By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 30 major technology companies are joining the U.S. government to crack down on automated, prerecorded telephone calls that regulators have labeled a “scourge.” AT&T Inc , Google parent Alphabet Inc , Apple Inc , Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp are among the members of the “Robocall Strike Force,” which will work with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The group was holding its first meeting with the FCC on Friday. The strike force will report to the commission by Oct. 19 on “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” said AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson, who is chairing the group
By Alexandria Sage and Arathy S Nair SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc said it would cut nearly 7 percent of its workforce, posting charges of up to $400 million in its first quarter, as the world's largest networking gear maker shifts focus from its legacy hardware towards higher-margin software. The gradual move to fast-growing sectors such as security, the Internet of Things and the cloud is a response to sluggish demand for Cisco's traditional lineup of switches and routers from telecom carriers and enterprise customers, amid intense competition from companies such as Huawei and Juniper Networks Inc. Savings from up to 5,500 job cuts would be reinvested into key growth areas, Cisco said. “We think this is partly an effort by (CEO) Chuck Robbins to put a stake in the ground and send a message that this is going to be a leaner, meaner Cisco that is focused on driving software and recurring revenue business,” said Guggenheim Securities analyst Ryan Hutchinson.
By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – Apple Inc will boost its investment in China, one of its most important but increasingly difficult markets, and build its first Asia-Pacific research and development center in the country, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday. Demand for Apple's phones has plummeted in China, and the government maintains a wary attitude towards foreign technology. Apple's new research and development center will be built by the end of the year, Cook told Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of China's most senior officials, according to the official Chinese state broadcaster.
By Harry Pearl and Charlotte Greenfield SYDNEY (Reuters) – German tech entrepreneur and alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom will seek a review of a Federal Court decision which rejected his bid to keep hold of millions of dollars in assets held in Hong Kong and New Zealand, his lawyer said. A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled two to one on Friday that Dotcom could not recover his assets because by remaining outside the U.S., he was a fugitive, which disentitled him from using the resources to fight his case. Dotcom’s lawyer Ira P. Rothken said his client would seek a review of the decision in front of the full bench and, if necessary, petition the Supreme Court.
Airlines will likely suffer more disruptions like the one that grounded about 2,000 Delta flights this week because major carriers have not invested enough to overhaul reservations systems based on technology dating to the 1960s, airline industry and technology experts told Reuters. Airlines have spent heavily to introduce new features such as automated check-in kiosks, real-time luggage tracking and slick mobile apps. Scott Nason, former chief information officer at American Airlines Group Inc , said long-term investments in computer technology were a tough sell when he worked there.
By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tens of millions of vehicles sold by Volkswagen AG over the past 20 years, and some current models, are vulnerable to theft because keyless entry systems can be hacked using cheap technical devices, according to European researchers. Computer security experts at the University of Birmingham have published a paper outlining how they were able to clone VW remote keyless entry controls by eavesdropping nearby when drivers press their key fobs to open or lock up their cars. Vehicles vulnerable to this attack include most Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda models sold since 1995 and many of the approximately 100 million VW Group vehicles on the road since then, the researchers said.
By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space. The German automaker agreed to invest the money, which includes $1.2 billion nationally and $800 million in California, as part of its penalties for equipping hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles sold in the United States with software designed to cheat tailpipe emissions tests. While charging station companies called the money a potential “game changer,” they worry that if it is misspent, it could hurt competition.
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government said on Monday it plans to auction over 2,700 bitcoins that were forfeited during several cases, several of which stemmed from investigations of the online black market known as Silk Road. The U.S. Marshals Service said that the online auction would be held on Aug. 22, and that potential bidders must register by Aug. 18.
“This is the closest approximation to what would happen in a liquidation context,” Bitfinex said on its website early on Sunday. “Upon logging into the platform, customers will see that they have experienced a generalized loss percentage of 36.067 percent.” The company said it would also give all affected clients a “BFX” token crediting their losses that could be redeemed by the exchange or for shares in iFinex, the exchange's parent company. Bitfinex said it would explain its methodology in a later update and that it was talking to investors about how to fully compensate its customers.
By Jim Finkle LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Apple Inc said it plans to offer rewards of up to $200,000 (£152,433) to researchers who find critical security bugs in its products, joining dozens of firms that already offer payments for help uncovering flaws in their products. The maker of iPhones and iPads provided Reuters with details of the plan, which includes some of the biggest bounties offered to date, ahead of unveiling it on Thursday afternoon at the Black Hat cyber security conference in Las Vegas. The program will initially be limited to about two dozen researchers who Apple will invite to help identify hard-to-uncover security bugs in five specific categories.