The outbound exec of Wikipedia's tin-rattling nonprofit has admitted the organisation wastes public donations – and says procedures should be fundamentally changed to avoid corruption and self-interest.
In a candid statement, Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, says she wants the worker bees rewarded – the editors who spend hours of unpaid time on Wikipedia – instead of the local chapters of bureaucrats who receive the money today.
"I wonder whether it might make more sense for the movement to focus a larger amount of spending on direct financial support for individuals working in the projects," she wrote.
Gardner was instrumental in raising Wikipedia's warchest and WMF's staffing. In 2011/12 - the last year for which figures are available - the Foundation raised $38.4m, up from $5m in 2007/08. Read more...
Apple's iOS mobile platform and the iPhones that run it are gaining smartphone market share in the U.S., according to a newly released report -- reversing the gains made in recent years by chief competitor Android. But the data does not necessarily mean iPhones and iOS will soon dominate the rest of the world, too.
ComScore's August market share report, based on user surveys and monitoring of Web traffic sources, has Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., based on number of subscribers. Apple was followed by Samsung, HTC, and Motorola in number of smartphone subscribers.
The iOS platform, meanwhile, had a 40.7 percent market share -- an increase of 1.5 percent over ComScore's May report, when Apple's mobile operating system had a 39.2 percent market share. Apple still trailed Google's Android platform, which had a 51.6 percent share, but iOS's gain from May was countered by Android's loss of 0.8 percentage points in the same period. Read more...
Following mounting pressure from data protection agencies (DPAs) in different European countries, Google has started offering so-called data processing agreements to websites using its Google Analytics suite in the European Union, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.
Up to now Google did not provide such contracts because it maintains that it does not process personal data. Since 2011 it has offered such agreements only in Germany, after demands from the German DPA.
In October last year the European Union's council of DPAs, the so-called Article 29 Working Party, asked Google to make the agreements available E.U.-wide. The issue is part of a wider ongoing investigation into Google's privacy policies by DPAs in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. Read more...
BlackBerry has reportedly asked Cisco, Google, SAP, Intel, LG and Samsung separately to consider buying all or parts of its embattled company.
According to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources, BlackBerry has asked each of the six companies for preliminary expressions of interest by early this week.
Potential buyers would be most interested in BlackBerry's patents and its secure network -- not its smartphone business, the sources said.
If BlackBerry finds any takers from among the six companies, it would come in addition to the preliminary deal the company already has with Fairfax Financial Holdings. Fairfax wants to take BlackBerry private for $4.7 billion. Read more...
Northeast Utilities in Connecticut Tuesday confirmed that it plans to turn over part of its IT operations to two India-based outsourcing firms, despite a recent push by state lawmakers to keep it from doing so.
NU says it employs some 400 IT workers, and "will retain about half of those employees" after turning some operations over to outsourcers Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two of India's largest IT firms.
Today's announcement makes official what had already been suspected -- the company had told its IT workers weeks ago that it was considering outsourcing tech work.
The utility, which operates New England's largest energy delivery system, today said it is "working with strategic business partners to help conduct the rest of the work - the majority of which will still be conducted locally."
NU said it expects that 40 of its affected IT employees will be rehired by the outsourcers "and will still work at NU facilities."
U.S. Dept. of Labor filings indicate that Infosys has been bringing foreign H-1B workers to an NU job site for the last two years. Read more...
SSNDOB, the Russian hacker group that over the course of many months stole massive amounts of personal data from firms like LexisNexis and Dun & Bradstreet, apparently also infiltrated the servers of the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), according to security researcher Brian Krebs.
Last week, Krebs reported how SSNDOB broke into a number of business data brokers and set up botnets to look up customers' personal data, which it then sold via its own Web portal.
On Tuesday Krebs followed up that story with more details about how SSNDOB exploited unpatched server software to perform a similar digital ransacking on the NW3C, which Krebs describes as "a congressionally-funded non-profit organization that provides training, investigative support and research to agencies and entities involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime." Read more...
Aruba Networks today announced a new Aruba Central cloud-based management service for Wi-Fi networks that could be valuable to companies with branch operations, schools and mid-sized networks where IT support is scarce.
Aruba still sells Wi-Fi access points but now is offering Aruba Central cloud management of local Wi-Fi zones, for which it charges $140 per AP annually.
The company also announced the new Aruba Instant 155 AP, a desktop model starting at $895 and available now and the Instant 225 AP for $1.295, available sometime later this month.
A new 3.3 version of the Instant OS is also available, and a new S1500 mobility access switch with 12 to 48 ports starting at $1,495 will ship in late 2013. Read more...
The arrival of Obamacare may make it easier for some employees to quit their full-time jobs to launch tech start-ups, work as a freelance consultant or pursue some other solo career path.
The insurance that's available for sign-up beginning Tuesday on the state health exchanges doesn't exclude people with pre-existing conditions or penalize them with high rates.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that anywhere from 19% to 50% of non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing condition. For older American, between 55 and 64 years of age, that figure may be as high as 86%.
Moreover, should you get sick, under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, you won't face possible loss of your health insurance or a rate spike. Read more...
The cyber criminals behind ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence, have lost access to more than a quarter of the infected machines they controlled because of an operation executed by security researchers from Symantec.
According to Symantec, the ZeroAccess botnet consists of more than 1.9 million infected computers and is used primarily to perform click fraud and Bitcoin mining in order to generate revenues estimated at tens of millions of dollars per year.
ZeroAccess has a peer-to-peer architecture where every infected computer can relay files, instructions and information to other computers -- peers -- in the botnet. This mechanism is used by its operators for command and control (C&C), making ZeroAccess more resilient to takedown attempts than botnets that depend on dedicated C&C servers. Read more...
As more people have come online, the way people search has changed - so Google has overhauled its algorithms to better deal with the vague, rambling questions we bombard it with.
The new "Hummingbird" update was announced by Google at a shock-and-awe PR event held in the Menlo Park garage where the ad-slinger spent its early years.
Though Google declined to discuss the technology underlying the algorithm – a depressing break with the past – it did tell us that Hummingbird "makes results more useful and relevant, especially when you ask Google long, complex questions."
According to Google, as time has gone on we have used more sophisticated, conversational queries, and moved away from short directed terms like, say: site:theregister 2009 + IPv6.
Today, people – knowledgable Reg readers aside, that is – are much more likely to write: IPv6 article on the register with pictures from 2009, or something equally hard to parse. Read more...
With a U.S. government shutdown looming, most everyone's asking: How will this affect me? The tech sector's no different -- and given how many government agencies deal with, use, or manage technology in some way, they've got good reason to be worried.
The good news: Not everything will be disabled. A shutdown doesn't affect the entire federal government, only those services which are deemed "nonessential" -- which works out to about 41 percent of the government's workforce; emergency management, the military, law enforcement, senators, and congressmen would stay on the job.
The bad news: A lot of what will get shut down can have a major impact on the technology world, either directly or indirectly. Read more...
BlackBerry this weekend defended its ability to continue serving enterprise customers with smartphones and secure mobile management software, responding to a Gartner report recommending that its corporate clients stop using the Canadian vendor's products.
"We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers," BlackBerry said in a statement emailed to Computerworld on Saturday.
The BlackBerry statement called the conclusions by Gartner analysts in the report "purely speculative."
In the eight-page report released on Friday, Gartner urged its enterprise clients to find alternatives to BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service servers within six months. Read more...
Current Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally has moved into second place behind former Nokia chief Stephen Elop in the betting pool as the next Microsoft CEO, according to an Irish bookmaker.
As of Monday, PaddyPower had Elop at odds of 4-to-11 in a listing of potential CEO replacements for outgoing chief Steve Ballmer, meaning someone would have to bet $110 for the chance to take away $40 in profit.
Mulally, whose name resurfaced last week as a serious candidate for the job, was at 3-to-1 odds, good enough for second on PaddyPower's chart: Wagering $100 on Mulally would, if he were named chief executive, return a profit of $300.
Kara Swisher of the AllThingsD blog, an offshoot of the Wall Street Journal, said on Friday that "sources close to the situation" reported Mulally, 68, had gone to the front of the line of potential CEOs.
Mulally has been the president and CEO of Ford Motor for seven years, and had been widely credited with guiding the automobile maker through the 2008-2009 industry crisis when the other two of the Big Three -- General Motors and Chrysler -- went bankrupt and required government bailouts to survive. Read more...
Germany's Federal Patent Court invalidated an Apple photo-management patent because Steve Jobs showed how the technology worked during a keynote months before the company applied for the patent in Europe.
The Munich-based court invalidated the Apple patent Thursday, said court spokeswoman Ariane Mittenberger-Huber in an email Friday. The validity of the patent was contested by the German subsidiary of both Google-owned Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics.
The patent, which covers the bounce-back effect in a photo gallery, was partly annulled because the relevant priority date of the application was June 2007, after Jobs demonstrated the technology on stage in January 2007 during the first iPhone keynote, she wrote. Read more...
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Tuesday called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move faster in reviewing the carrier's request to move to an all-IP, all wireless network nationwide.
In remarks at a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday morning, Stephenson said that he's encouraged that incoming FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler "knows how fast [the wireless industry] moves ...and knows that regulations can actually slow the rate."
Stephenson said he's hopeful that Wheeler and the FCC "moves along" AT&T's request, which effectively means retiring traditional wired networks.
AT&T is seeking FCC guidance on the procedures needed to discontinue traditional wired TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) telecommunications in communities around the nation and replace it with a more efficient and profitable wireless approach that also moves networks from expensive data centers into a cloud-based design. Read more...