July 14, 2015 Last Updated 1:15 pm

US and Iran announce deal, IBT said to shutter Newsweek Europe

Morning Brief: Mozilla deactivates Flash by default in Firefox as security concerns continue to dog the software famously banned from Apple’s iOS devices by Steve Jobs

The US and Iran have been negotiating a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and lift economic sanctions for 20 months, with the latest round of talks lasting 18 days. Finally, early this morning, the two sides announced an agreement. The deal, which is surely to be denounced by Congressional Republicans, and has already been denounced by Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reduces by two-thirds the number of centrifuges Iran can use at its facility at Natanz.

Now comes the politics as Republicans in the Senate are expected to reject the deal, no matter what the details, and the President will veto their judgement in a dance that has already been well choregraphed. What is less rehearsed are the campaign strategies of the now 15 GOP candidates, will each now run for President on a “war with Iran” platform?

As with any successful negotiation, both sides will claim to have come out the winner – something the EU and Greece cannot say occurred with their talks.

The soap opera that is Newsweek continues, with word that owner IBT Media will shutter Newsweek Europe after a year and a half of publishing. Launched in March of last year, only a few months after IBT acquired the brand from Barry Diller owned IAC/InterActiveCorp, the title was said to have a circulation of only 70,000 (the US edition only has a circulation of 100,000). “I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek,” Diller told Bloomberg Television at the time of the sale. Now IBT may feel the same.

NewsweekEU“With our knowledge of building digital brands and with the power of the Newsweek brand we think we can build it and definitely be profitable,” Etienne Uzac, co-founder and CEO of IBT Media, said when the title was acquired.

In April of this year Newsweek announced that it had added staff including former FT columnist Harry Eyres. But the European division was mostly produced in the US, allowing IBT Media to produce the edition with only eight full time staffers in London. According to Politico, those staffers were told to expect to lose their jobs. Editor-in-chief Richard Addis, once editor at the Globe and Mail, is said to have resigned.

IBT Media recently has shifted gears and rather than produce additional editions themselves have licenced the brand to other publishers. In May, for instance, IBT Media announced a deal with Business Consulting & Media, Ltd to produce a Czech language editions.

Update: IBT Media said this afternoon that Newsweek Europe will not be shuttered, only that its staff will now report into NYC and its editor has stepped down (see story here).

When the original iPad was released one of the criticisms of the tablet was that iOS still did not run Flash. But Steve Jobs was firm, Flash would never run on iOS. In April of 2010 Jobs penned a long post on why Apple would not allow Flash listing four major reasons: Flash was proprietary, there was no need for it to run video with the growth of the H.264 format, security concerns, Flash hurt battery life, Flash was not built for touchscreen, and Flash was a competitor to iOS for building apps.

Adobe-Flash-200More than five years on it is obvious that Apple’s decision to exclude Flash hardly put a dent in iPhone and iPad sales, and while Flash it is still around, it is increasingly being handcuffed by its exclusion from mobile devices and the rise of browsers that turn off Flash by default.

Now, Mozilla, the developer of Firefox, has said that security concerns have led it to turn off Flash by default:

All versions of Adobe’s Flash Player plugin are currently deactivated by default, until Adobe releases an updated version to address known critical security issues.

“It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day,” wrote Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer on Twitter.

Adobe regularly releases security updates for Flash players, making it one of the most updated programs out there, yet security concerns continue following the discovery that Italian surveillance software maker Hacking Team had access to three so-called zero-day exploits for previously unknown vulnerabilities in the Flash Player.

Comments are closed.