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Hacked Gmail accounts reduced by 99.7% since 2011, says Google

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 6:54 pm

For more than a decade now email has been a way of life, and as with all electronic services that become staples, hackers have found ways to get your information. Fortunately Google has found a way to all but end account hacks to its Gmail service.

 

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Nine times out of ten, a program breaks into your email accounts with the intention of blasting out spam to both your contacts and a list of thousands of others. This is why we see so much spam in our inbox's. Gmail was not left out and the number of hacked accounts soon began to rise. As a result, Google developed a complicated handshake to ensure you are actually you, when logging into your account.

 

The system performs a complex risk analysis each time your account is logged into. In fact more than 120 variables have to be authenticated before the system will validate you as the correct user. In the event some of these variables do not match, Google will ask you some simple questions. This is why you sometimes get asked for your mobile phone number when logging in.

 

As a result of this system, Google says they have reduced the number of hacked accounts by 99.7 percent since 2011.

Yahoo redesigns its home page, now features social stream and never ending page scroll

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 6:01 pm

Today Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, unveiled a redesigned Yahoo homepage, via the company's official blog. The basic layout is still quite familiar, with some changes to add in social media integration. The site has also gained an endless scroll feature that has become popular as of late.

 

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The new front page is able to tap into your Facebook profile, and even give you recommendations from the social network. The site has also been optimized for mobile devices including tablets and smartphones.

 

"The new Yahoo experience works well on the go -- we've optimized it for smartphones and tablets," Mayer wrote. "And, thanks to some under-the-hood improvements, Yahoo is also faster."

 

The new look is not yet live, but will begin to roll out over the next few days.

iPad gets dedicated Audible app, iPhone version gets redesign

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 5:12 pm

Audible for iPhone has been around pretty much from the beginning, but unfortunately, the iPad never saw a dedicated Audible app with a good fit for the tablet device, until now that is. Today, Audible released a dedicated app for the iPad, and gave the iPhone version a complete makeover as well.

 

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"More than 20 percent of Audible customers already use Audible's iPhone app on the iPad," Audible VP of Mobile Apps, Ajay Arora said in a statement. The new dedicated iPad app brings forth a better graphics experience when viewing book covers, with a look similar to what we see on Amazon's Kindle iPad app.

 

Audible gave the iPhone version of the app a complete overhaul, bringing in features like the ability to download book files over cellular data, something that was unavailable on the old app.

Apple iTunes 11.0.2 released today - brings Composer View, enhancements and bug fixes

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 4:11 pm

This morning users of Apple's iTunes might have noticed a small update pending. Apple released iTunes 11.0.2 today which brings forth several minor bug fixes, including one where purchased items sometimes failed to show in the user's library.

 

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Also included in the update is the new Composer View, which as it says, shows the name of the composer of a piece of music. After updating you can enable this feature by clicking on View, then View Options, and selecting the Composer box.

 

The 54.2MB update is said to improve responsiveness as well when syncing playlist and large numbers of tracks. Version 11 of iTunes completely redesigned the player, including making the iOS and desktop versions feel and behave more like each other.

Google holding contest for "Creative Individuals", winners get to pre-order Project Glass

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Last summer at Google's annual tech conference, Google I/O, the company opened up the "explorer" edition of its Project Glass headset for pre-order to IO developer and early adopter attendees. At the time you had to fork over $1500 for the early access to the headset.

 

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Google is re-opening the pre-order program for its headsets, with one caveat. You must be a "Creative Individual" and enter the #ifihadglass competition, being held by Google now. If your entry is chosen, Google will allow you to pre-order a pair of Google Glasses.

 

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The competition is open to US residents only who are of the age of 18 or older. Applicants must impress Google in 50 words or less which explain what you would do if you had Glass. Entries must start the essay with the hashtag #ifihadglass, can include up to five photos, and a 15 second video. The pre-order will still cost you $1500 if you are chosen. You can find the competition at the source link below.

Swedish Pirate Party threatened by lawsuit from copyright lobbyist for hosting The Pirate Bay

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 3:10 pm

The battle over copyright law never seems to end; in fact, it just seems to grow larger every day. Today we are hearing word that the Swedish copyright lobby group, Rights Alliance, is threatening to sue the Swedish political group, the "Pirate Party".

 

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Rights Alliance has issues a notice, giving the Pirate Party a week to comply with their demands of ceasing all hosting of the website The Pirate Bay, or face legal action. The group is citing a ruling from a case last year in which the Supreme Court said that host can be held liable for website's content hosted on their servers.

 

The Pirate Party of course has no plans on complying, saying "The Pirate Party's activity is legal and lawful activities should not be subjected to threats of this type. It is not illegal to provide the Pirate Bay with Internet access." Some note that since the Pirate Party is a legitimate political party, any legal action taken to shut down TPB hosting can be seen as political censorship.

CyanogenMod adds HDR camera functionality for most devices running CM10.1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 10:34 am

Good news for those of you who run, or were thinking of running CyanogenMod, the team have just added HDR (High Dynamic Range) camera functionality for most devices running the CM10.1 build.

 

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The new camera function has been enabled on most devices, which will capture and process images similar to how Google's Nexus 4 handles it, with it's stock Android ROM. The camera takes three images per second - one under exposed, one neutral exposed and the final one over exposed - after which it processes them together and makes the image quality 'pop' a little more than usual.

 

The new HDR functionality is now ready for anyone who uses the default CyanogenMod camera app. As with most custom ROMs, the new function will work with most devices, but not all. The CyanogenMod team recommends that you use some form of image stabilizer, such as a tripod. You can read more, and grab it right here.

GPU shipments down for Q4 2012 according to JPR

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 9:36 am

It looks like GPU shipments for Q4 2012 didn't do so well according to Jon Peddie Research's latest numbers - where they dropped 8.2% sequentially and 11.5% year-over-year. The drop in GPU shipments is being blamed on the popularity of tablets, as well as the continuing and damaging recession.

 

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This has caused JPR to revise their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for PC graphics from 2012 to 2016 to 3.2%, with the total shipments of GPUs in 2016 hovering at around 549 million units. Intel's shipments dropped just 2.9%, but AMD dropped by a much larger 13.6% and NVIDIA were worse, dropping by 16.7%. Market share wise, we saw Intel hold onto 63.4%, which was a gain of 3.4%, but this was at the expense of AMD and NVIDIA which dropped 1.2% and 1.73% respectively - down to 19.7% and 16.9%.

Continue reading 'GPU shipments down for Q4 2012 according to JPR' (full post)

3D-printing pen passes its Kickstarter goal in just hours

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Printers & Scanners | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 8:41 am

I can't state it enough times, but it looks like 3D printers are really the next big thing with the 3Doodler. The 3Doodler is a pen-style device that the creators are dubbing a "world's first", as well as "the most affordable way to 3D print."

 

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The 3Doodler is quite magical, as it allows the user to draw designs into existence by simply moving it through the air - incredible. The 3Doodler uses ABS plastic that is heated, and then instantly cooled. The developers, WobbleWorks, took to Kickstarter yesterday, breaking their $30,000 funding goal in just a few hours. The first orders of the 3Doodler should arrive later in the year, hopefully September, and we should be looking at just 5,000 of the Kickstarter-backed orders being shipped at first.

 

From their $30,000 goal they've passed it with flying colors - where at the time of writing, they had $344,096 pledged - over ten times their goal. If you want to buy one, you can order one now for $75 and you should receive it in October.

SwiftKey 4 launches, brings along Flow for the ride, personal style detection also tags along

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 20, 2013 8:17 am

Just after SwiftKey Flow reached beta, SwiftKey 4 has launched and now includes Flow by default. So not only do we get the awesome predictive text engine from the future, but Flow Through Space, which lets users guide their fingers across the keyboard, making up the key as they go along.

 

 

The latest version of SwiftKey also adds some new features, expanding their contextual word prediction up to 60 languages, offers simpler corrections and also watches for personal typing habits to adjust all of this on the fly - incredible for such a small app, isn't it? This means that SwiftKey 4 will learn if you're a tapper, or if you're a texting pro and adjust itself to suit.

 

Best of all, the update is free for those who already own the smartphone or tablet versions of SwiftKey, and if not - it's currently 50% off at just $2 - down from $4.

Continue reading 'SwiftKey 4 launches, brings along Flow for the ride, personal style detection also tags along' (full post)

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