This week in the world of technology, Microsoft provided cloud computing services to BMW, Uber launched an in-app game to recruit engineers, and the FBI dropped the case against Apple.
Microsoft Providing Cloud Computing Services to BMW – Wall Street Journal, March 31
It looks like BMW is taking a test ride with Microsoft. On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. announced the new BMW Connected service, which allows late-model vehicles to tap into a mobile app powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to alert drivers about real-time traffic conditions via their smartphones and Apple Watches. The application uses Microsoft’s database and machine learning services to monitor traffic increases, get directions, controls some car functions, and share travel times. BMW German car maker now uses both Azure and Awesome Web Services (AWS), but assures the public that despite the new cloud partnership, the relationship with AWS will remain the same. The announcement was made yesterday at Build, the company’s annual user conference, welcoming both BMW and Microsoft.
Key takeaway: BMW has been a long time customer of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which made the announcement extra noteworthy. While AWS remains the largest cloud computing player in the space, the hyper-growth market is expected to grow $27.8 billion.
Don’t Expect The FBI To Tell Apple How It Broke Into That iPhone – Fast Company, March 30
After seven weeks of intense legal battling, FBI told Apple – “I don’t need you anymore.” Last week, the case took a surprising turn when a judge canceled a particularly anticipated court hearing just hours before its scheduling. The intensely brewing battle between the FBI and the tech industry began when the government requested that Apple write new code that would unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists from the San Bernardino shooting. Apparently, the Justice Department learned of a new way to break into the encrypted iPhone without Apple’s assistance, but with the help of an Israeli forensics firm, Cellebrite,instead. How you may ask? No one is entirely sure, but according to computer scientist, Jonathan Zdziarski, the company may be able to replicate a key chip in the iPhone (using NAND mirroring). It appears the technique may have worked because on Monday, the FBI dropped the case stating it successfully hacked into the iPhone but refuses to say how. Apple has yet to file a formal request to the government requesting information, but it’s possible that Apple may never discover the vulnerability because the government isn’t necessarily compelled to disclose any information. Why give up the secret tool they were so desperately seeking?
Key takeaway: This highly publicized and heavily debated legal battle was much more than one single encrypted iPhone and more about setting a dangerous precedent in a much larger discussion around law enforcement, national security, privacy, and individual privacy. While this case may be over, the question now turns to whether the government should reveal the techniques and vulnerabilities used and what Apple is doing to protect and secure communications. Are our iPhones are as secure as we once thought?
Uber is trying to recruit engineers by randomly sending a coding game to play during rides – Business Insider, March 25
What if you could code your way to employment? Uber, the online transportation company recently released a new game called Code on the Road – a way to scout for potential new hires. The mobile game tests the coding skills of users during their ride and prompts them to complete hacking challenges. The game involves three coding challenges with 60 seconds to complete each one. If the user scores high enough, he or she will be prompted to contact Uber directly through the mobile app and will be given a link to a job application. In addition to the new game, Uber is also offering $10,000 to any hackers who find bugs in its systems that could potentially expose customers’ personal information. Many riders (who are coincidentally engineers) have gone to Twitter to post screenshots and spark discussion, but Uber insists that it isn’t using personal information to target users. Instead, the company is focusing on highly concentrated areas, including Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco.
Key takeaway: The challenge includes fairly generic coding interview questions, rather than tailoring the challenges to specific coding skillsets. However, it could be a preliminary and easy step to weed out prospects. Uber continues to look for new and innovative ways to reach potential candidates but whether a three 60-second coding challenge will be enough to pull in top talent will be a test of time.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Dynamic Digest weekly roundup! Have a suggestion or preferred topic you would like to see next week? Tweet at us or leave a comment below!