Smart apps blur the line between human and machine | U.S. expands cybersecurity information sharing under executive order | How to make hybrid pricing work with IT services deals
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March 11, 2013
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The Game Changer
China: New rules are needed to combat cyberattacks
China's leaders want global rules and collaborative action to combat cyberattacks. They say claims that China is responsible for hacking and espionage incidents against the U.S. aren't true. "Cyberspace needs not war, but rules and cooperation. We oppose cyberspace becoming a new battlefield and ... using the Internet as a new tool to interfere in another country's internal affairs," said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/10), News Service (3/11)
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Emerging Tools
Smart apps blur the line between human and machine
Next-generation assistant applications use artificial intelligence to engage in proactive decision making. These apps can automatically communicate for users, inaugurating a new era of human-machine interaction and helping consumers and workers do more with less. So-called smart apps, such as Apple's Siri service, Google Now and Indigo, can make it easier for users to find solutions to common problems. Computerworld (3/9)
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Security Update
U.S. expands cybersecurity information sharing under executive order
Defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have joined a Department of Homeland Security information sharing program formed by President Barack Obama's executive order on cybersecurity, which will give the companies access to classified data needed to prevent cyberattacks. AT&T and CenturyLink are also taking part in the initiative. Participants in the DHS Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program will receive information such as coding and timestamps utilized in attacks, which they can use to bolster their cybersecurity offerings. Bloomberg (3/11)
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Tech Business
How to make hybrid pricing work with IT services deals
Traditional pricing strategies for IT services aren't working well for customers or resellers, especially in light of cloud-based options. So both sides are beginning to embrace more hybrid pricing approaches, though some challenges come with the move. Tech firms need to make sure their pricing aligns with customers' needed services, experts say. (3/8)
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Managing IT
Keep a lost mobile device from becoming a security nightmare
Before launching a bring-your-own-device initiative, companies need to be aware of the potential pitfalls that await them and adapt their policies to ease such difficulties, experts say. Lost or stolen devices can offer an open door for access into corporate networks, but that door can be closed by establishing rules that require employees to use a PIN and report losses as soon as they are discovered, says Endre Walls, chief technology officer of the nonprofit Resources for Human Development. Network World (3/11)
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Data from spy badges can boost productivity, companies say
Equipping workers with badges that track their activity and conversation style helped lead to productivity increases of 10% or more, according to a Bank of America study. The technology appears to be legal but might not be popular with workers. "Do you really want your employers following around what you are doing? It's a creepy way to work," says Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute. The Wall Street Journal (3/7)
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Most Clicked
Geeking Out
Astronomers say pre-Big Bang star is oldest ever dated
A group of astronomers is closer to determining the age of one of the oldest stars in the universe, finding it was formed as many as 14.5 billion years ago. That means it could be older than the estimated age of the universe. The age of the "Methuselah star," which was discovered decades ago and continues to confound scientists with its seemingly pre-Big Bang age, was deciphered using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. TG Daily (3/9)
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief's inside look at #SXSW
SmartBrief is attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, with tweeting @SmartBrief and blogging at SmartBlogs. Here's some of our coverage so far.
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The demand is there. I think the priority is there, and the threat is serious."
-- Steve Hawkins, vice president of information security solutions for Raytheon, as quoted by Bloomberg
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