Ultra-secure virtual money capable of transfer across the Solar System proposed by University of Cambridge researcher

By Dev Kundaliya | News | 10 May 2019
S-money, a new idea of virtual money, is inspired from both quantum theory and relativity. Image via Pixabay.

The idea, dubbed "S-money" was inspired by quantum theory and relativity, according to Cambridge University's Professor Adrian Kent

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have proposed a theoretical form of virtual money that, they claim, would be highly secure, fast to transfer, and could also enable financial transactions on galactic scale.

The framework, dubbed "S-money," is the brainchild of Professor Adrian Kent from the Cambridge University's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the lead author of the study.

The idea of S-money was inspired by quantum theory and the theory of relativity, according to Kent.

S-money refers to virtual tokens designed for high-value fast transactions. It proposes the creation of a financial network in which ultra-secure virtual tokens would appear at just the right place and at right time.


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is FREE to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


It would enable people to respond to events much faster than other forms of money, both digital and physical, which have to follow certain paths through space. "It's a slightly different way of thinking about money," says Kent.

According to Kent, money is not something that could be held only in hands or in bank accounts. Instead, it may also be thought of as something needed to get to a specific point in space-time, in response to data coming from multiple points (in space-time).

Kent believes that virtual forms of currency can ensure more secure authentication of financial transactions compared to any existing technology.

This new approach would also protect funds from potential attacks by quantum computers in the future. Moreover, it would enable funds to be transferred over essentially any distance, even across the solar system and beyond, Kent suggested, at some point in the far future.

Kent plans to carry out some proof-of-concept experiments on his S-money idea later this year. "We're trying to understand the practicalities and understand the advantages and disadvantages," said Professor Kent.

The detailed findings of the study are published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

Loss-making Uber valued at $82bn in US IPO

By Dev Kundaliya | News | 10 May 2019
On 9th May 2019, Uber priced its initial public offering at $45 per share. Image via Pixabay

Uber IPO valuation unaffected by net loss of $3bn in 2018 and accumulated losses of $8bn

Ride-sharing firm Uber has been valued at $82 billion on its US initial public offering (IPO), or $45 a share - at the lower end of its original target range.

At that price, the company will have a market value of about $82 billion on fully diluted basis and a market value of about $75.5 billion on a non-diluted basis.

Based on a filing last month, analysts were expecting Uber to price its IPO at between $44 and $50 per share. Some early reports suggested that Uber was looking for a corporate valuation of up to $120 billion. In the end, the company took a more cautious approach by keeping the price close to the bottom of the targeted range.

Last year, Uber reported revenue of $11.3 billion and an operating loss of $3 billion

Uber no doubt wanted to avoid a repeat of rival Lyft's IPO, which was priced strongly when it made its debut in March, but later plunged in value. Lyft's share price is currently down 23 per cent from its IPO price in late March.

Despite being priced at the lower end of its target range, Uber's IPO remains the largest in the US since Alibaba's record-setting public share offering in 2014, and one of the largest of all time. 


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


"Ultimately, the success of Lyft's and Uber's IPO offerings will be judged based on post-IPO performance and how these companies can sustain their growth, while moving toward profitability and lowering their cash burn," Alex Castelli, managing partner at advisory firm CohnReznick, told Reuters.

Uber was founded in 2009 and, since then, it has grown into the world's largest ride-hailing company, offering services in more than 700 cities worldwide.

The company has also expanded into bike and scooter rentals, freight and food delivery. Uber is currently in the process of developing self-driving vehicle technology and air taxis, among other things. Cynics, however, have suggested that these initiatives are intended more to pump-up the company's perceived value

Last year, Uber reported revenue of $11.3 billion and an operating loss of $3 billion. The accumulated deficit of the company touched $8 billion by the end of 2018. The company also stated that it expects its negative earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to increase in 2019 as it continues to invest.

The accumulated deficit of the company touched $8 billion by the end of 2018

Presently, a major area of concern for Uber is its relationships with drivers. On Wednesday, Uber drivers went on a strike worldwide to protest at the company's business model, complaining that they are not paid enough.

Uber, however, argues that it has increased drivers' incentives in recent months in a bid to maintain its position in the market.

While Uber hasn't said anything about when it expects to achieve profitability, some investors believe that the company may start making profits when it can field fleets of self-driving vehicles - eliminating the cost of payments to drivers.

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

Warning over open-source bug affecting Drupal, Joomla and Typo3 CMS platforms

By Nicholas Fearn | News | 10 May 2019

Run Drupal, Joomla or Typo3? Newly identified vulnerability could facilitate remote code execution attacks

Drupal, Joomla and Typo3 content management systems have been left exposed to cyber attack as a result of a recently discovered open-source bug.

The vulnerability, codenamed CVE-2019-11831, is based in the PharStreamWrapper open-source PHP component developed by CMS firm Typo3.

This flaw has been caused by a path-traversal bug, enabling attackers to take control of the original Phar archive and replace it with a malicious version.

As PHP.net explains, these archives are used "to distribute a complete PHP application or library in a single file" and used "exactly like any other PHP application".


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology wrote: "The PharStreamWrapper (aka phar-stream-wrapper) package 2.x before 2.1.1 and 3.x before 3.1.1 for TYPO3 does not prevent directory traversal, which allows attackers to bypass a deserialization protection mechanism, as demonstrated by a phar:///path/bad.phar/../good.phar URL."

On Wednesday, Drupal published a security advisory rating the vulnerability "moderately critical". The CMS maker said the vulnerability affects third-party libraries in its platform.

"In order to intercept file invocations like file_exists or stat on compromised Phar archives the base name has to be determined and checked before allowing to be handled by PHP Phar stream handling," said the firm.

"The current implementation is vulnerable to path traversal leading to scenarios where the Phar archive to be assessed is not the actual (compromised) file."

To mitigate the flaw, Drupal advised:

Joomla has also published a security announcement, explaining:  "In Joomla 3.9.3, the vulnerability of insecure deserialization when executing Phar archives was addressed by removing the known attack vector in the Joomla core.

"In order to intercept file invocations like file_exists or stat on compromised Phar archives the base name has to be determined and checked before allowing to be handled by PHP Phar stream handling.

"The used implementation however is vulnerable to path traversal leading to scenarios where the Phar archive to be assessed is not the actual (compromised) file."

According to Joomla, the flaw affects CMS versions 3.9.3 through to 3.9.5. It recommends that users upgrade to version 3.9.6 as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, users of the Typo3 CMS are being advised to upgrade to PharStreamWapper versions v3.1.1 and v2.1.1 in order to eradicate the flaw.

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

Warning over 'ElectricFish' malware linked with North Korean APT Hidden Cobra

By Dev Kundaliya | News | 10 May 2019
The government of Kim Jong-un and his predecessors have long been involved in international organised crime

North Korea-linked ElectricFish malware bypasses proxy servers' authentication procedures

New malware linked to North Korea has been identified by US security agencies. Dubbed ElectricFish, it is primarily designed to exfiltrate data from a target's network and has been linked with the Hidden Cobra advanced persistent threat (APT) group. 

Security researchers know the Hidden Cobra group by various different names, including Lazarus, ZINC, Guardians of Peace, NICKEL ACADEMY, and many others.

The warning was released yesterday in a joint malware analysis report (MAR) issued by the US Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation. 


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


An analysis of the 32-bit tunneling tool found that the malware is capable of bypassing a server's security protocols.

When people connect their machines to the internet, a proxy server acts as the gateway. The primary job of the proxy server is to provide a firewall and web filter to machines to protect them from potential threats on the web.

But, ElectricFish can establish a session between the target system and the attackers, bypassing the proxy server's authentication procedures. 

"The malware implements a custom protocol that allows traffic to be funneled between a source and a destination Internet Protocol (IP) address," explains the advisory. 

It continues: "The malware continuously attempts to reach out to the source and the designation system, which allows either side to initiate a funneling session.

"The malware can be configured with a proxy server/port and proxy username and password. This feature allows connectivity to a system sitting inside of a proxy server, which allows the actor to bypass the compromised system's required authentication to reach outside of the network."

Once a session is established, the malware can funnel traffic between the two systems to enable attackers to transfer stolen data from compromised machines to servers controlled by them.

The US agencies have advised administators and users to flag any suspicious activity associated with the malware. According to US-CERT, all such activities should be reported to the FBI Cyber Watch or the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. 

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

AMD 16-core Ryzen 3000 series CPU leaked online

By Nicholas Fearn | News | 10 May 2019
Stock image

New leak of engineering sample is consistent with the snapshot of model names, specifications and pricing posted online in December

Fresh links indicate that AMD is to launch two 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. The Ryzen 3800X and 3850X chips will be among eight devices that the company is expected to launch at the Computex trade show in Taiwan at the end of this month. 

Twitter user APISAK claims to have got hold of an engineering sample of the new CPU, posting the raw specs online. 

Engineering samples are typically early versions of chips that are distributed by manufacturers to OEMs and other specialists for testing purposes.

While they aren't guaranteed to be the final versions of the chips that will eventually be released to the market, they do provide a good glimpse of what to expect. They enable motherboard makers and manufacturers of other components to build supporting products ready for launch. 

APISAK said the sample he has received sports a 3.3GHz base clock and 4.2GHz boost clock. However, he explained that it can't be decoded by industry decode charts.


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


Although these speeds do seem a bit on the low side, several Twitter users pointed out that these are just early samples and that the finished product will almost certainly be cranked up in performance.

One user said: "Keep in mind that one of 1st Gen Ryzen's engineering samples had a 2.8GHz base/3.2GHz turbo. The production Ryzen 7 1800X then had a 3.6 GHz base, 4.0 GHz boost. That represents a 800 MHz improvement or increase over the engineering sample's base and boost clocks."

Another said "this is an early sample" and "there is room for improvement".

They added: "And on top of that, this is a 16C/32T at 4.2Ghz. This'll be priced against the [Intel] 9900k."

Someone else weighed in: "I just don't think this boost clock is realistic for a 16 core. But it can be if it's 8 core boost .I don't expect all core boost to be anywhere more than 4Ghz."

This isn't the first time that details of the upcoming AMD Ryzen 3000 series of processors have leaked online. Last December, Youtuber AdoredTV posted information about model names, specs and pricing on the internet.

The details are as follows: 

Model Cores Threads Base clock Boost TDP Price
Ryzen 9 3850X 16 32 4.3GHz 5.1GHz 135W $499
Ryzen 9 3800X 16 32 3.9GHz 4.7GHz 125W $449
Ryzen 7 3700X 12 24 4.2GHz 5.0GHz 105W $329
Ryzen 7 3700 12 24 3.8GHz 4.6GHz 95W $299
Ryzen 5 3600X 8 16 4.0GHz 4.8GHz 95W $229
Ryzen 5 3600 8 16 3.6GHz 4.4GHz 65W $178
Ryzen 3 3300X 6 12 3.5GHz 4.3GHz 65W $129
Ryzen 3 3300 6 12 3.2GHz 4.0GHz 50W $99

 

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

We must avoid making business apps disposable in the drive to consumerise IT

By Tom Allen | Interview | 10 May 2019
We must avoid making business apps disposable in the drive to consumerise IT

We have become "fickle" with software says ServiceNow's Chris Pope

In the modern world, more than ever, innovation is a ‘must-have', not a ‘nice-to-have'. That is why many large businesses have invested in creating a dedicated innovation team, whose responsibilities could range from dreaming up new ideas to weaving a story or theme through a long-term product roadmap.

Chris Pope is VP of Innovation at ServiceNow, and much of his role involves paying attention to long-term trends in the IT industry. One of those, which has formed part of the overarching topic of the Knowledge 19 show taking place in Las Vegas this week, has been the consumerisation of work.

At the conference's opening keynote, CEO John Donahoe talked about the difference in using apps like Uber or Deliveroo and business processes. "While our lives at home are simple and intuitive, our lives at work are complex and frustrating, he said. "Mobile technology has enabled us to completely transform our lives at home. [It] allows us to get what we want, when we want and how we want." On the other hand, trying to do something as simple as resetting your password on a work trip is equivalent to "brain damage".

Pope expanded on this theme, telling Computing, "You download an app on your phone, and if you're not quite satisfied, you just delete it and move on. And you download the next one. Applications have almost become disposable."

The same rules don't quite apply to business applications, which are often backed by significant investment and infrastructure, with integrations into other systems. However, employees can still voice their displeasure through shadow IT.

"I've got other options...that's your choice of interaction," said Pope. "It's not disposable in that sense, but [business apps] can easily be marginalised. You know, ‘Tom brought this thing out and it's not quite right, but I've got some budget; I'm going to go over here and do something'.

"I look at Salesforce, right? They got frustrated with IT so what did they do? They went around them, and they're wildly successful. And now IT are like, ‘Hang on, we, we own all that stuff', and the business has gone, ‘No, we do, but you're going to run it for us now. Congratulations'. That's the whole shadow IT thing."

Customisation is king in the world of business apps, and that is a major difference from the comparatively locked-down consumer world. This can be a real danger in enterprise, and another driver towards ungoverned, unregulated solutions that are not sanctioned by the IT department.

"The danger in enterprise software is we open it up [too much], and too many companies think they know better than the manufacturer. They go and customise and configure it, and then they're 12, 18 months down the road and they're like ‘Well, we're stuck, or our business processes have changed. We can't move - we've lost all of the agility that we were thinking about'."

In the modern world, it is not difficult to find a tool that will fulfil a function in a more convenient way than the prescribed system that IT dictates employees should use. However, this holds its own dangers, with issues around governance, data security/privacy and compliance.

"It creates a much bigger issue for you, and probably more work than you were probably anticipating if you had just listened in the first place and delivered a good solution from the original requirement," Pope concluded.

Virgin Trains is working to minimise UK rail disruption with ServiceNow

By Tom Allen | News | 10 May 2019
Virgin Trains is talking with every rail operator in the UK, as well as governing bodies, to share its work

The Back on Track app connects control centre operators and frontline staff, and could save Virgin as much as £400,000 a year

Disruptions are the bane of rail traveller and operator alike. No word causes the same sullen anger and disappointment as ‘Cancelled' flashing across London Euston's billboards at rush hour.

And that doesn't only apply to commuters; often, rail staff are left to deal with the fallout with no information from the control office, or have different information than is shown on the departure boards.

It is these issues that Virgin Trains, the self-proclaimed most innovative rail operator in the UK, aims to solve with its new ‘Back on Track' disruption app, which runs on the ServiceNow platform.

"We want real innovation, and in 2019 that's got to be digital," CIO John Sullivan told journalists at ServiceNow's Knowledge 19 conference in Las Vegas. "Disruption has been around...since rail started - actually since transportation started. When things go wrong, how do you manage it?"

Pretty poorly, as it turns out: Virgin Train's Net Promoter Score, a measure of customer satisfaction, normally stands at 40; but in times of disruption, it can fall below -30. It isn't just the customer who suffers then, but Virgin's employees, too.

Under the traditional approach to handling disruption, frontline staff and the control centre have little contact and cannot share information easily; "It was all done on Word documents and email," said Dean Underwood, Head of Technology Services and Support. The key challenge that Virgin had to solve with its new app was to bridge that information gap.

The result, after a two-year process, is Back on Track, which Virgin will launch on Monday. At launch all of the data will be for business users, primarily staff in the control centre and on the frontline; but, using APIs, that information will also be available to customers in the future.

The app is built on ServiceNow. Virgin took the traditional route to adoption, beginning with ServiceNow ITSM and then moving it into its customer relation functions; the company now uses the platform across 15 departments, including HR, procurement and even catering.

For Back on Track, ServiceNow pulls data from multiple sources and presents it in a single dashboard. Control centre staff can use this to create ‘business incidents' to alert staff to disruptions, assign tasks (we saw a Sisyphean video of completed tasks generating new ones) and alert all relevant frontline staff.

As an example, employees in the control centre could mark a station as closed; frontline staff, with eyes on the ground, could share information with them about the number and type of passengers, for example alerting them to any disabled or vulnerable passengers. The control centre could then make sure that staff at the new terminating station were alerted to this.

Virgin believes that the app will lower the 1,500 inbound calls placed to the control team in a two-hour period by 50 per cent, and each major incident will take, on average, 20 minutes less to resolve - an estimated saving of £400,000.

Both Sullivan and Underwood were keen to add that Virgin Trains wants to share its work with the industry. The company is talking to every rail operator in the UK, as well as Network Rail, the Department for Transport and governing bodies like the RDG - taking the view that minimising disruption is good for everyone.

"There's some things you want to be competitive with and some things we just don't want to be competitive with, and we believe this is something that's good for the rail industry," Underwood concluded.

Zavvi accidentally emails customer database telling them they've all won tickets to the Champions League final

By Computing News | News | 9 May 2019

No, you didn't win that coveted ticket to the Champions League final, after all

Zavvi, the online entertainment ecommerce site, accidentally emailed its entire customer database today to tell them that they had won tickets to the Champions League final in June.

The email was intended for one lucky competition winner, but a fat-fingered member of staff accidentally sent the email to everyone on the company's customer database - even people who had not bought anything on the Zavvi website or used a Mastercard credit card for their purchase, as per the competition rules - causing a stir among several million customers.

Inundated with queries from customers, the company was quick to apologise and assert that just the one winner would be picking up the prize:

"You might have received an email from us this morning congratulating you on winning tickets to The UEFA Champions League Final.

"Unfortunately, this email was sent in error and we are very sorry.

"There is only one official winner who has been contacted separately. Please keep an eye on your inbox for further updates."

However, the company hasn't provided details about how the error happened.

The Zavvi website is all that remains of the old Virgin Megastores chain. Formed via a management buyout in September 2007, it went into administration in December 2008.

The Zavvi brand name was acquired in March 2009 by The Hut Group, a £736 million revenue holding company whose online brand names include I Want One of Those, Preloved, Mankind Direct and Language Connect.

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

First details of Dyson's electric car emerge after patent application publication

By Dev Kundaliya | News | 9 May 2019
Dyson car patent drawings. Image credit: Dyson

Dyson's electric car is expected to hit markets in 2021

Some early details of Dyson's electric car have emerged after  the publication of three patent applications filed some 18 months ago. 

Dyson first revealed plans to make an electric car in 2017, announcing that the company would invest £2 billion in the development of the vehicle and its batteries. Last year, the company decided to build its electric car at a facility in Singapore, rather than the UK. 

Dyson's electric car is expected to hit the market in 2021. The patent application drawings for the vehicle suggest that it will be a seven-seat crossover, almost the same size as a Range Rover.

It will be a premium, high-end car featuring an aerodynamic design, an interior cabin with reclining seats, and large 24-inch wheels to provide extra stability. 


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


The long wheelbase is immediately apparent in the design. Drawings hint that the car will provide enough ground clearance, slightly inverted seat bases, and a slab-backed rear end. 

However, the company has also claimed that the vehicle will look very different from the drawings filed with the Intellectual Property Office. 

Details issued with the patents suggest that the vehicle will be between 4.7 metres to 5 metres long and 1.6 and 1.8 metres high. It will likely have a low-roof design with a sloping A-pillar, suggesting a low centre of gravity to enhance the handling performance of the vehicle.

There are currently no details available about the battery technology that Dyson's electric car will use. While the company has indicated in the past that it would prefer to using next-gen solid-state batteries, the first models are more likely to utilise lithium-ion batteries to power the vehicle.

In an email sent to employees, company's founder Sir James Dyson called on the staff to keep the automotive plans secret.

According to Dyson, more than 500 people are currently working on the project that would contain "fundamentally new technologies and make some inventive leaps". The project is being led by Ian Minards, former Aston Martin chief engineer, who joined the company in 2016 as vice president, automotive.

Dyson claims that it is on track to launch the car "entirely designed by Dyson, manufactured by Dyson, and sold by Dyson" in 2021. 

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast

Samsung Galaxy Fold release date could be announced this week, says CEO DJ Koh

By Dev Kundaliya | News | 9 May 2019
Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh pictured at the company's 2018 Developer Conference

Samsung's internal investigation is winding up, says DJ Koh, and a release date is imminent

Samsung could announce a formal release date for its Galaxy Fold smartphone as early as this week.

In an interview with the Korea Herald, Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh indicated that the company's investigation had identified the causes of the defects reported in its main display, and added that the company should be able to announce a release launch date in the next couple of days.

If so, the device will be released first in the US and South Korea, followed by the UK, mainland Europe and the rest of the world in the following weeks and months. 

According to the Korea Herald, Samsung has finished its internal investigation and will make a number of design measures to prevent these issues from arising in future.

These include reducing the gap between the screen's protective layer and its bezel to prevent foreign substances from penetrating the device and increasing the strength of the exposed areas at the hinge.


AI & Machine Learning Live is returning to London on 3rd July 2019. Hear from the Met Office's Charles Ewen, AutoTrader lead data scientist Dr David Hoyle and the BBC's Noriko Matsuoka, among many others. Attendance is free to qualifying IT leaders and senior IT pros, but places are limited, so reserve yours now.


DJ Koh was speaking to the newspaper after reports earlier this week that Samsung had emailed pre-order customers in the US, warning them that their money would be returned to them if the company was unable to name a release date before the end of the month.

"If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be cancelled automatically," Samsung US told customers. 

The company was required to inform customers by US law, given the delays, that their orders would be automatically cancelled if the company is unable to ship the device in a timely manner. 

The world's biggest smartphone maker had originally planned to launch its folding smartphone on 26th April, but postponed the event after several reviewers reported serious issues with the screens of pre-release versions of the device.

Before those issues were reported, the company claimed that it was forced to close pre-orders for the handset because of "high demand".

Samsung had earlier stated that it would manufacture at least one million Galaxy Fold devices in the first year of production. It produces around 300 million phones every year.

Following the reports, the company admitted that it needed more time to investigate the various issues afflicting the product, and to conduct more tests.

In a statement, the company had promised to announce a new release date for the Galaxy Fold in "the coming weeks". The pledge to refund customers if it is not ready for release by the end of the month suggests that the issues could be harder to resolve than anticipated.  

The problems came to light after some US-based tech reviewers voiced concerns over the build quality of the handset samples they had received.

The reviewers, who had used the device for only a few days, reported issues with the handset's innovative folding screen, including breaks and bulges.

They discovered that peeling off the plastic film from the device's screen made the handset unusable. The Galaxy Fold's 7.3-inch screen is made of a thin sheet of foldable plastic instead of glass and the film is an integral part of the screen, and meant to stay on the device, according to Samsung.

One reviewer noticed that the left half of the handset flickered, while another saw a bulge under the screen causing distortion in the screen's image.

According to Samsung, its preliminary investigation suggested that some of the issues reported could be "associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge" .

There was also an instance where some "substances" were found inside the handset with a troubled display, the company admitted. 

"We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding," Samsung said on its website.

The company has also sent emails to customers who pre-ordered the smartphone, saying they will be updated in next two weeks with more specific information about the shipping of the device.

According to some commentators, reviewers were basically given a beta product without proper guidelines from Samsung on how to use the phone. For example, users were not told that they should not peel off the handset's protective coating.

Computing and CRN have united to present the Women in Tech Festival UK 2019, on 17 September in London.

The event will celebrate successful women in the IT industry, enabling attendes to hear about, and to share, personal experiences of professional journeys and challenges.

Whether you're the ‘Next Generation', an ‘Inspirational Leader', or an ‘Innovator of Tech' this event will offer inspiration on not only how to improve yourself, but how to help others too.  The event is FREE for qualifying IT pros, but places will go fast