In business perception is everything. Many companies succeed or fail not because their products are great but their brands are perceived to be that way. Apple is a remarkable perception manager. Consider iPhone 5s, which features and benefits fall far behind many competing devices. Rather than innovate, the fruit-logo launches an evocative marketing campaign -- "You're more powerful than you think" -- that makes the smartphone look better. Improved. The ads are compelling because they communicate: Your life will be better, you shall achieve your dreams, by buying iPhone 5s.
Meanwhile, competitors like Microsoft truly innovate and take the kind of risks that once defined Apple. Last year I asked: "Will 2013 be another year of Apple iteration masquerading as innovation?" Yes, and halfway into another year, little is changed. The answer is the same. Last month I explained "Why Apple no longer innovates". OS X Yosemite and iOS X 8 are prettier, but so what? Meanwhile, Windows 8/8.1 is a radical rethinking of the platform -- as is Surface, which delivers refreshing change to computing. What's that long-forgotten Yellow Pages tagline? Let your fingers do the walking. They do on Surface.
Bromium has just published the results of “Endpoint Protection: Attitudes and Opinions,” a survey of more than 300 information security professionals, focused on end user threats and security. The majority of the respondents believe:
Secunia Research classifies vulnerabilities by rating the severity of vulnerabilities from 1: "not critical" to 5: "extremely critical."
Going by the PR Heartbleed received, you would be excused for thinking that what we were dealing with here was, indeed, "extremely critical."
But it was not, as vulnerabilities go. That rating we use for "remotely exploitable vulnerabilities that can lead to system compromise. Successful exploitation does not normally require any interaction and exploits are in the wild."
The Heartbleed vulnerability was in fact only rated as a 3 of 5 by Secunia: "moderately critical", which is typically used for "remotely exploitable Denial of Service vulnerabilities against services like FTP, HTTP, and SMTP, and for vulnerabilities that allow system compromises but require user interaction."
It gets this rating because it enables information retrieval from remote without any user interaction or authentication requirements.
Linux users are not the most sociable bunch. Sure, I am generalizing, but I speak from experience. Not only do I know many socially awkward and inept Linux nerds, but I am one myself. While I do not use operating systems based on the kernel exclusively, I use them often, and understand preferring the company of a computer to other humans.
Still, every once in a while, a Linux nerd must communicate with family or friends and what better way to do that than video chat? Skype is one of the best options, although some Linux users refuse to use it since Microsoft acquired it. Me? I could care less who owns it as long as it functions as I expect. Today, Microsoft reaffirms its commitment to Linux with a new version of Skype.
Microsoft touts the following changes:
Sadly for some users, ALSA support has been dropped, so you must use PulseAudio. However, most users should not have a problem with this.
Malwarebytes has announced the first full public release of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, a powerful tool which protects against many zero-day exploits. It’s now available in three editions.
A basic Free version shields some browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox, Opera), their addons, and Java, on Windows XP or later.
Through its ubiquitous "like" buttons on publisher sites across the web, Facebook has long been able to watch the web surfing behavior of its 1.28 billion monthly users.
Soon it will begin to use that information for ad targeting on Facebook.
Facebook already enables retargeting to users who've previously visited specific websites and apps, which advertisers can turn on by affixing tracking software to their products. Additionally, ads can be retargeted to Facebook users on their desktop screens via FBX, the company's ad exchange, which a plethora of demand-side platforms like Turn and AdRoll are plugged into.
But what Facebook is now enabling is far more expansive in terms how it uses data for ad targeting. In a move bound to stir up some controversy given the company's reach and scale, the social network will not be honoring the do-not-track setting on web browsers. A Facebook spokesman said that's "because currently there is no industry consensus." Social-media competitors Twitter and Pinterest do honor the setting. Google and Yahoo do not.
Facebook will honor the settings to limit ad tracking on iOS and Android devices, however.
The Federal Communications Commission has demanded—and received—the paid peering agreements Netflix signed with Comcast and Verizon, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced today.
While Wheeler said the commission has "broad authority," he didn't promise to take any action beyond gathering information. "To be clear, what we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating," he said. According to Comcast, the FCC has actually had the Comcast-Netflix agreement for months, but it had not previously revealed that fact.
Wheeler said he wants to make sure consumers get the Internet service they pay for—something that has not been happening for many Netflix users.
After months of complaints by Netflix, the Federal Communications Commission is beginning to look into the streaming quality issues that Netflix subscribers have been seeing on Comcast and Verizon. Netflix has been in a heated and public battle with internet providers over network congestion that's supposedly slowing its service down, with both sides pinning responsibility on the other. "Consumers pay their ISP and they pay content providers like Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon. Then when they don’t get good service they wonder what is going on," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says in a statement. "I have experienced these problems myself and know how exasperating it can be."
The FCC has obtained the terms of the agreements that Netflix made with both Comcast and Verizon earlier this year that have it paying them both in order to resolve these issues. The FCC says that it doesn't yet have a full understanding of what's occurring between the companies, and it's continuing to evaluate to see who's at fault for the connection problems. "Consumers must get what they pay for," Wheeler says. "As the consumer’s representative we need to know what is going on." Wheeler says that the FCC is continuing to request information from internet and content providers.