IBM’s Watson to help military community
IBM and USAA, a financial services provider for the military community, have announced that the cognitive capabilities of IBM’s Watson supercomputer will now be available to military men and women as they transition to civilian life.

USAA will be offering members IBM’s Watson Engagement Advisor in a pilot that will be able to ask questions based on the transition process. Watson has already analyzed and understands more than 3,000 documents on topics exclusive to military transitions in order to allow members to receive answers to separation-related questions.

“USAA’s innovative application is a prime example of how Watson’s cognitive intellect has the potential to empower individuals and organizations,” said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president at IBM’s Watson Group. – Christina Mulligan

Dropbox announces new developer features and APIs
As part of its overall effort to increase developer engagement with the platform, Dropbox has announced new features and APIs. The main feature rolled out is shared folder metadata functionality, which lets developers access additional metadata about files in shared folders. The feature serves a larger developer goal of allowing developers to program and manipulate shared folders in the Dropbox Core API.

In addition to its existing Core, Sync and Data Store APIs for storing and syncing all types of data, Dropbox also announced two new APIs for developers to integrate Dropbox functionality into their apps. The Shared Folder API gives developers shared folder access along with new write/read permission features, and the Document Preview API allows developers to embed Dropbox’s document preview feature directly into apps, eliminating the need for users to launch a separate app to preview files.

Shared folder metadata is now in production beta. More information on the shared folder metadata beta and the new APIs can be found on this blog post from Dropbox developer advocate Steve Marx. – Rob Marvin

Hortonworks and HP partner to deliver Big Data solutions
Hortonworks and HP are expanding their partnership to address enterprise customers’ Big Data needs, and to help accelerate the adoption of Enterprise Apache Hadoop. As part of the joint commitment, Hortonworks will integrate its Data Platform with the HP HAVEn Big Data platform to allow HP customers to deploy Hortonworks Data Platform as the Hadoop component of HP HAVEn. HP has also invested US$50 million in Hortonworks, and will work to certify HP Vertica with Apache Hadoop YARN.

“Hortonworks has demonstrated outstanding dedication and expertise in addressing the business and technology needs of its customers within this new era of information and data, and we look forward to partnering with the Hortonworks team to deliver innovative Big Data solutions to our customers,” said Colin Mahony, general manager at HP Vertica. – Christina Mulligan


Internet Explorer vulnerabilities up more than 100% since 2013
Bromium, a company whose mission is to restore trust in computing, recently published a report, “H1 2014 EndPoint Exploitation Trends,” where it looked at public vulnerabilities and exploits from the first six months of 2014. The report revealed that Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have surpassed Flash and Java vulnerabilities, increasing more than 100% since last year. The company also noted that IE set an all-time high for the number of security patches in more than a decade.

Other findings included that hackers increasingly target IE, public Java zero-days have declined, and ActionScript spray is driving zero-day attacks. – Christina Mulligan