Why Google Internet Traffic Rerouted Through China and Russia

For two hours Monday, internet traffic that was supposed to route through Google’s Cloud Platform instead found itself in quite unexpected places, including Russia and China. But while the haphazard routing invoked claims of traffic hijacking—a real threat, given that nation states could use the technique to spy on web users or censor services—the incident turned out to be a simple mistake with outsized impacts.

Google noted that almost all traffic to its services is encrypted, and wasn’t exposed during the incident no matter what. As traffic pinballed across ISPs, though, some observers, including the monitoring firm ThousandEyes, saw signs of malicious BGP hijacking—a technique that manipulates the web’s Border Gateway Protocol, which helps ISPs automatically collaborate to route traffic seamlessly across the web.

ThousandEyes saw Google traffic rerouting over the Russian ISP TransTelecom, to China Telecom, toward the Nigerian ISP Main One. “Russia, [...]  read more

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Intel’s ‘neural network on a stick’ brings AI training to you

Edge devices are generally defined as any piece of hardware that controls the flow of data between the boundaries of two networks. These include not just routers, switches and gateways but also a range IoT gadgets like Ring doorbell cameras, industrial robots, smart medical devices or self-guided camera drones. Intel’s NCS2 is essentially a self-contained neural network on a thumbdrive and should make developing those sorts of devices faster and easier by offloading much of the processing power required to train them to its onboard Movidius Myriad X vision processing unit (VPU).

NCS2a

“We can do some incredible things with artificial intelligence, and one of the fastest growing data types, as we all know, is video data,” Steen Graham, General Manager of Channels and Ecosystem in Intel’s Internet of Things group, told reporters during a press call on Friday. “The camera is the ultimate sensor.”

Basically, it enables you to develop AI algorithms and computer [...]  read more

Loans marketplace Mintos scores €5M Series A and plans to launch a debit card

Mintos, the Latvian fintech that operates a global loans marketplace to let you invest in loans from various loan originators, has raised €5 million in Series A funding. Backing the startup once again is the Riga-based venture capital firm Grumpy Investments (previously known as Skillion Ventures). More noteworthy, the new capital will be used to launch a Mintos banking account and debit card, significantly expanding the company’s offering.

“Both banking account and the card in our opinion is a natural step in our journey of revolutionising financial services through technology and serving our investors and will nicely complement our current offering of investments in loans, and low-fee mid-market rate currency exchange,” Mintos co-founder and CEO Martins Sulte tells me. “This development also means that, theoretically, our investors won’t need their banks anymore”.

The Mintos banking account will act like any other IBAN account. You’ll be able to receive a salary into [...]  read more

Spotify officially available in MENA

Music fans rejoice – if you’re tired of listening to radio stations with overly-enthusiastic DJs and a million ad breaks, then you’ll be glad to know that Spotify has finally launched in the MENA region.

The launch is across thirteen countries in the region, including UAE, KSA, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Palestine. With the launch in MENA, Spotify’s global reach expands to 78 markets worldwide.

Spotify will support a full-localized Arabic interface and locally-curated playlists, offering over 40m songs in local and international music, as well as its discovery and music recommendation features.

“I am super excited to share with you that, from today, Spotify is now available across the Middle East and North Africa,” said Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s Global Head of Markets. “Spotify is launching in MENA with a full Arabic service, dozens of locally-curated playlists for every mood and moment, and access to a full catalog [...]  read more

Climate Change: The Complete WIRED Guide

The world is busted. For decades, scientists have carefully accumulated data that confirms what we hoped wasn’t true: The greenhouse gas emissions that have steadily spewed from cars and planes and factories, the technologies that powered a massive period of economic growth, came at an enormous cost to the planet’s health. Today, we know that absent any change in our behavior, the average global temperature will rise as much as 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Global sea levels will rise by up to 6 feet. Along with those shifts will come radical changes in weather patterns around the globe, leaving coastal communities and equatorial regions forever changed—and potentially uninhabitable.

Strike that. We are already seeing the effects of a dramatically changed climate, from extended wildfire seasons to worsening storm surges. Now, true, any individual weather anomaly is unlikely to be solely the result of industrial emissions, and maybe your particular part of the world [...]  read more

Snap is being probed over its IPO because some investors are salty about losing money

Here’s something I didn’t expect to read today. The U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Snap for details on its IPO apparently in connection with a lawsuit from disgruntled shareholders who claim the company played down its rivalry with Instagram.

Reuters first reported on the subpoenas which Snap has confirmed. Precise details aren’t clear at this point but Snap told Reuters that the probe is likely “related to the previously disclosed allegations asserted in the class action about our IPO disclosures.”

Snap went public last March with sharing popping over 40 percent on its debut to give it a valuation of $30 billion. It’s market cap today is a more modest $8.9 billion due to numerous factors including, most prominently, the efforts of rival Facebook to compete with Instagram, which has rolled out a series of features that mimic Snap’s core user experience.

That cloning has taken its toll on Snap’s business.

Today,  [...]  read more

Spotify makes its official debut on the Apple Watch

Spotify has been testing a beta version of its music streaming app for the Apple Watch for a few months now, but today a public version makes its official debut. However, like the beta, the first version of the Spotify app is rather bare bones.

In its present form, it’s essentially a remote on your wrist to control playback on iPhones or on Spotify Connect devices from the Apple Watch screen. Users will be able to select playlists, shuffle and skip songs or podcast episodes, access recently played items and favorite tracks.  

When using the app on the Watch, the traditional ‘Now Playing’ screen will be replaced by Spotify’s own interface, giving easy access to controls, including the ability to move forward or back by 15 seconds on podcasts.

 [...]  read more

Biotech holding company Roivant Sciences raised $200M in funding at a whopping $7B valuation

Roivant Sciences has had a bumpy couple of years, but that isn’t stopping investors from pouring more money into the four-year-old company, which aims to one day be a giant holding company for dozens of independent biopharmaceutical spinoffs — and is fulfilling that vision by creating one independent company at a time.

Roivant’s newest financing event: a $200 million raise at a post-money valuation of $7 billion, led by NovaQuest Capital Management, which is an investor in two of Roivant’s companies; RTW Investments, a young investment firm focused on biopharma; and an unnamed “large U.S. insurance company,” according to a company spokesman.

The round follows a $1.1 billion round led last year by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which Roivant now says was closed at a post-money valuation of $5.6 million, though it didn’t necessarily look like [...]  read more

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is up for pre-order on PS4

After recent leaks all but confirmed that PUBG was coming to PS4 in December, Sony has officiated the news with a firm launch date and the availability of pre-orders.

On the official PlayStation site, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently up for pre-order in three different editions, all with a release date of December 7, 2018.

PlayStation players will be diving into a more well-rounded and full-featured game when compared to the earlier PC and Xbox launches, with the PS4 edition shipping with all major updates and patches thus far. 

It will also feature all three currently available maps – Erangel, Miramar, and Sanhok – with the winter-themed Vikendi to arrive shortly after launch.

The base game is called the Looter’s Edition, seemingly because you’ll have to start from scratch with your in-game wallet empty of both G-Coins and BP, the game’s two native currencies used to purchase skins and other items.

Or, you could spend considerably more and grab the Survivor’s [...]  read more

Meet Jennifer Tejada, the secret weapon of one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing enterprise software startups

https://www.s28capital.com/

PagerDuty, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based company that sends companies information about their technology, doesn’t receive a fraction of the press that other fast-growing enterprise software companies receive. In fact, though it counts as customers heavyweight companies like CapitalOne, Spotify, and Netflix; it employs 500 employees; and it has five offices around the world, it has largely operated out of the spotlight.

That’s changing. For one thing, the company is now a so-called unicorn, after raising $90 million in a round led by Wellington and T. Rowe Price that brought its total funding to $173 million and its valuation to $1.3 billion. Crowded as the unicorn club may be these days, that number, and those backers, makes PagerDuty a startup of interest to a broader circle of industry watchers.

Another reason you’re likely to start hearing more about PagerDuty is its CEO of three years,  [...]  read more