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. “

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US visa-free residency for Cubans ‘ends’

Source: BBC

President Barack Obama has ended the longstanding policy that grants residency to Cubans who arrive in the US without visas, US media report.

The 20-year-old policy allows Cuban migrants who reach US soil to become legal permanent residents after a year.

In exchange, Havana has agreed to start accepting Cubans who are turned away or deported from the US.

The move comes as President Obama tries to continue the thawing of relations with Cuba in his final days of office.

It is unclear where relations between the two countries will go now.

His successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has taken a much tougher stance and could reverse the change.

Until now, this so-called “wet foot, dry foot” policy has applied solely to Cubans.

Other immigrants who come to the US without a visa could be arrested and deported.

A joint statement by the US and Cuba is expected later on Thursday, unnamed officials told Associated Press.

10 percent of Papua New Guineans on Internet

Source: Looppng

Only 10 per cent of Papua New Guineans have excess to internet as it is one of the most expensive in the world.

National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) CEO, Charles Punaha said the internet rate is very low compared to other countries in the region, and the world.

He said comparing Fiji, which has close to 100 per cent internet penetration, the biggest nation in the Pacific only has 10 per cent of its population accessing internet, but are paying much more for the service.

Punaha said the high cost of doing business in the country and also the geography landscape dictates the cost of accessing the services.

“We must be mindful that the cost of rolling out infrastructure network in PNG is very expensive.

“We also have very isolated communities, for connectivity purposes also contribute to the high cost of rolling out ICT services in PNG.

“And also compounded by the fact that the power grid ends at the fringes of the main towns, so you have operators basically putting up their own generators, providing fuel and solar power, this is very expensive compared to Fiji with small lower islands and the population is evenly distributed,” Punaha said.

He said competition in the ICT market is the way forward to slice the cost of accessing internet.

Meanwhile, in a study carried out by Network Strategies of New Zealand on internet access affordability published on its website in 2016, stated that Papua New Guinea tops the list of 12 Pacific countries with the most expensive internet service, followed by Solomon Islands.

US watchdog to probe FBI Clinton email actions

Source: BBC

A US government watchdog has launched an investigation into actions taken by the FBI during the election campaign.

FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server 11 days before the election shook up the race.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would look into “certain actions” by the FBI and DoJ.

Mrs Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing days before the US voted.

Her campaign team has blamed the FBI announcement as a key factor why she lost the election to Donald Trump.

The announcement on Thursday does not mention Hillary Clinton by name but refers to public disclosures by Mr Comey.

Mr Horowitz said his review would look at a news conference in July 2016 when Mr Comey said he would not recommend charges for Mrs Clinton.

A letter to Congress on 28 October, in which Mr Comey said there were more emails to look at, will also be subject to this new inquiry.

An explosive move – Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

It seems the 2016 election isn’t going to go gently into that good night. Thanks to this decision by the Justice Department inspector general, one of the more controversial moments of the recently concluded presidential campaign is going to be given closer scrutiny.

Hillary Clinton and her campaign team say FBI Director James Comey’s two interventions close to election day cost her the presidency. It certainly knocked the Democrat off her stride and dominated headlines, allowing Donald Trump – who had been staggered by sexual harassment allegations – to regain his political footing.

They also contend that the action violated Justice Department guidelines and was an overtly partisan act from a law enforcement agency that should be apolitical. Perhaps they will view this announcement as bittersweet vindication.

The scope of the review covers more than just Mr Comey’s actions throughout the campaign, however. It will also address concerns expressed by Republicans that some lower-level FBI officials may have improperly shared information with the Clinton campaign.

Depending on how this investigation is conducted, and the conclusions it draws, the fuse may have just been lit on a stick of political dynamite that will explode later in the year.

The inspector general said his investigation had come in response to “numerous” requests from the public and from members of Congress.

Mrs Clinton said she had set up a home email server for reasons of convenience, but admitted it was a mistake.

In clearing her in July, the FBI said Mrs Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified materials.

But there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, it said.

Then in October they briefly reopened the investigation after finding new related emails from top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

They were found on a laptop belonging to her estranged husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, but nothing was found on them and the case was closed for a second time.

Yahoo! is DEAD, will be renamed “Altaba”

Source: fossBytes

Yahoo has its plans after Verizon finishes the acquisition of its operating business.

The 4.8 billion initial deal is reconsidered by Verizon for a bargain after the reported data breach affecting 1 billion accounts. According to the Jan 9 SEC filing by Yahoo Inc., the plans includes changing the name of the leftover company — which include shares in Alibaba and other places in Asia —  to Altaba Inc.

Further is the resignation of the current CEO Marissa Mayer, co-founder and chief David Filo, and some other members of the board. Altaba Inc. will collect Yahoo’s remains and progress to become an investment company. The new board will include a total of five directors.

Until last year, there was no word on Mayer stepping down from the company. The name change process might be a consequence of Verizon taking the Yahoo! brand name and use its services under its roof. Obviously, nobody would take it.

Verizon has plans to combine what they get from Yahoo with their existing AOL business. It might be possible that Verizon scraps off Yahoo! brand in the future, just like what Microsoft did for Nokia they bought their mobile phone business. Or, maybe they would want to sail on brand Yahoo!’s popularity boat, which is still in an okay condition.

Chrome, Safari, and Opera Browsers might be leaking your private information

Source: fossBytes

We often praise the autofill features of our web browsers for saving us from all the troubles of typing the details like email address, passwords, address, phone numbers, etc.

But, these features come along with some serious security risks too.

A web developer and hacker named Viljami Kuosmanen has found a flaw that’s affecting different browsers and plugins. According to his revelation, web browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera, and plugins like LastPass can be exploited to leak sensitive personal information.

Browser autofill phishing in Chrome, Safari, and Opera

The phishing attack described by the hacker is very simple in application. When you fill your information in text boxes, autofill enters the profile-based information in form fields hidden from the user.

Mozilla’s Firefox is immune to this problem as it is yet to implement a multi-box autofill system, so, it can’t be tricked into filling text boxes.

Interestingly, this attack is triggered when users enter at least one information in some online form. To avert such attacks, the users are advised to disable the autofill function in their web browser.

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.