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Mobile Technology News, April 13, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • How to become a Twitter superstar
    Tips and tricks to get followed on Twitter
  • VIDEO: A look inside a 'Cybersquat'
    BBC Click’s Jen Copestake spent a week in one of the most renowned squats in Barcelona, following the developers of Bitcoin tools and other open source software.
  • Instagram Down: Users Unable To Share Saturday Brunch Photos [UPDATE]
    UPDATE: 2:05 p.m. — Instagram is back up.

    PREVIOUSLY: We could be heading for a selfie-less Saturday.

    Instagram, the popular social media photo sharing app, is down. Both the mobile and desktop versions are unresponsive and the website Isitdownrightnow.com listed the site’s status as “DOWN for everyone” as of 1:30 p.m. EDT. Instagram confirmed the outage via its Twitter account:

    We’re working to fix a feed delivery issue. Thank you for your patience.

    — Instagram (@instagram) April 12, 2014

    A representative from Instagram said in an email to The Huffington Post that the company was “working quickly to resolve [the issue].”

    Here’s how Instagram’s desktop site looked at time of publication:

    instagram down

    As The Epoch Times pointed out, many took to Twitter to express their frustration at the outage, particularly the inability to share photos of their food:

    Instagram’s not working and my food is getting cold

    — HollyCarpenter (@Holly0910) April 12, 2014

    In a fancy restaurant
    “Dear, you haven’t touch your food for hour.”
    “I know. Instagram is down..”

    — Pinot (@pinot) April 12, 2014

    instagram not working here.. how about there?

    — Taylor Swift (@tayswxfties) April 12, 2014

    The outage follows another glitch from earlier in the month when old photos began showing up in Instagram users feeds. Instagram also went down in March, which some blamed on a photo uploaded by Justin Bieber. Instagram denied that the photo, one of Selena Gomez at the Oscars, was the reason the site went down, TechCrunch reports.

  • Floating Farm City Harvests Icebergs For Hydroponics
    Global warming could eventually help Greenland live up to its name, but the icy island won’t transform into a lush, arable paradise overnight.
  • It's No Wonder Brendan Eich Resigned as CEO of Mozilla

    Brendan Eich’s recent resignation as CEO of Mozilla may come as a shock to some. The backlash against Eich’s appointment, despite the strength of his qualifications as a Mozilla founder and the creator of a prominent programming language, shows how dramatically expectations of corporations have evolved. Companies with a product or message for young people should pay attention.

    The relationship used to be simple: a company would supply the product, and a consumer would buy it. Branding magnified the appeal of pure product functionality, and the consumer walked away content that they had purchased something useful.

    Driven largely by millennials, this simple dynamic looks increasingly at odds with the direction that consumer culture is taking. Instead, young people (and older people influenced by them) situate consumptive behavior as part of a broader story. Millennials are no longer content to simply buy something useful. They want to know that the company they are supporting lives their values.

    Inevitably, this pushes major corporations into uncomfortable territory. Until recently, companies have rarely needed to engage in social debates. The very concept of taking a proactive stand on a potentially divisive issue seems deeply foreign to organizations that are trying to grow their consumer base, not alienate part of it.

    But the brave new world of socially engaged, hyper-connected young people fatally undermines this logic. We saw the impact of corporate social ambivalence in the criticism against some of the Sochi Olympics sponsors, and Eich’s rapid resignation clarifies it further. Taking proactive stances on important social issues is a major step in overcoming the trust barrier that many millennials have with respect to large corporations, and helps those corporates show up differently.

    To compete for millennial dollars, companies need to be sharply attuned to the values and culture of this generation. It is global, inclusive and especially when it comes to marriage deeply attracted to equality. This is particularly true in the tech space, which is famously progressive and has been directly shaped by millennials more than any other industry. Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech giants have publicly embraced marriage equality.

    Tech is not alone here. Major consumer brands like Starbucks, as well as financial services organizations such as Citi and Goldman Sachs, have all signed on as supporters of marriage equality. However, this is not to recommend commenting on social issues without a careful analysis. Cheerios and Honey Maid both faced some initial backlash for depicting bi-racial and same-sex families in recent ads, but both brands were rewarded with widespread support when they doubled down and continued their campaigns.

    The gap in trust between corporations and government, which Edelman data suggests is historically wide, presents a clear space for major brands to lead on social issues. Companies acting purposefully and honestly for social good should no longer be niche players. It is time for purpose-driven brands to take center stage, and for purpose to have a seat at the strategic table.

  • 6 Ways College Grads Can Protect Their Online Reputations

    Here’s what you, the new college grad, can do to clean up and protect your reputation in the online world.

    These days, it’s crucial for college grads seeking jobs to have an online reputation that’s as clean as a whistle. I’m an online-security and ID theft expert, so trust me when I say that yes, employers DO take into account what you did at that party during your sophomore year.

    How College Grads Can Clean up Their Online Reputation

    A prospective employer will likely Google your name, then read the sites it’s on. And don’t assume that you’re protected by a “Joe Smith” kind of name. An astute employer will find the right Joe Smith.

    One of the first things a new college grad should do, to prepare for a job interview, is to prepare for what the person hiring is likely to do (either before or after the interview): look you up online.

    Find out what people are saying about you in cyberspace. Use a tool like Google Alerts, Tops, Social Mention and Sysmosys, among others. Monitor these on a daily basis.

    If your own search turns up nothing bad about you on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other biggies, this doesn’t mean nothing bad exists. Go deeper into the search results. Type in your middle name or just initial, or some associative fact like hometown name, to see if that alters results.

    Cleaning up your online reputation, then, begins with seeing if it needs to be cleaned up in the first place. This is more important for a college grad than, say, getting that perfect manicure for job interviews or that perfect hair tinting job.

    The prospective employer these days may be more interested in what your name pulls up in search engines than how perfectly coordinated your shoes are with your power suit.

    Being digitally proactive keeps your online presence clean.

    1. Digital security is a must. We’ve all read about politicians, celebrities, news organizations and major corporations who’ve been hacked and negative stuff was posted from their accounts. Even when you regain control of your hacked account those unwanted posts can leave searchable breadcrumbs.  Make sure your devices are protected with antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and a firewall. Secure free Wifi connections with Hotspot Shield VPN.
    2. New college grads should invest time picking apart their Facebook page and any other kind of social media where they have the ability to change what’s on it. Delete anything relating to drinking, sex, drugs, being tired all the time, political and religious views, use of offensive words, anything that fails to benefit your reputation online.
    3. Even a comment like “Old people are bad drivers” can kill your chances of landing a job. Think before you post.
    4. Unfortunately, if someone has posted something negative about you on their blog, there’s nothing you can do unless you want to pay something like $2,000 to hire a company to knock negative Google results deep into the search pages (a prospective employer probably will not go past a few pages deep once they locate information about you). But paying someone is a viable option you should consider.
    5. A college grad can protect their online reputation by never using their name when signing up for a forum board where they may make posts that, to a prospective employer, make the job seeker look bad. If you want to post on the comments page for Fox Sports, for instance, don’t use your real name.
    6. Don’t even use your real name for signing onto support sites for medical conditions, for that matter. You just never know what may rub a prospective employer the wrong way.

    The college grad’s reputation needs to appear as perfect and “pure” as possible in the online world.

    Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to Hotspot Shield VPN. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. Disclosures.

  • Tweet Yourself To A Younger You
    We have all heard the saying “60 is the new 40.” For us baby boomers, aging is truly a different experience than it was for our parents and grandparents. Gone are the “grandmas” of yesterday in their dusters, always baking and identified for the most part through their husbands. Gone too are the grandpas in their recliners who only get up for the next meal or to go fishing.

    We are more fit, more fun and more happening than previous generations. We wear similar clothing, like the same music and enjoy the same movies, books and television shows.

    Plastic surgery, Botox, fillers and peels can keep us looking younger (if you go to someone good and in moderation) — or if taken too far — like old women, unwrinkled and fish-lipped who can’t move their faces.

    But the secret to staying young? Keeping up in our technological world. Want to instantly age yourself? Be the person who “doesn’t get Twitter,” can’t figure out Facebook and won’t even consider texting or Instagram. Be the one who never uses a computer — better yet call it a “machine” and “don’t do email.” Yep. Be that person. And you are old.

    Just this week I tweeted my 7,000th tweet. I have almost 2,600 followers and yes, I love Twitter (Full disclosure — I am a journalist and began my Twitter career in the Blagojevich courtroom live-tweeting both trials.)

    Twitter is not frivolous. In fact, it is used by businesses, hospitals, media, universities and government agencies.

    I have reconnected with friends and found many sources for my news reporting with Twitter and Facebook.

    In the earliest days of Twitter, major stories broke on Twitter, not on CNN. When a Continental Airlines crashed in Denver in 2008, Twitter broke the story. It was first to report the earthquake in China in 2008 and terrorism in Mumbai. The Iranian election in 2009 was a Twitter event with reportedly 2,500 updates per minute. And we learned on Twitter that Bin Laden was dead — in fact Keith Urbahn, the former chief of staff for Donald Rumsfeld tweeted, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.” That was supposedly Twitter’s biggest scoop.

    And the scoops continue today. You can turn on cable news and watch an endless loop of theories about the Malaysian air crash (or what I sometimes call “beating a dead horse”). Or go to your Twitter feed and a world of information is at your fingertips. Assuming you follow reputable people who are tweeting accurate news, you can learn more in just a few minutes about the stories of the day than from cable news.

    This morning’s Twitter feed: I learned that the Supreme Court struck down limits on Federal campaign contributions, that hospitals in the UK are on alert for the Ebola virus, that March was the first month without a U.S. combat death in more than a decade, that Brad Pitt’s production company lands rights to the Steubenville story and that juicing may not be so good for us.

    Twitter can be used to find a job, research an illness, check out a movie review or a hurricane. It will allow you to see what the world is talking about. Skeptical? Turn into Twitter next time there is a big event: A Presidential election, the Academy Awards, Super Bowl or State of the Union. The feed is fast and furious.

    So baby boomers. Want to stay young and current? Get yourself a Twitter handle. (Mine is @Msjournalist)

    Pick a photo. Write a description — here’s mine:

    2014-04-02-efde9324ba97253032028eb5b32d93fc_bigger.jpg

    Susan Berger
    @Msjournalist
    Freelance journalist- contributor to Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Washington Post, CBC. Breast cancer survivor -author Blagojevich blog http://www.blagojustice.com
    Chicago •www.bergerreport.com

    Here is Hillary Clinton’s ( love her description):

    2014-04-02-3kgV0RJE_bigger.jpg

    Hillary ClintonVerified account
    @HillaryClinton
    Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…
    New York • clintonfoundation.org

    Use a hash tag (# sign) to search for what interests you. Start tweeting. I promise you won’t regret it.

    Earlier on Huff/Post50:

  • These Social Media Nuns Are Winning The Internet
    Sr. Cristina Scuccia took the Internet by storm last month with her awesome singing skills on Italy’s “The Voice.” But she’s not the only nun using modern, and even mundane means of communication to evangelize.

    On Thursday, the Atlantic profiled Sr. Helena Burns, “The Nun Who Got Addicted to Twitter.” Burns calls herself a “media nun,” which she defines as “A woman religious with a calling to communicate the word of Christ, in any way she can.” She has 14,000 followers on Twitter.

    helen
    Sister Helena Burns

    Burns’ superior, Sr. Irene, has an even more creative way of reaching out to people through the Internet — she’s a gamer nun. Burns said, “She gets her own little ministry out there. Once people get to know she’s a nun, they have questions, or they ask for prayers. But you do have to clean up your language when Sister Irene’s out there.”

    Imagine Sisters is a web movement raising awareness about nuns and the important work they do in a thoroughly 21st-century fashion. Their Facebook page is full of nun memes and explains “Imagine Sisters is a web movement that aims to inspire the imaginations of young women to consider the beautiful call to consecrated life as a sister. With the guiding truth that one sister can change the world, Imagine Sisters strives to connect the world with sisters passionately embracing their call to serve the Lord. “

    Mary Beth Baker, an aspiring nun, turned to social media last week in order to pay off her student loans. The 28-year-old was $25,000 in debt, which prevented her from entering the convent, so she set up a crowdfunding page to get donations from the Internet. Today she tweeted:

    The Pope’s killing it on social media too. Last year he was named the most influential world leader on Twitter, and he recently started using Instagram.

  • Heartbleed: Free Tool to Check if That Site Is Safe

    I’m sure you’ve heard the news about Heartbleed by now (unless you’re in vacation wonderland and have taken a tech break). This is a serious vulnerability in the core of the Internet and is something we all should be concerned about.

    Heartbleed is a kink in encryption software, discovered by security researchers. It is a vulnerability in OpenSSL and could affect nearly two-thirds of websites online. If exploited, it can leak out your passwords and login names, thus putting your personal information at risk.

    That’s why McAfee, part of Intel Security, is responding to the dangerous Heartbleed vulnerability by releasing a free tool to help consumers determine if a website they visit is safe or not. You can access the tool, here: http://tif.mcafee.com/heartbleedtest

    McAfee’s Heartbleed Checker tool works by entering any website name to find out if the website is currently vulnerable to Heartbleed.

    Steps to protect yourself:

    • Go to McAfee’s Heartbleed Checker tool http://tif.mcafee.com/heartbleedtest and enter any website URL to check if it’s vulnerable.
    • If the site is deemed safe your next step would be to change your password for that site. Remember, changing your password before a site is patched will not protect you and your information.
    • If the site is vulnerable, then your best bet is to monitor the activity on that account frequently looking for unauthorized activity. 

    Once a site has been patched so it’s no longer vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, you should change your password. Here’s some tips to remember:

    • Use strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols and are longer than 8 characters in length – heck the longer the better. Below is a good animation on how to create a strong password.
    • Use a password manager, like McAfee SafeKey which is included with McAfee LiveSafe™ service that will help you create strong password and remember them for you.
    • Use two-factor authentication for increased security. You get a one-time code every time someone tries to log into the account, such as those for banks, social networks and email.

    Heartbleed aside, passwords are more vulnerable than ever, and just in general, should be changed every 90 days for important accounts. And remember, if your information was exposed, this is a good time to watch out for phishing scams.

    A phishing scam is a ploy that tricks you into entering sensitive data, like usernames, passwords and bank account information, by emulating a familiar website.  And if your information is compromised, even if it’s just your email address, scammers could use this to try and get your other sensitive information.

    Remember, in this day and age, we all need to be vigilant about protecting ourselves online.

    Stay safe!

    Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247

  • AUDIO: Why are tech stocks sliding?
    Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital and Alpesh Patel from Praefinium Partners analyse why there is a downturn in tech stocks.
  • Apple vs. Samsung, Day Five: Now it's Samsung's turn
    At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from “microeconomist” and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense — by borrowing a Google software executive.



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