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Amazon Price Check Searches Amazon.com Using Text, Your Voice, Photos, and Barcodes [Downloads]

Amazon Price Check is the one app that can conduct a product search using practically every method available. If you’re comfortable only looking to Amazon for the best price, it’s an incredibly versatile price checking app. More »


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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 news No Comments

China’s Internet Hijacking Uncovered [CyberWar]

China's Internet Hijacking UncoveredCybercrime experts have found proof that China hijacked the Internet for 18 minutes last April. China absorbed 15% of the traffic from US military and civilian networks, as well as from other Western countries—a massive chunk. Nobody knows why.

We know how it happened, however. On April 8, China Telecom’s routers sent messages declaring that their network channels were the fastest available at that point. Since the traffic routing is based on trust between the world’s telecommunication providers, other Internet routers redirected their traffic through China’s network.

Security expert Dmitri Alperovitch—VP of threat research at McAfee—says that this happens “accidentally” a few times a year, but this time it was different: The China Telecom network absorbed all the data and returned it without any significant delay. Before, this kind of accident would have resulted in communication problems, which lead experts to believe this wasn’t an accident but a deliberated attempt to capture as much data as possible.

As of why this happened, nobody knows. Alperovitch added that the Chinese could have captured and manipulated data passing through their network:

This is one of the biggest – if not the biggest hijacks – we have ever seen. What happened to the traffic while it was in China? No one knows. Imagine the capability and capacity that is built into their networks. I’m not sure there was anyone else in the world who could have taken on that much traffic without breaking a sweat.

While the US government says that this is not alarming, it’s certainly puzzling. It doesn’t make sense for China Telecom to act in this extraordinary way without an specific objective. Perhaps it wasn’t a malicious move, but it certainly seems like a test to its network power. In any case, it seems like it can happen again at any time.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of China hijacking such a massive amount of information without explanation. [National Defense Magazine]

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 news No Comments

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon announce Isis national mobile commerce network

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon announce Isis national mobile commerce network

Just in time for the total economic collapse of Europe and the rise of the cyber-nomadic tribes, the kids at Discover, Barclaycard, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have a name for their mobile phone-based payment system: Isis. Essentially it remains what we heard from Bloomberg a few months back: a system for using an app on your phone to send payments to a POS system using NFC technology. The Isis team thinks it has “the scope and scale necessary to introduce mobile commerce on a broad basis,” and we wish them the best. But we know how it all ends anyways: with the lucky among us dead, and the rest of us living in caves, hiding from death-dealing robots, and bartering for what we can’t scrounge from the ruins of our once-great cities. PR after the break.

Continue reading AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon announce Isis national mobile commerce network

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon announce Isis national mobile commerce network originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Nov 2010 10:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 news No Comments

Windows Mobile Apps More Expensive Than iPhone Apps (MSFT, AAPL)

CHART OF THE DAY: Windows Mobile Apps More Expensive Than iPhone Apps (MSFT, AAPL)

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Paid apps for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile* app store are more expensive on average than paid apps for Apple’s iPhone, according to data from O’Reilly Research.

This is good news for developers that might be considering developing for Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform. This data is based on Window’s old mobile platform, so prices on the new platform could get lower as more developers create apps. You can charge more if there is less competition.

Overall, O’Reilly says the mean price for Windows Mobile apps is $6.16 versus $3.43 for the iPhone. Below, we’ve charted the various categories that match for each platform, using O’Reilly’s data. O’Reilly has a more complete picture of average app prices.

*The post originally referred to “Windows Phone” which is the name associated with Microsoft’s new platform. We’ve edited to reflect this is based on the old mobile platform, after commenters pointed out O’Reilly updated their post.

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Friday, November 12th, 2010 news No Comments

The REAL Reason Americans Don’t Have Broadband

CHART OF THE DAY: The REAL Reason Americans Don’t Have Broadband – We Don’t Want It

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The lack of universal access to quality broadband in this country is a major scandal to many technically inclined people. For a variety of reasons, access to broadband  is less widespread in America than elsewhere in the developed world, and what broadband we do have isn’t as fast as it is elsewhere.

But for all the howls of outrage, here’s an uncomfortable truth: most people who don’t have broadband in their homes just can’t be bothered. A new study from the U.S. Department of Commerce found that the single biggest reason for non-adoption of broadband was ‘don’t need it — not interested.’ The second biggest: ‘too expensive’.

Meanwhile, just 4% of Americans without broadband access cite the lack of availability as the main issue. Check it out. (via Ars Technica)

See also: 10 U.S. Counties Stuck In The Dial-Up Era

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Friday, November 12th, 2010 news No Comments

MacBook Air battery shown to last two hours longer when browsing the web sans Flash

MacBook Air battery shown to last two hours longer when browsing the web sans Flash

Let’s be honest, Apple’s claim that it neglected to preload Flash on the new MacBook Airs so that users themselves could download and install the latest (and safest) version was a bit of a red herring. Behind that thin veil of corporate courtesy, we’re now seeing a pretty potent cause for Apple’s dumping of Adobe’s wares. Ars Technica‘s review of the 11-inch Air discovered that the machine could crank its way through six hours of web browsing when Flash was nowhere near it, but only four hours with Flash installed and giving it “the full web experience.” The primary culprit was Adobe’s penchant for using CPU cycles to display animated ads, which were typically replaced by static imagery in the absence of the requisite software. So yeah, it’s not a surprise that a “richer” web would require more resources, but it doesn’t speak well for Flash’s efficiency to find a laptop loses a third of its longevity when running it.

MacBook Air battery shown to last two hours longer when browsing the web sans Flash originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 04 Nov 2010 19:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, November 5th, 2010 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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