Friday, May 6, 2011


A lot of technology goes into making your cellphone work. So you would think that we would be more understanding of dropped calls and garbled conversations. Nope. Nothing gets geeks into a seething tech frenzy like poor cellphone reception... and it doesn't help that we couldn't resist the glossy black smoothness of the iPhone and AT&T sucks for cellphone service. Sad.

Well quit staring at your one-bar-worth of signal strength and pick up this handy Cellphone Signal Extender for your home or office. Simply mount the included antenna near a window and run the coax cable to the base booster unit. You get 2500 square feet of prime signal area (enough to cover 2-3 rooms on two different floors). We went from 1 bar... to 5 at our headquarters and made our iPhones very happy in the process.

Important Note:
You will need to have some signal (at least one bar), for the Cellphone Signal Extender to work. You can't extend what's not there... right?

Send Email and SMS with this Digital Pen

'Looks can be deceptive. Really deceptive when it comes to the digital pen. Fountain pens are a thing of the past. And you would rarely see anybody except your grandfather use it. This fountain pen by D-scribe is digital and the coolest pen in the world. Communication has risen to a whole new level and getting in touch with people was never this easy. This Digital pen can send sms and E-mail messages.


All you need is a surface to write on and bluetooth enabled mobile phone. It converts your handwriting into digital form and is ready to send your sms or Email message via Bluetooth enabled phone. Simply write your message and circle the name of recipient to indicate who to send it to. There is a small built-in LED screen that updates you on the status of your message.

What are your waiting for? Get this device and pen your thoughts not forgetting to put it across. Now you can speak your mind whenever and wherever! Your friends are just a scribble away!

Sony: PSN will be 'safer,' 'more secure'; credit card data encrypted

In a new Q&A posted on the official PlayStation blog, Sony says they are working to resurrect the breached PlayStation Network and make it "safer and more secure."

The company used the Q&A to answer several lingering questions related to the breach, which some security experts have said may be one of the largest data breaches ever.

Sony is still unsure whether credit card data was taken, but adds that the info was encrypted and no security codes -- the three-digit numbers on the back of a credit card -- were swiped.

"If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained," the Q&A reads.

Sony says it is also taking extra steps to keep users' personal data safe in the future, including "moving our network infrastructure and data center to a new, more secure location, which is already underway."
Along with a FBI investigation into the case, Sony adds they are also working with a "recognized technology security firm" to conduct an investigation of the breach.

Sony's full Q&A can be found here.

The PlayStation Network first shut down last Wednesday, and Sony revealed two days later the service suffered an "external intrusion." On Tuesday, the company revealed the full extent of the incident: a data breach exposing the personal data of 77 million registered PSN accounts.

Source: Click Here

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Google Faces $50 Million Lawsuit Over Android Location Tracking

Google has maintained that the collection of the location data is entirely opt-in. “We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices,” Google spokesperson Randall Safara told Ars last week. However, the class action lawsuit claims that Google very well knew that “ordinary consumers acting reasonably would not understand the Google privacy policy to include the extensive location tracking at issue in this case.”

The plaintiffs believe that Google’s actions violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, various state consumer protection laws, as well as “common law rights” to privacy.

“It is unconscionable to allow Google to continue unlawfully and without proper consent to extensive tracking of Plaintiffs and proposed Class members,” according to the complaint. “If Google wanted to track the whereabouts of each of its products’ users, it should have obtained specific, particularized informed consent such that Google consumers across America would not have been shocked and alarmed to learn of Google’s practices in recent days.”

The lawsuits asks the court to require Google to either give up tracking Android users or to clearly inform users of “its true intentions about tracking,” including whether that information is released to third partis are used for marketing. It further seeks monetary damages “in excess of $50,000,000.00″ as well as punitive damages on top of that amount.

Both Apple and Google plan to attend a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law on May 10 to discuss the very issues called into question in the lawsuit. Representatives from the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Center for Democracy and Technology, and others will talk about what the latest mobile technology means for privacy and the law. Justin Brookman, who will be testifying at the hearing for the CDT, believes the law needs to be updated to account for the reality of modern mobile technology.

The best way to address these cross-platform, cross-industry questions is through public policy,” Brookman recently wrote in an editorial on CNN.com. “We need legislation that establishes fair information practices for commercial collection, disclosure and use of all consumer data—but especially for sensitive data, like geolocation information—and we need the courts and Congress to update the rules for governmental access, to require a judicial warrant for tracking the location of cell phones and other mobile communications devices.”

 Source: Click Here

Apple speaks out about iPhone privacy issues

Apple spoke out about iPhone users' privacy concerns after reports that the iPhones keep records of the users' locations. 

Talk to an iPhone or iPad owner, and odds are, you'll find a special bond between human and gadget. But like most relationships, there can be unsettling revelations.

Last week, experts found that every iPhone and iPad has been keeping track of everywhere you've brought it for nearly a year. All the information was reportedly stored in a hidden file on the Apple gadget and easily accessible to someone who knew where to look.

While some iPhone users found the news creepy, professor Jack Lerner at USC Law, who specializes in technology privacy issues, said it's worse that creepy.

"We're dealing with security issues here," Lerner said. "Someone could use it to follow you, someone could use it to determine when you're home and when you're not home.

Lerner says Apple is already facing a class-action lawsuit dealing with privacy issues.
The Cupertino-based company released a written statement on Wednesday saying it uses some of the recorded data to speed up an iPhone or iPad's location-based programs, and that it was a mistake to store the longer term locator data.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so. The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly," the statement read.

"Be that as it may, the fact that this was just an unencrypted file that's sitting with indefinite amounts of information about exactly where you've been is very very disturbing," Lerner said.

Still, many iPhone users said they don't know how to read Apple's intentions.

"It's disturbing in theory, but I guess it really doesn't affect me. I don't really have anything to hide," said iPhone user Emily Chen.

The Apple controversy comes right before the release of its latest gadget - the much-anticipated, long-delayed white iPhone 4. It goes on sale on Thursday.

Source: Click Here

Apple Risks Following Google as Europe Leads Privacy Probes

Apple Inc. (AAPL) may face greater scrutiny in the European Union than the U.S. as regulators investigate possible data-privacy lapses betraying the location of iPhone and iPad users.

The Apple probes in Europe echo similar inquiries that have dogged Google Inc. (GOOG) over wireless Internet data collected by its Street View service, said Nick Graham, head of the London Internet and data protection group of law firm SNR Denton.

“Issues that may not look terribly serious in the U.S. can have much greater significance and seriousness here in Europe, as Google has found out in connection with the WiFi,” said Graham. “There is this tension between the U.S. rules which are much narrower and the EU rules which are much broader.”

Regulators in Germany, France and Italy said last week they are checking whether Apple’s iPhone and iPad products violate privacy rules by tracking, storing and sharing data about the locations of users. Irish officials are also examining “a number of complaints about this issue,” Diarmuid Hallinan, a spokesman for the country’s data protection commissioner, said in an e-mail today.

U.S. lawmakers this week sent letters to six companies, including Apple and Google to determine how location data is stored on mobile device systems and how it’s transmitted.

The investigations followed a report by O’Reilly Radar, a website owned by Sebastopol, California-based publisher O’Reilly Media. It said Apple devices log latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time of visits to locations across the globe.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, said yesterday it isn’t tracking the users’ location and plans to reduce the amount of data the iPhone stores.

‘Never’

“Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone,” the company said in a statement. “Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.”

It said the iPhone saves information on WiFi hotspots and cellular towers near a handset’s current location, which helps the phone determine its location when needed by the user.

Data protection has been a thorn in the side of U.S. technology companies in Europe. While Google has been targeted by regulators across the EU for its Street View program, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission dropped a probe last October after the world’s biggest Internet search company said it would improve privacy safeguards.

‘Big Brands’

“Sometimes the regulators in Europe will go for big brands like Google, and Apple is a big brand,” said Graham. “It will be perceived as a brand that should be demonstrating greater privacy compliance because of its market position.”

Google was fined 100,000 euros ($147,000) in France last month for violating the country’s privacy rules. Dutch watchdogs on April 19 gave the company three months to inform users about private data collected via WiFi by its Street View cars.

Apple has “seen what happened with Street View, they’re not just going to go ahead and ask afterwards whether it was OK,” said Carsten Casper, research director at Gartner Research in Berlin. The more Apple and Google “mature and the bigger and commercially successful they become, the more they’re getting scrutinized.”

Any tracking technology has to be “proportionate” and allow “users to give consent,” said Matthew Newman, a spokesman for EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. The issue will be tackled in proposals for an overhaul of the EU’s 16- year-old data-protection rules later this year, he said.

The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office said while it’s aware “of the existing concerns” it won’t contact Apple about this issue.

‘Fleeting Moment’

Users should be informed if their handsets collect data on their location “for more than just a fleeting moment,” Lysette Rutgers, a spokeswoman for the Dutch data protection agency, said in an e-mail.

Operating-system developers “must not assume that the user implicitly agrees with the storage of his data on the device,” Rutgers said, declining to comment on specific investigations.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, said all location-sharing on phones based on its Android software requires an opt-in from the user.

“We provide users with notice and control over the collection, sharing and use of location in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices,” said Google spokesman Ollie Rickman in an e-mail.

Even where a U.S. company says data is anonymous, it may still breach EU rules, depending on how the scope of personal data is defined, Graham said.

‘Sent Anonymously’

“The most important thing may be to prove that the data is being sent anonymously,” said Jeff Fidacaro, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group in New York. “It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.”

Separately, the U.K. and Irish information watchdogs said they will investigate the hacking of Sony Corp. (6758)’s PlayStation Network after the company warned 77 million customers may have had their personal data stolen.

The Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner said it asked Sony for a report on the breaches. The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office will make additional enquiries before deciding whether to take further action, the regulator said yesterday.

Austrian regulators will “most likely contact Sony regarding this to seek clarification,” Eva Souhrada, executive director of the country’s data protection commission, said in an e-mail today.

Source: Click Here

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Google Tracks You Too, Internal E-mails Show

A series of internal e-mails from last year highlights how important location data is to Google, and likely gives more ammunition to privacy advocates over how these companies track your every move.
The e-mails were written by then-CEO Larry Page following a move by Motorola to replace Google's location service system within its phones with that of a competitor, Skyhook. According to the e-mails obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, Page wasn't too happy about Motorola's decision.
"Can I get an answer on this?" he demanded of his executive team. The e-mails were obtained as part of court documents surrounding a suit between Skyhook and Google.

Google Wants to Know Where You Are


Several executives, including Android head Andy Rubin, quickly answered, stressing that tracking location data is indeed important to Google. They also said it was even more so following public outcry over its attempts to collect Wi-Fi hotspot location data via its Street View cars.
Both Google and Skyhook use Wi-Fi hotspot data to triangulate a position of the smartphone. Algorithms measure distance from Wi-Fi hotspots in the database to determine location, which is necessary due to the often inaccurate nature of readings solely from cell phone towers, and more accurate.
Location data is a big business for these companies, as the data allows them to provide location-based services such as target advertising, or play a critical role in check-in applications like Foursquare or Facebook's system. However, these companies have also had a hard time coming clean about it, since some consumers may see it as a breach of their privacy.

Apple: Not the Only One


So far, Apple has seemed to get the brunt of the fallout from this, however they are not the only one doing it. As you read above, Google's real interested in it -- and Microsoft is too. About the only company we haven't heard any confirmation yet that some type of data collection is going on is RIM, but I'd be surprised if it was not.
Regardless of what these companies are doing with this location data, in my opinion they should also be giving consumers the right to opt out of the collection. So far, Android is the only operating system that allows for this: to my knowledge you cannot turn the tracking off in either Windows Phone nor iOS.
iOS does allow for the opting out of location based services, but it is yet unclear if that stops the tracking that so many privacy advocates are up in arms about.

Source: Click Here

Faqs in Choosing a Content Management System (cms)

Content management system remains to be a big question mark to some web developers and web marketers. They are missing out an important factor in website development by being naïve to CMS. To help webmasters and web developers get the benefit of CMS, here are some of the frequently asked questions about CMS and their answers:

What is CMS?
CMS stands for Content Management System. This is a system that helps in maintaining and expanding website. It aims to make content and structure expansion easier.

What does CMS create?
Content management system stores data in a database. It makes pages only when a site visitor asks or searches for it. This is useful especially for websites that constantly updates their information. So when a site visitor asks for a specific page, the system will display the page being searched for. Some systems cache every new page and create a new one only when some changes are made.

Is CMS useful in publishing site on different platforms?
Content management system is very useful in ensuring your website appears at its best in different platforms. CMS allows you to create different templates that will be suitable to different platforms. This can be done without changing anything with the content.

Is CMS being used now?
There are several large organizations that are already using content management system. Most websites prefer to use CMS because of its promising features and benefits in terms of web content and structure maintenance and expansion.

What is the cost of CMS?
The cost varies depending on the supplier. Some may charge a large amount but includes training on its usage. Others are cheap as well. But be careful in choosing low fixed rate since most of the time the supplier doesn’t give extra technical support.

Will there be website restrictions if I use CMS?
Content management system breaks up the presentation and content by using templates. There are systems that restrict templating. But others don’t offer restrictions. There are also systems that impose restrictions on how the site is hosted. So when looking for a CMS, consider asking the supplier about the restrictions of the system.

Can I use my existing data base?
In choosing for CMS service, be sure that the system can be easily linked to your existing database. This makes working easier. Most websites have data stored in their own databases. Easy linking of the existing database with the system is a big relief for work.

Source: Click Here

Secure Your Data from Skype for Android

Security experts warn users that Skype for Android app can place their sensitive data in danger. It could also expose other apps installed in the smartphone. At the moment Skype is working on a solution but users of the app should know how to secure their data.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nasdaq OMX and strategic data center outsourcing

With the ongoing merger and acquisition bids involving NasdaqOMX and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) attempting to outbid Deutsche Borse’s proposed merger with NYSE Euronext by $11.3bn to $9.4bn the data center strategies of these companies are key. 

Xerox Swings to 1Q Profit, But Anticipates Impact From Japan

Xerox (XRX) continued to grow its document outsourcing offerings and more than quadruped its first-quarter profit from a year ago loss, though its shares slipped on expected weakness deriving from the disaster in Japan.
The Norwalk, Conn.-based company posted net income of $281 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $42 million, or 4 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Outsourcing deal value shrinks the most in 10 years

Indian information technology (IT) services story remains intact despite the TPI global index showing that total contract value (TCV) of commercial outsourcing in the first quarter of this year slipped the most in a decade.

The index fell 25% sequentially to $17.4 billion from $23.1 billion in fourth quarter of 2010 and 28% from $24.3 billion in the first quarter last year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Who's Screwing You Over on Privacy Issues? Pretty Much Everybody

Dropbox--flamed this week for revealing that it will hand over your stored files to the feds if requested--is not alone in its willingness to throw users' privacy under the proverbial bus.
Nor is Apple, under the gun today after a revelation by O'Reilly Radar that 3G iPads and iPhones keep track of users' locations in unencrypted files.

Privacy concerns with wireless devices

(WTNH) - When you use your iPhone is your privacy at stake? Is your smartphone tracking your every move? Members of Congress, including Senator Richard Blumenthal, are demanding some answers.

Senator Blumenthal sits on the internet subcommittee of the judiciary dealing with privacy and tech related issues. When it comes to the iPhone, privacy watchdog groups claim Apple is tracking user locations and then storing the unencrypted information on the phone

EU data retention law blasted on privacy issues

The European Union's data retention law has come under scrutiny, with a new report saying that it poses significant risks to individuals' right to privacy. 

The European Commission published its report on the Data Retention Directive on Monday and concluded that "retained telecommunications data play an important role in the protection of the public against the harm caused by serious crime." However, transposing this directive into law has proved difficult in many E.U. member states and the resulting uneven playing field has created difficulties for telecommunications service providers.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kingston Digital launches secure USB in Middle East

Device is designed for enterprise environments, is tamper-proof, waterproof

The drive is a fully managed version of the company's DataTraveler 4000 and was specifically developed and priced for enterprise deployments.

Privacy Concerns About Apple's iPhones and iPads

Apple, Inc. finds itself amidst controversy once again, this time provoking the criticism of privacy watchdogs which are demanding an explanation as to why its iPhones and iPads are secretly collecting location data on their users. Other mobile service companies maintain similar records but require a court order to release the information.

Google Faces New Demands In Netherlands Over Street View Data

AMSTERDAM—Google Inc. faces fines of as much as €1 million ($1.4 million) from Dutch authorities if it fails to comply with a new set of data-protection demands linked to Street View, the highest penalty so far in connection with the controversial service.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority said Tuesday that Google collected the Media Access Control address—a unique numerical code, known as MAC, assigned to each piece ...

Read more: Click Here

Android data tied to users? Some say yes

Google acknowledged today that it collects location information from Android devices, but downplayed concerns about privacy by saying the information is not "traceable to a specific user."

That claim, it turns out, depends on the definition of "traceable."

According to detailed records provided to CNET by a security researcher, Android phones regularly connect to Google.com and disgorge a miniature data dump that includes time down to the millisecond, current and recent GPS coordinates, nearby Wi-Fi network addresses, and two 16-letter strings representing a device ID that's unique to each phone.

Read more: Click Here

Why CMS is so important in web design

If you have an online business or you plan to have one, then you know that the success of your site greatly depends on your site's popularity. How do websites gain popularity? You can get more traffic by creating great content. Content is everything when it comes to website popularity! A flow of fresh and informative content is in demand by many online businesses, companies, organizations and individuals. The problem lies in managing the content as well as the design aspects of your site. To do this, you should opt for a CMS-based site.

Content Management Systems (CMS) make it easy to control the content on your site. You can manage your content very quickly and do so without hiring a programmer or a webmaster. Design elements can also be changed since all you have to do is change the templates. The following are the advantages of using a CMS for your web design:

Saves time - Rather than go to your FTP to upload a new page, you can simply login to the interface and post your content there. Web site design changes can also be made in the same fashion as you can change on template to update all your pages.

Strong community - With so many CMS enthusiasts, open source plug-ins are being created every day. The most well known platforms are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. Each platform has websites that release free plug-ins you can use to make publishing easier, get more traffic, and make more sales. LaHatte.com uses the new Adobe powered CMS. We believe this new CMS is much more powerful and has more potential than all the other platforms. It also uses no plug-ins since everything is integrated into the system.

Easy data storage and retrieval - Since the content and data are stored in a database, saving the important details is easy. All you have to do is export the data if you want added security.

Scheduled content publication - Publishing content used to be done manually in static websites. With a CMS, it is possible to trace what is being published, set a schedule for content to be published, and you can even automatically remove outdated content.

Easier to change design elements - Rather than going through a lot of HTML code, you can simply change different parts of the site with templates. You can change the header, footer, sidebar, and add widgets very quickly. There are even plug-ins that allow you to edit the web site design elements by pointing and clicking various templates.

In summary, CMS offers so many benefits to online marketers. Content publishing and web design is made so much easier and the fact there is a strong community for popular CMS platforms is all the more reason to change to a content management system. You'll even be able to find plug-ins to help you monetize your site, connect with social networks, allow visitors to communicate, and so much more.

The challenge now is what CMS to use. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. They also have different features and customization options. The best way to make a clear decision is try out different platforms and see which ones suit you best. You can also visit forums to read reviews and talk with other webmaster and see how they're using a particular CMS. Look at their design elements and talk to webmasters who have sites similar to what you're going for. And of course, you can speak with a web design professional and see what they think. I advise people all the time on what CMS will suit them the best.