Advanced Social Media: 15 Tools to Track and Measure Your Strategy

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

So you’ve got your social media marketing strategy setup across the major platforms, but how do you take that to the next step and measure your activity and the success of your efforts?

Knowing what works and what doesn’t is an essential part of any successful social strategy. It will help you to spend more time doing things that generate results, and less time doing things that don’t. But just how do you figure that out?

Take a look at the infographic below from Tempo Creative which gives you 15 great tools that will help you monitor, track and measure your social activity.

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Google Plus Basics: 14 Tips to Massively Grow Your Following

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Are you struggling to get to grips with Google Plus? Need some guidance on how to expand your Google Plus following?

With over 500 million active users per month Google Plus is a social platform that can no longer be ignored as a marketing tool. Growing your community can enable you to increase brand recognition and expand your business so it should become an integral part of your social media strategy.

For some tips on how to make the most of Google Plus take a look at this infographic from Everypost.

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Google Plus Basics: Why and How You Should be Using It

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Are you considering using Google Plus to market your business? Not sure how to use it or if it will be worthwhile?

Take a look at this infographic from Just SEO which highlights the benefits of using Google Plus to market your business and the different features available to you.

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10 Writing Tips to Keep Your Website Visitors on Your Site Longer than 20 Seconds

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Is your website suffering from a high bounce rate? Are you looking for ways to keep your visitors on your site longer than 20 seconds?

Take a look at this infographic from Kyle J. Bullock which gives you 10 writing tips which will help you to create written content that keeps your visitors interested for longer.

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5 Essential Ingredients of a Successful Small Business Marketing Story

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

If you want to adopt the art of storytelling as part of your marketing strategy there are some essential items you’ll need to consider to guide your customers through the process.

The guys over at Copyblogger have put together the infographic below which shows you these 5 items which will grab your customers attention, keep them interested in what you are saying and more importantly, deliver results.

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27 Tips to Master the Big 5 Social Networks and Market Your Business Like a Pro

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Are you new to social media marketing? Or have you been trying for a while but haven’t achieved the success you’d hoped for?

Take a look at this infographic from Orega – It offers 27 tips on how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus more effectively.

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The 10 Most Ridiculous WordPress Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform with over 60 million users. Despite its popularity and common usage many blog owners are making silly, avoidable mistakes.

The infographic below from InnoThemes lists their 10 most ridiculous WordPress mistakes, how many of those are you making?

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How Colour Can Impact the Kind of Customers Your Business Attracts

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Did you know that 90% of snap judgements about products can be made based on colour alone?

With colour affecting how we feel about something so much the colours you choose for your brand identity should be something you pay particular attention to.

The guys over at HostPapa have put together their take on colours and how they affect our mind-set.

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6 Laws Your Business Must Follow to Succeed on Social Media

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Is your business looking for social media success? Perhaps you want to generate new prospects, improve your SEO or you simply want to provide a platform for your customers to engage with you?

Whatever your goals, in order to succeed on social media there are a number of rules you need to follow in order to succeed and the guys at Business.com have put theirs together in the infographic below.

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The Quickest Ways to Get Your First 100 Twitter Followers

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Like anything new when you are just starting out on Twitter it can be a daunting time. You’ll no doubt be asking yourself what you should be tweeting about, who you should follow and perhaps how the hell are you going to fit this into your already busy day?

But the one thing that most people concern themselves with is how do you get more followers? The guys at QuickSprout have put together this infographic which shows you the quickest ways to get to your first 100 followers and beyond.

To reach 100,000 followers take a look at this post.

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142 Clever Pinterest Board Ideas Your Followers Will Feel Compelled to Share

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Do you have a Pinterest account for your business? Do you need some ideas for content to share to drive engagement with your followers?

The guys over at Launch Grow Joy have put together this infographic which contains a comprehensive list of 142 Pinterest board ideas. There’s plenty there to keep you going for a while!

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9 Social Media Tasks Every Business Owner Must Complete Every Month

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Social media networks are fast moving environments, what is current today may not be tomorrow. By not updating your accounts your business could be left behind or even worse, you could leave yourself open to attack.

To keep your social media accounts fresh and safe make sure you complete these 9 tasks every month. Thanks to Everypost for the infographic.

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The Top 5 Social Media Platforms You Should be Using to Market Your Business

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

When used correctly social media can be a great tool for building your business. When we first started out Twitter was our sole source of customers and to this day it still generates approx 20% of our business.

There’s more to life than just Twitter though as shown in the infographic below from the Gold Coast Design Studio which gives you the top 5 social media platforms you should be using to market your business.

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The Basics of SEO: What Google Looks at When Ranking Your Website

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

One question we get asked a lot here at RWD is “How do I get my website higher up on Google?”

There isn’t a quick and easy answer as Google looks at hundreds of things but we though this infographic from Linchpin SEO summed it up well splitting a bunch of important factors into 4 key groups.

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10 Essential Tools to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Social Media Strategy

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

How is your social media marketing strategy working? Do you know how to measure and monitor your performance?

Without measuring your social metrics you could be wasting time doing things that don’t work and could be missing opportunities by not doing the things that do work enough.

Take a look at this infographic from Infographic World which gives you 10 tools you can use to measure the effectiveness of your strategy.

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What Social Media Platforms are Best Suited to Your Business?

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

So you’ve heard social media is the place to be and joined every single platform going, but now you don’t have the time to manage them all effectively?

We here this quite often here at RWD, there are loads of networks to choose from but they will only work for you if you dedicate sufficient time and effort to them. Rather than joining them all choose those that are a best fit to your business and concentrate solely on them.

If you need help deciding which platforms are right for you take a look at this infographic from QuickSprout which tells you who should be using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube and Pinterest.

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6 Things You Absolutely Shouldn’t Do When Marketing Your Services via Social Media

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Promoting your services on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook can be tricky. People don’t like the hard sell so if you push too hard you could lose followers quicker than you can gain them.

To make best use of social media and to stop people unfollowing you take a look at this infographic from Salesforce which gives you 6 things to avoid and 5 things to do instead.

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3 Types of Content You MUST Create in Order to Prosper Online

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Sally's Special Services:

I love it! It is true. I recommend to all my clients to use either pictures or videos along with interesting content, but not too long. I know that I don’t read through really….long blog posts…or boring ones…or without an interesting home page for your website or blog. You actually have only a few seconds to grab people’s attention before they move on to something else.

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

In case you’re new to internet marketing, or you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when devising your marketing strategy – Google loves new, original and engaging content!

If creating content isn’t part of your internet marketing strategy yet take a look at this infographic from QuickSprout which gives you the 3 types of content you should be creating in order to build your online presence.

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Domain Registration and Mapping

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

It’s here: you can now use your own custom domain with your WordPress.com blog. For example, if your blog was currently at example.wordpress.com you could buy example.com from us and we would automatically move your blog over and redirect all your links and readers to the new domain.

How does this work? Well to get started go to Options > Domains. You can enter the domain you want in the box at the top.

Enter the domain you want.

If the domain isn’t registered, it will ask you for some information and then register it for you, and add domain mapping, for $15/yr.

If you already own a domain you registered somewhere else, you can map it for $10/yr. The next screen will tell you how to change the DNS nameservers on your domain to point to WordPress, and once you do that your domain should be live within a few hours.

That’s it!

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40 Fascinating Words that Generate More Shares on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus

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Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Are you trying to get your content shared using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook? Want to know how to maximise the effect of each tweet and post?

Take a look at this infographic from Womanhood which gives you the 40 words that generate the most social shares. There’s also a bonus social media image size guide and optimum posting times for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest.

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How to Create the Perfect Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus Profile

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Are you just getting started with social media marketing? Or perhaps you want to create a profile on a social network you haven’t used before?

This handy infographic guide from Gryffin Media is just for you! It gives you the correct image sizes to use for each network and bonus tips on how to create a profile your followers won’t be able to get enough of.

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8 Steps to Dominating the Local Google Search Results for Your Keywords

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Do you provide a service that your customers search for locally?

Services like web design don’t require a business to be located within a few miles of a customer, but if you’re a builder or plumber the closer you are to your customers the better.

To improve your ranking when customers search for your services locally follow the 8 steps detailed in this infographic from Jeyjoo.

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5 Reasons Your Awesome Content Isn’t Going Viral

Originally posted on Red Website Design Blog:

Going viral is a dream for most marketers and small business owners. Imagine having something you created being seen by millions of people. Imagine the web traffic, links and potential new business that could bring.

The chances are you haven’t achieved such greatness yet so you might want to take a look at the infographic below from Who Is Hosting This which gives you 5 reasons why your content isn’t going viral.

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How to Start to Write an eBook and Actually Finish it in 30 Days

By: Jurij Burchenya 

http://blog.sellfy.com/tips-tricks/how-to-write-an-ebook/

In: Tips & tricks:

There are WAY too many authors today who believe that writing what they think their audience cares about is enough.

If only it were that easy…

If you’re serious about attracting an audience of a substantial size and actually selling your eBook, you need to be very careful about what and how you create.

Otherwise you risk using the cooked spaghetti method: throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall and praying that it sticks.

Well, today I’m going to show you a technique that almost guarantees that you will know how to write an eBook in 30 days that will sell.

Keep reading to learn how..

how-to-write-an-ebook-30-days-calendar

 

How to write an eBook?

Days 1-2: Pick Your Topic

You probably have some sort of idea in your mind already. Something you thought about last winter and now keep returning to every now and then.

Pick up a piece of paper or a Post-it note. If you always wanted to write something very important on a paper napkin, here’s your chance. Take a pen and write down a one-sentence summary of your idea.

Now put it in your desk and leave it there for the next 30 days.

I’m dead serious.

Chances are, you would enjoy writing about this idea, but do you know for sure that it’s something that your audience will buy? Because if it’s not, you just wasted your time writing something no one needs. And that is not the risk you should be willing to take.

What you need is a great eBook idea.

A great eBook idea should be specific.

“Don’t try to write a definite guide to your topic, as it’s overwhelming for your readers,” warns Ali Luke on Copyblogger. “And it doesn’t leave much room for your next eBook.”

It should also be useful. You’re reading industry blogs and following relevant discussion on forums. What problems come up again and again?

Ask your audience what they want and give them something to choose from. Set up a simplesurvey and tweet it to your followers or post it on your Facebook page.

Days 3-4: Create an Outline

Before you start writing, you need to get organized.

“You need to put all those wonderful ideas down on paper in a form you can use,” writes Andy Ingermanson on Advanced Fiction Writing. “Why? Because your memory is fallible, and your creativity has probably left a lot of holes in your story — holes you need to fill in before you start writing.”

There is no one foolproof approach to creating an outline. The best is the one that works for you, so choose wisely.

#1: Draw a mindmap.

You can use a tool like bubbl.us to do it without ever leaving your favorite browser. Put a topic you’re writing about in the center and start adding ideas as they occur to you. Use lines to connect different ideas or create a logical sequence. Put everything down, no matter how big or small it is. You’ll revise the whole thing later.

#2: Work backwards.

Start at the end. What do you want your reader to achieve once they’ve finished reading your eBook? Then take a step back – how will they get there and what do they need to learnbefore that can happen? How about before that?

#3: Write a list.

Make a bullet-point list in Evernote ( Word will do too ) for everything you can think of thatneeds to be in the book.

“Don’t worry about organizing it at this point, just brainstorm,” suggests author Lisa Nowak. “Take walks. Talk to other people. Do whatever is necessary to generate ideas.”

Once you’ve got the big pieces in place, write 3-5 key points for each chapter/section.

#4: Examine other eBooks.

And books. White papers or reports. Anything really. What topics appear in most of the outlines? Is there anything you should add to yours?

Days 5-25: Start writing (!)

Not suprisingly, the majority of your time should be spent on the actual writing.

Let’s assume that you’re aiming for approx. 70 pages, with a couple of images here and there. That breaks down to writing 750 words a day.

And it’s a good number too.

“250 words per page is considered to be the standard accepted number of words per page. So, three standard pages are about 750 words,” points out Buster Benson on 750words.com “It really just comes down to the fact that this amount of writing feels about right.”

It’s still a sizeable commitment.

But one month later you’re going to get your very own eBook.

Here’s a couple of tips on how to keep writing those 750 words a day every day for the next 21 days.

Write out your likely barriers.

Author and blogger Roby Blair would likely agree. His blog post, “Write Every Day in 2014: 14 Steps for Forming A Writing Habit” encourages you to ask yourself:

“Where are you going to mess up? Come on, you’ve been living with yourself for the last few decades. You’ve got a pretty good sense of what’s likely to keep you from succeeding.”

“Rather than pretending you can just “do better this time” or “will through it,” acknowledge and accept these barriers. Are you likely to sleep in? Feel burnt out and unable to write? Will your kids distract you? Write out the most honest possible descriptions of your likely obstacles,” he writes.

Figure out the right time of the day to work on your eBook.

If you’re at your best in the morning, write in the morning. If you’re focused at 10 pm, when there are less distractions, do your writing then.

Turn off distractions when you’re writing.

Turn off the Internet. Seriously. Do your research first and then leave everything else till the very end. If you do your research as you go, you’ll end up constantly switching back and forth.

Got other programs running in the background? Shut them down.

Turn off your cell phone and notifications. You don’t need to be talking to anybody while you’re writing.

Clear your desk. No papers, devices, chargers, nothing. Remove the visual clutter from your workspace completely, so that it’s not even a subconscious distraction.

Make writing your priority if it’s important to you.

Try using a distraction-free writing program like WriteRoom, Ommwriter or jDarkRoom.

Take breaks.

Set a timer for 25 minutes, then write until the time is up. Take a 5-minute break and then start again. You can learn more about this approach here. If you don’t have a timer, you can use one of the pomodoro apps. Just google it.

Don’t stop writing.

Sometimes you need to google something, look up a link or find a picture. Highlight the area that needs your attention with yellow marker or just include something like <!!!> in the text of your document, so that you know later that this needs your attention.

Don’t edit while you write.

Even if it’s the very first paragraph that you can’t get quite right. Leave it and move on. You will write faster if you separate writing and editing stages.

Another neat trick you can try is to:

“Copy your LAST sentence at the end of every writing day into an entirely new document. Then spend a minute writing out some directions for yourself about what you want to accomplish the next day,” says Daphne Gray-Grant on Publication Coach. “The next day, work only from this fresh document. This way you can’t be lured into editing your work before you finish writing it.”

Keep writing every day.

Try to create a habit of writing every day. While certainly hard at first, it will yield high rewardsafter.

Kevin Purdy on Lifehacker suggests that you…

“Stop writing mid-sentence to ward off writer’s block.”

The same approach can be used to continue writing every morning or night for the next 21 days.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. This is what one of the most successful comedians of all‐time, Jerry Seinfeld, did to write his jokes every day for years.

It’s quite simple really.

Every day that you complete your writing task, you get to put a big red X over that day on your calendar.

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”

This certainly has worked very well for me, so it should work for you too.

Days 26-28: Edit your eBook

Ideally, you would want to take a little break before putting on the editor’s hat. But since you’re on a deadline here, you’ll have to dive right into it.

For some people, this is the hardest part of writing. After starting to write, of course. But you’ve already gotten through that stage. In fact, you’re at the finish line.

So instead of waiting, print the whole thing out and look at your eBook like you didn’t spend the last 21 days writing it.

You can always just transfer it to your iPad or Kindle if you don’t feel like using that much ink and paper.

Now read it and pay special attention to things like:

  • Information that you’ve covered in more than on place;
  • Material that you wanted to include, but didn’t;
  • Chapters or sections that would read better if presented in a different order.

Don’t spend too much time trying to perfect every word; there will be time for that later on.

Obviously, fix the typos and mistakes that you spot, but avoid getting overwhelmed with it.

Spend these three days focusing on cutting out unnecessary bits, re-ordering sections or paragraphs and adding any quotes and stats you didn’t have time to look up earlier.

Then read the whole thing out loud. Yes, really. It may help you spot the issues you would otherwise miss.

Looking at your eBook at this point, you’re probably feeling proud of yourself. You should be. You have almost finished writing your eBook.

But there are still two days left. This means, you still have to…

Days 29-30: Proofread and make final changes

Your work in these two final days is what differentiates your eBook from the pack of unprofessional ones that appear in the interwebs every day.

So get your eagle eye on.

“Read your work backwards, starting with the last sentence and working your way in reverse order to the beginning. Supposedly this works better than reading through from the beginning because your brain knows what you meant to write, so you tend to skip over errors when you’re reading forwards,” writes Mignon Fogarty on Grammar Girl.

“Always proofread a printed version of your work. I don’t know why, but if I try to proofread on a computer monitor I always miss more errors than if I print out a copy and go over it on paper,” she continues.

Pay special attention to things like your/you’re and misused apostrophes, as these are the most maddening writing errors, as found out by Grammarly.

Check format last.

“Paragraph spacing, text wrap, indentations, spaces above and below a bullet list or between subheadings and text, and so on. Leave this for the end because contents may shift during handling,” warns Leah McClellan on Writetodone.

Now you try it

I hope you can see the potential in applying these techniques for writing your eBook.

Yes, it takes hard work to create something great.

But by following this strategy, you already know that you will get a finished eBook in 30 days.

You can then easily sell your eBook directly to your audience on social media and your website or blog using Sellfy.

I want you to give this approach a try and let me know how it worked out for you.

Do you know any good tips on writing? Have I missed anything out? If you have a question or thought, leave it in the comments section below.

Tagged:Tags:

Post by Jurij Burchenya on July 14, 2014
 

Article by Jurij Burchenya

Jurij is an Intern at Sellfy. He’s focused on inbound marketing, landing pages, copywriting, CRO and growth. You can reach Jurij on Twitter.

 

Meet CISA – Dianne Feinstein’s Latest Attack On Privacy, Civil Liberties And The Internet

Sally's Special Services:

CISA

STOP CISA! CISA IS AN ATTACK ON OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREE ENTERPRISE!

THEY WANT TO SHUT US INDEPENDENT THINKERS UP! THEY DO NOT WANT US TO HAVE ALTERNATIVE MEDIA TO THE BIASED MSM THAT PRINTS WHAT THE CORRUPT COMMUNIST/DEMON-RATS TELL THEM TOO!!

WE MUST STOP THIS GOVERNMENT INTRUSION INTO OUR PERSONAL LIFE’S AND CIVIL LIBERTIES!

Originally posted on peoples trust toronto:

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

here?s not much good you can count on Congress to accomplish, but when it comes to introducing and passing oligarch protecting, civil liberties destroying legislation, our ?representatives? are absolutely relentless in theirdetermination. Unsurprisingly, the only ?distinctly native American criminal class,? as Mark Twain described Congress, is at it again when it comes to institutionalizing spying and attempting a legal run around the Bill of Rights.

One thing that has become crystal clear since the Edward Snowden revelations, is that much of Congress has no problem at all with unconstitutional spying. Rather, they are primarily upset it was exposed and are dead set on making sure no other whistleblower can ever do the same. Enter CISA, orThe Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

I?ve spent much of today reading about the bill, and have compiled what I think are the most astute…

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Software Entrepreneurs Must Go Mobile-First Or Die

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Roger Lee is a general partner with Battery Ventures

Seven years ago when the iPhone was first introduced, smartphones were a novelty. Now they’re the default method of computing for most people. As of late last year, Americans spent 34 hours a month on their mobile devices, compared with just 27 hours accessing the web via a computer, according to Nielsen.

This mobile-first mindset has also deeply permeated the enterprise. Some 95 percent of knowledge workers own smartphones, and they reach for them first to do all kinds of tasks – from email and document sharing/management to meeting planning and videoconferencing.

Smartphones and tablets are also rapidly entering business sectors such as construction, shipping, manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, education, law enforcement, fleet management and others. Most people have noticed field workers using mobile devices equipped with industry-specific apps (everyone from rental-car agents to home contractors) to…

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240,000 Illegal Aliens Since April – President Obama Intentionally Overwhelming U.S. Socio-Economic System To Cause Collapse….

Originally posted on Economic & Multicultural Terrorism:

Reblogged on WordPress.com

Source: swordattheready.wordpress.com

Economic & Multicultural Terrorism = Anti-White & Anti-Christian = Anti-American Treason! I have been writing and speaking out on the economic and multicultural treason taking place in America on many web sites, on political TV call in shows, and on talk radio call in shows all across our country for years now warning people of the treasonous events that are now out in the open as ‘Bob from Jamestown’. The left and right scoffed at the facts and evidence I presented back when I worked for Ross Perot’s first presidential campaign, and was attached for it by SEIU thugs. I was labeled as a conspiracy theorist…Not any more.

The important question that we as a nation should be asking ourselves at this historical juncture, is what are the white and Christian people of America’s founding posterity going to do in defense of their founding white…

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Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls Supreme Court Cellphone-Warrant Case “Seminal”

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

It’s been a busy week in the realm of policy and technology, with the Supreme court weighing in on a several issues impacting the industry, and the government releasing something akin to a transparency report regarding a portion of the NSA’s surveillance practices.

The unanimous Supreme Court decision on Riley v. California caused a stir because it set new precedent regarding digital privacy: To search a cell phone, the court ruled, the government must procure a warrant. The decision will set the tone for future legal action regarding technology, data, user privacy, and Fourth Amendment protections.

I’d like to highlight some commentary on the decision from a perhaps unlikely source, Microsoft.

Microsoft, in the past week, has become a leading voice for user privacy and a less active surveillance state. The company’s de facto spokesperson on the matter, its top lawyer Brad Smith, recently gave a lecture in which he called for…

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Facebook Search Warrant Disclosure Reveals Scope of Government Requests

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Facebook announced Thursday it’s been pushing back against a bulk set of search warrants requesting private data from its user accounts since last summer.

In a blog post, the social media network announced a court in New York requested personal data for 381 users, including photos and private messages. The company argued the request was unconstitutional, but the courts prevailed and the information was turned over.

This information is just coming to light now as Facebook filed an appellate brief Friday in an attempt to force the government to return the data it had seized and retained. Facebook says the government responded by moving to unseal the warrants and all court proceedings, allowing the company to notify the users their information had been taken.

Only 62 of the 381 people who were subjected to the searches later had charges brought against them in a disability fraud case. The government…

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How Governments (Including The US) Use Targets’ Phones To Spy On Them

Emma Woollacott


written by Emma Woollacott 
Contributor – Forbes
 06/25/2014 @ 9:35 AM

Security researchers have uncovered the widespread use of spyware that allows law enforcement agencies to take control of a suspect’s phone – with the US appearing to be the biggest user.

Teams at Kaspersky Lab in the US and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab have analyzed the use of a surveillance product called Remote Control System (RCS) from Hacking Team TISI +0.69% in Italy. The new research builds on Kaspersky’s previous analyses of RCS to uncover how the tool’s mobile modules work.

The malware, which targets Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry phones, allows governments to take control of the device’s microphone, GPS and camera to record the user’s activities. They can log email, SMS and MMS data, track web use and call history and eavesdrop on Skype conversations. The software’s built for stealth, tweaked to keep battery consumption low and with the ability to transmit its hijacked data via wifi to avoid jacking up phone bills.

Victims can be infected by any of the usual methods used to spread malware, such as social engineering, exploits and spear phishing. In the case of the iOS version,, the malware waits until the victim connects his or her smartphone to perform an iTunes sync – at which point a Trojan jailbreaks the iPhone and installs the mobile spying component. The iPhone then reboots – the only noticeable sign that anything’s happened.

English: Iphone 4 Deutsch: Iphone 4

English: Iphone 4 Deutsch: Iphone 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“This technology is marketed as filling a gap between passive interception (such as network monitoring) and physical searches.  In essence, it is malware sold to governments,” writes the Citizen Lab team.

“Unlike phone monitoring and physical searches, however, most countries have few legal guidelines and oversight for the use of this new power. In light of the absence of guidelines and oversight, together with its clandestine nature, this technology is uniquely vulnerable to misuse.”

Kaspersky Lab has been monitoring the use of the spyware, and has found that the US is home to the largest number of command and control servers – 64 – followed by Kazakhstan with 49, Ecuador, with 35, and the UK with 32. It discovered 326 servers altogether.

Total control over your targets. Log everything you need. Always. Anywhere they are,” promises Hacking Team on its website. “Thousands of encrypted communications every day. Get them, in clear.” But the company denies that it sells products to repressive regimes.

“We review potential customers before a sale to determine whether or not there is objective evidence or credible concerns that Hacking Team technology provided to the customer will be used to facilitate human rights violations,” it claims.

“We will refuse to provide or we will stop supporting our technologies to governments or government agencies that we believe have used HT technology to facilitate gross human rights abuses.”

However, according to Kaspersky, servers are to be found in China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Certainly, it can’t be proved that, just because a command and control server is in a particular country, it’s automatically controlled by the local government.

“Unfortunately, we can’t be sure that the servers in a certain country are used by that specific country’s LEAs [law enforcement agencies]; however, it would make sense for LEAs to put their C&Cs in their own countries in order to avoid cross-border legal problems and the seizure of servers,” says Sergey Golovanov, principal security researcher at Kaspersky.

“Nevertheless, several IPs were identified as ‘government’ related based on their WHOIS information, and they provide a good indication of who owns them.”

As the teams point out, the use of such malware is becoming far cheaper, meaning that it’s likely to be used increasingly widely.

“This type of exceptionally invasive toolkit, once a costly boutique capability deployed by intelligence communities and militaries, is now available to all but a handful of governments,” Citizen Lab warns.

“An unstated assumption is that customers that can pay for these tools will use them correctly, and primarily for strictly overseen, legal purposes. As our research has shown, however, by dramatically lowering the entry cost on invasive and hard-to-trace monitoring, the equipment lowers the cost of targeting political threats.”

Kaspersky says it’s identified around 30 victims, including activists, human rights campaigners, journalists and politicians – as well as a high school history teacher in the UK. “You don’t have to be a criminal, an influential businessman or even political activist to become a subject of such spying,” says researcher Serge Malenkovich.

It wants states to legislate on the export of surveillance technology and establish a system of recourse for people who have been the victims of surveillance and its consequences – sometimes including torture.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2014/06/25/how-governments-including-the-us-use-targets-phones-to-spy-on-them/

We Thank Thee, Lord

Originally posted on Sally's Serenity Spot:

Some of the things that I am grateful for from my God. Number one for my God/Jesus, Number two, to be born in the USA to Christian parents, Number three, for my sobriety and recovery, my New Life since March 28, 1986. Number four, My loving family and friends. Number five, For all of our military Heroes past and present. Number six, for my wonderful Clients that are also good friends, and make my work a joy, like Arthur H. Van Slyke, Jr./T’ Quarius Music USA.

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The internet of things isn’t about things. It’s about cheap data.

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

The value that comes from connecting your thermostat to the internet isn’t that you can now control it from your smartphone, or that it’s a theoretical home for new ads. The value is that you suddenly have access to cheap information about the temperature of your home, and by collating other data points or simple extrapolation techniques, you also have access to detailed information about what is happening in the home.

This can be cool. It can be creepy. And it can be convenient. But as is always the case when we encounter technological shifts, the internet of things is really a tool. And like a hammer is used to expand the amount of force generated over a small area (allow you to hit something really hard), the internet of things is a tool is for cheaply delivering and gathering information.

What can a connected GE jet engine tell you? What can a connected GE jet engine…

View original 710 more words

SEO and Your Blog

Sally Tudor:

And finally . . . post! The single most important thing you can do to increase your blog’s SEO is to post regularly. Even if you have a website with mostly static content, include a “Blog” or “News” section that you regularly update so Google can see that your site is active. All the SEO strategies in the world won’t help if you’re not adding content, so get to writing!
I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t visit blogs that have not posted anything for years let alone weeks. I think that you need to write a post at least once a week.

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

The blank page

Writing is the hardest part.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Rennett Stowe.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post for the WordPress.com blog about how SEO works on WordPress.com, and today I’d like to discuss this here on The Daily Post. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to things you can do to increase how high your site ranks in the search results of Google and other search engines.

SEO is a hot topic around the blogosphere, and you’ve likely heard a lot about it. Much often repeated SEO advice is untrustworthy and some of it is just plain bad.

The good news is if you have a site on WordPress.com we take care of the vast majority of the technical side of SEO for you. The only thing you really need to do for great SEO is write!

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Introducing WordAds

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Over the years one of the most frequent requests on WordPress.com has been to allow bloggers to earn money from their blog through ads. We’ve resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn’t terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google’s AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better.

Well we think we’ve cracked it, and we’re calling it WordAds.

Blogs are unique and they shouldn’t be treated like every other page on the internet. There are more than 50,000 WordPress-powered blogs coming online every day, and every time I explore them randomly I’m always surprised and delighted by how people are using the platform to express themselves.

As a WordPress user you’re breathing rarefied air on the internet: the Creators, the Independents. Creative minds aren’t satisfied being digital sharecroppers on someone…

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Gillmor Gang: Fits and Starts

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_5min code=”518235539″]

The Gillmor Gang — John Borthwick, Dan Farber, Keith Teare, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — take a walk on the wild side as The New York Times publishes all the news that fits. Except, that is, the news about itself. The Twitterverse is clogged with leaked Innovation reports, business model Kremlin Wall analysis, and newsroom disappearances galore.

For the record, we also stop in for another revealing of the Beats buys Apple story, even as there’s still doubt the deal will even go down. Whether it’s music or TV or eyes, ears, nose, and throat, our media orifices are up for grabs. Did I forget mention fragmentions? Now back to our movie — Gray Lady Down.

@stevegillmor, @borthwick, @dbfarber, @kevinmarks, @kteare

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

Live chat stream

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook

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Aiming for secure big data, ADVA puts line-side encryption into its 100G networking gear

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

ADVA Optical Networking, based in southern Germany, has released a new 100G technology for metro network deployments – generally, connecting data centers within a metropolitan area – that includes built-in encryption on the network layer.

The advantage of this kind of “Layer 1″ encryption is that it doesn’t slow down the data throughput much, but rivals such as Cisco(s csco) are not as yet supporting super-speedy 100Gbps data rates with such a product — ADVA, with the new version of its FSP 3000 optical transport “solution”, is. In short, this new multiplexer may hold appeal for enterprises and even telcos that want to be able to securely handle lots of data at high speed.

ADVA’s 100G Metro tech is protocol-agnostic, so it can handle Ethernet, fiber, Infiniband and so on. Its “line-side” encryption is based on the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and uses 256-bit keys, with over 60 key exchanges…

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Beware The Russian Cyber Bear

Originally posted on Chainsoff's Blog:

Moscow’s hacker army helped take over Crimea and is busy spying on America,

Foreign PolicySHANE HARRIS

Image

Daniel Marsula/Post-Gazette

When U.S. officials warn of the threat foreign cyber spies pose to American companies and government agencies, they usually focus on China, which has long been home to the world’s most relentless and aggressive hackers. But new information shows that Russian and Eastern European hackers, who have historically focused on crime and fraud, now account for a large and growing percentage of cyber espionage, most of which is directed at the United States.

Individuals and groups in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Russian-speaking countries, are responsible for a fifth of all cyber-spying incidents in the world, according to a global study of data breaches recently released by Verizon.

The spies are targeting a range of companies as varied as the global economy itself and are stealing manufacturing designs, proprietary technology and…

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How to Reinstall Windows XP Without a CD

Sally Tudor:

So, good that I had to repost.

Originally posted on Sally's Special Services:

By Chris Moore, eHow Contributor , last updated April 16, 2012

Over time, the Windows XP operating system can start slowing down, freezing and failing to shut down. This can be corrected by reinstalling the system on your computer. However, this can be a problem if your computer didn’t come with a CD copy of the OS software (many cheaper computers won’t). In these cases, there is a copy of the installment application saved on your main hard drive. You can access this software from the C: drive to reinstall the XP system and clean out your computer.

Instructions

    • Obtain the product key or serial number for your Windows XP operating system. This number is usually located on a label on the computer frame or within its original package. If you can’t find it, search though the computer’s registry or contact the computer’s manufacturer (not Microsoft) for help.

    • 2

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USING WINDOWS ADMIN TOOLS LIKE A PRO / HOW-TO GEEK SCHOOL

Lesson 5: Learning to Use the Registry Editor Like a Pro

How to Geek School

In today’s edition of Geek School, we’re going to teach you how to use the registry editor, what some of those keys actually mean, and generally help you understand it a little better.

SCHOOL NAVIGATION

  1. Understanding Windows Administration Tools
  2. Using Task Scheduler to Run Processes Later
  3. Using Event Viewer to Troubleshoot Problems
  4. Understanding Hard Drive Partitioning with Disk Management
  5. Learning to Use the Registry Editor Like a Pro
  6. Monitoring Your Computer’s Performance
  7. Using Group Policy Editor to Tweak Your PC
  8. Understanding the Advanced System Panel
  9. Dealing with Devices and Drivers in Windows
  10. Using System Restore and File History

Over the years we’ve covered a lot of registry hacks, and while most people can handle the step-by-step instructions for how to make a registry change, or double-click a .reg file to insert it into the registry, you will be much better served having a solid knowledge of what the registry is and how it works.

The most important thing to know about the registry is that you probably shouldn’t just mess around and delete or change things for no reason. Deleting a big portion of the registry is never going to make your computer run faster, and there’s no registry hack that will speed up your computer or give you some major new functionality that doesn’t exist.

Almost all registry hacks involve either tweaking the behavior of some component in Windows, or disabling a behavior that you don’t like. For instance, if you want to disable SkyDrive / OneDrive from Windows entirely, you can use a registry hack to accomplish it. If you are tired of Windows Update forcibly rebooting your computer, you can hack the registry to make it stop.

What is the Registry?

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that contains all of the configurations and settings used by components, services, applications, and pretty much everything in Windows.

The registry has two basic concepts to be aware of: Keys and Values. Registry Keys are objects that are basically folders, and in the interface even look exactly like folders. Values are a bit like the files in the folders, and they contain the actual settings.

When you open the Registry Editor for the first time, you’ll see a treeview on the left-hand pane that contains all of the keys, with values on the right-hand side. It’s about as simple as an interface gets.

Registry Editor

The root-level keys that you see in the left-hand side of the screenshot are important. Each one houses a different set of information, so depending on what you are trying to do, you’ll need to know which section to browse down into.

The interesting thing that most people don’t know is that 3 of the 5 items on the root level aren’t actually there… they are just linked to items further down in one of the other keys.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT

Windows uses this section to manage file type associations, and it is usually abbreviated HKCR when being referenced in documentation. This key is actually just a link to HKLM\Software\Classes.

You can also use this section if you want to tweak the context menu for a particular file type.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Holds the user settings for the currently logged in user, and is usually abbreviated HKCU This is actually just a link to HKEY_USERS\<SID-FOR-CURRENT-USER>. The most important sub-key in here is HKCU\Software, which contains user-level settings for most of your software.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

All of the system-wide settings are stored here, and it is usually abbreviated as HKLM. You’ll mostly use the HKLM\Software key to check machine-wide settings.

HKEY_USERS

Stores all of the settings for all users on the system. You’ll typically use HKCU instead, but if you need to check settings for another user on your computer, you can use this one.

HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG

Stores all of the information about the current hardware configuration. This one isn’t used very often, and it just a link to HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current.

Creating New Keys and Values

Right-clicking on any key in the left-hand side of the window will give you a set of options, most of which are fairly straightforward and easy to understand.

Registry Editor2

You can create a new Key, which will show up as a folder on the left-hand side, or a new value, which will show up on the right-hand side. Those values can be a little confusing, but there are really only a couple of values that are used regularly.

  • String Value (REG_SZ) – This contains anything that will fit into a regular string. The vast majority of the time, you can edit human-readable strings without breaking everything.
  • Binary Value (REG_BINARY) – This value contains arbitrary binary data, and you will almost never want to attempt to edit one of these keys.
  • DWORD (32-bit) Value (REG_DWORD) – These are almost always used for a regular integer value, whether just 0 or 1, or a number from 0 to 4,294,967,295.
  • QWORD (64-bit) Value (REG_QWORD) – These are not used very often for registry hacking purposes, but it’s basically a 64-bit integer value.
  • Multi-String Value (REG_MULTI_SZ) – These values are fairly uncommon, but it works basically like a notepad window. You can type multi-line textual information into a field like this.
  • Expandable String Value (REG_EXPAND_SZ) – These variables have a string that can contain environment variables and is often used for system paths. So a string might be %SystemDrive%\Windows and would expand to C:\Windows. This means that when you find a value in the Registry that is set to this type, you can change or insert environment variables and they will be “expanded” before the string is used.

Fun Fact: DWORD is short for “Double Word”, because a “Word” is a term for the default unit of data used by a processor, and when Windows was created that was 16 bits. So a “word” is 16 bits, and a “Double Word” is 32 bits. While modern processors are all 64-bit, the Registry still uses the older format for compatibility.

The Favorites Menu

One of the really useful features that nobody seems to notice is the Favorites menu, which is great when you want to check a registry location regularly. What’s really fun is that you can export the list of favorites and use it again on another computer without having to browse down to the keys and add them to the favorites menu.

It’s also a great way to bookmark something in the registry if you are looking around in multiple locations, so you can easily flip back to the last place you were at.

Registry Editor3

Exporting Registry Files

You can export registry keys and all of the values contained underneath them by right-clicking on a key and choosing Export. This is really important if you are going to be making changes to your system.

Registry Editor4

Once you’ve got your exported registry file, you can double-click on it to enter the information back into the registry, or you can choose Edit to take a look at the contents in Notepad.

Registry Editor5

The registry hacking file format is pretty simple – value names on the left, and actual values on the right.

Notepad

How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hacks
Over the years, we’ve created many Registry hacks to customize and tweak your Windows computer. Today we’re going to give… [Read Article]

For more on registry hack files, make sure to read our guide on the subject.

Setting Permissions

Some of the registry keys won’t allow you to make changes by default. This is generally because you don’t have permission to those keys, but you can tweak the permissions scheme if you want by right-clicking a key and choosing Permissions, and then adjusting them from there.

Registry Editor6

 

We should note that this is not a good idea, and you should usually stay away from keys that require this much work to edit.

Loading Registry Hives

You can use the File -> Load Hive feature to load up a registry from an offline system. Perhaps you are troubleshooting another computer, and would like to see what is going on in the registry for a system that isn’t booting. So you boot the system from a rescue disk, or maybe a Linux live CD, and then copy the registry files onto your thumb drive.

Now you can open them up on another computer and look around by using the Load Hive option.

Registry Editor9

Where are these registry files stored?

You can find most of them in the Windows\System32\Config folder.

Registry Editor8

See those SAM, SECURITY, SOFTWARE, and SYSTEM files? They correspond to the same keys underneath the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.

Registry Editor9

The data for the HKEY_CURRENT_USER branch is stored in your user folder, in a hidden file called NTUSER.DAT.

Backing Up Your Registry

RELATED ARTICLE

You might have noticed over the years that every site that advises you to hack the registry in some way also tells you to backup your registry. But what’s the best way to do that?

You can’t export the entire registry to a file, and it wouldn’t work very well to import it again either. You also can’t easily access the files themselves on the hard drive, because they are completely locked. So that’s not going to work.

The best option to backup your registry? Create a System Restore point.

Create a System Restore Point

Rolling back a system restore point is quite easy.

Some Important Things to Note

While many people refuse to agree, the fact is that registry cleaners are pointless and should not be used. Cleaning up a few hundred keys out of a database of millions isn’t going to provide any performance boost, and any errors in the registry that resulted in a component not loading properly would be caught in Event Viewer or elsewhere, and could be fixed without resorting to cleaning the registry.

And don’t even get us started on registry “defrag”, which is complete nonsense these days. Perhaps back on Windows 95 with dirt-slow hard drives, it made sense. But now, with modern hard drives, or solid state drives that don’t need defragmenting at all? Don’t do it.

http://www.howtogeek.com/school/using-windows-admin-tools-like-a-pro/lesson5/

How to: Upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7

 

Uploaded on Oct 15, 2009

It’s a painful install since Microsoft provides no direct upgrade path, but we can help. For more CNET videos, go to http://cnettv.cnet.com

Welcome to the world of tiered clouds

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

When Microsoft(S msft)  launched Azure Basic a few weeks back, it may have started a trend. Microsoft, while matching Amazon’s previously announced price cuts, also unveiled a set of “basic” general-purpose instances that are 27 percent cheaper than its own “standard” instances. What Basic doesn’t include is the load-balancing or auto-scaling that come as part of standard instances, according to a blog post. 

Fast forward to this week when Amazon roped off older EC2 instances from their newer brethren. When users go to buy EC2, they’ll be steered to the shinier, more muscular instances but if they really want the older stuff, it’ll still be there — if they look for it. At least for now.
aws old instances

Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller expects we may see two-tier pricing from all IaaS vendors, with Microsoft Azure Basic blazing the trail.  Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

Others characterize Amazon’s move as a continuation of…

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iControl Networks Acquires Blacksumac, The Company Behind The Piper Home Monitoring Device

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Earlier this year, Google ushered in consolidation of the home automation and monitoring space with its $3.2 billion acquisition of Tony Fadell’s Nest. Today, iControl Networks followed that trend with its purchase of Blacksumac, which makes the Piper home automation device.

iControl historically has sold its products through various channels, including home security companies and cable service providers. Founded about a decade ago, iControl has spent the last several years signing up customers like ADT, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Rogers, and others with white-labeled home monitoring products.

The company has raised about $130 million since being founded, from institutional investors such as Charles River Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, as well as strategic investors that include Intel Capital, Comcast Ventures, Cisco, and others.

Blacksumac, meanwhile, is an early upstart in the home monitoring market. The company first came to light with an Indiegogo campaign for its Piper home monitoring…

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Breaches are inevitable: Cybereason brings Israeli defense expertise to the cyber-security fight

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

cybersecurity

The internet is a dangerous place for anyone holding sensitive information. I know it, you know it, and corporations know it. Historically, however, knowing this has meant little in terms of preventing cyber attacks. Cyber-crime still costs the global economy north of $300 billion per year, and the US economy north of $100 million according to a July 2013 study by The Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The problem, according to most experts, is that there are too many attack vectors to protect against and cyber-criminals are evolving faster and playing by a looser set of rules than those people trying to keep them at bay.

Today, Cybereason, a new cyber-security company founded by ex-Israeli Intelligence Services experts and with operations in Cambridge, Mass. and Tel Aviv, Israel, is launching out of stealth to offer what it claims is an altogether different solution than anything currently on…

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A Few Thoughts On Free Windows

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Hot damn, changes. ZDNet and The Verge reported on a story that, at first blush, sounds downright strange: Microsoft may do away with charging for Windows in the future.

Microsoft selling Windows to OEM partners is even more entrenched than apple pie is to Americanism. No more of that? It’s almost unthinkable.

However, once you get past the oddity of the concept, it can make sense if you approach it properly. Let’s do this in a section-list format for brevity:

1. Microsoft has made billions selling Windows to consumers through its OEM partners. It now also sells Windows to consumers on devices that it builds. This means it has new ways to monetize a New PC To Consumer.

2. The era in which Microsoft made the bulk of its Windows income is not now. Windows OEM revenue is falling. If it weren’t for corporate PC sales, the top line that…

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10 Myths About Writers and Writing

Originally posted on Pilot Fish:

In order to write creatively, we need to exercise our free-spirited and impulsive right brain.  It might take a while to “liberate” this side of the brain especially if we have worked in fields that are linear, concrete, and require rationale thought.  This is what happened to me many years ago when I switched from a career in teaching and publishing to full-time writing.   As I began my apprenticeship in the creative arts,  I had to dispel several myths about the writing process and writers.

&quot;Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait&quot; by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum.

“Lost in My Life (Price Tags) ” by Rachel Perry Welty, DeCordova Museum.

1.  Myth: Writers Are Strange.

There is an element of truth to this!  Writers (and other creative people) must be willing to look below the surface of everyday life and explore the world and relationships like a curious outsider.  This perspective sets us apart, but at the same time, it allows us…

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Be careful out there: Conduit Search spyware is annoying the Internet

Originally posted on Daily Slice:

UPDATE: In early 2014 a more aggressive version of Conduit Search started showing up. If the below instructions are not effective, we would suggest using Malwarebytes to remove the infection. You can download a free version of Malwarebytes here. (During installation, you may want to uncheck the “Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-malware Premium” box if you don’t want a 30 day trial of the premium software to install.) Once installed, simply click “Scan Now” and Conduit Search (as well as any other infections) should be cleared up pretty quickly. Business professionals may want to consider TOAST.net’s Managed Antivirus product instead, which will block and clean infections as well as send you a regular security report to help you manage your network.

_______________________________________________________________________

Original Article:

We’re seeing a lot of reports of something called Conduit Search showing up on customer computers over the last few weeks, causing problems ranging from an…

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Hacking & ID Theft: Are You Next?

Originally posted on GulfDogs:

At least 110 million consumers were affected by the hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Whether or not millions more will have their identities manipulated and finances ruined within the coming months due to more breaches of security at other stores is anyone’s guess, says identity theft recovery expert Scott A. Merritt.

“By necessity, I became an expert on identity theft. My information was stolen in 2006, and in repairing the damage, I learned some not-so-obvious ways we can all protect against identity theft in the first place,” says Merritt, CEO of Merritt & Associates and author of (scottamerritt.com) “Identity Theft Do’s and Don’ts.”http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/60588

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