New CityHome Technology Helps You Work Magic in Small Apartments Monday, Jun 2 2014 

New CityHome Technology Helps You Work Magic in Small Apartments




Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Prototype Wednesday, May 28 2014 

Martins’ comments:

This is a great idea!  Been waiting for something like this since  I watched the Jetsons cartoon as a kid. I will buy one when the price becomes affordable, the flying option is available and the bugs have been worked out of the design.

Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Prototype

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. — Google has been building self-driving cars for years, but what we’ve seen so far has always been retrofits of existing cars — until now. The search giant unveiled on Tuesday a fully autonomous self-driving car, built from the ground up by Google and its partners.

Company co-founder Sergey Brin revealed his plans at Recode’s Code Conference in southern California. He told Recode editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher (who has ridden in the car), that there’s a safety benefit in a custom-built self-driving car. Because the car doesn’t have a steering wheel, accelerator or brakes, it has more sensors in strategic spots than is possible in a regular vehicle. It is also equipped with a big “stop” button. In addition to all this tech, Google’s autonomous car includes internal power steering and power brakes.

“It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, ‘What should be different about this kind of vehicle?'” Chris Urmson, director of the Self-Driving Car Project, wrote in a blog post about the new car.


Swisher said riding in the all-electric car was like going on a Disney ride. Considering it currently has a maximum speed of roughly 25 mph, this makes sense. Brin described riding in the car, which in one test was programmed via smartphone, as “relaxing,” and similar to catching a chairlift. He added that the car will eventually go up to 100 mph once it’s proven to be able to travel safely at that speed.

As for when the cars — which are significantly smaller than traditional cars and include couch-like seating — might actually make it to real highways, Brin said Google will soon test them with drivers. “Within a couple of years, we’ll — if we’ve passed the safety metrics we’ve put in place, which is to be significantly safer than a human driver … have them on the road,” he said.



by Lance Ulanoff

How Documents Stored On Box And Dropbox Could End Up On Google Thursday, May 8 2014 

A rival to both cloud-storage services explains how links to your Dropbox and Box documents could end up in the wrong hands.


Those files you’re storing on cloud services like Dropbox or Box may not be as secure as you think.

Both services, like other cloud-storage providers, allow users to share links to their stored documents. But sending those links out, even to trusted individuals, can also inadvertently give third parties access to your files as well, according to findings publicized by the file-sharing company Intralinks—which, by the way, is a competitor to both Box and Dropbox.

Dropbox says it’s working to fix the problem by disabling any previously shared links that might be vulnerable to leakage. Box released an email statement saying that it has found no evidence that anyone has abused such “open links” and touting the various privacy settings it offers its users to “help manage access to their content.”

Intralinks chief security officer John Landy wrote that his company inadvertently stumbled upon the vulnerability in the course of running a Google Adwords campaign that mentioned its competitors. That campaign turned up shared-file URLs that led straight to sensitive files that ordinary users had stored on Box and Dropbox—including bank records, mortgage applications and tax returns. Security blogger Graham Cluley, who also blogs for Intralinkprovides some examples.

How That Leakage Happens

How, exactly, that happened involves some conjecture. Landy wrote that some Dropbox and Box users apparently created shared links to their files, which they or their recipients then mistakenly entered into a browser search box instead of the URL bar. Doing so and then clicking on an ad—which may seem a fairly unlikely occurrence, at least until you multiply it by the number of people sharing files across the Internet—would then send the file’s URL to the ad network.

One Intralinks executive quoted by Cluley estimated that in one of the company’s Adwords campaign, five percent of all hits (presumably meaning ad clicks) yielded URLs to private files, half of which required no password to access. That “small” campaign turned up more than 300 documents.

There’s also a second way links to private files could leak out to the world. If a shared Dropbox or Box document itself contains links to other sites, clicking on one will pass along the document’s URL to the next website as part of what’s known as a referer header, where administrators of the second site could see it.

It’s not clear if similar vulnerabilities exist for other cloud-storage services such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

No Password Required

The problem for Box and Dropbox is that they don’t make their shared links more secure, Landy wrote. Recipients of shared links should have to log into the service to authenticate themselves by default, he suggested.

Dropbox engineering vice president Aditya Agarwal said in a blog post that his company hasn’t detected any malicious attacks involving shared file URLs. Dropbox decided to disable any affected document links anyway. The vulnerability has been patched for any shared links going forward, so only previously shared items are affected.

Dropbox customers can recreate their shared links, and the company will restore old links as it confirms that particular documents aren’t vulnerable. Agarwal also noted that Dropbox for Business users can require password access to shared files; ordinary users of Dropbox’s free service don’t have that option.

The Dropbox post only addresses one of the two vulnerabilities outlined by Intralinks—the leak-via-referer-header method. In an update, Agarwal wrote that Dropbox is aware that file URLs could leak via search engines that pass them to ad partners, but said that issue is “well known” and that the company “doesn’t consider it a vulnerability.”

Like Dropbox for Business customers, users of Box can also require passwords for file access, although in neither case is that security feature turned on by default. “Box also displays a message to help users understand the permissions for their content,” a Box spokesperson said via email.


 Anthony Myers May 07, 2014


11 Brutal Reminders That You Can and Will Get Fired for What You Post on Facebook Wednesday, May 7 2014 

11 Brutal Reminders That You Can and Will Get Fired for What You Post on Facebook

In this new society that we’ve all agreed to be a part of, your Facebook page is an extension of yourself. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to post anything there that you wouldn’t normally say, for example, to your boss.

The unfortunate folks below didn’t get that memo. Here are 11 examples of Facebookers who weren’t so careful with what they shared and, as a result, put their employment statuses in jeopardy because of it.

(VERY RELATED: Check out our guide to keeping your Facebook posts private, especially from people who can fire you.)


Written by

Daniel Bean

Editorial Assistant

May 6, 2014

Lost Collection of Andy Warhol Art Recovered From Floppy Disks Friday, Apr 25 2014 


If you as an artist, want your work to be around for a long time, make sure the technology you use will be accessible in the future.



Art historians have recovered a collection of lost Andy Warhol paintings, which were never turned into physical prints, from 30-year-old Amiga floppy disks.


In 1985, computer and electronics manufacturer Commodore International commissionedAndy Warhol to create art using the company’s Amiga 1000 computer. Warhol saved many of his experimental images to Amiga floppy disks.

“Warhol saw no limits to his art practice,” said Eric Shiner, the director of the Andy Warhol Museum. “These computer-generated images underscore his spirit of experimentation and his willingness to embrace new media — qualities which, in many ways, defined his practice from the early 1960s onwards.”




Stan Schroeder

Stan has been writing for Mashable since 2007, and having the benefit (or the curse) of working in a European time zone, he’s taken the post of European Editor. He’s been a pro IT journalist in Croatia for over 9 years,


Report: NSA Knew About Heartbleed Vulnerability for Years, Used It to Collect Intelligence Tuesday, Apr 15 2014 



by Technology Editor Yahoo techApr 11, 2014

The National Security Agency had been aware of the recently discovered Heartbleed vulnerability for more than two years and did nothing to inform consumers, according to a new report from Bloomberg News. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg claimed thatthe NSA exploited Heartbleed — a flaw in common Internet encryption that left passwords and other vital information visible to and obtainable by hackers — to collect intelligence on web surfers.

Bloomberg cited “two people familiar with the matter”; the NSA declined to comment through a spokesperson. Many on Twitterexpressed outrage at the report, arguing that the NSA’s silence left Internet users vulnerable to cyber-attacks, despite the agency’s mandate to keep Americans safe

Your Heartbleed Bug Questions, Answered Friday, Apr 11 2014


Heartbleed is a serious security threat that has the potential to expose users’ private information, including passwords, financial details and instant messages, among other things.


To help you understand the bug and what you should be doing to protect your information,Mashable editor-at-large Lance Ulanoff answered user questions on our Facebook page. Here are highlights from the chat:

To help you understand the bug and what you should be doing to protect your information,Mashable editor-at-large Lance Ulanoff answered user questions on our Facebook page. Here are highlights from the chat:

What is Heartbleed?

Heartbleed is a bug in the code running on the servers of millions of websites. It leaves open a hole that allows hackers to get in and around the encryption between you and the site. This means that the information stored on the servers, and passed between you, could be stolen.

Is this strictly a threat that is only on the Internet?

Just the Internet: Sites running OpenSSL.

Is Heartbleed a virus?

Not exactly. It is a hole that could leave websites and user information open to attack.

Why wasn’t it discovered until now?

The code error was small. It was not an attack; it was simply some bad code written by the people who built OpenSSL. It sounds like more of an accident.

Has a list of the major sites using OpenSSL been compiled?

There are millions of sites that use OpenSSL, so a full list might not be that easy to peruse. LastPass unveiled a tool to help you search for specific websites to find out if there are issues. [Update: We’ve compiled a list of popular sites and whether they were affected.]

When should we change our passwords?

Changing passwords right now might be a pointless exercise. The sites you visit could still have the vulnerability and your new password could be stolen.

If I’m running my own website, how do I protect it?

If you run OpenSSL, update it as soon as possible.

Has it affected most firewalls?

It’s not really a firewall attack. If the vulnerability exists (on a site or service), the communication between you and it is open to compromise.

How safe is the Internet anymore?

It’s pretty safe.

Do you think the latest bug was somehow related to the NSA?


What really matters in a job interview Monday, Mar 31 2014 


Bernard Marr

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Consultant in Strategy, Performance Management, Analytics, KPIs and Big Data


Even for the most fearless amongst us, job interviews can be nerve wracking. In order to give us the best chance of success we tend to prepare for many of the difficult questions we anticipate, questions like:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
  • What are your key strengths and weaknesses?


Basically, any interviewer wants to establish 3 key things:

  1. Have you got the skills, expertise and experience to perform the job?
  2. Are you enthusiastic and interested in the job and the company?
  3. Will you fit into the team, culture and company?

Google Glass Will Kill Flirting In Bars Monday, Mar 17 2014 


Alex Van Buren, Yahoo Food

Mar 5, 2014

glassGoogle Glass Will Kill Flirting In Bars

Martins’ comment

Maybe not quite killing flirting in bars.  But this is one of the many unintended consequences of new technology.  / comment>

But good grief, we are so never gonna get Google Glass. And if you wear Google Glass into a bar, then record us? We might have to have a conversation about that.

If you’re unfamiliar with Glass, as it’s called for short, it’s a set of glasses—sometimes prescription, sometimes not—that come with a little visible camera affixed. Glass can read your email, take videos, take photos, Google stuff for you, and in the not-too-distant future, instantly recognize faces at bars and tell you whom you’re talking to.

Recently a tech writer named Sarah Slocum wore Glass to a San Francisco bar called Molotov’s and got into a semi-brawl.

Someone threw a towel at her, her Glass was briefly stolen off her face, and people got, well, up in her grill. People at bars don’t like being recorded. Particularly people drinking at a bar called Molotov’s,which one fellow is quoted as calling “not really Google Glass country.”

This is a fine point. Which bars should be Glass country?

Let’s catalog, for a moment, what we do at bars: We drink, obviously. We flirt. We make bad decisions. We stay out too late. Think about which of those items you’d like recorded, for posterity, by a stranger. Slocum called the dustup a “hate crime,” which drew pretty much instant mockery, after which she downgraded it to “technophobia” (which sounds rather like a scary strobe-lit ’90s dance night to us). Most recently she’s asked Google for a “sponsored” trip to SXSWi, so she can “educate” people about Glass.

The throwdown at the bar has been coined a class war, between the wealthy tech-world folks who inhabit the Silicon Valley and those who came before. Things have gotten so bad that Google itself had to draw up some politesse pointers for Glass aficionados: “Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends,” the company wrote. “Ask permission before taking photos or videos of others.”

Well played, Google. Although Google has denied that it wants facial recognition to be a reality, that’s a real possibility and one company has facial recognition tech in beta mode.

But can we be honest? That’s the saddest prospect of all. Because while bars can be places to make deals and break them, make out and break up, one of their primary lures is meeting people, sometimes people in whom one has a romantic interest. And Google Glass marks the end of mystique.

Picture our heroine, in her Tangerine Glass, thinking: “He’s so handsome.”

The gent, in Sky Glass: “She’s hot.”

They get closer. She records their meeting for posterity and learns, via facial recognition, that his name is Montague Revelry Williams. He works in finance. There’s a photo of him with his ex-wife. There’s a photo of him with his dog. He owns a chihuahua? Really? And he’s drinking a vodka tonic?

Who else is at this bar? 

Google Glass. It could kill dating. It could end mystery. Leave us our blurred-after-three-old-fashioneds vision. Please. Let us think that he has especially good hair, or that she has particularly perfect skin. Everyone looks good in this bar. And that’s where magic happens. Let’s keep bars Glass-free… except for the glasses that come withwhiskey in them.

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance {Nook Book] Tuesday, Feb 25 2014 

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance {Nook Book]


An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters

We are being watched. We see online ads from websites we’ve visited, long after we’ve moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what’s in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive data-gathering surveillance operation across the Internet and on our phone lines.

In Dragnet Nation, award-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin reports from the front lines of America’s surveillance economy, offering a revelatory and unsettling look at how the government, private companies, and even criminals use technology to indiscriminately sweep up vast amounts of our personal data.

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