Daily Tech Briefing: Sept. 18, 2014

Apple has been under a great deal of scrutiny in light of the iCloud celebrity picture hacking attack. In response, the company has tightened security by enforcing two-factor authentication for iCloud access. With two-factor authentication, a second password is required in order to log into a site or service. While Apple has offered two-factor authentication support for more than a year, it hasn't applied it to all its log-in systems. For example, at the time of the celebrity hacking incident, the Web log-in for iCloud did not require two-factor authentication. As of Sept. 17, it does.

New screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 9 operating system have surfaced online. They seem to prove rumors that the company's Cortana digital assistant is making the leap from Windows Phone to Microsoft's next desktop operating system. German technology site WinFuture published another batch of Windows 9 images that contain multiple references to Cortana, Microsoft's voice- enabled personal assistant. The new images appear to show a sample entry in the preview software's reminder application, appropriately dubbed Remind Me. One reminder makes mention of checking out Cortana.

Motorola has restocked its online supply of the new Moto 360 smartwatches, and they are now for sale on the company's Website. However, the black models of the $249.99 smartwatches sold out yet again the same day they were announced on Sept. 16, leaving only Stone Gray models available. Besides shopping on Motorola's Website, prospective buyers can also check with their local Best Buy retail stores to see if they have the watches in stock.

Cisco Systems is planning to acquire Metacloud, a private company whose offerings enable businesses run private clouds based on the OpenStack platform. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015 and will add to Cisco's Intercloud initiative, which was announced in March. This is part of Cisco's plans to create a network of OpenStack-based clouds that uses Cisco's Cloud Services architecture as the foundation and enables organizations to securely move workloads across disparate private and public clouds.

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