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John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer, found dead in Spanish prison

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By Monica Greig & Kartikay Mehrotra

John McAfee, the creator of the eponymous antivirus software, was found dead Wednesday in prison outside Barcelona. He was 75.

In recent years, McAfee became a prominent booster of cryptocurrencies, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president, had numerous run-ins with the law and traded in extreme conspiracy theories.

McAfee was discovered dead in his prison cell hours after Spain’s National Court approved his extradition to the U.S. over multiple tax fraud charges. Security personnel at the Brians 2 prison in northeast Spain tried but failed to revive him, the Associated Press reported, citing a statement from the region’s government.

McAfee had been in Spanish custody since October on a June 2020 U.S. indictment in which he was charged with failing to file four years of tax returns while concealing assets. Then in March, he was indicted and accused of fraud and money laundering over his use of social media to promote cryptocurrencies, which prosecutors said generated $13 million in illicit gains for McAfee and a co-conspirator.

Nishay Sanan, McAfee’s attorney, said his colleagues in Spain confirmed that McAfee had been found dead in his jail cell. Sanan claimed the U.S. government had identified McAfee as a target and “tried to erase him, but failed.”

“John lived his life the way he saw fit,” Sanan said. “In the end that is all that matters. You don’t have to agree with his way — he did not care.”

The Justice Department declined to comment and a spokeswoman referred questions to Spanish authorities.

Before his legal turmoil, McAfee was a pioneer of the cybersecurity industry. He founded McAfee Corp. in 1987 in Santa Clara, California, and led the company as it dominated the market for antivirus protection of personal computers. Half of all Fortune 100 companies were using his software during that time. McAfee resigned in 1994. Decades later he told the South China Morning Post that running the company no longer was fun as it grew to a huge corporation with thousands of employees.

Intel Corp. bought the company in 2010 and later rebranded all McAfee products as Intel Security. After his name was removed, McAfee told the BBC, “I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet.”

McAfee relocated to Belize in 2008 after his $100 million fortune was reduced to $4 million following a series of failed investments in property, real estate and bonds. There he had one of his biggest conflicts with authorities in 2012 after the killing of a neighbor, Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old contractor and Florida native. McAfee’s home on the island of Ambergris Caye was searched after Faull was shot to death and police said they wanted to question him as part of a murder investigation.

He then sought asylum in Guatemala in 2012, claiming he wasn’t on the run from authorities in Belize. He turned to social media and public interviews to salvage his reputation, sending updates to Wired magazine, allowing two reporters from Vice magazine to accompany him and posting missives to his own website. He discussed eluding police by burying himself in sand with a cardboard box and changing his appearance.

McAfee was expelled from Guatemala and arrived in Miami in December 2012. In an interview with Bloomberg News the day of his departure, McAfee, then 67, said he was being forced out of Belize, but was “perfectly happy with the decision.” He apologized to Guatemala’s then-president for putting him in “a slippery position.” He was later ordered by a Florida judge to pay more than $25 million to Faull’s estate.

In 2016, McAfee announced a run as a presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party, campaigning on a privacy-focused platform that included pushing for the government to create a cybersecurity defense strategy. The party’s nomination was won by former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.

By 2017, McAfee jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon as chief executive officer of MGT Capital Investments Inc. He’d promised to turn the former video game operation into a profitable cybersecurity firm by ramping up its Bitcoin mining business. He stepped down later that year to become the CEO of a cryptocurrency company, Luxcore.

Part of his cryptocurrency venture included charging more than $105,000 per tweet to promote initial coin offerings. McAfee later told his Twitter followers he’d been forced to “go dark” on social media after receiving unspecified “threats” from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

During the period from 2014 to 2018 McAfee failed to file U.S. tax returns, according to a federal indictment. After eluding law enforcement, he was arrested and detained last October in Spain. From prison, McAfee was able to use Twitter to continue promoting cryptocurrencies, but also to share his experience. In April, he tweeted: “this has been the most trying period in my life.” At that point, he had been in the Catalonian prison for six months.

In November 2019, McAfee took to Twitter to show off his latest tattoo on his right bicep. It read, ‘$WHACKD.’ In a related tweet, he wrote: “Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.”

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that McAfee appeared to have died by suicide, citing a statement from the regional Department of Justice of Catalonia, where he was being held.

“Sometimes genius and madness aren’t far apart and it seems he unfortunately fell prey to his demons,” said Doug Clinton, managing partner at Loup Ventures.

Source: B;ppmberg, (With assistance from Chris Strohm, Olga Kharif and Jamie Tarabay.)

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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LTI, IBM inaugurate innovation and experience center in Bengaluru

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NEW DELHI: Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre at LTI Whitefield campus in Bengaluru (India) focusing on IBM technologies. The Center will assist enterprises in modernizing their operations and accelerating digital transformation journeys.

This Innovation and Experience Center will showcase LTI solutions that have been co-created using IBM technologies such as IBM Cloud and Cloud Paks. The Centre will also serve as a forum for customers to engage with LTI and IBM technical resources for in-depth technology briefings, solution demos, software, tool access and solution workshops.

Sudhir Chaturvedi, President-Sales and Executive Board Member, LTI, said: “The rapid technological advances make it necessary for customers to experience solutions before adopting them. Our new center in Bengaluru fulfils this need for the joint customers of IBM and LTI. This center will offer combined benefits of LTI’s rich domain proficiency and IBM’s deep technical expertise, and thereby assist clients in their transformation journey.”

Through this center, IBM and LTI will collaborate and invest in creating joint solutions and develop industry viewpoints around digital transformation, hybrid cloud, data & AI, and security services. In addition, both LTI and IBM teams, will work with customers to address their requirements around driving digital transformation and managing multiple clouds.

Evaristus Mainsah, GM, Hybrid Cloud and Edge Ecosystem, IBM, said, “This center is an outcome of our growing alliance with LTI to help clients predict, automate, secure, and modernize their business operations. We are confident our clients will benefit from the ease of access to industry-specific assets and customized joint solutions with IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach that will help to accelerate their transformation journeys.”

Distinct features of the center include an IBM Playground for associates to explore and experiment with prototypes, History Zone that highlights LTI-IBM alliance journey, joint customer success stories, Innovation Zone for brainstorming on innovative ideas and planning future offerings, and Discussion Zone with feedback mechanism to ensure continuous improvement.

LTI has strong capabilities in IBM’s Digital Business Automation portfolio. LTI’s Automation consultants are helping clients in driving productivity improvements with industry specific pre-built IBM frameworks. Earlier this year, LTI and IBM had announced expansion of their global alliance.

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Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature adds a new feature; helps procure an electronic stamp online

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NEW DELHI: Cygnature by Cygnet Infotech, the global Technology Products & Services company, has added an important feature called ‘e-stamp’ to its e-signing solution. Cygnature is an award-winning signing solution that securely authenticates signers, offers them a range of signature types for signing and protects the integrity of the documents.

With the e-stamp feature, businesses will be able to procure e-stamps through Cygnature platform and significantly ease the process of stamping documents.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst in pushing industries to move towards a paperless economy by offering a faster way of executing documents. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature supports organizations when it comes to digitally transforming their businesses. Cygnet Infotech’s Cygnature has added a useful feature ‘E-Stamp’ in its latest release providing multiple benefits. E-stamp can be generated within minutes using this feature. It can help you save time as physical stamp paper procurement is a time-consuming process. Users can prepay the stamp duty amount and then issue stamp papers against that balance.

With Cygnature, the solution can help digitize the process of paying the stamp duty and procuring e-stamp challan online rather than going to a stamp paper vendor to procure traditional stamp paper:

1. Initiate a workflow by uploading an agreement on Cygnature

2. Add E-stamp, select state and stamp duty amount to be paid for the relevant document category

3. Provide details of first and second party

4. On confirmation of details, the e-stamp challan will be generated and gets added instantly to the uploaded agreement

5. Both the parties can then continue to sign the document using Cygnature by adding placeholders to e-sign the document

6. The stamp duty amount will be deducted from the prepaid amount you deposit in your Cygnature account

7. The physical copies of the stamp paper will be couriered at the end of the month to the consumer’s address

Cygnature will not provide advice on the amount of stamp duty to be paid. This will have to be decided by the user.

Niraj Hutheesing, Founder & Managing Director at Cygnet Infotech said, “Cygnet Infotech’s product, Cygnature has been developed with an aim to promote seamless digital signing of documents. With the introduction of Cygnature’s E-stamp feature, we seek to further support businesses in speeding up the process of authorization of documents. Paying stamp duty is mandatory for many transactions across the country, and to simplify the process, e-stamp will help tackle counterfeiting and will further make the payment of stamp duty easier and glitch free.”

In this latest release, Cygnature’s E-stamp feature will be available for 5 states – Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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