Why Apple’s future’s up on ransomware

This week’s big security story is the so-called ‘Petya’ ransomware attack. It is not the first such attack, won’t be the last, and its success will prompt cybercriminals to attack again, and again, and again. In this new threat environment, there are zero excuses for any enterprise, public or private, to be running Windows XP, or any other insecure platform.

Even the cops

Chronic underfunding and a conservative government ideologically committed to cuts mean key UK public services remain under threat of cyberattack. In recent weeks, the National Health Service saw its computing systems fail because they relied too much on unprotected Windows systems. This morning we learned that the UK’s Metropolitan Police force still uses over 18,000 computers running Windows XP. The key police force of the UK’s biggest city is therefore currently vulnerable to cyber-attack.

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Business and financeButtonwood's notebook

Can the fund management industry deliver a better deal for investors?

IMAGINE an industry where the average profit margins were 36%, where the regulator found little evidence of price competition and where the average person did not get the benefit of the lower charges available to the wealthiest customers. You would probably expect the regulator to throw a book the size of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” at it. The industry’s executives ought to be as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.

But that has not happened with the report of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Britain’s regulator, into the fund management industry. What the FCA proposes in terms of greater transparency of fees and better governance standards is fair enough. But one wonders how much difference it will make. The industry has reacted to the findings with equanimity.

Perhaps the most damning of the report’s findings is point 1.9

We find weak price competition in a number of…Continue reading

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6 ways to prevent burnout in your IT staff

IT pros everywhere feel stressed, and no wonder: Some 81% of CIOs believe that the amount of pressure on technology professionals is higher now than it was just five years ago, according to a 2016 survey of more than 2,500 CIOs conducted by IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology (RHT).

Among those working in the IT trenches, Computerworld’s 2017 IT salary survey found that 46% think their job is either stressful or very stressful, with 18% saying their job is more stressful this year than it was the previous year.

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The road to Java 9: Modular Java finally gets OK’d

Modularity, a key but highly controversial feature of the upcoming Java 9 release, looks to be back on track with the Java community’s adoption of a proposal that had failed in an initial vote weeks earlier.

With new round of voting completed this week, the Java Community Process Executive Committee passed by a 24-0 vote the Java Platform Module System public review ballot, the subject of Java Specification Request 376.

In May, the same group, citing concerns over the plan being disruptive and lacking consensus, voted the measure down, 13 to 10. In the aftermath, Java Development Kit 9, where the module system was to be delivered, was postponed from July 27 to September 21.

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