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AT&T in FCC crosshairs over net neutrality, and the debate continues.

Net Neutrality

The FCC now has AT&T in is crosshairs over violating net neutrality rules by allowing its users to use its new DIRECTV Now video streaming service, without charging them any data, a practice known as “zero rating”. According to an article on Cnet the FCC sent a letter on Thursday informing AT&T that they believe, through a preliminary investigation, that this zero rate offer is in violation of net neutrality rules. It should be noted that zero rating is not specifically prohibited, but the FCC can take action on a case by case basis. The FCC is also investigating Verizon over claims that it is doing the same with access to its GO90 service.

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1 Million+ Google Accounts Compromised by Gooligan Malware

Credit: Bakhtiarzein | Dreamstime.com -
Credit: Bakhtiarzein | Dreamstime.com –

News is spreading across the internet that more than 1 million Google accounts have been compromised by a malware known as “Gooligan”. The Gooligan malware, which is a type of Trojan Horse, infects Android devices through infected apps that a user installs on their device. Once infected the malware than steals the users authentication key and has full access to the users Google account, including photos, email and docs. According to Google, the Gooilgan malware is a variant of malware that has been around since 2014, called “Ghost Push”.  Another variant of Ghost Push was found in SnapPea, an Android backup and sync application, last year by security researchers at Checkpoint. They are estimating that 13,000 new accounts are being compromised daily.

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Full Featured Laptop for under $100 – Pinebook by Pine64

Image Credit: pine64.com

Image Credit: pine64.com

Pine64, makers of the popular single board computer product meant to compete with products like Raspberry PII and Onion boards, has come up with a sub $100 laptop. The Pinebook, is a fully functional laptop sporting a quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor. It also sports 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash (with expandable storage up to 256GB via SDHC). For networking it has Bluetooth and WI-FI networking.  Officially Pinebook supports certain flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, for one) and Android 5.1. The laptop is is priced around $89 for an 11 inch or $99 for a 14 inch. The Pinebook is avalible for purchase but is in very short supply. So, we are on the waiting list and will let you know what we think as soon as we can get our hands on one.

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New Look & Site Updates

Those of you who have visited before might have noticed that we now have a new look. I really didn’t want to part with the black theme, but with the feedback I have received from associates and a couple of site visitors, it seemed like a change was necessary. I am actually very happy with the result and will continue to tweak it as necessary. If you find any bugs please feel free to contact us.

In other news, the site has been online for a couple months now and things have actually been going fairly well. We have been receiving some traffic, certainly not major traffic, but for a brand new blog a substantial amount none the less. We even got linked to by a couple of small blogs. Really not a big deal for most sites, but when you are this small it is something of an accomplishment. If you like what you read here (or just like sharing) please share us on social media and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, or Delicious.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Image Credit: carlswebgraphics.com
Image Credit: carlswebgraphics.com

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Life is not always easy, often seems to throw a lot of bad things at us, and it can become easy to loose sight of the good things. Thanksgiving is a day where we should take pause and reflect on that which we are thankful for, the good things in life. Many will spend time with our families, and feast on some good food. For those that can’t be with their families today, or have no family to be with I hope you still find a way to enjoy the day and have many things to be thankful for.

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4 Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Image Credit: freeimages.com
Image Credit: freeimages.com

 

With Thanksgiving coming this week we have been inundated with advertisements for America’s favorite holiday, Black Friday. Black Friday is of course not a real holiday, but it is something retailers and many Americans look forward to the entire year. There is good reason to look forward to it. You can knock out that Christmas list and you can even find real deals on some of those big-ticket items. Retailers of course love Black Friday, because they see massive sales not only on the advertised “DoorBusters”, but other items in the store that customers will inevitably buy when seeking the advertised items. After all the reason it is named Black Friday is it is supposed to be a time when retailers get their financials back in to the black (profitable). Here are some of the Black Friday tactics I have used over the years. They are especially good for tech products, but may apply elsewhere.

Plan!

You should really be planning out what you intend to buy well before Black Friday. Make a list before you shop, and stick to it. I recommend for larger purchases price them out in the months before the big day. Use this information to see if the Black Friday pricing is really a deal. You may find that the items are not that much more lower priced, and may even have been cheaper in the past. Don’t feel like you have to buy something now just because it is Black Friday. Many retailers will have several more sales leading up to Christmas.

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Snap, Inc’s (Snapchat) Spectacles….Why do we need this?

Image Credit: spectacles.com
Image Credit: spectacles.com

Back in September Snapchat made two rather large announcements, the first of which being that they are changing their name to Snap, Inc, dropping the chat from their name. The second announcement is that they are Introducing a new product called “Spectacles”. This new product is essentially a pair of sunglasses with a camera built in, the device will enable users to take hands free videos, or “snaps” and upload them to their Snapchat accounts.  If this sounds like it had been done before, that is because it has. Google made a limited release of a product that had similar features called “Google Glass”. Google’s attempt was not very successful.  They had issues with pricing, privacy and a general negative image, primarily brought on by Glassholes. While Snap has the mistakes of Google to learn from, I am still asking the same thing about Spectacles that I asked about Glass, why in the hell do we need this.

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Some good tips for spotting fake news

Fake News
Image Credit: someecards.com

Recently the issue of fake and inaccurate news, also called junk news, has found its way in to public discussion. This is not a new problem, but with the amount of fake news relating to the most recent election, the issue is receiving much broader attention. Many are putting the blame fully on the social media companies like Facebook, or search and news aggregators such as Google. While these companies do have a responsibility to help address the problem, the blame is not entirely at their doorstep. The users of those services are also in part to blame, as they are the ones who visit and worse yet share the offending material. As news consumers, social media users, and even as bloggers, we share in the responsibility to mitigate the negative effects of fake news. It starts with being able to identify fake news; here are some tips for spotting a fake news story.

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We’re on Facebook

So I am excited to say it is time for taking the next step with this blog and we are now going social. You can like/follow us on Facebook and interact with us via our Facebook page. You will find a lot of our major posts on Facebook and more. Really it is just another … Read more

The fake news problem facing Social Media (..were looking at you Facebook)

On November 8th, 2016 something that many thought was impossible happened, NYC business mogul and reality TV star Donald J. Trump was elected as the President of the United States of America. President-Elect trump has had a widely controversial campaign. His often belligerent words and actions and his unpredictability make many in this country nervous, or in some cases even down right scared. Whether this distaste for and fear of the President-Elect is warranted, only time will tell, but one thing Americans who didn’t vote Trump want right now is someone to blame. It seems they found many things to blame, bad polling, poorly timed FBI investigations, poor voter turnout, and so on. But there is one target of blame that keeps coming up, and with increasing volume, “fake news”

Social media platforms as Facebook and search platforms like Google are facing widespread criticism for providing an avenue for inaccurate, and often down right fabricated news stories to become widely disseminated, and sometimes even viral.  Anybody who has been on the internet for any period of time has come across these types of stories, and sometimes they can be hard to tell from legitimate news. Many of the fake news websites look like legitimate news sources, and in many cases this is by design, to make it look like their false information has some authority. When these stories fit the narrative that someone already believes, they have a tendency to share these articles, further perpetuating false story. In today’s world where people get much of their news from social media, and the news shapes public opinion, this is a big problem; a problem that many feel swayed the last election to favor the Republicans.

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