Tech Tent: Kaspersky and the Kremlin

Rory Cellan-Jones

On this week's Tech Tent we talk to the founder of the Russian cyber-security firm banned by the US government. We also look at whether Apple is taking a big risk by pushing the price of its latest iPhone so high, hear how an app helped save victims of flooding in Texas and discuss whether there is a better way for companies to store data and keep our information safe.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Eugene Kaspersky believes his company is being smeared

Safe and security

Eugene Kaspersky is a buccaneering figure, proud of his achievements in building a thriving anti-virus firm over the last 20 years and never shy about giving his opinions at industry conferences.

But now the firm he founded has to face up to a crisis in a key market after the Trump administration banned the use of his products by US government agencies

When we spoke to him, he seemed to think that his company was the victim of a smear campaign: "Someone is using this situation, turning their aggressive PR against my company."

Earlier this summer, one American security researcher suggested the company could be ordered by the Kremlin to send out a "malicious update", threatening American computers. Mr Kaspersky dismisses that idea as "science fiction" and insists his firm does not have close ties to the Russian intelligence services.

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Kaspersky: You can trust us despite US government ban

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Media captionWATCH: Eugene Kaspersky says customers have no reason to fear his firm's software

Eugene Kaspersky has denied that the cyber-security firm he founded is close to the Russian government and insists it poses no danger to its American customers.

Mr Kaspersky told the BBC that the Trump administration's move to ban government agencies from using his products was an "uncomfortable situation". The US has said it is concerned that Kaspersky is vulnerable to influence from the Kremlin.

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Equifax and the UK - what’s going on?

Equifax Image copyright EPA

Last Thursday, the credit-scoring company Equifax revealed it had been the victim of what sounded like a disastrous hacking incident, with the data of 143 million US customers potentially put at risk.

The company's statement also mentioned unauthorised access to "limited personal information" for some UK residents.

Read full article Equifax and the UK - what’s going on?

Apple’s augmented reality ambitions

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Media captionWATCH: What can AR do on iPhone?

Face recognition, an OLED screen and a £999 price tag will grab all the headlines. But software developers around the world were waiting on one thing from the Apple event - more news on augmented reality.

And slap bang in the middle of the iPhone 8 unveiling, a long section about AR, and a demo from a games developer - a clear signal that the company sees the technology as a key attraction in its new phones.

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Tech Tent: Facts, faces and the Nissan Leaf

Rory Cellan-Jones

Has this week seen the arrival of the car which heralds the dawn of the electric era? Is facial recognition just too invasive a technology to be allowed out without strict safeguards? And is it worth arguing on the internet? This week's Tech Tent seeks answers to all of these questions.

Nissan's new Leaf

Every week seems to bring more news of the move to electric motoring with many of the headlines centring on Tesla. Its Model 3 has been touted as the Model T Ford of the electric era, bringing an affordable battery-powered car to the mass market.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The new version of the Leaf gives the car an extended range between re-charges

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Scenes from the crypto gold rush

Wild Crypto Image copyright Wild Crypto
Image caption Wild Crypto says it will turn the lottery business on its head

Want to get in on the latest investment craze and make spectacular returns while feeling that you are at the cutting edge of crypto-currency technology?

Keep this to yourself, but I've been told about two amazing schemes. And both of them provide more evidence that we're in the middle of another bubble.

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Tech Tent: Estonia's crypto-currency concept

Rory Cellan-Jones

Could a country issue its own crypto-currency such as bitcoin? Or would that be defeating the point of a form of money that is supposed to be free from government control?

On my Tech Tent podcast this week, we hear about estcoins, a currency that could be launched in Estonia. We also discuss Samsung's new flagship phone and meet the young people who are hacking with hydrogen fuel cells.

Estonia's estcoin experiment

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Computer science: Girls logging off

A computer science class Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fewer girls took computing GCSEs this year

If you are looking for signs that technical education is being transformed, and that girls are now more eager to study subjects such as computing, then my advice is to avoid the latest GCSE results.

I have written before about fears that the revolution in computing education has stalled. Now the GCSEs, coupled with the recent A-level results, provide more evidence for those concerns.

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Galaxy Note 8: Samsung's phoenix phone?

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Media captionSamsung's Galaxy Note 8 is one of the biggest handsets to date

It was the most disastrous product recall in the history of the mobile phone industry. Now, a year on from the exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung has unveiled the new version of its giant smartphone.

It should be a nervous moment for a company which has had what sounds like a catastrophic year. First, the self-combusting handsets did untold damage to Samsung's brand, then the arrest of the company's boss on corruption charges battered its reputation further.

Read full article Galaxy Note 8: Samsung's phoenix phone?

Tech Tent: Web firms drop neo-Nazi site

Rory Cellan-Jones

On Tech Tent this week, Silicon Valley agonises over whether service providers should have the power to kick an organisation off the internet - even if it is a vehicle for white supremacists.

We hear about plans to build the world's biggest data centre inside the Arctic Circle and we work out how data science can improve a city's transport.

Read full article Tech Tent: Web firms drop neo-Nazi site