Broadcom backs down on VMWare pricing: Hashtag Trending for Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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YouTube clamps down on third party apps that block ads. Experts predict a new cyber-war between Iran and Israel. Elon Musk backs down on his fight with the Brazilian government and Broadcom makes concessions in the face of customer outrage and European regulatory scrutiny of its new VMWare pricing.

All this and more on the “who blinks first” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host, Jim Love. Let’s get into it.

YouTube is escalating its battle against ad-blocking software and extensions. The video streaming giant has announced it will now crack down on third-party apps that allow users to skip ads on YouTube videos.

If you watch YouTube videos through a third-party app specifically designed to block advertisements, you may start encountering some issues. In an update this week, YouTube says users accessing its content through these ad-blocking apps could face video buffering problems or even an error message preventing them from watching at all.

It’s an expansion of YouTube’s existing efforts to discourage viewers from using ad blockers when watching videos on the platform. Last year, YouTube started displaying error messages and disabling videos for users with ad-blocking browser extensions enabled.

The company argues that third-party apps stripping out ads prevents creators from being compensated for the content they produce. In a statement, YouTube says it only allows apps that follow its API terms of service, which require showing advertisements.

While the ad-blocking app AdGuard says it is not affected by this latest policy change since it doesn’t use YouTube’s API, many other apps that scrape ad-free YouTube videos could face blockages.

Of course, YouTube still offers its premium ad-free subscription as an alternative for viewers who want to skip commercials. But this crackdown likely won’t be welcomed by those who prefer watching YouTube through adblocking software and mobile apps.

As more entertainment shifts to streaming platforms, the tension between companies seeking ad revenue and users trying to avoid advertisements seems destined to escalate further.

Sources include:  The Verge

There’s been a reversal from Elon Musk’s social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, over its stance on complying with court orders in Brazil regarding content moderation. After initially vowing to challenge rulings by Brazil’s Supreme Court, lawyers for the platform have now told the court it will follow all its decisions.

A legal battle has been brewing between Elon Musk’s X company and Brazil’s top court over the removal of certain accounts accused of spreading misinformation and hate speech. Last week, Musk said he would challenge an order from Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes demanding X block some accounts in the country.

But in a letter to Moraes seen by Reuters, lawyers for X have now reversed course, stating the platform will comply with every ruling issued by the Supreme Court or Brazil’s top electoral authority.

This marks a shift from X’s Brazilian subsidiary, which had previously claimed it could not control whether the U.S. parent company followed the Brazilian court’s orders.

The Supreme Court justice has been leading investigations into alleged coup attempts and digital militias accused of spreading disinformation, particularly during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.

Musk, who has branded himself a free speech absolutist, had called Moraes’ orders unconstitutional and demanded he resign – prompting the justice to open an inquiry into Musk for potential obstruction.

The reversal by X’s lawyers likely aims to defuse tensions with Brazilian authorities. However, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee has now subpoenaed X for information about the Brazilian court’s content moderation orders.

As social media’s role in democracies remains hotly contested, US social media giants are finding that they are not immune to government regulation in other countries.

Sources include: Reuters

A former security executive at the ride-sharing company Uber is taking on a new role advising other corporate leaders on how to properly handle cyber-attacks and data breaches. Joe Sullivan was convicted last year for his actions in covering up a 2016 data breach at Uber and obstructing a federal investigation into it.

A federal judge sentenced him to three years probation and community service His case is believed to be the first time a U.S. security executive faced criminal charges related to mishandling a data breach.

Sullivan is now working with a cybersecurity firm to help prevent other executives from making the same mistakes he did.

Since then, Sullivan has been reflecting on his experiences and sharing advice with other security leaders on how to properly respond when cyberattacks happen. He’s now joining the cybersecurity firm BreachRx as a senior advisor.  The company provides a platform to automate and document a company’s response in the crucial first hours after a breach is detected.

Sullivan says security executives are facing growing legal risks as regulators crack down on poor cybersecurity practices and demand more accountability from companies hit by data breaches. But he argues chief security officers are often underfunded and understaffed, making it difficult to properly secure their networks.  Sullivan hopes his case will prompt companies to finally invest more in cybersecurity – though he’s concerned some recent regulatory actions may be prompting an overcorrection, with security chiefs now afraid to take responsibility during incidents.

And with that hanging over them, is it any wonder companies struggle to find senior security talent?

Sources include: Axios

Tensions are high between Iran and Israel following a missile attack over the weekend. As both sides weigh their next moves, cybersecurity experts are warning a cyberbattle could be looming as part of the conflict.

Israel and Iran have a long history of cyberwarfare, launching destructive computer viruses and hacking attacks against each other over the years. But this weekend’s missile strike from Iranian territory into Israel marks an unprecedented escalation in the overt hostilities between the two nations.

And as both sides now contemplate retaliation, cybersecurity analysts say we should brace for a potential onslaught of high-stakes cyberattacks.

Andrew Borene, a cyber analyst with the security firm Flashpoint says that “The overt hostility and the overt physical aspects of the state-on-state confrontation moved things into a different sphere.”

He says cyberattacks could allow Iran and Israel to strike back at each other without risking mass casualties from further missile launches.

Both countries have highly sophisticated cyber capabilities. Iran has used data-wiping malware against other nations. A decade ago, the U.S. and Israel jointly deployed the Stuxnet computer virus to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The cyberwarfare has already begun spilling over from the latest missile exchange. Hacking groups linked to Iran, Russia and others have recently taken down Israeli emergency services apps and news websites as part of the ongoing conflict with Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Cyber warfare is increasingly used by nation states. Since that time there have been many examples of state sponsored attacks. Recently, after France committed greater support to Ukraine, they were hit by a massive cyber-attack. And now, we risk an all-out cyber war between Iran and Israel.

The problem is that these attacks often spill over to become a much wider threat. The malware that is created escapes into the wild and provides new tools for the armies of hackers who threaten our corporate and civic infrastructure.

While officials claim to have so far seen no major cyberattacks stemming from the weekend’s missile strike, analysts expect that could change quickly as Israel weighs its response and both sides enter uncharted territory in their bitter, long-running dispute.

Sources include: Axios

There’s been a potential reprieve for some VMware customers unhappy with the new licensing policies put in place by the company’s new owner, semiconductor giant Broadcom. The move comes as regulatory scrutiny of the changes intensifies in Europe.

When Broadcom acquired VMware last year in a massive $61 billion deal, it announced plans to shift VMware’s product licensing to a subscription model and bundle the virtualization software into a new enterprise IT platform.

The changes drew an angry backlash from many VMware customers accustomed to perpetual licensing and concerned about higher long-term costs. A number of them demanded Broadcom preserve perpetual licensing options.

Now, Broadcom’s CEO Hock Tan says the company is offering some concessions in response to that customer feedback.  In a blog post, Tan announced that Broadcom will provide free security patching for some supported versions of VMware’s products, even for customers persisting with older perpetual licenses rather than new subscriptions.

Tan also acknowledged Broadcom has granted renewal extensions to many VMware customers to give them more time to adapt to the new model.

The moves come as European antitrust regulators have started questioning Broadcom over its licensing changes following complaints from some tech associations. Analysts believe it could also be an effort by Broadcom to stem a potential mass customer exodus from VMware’s products.

The research firm Gartner recently predicted that VMware’s market share in hyperconverged infrastructure – which combines storage, computing and networking – is poised to plummet from 70% currently down to just 40% by 2029 as customers look to revirtualize and switch vendors.

As the tech world’s latest mega-merger continues shaking out, this could mark the first significant compromise by Broadcom in its controversial effort to overhaul the VMware business.

Sources include: The Register

And that’s our show for today.  Love to hear your opinions as always. You can reach me at or our new editorial address –

Our show notes are now also posted at or .com take your pick – along with other stories. Check it out.

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Wonderful Wednesday..






The post Broadcom backs down on VMWare pricing: Hashtag Trending for Wednesday, April 17, 2024 first appeared on IT World Canada.


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