names such as UrbanClap, QuickrServices, Zopper, Mr. Right etc. These platforms charge a small fee from the businesses to be featured on their platform. However at this stage we are not sure of how Facebook will handle the monetary aspects of these new services. As noted, Facebook is the largest social network in the world and it’s quite logical for the company to enter the hyperlocal arena.