Members of the Occupy movement are building a “Facebook for protesters” called The Global Square, Wired reported yesterday. Less than a traditional social network, it’s an international collaboration network. While a valiant effort, I see 3 big problems with the project’s concept that will limit its success and impact.
The Global Square is designed to allow local Occupy movements and other protesters to coordinate and share knowledge across different content management systems. Some of the reasons for starting the project that its developers told Wired include:
- Connecting and mobilizing protest movements
- Creating an open-source alternative to Facebook and other corporate social networks
- Protesters don’t trust Facebook to keep their data and messages private from authorities Read more...
Microsoft has told The Register that it has no comment on an apparently leaked copy of upgrade plans for its mobile phone operating system.
The presentation, leaked to Wmpoweruser.com, predicts an upgrade to the current Mango platform in the second quarter of 2012 – dubbed Tango. Described as “products with the best prices,” this would suggest a low-level stability upgrade to cover the cheap and dirty end of the market, to try and halt Android’s increasing domination of the sector. Read more...
The crack coders assembled by the Cabinet Office have a new mission: making an iPad app for David Camerons.
The app will contain the latest figures on NHS waiting lists, crime, unemployment and other public sector data according to a report by The Times. It will also allow him to read Civil Service documents on the tablet and will pull in "real-time" information from Google and Twitter among other news sources. Advisers got the idea after a trip to the US.
But it seems it could take the gov coders three months to get it right. The app isn't expected to be ready till March according to the newspaper. Read more...
Security researcher Stefan Viehböck has demonstrated a critical flaw in the Wi-Fi Protected standard that opens up routers to attack and has prompted a US-CERT Vulnerability notice.
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is used to secure access to wireless networks and requires each router to have a unique eight-digit PIN. One mode of use allows a device to connect by just presenting that PIN, opening the way for a client to just try every available PIN. Worse still, the protocol splits the PIN into two halves which reduces the attack time to a couple of hours.
Eight digits should produce 100,000,000 possible combinations, and testing various routers Viehböck found it took an average of around two seconds to test each combination. So brute forcing should take several years unless the router was particularly responsive. Read more...
There are a variety of new technologies advancing in 2012 that you should investigate, if you aren't already doing so, to give your small business a leg up on the competition. These recent technologies are beginning to be widely adopted and will continue to drive business forward.
Tablets are highly visible, and many users want them, if only to read books and consume media. However, from a business perspective, replacing notebook computers with much lower-cost tablets may have a double benefit of reducing capital expenditures as well as increasing user satisfaction. Security can be an issue, both protecting company data and keeping malware and other threats out. Fortunately, both encryption providers and antivirus vendors are busily creating business-focused products that can help ensure security.
Like previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 will probably not be widely adopted in any great hurry. However, the intriguing capabilities of Windows 8 -- especially with Windows Mobile 8 and Windows Server 8 to create an easy-to-use, fully capable unified communications environment -- could mean rapid adoption for highly-mobile organizations that can benefit from the access-anywhere model. Read more...
Many Web app frameworks are vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack targeting the way they handle hash tables, researchers revealed Wednesday, prompting Microsoft to announce an "out-of-band" patch for its ASP.Net platform just hours later.
Hash tables are used to store and retrieve data rapidly, allocating the data to different slots in the table based on the results of a calculation -- the hash function -- performed on the data itself. Ideally, the hash function would return a different result, or hash, for each possible item of data, but this is not achievable in practice, so implementations of hash tables have to deal with "hash collisions," where two or more different pieces of data generate the same hash.
A collision slows the storage and retrieval of the data involved, the time taken for those operations typically increasing with the square of the number of items involved in the collision, according to Alexander Klink of German security consultancy N.runs and Julian Wälde of Darmstadt Technical University. Read more...
Please ignore Digitimes' fake claims of two new iPad models in January, there's plenty of better rumors, despite which this Christmas has been Apple [AAPL] and mobile, leaving a trail of angry teens incandescent with their parents for failing to get them an iPhone or iPad.
Activations of new iOS and Android devices soared on Christmas Day, jumping by 142 per cent over the same day last year, Flurry said. Over three million iPhones were activated on that day.
It could have been higher. Many might say it should have been. Comedian Jon Hendren captured some of the unhappy Tweets from teenagers who didn't get an iPhone (or iPad).
What are the kids saying? "I swear, everybody got an iPhone 4S. I asked for one and I didn't get it. Santa, I hate you," wrote one. "Everyone got an iPad, I want to kill myself," and another: "No iPhone, I hate my dad."
We could enter into a seasonal discussion about how the so-called spiritual meaning of Christmas has been buried under self-centered consumerism, the admonishment that we should "love one another" replaced by that of "live to shop", but let's leave that discussion to our spiritual and political leaders. Read more...
One of the biggest worries with new smartphones such as the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus is whether they will have enough battery power to get through a full day of work or school, much less play movies and music long enough to satisfy an average media-savvy user before needing a charge.
This concern has increased with new smartphones running over 4G LTE wireless, which Verizon Wireless has rolled out to nearly 200 U.S. cities on several smartphones, including the Galaxy Nexus. AT&T is offering its separate 4G LTE network in 15 cities so far.
LTE can greatly increase download and upload speeds (sometimes 10x over 3G), which helps immensely in loading Web pages and videos, but can sap a battery quicker than inexperienced users might expect. Makers of the latest smartphones and carriers have taken to selling larger batteries, separately, to boost battery life, often at an added cost of $50 or more. Read more...
2011 was a big year for Apple. The company continued to dominate the tablet market, with no rival coming close the iPad in sales. It also released Lion, an update to OS X that delivered hundreds of new features; pushed out a major update to iOS that finally cut the cord for backups and syncing; launched its new cloud service, iCloud (albeit not without some issues); and continued to rack up record sales of Macs.
And, of course, 2011 was the year that Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO because of declining health just weeks before his death on Oct. 5.
On several fronts, Apple seems likely to capitalize on its successes in the coming year. Fueling continued growth in 2012 will be several trends that began this year within the company, the consumer market and enterprise IT. Read more...
Hackers armed with a single machine and a minimal broadband connection can cripple Web servers, researchers disclosed Wednesday, putting uncounted websites and Web apps at risk from denial-of-service attacks.
In a security advisory issued the same day, Microsoft, whose ASP .Net programming language is one of several affected by the flaw, promised to patch the vulnerability and offered customers ways to protect their servers until it releases an update.
In a follow-up message, Microsoft announced it was shipping an "out-of-band," or emergency update today. The update was released at 1 p.m. ET. Designated MS11-100, it also fixed three other bugs in ASP .Net, one tagged "critical." None of those three had been disclosed publicly prior to today.