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Social media platforms like Facebook are being closely watched alongside the tech giant Google - not just for their updates, technology advancements and product launches, but their apparent sale of your personal data to advertisers.
Back in 1990, the Wall Street Journal released an article titled "Computer Disc Spurs New Fears About Privacy," publicizing a concern that marketers are buying your personal data on computer disks. We were reminded by Gizmodo that this information came around due to a company named Lotus selling disks of basic information to companies who would use this for direct mail marketing.
This was a big deal in 1990, with the article stating: "Privacy advocates are raising the alarm about a new Lotus Development Corp. product that lists names, addresses, shopping habits and likely income levels for some 80 million U.S. households. Due for release early next year, Lotus Marketplace packs the data on palm-sized compact disks aimed at small and midsized businesses that want to do inexpensive, targeted direct-mail marketing".
Raleigh and Durham will see Google events held within their borders next Wednesday and Thursday respectively, rumored to be an announcement of a Google Fiber service roll-out. Reports claim that construction may begin as of April, as released by the local TV station, WRAL.
These two locations combine with Chapel Hill to make an area known as Research Triangle, all of which were on the preliminary list of 34 locations that Google released last February as possible new Fiber locations.
Currently available in Provo, Utah, Austin, Texas and Kansas City, Google Fiber provides consumers with a free 5Mbps service, with only a $300 setup fee needing to be paid. However if you're looking for something more substantial, they offer gigabit plans for $70 per month, or you can pay between $30-$30 more to have 100+ TV channels included in the bundle - both of these latter options requiring no setup fee.
YouTube's Music Key service is trying to build its popularity and apparently they're going the wrong way about it. Zoë Keating has expressed her concerns on Tumblr, asking the simple question "What should I do about YouTube?"
What's the problem, you ask? Summed up in the opening paragraph of this blog, Keating states "...the message was firm: I have to decide. I need to sign on to the new YouTube music services agreement or I will have my YouTube channel blocked." This statement points to a possibility that this is a move by the Google-owned company to force artists over to their new service in a pledge to increase popularity thanks to there being no other option.
Active Baby Boomers are aging, but are increasingly embracing the Internet on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other electronics - with 60 percent of adults 65 years of age or older now regularly using the Internet. Furthermore, 44 percent of smartphone owners 50 years or older access the Internet or check email every day from a PC or mobile device, according to Pew.
Mobile makers are finding a lucrative opportunity to market devices to a wide age group, ranging from children to Baby Boomers - especially as many older adults use devices such as tablets and e-readers for casual Internet use and reading.
"As Baby Boomers age into their 60s and 70s, they are showing a determination to stay current with digital technology's advances," said George Otte, CEO of Geeks on Site, in a press statement. "We see an increased reliance on using the Internet, but with more comfortable access models like desktop computers, rather than smartphones and tablets. It's within this segment that we see an opportunity to guide and help these Boomers."
Timotheus Höttges claimed at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich that companies like Facebook and Google are increasingly turning into communications services, without being regulated as such. During this conference, the Deutsche Telekom stated that "Facebook is a communications service but it's not investing in telco infrastructure; this is unfair. Why does it escape regulation, yet it gathers data freely?"
Höttges went on to mention that Facebook offers a call and messaging service, however they do not have to register with German or U.K regulators, where as telecom companies, like is own do - "There isn't a level playing field."
Deutsche Telekom is further upset as they are investing €23 billion ($26 billion US) over the next 5 years into the German infrastructure, whereas companies like Google and Facebook "are not participating at all." Höttges mentioned that he isn't blaming the Silicon Valley companies directly for negligence, rather pointing towards the regulatory authorities, telling them to do their part and make it easier for traditional telecom companies to compete, adding "what we need is one single legislation for Europe."
Just in case you lay awake at night pondering the meaning of life, along with wondering exactly how our global population consume their pornography - look no further because TweakTown has you covered. Don't worry - everything in this article is safe for work.
According to statistics released by PornHub, the United States still sits at #1 in the consumer scale, with the United Kingdom taking up less than half the traffic flow followed by Canada. This ranges across their websites crazy 78.9 billion video views throughout the 12 months of 2014, alongside a crazy 5800 visits every second.
With teens being on the main agenda, the apparently intriguing category of "step mom" has raised up a massive 14 places, now sitting at 4th overall. If data is more your thing, this review shows that over 50 gigabytes per second of bandwidth is needed by their servers, offering up 1.57 million terabytes of data throughout the last calendar year. This is coupled with a total of 18.35 billion total visits and just over 1 million comments - seeing the word "love" being most-used.
There has been some great news unleashed for Sydney, Melbourne and ACT apartment residents, with NBN Co confirming that they are beginning their fibre-to-the-basement (FTTB) roll-outs to approximately 6,000 Aussie apartments. Including 43 apartment blocks in total, these apartments will be the first to be connected to FTTB technology.
The first 2,000 apartments will be ready for full operation in March, as claimed by NBN co, with the other 4,000 said to be ready by the end of June. With a targeted list of locations involved being the Sydney CBD, Balmain, Elizabeth Bay, Erskineville, Haymarket, Rushcutters Bay, Potts Point, Pyrmont, Randwick, Mascot, Alexandria, and St Leonards in New South Wales, TPG is also rolling out their own FTTB services to Pyrmont and the Sydney CBD.
As far is other locations are concerned, NBN Co is targeting Melbourne's Carlton, Keysborough and Brunswick, and also Civic in the ACT.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration board have just announced its next (third) part of the "2015 State of the Opportunity" agenda, being a $1 billion broadband internet program that sees public and private resources utilized.
Cuomo has stated that the plan will create a $500 million NY Broadband Program set to use capital funds from bank settlements, offering this sum of money as an incentive to private sector parties in order to expand high-speed internet access is high-needs areas. If ISPs wish to qualify for this funding, they must pledge a 1:1 match in finances, seeing this plan grow from the $500 million figure stated above to a massive $1 billion total. ISPs must also offer up a minimum of 100Mbps internet speed to clients as part of the contract.
There has been no mention of quota limitations as of yet, with Cuomo's staff stating they will prioritize ISPs whom deliver the highest speed at lowest cost. Hopefully this won't see ISPs flock to this agenda only to offer extremely high-speed broadband options with extremely tiny download limits.
Over the past month a number of websites, including TweakTown, have experienced sporadic redirects to scam websites. It has been exceptionally difficult to track down the source of these redirects, and our team has been working tirelessly to isolate the source of the issue. The source of the issue appears to be malicious code injected into Google Adsense ads, which are used by websites around the world.
The malicious redirect worked even in the Ad Review Center of the Google AdSense dashboard on Google.com site where webmasters may view ads that Google displays on their sites. This problem existed for about a month since the second half of December 2014, but became really widespread last Friday (Jan 9th 2015). By the end of the weekend, Google seemed to have been able to mitigate it.
While there may be notably reduced frequency to the malicious ads, they are still circulating. We have noticed these redirects are still present on other websites as well during the last few days. Google Adsense works by targeting specific ads to a specific viewers. This type of maddening attack, referred to as Malvertising, is hard to track because different users view different ads. The redirects are landing users on pages that appear legitimate, such as a fake Forbes website, but are all contained in different subdirectoriess of lemode-mgz.com, consumernews247.com, and wan-tracker.com.
President Obama has been covering some of the issues he intends to address in the coming year in the build-up to his State of the Union speech. The White House posted a video of President Obama announcing new executive actions that will allow easier local investment, that in the end will provide every American access to 1000Mbps internet speeds.
For us in the tech world it is widely known how badly American internet speeds lag behind other countries. The US is ranked 24th in the world for average broadband speeds according to Webindex. However, average citizens aren't as aware of how woefully inadequate our internet speeds are, especially considering the much higher prices we pay. For instance, Seoul has an average cost of $30 per month for the fastest internet, which would cost $300 a month in the U.S.
Obama used a tablet to highlight the difference between American internet speeds in several cities to the speed of other cities around the world. With the exception of a few key cities, such as Kansas City (which has Google Fiber), the overall US trails far behind competing countries. Obama did not outline the details of the plan, but mentioned that through executive actions he can take steps to encourage and enhance investment. Obama has wide latitude with executive actions, which do not require congressional approval.
Some of these steps likely will include reducing red tape in the heavily-regulated telecom industry. This will encourage large companies, such as Google, to expand their services to new areas. Tax breaks and other incentives will likely also be part of the package. Deregulation, at least to some extent, would allow other companies to come in and compete with price gouging ISPs, which are usually tied into the cable TV franchises.