Mozilla CEO Steps Down

Only weeks after being appointed to the top job, Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla. The move Read more

LinkedIn Acts On Email Exposing Browser Extension

Professionals’ social networking site LinkedIn has taken legal action against a new browser add-on that exposes email addresses of Read more

UK Game Sector Receives Tax Relief Measures

The game development industry of the United Kingdom might get as much as £188 million as cash boost after Read more

New Experiment Makes Wireless Electricity Possible

In the near future, appliances might just run on electricity – minus the wires. New experiment “We’re going to transfer power Read more

Microsoft Reveals Office For IPad To Win Back Users

Microsoft’s new Chief Executive, Satya Nadella, announced the new Office app for iPad. Big mobile move Nadella revealed the next Read more

Mozilla CEO Steps Down

Posted on by Gabby Cummins in Social Media | Comments Off
Image by Keng Susumpow | Flickr

Image by Keng Susumpow | Flickr

Only weeks after being appointed to the top job, Brendan Eich stepped down as CEO of Mozilla. The move occurred due to a heavy storm of political backlash with employees and independent groups asking for his resignation.

Prop 8 Protests

Eich is under scrutiny because of donations he made to support California’s anti-gay Prop 8 law. Eich made defended his actions in several interviews saying that his personal politics will not affect his abilities as a CEO. But, the public disapproval continued with multiple groups calling for his resignation on social media. Even the dating site OkCupid joined the protests to Eich’s appointment by urging Firefox users to access the website on another browser.

Company Standards

Eich initially said he would not resign, but Mozilla announced the opposite in a blog post that stated Mozilla, as a company, did not live up to its standard and didn’t stay true to themselves. Eich co-founded Mozilla in 1998 and has stayed with the company in various roles since then.

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LinkedIn Acts On Email Exposing Browser Extension

Posted on by Mike Roach in IT's Market | Comments Off
Image by LinkedIn | Wikimedia

Image by LinkedIn | Wikimedia

Professionals’ social networking site LinkedIn has taken legal action against a new browser add-on that exposes email addresses of the site’s users.

Cease-and-desist

“We are doing everything we can to shut Sell Hack [the add-on] down. On March 31, LinkedIn’s legal team delivered Sell Hack a cease-and-desist letter as a result of several violations. LinkedIn members who downloaded Sell Hack should uninstall it immediately and contact Sell Hack requesting that their data be deleted,” one LinkedIn spokesperson told the BBC.

“Oftentimes, as with the Sell Hack case, extensions can upload your private LinkedIn information without your explicit consent,” he added.

Nothing malicious

Sell Hack, the developer of the add-on, said that they were not doing anything wrong with the software.

“We just do the heavy lifting and complicated computing to save you time. We aren’t doing anything malicious to LinkedIn,” it said on its website.

The add-on allows users to find email addresses related to the account at the push of a “hack in” button. This works on email addresses that are not even connected to the LinkedIn profile.

As of posting, Sell Hack has said they had followed the cease-and-desist letter from LinkedIn. The add-on no longer works for the website, and the developers said they are not nefarious or sneaky. The company also announced that they are “building a better product that does not conflict with LinkedIn’s TOS.”

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UK Game Sector Receives Tax Relief Measures

Posted on by Robert Lopez in Your Info Hub | Comments Off
Image by MPD01605 | Wikimedia

Image by MPD01605 | Wikimedia

The game development industry of the United Kingdom might get as much as £188 million as cash boost after the European Commission’s approval of tax break measures for game developers.

New policy

The new policy provides up to 25% discounts on the production costs of a game. Industry body Tiga lobbied the relief scheme, which the Commission finally approved after a six-year campaign for the game makers’ relief.

The demand for a tax relief program for the sector first arose in 2008, before it resulted in a scheme supposed to be enacted on April 1, 2013.

Tiga head Dr. Richard Wilson welcomed the decision and said, “Tax breaks for games production will help the UK fight its way back to the forefront of video game development.”

‘Huge boost’

UK Interactive Entertainment head Jo Twist said that the decision is a “huge boost” for the country’s developers. UKIE represents game creators in the area.

“We are delighted the European Commission recognized the clear market failure for the production of games with a British and European flavor, using UK-based creative and highly skilled talent,” said Twist.

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New Experiment Makes Wireless Electricity Possible

Posted on by Mike Roach in IT's Market | Comments Off
Image by Napoleon Sorony | Wikimedia

Image by Napoleon Sorony | Wikimedia

In the near future, appliances might just run on electricity – minus the wires.

New experiment

“We’re going to transfer power without any kind of wires,” said WiTricity Chief Technology Officer Dr. Katie Hall. For her, “This is the future.”

WiTricity is a startup that develops wireless “resonance” technology, which creates a magnetic field in the air to induce a current in devices.

The company uses a “source resonator,” which is a coil of electrical wiring that produces a magnetic field when it has access to power. Once another coil is close enough, the two can generate an electrical charge without cables.

Hall assures that the system is “perfectly safe,” as the technology is the same thing that Wi-Fi routers use.

Nikola Tesla’s idea?

Many, however, commented on the initial report posted by the CNN, saying that the idea came from electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla.

Hall defended WiTricity and said that the company and Tesla had different visions with wireless electricity. The company’s website mentions that their patented Highly Resonant Wireless Power Transfer technology is different from the Serbian-American scientist’s creations.

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Microsoft Reveals Office For IPad To Win Back Users

Posted on by Mavis Norman in i-Knowledge | Comments Off
Image by Robert Scoble | Wikimedia

Image by Robert Scoble | Wikimedia

Microsoft’s new Chief Executive, Satya Nadella, announced the new Office app for iPad.

Big mobile move

Nadella revealed the next evolution of Office at the launch event, which is his first public appearance since being named Microsoft’s new CEO.

“We are taking great focus and great care to make sure Office on any device shines through,” he said, indicating that his company would introduce versions of the apps for other mobile devices in the future.

After a couple of hours of the launch, Word became the most downloaded app in Apple’s app store.

Influence of Apple

Microsoft had done some work to make the Office more finger friendly, and with the iPad edition, it’s a full-fledged step forward.

Three separate productivity apps are available – Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Each of them has been optimized for touch-based controls.

The tablet-optimized version of Office was launched on Apple’s iPad, and not on a Windows or Android tablet.

This seems like the influence of the iPad dominated the tablet market.

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China Extends Airbus Production, Orders 70 Jets

Posted on by Gabby Cummins in Your Info Hub | Comments Off
Image by Axwel | Wikimedia

Image by Axwel | Wikimedia

European aviation company Airbus has confirmed a $10 billion order from China’s state-owned purchasing agency, a sign of extending Airbus production.

Trade partnership

Airbus said China had agreed to buy a total of 70 jets, which includes 27 long-haul A330s and 43 smaller A320 planes.

The deal unblocks  previous deal that had been suspended.

Chinese president Xi Jinping had a state visit to France, wherein the deal was approved.

China also signed a new 10-year contract allowing Airbus to extend the assembly of planes in Tianjin until 2025, easing trade ties after a row with Europe over aircraft carbon emissions.

Business deals

The three largest EU economies — Germany, France, and the UK — have all wanted to improve their trade ties with China.

French president Francois Hollande said he wanted to “re-balance trade between our two countries.”

China is the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, and a fifth of Airbus’s global production takes place in the Chinese mainland.

 

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Internet Timekeepers Fight Hack Attacks

Posted on by Justin Tamang in Your Info Hub | Comments Off

keyboardAcross the world, companies are starting to bolster their Internet’s clocks to protect sites against possible hacker attacks.

‘NTP Reflection’

Security firm Arbor said that the past few months have seen a barrage of attacks through vulnerable time server channels. Since then, 93% of servers have fixed vulnerabilities to secure systems from attacks.

Arbor network architect Darren Anstee said that there has been a trend towards a technique called NTP Reflection, in which the hacker takes advantage of holes in the older versions of network time protocols (NTP) to crash a server, similar to what happened to the League of Legends  servers a few months ago.

‘Explosion’

Since the success of hack group Derp Trolling, Anstee said that there has been “an explosion in NTP reflection activitiy.”

“Since that event it’s gone a bit nuts to an extent and that tends to happen in the attack world when one particular group succeeds,” said the network architect.

Fortunately, servers have been updated already. Arbor estimates only 7% of servers remain vulnerable to NTP reflection attacks, which is roughly around 97,000. The security firm said that there is a need of around 5,000-7,000 servers to overcome a huge attack.

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New ‘Anti-Social’ App Helps Avoid Friends

Posted on by Justin Tamang in Social Media | Comments Off

A new app is doing the opposite of most social networks’ objective. Instead of connecting people, a new program helps users avoid their friends.

Cloak

Google Apps

Image by Valentyna Sagan | Wikimedia

The new software, Cloak, accesses public location data through other social networks such as Instagram and Foursquare. It then determines the location of people the user has connections with. Users have the option of being alerted by the app when certain people are nearby.

Cloak’s description says it is a way to “avoid exes, coworkers, that guy who likes to stop and chat – anyone you’d rather not run into.”

Cloak is a product of former Buzzfeed creative director Chris Baker and programmer Brian Moore.

It is part of the rising trend of secretive or “anti-social” apps.

More to come

In an interview with the Washington Post, Baker said that the new service follows a direction social networking was expected to take.

“Things like Twitter and Facebook are packed elevators where we’re all crammed in together… I think anti-social stuff is on the rise. You’ll be seeing more and more of these types of projects,” said Baker.

App Magazine editor-in-chief Nick Jones, however, said it sounds “like a gimmick,” although he later on said he might use it in the future.

“People are having to diversify their apps to find some unique angle to their app, and then try and sell it to Facebook and make a pretty penny,” Jones told the BBC, hinting about the recent trend of the social networking giant acquiring different apps such as Instagram and, most recently, WhatsApp.

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Robot Writes Breaking News For LA Times

Posted on by Mavis Norman in Info Guide | Comments Off
Los angeles times

Image by Ryan J. Quick | Flickr

Three minutes was all it took for a robot writer of the Los Angeles Times to come up with a short news story about the recent earthquake on Monday, March 17.

‘Robo-journalism’

An algorithm created by journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke is responsible for the short article published in the newspaper.

The pioneering technology of the LA Times taps reliable sources of data – in the article’s case, the US Geological Survey – and encodes information into a template.

Schwencke’s brainchild can generate crime news articles as well, apart from earthquake reports.

“Robo-journalism” is starting to be a trend in newsrooms across the world. Many news organizations have been trying to use algorithm-based reporting methods in different niches like sports.

‘Supplemental’

Asked by Slate magazine if this could possibly replace journalists, Schwencke disagreed.

“It’s supplemental. It saves people a lot of time, and for certain types of stories, it gets information out there in usually about as good a way as anybody else would,” said the journalist slash programmer. “The way I see it is, it doesn’t eliminate anybody’s job as much as it makes everybody’s job more interesting.”

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Google Encrypts Web Searches In China

Posted on by Wileene Grace Olimpo in Info Guide | Comments Off
searching

Image by Heinrich Böll Stiftung | Wikimedia

Search engine giant Google has started encrypting all web searches conducted by users in China, in an effort to counter the country’s censorship system.

Default encryption

Google’s latest step is widely seen as a way for users of the website to avoid official scrutiny of where they go online.

The company says the move is part of a global expansion of privacy technology designed to prevent surveillance by government intelligence agencies.

“The revelations of this past summer underscored our need to strengthen our networks,” according to Google’s spokeswoman Nikki Christoff.

The company is now encrypting all the text involved in searches “by default” all over the world.

NSA spying

In China, the social media habits and web searches of citizens are strictly monitored by a system that attempts to stop people from searching about or sharing information on sensitive topics.

Encrypting search texts is the latest consequence of Edward Snowden’s release of National Security Agency files last year detailing the extent of government surveillance of the Internet.

Google and other tech companies responded with major investments in encryption worldwide.

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