News roundup: This week's tech topics

Jun 18th, 2014 / Category: Globalscape News and Events

From Amazon's much-anticipated smartphone announcement to the World Cup, here's what the tech world is talking about this week.

Amazon unveils smartphone 
Following months of speculation and commentary, Amazon announced that it is officially entering the smartphone business. The company is starting off with an exciting offering that includes an impressive 13 MP rear-facing camera, Gorilla Glass on both sides, and a quad core 2.2 GHz processor, Mashable explained while live-reporting on the announcement event. The Fire Phone has a 4.7-inch screen and connects to Amazon's other offerings, including Prime and Kindle content. With Amazon cloud storage, the phone's data capacity is nearly limitless.

Report finds government IT in need of repair 
Together, the federal, state and local government agencies pour about $180 billion into information technology resources, but these efforts aren't solving problems or running efficiently, InformationWeek reported. According to a new report by David Wyld, professor of management at Southeastern Louisiana University, and Raj Sharma, CEO of Censeo Consulting Group, only about 6 percent of major federal IT programs are successful, despite the hefty investment, the news source explained. 

The study found that the long-term scope of many government projects added to the difficulty of implementing effective solutions. In addition, programs suffer from disagreement on the end goal, poor leadership and governance, fear of failure and risk, complex requirements or terms, and "cumbersome and cautious procurement processes." Government agencies need to improve their IT resources to improve taxpayer perception of public spending, the authors concluded.

AT&T breach prompts discussion on insider threats  
Last week, AT&T disclosed that it had experienced an insider data breach that put customer information at risk. This week, security experts are discussing the implications of the incident, particularly in regard to the motivations that prompted it. According to eWEEK, employees at the company stole records with the intention to make money by jail-breaking locked phones and reselling them.

Lucas Zaichkowsky, enterprise defense architect at AccessData, told eWEEK that organizations can curb insider incidents by implementing account and data access controls, including limiting the number of records workers can access at one time and monitoring user activity.

World Cup 2014: A tech-friendly event 
It's already a global event, and technology is helping to further bring the world together over the sporting competition: The 2014 FIFA World Cup is well underway in Brazil, drawing interest on televisions and online across the planet. Compiling information from Experian and other online reports, Baseline Magazine detailed how this year's contest might be the "most tech-friendly one to date," demonstrating the popularity and usefulness of mobile technology for these types of events.

According to the source, World Cup fans are likely to use their smartphones and tablets to follow sports, with Akamai predicting up to 2.5 million live content streams at any one time during matches, and "soccer superstars" are surging in popularity on social networks such as Twitter. Tech is also being utilized within the games themselves, including new goal-line technology that helps determine whether a team has actually scored.