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Twitter Launching Two-Step Authorization Twitter Launching Two-Step Authorization

April 25, 2013 - Twitter, the social media giant has been developing a new security measure to help cut down on the amount of hacking on the site. The site’s solution, which involves a process that uses a two-step authorization, is similar to the measures of verification that Google released this past August. Twitter is currently putting the security measure through internal testing.

Twitter is planning to release the new measure to its users on a gradual basis very soon. However, for now the onus, via Twitter’s support page, for handling hacks advises to merely change your password and revoke any connections to applications from third parties.

Word of the new security measures came following a Tuesday tweet from an Associated Press compromised feed that reported there had been an explosion in the White House. That caused the Dow to fall over 140 points and the S&P 500 to wipe out close to $136 billion in minutes. However, both were able to recover very quickly.

The security upgrade has been worked on by Twitter for quite some time. Following the compromise of over 250,000 passwords on Twitter accounts in February, the social media giant posted a want ad for a software engineer that could develop and design security features for user-facing, such as fraudulent login detection and multifactor authentications.

Twitter acknowledged in a company statement that followed the hack, that attacks are becoming increasingly more common on the site. Twitter said the attack was not done by amateurs and they believed it was not just an isolated incident. The statement said that the hackers were highly sophisticated.

In the past, Twitter has had frequent disruptions, including one that was service wide during the 2010 rollout of the redesign of site. The attack was by a hacker with the name Masato Kinugawa. The hacker claimed that Twitter would not respond to his message about a problem with cross-site scripting.

Nintendo turns a profit Despite Wii U Lack of Success Nintendo turns a profit Despite Wii U Lack of Success

April 24, 2013 - Nintendo, the Japanese based game company just announced its quarterly results. The company said its profit for the recently ended first quarter of 2013 was $75.3 million. However, officials from Nintendo said the company has had to endure some very difficult times.

A statement from the company said weak sales of the company’s new hardware items has caused the company to not have the financial spark it has needed.

An operating loss increased due primarily from lower sales for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Foreign exchange gains increased for non-operating income, ordinary income along with net income was smaller than had been forecasted.

Wii U is the first console for Nintendo since it launched the Wii. The Wii U sold over 3.45 million units and 13.42 million games. The Wii was able to out sell the new Wii U. The Wii had sales of 3.98 million and over 50 million games.

The Wii keeps being tinkered on by Nintendo and this year has released a smaller, cheaper version for the European market.

Nintendo said poor sales of the new Wii U were due to a lack of enough game titles. The initial sales boom of the Wii U was not maintained during the start of 2013 because of the delay in the development of new and different games for the hardware.

Nintendo announced it would increase the range of different games for its consoles and would release something prior to the end of the year involving Pokemon.

The net income for the quarter was only about 50% of what had been projected.

Anonymous Wants CISPA Blackout Anonymous Wants CISPA Blackout

April 22, 2013 - The well known Hacktivist group called Anonymous has urged all websites to blackout their home pages in opposition to CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing an Protection Act. Last week, the House of Representatives in the U.S. passed the Act despite huge opposition and concerns over it impact on individual personal privacy. Because of this, a number of Anonymous accounts announced the plan to blackout on April 22.

The hacktivist group, through a message posted on Anoninsiders.net said that the blackout was aimed at the government in the U.S., and promised it would not sit by and watch people’s rights be eroded.

The message said that once again the government is trying to have the CISPA law passed in an attempt to control as well as censor everyone.

The statement continued by saying the group would not allow that to happen. The statement added that the government already controlled the economy, the media, the criminal underworld and energy. The Internet will not be a part of that group, read the statement.

The bill that has only passed the House and not the Senate would not only affect the people in the U.S. but everyone. Anyone for instance that has a Facebook account could see their personal data sent straight to the government in the U.S., because of that users of the Internet overwhelmingly opposes the Act, ended the statement.

The message urges website to go dark at 6 am GMT and stay dark for 24 straight hours. The group says the protest could be considered as a way to warn of something big to come in the future.

Inexpensive devices from Intel to run Microsoft and Google Inexpensive devices from Intel to run Microsoft and Google

April 21, 2013 - Sources said that very cheap Intel-based laptops and tablets would run Microsoft and Google operating systems.

Paul Otellini the CEO of Intel said earlier this week that touch devices might debut at as little as $200. However, the cheapest electronic devices might have non-Windows operating systems, which mean they might not necessarily be equipped with Windows 8 as was originally thought.

A source close to the situation said that Intel would participate in the $200 price point market in 2013.

On Friday, a report online said that Intel had been promoting Android convertible notebooks. The report also said that in the upcoming months Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Asus and Hewlett-Packard would all be launching products.

There are also rumors in the industry of a 7-inch tablet operating Windows 8 and using an Atom processors by Intel that will debut for as little as $299.

These price barriers have caused the PC market to drop, as it is easier to spend just $299 for a tablet instead of three times more on a PC. However, if it is possible to lower the price of PCs to $200 to $300 then the playing field is even and the impact on demand would be positive.

Microsoft announced on Thursday that its future small electronic devices would have competitive prices. The software giant said it is working closely with makers of PCs on a series of small devices with touchscreen capabilities that are run by Windows. Microsoft added that the price points would be competitive and available over the next few months.

However, even with the rumored discounts for Microsoft’s Office and Windows 8 software licensing, a device operating Windows 8 at $200 could be difficult to make a profit, said a source close to the situation.

Apple Holds Siri Data for Two Years Apple Holds Siri Data for Two Years

April 21, 2013- New services that have been created by Google, Apple and other tech companies offer convenient tools on mobile devices that help organize daily routines both for personal and business related activities.

However, those same excellent services often make it necessary that one’s person data is collected then analyzed and stored. Because of this, some groups are raising questions over how long the companies are keeping the private data. One of those services that is receiving much attention is Siri from Apple.

A spokesperson from Apple, amid inquiries from the ACLU said that Apple maintains anonymized data in Siri for as long as two years and if Siri is turned off by a user, both the identifiers are immediately deleted as well as any associated information.

The ACLU has taken on this issue prior, but the issue has re-emerged recently. According to the privacy policy for Siri, if you turn the service off, Apple will delete User Data and your recent data for voice input. Voice input data that is older that is disassociated with the user might be retained for to help improve Siri and other products from Apple.

However, that privacy policy document is not posted on Apple’s site so this is the first time that Apple has revealed the length of time it maintains data from Siri.

Retention of data has been in the headlines for the last few years from companies on the Internet like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo to providers of wireless services like Verizon and AT&T.

Nokia’s See Lumia Sales Increase, by overall sales fall Nokia’s See Lumia Sales Increase, by overall sales fall

April 18, 2013 - Nokia saw a large fall in its basic phone sales, which overshadowed the good performance of its smartphone Lumia during the first quarter. The company, based in Finland, said it expected its operating margins to shrink, which helped its share price to plummet.

The mobile handset maker also announced an unexpected drop in sales at its equipment venture with Siemens Networks that had been previously very upbeat.

Nokia has dropped behind rivals Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market. The company said it had sold over 5.6 million units of its Lumia smartphone during the first three months of 2013, which was up from the previous three months of 4.4 million and was in line with analysts’ expectations.

However, its overall net sales were down 20% to end the quarter at $7.67 billion. Phone volumes were down by 30% compared to the last three months of 2012.

Shares at Nokia were off by 9.5% early Thursday morning in European trading. Nokia stock since its peak of $84.5 dollars in 2000 has dropped as low as $3 per share and is currently selling at $3.10.

Investors have become more and more impatient over seeing positive results from Stephen Elop the CEO of the company, who started with Nokia in 2010 to head the company turnaround.

He took the decision to switch the operating system of the company’s smartphones to the untried Windows in January of 2011.

Elop said the company turnaround and transition period would be about two years. However, that period has passed and questions have been raised as to how much longer he will have to show that Nokia has returned to the right track.

The company has spent a great deal of cash and had to cancel its latest dividend.

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