12 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Online Security

At the RSA Conference in San Francisco last week, I got the chance to sit down with Stephen Cobb, a distinguished security researcher for the IT security company ESET. We talked about a lot of things, including Android security issues and how walled gardens have their uses.It was a great conversation, touching on a wide variety of fascinating aspects of online and mobile security, and I wanted to share as many of them as possible.This list seemed like the best way to do that. And while not every one of the dirty-dozen points presented here may surprise you, I can pretty much guarantee that few people will already know – or agree with - everything on the list:1. Big Data is not new to the anti-virus industry. Turns out the anti-virus companies have been doing traffic analysis, incident sharing and code sharing for decades, Cobb claims. They just didn’t call it Big Data until the term become fashionable.2. Anti-virus companies have been practicing co-opetition since the 1980s, when they realized there was no percentage in one company being able to stop one virus while you needed another company to stop a different virus. They quietly began sharing virus signatures and other information, Cobb says.

3. All the major Web browsers share information on malware sites and other threats. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and the others all share which URLs to flag, for example. That’s why when NBC.com was hacked recently and started spewing malware, everybody was able to block it almost immediately.

4. One of the hardest parts of securing Big Data is knowing where the data is actually stored. In the old days, when data was collected and stored, it didn’t really move much. Now, in the cloud, Cobbs says we don’t really know where data is stored. Malware creators are intent on exploiting that, but what form that will take remains to be seen.

5. One reason more high-value targets haven’t been hacked is that there is still so much low-hanging fruit for the bad guys to go after. According to Cobb, so far, there hasn’t been much need to try and crack the hardest targets.

6. Most attacks take the form of malware or hacking. Of the hacking attacks, Cobb says, 80% go after passwords that are either non-existent, guessed or stolen.

7. Anti-virus hasn’t been about matching virus signatures for years. Some people say the anti-virus model doesn’t work because so much new malware is coming out all the time that anti-virus solutions can’t possibly keep up. But Cobb protests that most anti-virus software is continually detecting previously unseen malware.

8. People who know what they’re doing on the Internet might be able to get by with no anti-virus software. But Cobb says people are fooling themselves when they claim: “I don’t run anti-virus software and I’ve never been hacked.” “Are you really OK telling everyone you know – your mom, for instance – not to run anti-virus software?” he asks.

9. There’s still an incredible amount of spam out there. You don’t see it, but it’s still there. It’s using a a huge amount of datacenter power to block it, but it’s built into the network security appliance and you don’t have to deal with it.

10. The overall trend is for increasing levels of security to be compressed into the core, to become part of a standard install. That’s happened to anti-spam, to firewalls and it’s happening to anti-virus, too.

11. It’s a lot harder to write 64-bit malware than it is to write 32-bit malware. And that could help lower the number of attacks on 64-bit systems.

12. In many ways, hacking behavior seems to have gotten better over the years – at least in the United States, Cobb says. But we are now increasingly exposed to other, more dangerous places. The globalization of the Net has caught up with us even as the value of hacking has one way up. Today, hackers aren’t just messing with us, Cobb notes, they’re stealing from us. And that’s a big new incentive.

Kids Code the Darndest Things: 10 Amazing Youth Innovators

Kids deserve more credit than they get. They’re observant, incredibly intuitive and can sometimes figure out what the world needs faster than adults can.

With rapid advancements in technology, and coding education geared toward youth, it comes as no surprise that there are kids pushing innovation out there, and creating apps and programs at astonishingly young ages. Here are 10 youth innovators, from ages seven to 15, particularly worth noting and working on projects ranging from games to anti-bullying apps.

Office 365 For Business Is Here. Good Luck Figuring Out What It’ll Cost You

Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based office suite, is moving the turf war against Google Docs to the business world with today’s announcement of business-ready subscriptions. But you’ll need a spreadsheet to figure out which of six different options you’ll need – not to mention what it’ll cost.It’s easier to first explain what the different subscription options have in common. All but two – Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise E1 – include desktop versions of Access, Excel, InfoPath, Lync, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, SkyDrivePro and Word. Similarly, each user has the capability to use the service on a total of five PCs or Macs, except for – again – Office 365 Small Business and Enterprise E1.

The differentiator, it seems, lies in the number of users you’d like to authorize. According to Microsoft’s pricing page, here are the maximum number of users you can sign up for various Office 365 for Business options:

  • Office 365 Small Business and Small Business Premium: 25 users
  • Office 365 MidSize Business: 300 users
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1 and E3: Unlimited users

The Small Business option offers no desktop applications to install and no mobile app options. Nor does the Enterprise E1 option, though it serves an unlimited number of users, while the Small Business plan is limited to just 25.

Apple Remains the Top U.S. Smartphone Maker, Report Says

Apple has extended its lead as the top U.S. smartphone-maker, by grabbing another 3.5% of total market, according to ComScore‘s latest data.

The Cupertino, Calif. giant captured a formidable 37.8% of the U.S. market during the three-month average period ending January 2013, leaving its competitors in the dust. (ComScore compares stats from this period to the three-month average period ending October 2012.)

Rival Samsung clocked in at 21.4%, followed by HTC, Motorola and LG with 9.7%, 8.6% and 7%, respectively.

Tablets vs. TV: Which Screen Time Is Better For Your Kids?

If your kid asked if he could watch TV or play on the iPad for an hour, which would you let him do? Naturally, it depends on what your child is doing on the iPad, but does your instinct prompt you to answer any particular way? That question gets asked of me all the time by my son and my first thought is always the TV.

Yes, I know there are tons of amazing educational apps out there. I’m not against iPad usage for kids by any means, but with my own, I tend to take a slightly different stance. It has really only been in the past year that the iPad has become such a treasured pastime for my son, thanks to his discovery of the FIFA Soccer and Madden Football apps. If left to his own devices, he would likely tap and swipe for four hours straight without breaking to eat, use the bathroom or straighten the inevitable c-curve his back would form into.

While there’s no time to play on the iPad during the week, we started getting lax with monitoring his usage on weekends, sometimes coming downstairs to find him sitting in the exact same place (and exact same position), without us realizing how much time had elapsed. Whenever I would mention how entrenched he’d be in his iPad, he’d respond with something like, “I watch movies and those are two hours. At least with the iPad, I’m doing something and not just sitting there.” Valid point.

Meet Maddie, the Acrobatic Dog Who Launched a Dream

Typically, we think of dogs as sidekicks, best friends, perhaps even confidantes. But rarely do we discover a dog who is a also a lucrative business partner.Maddie the Coonhound is already famous in the Instagram community, where her owner and photographer Theron Humphrey posts photos of Maddie to over 180,000 eager followers. She even has her own website, Maddie on Things, as well as a forthcoming book, wherein she smiles with squinty eyes and obliging patience.

It’s precisely her calm composure that makes 2.5-year-old Maddie so famous. Well, that and some mad acrobatic skills.

One day on the road, Humphrey decided to pose Maddie atop his truck, hoping she would oblige long enough to capture a quick photograph. He quickly realized he had underestimated his dog.

Married Couple Wanted for Private Mars Voyage in 2018

A new nonprofit led by the world’s first space tourist is mounting an ambitious plan to launch the first manned mission to Mars in 2018, a voyage that could include an adventurous married crew.The project, led by American millionaire Dennis Tito — who paid his own way to space in 2001 — aims not to land people on the surface of the Red Planet, but to take advantage of a rare planetary alignment that would allow a relatively easy, quick flyby of Mars.

Tito announced the private Mars voyage plan today at the National Press Club, where he held a press conference to launch his new organization, the Inspiration Mars Foundation, to back the mission.

Tito hopes to choose a space capsule and rocket from among those already on the market, and modify them to carry two people to Mars and back in 501 days.

And to combat the loneliness and isolation that would doubtless set in during such a mission, Tito is proposing something that’s never been tried before: sending one male and one female, preferably a married couple.

“When you’re out that far and the Earth is a tiny, blue pinpoint, you’re going to need someone you can hug,” Tito told SPACE.com. “What better solution to the psychological problems you’re going to encounter with that isolation?”

5 Ways to Improve Your Time Management

Research shows small business owners consider time to be a more valuable asset than computers, mobile phones and the company’s office or storefront. In addition, one-quarter of small business owners would pay $500 for one extra hour in their day.

Since adding a 25th hour to the day is an unlikely possibility, a few simple time-management strategies can help entrepreneurs gain that extra time they’re looking for, says Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing for j2 Global Communications.

However, Pugh advises that time management isn’t just about getting work done, the purpose is to help small business owners take a meaningful look at the tasks at hand so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance. His tips include:

1. Empower Your Employees

Business owners must learn to let go of the day-to-day tasks that are taking up their time to focus on the big picture. They should take a hard look at what they’re spending the most time doing everyday and then think about what they actually should be doing. Whatever doesn’t fall into the “should be doing” category needs to be reassigned to a staff member. Not only does this help them focus on larger business issues, but also empowers their employees by letting them take on tasks normally assigned for the boss. This challenges employees and allows them to gain more responsibility ultimately freeing up the owner’s time.

2. Learn to Pilot the Cloud

Taking the time to navigate through cloud solutions that help organize business communications and documents will be a big time-saver. Applications like Google Docs allow business owners to collaborate in real time with employees, while Evernote allows business owners to take notes on the go. There are thousands of simple, effective solutions available to the business community that can help save time.

‘Star Trek’ Mobile App Kicks Off Super Bowl Campaign

The app was designed to be a one-stop shop for Star Trek fans. It includes a news feed feature that shows off Star Trek news articles from around the web. When the film gets closer to release, users will also be able to pre-order tickets for the app from Fandango.In addition to information, the app also has a series of various “missions” that fans can participate in to unlock access to exclusive images, video clips and the chance to win Star Trek prizes.

One mission is to watch the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer. Using the app, users press a “listen” button and when held up against a computer screen or TV. The app then scans the soundwaves and unlocks content for users.

Makerbot Digitizer Will Let Anyone Scan and Print Physical Items in 3D

Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis excitedly announced a new Makerbot Digitizer Desktop 3D scanner on stage Friday at SXSW in Austin. Currently a prototype, the next-generation scanner will allow anyone to scan a physical item, digitize it, and then print it in 3D, regardless of whether or not they have any design experience.

Sort of like a copy/paste for real-world objects, the Digitizer works using two lasers and a webcam. The webcam sees where the lasers are shining off of an item, and wraps all those points up into a plan for a 3D model that can then be printed. To make the magic happen the lasers spin around the object, a process Pettis describes as “like Tron.”

“This is something you would envision being a piece of fiction, but in fact, it is real — and it is so cool,” says Pettis.

Able to scan items in as little as three minutes, the Digitizer can create small to medium sized objects, 2” to 8” cylinders. The Digitizer works in indoor light, and prints watertight models that can be used for prototyping, or to replace broken items in your home.

“The MakerBot Digitizer is a great tool for archiving, prototyping, replicating, and digitizing prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, artwork, sculptures, clay figures, jewelry, etc. If something gets broken, you can print it again.”

Makerbot is currently testing the scanner, with plans to release it to the general public in the fall. You can sign up to receive updates on the Digitizer on Makerbot’s website.

Yelp Reports Q4 Losses As Local Gets More Crowded Than Ever

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Why do dogs love to hang their head out of the car window?

A dog’s nose most of the time preoccupies its brain. In fact, a dog relies on its sense of smell to interpret its world, in much the same way as people depend on their sight. More so, a dog’s vision has a smaller range of color than humans.

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Sleeping with Dogs

About 62 percent of Shih Tzu owners keep their pets in the house at night, and of those, about one-third of the dogs spend the night on the bed according to the findings of a survey from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

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Help Me Stop the Dog Meat Trade

Debroah said, “You people should see how it feels to be these poor animals you are doing illegal trades with! I will make sure no one eats Chinese food! Why don’t you all get together and skin each other alive! Or boil each other up in a pot! You be stuffed in a cage and just wait to be tortured and painfully killed! So someone can cannibalize you?!”

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Amazing Ball-bopping Dog: Hoax or Real? See for Yourself

Radish, the amazing ball-bopping whippet, even has a Twitter account. You can find her at @RadishWhippet. She can even bounce the ball off the tree. Could your Shih Tzu do that?

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Shih Tzu Puppy Almost Ran Over at the Freeway

A Shih Tzu puppy ran loose on the freeway in Phoenix, Arizona, USA after its owner got into a car crash. Police had to block off the road and chase the small dog before it could be hit by the fast moving traffic all around it. The owner had her two dogs in the car with her when a chain-reaction crash caused her vehicle to flip three times. Only the one dog, a Shih Tzu escaped.

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Dog Arthritis Glucosamine – How to Treat Arthritis in Shih Tzu

The word arthritis comes from the Greek word “Arthon” and is used to describe an inflammation of joints due to several causes, some being infection, metabolic, or genetically inherited causes. Humans are not the only ones who experience arthritis problems. Just like humans, dogs can also develop arthritis problems as they age. Arthritis in dogs is a health condition that can affect a variety of different breeds – including the shih tzu.

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