Privacy Concerns Prompt BlackBerry to Leave Pakistan Mobile Market

Today's topics include BlackBerry exiting the Pakistan market, 5 million consumers are at risk after a VTech breach, Microsoft announced the release of Visual Studio 2015 Update 1, and Amazon Unveils its latest package delivery drone prototype.

BlackBerry is exiting the Pakistan mobile communications marketplace on Dec. 30 after the country's government said it would begin to monitor all email and SMS messaging traffic over BlackBerry's servers.

The Pakistani government's action, and BlackBerry's decision to pull out of the country in response, was announced by Marty Beard, the company's chief operating officer, in a Nov. 30 post on the Inside BlackBerry Blog. Beard attributed the move to privacy concerns for users.

Consumer electronics vendor VTech Holdings warned today of a data breach that affects 5 million customers on its Learning Lodge app store database.

Those affected include children as well as parents registered with VTech to obtain kid-friendly apps and educational content.

The breach occurred on Nov. 14, but VTech did not become aware of the attack until Nov. 24. According to VTech officials, no credit card data, Social Security numbers or driver license numbers are included in the breached database.

Microsoft today announced the release of Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 and Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 1. The releases include an array of new features and additions, such as .NET Framework 4.6.1, editor support for new languages and more.

In a blog post on the new release, John Montgomery, director of program management for Visual Studio, said the Visual Studio editor now provides built-in syntax highlighting and basic IntelliSense support for languages, including Go, Java, Perl, R, Ruby and Swift.

Amazon has unveiled a new drone prototype aircraft for its still-in-development Prime Air package delivery system. The newest model takes off and lands vertically but flies on a horizontal path to its destination.

The company showed off its latest drone design in a 2-minute, 17-second video it posted on its Website on Nov. 29, highlighting a smooth vertical takeoff, a flight to drop off a package of soccer shoes to a consumer and then a vertical landing at the shopper's home.

The drone is a flat-looking flying machine with a triple rudder tail and three landing wheels. Its engine is mounted at the rear in the center of the vertical rudders.

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