Kanye to Zuck: ‘Say you will’

Zuckerberg slaps down Kanye West with a single Facebook like. Apple gets into a spat with the U.S. government, which has an unlikely ally in the form of Donald Trump. Ransomware gets serious, and emerging IT markets take a tumble. It’s all in our roundup this week.

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Is there any week when Kanye West doesn’t make a bigger fool of himself? On Valentine’s Day, he tweeted Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg with a special request:

And later:

And just to hedge his bets:

And all this, just the day after admitting that he was $53 million in debt, and shortly before accusing “all you dudes in San Fran“ of playing rap music in their homes but never helping real artists.

When someone used Facebook to point out that he probably shouldn’t use Twitter to ask the CEO of Facebook for money, Zuck liked the post. We think that’s all Facebook needed to say. Perhaps the whole thing was a way to promote Kanye’s latest album?

Behind Error 53

Apple got into a fight with the U.S. government after a federal judge ordered it to help the FBI break into an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple CEO Tim Cook opposed the request in an open letter, accusing the FBI of asking it to hack its own users and calling it “a dangerous precedent.” An outraged Donald Trump weighed in, asking who Apple thinks it is to oppose the U.S. government.

Maybe now people might understand what’s behind Error 53. Apple came under fire for protecting users’ security earlier this month, when journalists found that that an unauthorized technician tampering with the home button on an iOS 9-enabled iPhone would brick the device, rendering it inoperable by third-party repair shops. The occurrence is a security feature designed to protect the device’s fingerprint security and encrypted data, Apple protested.

Bumpy ride ahead for global IT market

Oil may be up a little this week, but the economic indicators are still poor enough to warrant a glum report from IDC. The analyst firm has said that global tech spending will take a huge hit in 2016. Emerging markets will contract, and smartphones will take a hit because the market is oversaturated, it warned. Overall, we can expect a two per cent growth rate in IT spending, down from an average of five to six per cent since 2010.

The bad news isn’t spread evenly, though. China will actually contract by 0.3%, while the U.S. will still trundle along quite nicely at four per cent growth, IDC said, thanks to growing interest in cool new tech like big data, cloud computing and mobile. If you’re a tech company selling heavily into China you have reason to worry.

Ransomware makes hospital computers sick

Ransomware struck hard this week, with an attack on the Hollywood Presbytarian Medical Center in Los Angeles. The software, which encrypts files until the victims pay up, struck the hospital’s computer systems, causing it to declare an internal emergency.

Hospital staff have been unable to access patient records, say reports, and the hospital’s president said the Radiation Oncology department was ordered not to turn on its machines and couldn’t treat patients.
The attackers are said to be asking for around $3.5 million, payable in bitcoins. The FBI is investigating.

Best of expertIP

Are you ready for the big shrink? According to a post by expertIP blogger Patricia MacInnis, IT departments will shrink to a quarter of their size by 2025, mostly because so many functions are moving to the cloud. The spectre of IT job loss from cloud computing has cropped up several times in the past few years; in 2011, Forrester said that ‘blue collar’ IT jobs — sysadmins and so on — would be among the first to go.

But for every downside, there’s an upside. In the world of cloud computing, it’s the creation of new roles. MacInnis argues that the cloud will create new, high-demand roles that are more strategic. Cloud admins won’t be executing mundane tasks. Presumably, cloud orchestration software will be taking care of that. Instead, they’ll be doing more strategic things like tightening up cybersecurity and integrating applications.

The cloud eats and drinks software, and indeed the cloud-reliant DevOps movement brings infrastructure and software together, so a keen understanding of code will stand IT pros in good stead. ASP, C#, Java, .NET, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails are among the top skills, the post said.

Consider this a time of natural selection. Those IT pros who want to maintain solid employment and salary growth in times of massive upheaval must adapt and survive.

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