What happened when a president joked about ‘House of Cards’


A video clip showing one of the actors in the hit political thriller House of Cards kicked off an online argument in Argentina.
“Mr President. This is Doug Stamper. Thank you for having me in the Pink House. I’ve come to make sure the house is in order. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.”
This deadpan statement by actor Michael Kelly was shot in the Casa Rosada (Pink House), the official residence of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, and posted to Facebook on Macri’s own page. It was a wry reference to Kelly’s role in the Netflix series House of Cards – which, for the uninitiated, features a ruthless – and occasionally murderous – American president, Frank Underwood. Doug Stamper is his scheming chief of staff – he’s been described as “cold and calculating”, “twisted and dark” and a “master of subterfuge”.
Kelly was visiting Argentina as part of a promotional tour, and the short clip was clearly meant as a bit of fun by Marci, who’s an avid social media user. But that didn’t stop some Argentines from suggesting it was troubling that the president used a fictional character with sinister characteristics to endorse him.
“Doug is helpful but it is maybe not so advisable that people connect him with you,” said Facebook user Daniela Mollo. “We all know Frank Underwood and we know about his intentions.”
“Really Mr President? Do you want a murderer as an assistant? This is a joke right? I don’t know what to think,” another woman tweeted.
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Others read no sinister intent in the humour and praised the president. “Top man,” tweeted @AndresZiegler. Another tweeted: “God bless you Mr President, I have renewed faith thanks to you.”
The post was viewed more than 500,000 times and shared more than 6,000 times. Marci has form online – according to a study carried out by US communications firm Burson-Marsteller, he’s one of the most-liked Latin American political leaders on Facebook, and gets more engagement on his page than any other world leader. His campaign to take over from his predecessor Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner last year received a big boost from his social media presence and his popularity among young people. And he recently joined Snapchat

Adele fans pay tribute to victims of Brussels attacks at London concert


“I want you to all sing it with me, alright, so they hear us.”
After finishing the track, from her debut album 19, she said: “I don’t think I’ve ever actually been so moved before in my life at one of my shows, that was just so beautiful.
“Thank you very much for doing that… I think they heard us.”
A minute’s silence for the victims will be held at 11am (12pm in Belgium).
Police are still looking for a suspect pictured on CCTV shortly before two bombs exploded at Zaventem airport and on a metro train near Maelbeek station in Brussels.
Other celebrities paid tribute to the victims of the Brussels bomb attacks as well.

Brooklyn judge denies government’s request to unlock iPhone in drug case

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday rejected a U.S. Justice Department request to order Apple Inc to help law enforcement access data on a locked iPhone, in a ruling that bolsters the company’s arguments in a growing privacy fight with the government.

The government sought access to the phone in October, months before a judge in California ordered Apple to give the government access to the phone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino, California, attacks.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn ruled that he did not have the legal authority to order Apple to disable the security of an iPhone seized during a drug investigation.

The Justice Department is “disappointed” in Orenstein’s ruling and plans to ask a higher judge within the same federal district to review the matter in coming days, a department representative said.

Though the defendant in the case has already pleaded guilty, the Justice Department still believes the phone may contain evidence that “will assist us in an active criminal investigation,” the official said.

When fighting the government’s order to help extract data from the iPhone, Apple had argued that being forced to do so “could threaten the trust between Apple and its customers and substantially tarnish the Apple brand,” according to court records.

Orenstein said his ruling in Apple’s favor was not a decision on “whether the government should be able to force Apple to help it unlock a specific device; it is instead whether the All Writs Act resolves that issue and many others like it yet to come.”

The implications of the government’s position are “so far-reaching… as to produce impermissibly broad results,” he wrote.

Prosecutors have said that since 2008, Apple has complied with 70 such court orders based on the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute that grants federal courts broad power to issue “necessary or appropriate writs,” without objection.

The case before Brooklyn was, according to prosecutors, the first time Apple had objected to law enforcement efforts to utilize search warrants to get the tech company to provide assistance and unlock iPhones seized during investigations.

But since October, when Apple first asked Orenstein to deny the government’s request, Apple has objected to helping law enforcement access at least 12 devices for which the U.S. Justice Department has sought its help, according to a letter from Apple to Orenstein that was unsealed earlier this month.

(Reporting by Julia Edwards and Julia Harte in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

Unlocking iPhone would leave millions exposed, Apple to tell Congress

Unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters would leave hundreds of millions of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) device owners vulnerable to cybercriminals and other hackers, the company’s top lawyer is expected to tell U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday.

In written testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee released on Monday, Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell reiterated the tech giant’s stance that the FBI’s request to help access the phone “would set a dangerous precedent for government intrusion on the privacy and safety of its citizens.”

(Reporting by Dustin Volz and Susan Heavey; Editing by Eric Beech)

Yahoo says may write down goodwill value of Tumblr

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) said it may have to write down the goodwill value of Tumblr, more than two years after the web pioneer spent $1.1 billion to buy the microblogging site.

Yahoo said earlier in the month it took a $230 million impairment charge related to Tumblr and was considering strategic alternatives for its core internet business.

“It is reasonably possible that changes in judgments … could cause the company to consider some portion or all of the remaining goodwill of the Tumblr reporting unit to become impaired,” Yahoo said in a regulatory filing on Monday. (bit.ly/1RgCpT2)

The deal for Tumblr was then seen as a bold bet by Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to revitalize the company by co-opting a Web property with strong visitor traffic but little revenue. (reut.rs/1pmbpLJ)

Yahoo said on Friday it would take pretax charges of $64 million to $78 million, mostly in the first quarter of 2016, due to job cuts and other restructuring moves.

Of the total, $40 million to $48 million would be for severance pay and related cash expenditures, the company said in a filing.(1.usa.gov/1OI6Vnd)

Yahoo has said it would reduce workforce by 15 percent by the end of 2016 and close offices in Dubai, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Milan.

The company’s shares closed up 1.3 percent at $31.79 on Monday and were largely unchanged in extended trading.

(Reporting by Alan John Koshy in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila)

Google says it bears ‘some responsibility’ after self-driving car hit bus

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said on Monday it bears “some responsibility” after one of its self-driving cars struck a municipal bus in a minor crash earlier this month.

The crash may be the first case of one of its autonomous cars hitting another vehicle and the fault of the self-driving car. The Mountain View, California-based Internet search leader said it made changes to its software after the crash to avoid future incidents.

In a Feb. 23 report filed with California regulators, Google said the crash took place in Mountain View on Feb. 14 when a self-driving Lexus RX450h sought to get around some sandbags in a wide lane.

Google said in the filing the autonomous vehicle was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was moving at about 15 miles per hour.

The vehicle and the test driver “believed the bus would slow or allow the Google (autonomous vehicle) to continue,” it said.

But three seconds later, as the Google car in autonomous mode re-entered the center of the lane, it struck the side of the bus, causing damage to the left front fender, front wheel and a driver side sensor. No one was injured in the car or on the bus.

Google said in a statement on Monday that “we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved, there wouldn’t have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.”

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will investigate the circumstances of the accident, Stacey Hendler Ross, spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, said on Monday.

German court fines Facebook $109,000 in dispute over IP license clause

A German court has fined Facebook 100,000 euros ($109,000) for refusing to follow an order to adequately inform users about how it was using their intellectual property, a consumer group said on Monday.

News of the ruling followed a visit last week by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he mounted a charm offensive in the face of increasing antipathy in Germany toward the world’s biggest social media network prompted by fears for data protection.

The Berlin regional court ruled that Facebook had not adequately changed the wording of a clause on intellectual property in its terms and conditions after a complaint was filed by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV).

“Facebook is persistently trying to evade consumer laws in Germany and Europe,” VZBV head Klaus Mueller said in a statement. “Companies must implement judicial decisions and can’t simply sit them out.”

A spokeswoman for the Berlin court confirmed the ruling.

A German court originally ruled in March 2012 that Facebook’s terms and conditions did not make clear the extent to which users’ intellectual property – such as photos and videos – could be used by Facebook and licensed to third parties.

The Berlin court concluded that while Facebook had changed the wording of the clause, the key message remained identical to the previous version.

“We complied with the order to clarify a single provision in our terms concerning an IP license a while ago. The court felt we did not update our terms quickly enough and has issued a fine, which we will pay,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Facebook faces concerns over a perceived cavalier approach to the privacy of users in Germany, a country reunited after the Cold War in 1990 where memories of espionage were stirred anew by Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations of prying by the state.

During his visit last week, Zuckerberg said he had learned from Germany to include migrants as a class of people that needed to be protected from “hate speech” online.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

IBM to purchase cyber security firm Resilient Systems

IBM Security plans to acquire private cyber security firm Resilient Systems, the computing giant said Monday, as part of a move to expand its role in the incident response market.

The sale comes amid a consolidation in the cyber sector and a decline in valuations of public and private cyber firms. Some investors believe the companies were overvalued after a host of headline-grabbing hacks against the U.S. government and major corporations increased interest in the market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is being announced during the RSA security conference in San Francisco and expected to close later this year subject to regulatory review.

IBM (IBM.N) said it intends to retain the roughly 100 employees working at Resilient Systems, including Chief Executive Officer John Bruce, a former vice president at Symantec, and Chief Technology Officer Bruce Schneier, a prominent cryptographer, security blogger and author.

“Our intent is all these guys are going to come on board,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, general manager of IBM Security, told Reuters. “You acquire technology, but you really want to acquire people.”

Known as Co3 Systems when it was founded in 2010, Resilient Systems has become a leading player in the high-demand field of incident response by helping private and government customers prepare for, detect and mitigate cyber breaches, said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Incident response is “hot in the market,” Oltsik said. “Customers are spending a lot of money on cybersecurity to address their shortcomings.”

The acquisition comes against the backdrop of a U.S. cyber security market slogging through a funding slump, forcing some startups to sell themselves or cut spending.

IBM also said on Monday it is creating X-Force Incident Response Services, which will leverage Resilient Systems’ technology and talent to help clients identify and respond to cyber threats.

The X-Force service will also rely on a new partnership with cyber firm Carbon Black, which IBM said will help its analysts conduct security forensics on compromised endpoint devices and discover where a breach first occurred.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

Israeli startup bets on ‘smart’ satellite antennas for global web access

ROSH HA’AYIN, Israel Israeli startup Skyfi is looking to outflank Facebook and Google in a race to provide worldwide internet access by developing the first self-correcting antenna that can turn mini-satellites into powerful transmitters covering the globe.

The two technology leaders are working on ways to beam internet access from the sky to remote areas, Google with high-flying balloons and Facebook with a combination of drones and larger, more complex satellites.

But it will take an orbiting cluster of 60 miniature, or nano, satellites, each about the size of a shoe box, to provide full coverage of earth, said Raz Itzhaki Tamir, a veteran of Israel’s aerospace industry who co-founded Skyfi four years ago.

The way he hopes to do it is by using a parachute-like antenna that deploys once in space. The antenna can then mechanically adjust itself for imperfections in the transmitter’s surface, allowing a stronger signal to pass, and even alter the direction it points should broadcast needs change over the course of the satellite’s life.

That may not sound like much, but those are two major hurdles that have limited satellite operators for years.

While the company says it has a working “proof of concept”, the technology has yet to be proven in space, so don’t expect a fleet of internet-providing nanosatellites for at least a few years. But the antenna alone could be big business in the meantime.

Thousands of new satellites will be launched into space in the coming decade and many will use technology from Israel, which has built on its military expertise to capture a sizeable chunk of the growing commercial space market, particularly in the field of miniaturization.

Skyfi raised $3 million in a round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners, one of the country’s most successful venture capital funds, and says it has signed letters of intent to sell its antennas to global players such as Lockheed Martin and Spacecom.

Spacecom, which is collaborating with Facebook to beam internet services to Africa, said that if the new Skyfi antenna is successful, it would be in huge demand.

“This type of solution will conquer the market, because it addresses some of the most serious and bothersome issues for satellite operators,” said David Pollack, Spacecom’s chief executive.

For now, Skyfi is perfecting its system by testing a large version of the antenna in a 50-square-meter (yard) echoless chamber that simulates the conditions of space. It plans to launch its first unit in the next 18 months.

“Currently, if an antenna is not perfect, you have to live with it, with the losses,” said Tamir. “We can change that and be flexible, thus gaining more revenue from the satellite.”

(Editing by David Holmes)

EU clears Dell’s purchase of EMC Corp


The European Commission said on Monday it had cleared Dell Inc’s planned $67 billion acquisition of data storage company EMC Corp (EMC.N).

Dell unveiled the deal in October last year, the largest ever in the technology industry sector, and designed to enable it to better challenge rivals Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O), IBM (IBM.N) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) in cloud computing, mobility and cyber security.

The Commission said that the merged entity would have a moderate market share in external enterprise storage systems and would still face strong competition.

In virtualization software, EMC’s VMware had a strong position, the Commission found, but would have neither the ability nor the incentive to shut out competitors.

Reuters reported on Feb. 18 that the deal was set to be cleared.

(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek)