Microsoft Rolls Out Ampere-Powered ARM-Based Azure VMs

Microsoft’s new Azure Virtual Machines, featuring Ampere Altra ARM–based processors, will be generally available on September 1, debuting in 10 Azure regions and multiple availability zones worldwide. Microsoft says the VMs can also be included in Kubernetes clusters managed using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Engineered to efficiently run scale-out, cloud-native workloads, Microsoft says that since the technology began previewing earlier this year hundreds of customers have tested the ARM-powered VMs “for web and application servers, open-source databases, microservices, Java and .NET applications, gaming, media servers and more.” Continue reading Microsoft Rolls Out Ampere-Powered ARM-Based Azure VMs

Subpoenas Fly with Tech Elite Drawn into Musk-Twitter Battle

More than 100 subpoenas have reportedly been issued in the legal battle between Elon Musk and Twitter, creating a full employment act for lawyers recruited to represent Silicon Valley’s elite. In addition to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, those summoned to speak include investor Marc Andreessen, Oracle executive chair Larry Ellison, tech investors David O. Sacks and Joe Lonsdale, and former Twitter security head Peiter Zatko. The matter is set to be heard in Delaware Chancery Court starting October 17. “Every firm in the Valley is salivating like dogs trying to get in on that action,” said University of San Francisco professor of legal ethics Carol Langford. Continue reading Subpoenas Fly with Tech Elite Drawn into Musk-Twitter Battle

Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Hotter temperatures are not only wreaking havoc on residential electric bills and power grids, but also on data centers, which are looking for reliable green backup power to prepare for “the new normal” and keep our planet’s collective knowledge accessible online through record heat. Cooling system failures resulting from the UK’s July heatwave resulted in Google Cloud’s London data centers going offline for a day, creating a ripple effect for customers as far off as the U.S. and in the Pacific region. Oracle’s London cloud-based data center was also impacted by what the company called “unseasonal temperatures.” Continue reading Tech Firms Seek Energy Alternatives to Power Data Centers

Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

Thousands of customers have built data platforms using a combination of Microsoft and Oracle technology over the years. Now, the duo is deepening the relationship with the rollout of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. The new offering lets Microsoft Azure customers access and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a friendly user interface. Those creating new Azure installations or working within existing configurations can migrate or connect to high-performance Oracle Database services such as Autonomous Database running on OCI. Continue reading Oracle, Microsoft Partner on Multi-Cloud Database Services

European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

Antitrust scrutiny under the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act is causing concern among U.S.-based cloud services providers. Cost-savings for clients who bundle services are not unusual in the cloud sector, and while some clients prefer using multiple cloud vendors, others want to take advantage of discounts. As enterprise continues to shift operations to the cloud, packages from Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Cloud find themselves subject to criticism in what some say is nothing less than a regulatory assault on vertical integration. Continue reading European Union Digital Markets Act Creates Cloud Concerns

TikTok Promises Government That User Data Will Remain Safe

In the wake of an FCC commissioner’s call to have TikTok banned from the Apple and Android stores, company CEO Shou Zi Chew issued a letter assuring senators that the China-based company is doing all it can to “remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data.” Responding to questions from nine Republicans — including ranking Senate Commerce Committee member Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) — Chew reiterated the claim that TikTok maintains American user data on servers controlled by the U.S. company Oracle, with plans for third-party audits. The dust-up follows an incendiary report by BuzzFeed News. Continue reading TikTok Promises Government That User Data Will Remain Safe

FCC’s Carr Says TikTok Should Be Banned from App Stores

TikTok is facing blowback from the Federal Communications Commission, with one member asking Apple and Google to remove the social video platform from their app stores. FCC commissioner Brendan Carr warned in a joint letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai that “TikTok is not what it appears on the surface. It’s not just an app for sharing funny videos and memes,” but a sophisticated surveillance tool “that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.” As a division of China’s ByteDance, TikTok is “required by Chinese law” to share data with the PRC government. Continue reading FCC’s Carr Says TikTok Should Be Banned from App Stores

Tech Sector Takes Hit as Startups and Stalwarts Feel the Pain

A 13-year bull run in technology startup investments has come to a halt, according to recent reports that describe a new climate of layoffs and skepticism that has resulted in valuations dropping and an exodus of funds. Rising interest rates, a palliative against 8 percent-plus inflation, have affected the investment outlook, making startups and private tech companies look overpriced. Even established public tech firms are affected, with Meta Platforms and Amazon dropping more than 30 percent this year, while Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet have logged 20 percent declines. Netflix has fallen by 69 percent. Continue reading Tech Sector Takes Hit as Startups and Stalwarts Feel the Pain

Musk, Twitter Board Sued in Wake of $7 Billion Commitment

Elon Musk revealed on Thursday he has brought in investors willing to supply $7 billion toward his Twitter buyout. On Friday, he and Twitter were sued by a Florida pension fund seeking to prevent the Tesla CEO’s proposed $44 billion takeover. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to roll his existing $1.9 billion stake into a Musk-controlled Twitter. The fresh endorsement reverses the Saudi’s stance last month, when he tweeted “I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @ElonMusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects.” Continue reading Musk, Twitter Board Sued in Wake of $7 Billion Commitment

Twitter Board Attempts to Block Musk as Equity Firms Circle

Twitter is fending-off Elon Musk’s takeover intentions with a poison-pill strategy that will make it much more costly for him to buy the company once his holdings exceed 15 percent. Although the Twitter board has yet to formally respond to Musk’s $43 billion offer of $54.20 per share, it is expected to reject it based on the defensive posture  adopted Friday. The poison-pill plan would be in effect for nearly a year, giving Twitter time to find another buyer. While Musk has not detailed how he would fund his offer, word surfaced Monday that Apollo Global Management is evaluating participation. Continue reading Twitter Board Attempts to Block Musk as Equity Firms Circle

Biden Administration Intends to Contain TikTok Security Risk

The Commerce Department is taking steps to shore-up federal rules against potential security risks from foreign-owned social platforms like ByteDance’s TikTok, expanding federal oversight to include apps that might be used by “foreign adversaries to steal or otherwise obtain data,” a recent filing in the Federal Register stipulates. The proposed rule allows the commerce secretary to designate certain foreign apps as security risks and force software connected to the Internet to submit to third-party auditing. Such audits could include monitoring logs that show user data as well as the parsing of source code. Continue reading Biden Administration Intends to Contain TikTok Security Risk

Unity Game Engine Makes ‘Digital Twins’ for Industrial Tests

Game giant Unity is using its game engine technology to help businesses make “digital twins” of real-world objects, environments and even people. These virtual entities take the brunt of testing products, machines and environments. Currently there are dozens of companies reportedly using Unity’s game engine to model digital doubles that can sub-in for robots, manufacturing lines and buildings, among other things, virtually operating and monitoring them even as they are optimized and trained. These twins rust when exposed to water and respond to things like temperature. They learn to avoid a ditch or call attention to a broken part. Continue reading Unity Game Engine Makes ‘Digital Twins’ for Industrial Tests

Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Oracle is expanding its healthcare footprint and teeing up to turbo-charge its cloud business with the $28.3 billion purchase of medical software and IT firm Cerner Corporation. Many healthcare providers use Oracle database solutions, but the company says Cerner will be “Oracle’s anchor asset to expand into healthcare.” Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said in a statement that together the firms “have the capacity to transform healthcare delivery.” The deal — the largest in Oracle’s history — will provide “overworked medical professionals” with access to Oracle’s “hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications,” Ellison added. Continue reading Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Major Security Vulnerability Triggers Worldwide Internet Crisis

The Log4j code vulnerability has the media declaring the Internet in a state of crisis. Log4j is a Java-based logging framework developers use to track user activity within applications on the popular Apache web server. Security experts are rushing to patch the bug, which is being exploited to remotely assume control of vulnerable systems, stealing credentials, installing malware and launching other attacks that permeate consumer devices. Last week, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a Log4j alert, as did Australia’s CERT emergency response team. Continue reading Major Security Vulnerability Triggers Worldwide Internet Crisis

Google Cloud Lands Exchange Giant CME in $1B Equity Deal

Google has purchased $1 billion of CME Group’s stock in a deal that will move the financial giant’s core trading systems to the Google Cloud. This 10-year partnership is all but guaranteed to boost Google Cloud’s bottom line, as well as improve its fourth-place market share. Google Finance calls Chicago-based CME “the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange,” trading in asset classes that span agricultural, currencies, energy, stock indexes, cryptocurrencies and more. However, the financial-services sector has lagged behind other industries when it comes to moving to the cloud, partly due to regulatory oversight and security concerns regarding client data. Continue reading Google Cloud Lands Exchange Giant CME in $1B Equity Deal