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Intel to Replace CEO Bob Swan With VMware Chief Pat Gelsinger

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Chipmaker Intel said on Wednesday it would replace Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger beginning February 15.

The company’s shares were up more than 8 percent in morning trading.

Intel, long the world leader in chip-making technology, has lost its manufacturing edge in recent years and is now debating whether to outsource some of it flagship central processor unit chips, or CPUs, slated for release in 2023. Activist investor Third Point LLC last month sent Intel’s board a letter asking it to consider whether to keep its chip design and manufacturing operations under one roof.

Gelsinger, a former Intel executive, has served as the CEO of VMware since 2012. During that time, he successfully guided the company, whose software helps companies squeeze more work out of data center servers, through the transition from privately owned data centers to public cloud providers, in part by striking a seminal deal with Amazon’s Amazon Web Services.

Gelsinger joined Intel when he was 18, and the company helped him attend Santa Clara University and Stanford University as he spent 30 years there. In a letter to Intel’s employees, Gelsinger likened the move to coming “home.”

“Having begun my career at Intel and learned at the feet of Grove, Noyce, and Moore, it’s my privilege and honour to return in this leadership capacity,” Gelsinger said in a statement. “I have tremendous regard for the company’s rich history and powerful technologies that have created the world’s digital infrastructure.”

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Gelsinger had turned down the top Intel job before, and it was not immediately clear what had changed his mind.

Third Point’s Dan Loeb had sent a letter to Intel’s board of directors late last month urging the company to rein in an outflow of engineers to rival firms, though he stopped short of blaming Swan for the company’s troubles.

On January 4, Swan met with Third Point Chief Executive Dan Loeb and Intel Chairman Omar Ishrak, according to a person familiar with the matter. Loeb pushed Intel to find new executives and potential new board members and held at least one followup meeting.

VMware said it was initiating a CEO search and that Zane Rowe, the company’s chief financial officer, would serve as its interim chief after Gelsinger departs on February 12.

Intel on Wednesday also said that it expects to beat its financial forecast for the fourth quarter of 2020 and that it has made “strong progress” in addressing issues with its 7-nanometer chip manufacturing technology.

“From a credibility standpoint, he’s great – he’s probably the one at the top of most people’s list for who they would want to see,” Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Bernstein, said of Gelsinger’s appointment.

“He had a long career there and he’s technical, so he can address both the technical issues and cultural issues. The issue is, what’s the ship look like that he’s going to be running? The next two or three years are set in stone regardless of who is there.”

Swan, a former chief financial officer from eBay, had served as Intel’s finance chief and was named its interim CEO when Brian Krzanich resigned in June 2018. Swan was made permanent chief in early 2019 after an extensive search failed to yield an external candidate.

© Thomson Reuters 2020


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BuyUcoin Cryptocurrency User Data Allegedly Affecting Lakhs of People Leaked on the Dark Web

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Banking and KYC information of lakhs of users of BuyUcoin, which trades bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, has allegedly been leaked on the dark web. The details included the names, email addresses, mobile numbers, order information, and deposit history of users, according to a security researcher. The data dump available on the dark Web also appears to have bank details including bank names and account numbers, as well as know-your-customer (KYC) information that includes PAN and passport numbers of the people using BuyUcoin platform. The company has however denied the leak and said the surfaced data dump was of some dummy accounts.

Cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia told Gadgets 360 that he found the data dump on the dark Web earlier this week. It included the details of more than three lakh BuyUcoin users, he said. The Delhi-NCR-based company claims to have over 3.5 lakh users in total.

The researcher said BuyUcoin appeared to have faced a data breach in September last year that resulted in the latest leak on the dark Web. Alongside user details, the data dump included a folder with admin credentials that could be used to access the server, he noted.

Rajaharia stated that the dump was posted on the dark Web by Shiny Hunters, the hacker group that allegedly leaked the data of BigBasket and JusPay in the recent past.

The leaked data could be used by bad actors to run fraudulent attacks against individuals, the researcher said. He also added that the data could also enable hackers to understand the credit score of the victims using transaction details.

BuyUcoin CEO and Co-founder Shivam Thakral denied the leak. “We would like to reiterate the fact that only dummy data of 200 entries was impacted which was immediately recovered and secured by our automated security systems,” he told Gadgets 360 over email.

However this might not be correct, as a person whose data was revealed in the data dump came forward to Gadgets 360 and said that their bank and KYC details were revealed.

“What if a bad actor would use any of the leaked user accounts in any illegal crypto activity?” asked Rajaharia while countering the company’s rejection of the data leak. “Who will be responsible in such a case? Crypto data leak may become a very serious issue as the data could be used in illegal activities in many ways in such cases. It’s the company’s responsibility to inform affected users and protect data instead of making any false claims.”

Thakral however denied the leak again, and responded by saying that it was just a hoax to defame the company.

“These people who reached out to journalists are friends of hackers, they are just showing our email IDs are there,” he said. “This doesn’t make sense to me.” But a part of the data dump, as seen by Gadgets 360, contained these details for a huge number of users, so it appears to be a real dump, and hopefully the company is investigating the matter.

No bitcoins or any other cryptocurrencies appear to have been stolen in the leak. However, in the past, there have been instances of cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets getting hacked and bitcoins being stolen.

In April 2020, a hacker exploited a security flaw in Bisq bitcoin exchange and stole more than $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.82 crores) worth of cryptocurrency from users. Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms, also saw a data breach in May 2019 in which hackers were able to steal over $40 million (roughly Rs. 290 crores).


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Elon Musk to Offer $100-Million Prize for ‘Best’ Carbon Capture Technology

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Tesla chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk took to Twitter to promise a $100-million (roughly Rs. 730 crores) prize for development of the “best” technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.

Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.

The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.

“Am donating $100M (roughly Rs. 730 crores) towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk wrote in a tweet, followed by a second tweet that promised “Details next week.”

Tesla officials did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Musk, who co-founded and sold Internet payments company PayPal, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world.

Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.

Newly-sworn-in US President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the US Department of Energy.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Samsung Rolls Back Android 11-Based One UI 3.0 Update for Galaxy S10 Series, Could Be Due to Bugs: Report

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Samsung is pulling the stable Android 11-based One UI 3.0 update for the entire Samsung Galaxy S10 series, as per a report. The Samsung Galaxy S10 devices in Switzerland were the first to receive the update in the first week of January. The update had also started rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S10 and Samsung Galaxy S10e devices in India. But the update is no longer available for Galaxy S10 series devices. While Samsung hasn’t revealed the reason behind it, reports indicate that it has been done because of bugs in the firmware.

A report by SamMobile says that Samsung has pulled the Android 11-based One UI 3.0 update for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series devices. This applies to over-the-air updates and the ones installed through SmartSwitch.

While Samsung hasn’t revealed the reason behind this major step back, it is likely because of certain bugs in the firmware. Some Samsung Galaxy S10 series users have complained about camera blur and the device heating up following the update, as per the report. The firmware could also have some unreported bugs. There is no word so far on when Samsung might resume the Android 11-based One UI 3.0 update rollout.

Samsung Galaxy S10e and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G devices in Switzerland had started receiving the stable update in the first week of January, carrying the firmware version G97xFXXU9ETLJ. The update started rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Samsung Galaxy S10e handsets in India just a couple of days ago, carrying firmware versions G970FXXU9ETLJ/ G970FOXM9ETLJ/ G970FXXU9ETLJ.

The update for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series came with the January 2021 Android security patch, along with Android 11 and One UI 3.0 features.


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