In startup news, Wamda’s watch list for March is out, check it out here.
The Snapchat IPO bomb went off, showering lucky owners of stock and early buyers with $$$. The company opened at $24 a share totaling $33B for the entire operation. The IPO was at $17 and open trading started at $24.
It can’t be good when someone does your work for you. That is what ACROS security did to Windows 10, 8.1, 7 64bit and 7 32bit to patch it from a 0-day vulnerability in the Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) that could be exploited to “…expose data found in the victim’s memory, which can then be leveraged to bypass ASLR protection and execute code on the user’s computer”. While the flaw was discovered at Google’s Project Zero by Mateusz Jurczyk, he notified Microsoft of the issue, Microsoft did a patch but only solves some issues so he re-notified expecting a reply in 90 days but got none. Then Microsoft delayed their monthly Patch Tuesday of February to March. That is when ACROS stepped in repairing the vulnerable DLL file with their own patched version to fix the problem until Microsoft finally gets around to doing its job.
‘I’ll just flip burgers.’ Not so fast though. Automation is hitting many sectors of mass production including your neighborhood fast-food soon. While they can’t quite flip patties yet but according to Quartz, Wendy’s is replacing some of it’s ordering stations with automated kiosks. Although the threat seems a bit remote, it isn’t. So far if you aren’t behind the counter taking orders you might be fine, in fact you might actually be safe, for now. Safe? Yes, when ordering gets better, you might have to handle more orders per hour vs. the less efficient human-to-human ordering. More here.
Uber is aggressive, that much is sure. The question is, are they criminally aggressive? TNYT has a piece on something inside Uber called Greyball and a VTOS program. The information was given to the journal on condition of anonymity by four ex-employees, with documents. The program is said to be designed to cut off users who violate the service’s terms of service. Seems fair, until the leaks show that the program was also used to block city regulators and code enforcers from doing their job at regulating the service and/or fine the driver+service for operating in illegal ways. Government over-reach aside, this is another category entirely for a company to behave. Details here.
81 year old Masako Wakamiya has made an iPhone app. That is not a typo. Wakamiya is a retired banker with quite an appetite for trying new things. Popular games are ‘too fast’ so she wanted a game that would suit her age group. Nobody stepped in or perhaps even tried so she took matters into her own hands. Months later, she releases an iPhone app. Very impressive. You go girl!
We reported earlier that AMD wants back into the game with Ryzen and as the reviews pop-up one after another, this seems to be true. HotHardware published their review of the new chip and it does seem that AMD has a winner on their hands. Check out the review here. All 11 pages of it.
The Nintendo Switch was finally released a few days ago and so far the unit shows some promise in being able to bridge a decent home and portable gaming experience. The question is, how will game publishers handle the platform and what are the titles that will help the unit in the long run? So far, only a handful of reviews have been published and Ars seem pretty impressed by what the unit can do. See here.
We are going to try out something a bit different this time and we’ll end with a section we are calling….
In other news:
Software engineer detained at JFK, given test to prove he’s an engineer
(Yes, they did that, they actually asked him to balance a binary search tree)
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