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'PENDING LARRY QUOTE' - Google financials dunder blunder

Plus: 'Alas, John McClane isn't around to fix weak IT systems'

Business security measures using SSL

Quotw This was the week some Googler's finger slipped at just the wrong moment, sending its rather worrying financial results out a mite too early. The Chocolate Factory's third quarter profits were much lower than expected and its revenue, famed for continued growth, has slowed down.

It was quite clear that the early release was a mistake, as the SEC filing was headed:

PENDING LARRY QUOTE

The results were released when the market was still open, rather than the usual scenario of giving investors a chance to calm down by dropping the bombshell in the evening. A night's sleep can often bring folks to terms with less than shiny financials, but instead frightened shareholders piled out of the internet giant, wiping nearly $20bn off the firm's value.

Things got so bad, Google had to suspend the shares, blaming the c***-up on its printers.

Earlier today RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorisation.

We have ceased trading on Nasdaq while we work to finalise the document.

It was also the week when Anonymous told WikiLeaks that it felt the whistleblower wasn't really concentrating so much on the whole spread of knowledge thing as it was on the whole give-us-lots-of-money-to-free-Julian-Assange thing.

Or as the hacktivist collective put it on Pastebin:

The idea behind Wikileaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise being kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know.

But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga. That's great for him but not much of our interest. We are more interested in transparent governments and bringing out documents and information they want to hide from the public.

The online and very public break-up was spurred by WikiLeaks' new money-grubbing attitude. The site is now much more upfront and direct about snaffling "donations" by putting up an overlay as soon as users enter the site that they can get past unless they know to (and how to) disable Javascript.

Anonymous berated:

The casual user does not know that he needs to disable javascript to get to the content without paying - sorry, donating. He may not even know what javascript is, let alone how to disable it. Lastly, regardless of any workarounds, the fact remains that a meretricious banner is placed for the majority of visitors that cannot be closed. The obvious intention is to increase donations.

The conclusion for us is that we cannot support anymore what Wikileaks has become - the One Man Julian Assange show.

In iPhone 5 news, Foxconn admitted that the shiny new Jesus-mobe was darn hard to assemble and that's why there's a dearth of the smartphones for hungry fanbois.

A nameless exec said:

To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated. It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.

The anonymous source also said that the factory workers had to be quite careful of the new easy-scratch model to ensure that it doesn't actually get all scraped until after it leaves the factory.

They said:

It’s always hard to satisfy both aesthetic needs and practical needs.

Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay is busily turning itself into a super-stealthy cloud dweller in a bid to evade the authorities and rid itself of its unreliable mortal coil.

The site waxed lyrical on its new life in the fluffy world, but a part of the reason is probably down to the recent outage of its hardware.

The Pirate Bay said:

So, first we ditched the trackers. Then we got rid of the torrents. Now? Now we've gotten rid of the servers. Slowly and steadily we are getting rid of our earthly form and ascending into the next stage, the cloud.

If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images.

They have to be quick about it too, if the servers have been out of communication with the load balancer for 8 hours they automatically shut down. When the servers are booted up, access is only granted to those who have the encryption password.

In the US, free/subscription radio service Pandora is backing a bill to reduce musicians' pay in an effort to up its profits. The site is looking to pay less royalties under the new act, an attempt that's been branded "desperate". At the same time, company CEO Tim Westergren appears to be slowly but surely selling off his stake in the firm.

An investor said:

Pandora is crying to congress for help because they can’t turn a profit by giving away content to users for free with limited exposure to advertising, and because they can’t get enough paying subscribers from their extensive base of 'free' listeners. If I were an investor, I’d sell immediately just like the insiders have been doing en masse, or at the very least I would demand some real answers from Tim Westergren on why he can’t make this business model 'work'.

Blighty was the scene of the latest completely avoidable sensitive data loss when the the details of over a thousand people being investigated for serious drugs crime were lost. Manchester Police stuck the data on an unencrypted memory stick that ended up in one officer's wallet, which was then stolen from his home in a burglary.

David Smith of the Information Commissioner's Office, which fined the police £120,000, said:

This was truly sensitive personal data, left in the hands of a burglar by poor data security. The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine.

It should have been obvious to the force that the type of information stored on its computers meant proper data security was needed. Instead, it has taken a serious data breach to prompt it into action.

And finally, Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky Labs reckons his company is a bit like a certain white-vested, barefooted hero cop we all know and love. That's right, he thinks the firm's attempts to create a special cyber-secure OS are a bit like the efforts of John McClane in Die Hard 4, unfortunately better known as Live Free or Die Hard.

In a blog post, Kaspersky said:

Alas, John McClane isn't around to solve the problem of vulnerable industrial systems, and even if he were – his usual methods of choice wouldn't work. So it comes down to KL to save the world, naturally! ®

Website security in corporate America

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