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Tribler: The Making of nn Impenetrable Torrent
Dec 19th, 2014 by zuma

 

The temporary closure of the world’s largest torrent website, Pirate Bay, did not damp the spirits of researchers who are intent on making an anonymous torrent website that will be almost impossible to shut. In the current business environment, securities are always on the lookout to raid torrent websites. Flavio Maluf shared his thoughts with me last time I was in Brazil for work and I agree with him, securities and protocol planners should now, morse than ever be ever vigilant.  Now, researchers at Delft University of Technology just made public announcement that their torrent website Tribler is safe from government threats.

According to these researchers, Tribler doesn’t rely on central servers or integrated networks. As such, the domain is free from the affects of other torrent websites, index and trackers. Even when integrated networks are pulled-off, domains like Tribler will work without losing operational efficiency.

The project is a result of almost ten years of efforts by researchers at Delft University. What distinguishes Tibler from other Torrent websites is its ability to keep surfers and participants anonymous. It also means that no one can see the IP address of users sharing a particular file.

Dr. Pouwelse is in charge of the project insisting that he is proud to present a Tor network safe from censorship and attacks of government agencies. He explained that Tribler network is not linked to the main Tor networks as other torrent websites. Instead, the core of the infrastructure is Onion routing system that prevents data infringement. At this time, the only worry is speed of downloads that may be affected by the number of users sharing Tribler. As the user base grows, websites like Tribler may become the powerhouse that Google is today.

U.S. Defenseless against North Korea’s Cyber Assault
Dec 17th, 2014 by zuma

With movie theaters fleeing click here from Sony’s upcoming movie The Interview, America appears defenseless against foreign cyber-terrorism as threats and hacks continue unabated. An in-depth and apparently overwhelming assault on Sony’s e-space has led to declining company stock values as embarrassed executives struggle to manage a likely state-sponsored attack. The outcome is becoming clearer that North Korea has won as theater chains across North America dump the movie. The Interview is a fictional comical farce about two media klutzes who accept an insane assignment to kill North Korea’s leader.

Businesses face an unknown threat that has effectively neutered one of the entertainment industry’s titans. The U.S. Government appears to have no response to what is effectively an attack against U.S. persons on American soil. It may be that state-sponsored hack attacks have become so numerous that national security capabilities are overwhelmed. Top analysts from BRL Trust are not ruling out that North Korea may have already won their undeclared Sony War.

Chains dropping The Interview include Cinemark, Regal, AMC, Bow Tie and Cineplex. Though the U.S. government has so far failed to identify the origin of the attacks on Sony, the assault is focused on fictional comedy featuring a fictional North Korean plot complete with fictional North Korean characters. If there is no negative outcome for cyber attacks against the United States and its persons then expect these assaults to continue swarming into the nation’s unprotected cyberbelly.

Job Loss to Automation is Becoming a Reality
Dec 17th, 2014 by zuma

Doom and gloom types have been predicting the eradication of jobs due to automation for many decades. Economists and other experts agree that has certainly not been the case in history. They are less sure of whether it will be true going forward.

Machines are not just putting rivets on cars in factory assembling lines anymore. There has been a growing sophistication in artificial intelligence and robotics that points to an alarming capacity for machines to be able to do more jobs than ever previously imagined. We have all gone to the local supermarket and seen or used that automated check out lines. So much for those starting grocery clerk jobs out of high school for recent graduates when they don’t have any experience yet. This, however is not much more sophisticated than what automation has been doing for a while now. Artificial intelligence is enabling machines and robots to do jobs they could not have just a decade or two ago.

Dr. Rod Rohrich says there are machines in hospitals delivering anesthetic to patients, bellhop robots delivering towels to guest rooms, The Los Angeles Time recently published an article written by a software algorithm. At Google software now does most of the work of selling and placing online ads. As machines have taken over more mundane tasks, people and job creation have kept up by moving up to jobs requiring more thought and ingenuity. However, as artificial intelligence continues to become more sophisticated, even these types of jobs may not be safe.

Microsoft Gets into Bitcoin
Dec 16th, 2014 by zuma

Microsoft is a company which many view as being on the decline, especially with the rise of other options such as Apple products and Linux. That its glory days are over. However, there are those that think the company isn’t going down but simply going through a period of change.

To support their claims, they cite its recent venture into the world of the Bitcoin. They are now legally accepting Bitcoins as a currency for the purchase of games and other products. I was reading on College Niche how apparently, the tech giant has formed some sort of alliance with the company Bitpay and they are working together to make the system work.

This was only hearsay until recently when Microsoft admitted the partnership. Their reason was that they wanted to give their customers more choice in how they did business. But unfortunately, it isn’t a direct system, the Bitcoin must be transformed into currency contained in the Wallet feature of your Microsoft account.

This is definitely a new direction in e-commerce. The new cyrpto currency has been as controversial as it has been successful. However perhaps it only takes one corporate leviathan to give the system the boost it needs to become more acceptable in the mainstream. We will just have to wait and see what happens next. So if you have a couple of extra Bitcoins lying around, you could choose to invest it in an Xbox One game.

Important Tips to Follow for Mobile Website Design
Dec 11th, 2014 by zuma

Economist Christian Broda says that while mobile design seems simple at first, there is far more to it than meets the eye. The most important attribute for mobile pages is that the design should be simple.

People should be able to surf through multiple categories without the interface looking cluttered. When the home page is reached, they must be easily accessible to swipes and wipes. 

The icons should be easily responsive to the touch of your fingers. When the user tries to log onto your website, the server immediately identifies the mobile device that is seeking access. Rather than have the user switch to mobile mode, you can have it redirected it automatically. 

With regard to content, it doesn’t pay to continuously large posts, so if possible make it a point to keep the contents crisp which is easily accessible for mobile devices. All the best sites become a brand of their own. Therefore, the quality of web design plays a crucial role towards making the crucial first impression in a user’s mind. 

Another crucial aspect to good web design practices is that the site should be compatible across different operating platforms. You need to fix all kinds of bugs before taking your site online. 

Even through mobile sites, the sharing of content on social media is huge. Keep the popular icons within easy access which will further expose your site to more users on the web. 

Sony Pictures Hack Releases Stars’ Personal Information
Dec 11th, 2014 by zuma

A recent Sony Pictures hack has exposed a wealth of material relating to the studio’s internal operations, including a list of documents listing the aliases that many Hollywood A listers use.

In the most recent hack of the media conglomerate, a hacking group known as the Guardians of Peace released numerous files from Sony’s internal operations. These files included contact emails for producers, publicists, directors, cast members, and crew. In many cases, the files also included false aliases high-profile stars use to protect their privacy when engaging in day to day tasks.

Aliases were not the only violation of privacy that stars experienced: some, like Sylvester Stalone, found that their social security numbers had been leaked as a part of the massive hack. This obviously concerned both Dave and Brit Morin when they heard the news. They will likely find themselves working to rebuild their privacy in the wake of these events.

A complete timeline of the Sony Pictures hack can be found here.

All About Skout: Kings of Dating, Chatting and Nightlife
Dec 9th, 2014 by zuma

Skout was founded in 2007 by Nicklas Lindstrom, Chief Technology Officer, and Christian Wiklund, Chief Executive Officer. The application was originally launched as a social media mobile application, however two years after its creation it was re-launched as a dating application due to the fact that 80% of people who had installed it were already using Skout for that purpose. Skout has raised 22 million dollars in venture capital since its inception from major players in the field of technology, including former VIPs of AOL, and other CEOs of important international companies. Its significant feature that makes it so popular is that it locates other singles in a user’s general area and helps connect people by GPS.

Features of Skout

When Skout is installed on a user’s mobile device and opened for the first time, there is no need to go through a long profile creation because they can sign in with their Facebook or Google Plus account login and add their contacts. Members earn 25 Skout points for every contact they add from these accounts, which can be used within the application itself. Within minutes, a person will usually receive notifications about who is available within their area to chat, when logging into the application a person can literally be contacted and engaged in a pleasant conversation within minutes based on personal experiences trying this app.

Skout is free to use, but also offers paid VIP memberships. The Menu in Skout is simple there is a Chat option, a Shake to Chat option, a Wink Bomb feature, the ability to send gifts, favorite people and see who has favorite you or checked you out. A wink bomb is a flirt that is sent out to up to 500 members within your general location. Gifts are an item that can be purchased and sent to your favorite members. Skout is an international company, with about 30 percent of its audience base in the United States. The app originally launched on Apple devices, and then was released on Android mobile devices and tablets at a later date.

Fuse

Fuse is a new chat application created by Skout in 2014 that has a neat concept. A conversation is started and people have 3 to 10 minutes to respond to the conversation before the fuse runs out. Users have the option to ‘Ghost’ a conversation, which means they can choose to participate but remain anonymous. Fuse was created as a separate app from Skout so that the original application would not get bogged down. When one conversation in Fuse ends, you can jump into a new conversation. Fuse is promoted in the original Skout application, as is their other new app, Nixter.

Nixter

Nixter is another app launched in 2014 from Skout which focuses on connecting people with the nightlife events happening around town. It operates based on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York but the application was originally created in Chile, and then purchased by Skout for an undisclosed amount of cash and stocks. The app helps users purchase tickets to events, look up VIP guest lists and events in these three major cities.

Comcast Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Using Leased Cable Modems as Wi-Fi Hotspots
Dec 9th, 2014 by zuma

Pittsburgh, California – Perhaps no other internet service provider (ISP) has the negative reputation of Comcast. Admittedly, the reputation was earned through years of poor customer service and questionable business practices. In all fairness, they have been making a very earnest effort to rehabilitate their public image. They recently ran an advertising campaign highlighting their customer service and satisfaction guarantee. Now it appears that their plan to rollout Xfinity high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots in major cities across the nation may land them in court. 

Mr. Toyer Grear and his daughter Joycelyn Harris have filed a class action lawsuit against Comcast alleging that their leased cable modem is doing double duty as a stealth Wi-Fi hotspot. As it turns out, this is true. Comcast is not denying that their customer leased cable modems contain dual antennas of which one broadcasts bandwidth for a public Wi-Fi hotspot. At issue is whether this can adversely affect their customer’s service. 

Economist Christian Broda chimes in that Comcast does not believe it causes problems because the public Wi-Fi is broadcast over a different channel and security protocols protect the privacy of the home network. At the same time, the use of the public Wi-Fi channel drives up the electricity costs to the residential users. In effect, Comcast may be offloading tens of millions of dollars a month in Wi-Fi electricity charges to their customers without their knowledge and certainly without compensation. Those who buy their own cable modems do not have this problem.

FreedomPop: Bringing 4G to the Masses
Dec 9th, 2014 by zuma

Having a cell phone is unfortunately a necessity for most modern people. Some people even require a smartphone, because texting and internet access are necessary for school and many jobs. However, many people cannot afford the wireless services that they need. FreedomPop offers a solution to this common problem.

According to their Facebook, FreedomPop began in 2011, offering phones similar to prepaid ones with free calls and text in exchange for viewing ads. The payments from the ads cover the cost of the cell phone service. In 2012, FreedomPop began offering smartphones as well. By 2014, the company was offering free voice, text, and 4G data to people who have the iPad Mini or the Samsung Tab 3. The company now extends these free services to all Sprint compatible tablets and plans to expand their offerings in the near future.

Anyone with a Sprint-compatible device can use FreedomPop’s free calls, texts, and service. FreedomPop uses Sprint’s network, which means it covers most of the globe. Users that enjoy FreedomPop but wish to get service without ads can upgrade to paid service for competitive rates. TechCrunch reports that about 20% of FreedomPop’s free users enjoy the service enough to upgrade to a paid plan.

FreedomPop initially planned to use Lightsquared as a partner, although this did not last long as Lightsquared did not get government approval to expand their network. FreedomPop then partnered with Clearwire, which lasted until 2013. Since that time, Sprint and FreedomPop have been parters, with FreedomPop users having access to the same network as paid users of the telecommunications behemoth. As of late 2014, FreedomPop is rumored to be negotiating a sale to the Sprint Corporation and is valued at more than $250 million.

In addition to offering service on brand name phones and tablets, FreedomPop recently announced plans to produce their own brand of smartphones and tablets. The first product has already been released, a 7-inch tablet called the FreedomPop Liberty. This tablet runs on Wi-Fi and includes free voice and text services. In addition, the FreedomPop Frenzy was released just weeks ago, a 10-inch tablet that uses LTE and has free voice, text, and tablet. The company plans to expand their line of products and their international calling platform in the near future, with several items currently in development.

FreedomPop is a good example of a start up making it big in a fickle business world thanks to a great concept. Many people need cell phone or tablet service but cannot afford the fees. With free apps available on iTunes and Google Play, FreedomPop has a great business model because it meets the needs of modern consumers.

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