Month: July 2014

European Central Bank Website Hacked

European Central Bank Website Hacked

European Central Bank Website Hacked
The website of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been hacked, with personal information stolen. The hacker demanded money for stolen data, which included contact information for people who had registered for events at the ECB, the central bank said.

The ECB said that no market sensitive data or internal banking systems were compromised.

An investigation has been launched by German police.

The hacking came to light late on Monday night when an anonymous hacker contacted the bank, an ECB spokeswoman said. The anonymous hacker stole around 20,000 email addresses, and a smaller number of telephone numbers and addresses, relating to people who had registered for ECB conferences and visits.

People whose details were compromised have been informed, and passwords have been changed, the spokeswoman added. The information was stolen from a database serving the bank’s website that was physically separate from the bank’s internal systems, the ECB added.

Apple Earnings Boosted by Strong iPhone Sales

Apple Earnings Boosted by Strong iPhone Sales

Apple Earnings Boosted by Strong iPhone Sales
Apple has reported quarterly profits of $7.75bn (£4.5bn) – up 12% on the same period last year. The company sold 35.2 million iPhones from March to June, an increase of 13% from the same time in 2013.

The company is seeing strong growth in BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, and especially China where iPhone sales rose by 48%.

However, sales of its iPad tablet computer fell for the second quarter in a row, down 9% to 13.3 million. In a statement, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said he was “incredibly excited” about new operating systems for iPhones and computers as well as “new products and services that we can’t wait to introduce”.

There is much interest in the tech world about Apple’s next iPhone model.  For the last two years the company has launched a new phone in September and this year analysts are expecting phones with bigger screens. The iPhone is crucial to Apple’s success as it generates more than half of the company’s revenue.

There was some surprise among analysts that sales remained strong in the most recent quarter, as often buyers hold back if they suspect a new model will be released in the near future.

Employment minister Esther McVey. Promoting Self Employment

Employment minister Esther McVey. Promoting Self Employment

Employment minister Esther McVey. Promoting Self Employment
Employment minister Esther McVey has been telling middle-class kids they should believe setting up their own business “is every bit as good as going to university and working for a big company,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

Ms McVey told The Telegraph self-employment should be given the same social status and respect as the more conventional university route into employment. Someone should ask Richard Branson whether he thinks starting his own business was just as “good as going to university”.

Technical Problems Plague BBC Online Services

Technical Problems Plague BBC Online Services

Technical Problems Plague BBC Online Services
The BBC’s flagship iPlayer service has been hit by technical problems that started over the weekend. The catch-up service has been only intermittently available as a result.

Faults have also meant only a simplified version of the BBC’s homepage can be shown, while online video and audio clips have also been disrupted. The problems have been designated a “major incident” and work is being done to stabilise related databases.

“We are working hard to try and fix it,” said a BBC spokesman. He added that the corporation was still investigating the root cause of the problems.

The corporation put out statements via Twitter apologising several times for the inconvenience the problems were causing.

The apology did not mollify many people who strongly criticised the BBC about the length of the disruption.

The problems for the iPlayer and many other sites started on the morning of 19 July when engineers noticed that there was a “severe load” on the servers underlying the video-on-demand system.

In addition, reports reached the BBC that viewers were getting slow response times for some services or were seeing errors saying a programme or clip was not available. Soon after the BBC noticed, messages were also received from network engineers at internet service providers (ISPs) including Virgin Media, which were also logging problems with the iPlayer and other BBC video traffic.

Later in the day, the service became unavailable via the web and through smartphone apps.

Internal logs of the incident and how it was handled showed that database administrators, network engineers and system analysts were all called on to see if they could diagnose the problem and fix it.

Work continued throughout the weekend to try to stabilise the servers and database supporting the iPlayer and many other BBC services. The final fixes for the problems were expected to be applied on 21 July when the vast majority of people should be able reach the web-based video services as normal.

The BBC said it would issue a statement when it knew more about the cause of the glitches.

Google Revenue Helped by Ads as Business Boss Leaves

Google Revenue Helped by Ads as Business Boss Leaves

Google Revenue Helped by Ads as Business Boss Leaves
Internet giant Google has reported a 22% jump in revenue during the second quarter period from March to June compared with a year earlier. Revenue rose to $16bn (£9.4bn) and profits were up 6% to $3.4bn, said the firm in its earnings report.

Strong demand for Google’s advertising helped boost revenues above expectations.

Google also announced chief business officer Nikesh Arora was leaving for SoftBank. Mr Arora, who has been with Google for 10 years, will be temporarily replaced by Omid Kordestani, who was Google’s business founder and formerly led Google’s sales team.

Shares in Google rose by about 1% after the market closed.

Luxury Car Dealer Invests in the Web

Luxury Car Dealer Invests in the Web

Luxury Car Dealer Invests in the Web
One of the UK’s leading prestige car dealers is now making the Internet and the Search Engines work harder for their business. Specialising in luxury and prestigious cars, PAC Motor Company are trusted by VIP’s, business executives and celebrities throughout the UK to deliver a discreet and efficient vehicle sourcing and management service.

With over thirty years experience in the motor trade  industry, Paul Cummings, who heads up the PAC Motors has the enviable position of being well known and respected in the prestige car industry, supplying all types of prestige vehicles including Land Rover, Bentley and Ferrari to a diverse range of clients including several well known celebrities.

They are experts in prestige and specialist used car sales and can arrange the part-exchange or sale of your current vehicle for your convenience. Why not view their current range of cars available by visiting their website, http://www.pacmotorcompany.co.uk or give them a call on 0191 5675879.

Direct Submit continue to work with PAC motors to help promote their website across the Internet and in particular to the major Search Engine including Google, Yahoo and Bing. Why not give us a call on 0845 272 2350 or visit our website http://www.directsubmit.co.uk/to see how we can help make your website work harder for your business.

eBay Profits Rise Despite ‘Challenging Quarter’

eBay Profits Rise Despite ‘Challenging Quarter’

eBay Profits Rise Despite ‘Challenging Quarter’
Online retailer eBay reported profits of $676m (£395m) during the period from March to June, beating analyst expectations. Shares in the company were up by more than 1.5% in trading after the US stock market closed.

Although revenue grew by 13% to $4.4bn, that was less than hoped. “We had a challenging quarter with several distractions,” said eBay in its earnings presentation, a reference to a data breach earlier in the quarter.

In May, eBay said as many as 145 million customer accounts may have been compromised. That prompted an investigation by US, UK, and European authorities.

eBay also saw its search rankings slump and its payment chief depart during the quarter, which led to further tumult.

In a bright spot during the quarter, however, the company settled a long-running dispute with activist investor Carl Icahn, who had been calling for a spin-off of PayPal, eBay’s payment-processing arm.

Although Mr Icahn said he still thought a sale of the business was a good idea, he was mollified by eBay’s decision to act on his recommendation to appoint David Dorman, a founding partner of investment firm Centerview Capital Technology, as an independent director on its board.

Google Launches New Venture Fund

Google Launches New Venture Fund

Google Launches New Venture Fund for European Start Ups
Google is launching a venture capital fund to invest in promising European technology companies. The $100m (£58m) fund will “invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs”, according to Bill Maris, managing partner at Google Ventures, overseeing the project.

“We believe Europe’s start-up scene has enormous potential.”

The new operation will be based near London’s Silicon Roundabout start-up district. But Google is open to further geographic expansion in the future. We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others,” Mr Maris writes in a blog to announce the new fund.

The new fund will be an arm of the existing US-based fund, Google Ventures, and will be run by a team which includes angel investor Peter Read, Code.org UK head Avid Larizadeh and entrepreneur Tom Hulme.

Eze Vidra, who set up the “Google Campus” in London, an incubator for technology enterprises, is also a partner.

MG Siegler, the American venture capitalist, will liaise between the new fund and Google’s original US-based fund.

That fund, set up five years ago, has put money into more than 250 enterprises, including taxi company Uber and consumer electronics maker Nest, as well as enterprises promoting better healthcare and affordable solar power generation.

Google said it could not yet predict what type of companies would receive funding in Europe, but that the investments were for financial return rather than strategic and usually in technology and the life sciences.

 

Five People Arrested over ‘Hoax’ UK Government Websites

Five People Arrested over ‘Hoax’ UK Government Websites

Five People Arrested over ‘Hoax’ UK Government Websites
Five people have been arrested as part of a crackdown on websites made to look like official government sites. The arrests come after more than 5,700 complaints about the websites were made to the Advertising Standards Authority and Citizens Advice.

Most were linked to alleged scams over fees charged for tax return, driving licence and passport applications.

Those held last week under the Fraud Act are on police bail, trading standards officials have announced.

An awareness campaign is also being launched by the government warning people to look out for the misleading internet sites, whose URLs often contain fragments of official web addresses, such as “govuk” or “directgov”.

Official government services can be found by searching on the gov.uk website.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer organisation Which? said the copycat websites mislead people into paying potentially hundreds of pounds for services that should be free.

The National Trading Standards Board said it was making it “as difficult as possible” for online hoaxers to operate. Its chairman Lord Harris said: “We have been working with search engines such as Google and Bing to remove adverts from online search results and we continue to gather intelligence across the country to help tackle this issue. “We urge you to avoid unofficial websites which could leave you out of pocket or at risk of identity theft.”

Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson said: “It’s great that it’s becoming easier and more common to use the internet to order official documents such as passports or tax discs, but people should be aware of rogue websites that are out there trying to exploit them and take their hard-earned cash and even put them at risk of identity theft.

“The enforcement action which the National Trading Standards eCrime team has taken demonstrates the government’s commitment to tackling these scammers. We will not let them get away with misleading consumers.”