Archive for March 9, 2020

Shadowy NSO Group Fails To Show In Court To Defend Itself From Charges That It Hacked Smartphones Via WhatsApp

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2020 by itnerd

Readers of my blog may have heard me talk about The NSO Group. This is a company based in Israel that acquires exploits and sells them to some pretty repressive regimes for the purposes of spying on their citizens and those who are critical of said regimes. They’ve been fingered as being behind exploits in iOS that allegedly ensnared Jeff Bezos and WhatsApp. And it’s the latter that made Facebook who owns WhatsApp sue the NSO Group after a an exploit in WhatsApp was used to go after some dissidents and journalists. The NSO Group at the time promised to “vigorously” defend itself in court. The thing is that according to this story in Harretz, The NSO Group didn’t show up:

WhatsApp has taken a step toward winning its widely publicized lawsuit against the NSO Group after the Israeli spyware merchant failed to show up in court, according to a notice of default entered Monday in California.

And:

NSO promised to “vigorously fight” the allegations, but the firm was a no-show in the Northern District of California, where the case was filed.

Legal documents filed by WhatsApp detail repeated efforts to serve the company with legal documents, including emails to senior executives, FedEx-delivered copies to NSO board members, and even a hand-delivered copy of the suit left with NSO cofounder Omri Lavie’s wife at their New Jersey home.

Though a report in Bloomberg has the company singing a different tune:

“WhatsApp prematurely moved for default before properly serving NSO Group with the lawsuit,” a spokesman for the Israeli company said in a statement. “As NSO Group has not been formally served, this default notice will not stand. We cannot comment further about this ongoing matter.”

Well, that’s an interesting statement from a company who could have said the above in court but chose not to for whatever reason. In any case, expect the screws to turn on The NSO Group as I suspect it’s going to get harder and harder for them to avoid having to show up in court and answer questions about what they do and who they sell to.

OpenText Buys Montreal’s Xmedius

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2020 by itnerd

OpenText™ today announced that it has acquired XMedius, a provider of secure information exchange and unified communication solutions. XMedius brings decades of experience and patented technologies to transform secure and collaborative communication, enabling organizations to move more workloads to the cloud and unlock the information advantage.

XMedius also provides innovative technologies to optimize the omnichannel customer experience and the connected business. These solutions will complement OpenText’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Business Network (BN) platforms. More information on XMedius can be found on http://www.xmedius.com/.

Terms of Agreement and Preliminary Outlook

The purchase price of the acquisition is approximately $75 million in an all-cash transaction. XMedius currently generates approximately $40 million annually in revenue. OpenText expects first year revenues to be down, up to 20% due to customary purchase price accounting adjustments and typical integration activities. XMedius is not expected to contribute significant revenue to OpenText’s results for the fiscal third quarter ending March 31, 2020.

EcoWake: An Alarm Clock App That Plants Trees If You Wake Up On Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2020 by itnerd

EcoWake is an alarm clock app that rewards users by planting trees in real life when they wake up on time.

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EcoWake empowers users to wake up on time through the use of a unique type of gamification  – every day you wake up on time, you earn seeds towards planting trees in your virtual forest on the app, which EcoWake then turns into real trees planted through partnerships with tree-planting organizations around the world. 

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Tree planting is one of the most effective ways that the world can combat climate change. With EcoWake, you can now take an everyday, normal activity (waking up to an alarm) and start saving the world!

EcoWake is available on both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. It is free to download, allowing you to plant one tree per month. A premium $5/month account allows you to plant up to 10 trees per month. 

How the tree-planting works:

  1. User downloads the app
  2. User earns 30 seeds for waking up on time 3 days in a row
  3. User plants a tree in their virtual forest
  4. EcoWake (at the end of month) calculates how many trees have been planted and donates the requisite amount of funds to edenprojects.org to ensure those trees are planted responsibly and effectively

More information available at https://ecowakeapp.com