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First OS X Ransomeware Attack #MacUsers

  

OS X users have today been hit with the first known case of Mac ‘ransomware’ malware, found in the Transmission BitTorrent client released last week. Infected versions of the app include ‘KeyRanger’ malware that will maliciously encrypt the user’s hard drive after three days of being installed. The malware then asks for payment to allow the user to decrypt the disk and access their data — the ‘ransom’.

As reported by Palo Alto Networks, Apple has already taken steps to curb the spread of the malware through its Gatekeeper security system. This means the infected version of Transmission will no longer install, but it does not help those who have already been affected. Transmission is urgently recommending people upgrade to the latest version of its software, 2.91.

Unlike ‘friendly’ system encryption services, it is becoming increasingly common on Windows for viruses and malware to maliciously encrypt user data. The aim is for the virus maker to raise money by holding the user data ransom until payment is provided, in exchange for the malware to decrypt the drive once again.

The KeyRanger malware currently circulating is the first known instance of ransomware targeted at OS X users. It is not recommended to actually pay the malware as it only encourages further malicious action and there is no guarantee the virus maker will actually do the decryption as promised.

Users worried about being impacted by the ransomware should look for the ‘kernel_service’ process in Activity Monitor. This process is named like a kernel system program as a disguise, but it is actually the KeyRanger malware. If you are impacted, the recommendation is to restore to an earlier backup of your system before you installed Transmission. This is the best way to ensure the virus has been completely removed from the system.

It’s worth noting that the malware has only been detected in the Transmission app to date. It is unknown if it is more widespread, affecting other common apps.

Palo Alto Networks suggests a few other methods to check for the presence of the malware. Their post also includes a lot more detail on the technical implementation of the virus, so check out their post for more information. The security researchers suggest checking for the existence of the file ‘/Applications/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/General.rtf’ or ‘/Volumes/Transmission/Transmission.app/Contents/Resources/ General.rtf’. If this file exists, the Transmission app is likely infected. You can also check for the existence of “.kernel_pid”, “.kernel_time”, “.kernel_complete” or “kernel_service” files in the ~/Library directory. Delete the files if they exist.
Source: 9to5mac

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Review: Tt eSports Contour Made-for-iPhone/iPad/Apple TV game controller

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of iPhone and iPad controllers, but I have seen some improvements since we first covered some of the shortcomings with the early batch of game controllers that came out under Apple’s Made-for-iPhone licensing program. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tt eSports Contour…

http://9to5mac.com/2016/03/04/review-tt-esports-contour-made-for-iphone-apple-tv-game-controller/

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Why Virtual Reality Is Vital

  

Brands are already experimenting with VR. Among them, the NBA shows 360-degree game footage, Marriott Hotels loans headsets to guests so they can take “tours” of exotic destinations and Ford uses VR to help design its vehicles’ interiors. By the year 2020, Altberg believes, VR companies will be generating more than $150 billion a year in revenues — and you may want a part of that.

Isn’t this a little speculative? I don’t even know anyone with a VR headset. 

That’ll change sooner than you think. VR has wide business potential — a company can connect with remote staff as if they were all in the same room, a carmaker can offer test drives, real estate brokers can provide buyers with walk-throughs of entire buildings and a dressmaker can even offer a virtual fitting for a wedding dress. 

Cool, but how do I know if VR is worth it for me? 

Are 3-D environments and spatial relationships important in your line of work — say, architecture, interior design or product design? Do your employees require expensive or potentially dangerous training in fields such as medical procedures, heavy equipment, product installations or hazardous materials? VR could be an effective tool for you. And if you have prospective customers, partners or others with whom you meet face-to-face frequently, VR might save you a bundle on travel.

So where would I start? 



Check your budget. There aren’t many companies creating custom VR content today, and the ones that do are expensive — like Unity, which also makes blockbuster video games. You’ll also need to hire artists, videographers and software engineers. The price could easily top $1 million. Don’t have the cash? Don’t despair. In the early days of the internet, a website was expensive to build, too. Not anymore.

How far away are we from a VR boom?



For some industries, VR will become a critical component in the next few years. For others, it will probably be more like five to 10 years. And by that time, VR will be far more impressive — and cheaper.
Article by Mikal Belicove —

Mind Evolution

The counterintuitive reason why doing nothing can make you more successful

  

In today’s work-obsessed society, we have this belief that we have to constantly be doing something in order to be successful.
But what if the opposite were true? As Stanford psychologist Emma Seppala argues in her new book, “The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success,” we can be more effective if we take time to do more of nothing.

It’s a radical idea, but one that’s actually backed up by research.

We’re most creative when we’re less focused

For a 2011 study, researchers gave 428 students questionnaires to classify them as either a morning or an evening person, and then gave them logic problems in either the morning or late afternoon. To the researchers’ surprise, the morning people performed better in the late afternoon, whereas the evening people scored highest in the morning — times when both groups were supposedly less alert.

These findings backup the idea that we’re actually more creative at times when we’re relaxed or unfocused. And that’s especially interesting for employers.

A 2010 survey conducted by IBM of more than 1,500 CEOs in different countries and industries found that creativity is the most crucial factor for success.

As Seppala writes in her book, some of the most creative people in history had their biggest breakthroughs when they were idle. For instance, the inventor Nikola Tesla supposedly came up with an idea that led to his discovery of alternating current while on a walk with a friend. And Albert Einstein listened to Mozart to find inspiration.
But even though downtime is clearly important, many of us feel — ironically — that we simply don’t have time for it. Luckily, Seppala has some tips for making time.

How to do more of nothing
1. Diversify your activities: Alternate between tasks that require a lot of focus (like writing a report or preparing a presentation) with more mindless tasks (like entering data or filing papers). If your job involves a lot of mental focus, try something physical as a break, and vice versa.

2. Take some quiet time: Unplug from technology and try meditating or taking a walk. Being alone with your thoughts may be uncomfortable at first, but don’t worry — it gets easier.

3. Play: As kids, we play all the time, but many of us have forgotten how. So try out a board game, go see a comedy show, or spend some time cuddling with your pet. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as you’re having fun.

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How Ferrari went from a race-car company to a multi-billion-dollar luxury brand

  

After nearly 70 years in business, Ferrari completed an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015 that valued the company at nearly $10 billion. Today, the carmaker has one of the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world; its “prancing horse” logo is synonymous with sex, money and the high life. 
Ferrari wasn’t always the global luxury brand that’s now being traded in New York. The company’s early days as a maker of racing cars were rather humble, and it took an Italian-American racing star named Chinetti to begin the transformation into a purveyor of glamorous supercars for the world’s well heeled.
The company’s success drew takeover interest, and later rivalry, from Ford – before Ferrari eventually became part of FIAT. With the IPO, Ferrari is on its way to becoming an independent company again. 
This is its story.

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5 Famous Movie Quotes That Can Inspire Entrepreneurs

I’m not sure if this will finally be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year, for The Revenant, or if newcomer Brie Larson, in Room, will trump perennial favorite Cate Blanchett for the latter’s role in Carol. What I can tell you is that people are inspired by movies and jazzed by Hollywood’s award season. But what does that have to do with business?
The answer: inspiration. Where do your business ideas come from? From a variety of sources, I bet. Whether it’s a personal experience, a business experience, a billboard you saw when you were driving down the road or something your significant other said at the grocery store: Inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources.

So, whether you feel like “the king of the world,” or believe that you “could’ve been a contender” or consider that you should “always be closing”: Entrepreneurs can draw a lot from movies. And as we approach Hollywood’s biggest night, the Academy Awards, here are a few movie lines that have inspired me throughout my own career:

1. ‘The Godfather’ (Best Picture, 1972)

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”  

Isn’t that the truth! No one is born with massive amounts of knowledge. If you’re smart enough, you acquire some of that knowledge along the way. If you’re one of those people who think they know it all, I’ve got news for you: You don’t! That is the first obstacle you must overcome, your own arrogance.

Throughout my career, I’ve been called pig-headed, even irrational, but I haven’t been bothered by it. In fact, I’ve welcomed it. Why? Because I’ve been smart enough to learn a few things along the way and use that knowledge to grow.

As a young entrepreneur being shown the ranks, I sat in meetings where my boss would say things like, “Because it’s always been done that way.” If you expect to be in business a long time, this is one surefire way to cut that shelf life short. And it’s not a good mentality to have if you want to grow and be great. Nothing beats experience.

2. ‘All the King’s Men’ (Best Picture, 1949)

“To find something, anything, a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there will be some advantage in finding it.” 

“Advantage” is the basis of any entrepreneur. The road to entrepreneurship is paved with roadblocks and potholes galore. We all know that, but one thing we entrepreneurs have in common is the belief that we will find success.

We have this dream of the company that we want to build and shape. We have a vision, and we’ll work ourselves to exhaustion trying to make our dream a success, regardless of what the naysayers say (because they will say something about why you won’t succeed).

You will find that your business success will not come from any trophies or titles. It will come as a reflection of your truth. Your vision becoming a reality will be the measure of your success, and throughout this process you must stay true to who you are.

What made you become an entrepreneur in the first place? Let that serve as your true north. Being authentic is the key to success — it has been for me. That and my belief that I can make a living doing something I love doing.

3. ‘Rocky’ (Best Picture, 1977)

“Nobody is going to hit as hard as life, but it ain’t how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” 

You just read that quote in Sly Stallone’s voice, didn’t you? That’s okay. I did too. Rocky is speaking some truths here. Life is hard enough as it is, but there will come a time where life will knock you flat on your rear end. You must get back up! You must!

Life as an entrepreneur can be lonely. Not everyone will understand your drive, your vision or your passion. There will even be times where there won’t be anyone in sight to help you up after life has knocked you down. In my own life, one of my biggest business “knock-downs” involved pheasants.

Those stupid birds taste delicious but have got to be some of the stupidest birds on the planet. I love pheasant, love hunting them, so at first I thought, What could go wrong? After all, I am passionate about this venture, and I’m pretty good at business. Little did I know that a prairie storm would wipe away my newest venture.

In fact, the pheasants huddled together and drowned in the storm. And I lost everything. Needless to say, the true takeaway here is that, when life knocks you down, you should get up and hit it back harder. Just don’t expect soaring music when you run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

4. ‘Million Dollar Baby’ (Best Picture, 2004)

“It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.”  

Once again, the life of an entrepreneur can be lonely. You have your dream and vision, but there are people who are incapable of visualizing your dream or are so jealous of your success that they will plant seeds of doubt in your head. Don’t let them. Haters are gonna hate, so let them! People will tell you how you should do things.

Tell ’em to shut up! Write your own story. If others want to write a story, let them write their own.

Your business will need to reflect your vision, not anyone else’s. So, stop listening to other voices if you want to be the best “you” possible. It’s your dream, your vision.

5. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (Best Picture, 1962)

“Big things have small beginnings, sir.”  

Don’t ever think you’re too big for your britches. When you give yourself the title of “CEO,” that doesn’t mean you’re not going to end up cleaning your own bathroom or taking out the trash. If you’re not willing to do something, how can you ask your team to do that same thing?

As CEO of a company, big or small, it can be really easy to lose perspective and let our titles define us. A CEO cleaning his/her own bathroom? Unheard of in some cases. However, I see it as a positive. Why? It keeps entrepreneurs grounded.

For me, humble work reminds me that I come from humble beginnings and that I need to be able to do everything I can for my company to succeed. It also allows me to stay connected, in some visceral way, to all aspects of my business. Disconnection can be a lonely island of entitlement, and you must find that balance between pushing forward and staying grounded. While I encourage everyone to “think big,” I also warn, “Don’t become too big.” That can be a major turn-off for many.

What movie inspires you to forge ahead?  Which one dared you to put into motion your dream of becoming an entrepreneur? One thing is for sure: Nothing will happen if you don’t at least attempt to get things started. As Master Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

What are your Academy Awards picks? 

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This man grew his company from $30 million to $100 million in one year, mostly thanks to Amazon

 CEO of ScienceLogic David Link 
Cloud computing might be a threat to some of the biggest IT vendors around, but it’s turning other companies into the next Goliaths.

Take ScienceLogic, for example, a company founded 12 years ago by CEO David Link.

ScienceLogic’s revenue under contract (aka “bookings”) tripled from about $30 million in 2014, to $100 million in 2015, Link told Business Insider.

And he expects big growth again in 2016 (although he wouldn’t share the target number).

This is all because of enterprises are running full speed ahead toward cloud computing services, particularly Amazon Web Services (the giant of the cloud industry).

ScienceLogic offers what’s known as systems and network monitoring tools. It competes with products from companies like Zenoss, Solarwinds, IBM, HP and CA.

                    The “hybrid” market

About three years ago, Link saw the cloud computing trend and revamped his product to work especially well with Amazon’s cloud. (Today, it also works with Microsoft Azure and clouds built using VMware’s software, too.)

His goal was to tackle what’s known today as “hybrid” computing. That’s when companies put part of their IT into the cloud while keeping part in their own data centres.

Many businesses plan to operate in a hybrid forever. Others find that once they try cloud computing, they like it and want to eventually unplug all of their data centres for the cloud. But they will still be “hybrid” for a few years, the time it takes them to move.

As you might imagine, it can be complicated to manage a hybrid setup, with apps, data and systems spread out all over. And this is especially true if a company uses more than one cloud (which many do).

ScienceLogic helps them watch, and even find, all of their IT assets. Its claim to fame is that it’s incredibly detailed, Link tells us.

                      A dotcom survivor

ScienceLogic is also a dream-come-true for Link.

Before founding ScienceLogic, he had been working for a web hosting company that didn’t survive the dotcom bubble. It was his job to buy all of the data center equipment and systems monitoring tools. He and his two ScienceLogic cofounders (who still run ScienceLogic with him) spent the first year of the company programming the initial product in his basement.

“I was a buyer of these products, and I didn’t like the way the marketplace was treating me,” he told Business Insider. “We didn’t build this company to build it and flip it. We wanted to solve a problem near and dear to our hearts.”

The company was bootstrapped for its first seven years before landing its first $15 million in venture funding from NEA in 2010. It then landed Intel and Goldman Sachs as investors and, all told, raised $84 million, with a $45 million round from Goldman Sachs about a year ago, before the funding bubble burst.

“We’ll be cash-flow positive second half of this year,” he says. “I’m so happy to be sitting here now, feeling smarter than I should because we took more funding than we needed.”

An IPO is the eventual goal, he concedes, but that will have to wait until the public market regains its tech IPO appetite again.

In the meantime, thanks in large part to Amazon, business is good.
In addition to tripling bookings last year, ScienceLogic will grow its employee base from 270 to about 350 people in 2016, with offices in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore and it has 25,000 customers worldwide.