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A Cure for What Ails Social Media
April 12, 2021
Social media has become the home of fake news, unscrupulous advertising, places to dole out abuse, and disseminate alternative history. Let's talk about what is likely to happen to social media companies; and how they might work to prevent that outcome. We'll close with the product of the week, a category-busting new smartwatch from OnePlus.
Fraud Awareness Kit Puts Businesses on Notice: It's Tax Scam Season
April 7, 2021
Businesses fearful their workers may be targeted by fraudsters will want to take a look at the free Tax Scam Awareness Kit offered by Proofpoint. The kit, for both Windows and macOS, includes materials for an employee education campaign about tax fraud, three educational videos, an infographic, answers to frequently asked questions about tax scams, and a tax scam flyer.
Hacker Recycles Data on Half a Billion Facebook Users
April 6, 2021
A rich cache of data on some 533 million Facebook users was posted to a hacker forum over the weekend and is available to download for practically free. In a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by Facebook, the company said it is confident the posted information is old data that originated from a weakness in its contact importer feature that was discovered and fixed in August 2019.
Modern Solutions for a New Era of Collaboration
March 29, 2021
Collaboration between employees, teams, and clients is more important than ever before, and new technologies and platforms are available to facilitate communication and group work. The E-Commerce Times checked in with experts in collaboration software and technologies to hear more about how people are now working together, both remotely and in person.
Arts and Culture's Virtual Survival Story: The Show Must Go On
March 23, 2021
The arts have seen a shift in the last year away from in-person gatherings, but that doesn't mean that performances, showings, and other creative activities have stopped. Rather, they've been transformed, becoming increasingly virtual and digital. We spoke with experts in the arts, design, and marketing to see how these fields have changed and might continue to evolve.
Tech Think Tank Calls for $40B Reverse Auction to Boost Rural Broadband
March 23, 2021
Nearly one-in-five rural Americans don't have broadband Internet access, but that could change with the use of carefully targeted subsidies through a process known as a reverse auction. A big, one-time capital expenditure administered through a reverse-auction program would attract larger, more efficient firms to the problem, noted ITIF Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Doug Brake.
New Social Platform Seeks to Swell Ranks With Talk in Displaced Time
March 17, 2021
A new social media platform called Swell is based on voice messaging. According to its developers, Swell is the first social platform to focus exclusively on asynchronous audio conversations, where audio clips up to five minutes in length can be posted to the site. Any Swell member can host a conversation and has control over who may participate in it, as well as make posts.
Microsoft Confident Exchange Hack Is State-Sponsored Operation
March 10, 2021
Microsoft on Monday reported that multiple malicious actors were taking advantage of vulnerabilities in its Exchange software last week to attack systems at organizations that have failed to patch the flaws. The company attributed the attacks "with high confidence" to Hafnium, a group believed to be state-sponsored and operating out of China.
Microsoft, Huawei Out-Innovating Facebook, Apple
March 8, 2021
Last week was particularly interesting. Microsoft had two big announcements with Mesh and Viva, while Huawei showcased a strategy for a universal OS that covers PCs, smartphones, tablets, TVs, and IoT devices to perfect integration across them all. Let's talk about both this week -- and work in Microsoft Mesh as the product of the week.
The Evolving Future of the Office
February 15, 2021
I participated in a group analyst event several weeks ago about companies converting their offices into collections of meeting rooms. We couldn't picture people who have been meeting remotely for so many months suddenly concluding that the long commute to and from the office was worth meeting in person; given they are now okay with using solutions like Webex or Microsoft Teams.
How to Build an SEO Strategy for 2021
February 12, 2021
The E-Commerce Times discussed with Steve Wiideman, president and CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group, the essentials of how to build an SEO strategy for 2021. Wiideman designed and teaches the Website Optimization and Strategic Search Engine Marketing online course for California State University Fullerton and the SEO Tools and Analytics course at University of California San Diego.
Ubuntu Core 20 Brings Better Industrial IoT Control
February 2, 2021
Canonical on Feb. 2 made available Ubuntu Core 20. This new Ubuntu Core version boasts notable new device security innovations. Given the increasing numbers and sophistication of attacks by individual and state-sponsored cybercriminals, Canonical's efforts should be welcomed by both IoT device makers and their customers, according to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
Aussies Play Bing Card in Dispute With Google
February 2, 2021
Microsoft is set to step in with its Bing search engine should Google make good on its promise to cut service to Australia in response to a proposed law to make tech firms pay for news content produced by the country's media companies. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he has spoken to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is confident Bing could meet the needs of Australians should Google exit.
Algolia Acquires MorphL to Advance Marketing Prowess
January 26, 2021
Search-as-a-service company Algolia on Monday announced its acquisition of Google DNI-funded machine learning startup MorphL to fuel Algolia's new artificial intelligence offering. The company hopes the new service will eliminate barriers to AI implementation and help businesses drive website conversion and personalization.
Google Touts Alternative to Crumbling Third-Party Cookies
January 26, 2021
Google sent a shock wave through the advertising and publishing industries last year when it announced it planned to scrap third-party tracking cookies, which are an important tool for online marketers. Not to worry, the company announced Monday. It has a viable alternative in the wings. "FLoC" will be available for public testing with the March release of Chrome.
The New Era of Cashless, Invisible Payments
January 21, 2021
While it was already underway prior to the pandemic, the worldwide shift to digital payments has been accelerated by the crisis. This new cashless concept and the related back-end changes by banks to adopt real-time payments are becoming increasingly popular; and have set into motion the potential for a ripple effect throughout the e-commerce ecosystem.
Search Milestone Gives DuckDuckGo Something to Quack About
January 19, 2021
DuckDuckGo reached a significant milestone last week when it racked up more than 100 million searches in a single day. While still a paltry number compared to the more than five billion daily searches performed by Google, the milestone is a major one for the search engine that doesn't store any of its users' personal information, archive their search histories, or track their search activity.
Americans Balking at Buying Smart Home Devices
January 13, 2021
Smart devices, the cornerstone of the home of the future, can't seem to capture the imagination or open the wallets of a large number of Americans. Some 46.7 million broadband households aren't ready to buy a smart home device, according to a survey released this week by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in consumer technology products.
Cut the Cord to Trim Your TV Viewing Overhead
January 5, 2021
For the majority of consumers, cutting the cable TV cord is a mixed bag for a variety of reasons. The big misconception is that you will drastically lower your cable bill. That is not the case unless you can also pickup free TV reception from an antenna. Otherwise, you will need to use a video streaming service to help lower your costs.
Study Finds Best US Mobile Internet Connectivity in Northeast
December 29, 2020
Eight of the top 10 states for mobile Internet coverage are in the Northeast, according to an analysis released by consumer product and services comparison website WhistleOut. However, the best mobile Internet coverage isn't in a state at all -- but in the District of Columbia. To rank the states, 75 percent of the score was based on median mobile download speeds and 25 percent by 5G coverage.
FTC Demands Social Media Firms' User Data, Harvesting Tactics
December 16, 2020
The Federal Trade Commission seeks to obtain information on how many users certain social media companies have, how active the users are, what the companies know about them, how they got that information, and what steps the companies take to continue to engage users. The FTC also is gathering information on the companies' business models and how they target children and families.
A Mini Browser War in Linux
December 14, 2020
Two new Web browsing alternatives widen the field of browser choices for Linux users. The recent introduction of Microsoft Edge for Linux, and the Dec. 8 release of Vivaldi version 3.5 offer the freedom to experience a Google-free vehicle to navigate the Internet. Edge on Linux has the potential for widespread adoption. Proprietary Vivaldi is already well established on Linux and other platforms.
The Costly Consequences of Crashes in the Clouds
December 8, 2020
Downtime can cost enterprises that depend solely on a data center's ability to deliver IT and networking services to customers -- such as e-commerce companies -- up to $11,000 a minute. The cost to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals who use subscription services in their work has yet to be calculated.
Smart Device Life Cycles Can Pull the Plug on Security
November 20, 2020
The use of smart and connected devices promises to make our lives easier, but it might also give their manufacturers greater control over our lives. Some companies offering smart devices, including Google, Belkin, and Best Buy have killed off their smart device product lines without warning, leaving consumers in the lurch.
New Internet Protocol Aims to Give Users Control of Their Digital Identities
November 18, 2020
The @ Company wants to give you a more secure and human-centric Internet built on providing you with true ownership and control of your personal data. To that end, the company has launched an app built on its new privacy protocol. This new standard will attempt to change how online vendors and companies wheel and deal with the personal information of billions of Internet users.
Social Media Upstart Parler Tops App Store Charts
November 10, 2020
A social media platform that bills itself as a "non-biased, free speech" alternative to outfits like Twitter and Facebook has seen a surge in interest in its mobile app over the last week that culminated Sunday in it becoming the top free app at the Apple App Store. According to Fox Business, the Parler app has been downloaded 310,000 times in the last week alone.
The Pros and Cons of Dedicated Internet Access
November 5, 2020
Although DIA can have a steep price tag and some installation complexity, most companies will opt for a dedicated connection at offices or data centers with mission-critical operations. Let's explore the benefits of a DIA circuit, as well as some potential considerations and drawbacks, to help determine if dedicated Internet is something your business should consider.
A Momentous Week for 4 Tech Vendors
November 2, 2020
Powerful events and product launches by Cisco, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Qualcomm promise to make our future brighter. From more effective courts and legislators, to flexible and intelligent robots, to tools we can use to improve remote productivity, to validation that our justice system works -- last week was remarkable.
Some Smart Home Devices Headed to the 'Brick' Yard
October 29, 2020
The demand for smart home devices is projected to grow steadily over the next few years. Nonetheless, consumers should think carefully before making a purchase due to a trend of manufacturers phasing out "smart" products. While it does not look good when a smart device maker abandons a product line, these actions are far from random.
Zoom Beefs Up User Security With End-To-End Encryption
October 28, 2020
Zoom gave its users a big security upgrade Monday when it rolled out end-to-end encryption for its online meetings network. E2EE puts control of the keys for scrambling data in the hands of meeting organizers. Before the E2EE rollout, encryption was done on Zoom's servers, where someone with access to those servers could intercept the data. When used correctly, E2EE can make it difficult for even the best-resourced intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on communication.
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How important is social media to the success of your business?
Highly -- Social media is essential to our business model.
Somewhat -- We do see benefit from social media, but without it our operations would continue.
Minimally -- We're on social media because that's expected, though it's influence on our success is negligible.
Not at All -- Social media is not useful to our business.
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