General Interview

CloudBleed: Should You Reset Your Passwords?

Leadership

Written by MofecoxyMix Saturday, 25 February 2017 11:01

On Thursday, news emerged about a bug that has potentially exposed sensitive user and security data from , a web routing and security service. While the problem is now fixed, data was leaking for several months, and some of that data will remain in the wild, possibly indefinitely.

This is not a database hack of the sort . The bits of compromised data are scattered in html code that has been served from millions of addresses across the web. To exploit it, malicious hackers would have to scrape and organize it. And experts say there's a low likelihood that any single password or piece of data was compromised.

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But scraping archives for passwords is not a terribly daunting task. And while is reportedly working to scrub its own archives, the data will likely continue floating around in a variety of other public and private caches. That, plus the huge scope and scale of the problem, means that security-conscious web users --all of them.

Millions of sites using CloudFlare services were potentially affected by the problem, from Medium.com to Change.org to 4Chan. So many sites were vulnerable that it doesn't make sense to and change passwords on a case-by-case basis.

Of course, resetting passwords en masse will be a huge headache for most users, particularly because many of us have accounts, possibly containing sensitive information, that we don’t use regularly, and may even have forgotten about. That's why some owners of sites that may have been exposed to the bug, such as the tech news site TechDirt, are proactively for them.

Operators are also being advised to , and perform their own web searches to see if site data leaked.

Some services do have extra authentication to protect against data breaches. The password manager 1Password says that its product is designed with , and that user data was not compromised by the CloudFlare bug. That would not have prevented data leaking from other sources, though, so users should still reset passwords for individual sites.

1Password, along with other password managers like LastPass, also make it easier to reset many passwords . Dashlane in particular has a lauded feature, though it will be most useful for existing users of that service.

Using a password manager is a good security practice in general, so CloudBleed may be good motivation to start. You could even call it a silver lining.


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10 (More) Must-Read Books That Explain Modern China

Leadership

Written by MofecoxyMix Saturday, 25 February 2017 10:00

China's been a tough place to understand recently. , advanced weaponry , and, despite an economic slowdown, an economy that still hasn't dipped below 6.5% quarterly growth for two decades running. Is this a mixed authoritarian rule or what?

The mood among U.S. businesses has soured. Many are scaling back investments and a quarter are slowing or pulling out altogether, according to a recent American Chamber of Commerce , in which the respondents criticized opaque regulations and Chinese protectionism in what was the most pessimistic outlook on the country in years.

Add in the Trump administration's , and there's a renewed importance in trying to understand what's going on in China.

Its customs, history, and exceptionalism have never been easy to grasp. Lord Macartney's refusal to kowtow to the Qianlong emperor on his mission from King George III in the late 1700s was an early foreigner frustration in a market that for two hundred years has been too big to ignore, too difficult to conquer.

Here are books that explain the modern China appearing in the headlines. (Fortune published back in 2015.) Some are business focused, some political, some cultural. Every topic seems equally important in understanding China today.

, Tim Clissold

So many companies lose piles of money in China because China's business market is just different from the West's. (Ask Uber.) No one explains the differences from the front lines better than Tim Clissold, who's been in China as a student, partner to Wall Street's first mega investor in the Middle Kingdom (Jack Perkowski), founder of a carbon trading business, and sought-after consultant. Clissold, an even-tempered Brit with a real respect for Chinese culture, is an ideal narrator for Mr. China, which follows the swaggering Perkowski's $400 million gamble on becoming China's first foreign private equity investor. Together they find misadventure, deceit, and corruption at every turn--in other words, typical Chinese business. A beautiful, funny writer, Clissold creates everlasting narratives (including one around a Mr. Shi, who "smoked continuously, fretting about his health at the same time") amid countless business clashes that anyone interested in China will find revealing.

, Tim Clissold

Clissold's second book may be even better than his best-selling Mr. China. After a stint at recovering distressed assets in China, a decade ago he entered the then-hot carbon trading market. Chinese Rules is part memoir of ultimately failed-businesses (China's entire carbon trading business went in the pits) and part history lesson tracing back centuries on how the Chinese approach conflict, in business and otherwise. As Clissold puts up with duplicity on deals worth tens of millions of dollars, every reader will be amazed. "Western methods of dealing with conflict rely mainly on the use of overwhelming firepower at a decisive moment," Clissold writes. "China's concepts of conflicts are the polar opposite; they rely not on overwhelming firepower but on silence, stealth, surprise, manipulation, and deceit."

, Michael Pillsbury

China's Communist Party has a 100-year plan to supplant the U.S. as the global superpower by mid-century, according to Pillsbury, a former U.S. Defense Department official. That may not be surprising for a one-party state like China. But what is surprising, says Pillsbury, is how little the U.S. knows of China's intentions. Until recently, China gained financial support from the U.S. and western countries under the U.S.'s policy of 'constructive engagement,' which U.S. officials said would change China into a democracy eventually, but which has only empowered China's autocratic leaders. Now China is becoming more assertive as it senses America's declining power, and China's political hawks, Pillsbury argues, are more influential than they once appeared.

, John Pomfret

Pomfret was one of the first American exchange students allowed into China after it opened to the world in the late 1970s. At Nanjing University, he befriended four classmates whose experiences he traces two decades later when they reunite. What results is a sometimes hilarious, often sober, and always illustrative narrative. The four had horrific experiences during the Cultural Revolution; one denounced her father, while another spent his time in the country's far reaches. Pomfret details the human cost of China's chosen path of development over the last 30 years.

, Alec Ash

The new generation of Chinese millennials doesn't bear the same baggage as previous generations, but life is just as tiring in some respects. Ash weaves together the stories of six average young people born after 1986 into a fast-flowing narrative. There's the daughter of a Communist Party official who's drawn to nationalistic politics after visiting the U.S., and Dahai, who despite his engineering salary, like many middle-class Chinese, can't afford housing in the major cities. (One example: Beijing housing prices, at 1.2 times the average salary, rank as the world's least affordable.) How the more liberal, optimistic and apolitical attitudes of China's young generation react to China's current regressive politics is a question for today, and one Ash's characters begin to answer.

, Michael Meyer

If you come to China, chances are you come to Beijing. The gleaming airport and central business district buildings are what the government wants visitors to see, but it's not where most of the country's coveted 1.4 billion consumers are to be found. They live in the Soviet-style apartment buildings and a few in the city's old tiny alleyways, hutongs, which is where Michael Meyers' story resides. China's modern history is Beijing, and Beijing's history is one of destruction and progress. Meyers describes the lifestyles of some common Beijing residents, who have shockingly Spartan surroundings even though Beijing houses the country's richest residents. (The paradox of China is that even though aggregate income is high, the average worker earns about as much as one from the Dominican Republic.) Your next Chinese banquet hosts might be impressed about your knowledge of the ancient hutongs.

, David Remnick

The Chinese Communist Party fears a Soviet-type collapse of power so much so that Party schools have studied the Soviet downfall for years. The fear seems fresh today. As President Xi Jinping's administration further tightens control of media and stamps out voices of dissent, in reverse of what many Chinese watchers expected when he assumed power, the U.S.S.R. must not be far from its mind. The Pulitzer-prize winning book from David Remnick, the New Yorker's editor, explains in searing detail the paranoia and corruption of the last generation of Soviet leaders that failed to hold onto power and adapt to markets, as China's nominally "Communist" Party has.

, Duncan Clark

In his history of China's most ambitious company, Duncan Clark explains why Alibaba beat then-red hot in China, and the rest of the Chinese strivers in the early 2000s. It comes down to one person: Jack Ma. Less a hagiography than unknown history, Clark's access to Ma and insiders gives the impression of a slick salesman climbing to the top of the Chinese global community. Ma stays one step ahead of competitors and investors both, such as the time Ma transferred Alipay to his own company for a mere $50 million without telling Alibaba's major shareholders Yahoo and Softbank; Alipay was last valued at $60 billion. Understanding Ma may be the key to understanding the future of big business in China.

, James Mann

As China's politics regress under Xi Jinping's administration--high-profile human rights lawyers are being thrown into jail, media is increasingly censored, U.S. companies complain more about access--policies toward China are newly relevant in Washington and middle America.

Mann traces the promises made by U.S. business and political elites before China entered the World Trade Organziation and other trade deals. The U.S. leaders predicted political liberalization. (George W. Bush once said, "As China reforms its economy, its leaders are finding that once the door to freedom is opened even a crack, it cannot be closed." Bill Clinton called unrestricted trade with China "the best way to integrate China further into the family of nations and to secure our interest and our ideals.") Now, political reform seems the furthest thing from China's mind. "The world's increased commercial involvement with China over the past two decades has made foreign leaders more reluctant to do anything in response to Chinese crackdowns, lest the Chinese regime retaliate," Mann column last year. His book, published back in 2007, is still relevant in describing how the West got there, and what it might do now.

, Arthur Kroeber

If you forget the bland title, more books about China's economy should follow Kroeber's lead. The economist at independent researcher Gavekal Dragonomics lays out China's complicated economic landscape in simplified ways so you can leave with an argument about the direction China's economy is headed without needing the blustery arguments on each side of boom or bust. (Kroeber himself subscribes to a middle ground.) He interviews company heads and policy makers to liven the primers on China's middle class (last count, 330 million people, and incomes ranging from $13,500 to $20,550), housing (yes China's market is distorted, but not a bubble) and Xi's market reforms (don't hold out hope). Kroeber distills the research behind all the economic headlines facing China today to create something useful: an understandable take on everything important.

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Apple Keeps Quiet as the iPhone and iPad Rumors Get Louder

Leadership

Written by MofecoxyMix Saturday, 25 February 2017 09:56

Apple had a big week without needing to say much.

The last several days have been eventful for . The company was the subject of countless rumors surrounding its upcoming plans in the tablet and smartphone markets, and found itself once again at the center of a debate with the White House over equal rights.

This is Fortune's weekly roundup of the biggest news this week. To see last week's roundup, .

Along the way, the company was the focal point for a discussion on EU taxes, and also announced details on its new campus, Apple Park. There was even some talk of an exploding iPhone.

Read on to learn more about the week that was in the Apple universe, and all the biggest news surrounding the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant.

, Fortune's technology newsletter

  1. Apple is planning a big iPad event in March, according to Japanese Apple-tracking site Mac Otakara. The company could , including updates to its 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. The other two models could feature screen sizes measuring 7.9 inches and 10.5 inches, the report says. Apple’s new iPads will likely come with improved designs, better processors, and better battery life.
  2. . This time around, Reuters is reporting that Apple could offer several improvements in an iPhone released later this year, including higher-resolution screens, wireless charging, and 3D sensors. The news comes after a slew of rumors have surfaced in recent weeks saying Apple is planning a major iPhone update this year that could offer a curved screen, all-glass design, and more.
  3. Apple this week was said to have . An Asian social network was living on the site but will be taken down. Apple apparently acquired the site domain so there would be no confusion for users who want to access its cloud-based synching service iCloud and instead find themselves on an unknown social network.
  4. Apple’s ongoing fight with the European Union over allegations the company illegally benefited from state aid to the tune of $13.7 billion took a turn this week. In a filing in the EU, Apple argued that its “” had been violated by the EU’s competition watchdog, the European Commission. It added that the investigators failed to conduct “a diligent and impartial investigation.” Apple will carry that argument to court when the company and the EU face off this summer.
  5. It’s official: Apple Campus 2 officially has a final name. , the company announced this week. The sprawling campus spans 175 acres and will have more than 9,000 trees when complete. It also features the 2.8-million-square-foot Apple ring where the company’s employees will be housed, and offers a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot fitness facility. The on-site auditorium will be named Steve Jobs Theater in remembrance of the company’s iconic co-founder. And yes, with the rest of his staff.
  6. this week to end federal protections for transgender students using bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. In a statement, the company said that it “believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination.” Apple added that it takes issue “with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”
  7. Apple is preparing to build a new $50 million data center project, . It’s believed that the complex, known as Project Isabel, is a response to growing demand for the company’s iCloud services, including photo, document, and file storage. Apple hasn’t yet commented on the possible construction of its new facility.
  8. In other Apple building news, . The company will reportedly rent more floors at Seattle’s Two Union Square, a 56-story skyscraper in downtown where it already leases two floors. The employees will apparently work on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  9. In the same week could address many iPhone 6 battery troubles, the company is reportedly that surfaced online showing an iPhone 7 Plus burning up. Apple has yet to comment on the iPhone 7 Plus problem and whether the reported explosion was user error or caused by a defect within the device.

For more about Tim Cook, watch:

One more thing…To commemorate the late Steve Jobs’ 62nd birthday on Friday, . Among the inspiring selections: “There is no reason not to follow your heart.”


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Husky Energy Weighs Sale of Some Eastern Canada Assets

Leadership

Written by MofecoxyMix Saturday, 25 February 2017 09:35

Canadian oil and gas producer Husky Energy Inc is mulling paring down its stakes in some of its Eastern Canadian offshore assets, in a move that could fetch several billion dollars, people familiar with the talks told Reuters.

The company, which is Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, finds the capital-intensive assets less attractive in a low oil price environment, making it challenging to generate profits, the people said. Husky could invest the sale proceeds in South America, Africa or Asia, the people added.

The sources cautioned, however, that the talks were at an early stage and Husky might not proceed with the divestitures if it does not receive attractive offers.

Asked about the potential sales during the company’s earnings call, Chief Executive Rob Peabody said Husky’s Atlantic operations were an important part of its portfolio and declined to comment on what he said was speculation.

Offshore projects started to fall out of favor with some producers during the energy downturn as they often require a greater investment, making it harder for companies to make the financial dynamics work.

Husky’s offshore assets include White Rose, seen as its crown jewel in the region, as well as Flemish Pass and Terra Nova.

Husky could potentially sell down stakes in Terra Nova, where it has a 13% working interest, and Flemish Pass. It is also considering paring down ownership in White Rose, the people added.

Suncor Energy Inc, operator of Terra Nova, could be interested in buying Husky’s stake if it becomes available, one of the people said. A Suncor spokesman declined to comment.

Husky began producing oil from the Atlantic region in 2005. Production averaged 34,300 barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter.

Even if these sales materialize, Husky may remain a major player in the Atlantic region.

Husky has previously said it will consider a sanction decision for the West White Rose field, a satellite of White Rose, in 2017. The company is also going ahead with two infill wells at White Rose this year and is planning to drill two exploration wells in the Flemish Pass, where it is partnered with Norway's Statoil ASA.

Husky’s stake in the 600-million-barrel Bay du Nord oil discovery in Flemish Pass is a minority one, with Statoil holding the majority.

When asked about a potential sale, Statoil spokesman Erik Haaland said: “As a matter of principle, we don’t comment on speculations.”

Plans for the West White Rose extension project are not likely to be affected by any decision to sell, the people said. Husky’s partners on White Rose are Suncor and Nalcor Energy.

Any move by Husky would come fairly soon after Peabody took over as its new chief executive from former CEO Asim Ghosh in December.

After suffering some losses due to a two-year slump in global oil prices, Husky embarked on an aggressive plan to sell assets in an effort to cut its debt levels.

Husky has been selling conventional assets in western Canada while boosting heavy oil thermal production in the region, ramping up its Sunrise oil sands project and increasing volumes from the Liwan Gas Project offshore China.

The company has been streamlining its western Canada business to focus on fewer resource plays. In late 2015, it announced plans to sell around 60,000 bpd of non-core conventional oil and gas production, and last year unloaded about 32,000 bpd of assets in western Canada.

In 2016, asset sales helped the company sharply reduce its debt to its current total of C$5.3 billion.


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Dakota Protesters Regroup, Plot Resistance to Other Pipelines

Leadership

Written by MofecoxyMix Saturday, 25 February 2017 09:16

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline who were this week have vowed to keep up efforts to stop the multibillion-dollar project and take the fight to other pipelines as well.

The Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon , North Dakota, on Thursday and almost 50 people, many of them Native Americans and environmental activists, were arrested.

The number of demonstrators had dwindled from the thousands who poured into the camp starting in August to oppose the pipeline that critics say threatens the water resources and sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has said it intends to fight the pipeline in court.

The 1,170-mile (1,885 km) line, built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, will move crude from the shale oilfields of North Dakota to Illinois en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are located.

Tonya Olsen, 46, an Ihanktonwan Sioux from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who had lived at the camp for 3-1/2 months, said she was saddened by the eviction but proud of the protesters.

She has moved to another nearby camp on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, across the Cannon Ball River.

“A lot of people will take what they’ve learned from this movement and take it to another one,” Olsen said. She may join a protest if one forms against the Keystone XL pipeline near the Lower Brul? Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she added.

Tom Goldtooth, a protest leader and executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the demonstrators’ hearts were not defeated.

“The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” Goldtooth said in a statement on Thursday. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

Many hope their fight against the project will spur similar protests targeting pipelines across the United States and Canada, particularly those routed near Native American land.

“The embers are going to be carried all over the place,” said Forest Borie, 34, a protester from Tijuana, Mexico, who spent four months in North Dakota.

“This is going to be a revolutionary year,” he added.

Borie wants to go next to Canada to help the Unist’ot’en Native American Tribe in their long-running opposition to pipelines in British Columbia.

Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company constructing the Dakota Access pipeline, is already facing pushback from a diverse base of opposition in Louisiana, where it is planning to expand its Bayou Bridge pipeline.

Other projects mentioned by protesters as possible next stops include the Sabal Trail pipeline being built to transport natural gas from eastern Alabama to central Florida, and Energy Transfer Partners’ Trans-Pecos in West Texas. Sabal Trail is a joint project of Corp, Inc and Corp.

Another protest is focused on Plains All American Pipeline’s Diamond Pipeline, which will run from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Corp’s Memphis refinery in Tennessee.

Anthony Gazotti, 47, from Denver, said he will stay on reservation land until he is forced out. Despite construction resuming on the Dakota pipeline, he said the protest was a success because it had raised awareness of pipeline issues nationwide. “It’s never been about just stopping that pipeline,” he said. June Sapiel, a 47-year-old member of the Penobscot Tribe in Penobscot, Maine, also rejected the idea that the protesters in North Dakota had failed.

“It’s waking people up,” she said in front of a friend’s yurt where she has been staying. “We’re going to go out there and just keep doing it.”


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