(Bloomberg) — Republican regulators moving to kill Obama-era open internet regulations say one big reason for their action is that the rules have depressed investment in broadband.

But much of the research being held up by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to justify rescinding that rule comes from the very companies that stand to benefit and their advocates. Even some of the authors involved question whether all the research cited by regulators is valid.
“This is a classic case of garbage in, garbage out,” said telecom industry analyst Craig Moffett, a founding partner of New York-based MoffettNathanson. “There are so many other factors that drive capital investment beyond just regulatory environment.”
With the FCC poised to vote Thursday to eliminate the 2015 restrictions on internet service providers, or ISPs, the seemingly academic question of how reliable the studies are could quickly become critical when opponents file lawsuits asking judges to undo the vote.
Under laws designed to prevent wide swings in policy during changes in administrations, Pai will need to prove that scrapping the rules is justified by changes in conditions since they were put in place. The move can’t be arbitrary or capricious, according to a law that sets out procedures for federal rulemaking.
Major Turnaround
It will be difficult “for the agency to justify a major turnaround based on data from such a short time frame,” said Andrew

 

(Bloomberg) — Iron Mountain Inc. agreed to acquire the U.S. operations of Io Data Centers LLC for $1.3 billion, adding to a string of deals this year by the data storage and management real estate investment trust.

Io will receive an additional $60 million based on the future performance of the centers, Iron Mountain said in a statement Monday. Iron Mountain is acquiring land and buildings in New Jersey, Ohio and Arizona that provide 62 megawatts of capacity.
The data center market is “super exciting for us,” William L. Meaney, chief executive officer of Iron Mountain, said in an interview. Large enterprises developing their cloud strategies “really fuels the growth of people like ourselves,” he said.
Iron Mountain agreed in July to buy Mag Datacenters LLC, which operates private data center business Fortrust, for about $130 million. In October, it said it was acquiring data centers in Singapore and London from Credit Suisse Group AG in a $100 million transaction.
“We look at a lot of deals but we’re really disciplined,” Meaney said. With the Io assets “we were able to find both the quality of assets and pricing that made sense,” he said.
The purchase of Phoenix-based Io’s U.S. operations will be Iron Mountain’s second biggest deal by valuation, after its 2015 agreement to acquire Recall Holdings Ltd. for about $2.6 billion.
Iron Mountain’s data center business is expected to contribute about 7 percent of its total revenue by 2020, according to

 

New Apple App Store guidelines state that apps created from “commercialized template or app generation services” will be rejected from inclusion in the App Store as of Jan. 1, 2018.
According to a report by TechCrunch, template and DIY services, as well as platforms and developers serving the SMB and non-profit markets, will be impacted by the new guidelines. The guidelines, which seem to be broader than many developers realized, were released by Apple after its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, banning apps “created from commercialized template or app generation service.”
ChowNow, which is quoted in Apple Pay documentation regarding its integration into the company’s platform for making restaurant apps is affected, and the company’s CEO told TechCrunch it was shocked to be categorized as spam.
Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) has asked Apple to reconsider its guidelines 4.2.6, relating to template-based apps, and 4.3, relating to duplicate content, in a letter dated Dec. 1.
“Recently, I was informed that Apple’s decision to more stringently enforce its policy guidelines regarding design and functionality may result in the wholesale rejection of template-based apps from the App Store,” wrote Lieu (per TechCrunch). “It is my understanding that many small businesses, research organizations, and religious institutions rely on template apps when they do not possess the resources to develop apps in-house.”
Apple’s partnership with IBM for

 

I’m a big fan of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. I believe, as an industry, we’re no longer seeing the future organization as one that has everything in one cloud provider. Rather, the future is very much more hybrid.
Organizations across almost every vertical and company size see hybrid cloud solutions as the gateway to digital transformations and new types of competitive advantages. These initiatives are being driven by the business layer, and not just IT leaders.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
See also: Using Automation as a Change Agent for IT Transformation
A recent WSJ article said CIOs are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially shared tech resources. IDC points out that overall spending on IT infrastructure for off-premises cloud environments—both

 

I’m a big fan of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. I believe, as an industry, we’re no longer seeing the future organization as one that has everything in one cloud provider. Rather, the future is very much more hybrid.
Organizations across almost every vertical and company size see hybrid cloud solutions as the gateway to digital transformations and new types of competitive advantages. These initiatives are being driven by the business layer, and not just IT leaders.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
See also: Using Automation as a Change Agent for IT Transformation
A recent WSJ article said CIOs are knitting together a new IT architecture that comprises the latest in public cloud services with the best of their own private data centers and partially shared tech resources. IDC points out that overall spending on IT infrastructure for off-premises cloud environments—both

 

(Bloomberg) — In the race to commercialize a new type of powerful computer, Microsoft Corp. has just pulled up to the starting line with a slick-looking set of wheels. There’s just one problem: it doesn’t have an engine – at least not yet. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant is competing with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, International Business Machines Corp. and a clutch of small, specialized companies to develop quantum computers – machines that, in theory, will be many times more powerful than existing computers by bending the laws of physics.

Microsoft says it has a different approach that will make its technology less error-prone and more suitable for commercial use. If it works. On Monday, the company unveiled a new programming language called Q# – pronounced Q Sharp – and tools that help coders craft software for quantum computers. Microsoft is also releasing simulators that will let programmers test that software on a traditional desktop computer or through its Azure cloud-computing service.
The machines are one of the advanced technologies, along with artificial intelligence and augmented reality, that Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella considers crucial to the future of his company. Microsoft, like IBM and Google, will most likely rent computing time on these quantum machines through the internet as a service.D-Wave Systems Inc. in 2011 became the first company to sell a quantum computer, although its technology has been

 

(Bloomberg) — U.K. banks still aren’t telling regulators about all the cyber attacks on the financial services industry despite a ten-fold increase in reports to the  Financial Conduct Authority over the last four years.

“Our suspicion is that there’s currently a material under-reporting of successful cyber attacks,” Megan Butler, the FCA’s director of supervision, said in a speech Tuesday, according to a copy of her remarks on the regulator’s website. “The number of breaches relayed back to us looks modest when you set it against the number of attacks on the industry.”
The number of material attacks reported by firms to the FCA has grown to 49 this year from five in 2014, as hacks become one of the biggest threats to the safety of the financial services industry. The type of hacks is also increasingly concerning for regulators and firms with ransomware making up 17 percent of attacks reported to the regulator, according to Butler.
The FCA opened an investigation in October into the hack of credit reporting company Equifax Ltd. that saw personal data stolen from at least 143 million people. Outside of the FCA’s supervision, Uber Technologies Inc. paid hackers $100,000 to delete data taken from 2.7 million U.K. customers in a 2016 security breach.
Better Coordination
Butler emphasized the need for incidents to be reported to the regulator as they’re happening. She told the ICI global capital markets conference in London that the

 

Only half of cloud infrastructure professionals at global enterprises believe they are being charged the right amount for what they get from their cloud providers, according to survey results released Wednesday by cloud optimization firm Densify.
Three-quarters of organizations either overspend their public cloud budget, or are not sure how much they are spending, according to the survey results, and half of respondents do not know how to handle the frequent technology and pricing changes made by providers. This is despite significant public cloud spending, as half of the organizations surveyed spend more than $300,000 per year, and 20 percent spend more than $1.2 million per year.
See also: Hostway Adds AWS, VMware to Multi-Cloud Managed Services Portfolio
“In a market with very few major cloud providers, customers don’t have many choices and simply continue to pay their high cloud bills without a second thought,” Yama Habibzai, chief marketing officer of Densify said in a statement. “We’ve helped hundreds of companies optimize their clouds, with major reductions in their cloud bill, so we know that they are overspending.”
Better tracking of cloud spending could surely help, as one in four respondents do not audit cloud usage and cost, or do not know if their organization audits it, and only 20 percent utilize an automation tool to optimize their infrastructure.
Only 5 percent of respondents distrust cloud providers, but 30 percent say they are not well prepared

 

The massive and long-running Andromeda botnet, also known as Gamarue, has been take down by a collaborative effort between international law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, according to a Monday announcement by Europol.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), in cooperation with the Luneburg Central Criminal Investigation Inspectorate in Germany, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Joint Cybercrime Action Task Force (J-CAT), Eurojust and private-sector partners dismantled the network, which has been associated with 80 malware families and has been detected or blocked on more than a million machines every month over the past six months, on Nov. 29, Europol says.
“This is another example of international law enforcement working together with industry partners to tackle the most significant cyber criminals and the dedicated infrastructure they use to distribute malware on a global scale,” Steven Wilson, the Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre said in a statement. “The clear message is that public-private partnerships can impact these criminals and make the internet safer for all of us.”
The Andromeda/Gamarue malware family was created in September 2011 to steal credentials from and distribute other malware to infected computers, ZDNet reports.
Another international investigation, into the Avalanche international criminal infrastructure which had been used to launch “mass global malware attacks” including Andromeda, concluded

 

(Bloomberg) — Big technology companies have added the digital signatures of 40,000 terrorist videos and images to a shared database as they seek to keep extremist content off their platforms.
Facebook Inc., Google’s YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Twitter Inc. revealed the numbers in a joint blog post Monday.
The four big social media companies, which are part of a group called the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, announced one year ago that they would begin sharing digital fingerprints – known as hashes – of videos they removed from their platforms for terrorism.
Under the initiative, if a company removes a piece of content from its network for violating policies around terrorism, it is logged in the shared database. Then, if someone tries to post the same content to one of the other participating social networks, the content is automatically flagged for review – usually by a human analyst – and possible removal.
Technology companies have been under increasing pressure from Western politicians to do more to tackle terrorist propaganda and recruitment online. British Prime Minister Theresa May has been particularly active in accusing tech companies of not doing enough to keep extremists off their platforms and has called for international regulation to force the companies to do more or face substantial penalties.
The companies, for their part, have recently been highlighting their progress in using artificial

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