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Last week, Apple was at the heart of a conversation during the Republican presidential debate over encryption and national security. Candidates such as Jeb Bush explained that, even if companies like Apple aren’t willing to give up user data, the government has “got to keep asking because this is a hugely important issue.” Last night, NBC held a Democratic presidential debate out of South Carolina, and once again, encryption and technology’s role in national security were hot button issues during the debate.

The NBC debate was co-run by YouTube and featured questions from prominent YouTubers. Popular technology reviewer Marques Brownlee, or MKBHD, brought up the issue of privacy and how the government has been calling for backdoor access into user devices. “Tech companies are responsible for the encryption technology to protect personal data, but the government wants a back door into that information,” Brownlee stated. “So do you think it’s possible to find common ground? And where do you stand on privacy versus security?”

O’MALLEY: I believe whether it’s a back door or a front door that the American principle of law should still hold that our federal government should have to get a warrant, whether they want to come through the back door or your front door.

And I also agree, Lester, with Benjamin Franklin, who said, no people should ever give up their privacy or their freedoms in a promise for security.

So we’re a collaborative people. We need collaborative leadership here with Silicon Valley and other bright people in my own state of Maryland and around the NSA that can actually figure this out.

But there are certain immutable principles that will not become antique things in our country so long as we defend our country and its values and its freedoms. And one of those things is our right to be secure in our homes, and our right to expect that our federal government should have to get a warrant.

Senator Bernie Sanders was then asked about how the United States government should go about fighting home-grown terrorists. Sanders took this opportunity to inform Americans of how much information private companies are collecting about their users, while noting that the United States government has to work with Silicon Valley to insure that groups like ISIS are not using U.S. technology to transmit information.

Lester Holt: You have all talked about what you would do fighting ISIS over there, but we’ve been hit in this country by home-grown terrorists, from Chattanooga to San Bernardino, the recent shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia. How are you going to fight the lone wolves here, Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: OK. I just wanted to add, in the previous question, I voted against the USA Patriot Act for many of the reasons that Governor O’Malley mentioned. But it is not only the government that we have to worry about, it is private corporations.

You would all be amazed, or maybe not, about the amount of information private companies and the government has in terms of the Web sites that you access, the products that you buy, where you are this very moment.

And it is very clear to me that public policy has not caught up with the explosion of technology. So yes, we have to work with Silicon Valley to make sure that we do not allow ISIS to transmit information…

HOLT: But in terms of lone wolves, the threat, how would you do it?

SANDERS: Right. What we have got to do there is, among other things, as I was just saying, have Silicon Valley help us to make sure that information being transmitted through the Internet or in other ways by ISIS is, in fact, discovered.

But I do believe we can do that without violating the constitutional and privacy rights of the American people.

Hillary Clinton was then given 30 seconds to respond the issue of fighting “lone wolf” terrorists. During her time, Clinton praised the current White House Administration for its decision to meet with Silicon Valley executives two weeks ago. During the meeting, Tim Cook allegedly used the opportunity to again voice his opinion that there should be no backdoor access to user data and that it is up to the White House to be straightforward and say “no backdoor.”

CLINTON: Well, I wanted to say, and I’ll do it quickly, I was very pleased that leaders of President Obama’s administration went out to Silicon Valley last week and began exactly this conversation about what we can do, consistent with privacy and security.

We need better intelligence cooperation, we need to be sure that we are getting the best intelligence that we can from friends and allies around the world. And then, we’ve got to recognize our first line of defense against lone wolf attacks is among Muslim Americans.

We need to be reaching out and unifying our country against terrorist attacks and lone wolves, and working with Muslim Americans.

HOLT: And Andrea Mitchell has a follow-up.

MITCHELL: But — but — Secretary Clinton, you said that the leaders from the intelligence community went to Silicon Valley, they were flatly turned down. They got nowhere.

CLINTON: That is not what I’ve heard. Let me leave it at that.

If the most recent Republican and Democratic presidential debates are any indication, encryption and technology’s role in national security will continue to be crucial issues as we head into the 2024 election this November. The candidates in both parties seem to have differing views on the issue, so it will be interesting to see how American’s cast their votes.

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Pov: Redefining Us National Security In A Divided And Unequal Nation

POV: Redefining US National Security in a Divided and Unequal Nation

Photo by Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

Politics

POV: Redefining US National Security in a Divided and Unequal Nation “Our strategic tunnel vision is clouding our thinking on what it means to keep America safe”

The primary responsibility of the US government is to keep every American safe from harm. China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran are all focused and determined on changing the post–World War II order. While America’s eyes are focused on the long-term challenge posed by China, Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine highlights the volatility of today’s strategic environment. America needs to stop looking through the myopic lens of enormous defense budgets as the sole barometer of our security. By negating other key items that should classify under the broad umbrella of national security, we are sacrificing the future safety of our children and grandchildren.

America’s defense strategy is focused on one major assumption—the next conflict will be an away game. Our entire defense establishment, capabilities, and organization is based on this core concept. This naiveté in strategy has paralyzed us into thinking that it is incomprehensible that the next war could be fought on our own shores. We are accustomed to watching wars unfold on cable news with virtually no impact to most of our citizens—Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Ukraine, are prime examples. While the best defense is a strong offense, our strategic tunnel vision is clouding our thinking on what it means to keep America safe. While adequately resourcing the US military is important, it isn’t the only requirement in our collective security. 

We’re living in the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” world. Senior defense and military leaders continually complain that they don’t have enough resources. Yet the United States spends an astronomical amount on its military and national-security enterprise. The fiscal year 2023 Congressional-approved defense budget was a staggering $782 billion. The House Armed Services Committee recently approved its version of the fiscal year 2023 defense bill, with a top-line of nearly $840 billion. While the bipartisan nature of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees is a welcome respite from the partisan knife fights on Capitol Hill, pouring money into the Defense Department isn’t the cure-all of American security. It is impossible to have a strong defense, while on the other hand elected leaders are chipping away at the very fabric of our democracy on unfounded claims of fraud in the last election.

We’re spending nearly a trillion dollars per year on our defense budget, at the same time that we’re missing critical components of a comprehensive security strategy. The Biden administration has failed to produce a National Security Strategy and the Department of Defense has failed to produce an unclassified version of the National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review. While most Americans don’t read or care about these documents, it is a fundamental right in our democracy that we understand the policies and guidance that are aligned to the trillions of dollars spent on national defense. Blindly following a leader’s will isn’t a democratic principle. Questioning our leaders is a moral obligation in our democracy.

Resourcing education as a national imperative

America needs a highly educated and highly trained workforce to compete against the Chinese juggernaut; however, we’re already losing that battle. According to a paper published in 2023 by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, “We find that China has consistently produced more STEM doctorates than the United States since the mid-2000s, and that the gap between the two countries will likely grow wider in the next five years…by 2025 Chinese universities will produce more than 77,000 STEM PhD graduates per year compared to approximately 40,000 in the United States. If international students are excluded from the US count, Chinese STEM PhD graduates would outnumber their US counterparts more than three-to-one…” 

It is impossible to develop the complex weapon systems we need without a strong science and engineering workforce. Additionally, operating these weapon systems requires an equally educated force.

Allocating resources to America’s 16,800 school districts is a national security imperative. A high-quality education, regardless of where you live and how much money you make, must be a fundamental right in this country. In this same vein, making community colleges free and tackling the abhorrent cost of higher education is another imperative. Without the brilliance of NASA’s African American female leaders in the 1960s, we would not have beaten the Soviets in the Space Race. Today’s competition against China is equally as fierce. In a country whose population pales in comparison to China’s, we can’t leave anyone behind.

Education in America demands we understand our country and the world around us. Banning books is the antithesis to an educated populace. Nearly 140 school districts in 32 states issued more than 2,500 book bans during the 2023-22 school year, affecting nearly four million students across 5,000 schools, according to the [PEN America] report “Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools.” If our schoolchildren can’t distinguish opinion from fact and can’t embrace different cultures and beliefs, it will be impossible for them to develop the solutions to America’s most pressing problems. In some places in this country, ignorance is a badge of honor.

Acknowledging America’s broken democracy

The “Big Lie” in the 2023 election is indeed the biggest lie perpetrated on the American public. The hallmark of our democracy used to be the peaceful transition of power—our recent one-term presidents (Carter and Bush) showed the world the strength of our democracy. Winning at all costs and putting party above all has pitted Americans against Americans. It is in our normal vernacular to discuss red states versus blue states. But we’ve been here before and the outcome was America’s bloodiest war. I never understood why the road I took from my home in Virginia to the Pentagon was called the Jefferson Davis Highway—there isn’t an Adolph Hitler Highway in Germany. Seriously, we’re exalting the president of the Confederacy on the way to the headquarters of the US military.

Some governors are now attacking other states and using migrants as the weapon. Instead of embracing migrants that come to this country, they fly them (without their approval or knowledge) to blue states, and then they bask in the warm embrace of their constituents. The strength of a nation isn’t measured by the number of nuclear weapons or aircraft carriers they have, but on how they take care of the less fortunate in their communities.

Our democracy is broken when the legitimacy of an election is questioned when your candidate doesn’t win.

Our democracy is broken when instead of addressing the problem on immigration we use people as the weapon. 

Our democracy is broken when the Nazi flag is displayed in the US Capitol and there isn’t an outcry from 535 members of Congress. 

Our democracy is broken when women can no longer control their bodies.

Our democracy is broken when we make it difficult or impossible for every American to vote.

Our democracy is broken when we believe that this behavior is normal.

Repairing our democracy is a national security imperative.

Affluent to impoverished—all need to be  treated equal

The recently approved Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a foundational component of national security. Our nation is weakened when some Americans don’t have clean water to drink, comprehensive healthcare, access to high-speed internet or are forced to live near an EPA superfund site. Every American community—from the most affluent to the most impoverished—needs basic services. To compete in a highly competitive world, every American needs the opportunity to be successful. This nation doesn’t have a resource problem—it has a priority problem. We always find the resources needed for the Pentagon, but taking care of Americans takes a back seat. Allocating some of these precious resources to communities of color is a national security imperative.

For America to compete in this new world order, we need to open our eyes and realize that our strength is more than our military. The path we’re on is weakening our nation. Only by broadening what we consider national security will we have a fighting chance in a complicated world. Putting the American flag on the back of your pickup truck isn’t patriotic. Treating everyone in America with respect is the most patriotic thing we can do.

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Lost Identity Of Aadhaar: India’s National Id Turns Into A Privacy And Security Nightmare

The idea of creating a universal identity system linked to biometrics sounds like something most smart nations would have in the future. Prima facie, the task is monumental and security has to be paramount.

Unfortunately for India, the database security is so weak that hacking it feels like using a sledgehammer to drive in a nail. It’s just too much power for the job that can be accomplished in a paltry sum of Rs 500, without an iota of hacking knowhow. And the biggest thing to worry about is how Aadhaar has turned into a tool for state surveillance.

Millions of Indians need to be concerned about Aadhaar, and it’s not just because of one or two reasons. It’s a whole host of problems for India’s national identity program. Let me take you through a brief history of Aadhaar, starting from the point of when warning bells began ringing.

A very brief history

It started off smoothly, but the leaky process of registering citizens led to lakhs of fake Aadhaar cards, and the government had another problem on their hands. Fake Aadhaar cards could easily be linked to real bank accounts by criminals to siphon off funds meant from the intended Aadhaar-linked bank account. In addition, by using fake Aadhaar cards as ID proof for new mobile numbers, criminal activity could easily be masked.

So the Indian government was forced to make a new move. This time it compelled citizens to link bank accounts to Aadhaar to stop such fraudulent linkages. And similarly for mobile numbers, too.

But the problem ran far deeper than just simple fake Aadhaar cards, especially when real Aadhaar data was displayed bare-naked by government websites for just about anyone.

Government Leaks Aadhaar

In May 2023, a report from The Center for Internet and Society, which revealed that Aadhaar data of over 130 million people, including bank account number of over 100 million folks, has been leaked by government websites due to implementation poor security measures.

— Sakshi Singh 🇮🇳❤️ (@SaakshiSRawat) March 28, 2023

Then in July 2023, a month when nothing particularly good happened for Aadhaar, an IIT Kharagpur graduate was accused of hacking into UIDAI’s Aadhaar database by exploiting the vulnerabilities in another government project the Digital India app. But this is not the first Aadhaar-related app to be easily hacked, as we will see.

Telcos Misuse Aadhaar

In December 2023, Jio’s arch-rival Airtel came under the Aadhaar privacy scanner. UIDAI had to suspend Airtel and its banking arm’s Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification process after it was found that Airtel used customer’s Aadhaar e-KYC details submitted for SIM verification to open Airtel Payments Bank account for over 3 million customers without their ‘informed consent’.

Fake Aadhaar Cards

A few months before Airtel’s admonishment, in September 2023, another wholly anticipated incident tarnished Aadhaar’s image further. The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) busted a gang of criminals involved in making fake Aadhaar cards (Unique identification numbers, anyone). Their method of doing so? Well, the gang hacked UIDAI biometric security settings through cloned fingerprint scans. UIDAI itself has been forced to revoke the database access privilege of over 5,000 designated officials over reports of Aadhaar data being sold for paltry sums.

Government Leaks Continue

Around November 2023, the opinion against Aadhaar truly started swelling after a spate of security mishaps and data breaches. But that was just the beginning. Another 200 government and state websites were found to have publicly listed personal information of Aadhaar beneficiaries for an unknown span of time before being removed, something which UIDAI too had to admit.

Rs 500 for a Billion IDs

The government was in denial mode throughout, despite claims to the contrary by the people who allegedly ran the scam. After much pressure, the response was to come up with a Virtual ID that can be used instead of Aadhaar number in some cases

mAadhaar App Torn Apart

The Virtual ID would be enabled by UIDAI’s mobile-based Aadhaar solution – the mAadhaar app. But this was another case of bad technology and cyber security.

— Baptiste Robert (@fs0c131y) January 10, 2023

Besides the unpolished user interface, random and frequent crashes, what was scarier were the serious security shortcomings.

Independent security researcher, Baptiste Robert, who tweets as @fs0c131y and goes by the nickname Elliot Alderson (both based on TV’s Mr Robot) on Twitter, pointed out the very shallow security measures implemented in mAadhaar’s Android app which can be cracked open with relative easier to get access to critical biometric data and personal credentials of almost any person.

Bug in the official #Aadhaar #android app. By default, the application asks for the password for each action. In the settings, you can deactivate this password protection.

Now let me put it very clearly. The UIDAI’s database is not adequately fortified to dispel hacking attacks. Neither is the mAadhaar app, which is riddled with basic vulnerabilities too. Robert went on to point out other flaws including serious issues with WordPress installations on Aadhaar-related domains.

In addition, he has made some serious allegations, which have yet to be refuted by UIDAI or any competent authority in India. This vague and weak security infrastructure around a critical government program has serious ramifications for all Indians.

The official #Aadhaar #android app is sending an SMS to authenticate the user. In general, to avoid abuses, you add a sending rate limit. The user has to wait 2 minutes before resend the SMS. @UIDAI did not implement this kind of limit in the app. What are the consequences?

Regarding how they used their #PlayStore account, I’m pretty sure they are unable to update the official #Aadhaar #android app because they lost the release key. Please @UIDAI, show me I’m wrong

— Baptiste Robert (@fs0c131y) January 14, 2023

.@UDAI don’t be stupid, remove the official #Aadhaar #android app from the PlayStore, this is the best move you have.

— Baptiste Robert (@fs0c131y) January 22, 2023

And as if UIDAI’s hands were not already full, the regulatory authority added another means of identity verification to the Aadhaar repertoire of biometric security keys – facial recognition.

UIDAI added facial recognition as an extra measure to be of convenience for people who are unable to use their fingerprints or iris scans for authentication, but if it was so, why make it mandatory?

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 21, 2023

So what is it good for?

Aadhaar began as an ambitious project for this very reason. The fears about privacy and security were brushed off by the government, and even now when some of the lies are bared open, it has not refrained from making false claims and promises about efficiency, benefits and security of the system. The situation is so bad that many are wondering whether scrapping it altogether might be the less expensive option.

From an economic standpoint as well as logical, getting rid of Aadhaar will be a problem. The immense amount of resources spent in taking Aadhaar from urban spaces to the most remote villages in the country will all go down the drain. Secondly, it won’t be easy to clear the vast cache of data related to this scheme – online data can very rarely be completely erased, especially after it’s been active for so many years.

As of now, it seems like the classic dilemma. And so it is that Indians are left wondering exactly what the fate of their Aadhaar lives is. A major case currently being heard in the Supreme Court could decide Aadhaar’s final fate, and the extent to which it can be used for authentication, availing basic services and for e-governance. Aadhaar has transformed from a being the flag bearer of the government’s digitization push to India’s biggest nightmare.

How To Improve On Wireless Security

Elmer Fudd has been trying to keep that ”wascally wabbit” Bugs Bunny

out of his carrot patch since before Remington Rand built the first

UNIVAC. But, when you start talking about how to keep those wascally

hackers out of your wi-fi network, you’ll soon find yourself sounding

like Mr. Fudd himself.

First, there was WAP, then WEP, then WPA and now WPA2. But despite how

you sound, if you are looking to secure an enterprise WLAN, many industry

experts say WPA2 is your best bet.

”WPA2 provides an enterprise-class security solution for user

authentication and encryption,” says Michael Disabato, senior analyst at

the Burton Group.

Understanding wireless security requires a bit of a trip down memory lane

to see how the protocols have evolved over the years.

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) was the first such protocol.

Introduced in 1997, it was designed, among other things, to secure emails

and text-based Web pages over cellular networks.

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is another protocol. With the rise of

wi-fi networks, came the need for a new security standard. Described in

the IEEE’s 802.11b spec, WEP uses a 40-bit encryption key and was

expected to provide the same level of security as hard-wired LANs. It

didn’t.

Wi-fi Protected Access (WPA) was the next attempt at improving security.

Protocol (TKIP) — and requires strong user authentication, including the

802.1x standard.

WPA2, also called 802.11i, is a security standard approved by the IEEE in

June of 2004. It incorporates WPA, but also uses the Advanced Encryption

Standard (AES), which has, so far, proven to be unbreakable and meets

federal security requirements (FIPS 140-2). It also includes key caching,

making it faster for a user to reestablish a dropped connection.

”WEP is insufficient to protect WLANs today from determined attackers,”

says DiSabato. ”WPA/WPA2 is a dramatic improvement in wi-fI security

that resolves all of WEP’s known weaknesses.”

Firms that are using WEP currently should make the switch over to WPA or

WPA2 in a hurry, according to analysts. However, moving from WPA to WPA2

is a harder sell unless the company needs to meet the federal requirement

for AES. Disabato says several of his company’s clients have cited the

complexity of deploying 802.1x as a show-stopper.

For example, John Halamka, CIO for the CareGroup HealthCare System in

Massachusetts, oversees a wireless network (802.11b/g) with 250 access

points covering more than 1 million square feet. He is currently running

WPA, and isn’t planning on upgrading.

”The major difference in what we run as a strict implementation of

802.11i is that we still use TKIP as the data confidentiality protocol,”

he explains.

While the CCMP (Counter-Mode/CBC-MAC Protocol) used with 802.11i is a

better cipher, it also requires support for AES which many or most of his

client devices don’t support.

”AES requires processing power on the AP and client that may not be

present to have a satisfactory experience in terms of output,” says

Halamka. ”The 802.11i will likely be in our future, but for now our

efforts are concentrating on converting from legacy Cisco to Cisco

Lightweight Access Point Protocol-based APs and extending coverage to

areas of the medical center that do not have them.”

Slow-Moving Vendors

Vendors, including Cisco, 3Com and NetGear, have equipment which supports

the new security standard. But for the next few months, at least, WPA

will continue to dominate. It seems the vendor community has been slow on

the uptake. Today, there are more than 600 products on the market with

WPA security features, compared to only a few dozen using WPA2. Thus it

can be difficult to roll out a complete WPA2 architecture at a reasonable

price.

Fortunately, one of the nice features of WPA2 is that it is backwards

compatible with WPA products.

What about upgrading existing WEP-based gear?

to verify that the drivers or firmware are compatible with 802.11i or

WPA. Generally speaking, products more than two years old may not be

compatible.

In addition to the hardware, the operating systems must support WPA or

WPA2. WPA is supported in Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2, but support for

WPA2 is only provided in an update that must be installed separately.

Apple’s support for 802.11i can be found in Version 4.2 of its firmware

for the Airport access point and in Version 10.3 or higher of OS X.

The decision to move completely to WPA2, then, may not be entirely in

IT’s hands. The lack of available or affordable equipment may make it

necessary to transition to WPA.

The good news is that not all companies may require the full array of

802.11i protection. Companies should take a close look at exactly what

data they need to protect and to what degree, to determine whether it is

necessary to adopt the latest technology. WPA remains a viable option

that can provide adequate levels of security for less sensitive data.

DiSabato says if a company is already using WPA, in most cases, it makes

sense to wait a while for the 802.11i market to mature.

”If you do not have WPA installed, go straight to WPA2, and any company

that needs FIPS 140-2 certified security needs WPA2,” he says. ”All

others should plan on going to WPA2 within two to three years.”

It’s No Silver Bullet

One final caution: 802.11i is no all-out solution to wireless security.

It isn’t a case of install WPA or WPA2 and all security woes are over.

The fact is that 802.11i needs help. The University of Southern

California (USC), for example, has a wireless network covering the entire

campus that serves more than 6,000 users. The school has about 300 R2

access points from Enterasys Networks, Inc., which is based in Andover,

Mass., to keep unauthorized users from gaining access to the main LAN.

These units are on a separate wired network which runs back to the

datacenter for authorization before establishing a connection to any

other nodes.

”Treat your 802.11 networks just like your wired networks and apply

similar security,” says James Wiedel, USC’s director of networking. ”If

you treat them the same, then the only difference is how the information

is sent to the user, either over copper or over the air. It simplifies

things when you think of them in that fashion.”

Twitter Is Hiring – Here’s What Candidates Can Expect

Twitter is officially hiring again, in the wake of a series of layoffs that has dropped the company from 7,500 employees to around 2,700.

CEO Elon Musk announced that sales and engineering positions are now open in an all-hands meeting today. Twitter recruiters have been reaching out to potential employees since last week, reports show.

Do you have what it takes to work at the company? Going by past precedent, you’ll have to be okay with your company making headlines about five times a day. But that’s just the start. Here’s what to know about the ins and outs of Twitter’s company culture at the moment.

1. Be Hardcore

One wave of layoffs was triggered last week by an ultimatum from Musk, the not-so-behind-the-scenes billionare pulling the social platform’s strings. Anyone who wasn’t willing to be “hardcore” in the immediate future was shown the door.

“This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.” ~Musk

This ultimatum led to hundreds more workers leaving. But it’s a bit of a rorschach test: Do you take Musk’s word at face value, seeing a straight shooter whose earned his billions through hard work and willpower? If so, joining Twitter is the opportunity to make your mark as well.

But perhaps your boss telling you to be more hardcore just reminds you of other, less wealthy bosses hoping to compensate for their poor work ethic by squeezing more work out of their employees.

2. No Free Lunches

And don’t expect to be hardcore with a full stomach on the company’s dime: One of Musk’s cost-cutting measures was getting rid of lunches.

Musk holds that providing food for employees cost $400 per lunch (a former employee estimates this cost to be $20-25 per person). Now, employees will have to work through lunches and meetings without the perk encouraging them.

But don’t worry. For every carrot that Twitter has recently removed, it has added a stick: In-office attendance is now mandatory.

3. No Working From Home

Another change: Workers are now expected to work a minimum of 40 hours a week at the company’s physical offices.

Remote work has been normalized in the past few years thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, but not everyone’s happy about it. Some managers cite the arguable benefits of connections and conversation that can only happen naturally when everyone’s physically present. Critics argue that businesses are just trying to justify real estate deals, or that managers want to indulge their worst micromanagement tendencies.

Whatever the case, Twitter’s zero-tolerance policy is another change that makes working at the organization appear to be more of a chore, and will shape the culture by defacto filtering out anyone without the flexibility or ability to turn up for 40 hours a week.

But if they’re really hardcore, they’ll be working 80 hours a week, so that’s kinda like working from home half the time when you think about it.

If you’d rather work from home, here are some companies that will let you do just that.

4. You Might Get Fired at a Moment’s Notice

Finally, you may want to keep your mouth shut around your boss. Musk can accept some disagreement, but won’t want anyone challenging his overall worldview,  judging from the outcome of one engineer who critiqued his coding knowledge. You guessed it, he was fired, right in between two waves of layoffs. New employees should plan to deal with the same.

That’s another potential problem for Twitter moving forwards: New employee retention. Takeovers and acquisitions are tough in the best of times — studies show that a stunning 70 and 90 percent of acquisitions fail.

If Musk plans to earn enough to justify the billion-a-year debt he’s now in just to keep Twitter going, he has a lot of work ahead of him, and he needs a lot of hardcore employees with their own lunches to do it for him.

Multitasking On Apple’s Iphone 4: How Does It Work?

Multitasking is a common, even expected activity–both in our daily lives and in our gadget-driven lives. Steve Jobs freely acknowledges that Apple has been late to the multitasking party, but that’s changing with iOS 4. Though Apple’s iteration of multitasking may be long overdue, my early hands-on time with the iPhone 4 shows that the company is delivering on its promise to make multitasking work smoothly, and in a way that won’t drain battery life.

According to Apple, applications have two basic states: running and suspended. iOS 4 tries to keep as many eligible apps running as it can hold in memory at one time; the other apps remain suspended.

The ones that will run in the background–even as you operate another app in the foreground–are typically those that have actions that must be performed in the background, such as navigation, music streaming, or VoIP (but surprisingly, not instant messaging apps). As a result, your GPS app, for example, could continue to track your progress and give you directions regardless of whether you’re on the phone, listening to audio, or performing some other task.

TomTom is the first GPS app maker to announce its support of iOS 4’s multitasking. Currently, if you’re driving and the TomTom app is running, the application drops and closes when you accept a phone call. After you complete the phone call, the app automatically resumes your route and recalculates your position–but the lost time without directions puts you at risk of missing a turn. With the new multitasking capability, you’ll be able to talk on the phone or play music, and continue to see the map view and receive turn-by-turn visual directions. And if you have another app on the screen instead, the TomTom app will run in the background and continue to provide audio directions.

Similar to Android’s approach to multitasking, iOS 4 keeps track of which apps have been used more recently and which take up more memory than others. Apps will be purged from the suspended state if the phone runs out of memory. The Apple spokesperson I talked with declined to specify how much memory is involved, but he did confirm that the memory is dedicated system memory, and has nothing to do with the available storage space on the device.

Hands On With Multitasking

On the iPhone 4 using iOS 4, the phone jumped quickly and smoothly between the apps, with virtually no pause or hesitation. I left a fully drawn Web page in Safari to go to Photos, navigated to a folder within Photos, and then moved to a picture in the middle of that folder. When I popped back to Safari, I resumed at the fully drawn Web page, and when I jumped back to Photos, I was looking at the same photo I’d left moments earlier.

From that exercise I gained a solid first impression of how multitasking on the iPhone 4 works. The multitasking bar makes swiping among open apps–and killing apps you no longer need open–easy. But the real proof will be in the usability of this feature over time: Will we see any degradation in the phone’s battery life or performance, or will Apple’s implementation of multitasking keep users humming along? We’ll revisit this topic once the iPhone 4 is widely available and a multitude of apps support the multitasking feature.

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