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Google Calls Microsoft Scroogled Campaign Intellectually Dishonest #rsac

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 February 2013 11:55 pm

browser panelIn the world of online privacy, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are all front and center. The chief privacy officers from all four vendors took the stage at the RSA Security conference today to debate what online privacy is all about.

The most heated moment during the panel discussion came when Keith Enright, Senior Privacy Counsel at Google, challenged Microsoft on privacy claims. Microsoft has been running a marketing campaign called ‘Scroogled’ alleging that Google Gmail is privacy risk.

Microsoft alleges that Google’s contextual ads, which show up alongside user email, is a violation of user privacy. Google does not agree. Enright noted that the use of automated algorithms is commonplace across multiple facets of technology and is not an issue of privacy. He added that automated algorithms are used to make the contextual ads more relevant.

“The idea that doing that (contextual advertising) is in any way detrimental to privacy, or is antithetical to the interests of our users, I think is misleading and intellectually dishonest,” Enright said.

Read the full story at Datamation:
RSA: Google Lashes out at Microsoft Over Privacy

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Akamai Takes on DDoS Challenge #rsac

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 February 2013 7:40 am

Content Delivery Network (CDN) vendor Akamai is updating its Kona Site Defender Web Application Firewall this week with new rules and DDoS mitigations

In a DDoS attack, a site is hit by a flood of concurrent requests which serve to disrupt or disable a site. Akamai as a platform has 10 Terabytes of scalability and as such, the CDN can absorb huge volume of inbound traffic.

“We serve on-demand events for our delivery customers, that are larger than the largest DDoS attacks we have ever seen,” Summer said. “The largest DDoS attack we have seen against any one customer is 124 Gigabits per second against a single website and that website stayed functional during the entire attack.”

Summers added that,”there is no botnet out there that is at the same scale as the 120,000 servers in our platform.”


Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Akamai Extends Web Application Firewall as a Service with Kona Site Defender

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Ouya Is Finally Set To Ship To The Game Console’s Backers

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 February 2013 5:40 am
Ouya Is Finally Set To Ship To The Game Console's Backers

Ouya, the $99 Android game console that racked up more than $8.5 million in Kickstarter funding last August, will finally begin shipping to backers next month. The big date: March 28, according to CEO Julie Uhrman in a Kickstarter update this morning. A full launch in retail stores is still set for June.

(See also: From Kickstarter to Target: Indie Ouya Gets Major Retail Partners)

Uhrman acknowledged up front that units will ship in staggered fashion over a number of weeks, given that production is still ramping up and the company has a large number of orders to fill. She did tell the project’s backers to expect a tracking number with an arrival estimate via email.

Ouya’s Confirmed Games

Uhrman also announced a string of confirmed games for the console, expanding on a once-ambiguous set of titles that had many skeptical that Ouya could live up to its goal of revolutionizing the game industry. 

(See also: Can Ouya Challenge Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo?)

Newly announced games include an exclusive title from Kim Swift (of Portal and Left 4 Dead fame) and Airtight Games, a port of developer Minority Media’s Papa YoThe Ball from Tripwire Interactive (maker of The Killing Floor), and a console version of the PC role-playing title ChronoBlade.

Uhmran also announced the winners of Ouya’s 10-day game jam contest, co-sponsored with Kill Screen:

  • CREATE Grand Prize: Strange Happenings on Murder Island (Free Lives)
  • Most Surprising: Television (Laboratory Games LLC)
  • Four Bright Buttons and Two Sticks: Bombball (E McNeill)
  • Most Immersive: Whispering Willows (Night Light Interactive)
  • Pop Your Eyes Out: Pipnis (Santa Ragione)
  • Best Couch with Friends Games: 2D Cube Zombie Platformer (Molinware)
  • Best Game Created Using Unity Engine: Stikbold (Team Stikbold)

Ouya, of course, still has a long way to go before it becomes a console gamers can rely on. Uhrman is quite aware of all that:

You will also get to watch Ouya evolve over the coming weeks and months. We’ll continue to add new features, refine our user experience, and bring on more games. As always, we appreciate your feedback (and apply it), so keep it coming.

Get an 8GB credit-card flash drive for $7.99

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 27 February 2013 11:39 pm

Spies carry credit cards like this one, which secretly houses 8GB of flash storage.

Spies carry credit cards like this one, which secretly houses 8GB of flash storage.


We all know that flash drives are dirt-cheap nowadays, but most of them are designed to ride in your pocket or on your keychain. What if you forget the drive, or don’t have your keys with you? What then?!

One item you almost always have with you: your wallet. Hence today’s deal: Meritline has the 8GB Black Credit Card Shaped USB Flash Drive for $7.99 shipped. Regular price: $9.99. Savings: two dollars. Woo!

I know, it’s barely a deal, but not every day needs to be about TVs, laptops, and other big-ticket items. And this, well, this will boost your geek cred through the roof.

True to its name, the drive looks exactly like a credit card. But look closer and you’ll see a small hinged arm that folds open to reveal — ta-daa! — a USB connector. Plug it in and you’ve got 8GB of wallet-friendly storage.

There’s not much more to say about this nifty little conversation-starter, other than it’s a USB 2.0 drive that ships from Hong Kong — meaning it’ll likely take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

If you’re looking for another way to geek out your wallet, check out the ChargeCard, which squeezes an iPhone or microUSB sync/charge cable into a credit-card form factor. The
iPhone 4/4S version just started shipping.

I know these have been around for awhile, and that you can get a more traditional 8GB flash drive for a couple bucks less. But, so help me, I just think it’s cool. Yeah, I’m dorky that way.

Bonus deal: For a limited time, Genie9 is offering Genie Timeline Pro 2012 for $9.95. Regular price: $59.95. (Make sure to remove the “2 years extended support” from your shopping cart.) This set-it-and-forget-it backup utility employs an attractive,
Windows 8-style tiled interface. Check the review over at BetaNews if you want to learn more.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

Curious about what exactly The Cheapskate does and how it works? Read our FAQ.

Mozilla FirefoxOS Set to be Adopted by 17 Mobile Carriers

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 26 February 2013 11:24 pm

Mozilla is announcing that at least 17 carriers spanning the globe have now committed to carrying FirefoxOS-based mobile smartphones. The carriers include: América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

The carrier expansion represents a net addition of ten new carriers since July of 2012. Mozilla rebranded its Boot2Gecko mobile phone effort as FirefoxOS at that time and laid out a strategy that included working with global carriers. Mozilla is facing an uphill battle against existing mobile vendors Apple IOS and Google Android as well as challenges from open source upstarts, including Samsung Tizen and the Canonical Ubuntu Phone.

From a hardware perspective, Mozilla announced that manufacturers Alcatel (TCL), LG, ZTE and Huawei are all building FirefoxOS phones. All of the phones are set to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors.

Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla, told Datamation that carriers are flocking to FirefoxOS because there is a need for an alternative. He noted that both Apple IOS and Google Android are difficult for mobile carriers to add value on top off. Additionally, both of those mobile operating systems treat the web as a second class citizen. Instead, they both favor a native app model that requires extra layers of technology. In contrast, FirefoxOS is all about HTML5 and JavaScript, the same base ingredients that power the Internet as we know it today.

“We have very fast platform because we don’t need the extra layers,” Eich said.

Read the full story at Datamation:
Mozilla Goes Mobile With Big Firefox OS Phone Launch

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

One Year Later, Instagram Triples To 100 Million Users

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 26 February 2013 5:18 pm
One Year Later, Instagram Triples To 100 Million Users

Well, that was fast. Almost a year after announcing that it had 27 million users, Instagram has surpassed the 100-million-user miletsone, according to the company’s blog. Over the last year, Instagram has continued to refine its already polished app, adding new filters and a Web feed for viewing photos in a browser rather than on a mobile device. 

The service remains well-loved among existing users even as it chases new soon to be Insta-addicts. As much as its users have worried that Facebook will meddle with its photo-sharing darling, Instagram likely has Zuck and deep Facebook News Feed integration to thank for its threefold growth in the last year.

Instagram only seems to get better with age. Last December, Instagram successfully defused a minor revolt over changes to its terms of service, suggesting that even under the wing of Facebook, the company remains nimble and autonomous. 

Image courtesy of Instagram.

Samsung Galaxy S4 rumor roundup

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 26 February 2013 11:16 am

Editors’ note: This piece was originally posted on January 24, 2013. We’ll continuously update the roundup until the device’s official launch. Please let us know if we missed any rumors ourselves.

Considering the popularity and success of the Samsung Galaxy S3, it’s understandable that whispers of its successor (presumably called the Galaxy S4) are circulating. From iffy launch dates to spec upgrades, CNET tracks all the talk and rounds up the latest GS4 rumors here.

February 25, 2013
The invitations are out
Samsung issued the formal invitations for New York
Galaxy S4 reveal. As expected, it will take place March 14, at 7 p.m. ET. It also will be live-streamed on Samsung Mobile’s YouTube page.

Visa on the Galaxy S4
Samsung said it would use Visa’s PayWave mobile payment applet in its future devices and partner with Visa to make it easier for customers to tie their Samsung handsets to a financial institution and Visa account. While not referenced specifically, the Galaxy S4 will be the flagship product for Visa’s program, according to a person familiar with the partnership.

February 24, 2013
March 14 will be the big day
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain Samsung confirmed that it would host a “Samsung Unpacked” event in New York on March 14 where it would unveil the Galaxy S4. Samsung told CNET that it is also was considering embedding its new security software, Knox, into the handset.

February 18, 2013
Or maybe it’s March 14
Russian analyst and rumor-meister Eldar Murtazin told Sammobile that the Galaxy S4 will come on March 14, which is one day earlier than a previous rumor suggested. Sammobile also speculated that Galaxy S4’s specs would include an Exynos 5 Octa (8-Core) CPU, Mali-T678 (8-Core) GPU, 4.99-inch SuperAMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, 2-megapixel front facing camera, and
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

February 6, 2013
March 15 presser in the works
Doubling down with its April sale date prediction, SamMobile is reporting that Samsung will hold a March 15 press event to unveil the handset. Citing a “trusted insider,” the site said it should expect a presser invitation after MWC finishes. Here’s hoping — because there’s nothing sadder than waiting for an invite to the coolest party of the year and staring down an empty mailbox instead.

Maybe we’ll see it in March
Throwing his hat into the “March debut” ring is an analyst from Canaccord Genuity named T. Michael Walkley. He predicts that Samsung will launch the handset during that month to extand its market share lead during that quarter.

February 1, 2013
Scratch that September rumor; you won’t see it at MWC after all
According to a source who spoke to CNET, it looks like the Galaxy S4 will be absent at Mobile World Congress this year. Instead, the company will probably put on its own event just for the device, similar to what it did last year with the S3 in May.

January 23, 2013
You may get your hands on the GS4 in April
It’s always interesting when rumors start ball-parking a release date, but SamMobile does one better and gives an exact date: Tax Day. Not only did the outlet report its launch day will be on April 15, it also said the phone will have a larger 2,600mAh battery.

Samsung Youm flex display

Samsung’s Youm flex display at CES 2013. Will it be featured in the GS4?

James Martin/CNET)

December 6, 2012
Superstrong, bendy display?
Reuters reported that the new Galaxy phone may be equipped with a flexible, ultra-tough touch screen. Although this sounds far out, we’ve seen firsthand what Samsung can do with its flexible Youm display. That’s not to say it’ll definitely come to the market any time soon, but it is evident that the company is working with such technology.

December 4, 2012
It will get plenty of spec bumps
A 5-inch 1080p HD display, Android 5.0, and a 13-megapixel camera? Several S4 rumors from news outlets like Asiae.kr are popping up, reporting that the new handset is going to get several upgrades in hardware and software. With these rumors, a lot of cryptic code names are being associated with the handset as well, including the stale model number “Samsung GT-I9525” and the mysterious “Project J” label.

September 17, 2012
You’ll see it in February, at MWC 2013
According to a “company official” cited by the Korea Times, Samsung plans to unveil the Galaxy S4 at this year’s Mobile World Congress. MWC is a popular and global tech conference where many mobile companies debut their latest devices.

RSA 2013 No Longer Just Admiring IT Security Problems

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 25 February 2013 11:12 pm

RSA Conference 2013 starts today, kicking off one of the biggest event in the infosec calendar.

The RSA Conference is also evolving in terms of the types of content and sessions. Hugh Thompson, program committee chairman for the RSA Conference, noted that just a few years ago the agenda included sessions with titles such as “Software Security is Important.” In 2013 there is more maturity, with people talking about how to measure the return on investment (ROI) for security initiatives, for example.

“It really seems that over the last couple of years we have come a long way from sessions that admire the problem, to sessions that now also present solutions and data that can help us make things better,” said Ramon Krikken, Research VP at Gartner.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:
RSA 2013: Big Data, Big Vendors and Big Security

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

HP Beefs Up BladeSystem Bandwidth

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 25 February 2013 6:57 am

HP this week took the wraps off the biggest evolution of its BladeSystem portfolio in years.

John Gromala, Director of Product Marketing, Industry Standard Servers and Software at HP told ServerWatch that the new BladeSystem c7000 Platinum enclosure and the new ProLiant WS460c Gen8 blade are the biggest things to happen to HP’s BladeSystem since the introduction of the c class back in 2006.

Gromala said that the c7000 now provides up to 40 percent more networking bandwidth that previous c-class BladeSystems. The primary reason for the networking boost is a new backplane that can provide up 7 Tbs of aggregate bandwidth.

Read the full story at ServerWatch:
HP Advances BladeSystem with c7000

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Haters As A Leading Indicator Of Success

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 25 February 2013 5:01 am
Haters As A Leading Indicator Of Success

The only thing worse than dealing with haters of your company or product is not having any at all. The product without haters is destined for ignominy and failure. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that your product’s success is positively correlated with the volume of venom directed at it.

But first, let’s define a “hater.”

There’s valid criticism, and then there’s hate. A hater, according to Urban Dictionary, feasts upon schadenfreude: “A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.” Jealousy factors heavily into a hater’s temperament. 

Yes, jealousy. After all, no one hates a loser. That company with 1% market share? No one bothers to expend energy trashing it. Not seriously, anyway.

No, haters reserve their hate for the winners. 

It’s Good To Be Hated

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some outsized winners, like Apple.

Apple’s market share may be sliding in both smartphones and tablets, in part because the market is growing around it, but Apple still commands profits (and revenues) that every company on the planet envies. It also commands disproportionate attention from haters. Social Mention pegs Apple’s love-to-hate ratio at 2-1. Motherhood and apple pie? 7-1. (You can find similar results using Twendz or Amplicate, whose data indicates that 44% hate Apple and a massive 68% hate the iPhone.

All to the tune of $137 billion in the bank. 

How about Microsoft? Haters have targeted it for years, including me. (Incidentally, I don’t consider myself a hater, but that’s beside the point: “hate” in this definition is what we do, not necessarily who we are. And I’ve written some serious broadsides against Microsoft for its early bullying of open source.) 

How much is Microsoft hated? Amplicate details a 63% hate rate against Windows, 69% against the company, and a whopping 89% against Internet Explorer. Social Mention (3:1 love-to-hate ratio) and Twendz reveal similar data. 

And yet Microsoft still manages to earn over $72 billion in revenue, with a “paltry” $68 billion in the bank

The list goes on. MySQL? It was once pilloried as a database that lost data, performed poorly, etc. Now it’s the third-most popular database in the world. Linux? Microsoft system administrators used to ridicule its security, performance, and most everything else. Now it owns 21% of the server market and keeps growing as it is the default OS for cloud, Big Data, and other emerging trends. Facebook was lambasted for not groking mobile, even as mobile has grown in two quarters from 14% to 23% of the company’s billion-dollar quarters.

Responding To The Haters

I could go on, but you get the point: haters are actually leading indicators of success. The more vociferous your haters, the more likely that you’re doing something right, and it’s driving them insane. Bonus points if you can claim a Twitter spoof account, as Apple once could thanks to @FakeSteveJobs/@RealDanLyons. No one bothers to parody a losing company or product, as no one would get the joke. 

This is not to suggest that you should ignore valid criticism, but rather to take it in stride and answer with product improvements, as each of the companies noted above has done. Even bile-fueled hate can be instructive, after all, so the key is to learn from it without becoming consumed by it.

While it’s hard to resist responding, don’t. Doing so simply legitimizes the hater and amplifies their voice, as you almost certainly have more distribution than they do. I once heard wise counsel about someone criticized in a local newspaper. When they wanted to respond, they were told, “Don’t. Half the people in town don’t get that paper. Half that do won’t have read the article in question. Half of those who read it won’t believe it. And half that read and believe it simply won’t care.” Content on the Internet has an exceptionally short shelf-life. Don’t respond. Let it die. The best response is always by delivering on your product, as PDA CTO Eliot Murphy intimates.

The Only Thing Worse Than Having Haters…

Again, in our hyper-connected world it’s simply impossible to succeed without accumulating haters along the way. They indicate you’re doing something right, as SpringSource founder Rod Johnson suggests:

In other words, it’s far better to have a popular but feverishly hated product than a Milque Toast product that no one can be bothered to criticize, as forum traffic on Oracle (Market cap: $164B), SAP ($94B), and CA ($11B) illustrates.  

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None of which is to suggest that everyone criticizes your product is a mindless hater and should be ignored. Far from it. But when haters start congregating around your product, listen to their criticism, evaluate its merits, don’t respond, continually improve your product, and be very, very grateful that you have haters.

After all, most companies have few to no haters at all. Pity them.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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