How telecom reform in Mexico could impact U.S. immigration

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New Mexican President Peña Nieto has been making waves since entering office by tackling some of Mexico’s toughest issues. One of those issues is the telecommunications industry. President Nieto hopes to reshape the country’s phone and television service by increasing competition through foreign investment.

“If Congress approves this, [it] will drive down prices in the telephone market,” says Enrique Acevedo of Univision News in Miami. “[It] will bring long awaited programming choices to the Mexican audience who have always had only two choices when it comes to broadcast TV.”

The reforms may also improve broadband Internet access, which Acevedo says is long overdue.

“Broadband speed in the International Space Station is actually faster than in Mexico,” he notes.

Overall, Acevedo sees the telecommunication reforms as a sign of greater economic momentum in Mexico — a trend that could have a noticeable impact on the U.S. and the ongoing debate over immigration.

Will The Next iPhone Keep Ahead of Android?

If Apple’s regular release schedule is to be trusted, we should expect a new iPhone this summer. Will it be called the iPhone 5S with small improvements over the iPhone 5? Or will the pressure from rival Android phones force Apple to go big and make a complete overhaul?

So far, the rumor mills point to an incremental upgrade – no revolutionary changes. So let’s read the tealeaves and try to predict what will be changed. And remember, this is all conjecture with no official information forthcoming from Apple.

New Flash and Better Camera
I like to start with the fun stuff, like the camera. Certainly, the next iPhone could get a megapixel upgrade. There are some Android phones that brag 13 Megapixels, and while it’s possible Apple could increase the resolution of their camera, I think a more interesting upgrade would be the inclusion of a new, smart flash that incorporates Phillips multi-color LED. To match ambient light, the camera could elect to use a white flash (in fluorescent or colder lighting) or a yellow flash to match warmer room tones (candlelight, camp-fires, or accent lighting).

Faster 
Now for the guts of the new phone: leaked photos published by iOSDoc imply the iPhone will be getting an upgrade from its current dual core A6 processor to a quad core A7 processor. Yes, more cores mean a faster phone, but is this a life-changing speed improvement? Um, no.

Bigger Screen is Doubtful
There have been tons of rumors about Apple increasing the screen size from 4 inches to 4.8 inches to compete with some of the Android “Phablets” like the Note. But this rumor seems a little thin with CEO Tim Cook stating publically on Apple’s Q1 2013 Earnings Call that he thinks Apple made the right decision to stick with a smaller screen.

Wireless Charging
Unlike current wireless charging where you have to put a device onto a pad that’s plugged into a power source, Apple has applied for a patent to use something called Near Field Magnetic Resonance (NFMR). With this technology, a home base (a computer or larger device) serves as a hub that can charge the phone anywhere within a meter’s proximity. This could also be a boon for selling more Mac laptops if they become the primary vehicle for wireless NFMR charging.

Biometric Fingerprint Security
Rumors are flying about a fingerprint sensor on the home key to allow for biometric security. This could be a smart idea if Apple wants to shore up public perception of the device’s security before rolling out the Near Field Communications (NFC) wave-to-pay technology that turns your phone into a credit card.

IOS 7
For the first time ever, I am including an IOS update in the “Fun Rumors” category. While the iPhone operating system (currently IOS 6) is not usually an opportunity for big innovation, this portion of the company has recently been taken over by Jonathon Ive, Apple’s superstar design guru. He is no doubt feeling pressure to bring his genius to bear on software (good luck with that) and may surprise us with a few cool new tricks. I expect a Siri upgrade at the very least, and a determination to show that Apple’s maps have recovered from the debacle of the IOS 6 roll out.

Lower Cost iPhone
Where Android phones pose the greatest clear and present danger to the iPhone is on price. Many models are free with a 2-year contract. So the $199 price tag of the iPhone with a 2-year contract is just too steep for many. The biggest price pressure is coming from emerging markets like China and Brazil, where Apple has to lower the price of their only phone in the initial land grab for new smartphone users.

If Apple introduces a free-on-2-year-contract phone, this lower cost version will almost certainly still be able to access faster LTE data networks. It will possibly have a slower Snapdragon System on a Chip (SOC) processor from Qualcomm. It might include a bigger battery, which could increase the phone’s thickness from the current 7.6 mm to a rumored 8.2 mm. It could have a lower resolution camera. And the most interesting possibility: its case could be from a cheaper plastic or fiberglass, which could allow for a multitude of colors.

Bottom Line
The inclusion of a cheaper iPhone could be a huge boon to consumers. If you’ve been holding out until Apple’s flagship device became more affordable, don’t let the slightly diminished technical specs deter you. The beauty of the iPhone is that it’s intuitive and fun to use – but that’s a function of the operating system, not the hardware. If it were me, I’d wait to buy until the consumer testers run the cheaper iPhone through it’s paces and make sure there’s nothing glaringly wrong, and then I’d get it. That is, if Apple actually releases two versions as part of its traditional June release cycle.

Have predictions of your own? Let us know on our Facebook page.

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Este mes de marzo Microsoft prepara siete boletines de seguridad que solucionarán vulnerabilidades en varios de los productos de la compañía

Microsoft prepara parches para Internet Explorer, Office y Silverlight

Con viene siendo habitual los segundo martes de mes, Microsoft prepara su actualización de seguridad mensual que en esta ocasión se compone de siete boletines, cuatro de ellos considerados críticos, lo que significa que solucionan fallos que podrían permitir que un atacante ejecutara malware en un ordenador de manera remota direccionando a un usuario a una página web maliciosa.

Los boletines de marzo solucionan vulnerabilidades en Internet Explorer, Office 2010 y la plataforma Silverlight de Microsoft, además de a Sharepoint.

El parche para Internet Explorer está diseñado para mejorar todas las versiones del navegador, desde IE6 a IE10, y para todas las ediciones de Windows, desde XP a Windows 8 y RT.

En cuanto a Microsoft Silverlight, un plug-in para navegadores capaz de reproducir vídeos online y otro tipo de contenido, se ha reparado un fallo que afectaba tanto a Windows a Mac OS X.

La tercera vulnerabilidad crítica afecta a Visio y Microsoft Office Filter Pack, y la cuarta a Microsoft Sharepoint Server, de forma que afecta únicamente a los clientes empresariales de la compañía de Redmond.

El resto de los boletines están calificados como importantes, lo que significa que los fallos que solucionan no son serios, aunque Microsoft sigue insistiendo en que deben parchearse.

Si se tienen activadas las actualizaciones automáticas de Windows los parches serán automáticamente instalados.

En Chile, se les durmió el Gallo, por problemas con sus Sistemas

Dispositivos cambiaron “por error” la hora

Muchos teléfonos celulares y computadores cambiaron automáticamente la hora este sábado, debido a que tradicionalmente así correspondía cada año.

Sin embargo, a partir de las disposiciones del gobierno, para ahorrar energía, este cambio al horario de invierno será a partir del 27 de abril.

El problema no es menor, ya que muchos chilenos usan su celular para poner la alarma y no es raro que varios se hayan quedado dormidos, pero para evitar este tipo de problemas es importante quitar la actualización automática.

Previendo esto además Microsoft Chile ha desarrollado un parche para que los usuarios eviten cualquier tipo de contratiempo. Asimismo, se preparó una serie de sugerencias para que los usuarios puedan actualizar sus PCs de forma manual.

La principal recomendación es instalar el hotfix o parche que se encuentra disponible en http://www.microsoft.com/chile/CAMBIODEHORA/ para actualizar el Sistema Operativo Windows con la nueva extensión de vigencia de horario de verano en Chile. Este hotfix es aplicable para Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 y Windows Server 2012.

Estas indicaciones aplican sólo para aquellos usuarios que se encuentren en la zona horaria UTC -04:00 Santiago. Si su PC se encuentra en una zona horaria distinta deberá trasladarse a la zona horaria correcta. Es importante además considerar que si se configura el reloj del equipo de forma manual, podría tener efectos adversos en los ambientes de trabajo. Este procedimiento no cuenta con el soporte de Microsoft.

Para los usuarios que tienen activado Windows Update en sus equipos, de igual manera será necesario  instalar el parche debido a que no está disponible mediante esta herramienta.

Si aún tiene dudas sobre éste u otros temas, puede acceder a cualquiera de los mecanismos de soporte al cliente que ofrece Microsoft Chile en www.microsoft.com/latam/contactenos, en donde podrá encontrar toda la ayuda que necesita para cualquier inconveniente.

Linux, once again, proved to be far more secure than most other operating systems

Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS shrugged off its attackers at the $3.14-million Pwnium cracking competition.

The Chrome Web browser on Windows is breakable,

but its little brother, the Linux-based Chrome OS, proved to be essentially uncrackable

at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, Canada,

Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS defied attempts to crack it in the Pwnium hacking competition

 

 

In a separate security contest from the HP Zero Day Initiative’s (ZDI) Pwn2Own competition,Microsoft’s IE 10, Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox Web browsers were all cracked. In addition, Java was also cracked multiple times.

In addition, Google is offering a total prize package of $3.14159 million in its own Pwnium 3 Chrome OS cracking contest.

Specifically, here are the prizes that Google is proposing:

  • $110,000: Browser- or system-level compromise — in guest mode or as a logged-in user — delivered via a web page.
  • $150,000: Compromise with device persistence — guest to guest with interim reboot — delivered via a web page.

Google is offering multiple prizes for each crack up to a maximum of $3.14-million for all winners.

Winning attacks had to “be demonstrated against a base (Wi-Fi) model of the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook running the latest stable version of Chrome OS. Any installed software (including the kernel and drivers, etc) may be used to attempt the attack.”

That’s serious money for serious cracking. Google did this, according to Chris Evans, the tech leader of the Google Chrome Security Team, because “Security is one of the core tenets of Chrome, but no software is perfect, and security bugs slip through even the best development and review processes. That’s why we’ve continued to engage with the security research community to help us find and fix vulnerabilities.”

A few days before the contest, Google pushed out ten Chrome browser security fixes and then the games were on.

Even with millions of dollars in prizes at stake, no one was truly successful in taking down the Linux-based Chrome OS. The Google Chrome team reported on Google+ that even though the competition deadline had been extended at the would-be crackers’ request, “We just closed out the competition. We did not receive any winning entries but we are evaluating some work that may qualify as partial exploits.”

Further details are not available at this time, but clearly, given the failure of all browsers on Windows in Pwn2Own and yet another wave of critical Windows vulnerabilities Chrome OS in specific, and Linux in general, remains the best choice for security-conscious desktop users.