We unite in times of disaster

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I was reading a fellow country man’s article titled  “Why the Southern Highlands & Hela Provinces are important to me” and it inspired me to tell this story.  It almost brought tears down as I reflected on a similar experience back in 2001 when I was at Gordon’s market in Port Moresby. I was with a young Erave youth; his name is Leme who left his village when he was aged 5 years with his older brother because of a tribal fight that destroyed his entire village and displaced the villagers.  He went back to his village after some years but he could not settle in so he drifted to Madang with some “wantoks”. Homeless and wondering around I found him in town and took him in after hearing about his ordeals. He just became part of the family and he even changed his surname to my family name. Anyway we were in Port Moresby trying to locate his older brother who lived somewhere at 5 mile area.  As soon as we got off the PMV at Gordons market and walked past some women sitting behind their esky coolers selling ice block, his face suddenly lit up and he smiled. I asked what he was smiling about and he told me, “mi harim tokples ya”. (I can hear my native language being spoken.)

We eventually found some information from the ladies and went to 5 mile where he was reunited with his brother after all these years. He decided to stay with me in Madang instead of with his older brother. He is now married to a lady from Banab, NCR Madang and lives with her in the village.

Anyway, the point of these experience after reading the article by Scott Waide, I made these comments on his blog: “from my point of view we are all Papua New Guineans despite our language barriers and cultures. I am from the coastal region and I don’t know how to speak Erave or Tari languages but that did not stop the brotherhood that developed between Leme and myself.  Personally, I disagree with provincial day events and provincial flags. It only separates our unity as Papua New Guineans. I believe we should do away with promoting provinciality as it only stereotypes us into classes. Natural disasters like the Rabaul Volcanic eruptions in 1994, Aitepe Tsuanmi in 1998 and recent disasters at Manam, Kadovar and Mendi have brought back that unity of independence in 1975 despite our Provincial barriers.  Learning of how Bougainville supplied aid to the victims of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake in Southern Highlands is a classic example of this story. The bottom line is that we unite in times of disaster and emergency despite our cultural differences is a phenomenon worth considering in reforming our government of the day, its country values and our constitutional rights.”

Scott mentioned in another article that “…in the last 10 years, the monopoly of information has shifted from government to citizens…” and “…in a disaster prone country like Papua New Guinea, it is crucial that we review our processes and use our resources better..” which I totally agree with. There is no civil defense set up in Papua New Guinea unlike most countries. I am not referring to the PNGDF or the National Disaster Center in Port Moresby but non-combatant civilians, volunteers trained in the capacity of providing humanitarian relief work. This can be taught in schools by reforming education curriculums and the national qualification framework to train civilians at all levels of education.

If we really value National Security, as citizens we should not take sides in the political arena while the current sovereignty of our nation and democracy is being manipulated by greed, foreign gain and power.  Unity in times of disaster should be the same when it concerns the governance of national security.

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Phone-cracking firm Cellebrite hacked

Source: BBC

Information about the customers of Cellebrite, an Israeli firm that markets hacking tools, has been stolen in a cyber-attack.

 

The breach was first reported by tech site Motherboard, which said it was sent 900 gigabytes of data by a hacker.

Cellebrite confirmed some information had been taken but said it was not aware of any “increased risk” to clients.

The firm added that it was now notifying affected customers.

Motherboard said the data – which was not distributed online – included “what appears to be evidence files from seized mobile phones, and logs from Cellebrite devices”.

However, Cellebrite did not respond to this in its statement.

When contacted by the BBC, a spokesman said its investigation was ongoing and it had no further information to add.

The firm did say that it recently detected “unauthorised access” on an external web server – activity it described as “illegal” – and that it had launched an investigation into the incident.

It added that the data taken related to an older user account system.

Last year, Cellebrite was linked to the FBI’s attempt to hack an iPhone used by San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook. The firm has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

“The information accessed includes basic contact information of users registered for alerts or notifications on Cellebrite products and hashed passwords for users who have not yet migrated to the new system,” the company said.

Cellebrite advised users of the my.Cellebrite system to change their passwords.

“The sort of people who use Cellebrite products don’t necessarily want others to know that they’re using it,” said Prof Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Surrey.

“Law enforcement agencies and perhaps security services will be using it.”

In 2015, hackers stole data from Italian surveillance company Hacking Team and released it on to the web.

The dump included information on countries that had bought Hacking Team products.

“It’s a direct analogy I would say,” Prof Woodward told the BBC. “The embarrassment factor is going to be the same.”

Shadow brokers’ farewell

Separately, 58 hacking tools for Windows PCs were released on to the web by a group calling itself “Shadow Brokers”.

The group announced the release in a farewell message, having attempted to auction the malware online last year. At the time, Shadow Brokers claimed it had been stolen from the NSA.

Besides the newly released files, Shadow Brokers said a full cache of exploits had been left online at a price of 750 bitcoins (£500,000).

Many of the exploits were not “zero days” – attack methods that have not yet been uncovered – but ones that had already been detected by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, according to one analyst.

“Nobody was willing to pay them,” said Prof Woodward. “They sort of stomped off in a huff, basically.”

Prof Woodward added that while some of the exploits looked “sophisticated” there was no proof that any of the data had been taken from the NSA.

Competition in ICT industry to reduce charges

Source: Looppng

Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) introduction into the country’s ICT industry will help to lower the high cost of internet and voice charges.

Gabriel Pimentel, ABS Managing Director for the South East Asia and Asia Pacific made the comments today during the official presentation of individual operator licenses by the National Information and Communication Technology.

“ABS is a global satellite operator; traditionally we have been providing space segment bandwidth,  but we  have gone one step further, by not only being a satellite provider but in fact started to develop services on the ground, enabling a cheaper satellite bandwidth we bring which will be passed to the consumers,”  Pimentel said.

“We are providing much more competition to the existing (and) established (ISP) providers, and competition always resulted in benefit to the consumers, and in reality we have seen in the markets we have played, the more cost effective services results in more people using these facilities.”

Pimentel said providing ICT services to the rural areas are one of the company’s main objectives.

Meanwhile, NICTA chief executive officer Charles Punaha said, “for NICTA’s perspective, we are fortunate to have an international satellite operator coming into the country.

“It is our hope that it will provide for more competition in the market, and this is something we have been looking forward to for a number of years, and off course will result in the reduction of the current very high satellite bandwidth that has been offered in the market.

“It will result in the reduction on the price,” Punaha said.

International satellite operator to operate ICT services

Source: Looppng

A global international satellite operator has been given license to provide ICT services in the country.

National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha today presented the individual operating licenses to Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).

ABS has offices in the United States, UAE, South Africa, Germany, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

According to company’s website, ABS operates a fleet of satellites serving 93 per cent of the world.

ABS offers a complete range of End-to-End solutions including Direct to Home (DTH), Cable TV distribution (CATV), Cellular Backhaul, VSAT and Internet Backbone services with diverse IP transit through its European, Middle East and Asian internet gateways.

Punaha said one of the requirements was for ABS to incorporate a company in PNG to provide Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, which the company had complied with.

“ABS has been one of our clients for the last 10 year, and we do filing for them, and also they assist us to do coordination.

“Most satellites are in the PNG filings, except one of them.

“And to this respect, ABS is not a newcomer to NICTA but to this occasion they have decided to open up a local office and submitted their application for licenses, which we will official handover to them three licenses approved by our board,” Punaha said.

The three licenses are;

–              Individual Network (facilities and services) license to provide data and internet services over facilities and infrastructures for its customers in PNG;

–              Individual Network Gateway License (Gateway) license to provide international connectivity services for international voice and data connectivity; and

–              Individual Application License to provide internet services (voice and data) in PNG.

Gabriel Pimentel, ABS managing director thanked NICTA for the trust and confidence in the company and said they will kick the ground running with the licenses.

“We believe PNG is sitting on wealth and needs to be developed on better communication, not only in the developed areas but also in rural areas. “

What is that small cylinder on my computer cables?

Source: fossBytes

The digital era has gifted us many gizmos to make our lives more interesting and easy.

Just like everybody else, I use many electronic gadgets in daily life. More I explore these gadgets, more I get to learn about them. Similar desires of Fossbytes readers have made our Explainer section very popular.

In the same section, a few days ago, I told you about what causes a battery explosion. Today, I’m going to tell you about a small mysterious cylinder found on many cables–particularly the older ones. I noticed one on my laptop and monitor cables. This lump is usually found on one side of the cable.

So, what is this small cylinder on these cables? What’s its use?

This small cylinder on these cables is a ferrite core, also called a ferrite bead or ferrite choke. It’s simply a hollow cylinder that’s made of ferrite (iron oxide alloyed with other metals), which is a semi-magnetic substance.

Wondering what’s the use? Its purpose is to reduce the electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

Such interferences cause our electronic devices to buzz, speakers to chirp, and monitors to flicker when they are too near to cell phones or other devices.

Our cables can act like an ‘unintentional’ antenna that broadcast or pick interference/noise. These cylinders in cables are made in such a way to reduce the interference with other electrical devices. In the cylinder, these signals get converted into heat. The ferrite’s atoms align themselves in different directions and block EMI.

Thus, the ferrite core prevents the disturbance and improves the quality of data stream.

But, why do some cables, e.g., cables of Apple’s products, don’t have these cylinders? In many new products, we don’t see this cylinder as it’s possible that the fixes may be already incorporated internally.

Act will not censor social media: NICTA

Source: Looppng

The Cybercrime Act will not be used to gag public complaints in the media.

Charles Punaha, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, said the Act, passed by Parliament in 2016, will not be a form of censorship on mainstream and social media.

“We respect freedom of information and speeches as provided for under the Constitution, but let me also specify that those freedom are referred to by law as qualified rights, meaning that people should not abuse those freedom to commit (crimes) against other people,” Punaha said.

“Our code will be developed within the confines of the law, the existing legislation and mindful to facilitate and respect the freedom provided for.”

However, many of Loop PNG readers think the Act is a smokescreen by the government to protect them from public scrutiny, especially on Facebook.

These are some of the comments on our news site.

“It is censorship your highness. You are telling us to watch our mouths when criticising public, elected officials – a norm in any democracy. Isn’t that the same as prohibiting people from watching certain movies, etc?” wrote a reader.

“People or so-called leaders are pushing around to have media under their control. (It) is to protect themselves from their corrupt practises so where does this freedom of speech come in play, shame on you leaders for pushing this agenda around to pass that law,” Arnold Mara commented.

“We need freedom of speech in our country! We all know that the media in PNG is being controlled by the Government, we need social media to expose corruption and the truth on our Parliamentarians and senior public servants’ immoral and unethical behaviours,” another reader commented.

Meanwhile, under the new Act, the three mobile phone operators must register all their users before the end of 2017.

“We remind subscribers that the number of days has been reduced, and we have 12 months left and they must register now,” Punaha said.

He added that they are in constant dialogue with the mobile operators and are confident with the current progress of SIM card registration.

Dell Announces World’s First “Wireless Charging” Laptop

Source: fossBytes

Earlier at CES 2017, Dell impressed folks with their XPS 13 2-in-1 featuring an edge-to-edge display, but they have something for their business users too.

There is another 2-in-1 hybrid machine known as Latitude 7285. It has something more to offer than detaching its display unit and transform into a tablet. It is the world’s first laptop to feature wireless charging, a tech mostly seen on smartphones and wearables.

Dell managed to cut the cables by partnering with the WiTricity Corporation, a company working on magnetic resonance-based wireless charging solutions for devices.

The wireless charging tech is built into the keyboard base of Latitude 7285 which requires WiGig dock to enable charging without wires and also streaming content to an extended display at the same time. There is an interesting story related to how Witricty came into existence, you might want to read it.

There are two other keyboard units (without wireless charging) available alongside the wireless charging one. One packs a complete keyboard and adds extra battery juice of 4 hours. Another one is slim and light, aimed at enhancing the portability of the device.

At the DELL EMC World event in the month of May, Dell will talk more details about Latitude 7285 2-in-1 which is scheduled to launch in June. Currently, there is no word on the pricing of the device.