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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Become Friends with a Girl ?

Just being friends with a girl is simple and well worth it. If there is a girl you really treasure and you'd like her to be someone who is there all your life without having to be your lover, then making friends with her is a great solution to a lasting and supportive bond. Give it a go!

Be bold. Often girls will be shy and will want you (the man) to come talk to her. So, if you're confident enough, make the first move. You'll have to make it really clear from the outset that this is about friendship, not romantic love, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the love of friends. A good place to make friends is in the classroom where you can work together. Tell her you want to be her friend.

Splash around the praise. Girls love compliments, try saying "You look great today" or "Sweet shirt". Butter her up and she'll return the compliments for you. It's a way of respecting one another and caring about each other. Try to compliment other things than her appearance as she might take it the wrong way.

Lend her your gear and borrow hers. The iPod, the laptop, the books, the guitar. Both of you should feel it's okay to share treasured things with one another. Don't just suggest it out of nowhere or it might look like a technique, wait till she asks.

Laugh at her jokes even though they may not be funny. If she was accidentally being offensive in front of someone you can drop the information about the person 'oh, did you know Sarah was (whatever the joke might have been about)?' in an unrelated comment later on. After all, friends don't expose one another publicly but they also don't encourage humiliation.

Always be there for her. She should know that she can count on you through thick and thin. That you'll offer her a shoulder to cry on when her guy relationships go wrong. That you'll drive her to the station in the middle of the night to get back to her family in the pouring rain. (don't make it too romantic and epic sounding, she might be a fan of rom-coms) That you'll study with her for a really hard test.

Let your guy friends know she's your friend, period. If they want to date her, it's fine by you but you're always keeping an eye out for her. That'll keep them on the straight and narrow too. And that's what being a true friend is all about.

Source: How to Become Friends with a Girl ?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hackers Escalate Reign of Malware Terror on Android

The relatively open nature of Google's Android OS makes it far more vulnerable to malware than Apple's highly controlled iOS, but F-Secure's report that it attracted 79 percent of mobile malware attacks in 2012 still comes as a bit of a shock. "For hackers, the app store is basically paradise, because they can upload a malicious app and infect thousands of devices with very little effort," said nCircle's Lamar Bailey.

ndroid has become a mobile malware magnet, according to F-Secure.

A whopping 79 percent of all mobile malware targeted the Google OS in 2012, based on a new report from the firm. That was up from 66.7 percent in 2011 and just 11.25 percent in 2010.

The fourth quarter of 2012 was particularly bad, it said, with attacks on Android spiking to account for 96 percent of all mobile malware.

It would be easy to make the case that malware is gravitating toward Android because of its growing popularity -- but what then would explain the lack of malware heading toward Apple's iOS, which is just about as popular as Android?

A trifling 0.7 percent of mobile malware targeted Apple's platform, F-Secure found.

There are obvious differences between Android and iOS. For starters, Apple is known for keeping tight control over its system.

"Android is a far more open system, and it is becoming the most popular platform in the world," Cloudmark researcher Andrew Conway told LinuxInsider, "so it is naturally the one that the bad guys will attack."

Source: Technology News

Monday, March 4, 2013

China on Cyberattacks: US Is Pot Calling the Kettle Black

fter taking it on the chin for its alleged attacks on U.S. media outlets -- and for its army reportedly backing hackers engaged in cyberespionage around the world -- China returned fire.

The government claimed its defense and military ministries' websites are being bombarded with 144,000 hacking attacks a month from the U.S. However, China didn't try to link the attacks to the U.S. government -- for good reason.

"It's a fallacy that because an attack comes from an IP geolocated within a certain country, that country is then responsible for the attack," Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Global and author of "Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld," told TechNewsWorld.

U.S. Internet service providers tolerate more malicious behavior on their systems than they should, Carr added. That makes it easy for foreign nationals to buy server time with bogus credentials, so the source of an attack stemming from the U.S. could be someone outside the country.

A Stuxnet Fossil

It was revealed last week that Stuxnet, the infamous attack code, may be older than originally thought. Symantec researchers discovered a sample of the malware that was actively used in 2007 and could date back to 2005.

Stuxnet 0.5, as the researchers call it, could be the missing link between Stuxnet 1.0, which disrupted Iran's nuclear development program, and super worm Flame, which was discovered after Stuxnet but is believed to predate it.
Zero Day Redux

The never-ending saga of Java also continued last week. Researchers at FireEye found hackers exploiting a newly discovered vulnerability in Java. The exploit is being used to install a remote-access Trojan called McRat.

Meanwhile, Adobe pushed yet another security patch for its Flash Player to its users as February came to an end. It was the third patch of the month.

Google's two-factor authentication was in the limelight when researchers at Duo Security found a loophole that exploited its method for issuing unique passwords for applications. Google fixed the flaw before the researchers made it public.
Better Than Signatures

A lot of new products are introduced whenever the annual RSA conference is held in San Francisco. Among this year's crop was Trend Micro's Custom Defense Product, which includes targeting command and control activity from attacks like Advanced Persistent Threats.

The product also includes a Deep Discovery Inspector feature that goes beyond what's provided by typical antivirus software, according to Kevin Faulkner, TrendMicro's senior enterprise product marketing manager.

"It's a network-based device that monitors communications, malware and attacker behavior," he told TechNewsWorld. "It sees things that standard signature-based security doesn't see."
Post-Crypto World

RSA isn't just about products; the conference can also court controversy. During one panel session, a founding father of cryptology, Adi Shamir, declared the security industry had entered a post-crypto era.

"It's very hard to use cryptography effectively if you assume an APT [Advanced Persistent Threat] is watching everything on a system," he said. "We need to think about security in a post-cryptography world."

Whether we're in that world or not, cryptography is here to stay, countered Bogdan Botezatu, a senior e-threat analyst with Bitdefender.

"Cryptography may have its flaws, it even may lend a helping hand to cybercrooks, but this does not mean that we're going to stop using it anytime soon," he told TechNewsWorld.

"In a world where mobile communication and strict security checks are part of the day-to-day fight with cybercrime, simply ditching encryption altogether would increase the prevalence of attacks to a point where we wouldn't have any privacy and data integrity at all," he said. "Even though crippled to some extent, cryptography still makes a huge difference."
Breach Diary.

Feb. 26. Ponemon Institute study reveals 46 percent of organizations do not evaluate the security and privacy practices of vendors before sharing sensitive or confidential information.

Feb. 26. Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on public employee data breach bill making misuse of data "a gross misdemeanor" and requiring governments to publicly name employees who misuse data.

Feb. 28. Bank of America fingers third-party contractor as source of data from the bank posted to the Internet by an affiliate of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Feb. 28. Charges dropped against Minneapolis employee who misused driver license information. Prosecutors say state law hindered prosecution of the case.

Feb. 28. Study by Javelin Strategy and Research shows that 22.5 percent of people who receive a data breach notice become victims of identity theft.

Mar. 1. Dropbox users report receiving spam to email accounts associated with a data breach of the service that occurred last year. Dropbox says it doesn't believe the spam barrage is a new problem or related to a new data breach.

Upcoming Security Events

Mar. 5. Next Steps in Security Reform: Overcoming Disconnects among Acquisitions, Security and Industry. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The SI Organization, Stonegate 2, 15052 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly, Va. US$195-$295.

Mar. 7. Smart Secure Wireless in a BYOD World. 1 p.m. ET. Webinar sponsored by Watchguard Wireless. Free.

Mar. 7-8. APWG eCrime Researchers Sync-Up. University College Dublin, Ireland. Sponsored by ICANN. $175-$225.

Mar. 12-15. Black Hat Europe. Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Registration: through Jan. 10, 1,095 euros ($1,447); through Feb. 28, 1,295 euros ($1,711); Mar. 1-15, 1,495 euros ($1,975).

March 28. Trends in Government Security - Risk Management, Compliance and Technology. 1 p.m. Webinar. Free.

Apr. 23-24. Black Hat Embedded Security Summit. McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif. Registration: Before Feb. 9, $999; Feb. 9-Apr. 18, $1,099; Apr. 19-25, $1,199.

Apr. 23-25. Infosecurity Europe. Earls Court, London, UK. Registration: By Apr. 19, free; After Apr. 19, Pounds 20.

Jun. 11. Cyber Security Brainstorm. 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.ET. Newseum, Washington, D.C. Registration for Non-government attendees: Before March 3, $395; Mar. 3-Jun. 10, $495; Onsite, $595.

Sourse: technical news

Friday, March 1, 2013

EC Poised to Unleash Its Wrath on Microsoft

It appears that Europe has had it up to here with Microsoft. The company hasn't kept its promises to let other browsers compete with Internet Explorer on an even playing field, and it will likely have to dig deep into its pockets to pay the penalty. Microsoft maintains its intentions were good -- it blamed a "technical error" for the broken promise. However, it hasn't had many takers for that line.

t will be déjà vu all over again for Microsoft, which apparently is about to be slapped with a stiff fine for violating the European Union's antitrust rules.

The European Commission will impose a penalty by the end of March for Microsoft's violation of a 2009 pledge to allow European users of its Windows operating system to choose among competing browsers, according to a Reuters report citing three anonymous sources.

The European Commission accused Microsoft of violating that promise last October, noting that between February 2011 and July 2012, Windows failed to provide a browser choice.

Microsoft blamed the lapse on a technical error and apologized. It also said that after discussions with the Commission, it would change some aspects of the way the Browser Choice Screen would work on Windows 8.

Year-and-a-Half Glitch

It is little wonder the EC is aggrieved -- the explanation Microsoft offered doesn't pass the smell test, Peter Toren, an attorney with Weisbrod, Matteis & Copley, told the E-Commerce Times.

"I have a hard time believing that Microsoft would have a glitch that lasted for a year and a half," he said.

At best, "it suggests that someone at Microsoft was asleep at the wheel," said Toren. "At worst, it shows it is not taking its legal responsibilities seriously."
Bundling IE With Windows

This particular clash between Microsoft and the EU began at the beginning of 2008 when the European Commission began exploring whether Microsoft was violating European competitive rules by tying Internet Explorer to Windows. A year later, in January of 2009, it formalized the matter by issuing a statement of objections.

Bundling the two products, the commission said at the time, "harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice."

This was hardly the first time Microsoft had clashed with the EC -- the issue of bundling has been a common theme for European regulators.

In March 2004, the Commission ordered Microsoft to offer a version of its Windows client without Windows Media Player for the same reason -- because bundling the products was a violation of its anticompetitive rules. Microsoft wound up spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting that particular battle, only to lose it in the end.

That is likely why Microsoft eventually opted to settle the complaint about bundling its browser with Windows in the summer of 2009 instead of fighting the charges. As part of the settlement, it agreed to display a "Browser Choice Screen" on Windows PCs in Europe.

- See more at: Technicle News

How to Learn SEO

The author's posts are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.

At Distilled, we define our purpose as "discovering, implementing and sharing the ways great companies succeed online". It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that (a) I think a lot about how to learn SEO effectively and (b) we try to build learning into pretty much everything we do.

"How should I learn more about X?" is one of the most common questions I get asked both internally at Distilled and from the community and
"How should I learn more about SEO? is probably the most common among those.

Paddy wrote a really useful post this week covering some excellent resources for those starting out in SEO. I wanted to add my thoughts about the most effective ways of learning:

1. Curiosity is your biggest asset

Firstly, and most importantly, it's entirely up to you. Nobody else can learn for you. The single lesson that I remember most clearly from my school days was from Mr. Wilson, my electronics teacher. Paraphrasing:

Always ask yourself 'how does that work?'

I think this is one of the most critical life skills you can possibly acquire. It might surprise you to know that I think it'll make you a better SEO if you spend your time asking yourself questions like these (Spoiler: answers at the end of the post):
How do they get cranes on top of big buildings?How come phone touch screens work through paper but not through foil?How does gmail's two-factor authentication work? [Side-note: please turn on two factor authentication - it's more pain-free than you expect]

This highlights one of the key distinctions I wanted to make in this post. Learning is not the same as training. If you are provided with formal training opportunities at work then that's great, but in my opinion it's never going to be more than 5-10% of your learning. You are responsible for you - I highly recommend this talk by Sheryl Sandberg who I think is one of the best speakers on getting ahead at work.

From an SEO perspective, I suggest applying this first to the whole stack of a search result - from crawling, indexing and ranking to the actual delivery mechanism (DNS, TCP/IP etc.). The more curious you are, the better you'll be.

Closely related to this, I highly recommend getting your hands dirty in order to try to understand how things work. I'm a big advocate that this is very rarely a bad idea - though sometimes you also need a sandbox while you're learning. (This was the motivation behind our interactive modules in DistilledU - when you are learning about robots.txt syntax or Google Analytics code modifications it's nice to take the very first steps in a safe environment).

Curiosity strikes again

I would go as far as to say that if you are looking to get into online marketing from scratch, the very first thing you should do is get a small site entirely under your control - everything from registering the domain to adding the Google Analytics code. What could go wrong?

It can take a lifetime to dominate specific skills, but it's surprising how much you can learn in a weekend (or even a couple of hours).

I talked about the exponential nature of learning in my Searchlove presentation in London last year. See slides 18+ here:

Link building mediocre to great from Will Critchlow

In summary, my mental model for learning is not an evenly paced journey from beginner to expert but more like an exponential scale where it gets many times harder to get from each stage to the next:
No experience at all - complete beginnerBasic competence - you start to be able to complete basic tasks (perhaps with oversight)Core competence - you can handle pretty much everything in this subject area"Distilled expert"(*) - one of the people that those with core competence turn to for helpRenowned expert - wrote the book

(*) that's what we call it at Distilled - you can use your initiative to come up with your own name for this level

Side-note: this scale deliberately includes a little confusion between excellence and fame - I'm afraid the real world works this way as well. My thinking on the subject was influenced by Joel Spolsky's writing on the subject of developer compensation [PDF]

You can make this work to your advantage - even if you don't intend to become a world expert in something, there is huge benefit to learning enough to know what you don't know. In my own online marketing journey, I've enjoyed applying this to technical skills ranging from setting up a linux server to toying with client-side jQuery as well as creative skills like basic video editing and animation.

I think Danny Dover's checklist is a great place to get started with this kind of learning for SEO.

I've observed that a trait that appears to separate highly successful technical marketers (and knowledge workers in general) from everyone else is the ability to recall the existence of arbitrary details.

Not everyone is a trivia geek, but they all tend to remember enough about the subtleties of a problem to find the detailed answer they need to get their job done. Whether this is remembering that there can be a time-lag to DNS propagation, that googlebot only crawls from US IP addresses or that if you include a specific user-agent directive in a robots.txt file that robot will only listen to those rules(*), it's this skill that avoids disaster over and over again.

(*) this last tidbit was something I learnt while building the robots.txt interactive module for DistilledU.

I think the way you cultivate this skill is to read widely and to create things yourself (what @bfeld has been inspiring me to call maker mode).

On the "reading widely" front, I strongly recommend setting yourself up with something like Instapaper that allows you to remain curious and interested without getting sucked into reading articles all across the internet all day every day. Instapaper gives you a browser bookmark (and mobile app) that lets you save an article to read later - and formats it for easy distraction-free reading. (My favourite feature is its ability to send a weekly "magazine" to my kindle every week). Others at Distilled like Pocket which does something similar.

The need for maker mode is the realisation that you never really understand the subtleties of something until you've done it. I talk more about this later.

Of course, you probably need deep expertise in at least some areas as well (the notorious T-shaped inpidual) but I would counsel that you should avoid spending all your time learning minutiae. The internet is full of it, half of it isn't correct and for much of the rest, you are far and away better served by shipping real things.

I talked about this at our all-hands company meeting in London in January. I talked about the perils of letting yourself be the smartest guy/gal in the room (TL;DR get yourself into a different room - at least some of the time). I think most people who have been really good at something let themselves at some point get exposed to people who are really, really good. For me this happened when I went to college. I had an experience very much like that described by @mechanical_fish in this Hacker News comment where he talks about going to a math competition:

This was one of the most valuable experiences of my life and I heartily endorse it. Because here's what happened: I got my ass handed to me. My teammates were freakishly smart. It turns out that the distribution of math-contest talent is not at all normal, and that being in the top 1% of contest-takers doesn't mean that you're within hailing distance of the top 0.5%. Oh, no.

Last year I went back to my old high school to give a talk entitled "things I wish I'd known". As I said on slide 11, you come to resemble the people you hang out with, so you should choose carefully:

Things I wish I'd known from Will Critchlow

The desire to get smart people together and let them share ideas is one of the driving forces behind the way we have designed our conferences. It's why we go for a single-track event with social events afterwards - giving people a shared context to discuss the things they've learnt with people who've got a wide range of experiences.

You don't have to go to a conference though. I started out my learning journey in SEO hanging out in online communities. Back in the day it was cre8asite (I recently saw black_knight at a conference and had fun reminiscing about those days). More recently it was SEOmoz and Twitter. I don't think you necessarily should expect to learn everything from the social interactions, but hanging out with people you know and like who know more than you do about a subject helps to steer you to learn the right thing next.

I like to think about two very different kinds of learning:
Learning to drive - you remember the first time you drove (the first time you drove stick for my US friends)? The experience of going from "HOLY CRAP I HAVE TO WATCH IN FRONT AND BEHIND AND SIDEWAYS WHILE MOVING BOTH MY HANDS AND BOTH MY FEET IN HARMON...BOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCESTALL" to "I barely think about the mechanics of coordinating feet and hands and have time to pay proper attention to the road"Learning the directions to a new place - this is more like the transition from: "Before I looked up the way, I didn't know which street to take" to "After I looked up the way, I knew which street to take"

Only one of those is transformational, isn't it? So focus on things that look more like learning to drive and less on things that look like directions to a new place.

Never written any HTML? That is a great skill for an SEO to know - a form of online "learning to drive". (I recommend Treehouse and Codecademy which complement each other nicely).

Don't know the specific way to mark up a date in the hEvent micro-format? Don't worry about it until you need it - it's a form of online "learning directions".

Another way of thinking about this is to focus on learning real-time and bicycle skills. It's worth noting here that both these forms of learning can come with the same endorphin hit, so you need to keep asking yourself if the things you are learning are the right things. This was the main reason I left my first real job. I was a "coder-in-a-suit" (Accenture-style) for a small company. As I transitioned from learning real things (we were working on financial software, so I learnt about general ledger, P&L, balance sheets etc. as well skills as diverse as SQL and business process mapping) to learning the specific way you deploy certain changes on an IBM AS400 iSeries, I realised I'd gone from learning to drive to learning directions and I had to get out.

By its definition, learning involves new things. Some new things go wrong.

This is the greatest argument for actually shipping things - it's not until you try to ship something that you discover whether it really is a success or a failure.

If you are in a position of authority, I believe it's especially important to allow yourself to fail publicly (at least openly in front of your team). I read a great article about management at Github that talks about a management style of:

Show what, don't tell how

The core point of the article is that you can lead a team by getting stuck into the team's work but holding yourself to a form of open-ness where you not only do, but are seen to do.

The author relates this mainly to core job skills, but I think it's equally important about life skills like learning. As a leader, it's even more important that you take risks and fail visibly.

My journey of learning presentation skills falls into this category. Many of you will have seen me get crushed by Rand in a head-to-head presentation competition. Slightly fewer of you will have seen the times when the learning paid off and I repaid the favour.

I'm a big fan of writing as a core part of learning. I was taught that writing things down helped you retain them in your memory. I suspect that is true, but the more powerful effect is that the act of composing your thoughts shapes them. Structuring and editing a piece of writing gets you thinking more deeply about a subject than anything else I know.

Perhaps most importantly, writing is designed to be published. And in a world of blogging and social media, it's easier than ever to get other people's eyes on your writing. This gives you a safe environment in which to fail, allows feedback and makes it easy to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.

Finally, remember that being the most effective SEO you can be has remarkably little to do with SEO knowledge. We find that once you're past the basics, the bottlenecks are increasingly likely to be what I'm going to call the "liberal arts" of marketing.

To be truly effective at SEO you need to round out your education with a whole bunch of wider knowledge including:
Regular marketingBusiness awarenessProject managementPresentation skillsWriting skillsLeadership and people management skills

I still love this post by Paddy at Distilled on his views of what it takes.

For each of these skills, you can apply the methodology outlined above.

Learning something deeply doesn't happen in hours or days. But I would really like to see people working on their own learning experience - so if you are starting from scratch, start with these specific actions from my first three suggestions:
Get curious - go and look up the answer to something that's been bugging you. How does that work?Benefit from a learning curve - challenge yourself to learn something in 2 hoursFile away the trivia - sign up for Instapaper

But also - update us here - I would love to hear your learning stories and any tips and tricks you have to share with the community.

The answers to my "curious" questions above:
Cranes that build themselvesCapacitanceA shared key and epoch time

I've been a bit quiet recently.

I've been spending a lot of time working on DistilledU - our new online training platform for SEO. It's in beta just until 22nd August (the middle of next week). Now's the time to check out the free bits (a free keyword research module and interactive guide to advanced search query operators) to see if it's something that'd help you do your job because if you sign up during beta you lock in a 50% discount for life:

We recently announced the line-up of speakers for our Searchlove conferences in London in October and Boston in November. If you have done all of the above and want to see presentations from people at the top of their game, we'd love to see you there. If you sign up now, you get early bird pricing (there's an additional £100 / $150 off for SEOmoz PRO members - get your discount code here).

PS - I mentioned at the beginning that I've been a little busy. It's not just at work. At home, the news is a new Olympic champion in the "smallest Critchlow" event - Adam Joseph was born just over a month ago. Here he is with his sister showing off presents from Rand and the moz crew - thanks again guys:

Moz's newest fans - Rachel thinks all robots are called "Roger"

View the original article here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Microsoft says small number of its computers hacked

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Friday a small number of its computers, including some in its Mac software business unit, were infected with malware, but there was no evidence of customer data being affected and it is continuing its investigation.

 The world's largest software company said the security intrusion was "similar" to recent ones reported by Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

 The incident, reported on one of the company's public blogs happened "recently", but Microsoft said it chose not to make any statement publicly while it gathered information about the attack.

 "This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries," said Matt Thomlinson, general manager of Trustworthy Computing Security at Microsoft, in the company's blog post.

 Over the past week or so, both Apple and Facebook said computers used by employees were attacked after visiting a software developer website infected with malicious software.

 The attacks come at a time of broader concern about computer security.

 Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have been infiltrated recently. Earlier this month U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order seeking better protection of the country's critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

4 ways 4G will change your life

With so many advancements in mobile phone technology, it's easy to dismiss most as insignificant. A mega-megapixel camera, a brighter screen and better apps are all good, but they're hardly going to redefine your world.

But with 4G you can expect significant life changes. A new generation of the cellular network -- already rolled out in many parts of Asia and the U.S. -- 4G promises to supercharge mobile internet connections across the UK and parts of Europe in the coming year.

Speed is the essence of 4G. Since global mobile networks began rolling out in the 1980s, a new generation of handsets has evolved roughly every decade. The latest, promising data speeds equivalent to a standard broadband internet connection, is considered the fourth -- hence 4G.

Although 4G coverage is still limited and, some critics argue, it may struggle to fulfil the ambitious claims of network operators, it is likely to make a difference to the millions of people who already channel great chunks of their lives through their mobile phones.

Some may argue none of this is a change for the better. With almost every aspect of our waking (and, in some cases, sleeping) lives slavishly conducted through our handsets, perhaps we are in danger of losing touch with the world beyond our small screens.

Others would say that by unloading life's chores onto our phones, we will be free to spend more time doing what we want to do.

Whether for good or bad, 4G is already changing our world. Here's how:

Watching, not waiting

Whereas 3G networks offered slow video downloads or buffering-plagued live streams, 4G's high data speeds should mean feature-length movies accessed in a matter of minutes, or seamless live TV. High definition video phone calls are possible too.

The implications of mobile TV growth are huge. As more people use their handsets as their primary viewing platform, moviemakers and TV producers may find themselves faced with the need to create shows that look good on smaller screens as advertisers move to mobile.

Consumers, however, would be advised to change their viewing habits with caution. Video downloads are, and will continue to be, a major drain on data allowances. Keeping up with the Kardashians could cost you fortune.

Pros: A cineplex in your pocket

Cons: A wasteland in your wallet

Connecting to the thingternet

The first generation of mobile phones were so large and clunky they were known as carphones. Most mobile calls were made from the comfort of a car because you needed a vehicle to carry around the heavy, ugly box of electronics that kept you connected.

With the advent of 4G, you're just as likely to be talking TO your car as talking from it. This is a concept known as the "Internet of Things," a world wide web of everyday items that will soon see our contact books cluttered with the email addresses of washing machines, toasters and microwave ovens (well, almost).

Some everyday items, like TiVo cable television boxes, are already hooked up to the internet, allowing users to program them remotely. It is predicted that most high-end electronic goods will soon be embedded with the ability to communicate via the internet.

Drivers will be able to defrost cars from the warmth of their bed. Fridges will tell you whether you need to buy more milk. Garden sprinklers will advise you whether the lawn needs a drink.

Such communications will flourish under 4G, as networks will offer the extra speed and capacity needed to cope with such an increase in electronic chatter.

Pros: Control every aspect of life from your mobile

Cons: Until the battery runs flat, leaving your home in digital disarray

Work, work, work

When the first BlackBerry handsets were unleashed on unsuspecting employees over the last decade they revolutionized the way many of us work.

Suddenly, we were dealing with company emails on the train, on the bus and in the bath. Thumbs suffered as people pounded out their replies on tiny QWERTY keypads. Work-life balances suffered as the lines between professional and personal time became blurred. Some relationships suffered as BlackBerrys were inevitably brought into marital beds.

These days most of us have adapted to carrying around a portal to the office in our pockets. We might check them obsessively, but we're no longer feverishly addicted to responding in real time.

The arrival of 4G could shake things up again. With a mobile network that offers broadband speeds and capacity, it in theory becomes possible to carry out all manner of online activity on the hoof.

Secure connections through which employees can access data-heavy company software become possible. As does downloading or uploading huge data files and video conferencing.

This will make life easier for workers whose job already takes them on the road. It will also unshackle many more from their desks.

But it could also lead to a tricky transition period as millions of us adapt to a new world in which almost every aspect of office life can be lugged around in our laptops.

Pro: Being able to work on the beach

Con: Beach vacation ruined!

Play, play, play

Even as 4G keeps us connected more closely to our work, it will also plug us into our play.

Whether you enjoy listening to music or engaging in multi-player computer combat, 4G should make that a seamless mobile experience via delay-free access to cloud storage or gaming servers.

Pros: Mozart on the metro. Alien annihilation on the number 8 bus.

Cons: Work and play. Our phones now own us.

2G or not 2G

Whether we like it or not, 4G is the future of mobile telecommunications (at least until 5G comes along). Some people may insist that their old 1G or 2G handsets are all that they'll ever need, but sadly they must soon bow to the inevitable.

4G phone operators have been able to increase network speeds by accessing a broader spectrum of transmission frequencies. These are expensive, with operators often entering highly competitive government auctions to secure a slice of radio bandwidth.

As demand for 4G grows, networks will be looking to dedicate more frequencies to their coverage. This will eventually mean re-assigning the frequencies that currently support 1G and 2G devices.

And so, after decades of service, millions of old LCD-screened handsets will be forced to beep their last SMS.

Pros: Recycling of an obsolete network that had little left to offer

Cons: Ungr8ful, undignified nd 2 a fone srvic dat gave us a nu lngwij & hz coNectd millions of ppl Ovr d years. :-(

How to post to Facebook, Twitter after you die

Death already has a surprisingly vivid presence online. Social media sites are full of improvised memorials and outpourings of grief for loved ones, along with the unintentional mementos the departed leave behind in comments, photo streams and blog posts.

Now technology is changing death again, with tools that let you get in one last goodbye after your demise, or even more extensive communications from beyond the grave.

People have long left letters for loved ones (and the rare nemesis) with estate lawyers to be delivered after death. But a new crop of startups will handle sending prewritten e-mails and posting to Facebook or Twitter once a person passes. One company is even toying with a service that tweets just like a specific person after they are gone. The field got a boost last week when the plot of a British show "Black Mirror" featured similar tools, inspiring an article by The Guardian.

Schedule social media posts long into the future

"It really allows you to be creative and literally extend the personality you had while alive in death," said James Norris, founder of DeadSocial. "It allows you to be able to say those final goodbyes."

DeadSocial covers all the post-death social media options, scheduling public Facebook posts, tweets and even LinkedIn posts to go out after someone has died. The free service will publish the text, video or audio messages directly from that person's social media accounts, or it can send a series of scheduled messages in the future, say on an anniversary or a loved one's birthday. For now, all DeadSocial messages will be public, but the company plans to add support for private missives in the future.

DeadSocial's founders consulted with end of life specialists while developing their service. They compare the final result to the physical memory boxes sometimes created by terminally ill parents for their children. The boxes are filled with sentimental objects and memorabilia they want to share.
"I don't think that somebody would continually be negative and troll from the afterlife."
James Norris, founder of DeadSocial

"It's not physical, but there are unseen treasures that can be released over time," Norris said of the posthumous digital messages.

Very loosely related: Manti Te'o and messages from a "dead" girlfriend

Among the early beta users, Norris observed that younger participants were more likely to make jokes around their own deaths, while people who were slightly older created messages more sincere and emotional. He's considered the potential for abuse but thinks the public nature of messages will be a deterrent. The site also requires members to pick a trusted executor, and there is a limit of six messages per week.

"I don't think that somebody would continually be negative and troll from the afterlife," Norris said optimistically. "Nobody really wants to be remembered as a horrible person."

The UK-based startup will only guarantee messages scheduled for the next 100 years, but in theory you can schedule them for 400 years, should your descendants be able receive Facebook messages on their Google corneas. The company has only tested DeadSocial with a group of beta members, but it will finally launch the service for the public at the South by Southwest festival in March. Fittingly, the event will take place at the Museum of the Weird.

The last, private word

For those interested in sending more personal messages -- confessions of love, apologies, "I told you so," a map to buried treasure -- there's If I Die. This company will also post a public Facebook message when you die (the message goes up when at least three of your appointed trustees tell the service you've died), but it can also send out private messages to specific people over Facebook or via e-mail.

Though If I Die has attracted a number of terminally ill members, the company's founders think it could be appeal to a much wider audience.

"Somebody that knows he's about to die gets time to prepare himself; the big challenge is when it happens unexpectedly," said Erez Rubinstein, a partner at If I Die.

The Israeli site launched in 2011 and already has 200,000 users. Most have opted to leave sentimental goodbyes, and written messages are more common than videos, according the company. So far, the service is entirely free, but it plans to launch premium paid options in the future.

"It's an era where most of your life and most of your presence is digital, and you want to have some control over it. You want to be in charge of how you are perceived afterward," Rubinstein said.

A tweet-bot to remember you by

A more extreme version of this type of control lies at the heart of _LivesOn, a new project with the catchy tag line "When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting."

Still in the early stages, _LivesOn is a Twitter tool in development at Lean Mean Fighting Machine, an advertising agency in the United Kingdom. The agency is partnering with the Queen Mary University to create Twitter accounts that post in the voice of a specific person, even after he or she has died.
"People have a real faith in what technology can do."
Dave Bedwood, a partner at Lean Mean Fighting Machine

When people sign up, the service will monitor their Twitter habits and patterns to learn what types of content they like and, in the future, possibly even learn to mimic their syntax. The tool will collect data and start populating a shadow Twitter account with a daily tweet that the algorithm determines match the person's habits and interests. They can help train it with feedback and by favoriting tweets.

"It's meant to be like a twin," said Dave Bedwood, a partner at Lean Mean Fighting Machine.

In the short term, Bedwood and his team said it will serve as a nice content-recommendation engine. But eventually, in the more distant future, the goal is to have Twitter accounts that can carry on tweeting in the style and voice of the original account.

The people behind the project warn against expecting Twitter feeds fully powered by artificial intelligence, or worrying about Skynet, any time soon.

"People seem to think there's a button you can press, and we're going to raise all these people from the dead," joked Bedwood, who has seen a huge spike in interest in the project over the past week. "People have a real faith in what technology can do."

Artificial Intelligence is still a long way from being able to simulate a specific individual, but recreating the limited slice of personality reflected in a Twitter feed is an interesting place to start.

The _LivesOn service is hoping to roll out to a limited number of test users at the end of March.

As with the other services, _LivesOn will require that members choose an executor. At this point, it's as much a thought experiment as an attempt to create a usable tool.

A little bit of immortality

All these companies see the potential for technology to change how people think about death. Goodbye messages can help people left behind through the grieving process, but composing them can also be comforting to people who are uncomfortable with or afraid of death.

"We shy away from death. It reaches us before we approach it," DeadSocial's Norris said. "We're using tech to soften the impact that death has and dehumanize it. It allows us to think about death in a more logical way and detach ourselves from it."

The prospect of artificial intelligence, even in 140-character bursts, can also be comforting to people who see it as a way to live on.

"The afterlife is not a new idea, it's been around for quite a long time with all the different versions of heaven and hell," Lean Mean Fighting Machine's Bedwood said. "To me this isn't any stranger than any one of those. In fact, it might be less strange."

"Apple picking" inspires NYPD smartphone and tablet squad

As New York City thieves steal smartphones and tablets in ever greater numbers, the NYPD has assigned a group of officers to hunt down the devices.

The NYPD launched the team about a year ago "when we saw a spike in (thefts of) Apple products specifically," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.

An Apple-picking problem on New York City's streets and subways has worsened in recent years. The overall crime rate in the city increased 3% last year -- but "if you subtracted just the increase in Apple product thefts, we would have had an overall decrease in crime in New York," Browne said.

Generally, the NYPD team's first step in tracing pilfered gadgets is obtaining the stolen device's serial number. Then "we supply it to Apple, and we say, when that product is activated, we want to know who it is," according to Browne.

The tech giant has largely cooperated with the NYPD's subpoenas. "I would say we're working with them. They're not fighting this," Browne said.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The NYPD's detectives have found that stolen smartphones and tablets don't tend to travel far.

About 75% of them stay in the city of New York, Browne said. And those that cross city limits are still likely to be in the state.

Browne did not quantify how successful the department has been at tracing stolen smartphones and tablets, but he did cite a few cases that had happy endings.

In one, an employee stole three iPads from his workplace, then gave them to two relatives in New York and one in the Dominican Republic. The NYPD was able to return all three to their rightful owners.

Sometimes the trail leads back to the person who swiped the iPhone; other times it leads to an unwitting owner of stolen property.

While the officers on the NYPD's smartphone squad don't focus exclusively on Apple products, they do spend most of their time chasing stolen iPhones or iPads, "simply because the number of Apple thefts is a reflection of their general popularity," Browne said.

Law-enforcement agencies like the NYPD aren't alone in targeting smartphone and tablet theft. The industry is taking steps to address it, too.

In a letter to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the wireless industry's trade association last year released details of a voluntary effort to "help law enforcement deter smartphone theft."

A major plank of that effort is the creation of a database for smartphones that are reported stolen. Phones on the database, which is scheduled to be up and running at the end of November, would be barred being activated or provided service on an LTE network in the United States.

Ultra rugged Kyocera Torque arrives March 8

Sprint today announced that the rugged and waterproof Kyocera Torque will arrive on March 8. Priced at $99 with a two-year service agreement, the Torque is the first "Ultra rugged" 4G LTE handset with Sprint Direct Connect push-to-talk service.
Previously introduced back in January, the Kyocera smartphone features a 4-inch IPS display and dual-core processor. Whereas the typical rugged smartphone is hampered by older versions of the platform, the Torque runs  Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This is good news for anyone who has grown accustomed to the Holo theme of Android and its added feature set.

Hardware details for the Kyocera Torque also include a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a respectable 2,500mAh battery. What makes this phone more rugged than others of its kind? In addition to withstanding 10 straight days of 95 percent humidity, the Torque can take six hours of heavy dust, or submersion in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Plan on braving the elements with the phone? I'm willing to bet it lasts longer than you do; The Kyocera Torque is rated to run in -4 degrees to 122 degrees F (-20 to 50 C) temperatures for three hours.

Another standout feature in the phone is the Kyocera Smart Sonic Receiver, a "proprietary tissue-conduction audio technology" transmits sound directly to your eardrum and inner ear through body tissues. If you're the construction worker type who spends long hours in freezing temperatures with jackhammers pounding all day, this might the phone of choice.

Add Microsoft to list of hacked companies

Security software companies must be smiling ear to ear as they read the news briefs coming off the transom. Microsoft said today that an undetermined number of computers in its  Mac software business unit got infected with malware. The company said the number of infected PCs was small but that there was no indication customer data had been compromised.

 Welcome to the new normal. The escalating number of reported attacks was underscored by a recent report on malware put together by McAfee which reported that the number of Trojans created to steal passwords rose about 72 percent in the last quarter.

 Last week Apple said that an unknown number of Macs had been compromised, but that "there was no evidence any data left Apple." The malware was tied back to a site targeting iPhone developers. Employee computers for Facebook and most likely dozens of other companies were also breached.
The incidents occurred roughly around the same time that The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post disclosed that outsiders had also targeted their employees' computers.