Daily Video: Microsoft Asks U.S. Government for Surveillance Reform

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-03-26 Print this article Print

Microsoft petitions U.S. Government for surveillance reform; Intel's upcoming Xeon Phi will include 384GB of DDR4 memory; Millennials like their privacy, but give it away freely; and there's more.

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Microsoft is once again imploring government leaders to rein in the National Security Agency.

Fred Humphries, vice president of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft, announced that the company is calling for reforms to the USA Patriot Act that will end bulk data collection and allow companies to be transparent about information requests.

Microsoft, in the midst of its transition from a PC software maker to a "cloud-first" company, is worried that government attempts to access or intercept private user data will throw a wrench into the growing market for cloud computing services.

Intel executives are continuing to slowly release new details on the company's upcoming Knights Landing server processor, the next generation of its many-core Xeon Phi chip due out in the second half of the year.

Knights Landing will offer up to 384GB of native DDR4 memory (delivered via six channels) and up to 36 PCIe 3.0 lanes for faster I/O capabilities, company officials said during a briefing with about a dozen journalists at Intel's offices in Hillsboro, Ore.

The Millennials—people age 18 to 35—consider themselves the most privacy-aware users of mobile devices. But in reality, they take the most risks, according to a survey of smartphones users by mobile-security firm Lookout.

The company surveyed 1,012 mobile users in late January and early February and found that 41 percent thought they firmly grasped the privacy implications of mobile devices.

Yet more than a third of those privacy-savvy users connect to public WiFi networks, fail to set a passcode to lock their smartphones and download apps from unofficial marketplaces.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies' Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed DIODE, or the Directed Integer Overflow Detection system, which is a debugging algorithm that checks for integer overflows, which are one of the most common bugs in computer programs.

Integer overflows not only cause programs to crash, but also provide inviting avenues of attack for malicious hackers. The researchers tested the DIODE algorithm on five common open-source programs in which previous analyses had found three bugs. The new algorithm found all three known bugs along with 11 new ones.


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