Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.
Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. In the latest round of NSA news, The Washington Post reports the agency sometimes uses Internet cookies to find its targetsTwitter introduced some new features in its latest app update for iOS and Android, notably the ability to send and receive photos within DMs. And AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said it’s not financially viable for mobile carriers to continue subsidizing expensive smartphones. Read more...More about Twitter, Att, Mobile Apps, First To Know Series, and Tech
Television is changing, and so are the devices we watch it on
A new study from Ooyala, a digital video provider with customers like ESPN, FOX Sports and Comedy Central, found that mobile and tablet video consumption grew 133% year-over-year. Video that was streamed to tablets and mobile devices accounted for 15% of all streamed video in Q3, a new record, according to Ooyala's Global Video Index
The report takes into account more than 200 million unique monthly viewers from 130 different countries, says Simon Jones, Ooyala’s solutions director. In fact, Q3 isn't even a traditionally popular quarter for video streaming, he added, citing a lack on season television programming and summer vacations as reasons people consume less video Read more...More about Mobile, Television, Tablet, Video Streaming, and Ooyala
Apple is no longer the company of Steve Jobs, this we know. Apple innovation isn't dead but it has become more conservative, not to mention, the showmanship has pretty much evaporated. Apple’s hits are, with few exceptions, refreshes and significant updates to existing products. Only the Mac Pro stands out as an utterly new design, if not a fresh category in itself. Read more...More about Apple, Features, Business, Tech, and Predictions
The employees charged with keeping a watchful eye over a business's cybersecurity are the ones most likely to engage in risky activities, new research finds.
A study from McAfee revealed that IT employees, more than any other type of worker, use unapproved software and applications in the workplace. Specifically, 83% of IT employees, compared with 81% of other employees, admit to using technology solutions at work that have not been approved by the IT department or been obtained in adherence to IT policies.
Overall, 35% of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications used within companies are unapproved, the study foundMicrosoft Office 365, Zoho, LinkedIn and Facebook are the most used unapproved applications being accessed by employees. Read more...More about Business, Tech, Internet Security, Cybersecurity, and Employees
A new speaker aims to reintroduce vintage sound to the 21st century by combining old-school aesthetics with modern technology
Described as the "world's first Bluetooth gramophone," the Gramovox is modeled after a 1920s Magnavox R3 horn speaker, according to the device's Kickstarter page. Unlike standard speakers, users experience "an organically mid-range, vintage sound," which you can listen to, here.
"At the turn of the century, gramophones were promoted as the home entertainment center. Family and friends bonded over songs, speeches and radio dramas. The Gramovox Bluetooth gramophone maintains this spirit of communal bonding," its creators write on Kickstarter. Read more...More about Bluetooth, Kickstarter, Music, Tech, and Dev Design
Samsung smartphones play second fiddle to the iPhone in the U.S., but globally, the Korean company’s handsets are easily the most popular. One disgruntled customer, however, has posted a damaging online video that could put a dent in Samsung’s reputation
On Dec. 2, Canadian resident Richard Wygand posted a YouTube video in which he claimed that his Galaxy S4 was dangerously defective. “I just plugged it in to charge it,” Wygand says in the video. “Went to sleep, woke up to smoke and a little bit of burning.”
Wygand then shows off his S4's damaged power plug, which appears to be severely burned and warped (see the gallery, below). Read more...More about Mobile, Samsung, Tech, Gadgets, and Videos
Square Reader, the popular gadget that turns iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones into credit-card accepting devices, received a sleek reboot on Tuesday, with a slimmer form factor and no battery necessary.
Square first launched its reader in 2009, giving small businesses — from retail shops and contractors to a stand at a farmer's market — a way to easily complete transactions with customers. But this is the first major redesign of its hardware and software since the launch, incorporating more custom parts for better performance and making it look more elegantMobile, Business, Square, Small Business, and Startups
One day, your high-tech eyewear will talk to the refrigerator and let you know when you're out of milk. From there, you could send a tweet to your spouse — either via the specs or the fridge — and ask him to pick up a gallon on the way home. If he forgets to lock the car door after getting home, the TV will notify you
As more companies integrate smart, connected capabilities into household items, it's only a matter of time before the Internet is in everything. In fact, Gartner Research predicts "smart home" technology will add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020Samsung, Tech, Internet Of Things, Apps Software, and Mobile
Google's Chromecast is getting an influx of new content sources, including Songza, Vevo and Revision3.
The Chromecast, Google's $35 streaming dongle, already supports Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Pandora, in addition to Google Play and YouTube. On Tuesday, Google announced that it added a slew of new apps, as well as support for personal media clouds from Plex and RealPlayer Cloud.
The two biggest content additions come from Vevo and Songza. Vevo is one of the biggest sources for music videos on the web. While Chromecast has already supported YouTube content, which often overlays with Vevo, the two sources are distinctly different. Read more...More about Music, Revision3, Songza, Vevo, and Streaming Music Services
Tech habits can be particularly tough to break, especially when you interact with multiple digital interfaces everyday. But just because your bad habits are ingrained into your daily device routine, that doesn't mean they're excusable.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to make a change for the better in your digital day-to-day. The most important — and, perhaps, daunting — question is where to start.
See also: 7 Ways You're Killing Your Tech
While it may not cover every tech vice currently in practice, this roundup discusses some of the most prominent and easiest to remedy. Whether you're nipping a bad habit in the bud concerning your smartphone, tablet or laptop, here are seven tech habits it's time to break in 2014 Read more...More about Holidays, Features, Tech, Gadgets, and Mobile
Google celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, but showed none of the creeping complacency that have derailed other dominant tech companies. For the search giant, 2013 was simply another year during which it solidified its place in the center of just about every area of the Internet economy
Of the four horsemen of the Internet age along with Apple, Facebook and Amazon (Samsung is angling to be No. 5), Google is the only one to compete in all areas including hardware, social networking, retail, TV and, of course, search. Though it performs better in some areas versus others (ahem, Google Plus), you can't completely count Google out in any of them. Despite this seeming lack of focus, Google has managed to make huge gains this ear Read more...More about Google, Android, Features, Waze, and Business
Cybersecurity competitions are no longer limited to just high school and college students.
Hundreds of experienced cybersecurity professionals will gather in Washington Dec. 15-16 for the SANS Institute’s second annual NetWars Tournament of Champions, which will pit the best and brightest security professionals against each other to determine who has the greatest skills in tackling real world information security challenges. The tournament will coincide with the SANS Cyber Defense Initiative.
“A lot of organizations, especially government agencies, are saying they no longer need any more policy people, favoring instead hands-on technical skills,” Ed Skoudis, director of NetWars, told Wired Workplace. “Declining budgets are putting a strain on training, so we provide a different mode of learning by doing as opposed to getting lectured.” Read more...More about Internet, Internet Security, Cybersecurity, Tech, and Apps Software
A 38-year-old man was sentenced to two years probation and a hefty fine for participating in a distributed denial-of-service attack organized by hacker collective Anonymous against the webpage of Koch Industries in 2011.
The surprising part? He only joined the attack for one minute.
Eric J. Rosol, a Wisconsin resident, was charged with being part of Anonymous’ attack on the Kansas-based company, Kochind.com, on Feb. 28, 2011, using a popular DDoS tool, which was found on his computer
Rosol, however, says he was part of the attack for one minute. He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer, and was sentenced to two years of federal probation and ordered to pay $183,000, the Department of Justice said in a statement acquired by IT World. The monetary amount is equal to what Koch paid for a consulting group to come in post-attack and fix their website. The attack itself only took Koch’s website down for about 15 minutes. Read more...More about Hacking, Anonymous, Crime, Hacker, and Cyber Attack
What a difference a few years make. Two years ago, T-Mobile was cast adrift in the wake of its botched merger with AT&T. At the time, the wireless carrier didn't appear to have any kind of plan B when the deal fell through, which executives confirmed.
Things didn't look good for T-Mobile in 2011: The company had a reputation for being a value-driven carrier fueled by the easy — but fleeting — money of prepaid customers, but it was hemorrhaging subscribers. Its contracts were relatively cheap, but T-Mobile's network didn't match the reliability of its competitors' offerings (it didn't even have LTE). It also wasn't able to sell the most popular smartphone on the planet: the iPhone. Read more...More about T Mobile, Lte, Marketing, Tech, and Mobile
A request made by AT&T’s shareholders for increased transparency has been rejected by the company. Specifically, citing privacy concerns, the company denied requests for transparency reports, similar to those published regularly by Twitter and Google, and it said the issue should not be addressed at AT&T’s annual shareholder meeting next spring.
Exactly how often the company shares customer information with the government isn’t anyone’s business, according to AT&T. That is an internal matter related to everyday business procedure, the company said — not the concern of shareholders or customers Read more...More about Att, Us Government, Transparency, Mobile, and Us World
First it was porn; now, it's your video games
The National Security Agency has been monitoring online games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and video games on Xbox Live, sometimes even using undercover agents disguised as trolls or orcs.
Since at least 2007, the NSA and its sister British spy agency the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) have worried that terrorists might use online video games to secretly plan attacks, drive fundraising efforts or simply communicate on unmonitored channels, according to the leaked documents (.PDF) Read more...More about Second Life, World Of Warcraft, Xbox Live, Video Games, and Surveillance
Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.
Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. Some of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Microsoft, Google and Apple, are joining forces to limit government surveillance. A new report shows the technology that police use to tap into mobile phones. A device called a Stingray can act as a cellphone tower and determine the location of a mobile phone. And if you’re not crazy about iOS 7, we have the new Tumblr for you.
Check out the video above for more on these stories. Read more...More about Google, Microsoft, Apple, Ios, and First To Know Series
China Mobile, the world's largest wireless service provider, will begin offering the iPhone this week, according to a report.
The telecom, which claims some 740 million subscribers, advertised the iPhone on its website, according to The Wall Street Journal on Monday. However, as of 9 a.m. ET on Monday, any reference to the device on the site had disappeared. A customer service representative for the carrier confirmed to Journal that China Mobile will begin offering the iPhone on Thursday. A spokesman declined comment.
See also: Top 25 Free iPhone Apps of All Time
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that China Mobile signed a deal with Apple to offer the iPhone. A rep for the telecom disputed the report, stating the talks with Apple were "ongoing." Read more...More about Iphone, Apple, China Mobile, Business, and Mobile
The articles you read in the future could be published through voice command or even a pair of eyes.
Google Glass users will now have access to a plugin app that works with the WordPress publishing platform, giving media organizations and bloggers a way to post and update stories, photos and videos directly through the high-tech eyewear.
See also: 14 Google Tools You Didn't Know Existed
The wpForGlass plugin — developed by public relations agency Weber Shandwick and not officially launched from WordPress itself — isn't at a stage where large publishers would be able to publish full-length articles via Google Glass just yet. For now, it's most optimized for reporters or individuals covering, for example, a live Apple event where they could quickly post new product pictures or a video to a live blog or webpage. According to the company, it takes less than a minute for the post to show up online. Read more...More about Wordpress, Tech, Wearable Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile
Did Microsoft have a good year or a bad year? For a company with products as sprawling as the creator of Windows, Office and the Xbox, it can be hard to tell. Microsoft grabbed plenty of headlines in 2013, but for many different reasons. To figure out whether or not the company is on the right track, it helps to look at its recent past.
With the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, 2012 was a huge year for Microsoft. But it was also a rebuilding year, when it completely revamped its software platforms as well as its fundamental purpose, to transition from a software company to a "devices and services" company, as then-CEO Steve Ballmer described itMicrosoft made some big plays, but they were long plays, and it would take time to see whether they would pan out. Read more...More about Microsoft, Nokia, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Office, and Windows 8