Sunday December 15, 2019
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Governments Deliberating Over Securing Digital Footprint

Governments look beyond Android and iOS to secure devices

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Cyber, Attack, Crime, Chennai, Technology
IT Managers are most prone to cyber crimes and phishing emails. Pixabay

Governments across the world are deliberating over securing their digital footprint and sensitive data from New-Age hackers and an end-to-end, reliable and trustworthy operation system (OS) beyond Android or iOS is top of their minds. Russian government via its national operator Rose Telecom recently acquired 75 per cent of the “Aurora OS” platform built on Finnish firm Jolla’s “Sailfish OS”. Russia with “Aurora OS” want to build a safe digital society with the Aurora OS for devices used across corporates and state-owned companies.

Jolla is also looking to license its platform for domestic OS for some of the countries. Similarly, a Brazilian company “Sikur” has built a highly secure OS and software platform to be scaled across different devices from smartphones, trading stations, industrial IoT, PoS machines, wearables and so forth. The time is ripe for the Indian government to join the bandwagon and look for a secure OS for its operations.

“In the world of geo-political tensions, tech cold war and protectionism, countries such as China, Russia and Brazil are trying to push for an OS which is more controlled and is privacy led to the actors outside of their home countries. The Indian government should also strive to own such secure OS for devices part of its key operations,” Neil Shah, Research Director, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

Brazil government is already using “Sikur Phones” to make the devices and communication highly secure and private. “We believe HarmonyOS is also a step in that direction to create a ‘national OS’ for China first and then scale it outside the country,” Shah added. Sikur has created a way to provide total security on any application, be it banking, stocks, news, cryptocurrency, wallets or email.

“Now, even WhatsApp runs on SikurOS. We can incorporate widely available apps if they meet SIKUR’s security criteria,” says the company.
On its foundation, the SikurOS does not demand the hassles of VPN links since the connections have several security layers by default.

cyber-security
Russia with “Aurora OS” want to build a safe digital society with the Aurora OS for devices used across corporates and state-owned companies. Pixabay

The upcoming Sikur App Store will make it even more complete, adding the possibility of having more apps with enhanced security. TizenOS from Samsung is also proliferating in TVs, IoT and smartwatches whereas LG is using webOS for TVs, appliances — making the connected devices independent of Google Android, thus limiting its scale to smartphones only. “The aim is to have a secure, independent OS solution and ecosystem to challenge the Google Android and Apple iOS duopoly in smartphones as the top three OS platforms in the world for key computing devices come from the US,’ Shah noted.

In February, Rostelecom rebranded “Sailfish OS” as “Aurora”. Aurora supports all standard functions of a mobile OS: management of calls, contacts and messages, mailing agent, browser, access to media, calendar, camera, gallery, watch and timers, work with documents and others. It also supports functions of remote access to the workplace, including secure access to corporate email, messengers and IT systems.

Also Read: Google’s Android is Undisputed leader of Operating System in Smartphones

The Russian government has plans to switch all state officials to the Sailfish OS, under a project expected to cost nearly $2.4 billion. The government plans to switch around eight million state officials to the operating system of Russian origin by the end of 2021. Sailfish-powered smartphones will also be recommended to municipal administrations at various levels. (IANS)

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Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

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Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

ALSO READ: Xiaomi Plans to Unveil its First Smart Display Like Google’s Next Hub

“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)