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The Damaging Effects of Malware

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Damaging Effects of Malware - Malware

The Damaging effects of malware is a major concern for growing businesses.
Say what you will about hackers, they are a smart and diligent group of people,
constantly creating new strategies for scamming or corrupting your computers,
networks, and websites with various types of malware. What is malware? Simply
put, it is malicious software that comes in a variety of forms.

Having malware on your site (even if it doesn’t attack the customers) will turn away
those savvy enough to run security software that detects it; they might not return
after such an experience. You could only lose a single sale or ad impression, or they
could spread the word and you’ll stand to lose a lot more.

If the malware ends up attacking users, the situation could become much worse.
Depending on how much data, money, or privacy customers lose, they may
never come back. Worse than the loss of individual customers is the loss of your
reputation. If you experience just one malware infestation, you could become
blacklisted by security software companies and even blocked by search engines.
You may even be open to legal action, depending on the nature of the attack and
the compliance regulations that apply to your business. At the very least, you can
be sure that disaffected users will tell others to avoid your site. Many businesses
never truly recover from this sort of reputation-destroying event.

Types of Malware

Phishing
Just as the name implies, phishing is when folks with ill intentions “fish” around for
your confidential information. Usually what happens is you’ll receive an email from
what appears to be a legitimate company that attempts to trick you into handing
out personal information, such as a credit card number or a social security number.
Identity Theft
It is often your worst possible nightmare. Unbeknown to you, someone has
managed to steal your personal information, such as a credit card number or social
security number, and then uses this information to obtain credit, merchandise, and
other services, all on your dime. Oftentimes, people don’t realize their identity has
been stolen until the damage is already done.
Viruses
A computer virus is a self-replicating computer program that is bound and
determined to infect as many computers as possible, destroying every piece of data
it can in its wake. Many viruses are found in executable files. This is exactly why
your computer prompts you with a message notifying you that you are downloading
an executable file and that you are absolutely sure you trust and know the sender.
Pharming
Some describe pharming as phishing without a lure. How’s that? Well, when a
scammer “phishes” for your personal information, they are usually luring you
or someone else with an email that appears to have been sent from a legitimate
website. It’s an individual attack. With pharming, a large number of users can be
attacked. Multiple users are essentially directed to a fraudulent website (even
when they think it’s a legitimate site).
Scams
Everyone has probably received by now at least one email, typically written in all
caps and in broken English, from a wealthy foreigner requesting you help him move
large sums of money through your bank account and offering a significant reward
in the process. Guess what? There is neither a wealthy foreigner nor reward at the
other end of that email wielding a large check with your name on it.
Spyware
As the name suggests, spyware is software that spies on you. It begins
accumulating bits and pieces of your online habits without you knowing it. Spyware
is typically associated with adware (display advertisements) that can sometimes
be bundled into other software you wish to install on your computer and starts
collecting your personal information without your consent. Some can even change
the configuration of your computer.

Trojan Horses
You’ve probably heard these terms a million times, but still aren’t exactly what
it is. It’s pretty simple. It’s an email virus hidden with an email attachment. If
it’s opened, then it will search your hard drive for any personal and financial
information it can find, such as social security numbers, PIN numbers, and
checking or savings account information.

Article Provide by Symantec

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your web security, logo, web site, web application, custom programming, or need an IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

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Google May Someday Rank Web Pages On Facts, Not Links

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

facts-myths-knowledge-ss-1920

Google May Someday Rank Web Pages On Facts, Not Links

Will Google someday rank web pages based on how accurate they are? A new paper suggests they might.

Close your eyes and imagine a world where web pages are ranked not only on popularity — i.e., the links that point to them — but also by the accuracy of information they contain. That world may not be too far off.

As New Scientist recently reported, a team of research scientists at Google has published a paper (PDF) explaining the idea of Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT), an alternate way of determining the quality of web pages by looking at how accurate they are.

The quality of web sources has been traditionally evaluated using exogenous signals such as the hyperlink structure of the graph. We propose a new approach that relies onendogenous signals, namely, the correctness of factual information provided by the source. A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.

The paper goes on to describe how Google could use an extraction process to compare the facts it finds on web pages to facts that are stored in a knowledge base (think Knowledge Graph/Knowledge Vault), and reward pages that are found to be more accurate. In cases where a single web page doesn’t have enough facts, the paper suggests relying on other pages from the same website to determine trustworthiness.

Google has been building a massive database of known facts for years, and in 2012 introduced its Knowledge Graph. That’s the source of those information boxes that show on the right side of Google search results (primarily) for searches involving people, places and known entities.

The authors say their early tests of Knowledge-Based Trust have been promising. “We applied it to 2.8 billion triples extracted from the web, and were thus able to reliably predict the trustworthiness of 119 million web pages and 5.6 million websites.” (Note: The paper uses “triples” to describe the factual elements found and extracted from web pages.)

This KBT concept wouldn’t necessarily work uniformly across the internet, since many web pages don’t exist to share facts and aren’t about entities that exist in a Knowledge Graph-style database.

Along those lines, the authors say this way of measuring trustworthiness “provides an additional signal for evaluating the quality of a website,” and could be used “in conjunction with existing signals such as PageRank” — not necessarily as a replacement.

Article Provided By Search Engine Land

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On March 15, 2015, the article “SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal” was posted on the web. It is a most read for any website owner.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - Responsive Design

New Changes Start April 21

Do you have a mobile or responsive site? If not, on April 21 you may find it harder to rank in Google’s mobile search results.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers. The update improves rankings for sites that provide a mobile-friendly experience to searchers on mobile devices, and, by association, demotes sites that do not.

Google announced algorithm updates that will have a “significant impact” on mobile search results worldwide for mobile searchers.

Note that the mobile-friendly update only affects mobile search results — i.e., searches from smartphones and tablets — not searches conducted on a desktop or laptop computer.

In addition, the algorithm is applied worldwide, page by page, on a real-time basis. “Worldwide” means that the algorithm update affects mobile searchers and search results in all countries at the same time, rather than just rolling out in the U.S. first.

“Page by page” means that each page’s mobile friendliness is judged separately. That’s good news if your ecommerce catalog is mobile friendly but your forums or other content sections are not. The unfriendly sections will not cause your entire site to be ranked as unfriendly.

“Real time” means that you can expect to see the mobile ranking benefit of making your site mobile friendly right away. The next time Googlebot crawls your pages and determines that they are newly mobile friendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages. This is especially good news because some algorithm updates have been processed on a monthly or unknown time cycle and applied to the algorithm in batches.

Beware, though, because real time also works both ways. If an update were made to your site that makes pages unfriendly, the mobile-friendly ranking algorithm would kick in for those pages the next time your site is crawled.

In addition, content from indexed Android apps can now be ranked in search results for searchers who are signed in to Google and have that Android app installed on their mobile device. Since Google would have no access to Apple’s iTunes database, iOS apps would not be included in this app ranking improvement.

Google’s stated goal is to improve searcher experience. It’s frustrating to search on a phone and land on a page that’s so tiny you can’t accurately click the links without pinching and zooming and scrolling to find the right text or links.

Google is converting that frustration into an improvement in its search results, so that more mobile searchers will land on sites with positive mobile experiences. It makes sense from the searcher’s perspective, which is what matters to Google.

But from an ecommerce perspective, it could possibly be a very costly update in terms of lost mobile traffic and revenue.

Example of Mobile Impact

Say you use your smartphone to search for “formal dresses.” Starting April 21, the results on your smartphone will be reordered based on the relative mobile friendliness of the sites. The image below shows my mobile search result for “formal dresses.”

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - mobile impact

Keep in mind that the mobile search result is probably personalized in some way. Your mobile search results may vary. The important thing to note is that the first, second, and fifth organic search results are already deemed “Mobile-friendly,” as I have highlighted above.

Google has already been annotating mobile-friendly pages for searchers, in an effort to help influence mobile searchers toward a better mobile experience.

On April 21, the annotation will become part of the ranking algorithm, affecting the order of search results directly. In Google’s words, the change will have a “significant impact” on search results for mobile searchers.

The burning question is how significant the impact will be.

Will the fifth ranking site move up to the third place, ahead of the non-friendly sites so that the new ranking order becomes 1, 2, 5, 3, 4? Or will the sites that rank third and fourth today disappear completely from the first page of results, so that only mobile-friendly sites grace the first page? There’s no way to know until April 21.

Ecommerce Impact

Maybe it’s easy to dismiss the example above. It’s one keyword, likely not even related to your industry. How many people even search for formal dresses on their phones anyway?

It turns out that searchers want to find “formal dresses” over 100,000 times a month, according to Google’s Keyword Planner, and nearly 300,000 more want some variation of formal dress keywords, such as a semi-formal dress.

Of all those nearly 400,000 searches on average per month in Google in the U.S., only 39 percent of them happen on a computer. That means that 61 percent — about 240,000 searches a month — occur on smartphones and will be significantly impacted by Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update on April 21.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - stats

If a consumer is searching on a mobile device for a product sold specifically by your ecommerce brand, my prediction is that your brand will continue to rank at the top regardless of mobile friendliness. For example, for site-branded keywords, such as “macys formal dresses,” mobile search results are unlikely to change dramatically. There’s no way to know for certain until April 21, but logically Google should respect the searcher’s ecommerce brand navigational search intent.

The same would presumably not hold true for product brand searches, such as “UGG boots,” where many etailers sell that brand. We should expect the mobile-friendly update to impact product branded keywords in the same way as it would a completely unbranded keyword like “winter boots.”

Impact on Your Ecommerce Performance

First, determine if Google sees your pages as mobile friendly. It doesn’t matter if you think they’re mobile friendly or your agency tells you that they are. What matters is what Google determines algorithmically because it has 100 percent control over how your site ranks.

Google has provided a mobile-friendly testing tool that analyzes each page that you enter and tells you whether it’s mobile friendly or not. The image below shows a page that is not mobile friendly, and the resources that Google recommends to resolve those issues.

SEO: Google to Make ‘Mobile-friendly’ a Ranking Signal - mobile friendly

Resolving the issues could be as simple as asking your developer to update your robots.txt file to remove a block on certain files (your developer will know what this means). Or it could be as difficult as a redesign to implement responsive design or mobile site best practices.

How this affects your ecommerce business depends a great deal on your mobile search performance today. Remember that the only traffic and sales at risk here is organic search driven via a mobile device (smartphone and tablet).

Analyze the risk in any change that will impact search engine optimization in terms of worst-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario is that all of the sales-driven organic search traffic via a mobile device disappears instantly when the change happens. That’s the worst case. It can’t get worse than losing it all. In all likelihood, the worst case won’t actually occur, and the decrease would be more like 80 percent, or 50 percent. But measuring the worst case helps you decide if the issue really is significant enough to act on immediately.

Start by measuring the amount of affected traffic and sales today and determine the real impact of losing it all. Remember, filter the visits and sales so that the data only contains organic search-driven traffic via a mobile device. Then determine the impact to your ecommerce business if those traffic and sales disappeared completely on April 21.

That’s how to determine the actual cost. What’s more difficult to measure, however, is the opportunity that this algorithm update represents.

How many of your competitors will be boosted by the mobile-friendly update? How many will be demoted? Can you capitalize on their loss? Is this an opportunity to surpass the competition?

Keep in mind, receiving few visits and sales via mobile search today does not in any way indicate the true size of the opportunity.

Head to the Google Keyword Planner and identify the actual opportunity that mobile search represents. Test your assumptions using keyword research and determine the true size of the mobile search opportunity before dismissing it as a useless channel.

I was skeptical, for example, that “formal dresses” would drive any real mobile search traffic. I was wrong.

Article Provided By PracticalEcommerce

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

WhatsApp Messenger

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Open, Connected, Successful

WhatsApp Messenter

Striking it rich, dreaming of endless wealth, and finding the veritable “pot-of-gold” is part of the dream that most every entrepreneur who creates a software application in today’s business environment is shooting for.  Entrepreneurs hope that the business will be attractive and sell for a ridiculous sum of money based on the evaluation. WhatsApp Messenger definitely struck it rich this past week when Facebook bought the relatively new firm for $19 billion dollars; $4 billion in cash and another $15 billion in Facebook stock options.

 WhatsApp Messenger Does What?

WhatsApp Messenger, a five-year-old-company, is a (not so) proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, videos, and audio media messages as well as their location using integrated mapping features.  Competing with a number of Asian-based messaging services (including LINE, KakaoTalk, WeChat), WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly active users around the world, and has been adding a million users daily.   According to the Financial Times, WhatsApp “has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines.”

Essentially, this application allows users to communicate between all different types of mobile phones on all different carriers, world-wide. All you need to do is enter your phone number and WhatsApp “looks” through your contact list for other people who are using the app. Then you can message those users all you want without limits or overage charges. The technology behind WhatsApp is not very complicated or even that proprietary; the application allows for Multimedia messages (an image, audio or video) to be sent to an HTTP server and then a link to the content along with its Base64 encoded thumbnail is sent to the contact indicated.  In the simplest of terms, the user sending the information does so by sending the information to a web server via the mobile app. The designated user(s) receive the message in the form of a link on the same mobile app.  The app is free to download and has no ads, but it costs $1 per year after the first year.

WhatsApp allows for the circumvention of regular SMS messaging which basically exploits a “loophole” in mobile phone carrier pricing.  Additionally and maybe even as importantly, WhatsApp is a stark reminder of how much money phone carriers are losing out on as competitors let users text and chat at no charge.  According to research done by Ovum Ltd, free social-messaging applications like WhatsApp cost phone providers around the world $32.5 billion in texting fees in 2013.  That figure is projected to reach $54 billion by 2016.  As more customers switch to smartphones with increased and better Internet access, people are relying more on applications such as WhatsApp to communicate.  This is particularly true in areas outside the United States where carriers do not include unlimited texting into voice and data plans.  The rise of these Instant-Messaging applications has offered a cheaper source of communication, especially between users located in different countries, and they are undercutting the texts that, up to now, had been a key source of income.

Why the Acquisition?

According to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook acquired WhatsApp because it wants to, “make the world more open and connected.” But, did Facebook really acquire WhatsApp because it wants to enter the mobile phone market? (This reason has been suggested with other acquisitions).  J.P. Morgan analyst, Doug Anmuth said, “Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp gives the company a strong position in mobile messaging, which we think is a crucial part of the company’s core mission of connecting the world.” Still, others speculate that Facebook wants to expand their global social media footprint.   As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine notes, “WhatsApp is huge in developing countries. Facebook could also use WhatsApp to help bring more people online through subsidized Internet, which Facebook already offers in some countries.  The acquisition is a shortcut to owning those growing markets.”  Others believe that Facebook wants to corner the photo sharing market.  With a user base of 450 million (compared to 1.23 billion for Facebook), WhatsApp users send 500 million pictures back and forth per day, about 150 million more than Facebook users generate.   Maybe Facebook is weeding out the competition as it has did with Instagram while blocking any future deals with other rivals like Twitter.

What is certain is WhatsApp will provide mountain loads of data about the things that people world-wide are truly interested in; information which, until the acquisition, Facebook didn’t have access to.  This new data can then be used for targeted advertising on other Facebook properties.

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp is definitely setting precedence in the acquiring of newly formed user-based start-up companies.  Using an “evaluation” process of the firm (number of users that currently use the application, combined with the potential income that may be derived from advertising to the user base, or from an increase in the cost of the app, or the possibility of adding additional revenue based services) instead of structuring an offer based on actual revenue (WhatsApp declined to comment on their sales figures) has stirred up the financial world.

With a rapidly developing coding community taking off in South Carolina, this news is both thrilling and exciting!  I know I am encouraged!  I am a serial entrepreneur with two established businesses in the Upstate, and beginning a third – a new social application called SocialSprig.  It is my dream, and the dream of many entrepreneurs like me, who hope that our startups ultimately have a higher evaluation than XEROX, Marriott, and American Airlines.

Website Commenting

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Website commenting, What is it? Why should you or your developer comment your code of your website?

Well, the simple answer is basically commenting or annotations are directions left by developers in the code that they develop. This can be very useful and instructional for website projects that have more than one developer, for websites that are extremely large or for websites that have complicated functions. These comments can speed up trouble shooting, adding additional functions to a website, or expanding a website.

Commenting inside the code can also be very useful and save a great deal of time and money if you have to move your site from one development company to another.

Now, that you have a basic understanding of  having commenting inside your website. Let’s actually take a look at commenting the code of your website.

EXAMPLE 1 Cascading Style Sheet

#wrapper{
	width:950px;
	height:100%;
	margin:15px auto;
	border:10px solid #000;
	background-color:#fff;
	overflow:auto;
}

Example 1 above is what is called a DIV tag inside a Cascading Style Sheet. This DIV controls the width and

height of the wrapper in also sets the margin, border, background color and whether the wrapper should overflow its pre-determined width and height. There is no comment with this statement. In the next Example; you will see the comment that belongs with this piece of code.

EXAMPLE  2

/* The wrapper below controls the entire site main layout and it also sets the width, 
height, margin, border, background color and the overflow. This is universal for the 
entire site and used globally */

#wrapper{
	width:950px;
	height:100%;
	margin:15px auto;
	border:10px solid #000;
	background-color:#fff;
	overflow:auto;
}

Your entire website should always be commented from the Cascading Style Sheet, Javascript, Jquery, HTML, or any programming language that has been used to develop your website. This is something that most developers do not do for their clients, but this is something you should always ask for when getting a website developed. It is always overlooked and most customers do not know to even ask about commenting.

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net

Clemson MBAe Studio Lunch Presentation

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

 

Clemson MBAe Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clemson MBAe Studio Lunch Presentation – It was and  is my distinct honor to present Mobile App Development vs. Responsive Web Applications to the current class of the Clemson Masters in Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) program. I will be presenting a topic (see below) each Wednesday for the full month of October.

This class highlights a complete overview into Mobile App Development vs. Responsive Web Application, the benefits of each, versus the problems of each.  Which platform to choose; Google Android or Apple, and are there any other platforms to even consider?   What does it take to develop a mobile app versus a responsive web application, and once your Mobile App or Responsive Web App is launched what should you do now?

The presentations are being held at Clemson at the Falls 55 E.. Camperdown Way on the following dates:

10-2-2013 Introduction/Overview
10-9-2013 Which platform to choose
10-23-2013 Development – What is the process
10-30-2013 Mobile App / Web App is launched now WHAT?

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net

Is LinkedIn becoming a Bazaar of Services

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

LinkedIn Logo

LinkedIn?  It seems like this professional network is becoming the market bazaar of services and products.  A site where people are hawking their particular merchandise or business in every post, discussion, and group that is on LinkedIn.  Every time I log in I feel like I am assaulted with ads, how-to’s , companies to follow, a list of daily achievements, and more.   I can almost hear the hustle and bustle of people talking multiple dialects with foreign music playing in the background, and can even see the opening act of the famous Walt Disney movie, Aladdin. You know the one, right–the scene with the peddler (played by Robin Williams) who greets the visitor saying, “Welcome to LinkedIn.  City of mystery, of enchantment, and the finest merchandise this side of the internet river, on sale today, come on down! Heh, heh.  Look at this! Yes!  Combination hookah and coffee maker–also makes Julienne fries.”

Now, I am the first to admit that I have posted my services and my companies achievements, however, I don’t  post daily, nor do I post in every group that I am a member of.  Usually I share useful information about articles, books and other information I have read, learned, or gathered during my last 14 years in the web development industry.  And, I try to take into account what I believe my professional network would find helpful in the technology and web industry.  In other words, it is relevant information.

I originally joined LinkedIn to connect with other professionals that I had developed a business association with and to strengthen my business relationships.  As LinkedIn grew and the ability to create a group specific to your industry was available, it was fantastic because we were afforded the opportunity to share knowledge with peers.  Groups allowed for collaboration on a global scale and social problem solving was available at the fingertips of any LinkedIn member.

LinkedIn Groups Feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have often posted a development issue or problem in these groups and would get an enormous response from many different views.  I have also responded to other professionals’ queries when they had an issue to solve.  But these days, it literally appears that the groups are laden with different random sales pitches which do not even relate to the group.  I find this situation extremely frustrating, and wish that the professionals who setup the group would at least moderate to be sure that random trash did not get posted in their group.  I can’t help but wonder if some groups are so convoluted and off base at this point that the moderators have given up?

LinkedIn should take more notice of the groups that professionals have on their network;   groups that are started purely for advertising could be noted (letting you know that the group has a strong tendency to self-promote, and “junk” the site with advertisements).  If that were to occur, the professional who was considering joining any group could make an informed decision.

 

 

 

Wedding Spam – ‘You Are Invited To Our Wedding’ Spam Campaign Unleashes Trojan.Win32.Kuluoz Malware

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Wedding Spam, Cybercrooks and hackers are ruthless when it comes to using what may seem to be a harmless email message to scam computer users. In the latest spamming scam that we have taken notice to, hackers are peddling a bogus wedding invitation email to spread a new variant of the malicious Trojan horse known as Trojan.Win32.Kuluoz, a threat capable of downloading and installing other malware onto an infected PC.

Lets all face the reality; computer scams come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In the latest spam campaign, one using a clever wedding invitation, it sends out a message with an embedded link at the bottom all claiming that you have been invited to “Celebrate the Our Wedding…Followed by a Reception.” The message even claims that it is from “White wedding agency”, which could be easily mistaken for a legitimate wedding company.

Variations of the actual spam email message reads (Figure 1): “You are Cordially Invited to Celebrate the Our Wedding On Tuesday March the 29 at Four O’clock Followed by a Reception. Get Full Invitation Text” Quickly pointing out the fact that the sentence does not use proper grammar, is a big red flag as to the legitimacy of such a message. ThreatTrack Security experts, who reportedly first identified this spam campaign, examined the message’s embedded link to found that loads an archive file hosted on a compromised website. The file contains a Word document but is actually a variant of the Trojan.Win32.Kuluoz malware.

Figure 1. Spam Wedding invitation message with a malicious link spreading malware – Source: softpedia.com
wedding spam

Variations of the Trojan.Win32.Kuluoz malware that we have reported on, such as Trojan.Downloader.Kuluoz.B, is known for spreading poser emails and persuading recipients to open malicious files through enticing reservation or invitation messages. Moreover, this malware is apt to install other malware without any indications to the computer user.

Using a wedding invitation, although rife with poor grammar, is a rather clever and all-too familiar way for cybercrooks to scam PC users or infect their system with malware. As always, we reiterate how important it is to treat such messages with extreme caution and to never click on embedded links or download attachments on emails that have the least bit of suspicion. Additionally, it is prudent that antispyware or antivirus software be utilize at all times to detect and prevent malware infections from spam emails laced with malicious links or malicious attached files.

Original Article from: http://www.spywareremove.com/you-are-invited-to-our-wedding-spam-trojanwin32kuluoz.html

Chromecast Changes The Game, Like Dropbox For TV

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

 

In one tiny, $35 swoop, Google just re-positioned the television as “a receptacle unworthy of bell and whistle innovation,” as my friend John Abell recently put it.

Chromecast, a thumb drive-sized dongle that jacks into a TV or projector’s HDMI port, lets you take over a screen with your computer or mobile device. It’s been called “magical” by various gadget reviewers (a term generally reserved for Apple devices), and it sold out instantaneously last week after Google announced it at an event in San Francisco.

In the same way that making automobiles smartphone-compatible has proven to be vastly superior (and more cost-effective) than reinventing smartphone functionality and building it into every car’s dashboard, the television set paradigm has just shifted. Why pay extra for expensive technology built into your screen when you can bring your own bell and whistle to any screen you want?

That’s exactly what Google is saying with Chromecast.

While an arms race among television makers has been mustering over the development of “smart TV” that lets people use the Internet on the biggest screen in the house, Chromecast is like Dropbox for TV. Everywhere you go, you can have your stuff, on any screen, doesn’t matter if it’s “smart”, dumb, big, or small. And you can use your frigging phone or mouse instead of a remote. I think it’s one of the smartest moves the company has made in some time.

(Side note: You’re right, it’s not file storage, but the principle of having your own stuff everywhere is where the Dropbox analogy holds up.)

This makes it clear that Google isn’t as interested in devices as it is platforms that can serve every device. Which is smart, as it gets back to Google’s roots. Combine that with tools for programmers that will let anyone code practically any add-on, and Google’s suddenly one-upped every device maker out there who’s been feverishly soldering motherboards and ethernet ports into flatscreens.

More importantly, Chromecast shows us that in the future, screens will be screens, nothing more. A few years from now, I think the mighty display will be decoupled entirely from computer processing. As mobile devices get more powerful, we may all simply carry processors with us and “cast” onto screens when we want to work on a desktop or watch TV.

I’m not normally a Google fanboy, but I imagine a lot of device makers are panicking right now.And whereas the launch of a clever, first-to-market product doesn’t guarantee market success (Google certainly has lost other battles), Chromecast takes the smart TV battle to new turf.

So, why should a non-gadget-geek be excited about Chromecast?

If you have Internet, Chromecast just enabled you to cut your cable and throw away your Boxee or Apple TV and all the accompanying cords. You get Internet TV without buying a new TV.

I ditched cable long ago in favor of Netflix and Hulu on my Roku box. The problem is Roku doesn’t let me browse the web, doesn’t get Youtube and other channels, and like many of its counterparts, decides to reset itself every once in a while.

But like most people, I have a computer (a few of them, if you count my smartphone and tablet) and a strong Internet connection. There’s plenty of processing power in my living room to run Hulu. And now I can do so without buying and maintaining superfluous machines.

For the TV-addicted, I think Chromecast makes tons of sense when traveling. In the same way that many people carry a WiFi hotspot with them when on the go (I use Karma), I think we’ll start seeing people pack Chromecast with them and just pop the dongle in their hotel flatscreens (or crappy box sets if you stay at the kinds of places I stay at!), so they can watchtheir TV on any TV.

But the use case I’m most excited for? Work presentations.

You know how every time you go to a conference room and need to present something on a big screen, everyone ends up on hands and knees under the table fiddling with cords, while some guy runs to find an adapter, then you all stare at a blue screen while flipping through the AV1, AV2, AV3… channels in search of a signal? Yeah, you’re never going to have to do that again.

And for that, $35 is a steal.

Original Article Provided by Shane Snow on LinkedIn

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