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Dish Network Slings New TV Service
February 09, 2015
Dish Network on Monday officially launched Sling TV, its widely anticipated US$20 per month streaming service, and further announced that customers could sign up for a "Sports Extra" add-on pack for $5 per month. The service, which is available now via a one-week free trial, can be accessed via Roku devices, and through Android, iOS, Mac and PC devices -- with support for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick coming soon.
Is an Apple Maps Upgrade in the Works?
February 09, 2015
The ad on Apple's job site is innocuous enough, seeking an engineering project manager for Apple Search. However, that raises questions about whether Apple has plans to further improve its Maps app, possibly by strengthening local listings, which are increasingly important to businesses. "Apple may well revamp its street maps, as that application has far more value in an increasingly mobile world," noted Alan Pelz-Sharpe, a research director at the 451 Group.
FCC Chair Submits New Approach for Net Neutrality
February 06, 2015
Some proposed rules that the Federal Communication Commission maintains will prevent content discrimination on the Internet drew fire on Thursday from two policy interest groups. A four-page "fact sheet" on the rules was released Wednesday by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. In it, the chairman outlined what he's proposing to the full commission, which is expected to vote on the rules February 26.
FTC Argues Against IoT Law, For Now
February 05, 2015
The global "installed and connected base" of IoT units will reach approximately 30 billion in 2020, noted IDC in a November 2014 report. Yet now is not the time to enact privacy or security laws aimed directly at the impact of the IoT, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission says. The FTC argues that such specific legislation could stymie the development of IoT technology.
IoT Risky Business for Enterprise Networks
February 05, 2015
There were 9 billion Internet of Things units installed at the end of 2013 -- and analysts expect the figure to hit 28 billion by 2020. That's going to make life difficult for IT security admins. A Tripwire survey found that employed consumers who took work home had an average of 11 IoT devices on their home networks, and 24 percent of them had connected at least one of these devices to their enterprise network.
Promoted Tweets Fly the Coop
February 04, 2015
With Wall Street breathing down its neck for growth, Twitter on Tuesday launched a new advertising initiative that aims to boost revenues and add to its more than 284 million members. The initiative aims to expand the reach of "Promoted Tweets" on Twitter. Promoted Tweets are ads that Twitter inserts into its members timelines. Now, the company wants them to be seen elsewhere, too.
YouTube Halftime Show Sets Stage for Cross-Channel Ads
February 03, 2015
On Sunday evening, as a record 114.4 million people watched Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott rock out during the Super Bowl's halftime show, another show was under way, as well. For the first time, Google's YouTube hosted its own version of halftime on Super Bowl Sunday during roughly the same time slot.
Is the FTC Jumping the Gun on IoT Security?
February 03, 2015
For months, the security community has been waving a red flag about how the nascent Internet of Things could become a cyber criminal's paradise. Last week, those admonitions were given some credence when the Federal Trade Commission recommended that the makers of IoT gadgets adopt some "best practices" to protect consumers from potential violations of their privacy and security.
Gadget Ogling: A Touchless Thermometer, Flashing Audio, and a Mesmerizing Mattress Cover
January 31, 2015
JoyWing's Wishbone is a fancier thermometer than what you or I will have seen on any trip to the doctor. It's a smartphone attachment that gives temperature readouts within a couple of seconds without even having to touch the person or material it's examining, thanks to an infrared sensor. It's inexpensive, at $26-35 for those pledging to the crowdfunding drive.
Gamergate Bleeds Into Wikipedia
January 30, 2015
The Gamergate controversy, which centers on sexism and sexual violence in the video game industry, has made things hot for Wikipedia, whose arbitration committee has taken punitive action against some of the people involved in the debate. The committee decided to impose a complete site-wide ban on one male editor, with the handle "Ryulong," said Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson Juliet Barbara.
Amazon WorkMail Lifts Back-End Email Burden From IT's Shoulders
January 30, 2015
Amazon is making a play for the enterprise email market. Offered by Amazon Web Services, WorkMail targets companies that want to move their on-premises email services to the cloud. WorkMail reduces complexity and cost. With all mail infrastructure relocated to Amazon's cloud, a company no longer need be concerned with buying hardware, installing patches, and installing mail backup systems.
Twitter Adds Cliques and Flicks
January 28, 2015
Twitter on Tuesday announced two new offerings that could bolster its efforts to compete with Facebook. The new group functionality will let them direct message up to 20 members of a group simultaneously. They also will be able to shoot, edit and share video from within Twitter's mobile app. Twitter will be rolling out the new features in the coming weeks.
Tech-Savvy Cubans Build Their Own Private Internet
January 28, 2015
Because Cuba's government makes it difficult for all but a handful of Cubans to access the Internet, people in Havana and other parts of the country reportedly have linked thousands of PCs to create an informal network known as "StreetNet," or "SNet" for short. The network was built with commercially available equipment. The PCs are connected by WiFi and Ethernet cables strung over rooftops.
Quinn's Crash Override Combats Cyberbullying
January 22, 2015
Crash Override made its official debut last week, promising a new way to support targets of online bullying and harassment. Cofounder Zoe Quinn, a video game developer, is one of the better-known people on the receiving end of such abuse. For her, it started when an ex-boyfriend alleged in a blog post that Quinn had traded sex for favorable reviews from a journalist for a video game news site.
Ubuntu Aims to Make the IoT Snappy
January 21, 2015
Canonical on Tuesday unveiled Snappy Ubuntu Core, a new rendition of Ubuntu targeting the Internet of Things. Snappy Ubuntu Core offers a minimal server image with the same libraries as "traditional" Ubuntu, but Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core can be upgraded automatically and rolled back if necessary. Snappy runs on any device with an ARMv7 or Intel x86 processor and at least 256 MB of RAM.
Report: Dumb Password Use on the Decline
January 21, 2015
Millions of Net surfers use obvious passwords to log on to websites, but their numbers appear to be declining. SplashData on Tuesday published its annual list of the top 25 most common -- thus worst -- passwords leaked online. In the top spot was "123456," followed by "password" and "12345." Both "123456" and "password" claimed the top spots in 2013, too.
Google Buys In on Musk's Space Internet Plans
January 21, 2015
SpaceX, the space transport services company founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, has raised $1 billion in funding from Google and Fidelity Investments. Together, they will together own almost 10 percent of SpaceX. Musk last November confirmed that SpaceX was developing advanced micro-satellites operating in large formations and would make an announcement in two to three months.
The Top 20 CRM Blogs of 2014, Part 2
January 20, 2015
The second half of the Top 20 Bloggers list is the half that holds the most surprises and fresh faces. This year, it also has the most variety -- from non-English speakers to blogs targeted at small businesses -- as well as plenty of marketing-oriented content. There also are some re-entries to the list who have rediscovered their blogs and come roaring back.
Amazon to Produce Original Movie House Fare
January 20, 2015
Amazon Studios on Monday announced it would begin to produce and acquire original movies for release in theaters. Amazon Prime customers will be on an early distribution list, with the movies becoming available to them four to eight weeks after their theatrical debuts. The goal is to create around 12 movies a year. Amazon will focus on up-and-coming filmmakers.
From the Blogosphere With Love: A FOSSy Farewell
January 20, 2015
The past week has afforded plenty of fodder for conversation here in the Linux blogosphere: the MintBox Mini; the Steam for Linux file-deletion bug; and the latest in the Systemd saga, for example. However, this week seems like a good time to revisit some classic gems from days gone by -- particularly the sweet spot that can be found at the intersection of Linux and Love.
Gadget Ogling: A New Galaxy, Awesome Audio, and One Ring That Doesn't Rule
January 17, 2015
Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that takes freshly announced gadgets out for a hypothetical test run, rendering judgement long before they hit the shelves. In the offing this week: Samsung's latest mid-range smartphone, a gesture-based ring, shiny headphones and much more. Samsung has another mid-range smartphone in the Galaxy A7.
Microsoft's 'Spartan' Browser Will Bulge With Features
January 15, 2015
Rumors about Microsoft's new browser, code-named "Spartan," have been heating up: It will be an app; no, it will not. It will replace Internet Explorer -- no, it will not. It will use Microsoft's Trident rendering engine and the Chakra JavaScript engine developed for IE 9. Probably. Spartan will look and work more like lightweight browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. No, it won't.
Facebook Adds Amber Alerts for Missing Kids
January 14, 2015
Facebook on Tuesday announced that it has begun a new effort to help find missing children by incorporating Amber Alerts into the news feeds of its 185 million U.S. users. Through the effort, which is part of a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the alerts are sent only to users in targeted search areas. They're shown on both desktop and mobile devices.
Loving Linux in a Touchscreen World
January 13, 2015
Well it was a fairly quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, as much of the mainstream tech world staggered directly out of their New Year's revelries and into the halls of CES. Not that Linux didn't have a presence at the gargantuan show, mind you. It was there, all right -- not just in phones but in TVs, smartwatches and cars, to name just a few examples.

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