Google Revises Ad Polices in Response Complaints From UK, Others

Daily Tech Briefing - March 20, 2017

DAILY VIDEO: Google to change ad policies after boycott by UK government, others; Intel unveils new-generation Optane SSD for storage and RAM; Women’s progress in cyber-security stalled over past two years: Survey; and there's more.

DAILY VIDEO: Google to change ad policies after boycott by UK government, others; Intel unveils new-generation Optane SSD for storage and RAM; Women’s progress in cyber-security stalled over past two years: survey; and there's more.

Today’s topics include Google changing ad policies after a boycott due to ad placements next to inappropriate YouTube content; Intel unveils its new-generation Optane SSD for storage and RAM; a new survey finds women's progress in the cyber-security space has stalled in the global workforce; and Pwn2Own hackers rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards exploiting a number of web browsers and operating systems, including Windows and macOS.

Google has initiated a thorough review of its ad policies amid a firestorm of criticism in the United Kingdom for allowing ads from the UK government and major companies to appear next to inappropriate content on YouTube and other Google properties.

In a blog post March 17, Ronan Harris, managing director of Google U.K., vowed the company will make changes in the coming weeks that give organizations that advertise with Google more direct control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network.

The controversy came to a head after a recent investigative report by The Times revealed that advertisements from the UK government and dozens of major brands including Mercedes Benz and the BBC were being placed next to YouTube videos from jihadist, neo-Nazi, KKK and other hate groups.

In 2015 Intel and Micron held a joint press event to announce their new "baby" to the world: 3D XPoint, the first completely new memory form factor since Toshiba brought NAND flash to the market way back in 1989.

The parents of the newborn non-volatile memory, which has been several years in development, claimed it was going to be able to move data 1,000 times faster than NAND flash, and if that guess is only 10 percent accurate, it's still extremely fast.

3D Xpoint is now the foundation for Intel's Optane SSD, officially introduced March 19. Optane SSD will be shown physically to the world at CeBIT--the world's largest electronics conference--in Hannover, Germany, this week.

According to a study published on March 15, women's participation in the cyber-security industry has stagnated over the past two years, leveling off at 11 percent, which is much lower than women’s overall participation in the workforce.

The report, The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity, found that upper-level management positions were four times more likely to be given to men, while more than half of women have encountered workplace discrimination.

The imbalance is particularly noteworthy as Frost & Sullivan, the author of the report, estimates there will be a shortfall of 1.8 million people in the cyber-security workforce by 2022.

On the second day of the 10th annual Pwn2Own hacking competition, researchers demonstrated an unparalleled number of zero-day exploits in fully patched web browsers and operating systems, including Windows and macOS.

By the time the dust had settled late in the day on March 16, 11 out of 17 attempts at exploiting systems were successful, with researchers walking away with $340,000 in prize money.

On the first day of the Pwn2Own event, researchers were awarded $233,000 for exploiting Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Adobe Reader and Ubuntu Linux. It should be noted, that while there were many successful attempts on the second day of Pwn2Own, there were also more failed attempts than at any other Pwn2Own event over its decade-long history.