Hashtag Trending Oct.16 – Over 55% of the world’s population now own a smartphone; Microsoft simplifies Linux installation on Windows machines; The US “anti-regulation” movement forces EPA to abandon certain infrastructure requirements

Over 55 per cent of the world’s population now own a smartphone. Microsoft makes it easier to install Linux on Windows machines while EU legislation strikes what some think might be a fatal blow to open source software.  And the “anti-regulation” movement in the US forces the EPA to abandon requirements that vulnerable infrastructure has cybersecurity evaluations.

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I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

The GSM Association (GSMA) has unveiled its Mobile Internet Connectivity Report for 2023, revealing a surge in global smartphone ownership and internet usage, yet highlighting a persistent digital divide. The report indicates that 55 per cent of the global population now owns a smartphone, a rise from 52 per cent in 2022, and the number of mobile internet users has increased from 4.3 billion to 4.6 billion. Despite these advancements, around 3.4 billion people remain unconnected, primarily due to factors like affordability, lack of infrastructure, and insufficient digital skills. The report underscores the need for policymakers, businesses, and civil society organizations to address these barriers to ensure universal connectivity and prevent the digital divide from widening further.

Sources: Gizchina

In an unexpected move, Microsoft has published a detailed guide on how to install Linux on PCs, offering four methods: Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), bare metal Linux, a local VM, or a cloud VM. The guide, which also directs users to a Microsoft-hosted library of Linux resources, comes as the tech giant continues to promote its own OS, Windows 11. 

While Linux and Windows serve fundamentally different purposes due to Linux’s open-source nature, Microsoft’s guide frequently mentions WSL and speaks positively about Linux-based OSs, even those unaffiliated with Microsoft. The motive behind guiding users through Linux installation, despite Windows being the world’s most popular desktop OS, has sparked curiosity and speculation.

Sources: MSN

And while Microsoft is warming to Linux, concerns are being raised about the European Union’s (EU) Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) and its impact on open-source software development. 

The CRA, which aims to establish rigorous cybersecurity criteria for digital products and applications sold within the EU, mandates software creators to secure their software, address security flaws, and manage software updates. 

While the CRA has noble intentions, aiming to enhance cybersecurity across the board, it is seen as a potential threat to open-source development due to its stringent regulations and potential fines for developers, even those outside the EU. 

While the act may exclude individuals, it doesn’t account for the decentralized and varied nature of open-source development, and with threats of financial penalties, it could stifle the open-source ecosystem.

Sources: The Register

Atlassian, a collaboration software provider, has announced its plan to acquire the video messaging platform Loom for approximately $975 million. The acquisition is set to finalize in the third quarter of Atlassian’s fiscal year 2024, pending regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. 

While Loom will continue to be available as a standalone product, Atlassian intends to integrate its technology across its suite of tools post-acquisition. This move will add a video communication mode to Atlassian’s toolkit, enabling functionalities such as allowing engineers to visually log issues in Jira and HR teams to utilize personalized videos for new employee onboarding. Loom, with 25 million global users and nearly five million videos recorded per month, will enhance Atlassian’s communication capabilities and is seen as a mechanism for asynchronous instruction alongside other data and text formats.

Sources: CIO Dive

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rescinded a rule requiring US states to conduct cybersecurity evaluations of their public water systems, following a lawsuit from Republican states and water industry groups. The rule, initiated in March, was in response to a rise in cyberattacks on water utilities across various states. However, it faced opposition and a lawsuit from state attorneys general and industry associations, arguing the EPA lacked the authority to enforce such a regulation without Congressional approval.  

In the vacuum, the idea that key infrastructure that  drinking water should be proven to be safe from cyber-attacks has now – gone down the drain. 

Sources: The Register

That’s the top tech news stories for today. For more fast reads on top stories, check us out at TechNewsDay.com or ITWorldCanada.com on the homepage. 

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

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I’m your host, Jim Love – have a Magnificent Monday.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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