Posts tagged they

Google’s Top 3 Tech Trends For 2015, And What They Mean For Marketers by @mattsouthern

Google released a list of the top 3 tech trends marketers should watch in 2015, which are predictions based on information about consumer intentions gather by analyzing search data. Here are the top 3 tech trends Google found, and what they mean for your business in 2015. The Emergence of “Connected Life Platforms” Connected life platforms is a phrase Google has coined for devices that represent “Internet of things”, which also connect to each other. You know how you can control your Nest thermostat with your Pebble smartwatch? Google sees more of this type of thing going on in 2015, and […]

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Hackers Say They Can Lift Your Fingerprints From Digital Photos


Fingerprint scanners may be all the rage right now, thanks to the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices. But the cool tech may have just hit a major snag. Hackers claim they can lift fingerprints from hi-res photos with fingers in the frame.

At the 31st annual Chaos Computer Club conference in Hamburg, Germany, Jan Krissler (aka “Starbug”) revealed to the European hacking group how he duplicated a thumbprint—and not just anyone’s. He duped the digit of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

There’s no special equipment required. Krissler used a few high-resolution photos—with the pads of von der Leyen’s fingers showing at different angles—to cobble together a complete print. Given how good photographic technology has gotten, consumer- and prosumer-grade cameras could easily do the job. Add commercial software VeriFinger to the mix, and you’ve got a trick worthy of spy movies.


Given the rising interest in fingerprint authentication, the hacker jokes that now “politicians will presumably wear gloves when talking in public.”

For the rest of us, there’s no reason to fear using, say, TouchID-enabled Apple Pay, at least not yet. This sort of exploit requires a targeted effort around one specific subject. However, it does illustrate one thing: As new and innovative security practices and technologies emerge, hackers find new and creative ways to foil them.

That’s unsettling enough when our logins and emails get leaked. (Just ask Sony.) But biometric authentication, like retina and fingerprint scanning, adds a new dimension to security concerns. After all, passwords are easy to change. Fingers and eyeballs, not so much.

If you speak German and want to watch Krissler in action, check out the video below.

Lead photo by Kārlis Dambrāns; other photos from YouTube video by Gefahren von Kameras für (biometrische) Authentifizierungsverfahren [31c3] 

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Oh No They Didn’t: European Parliament Calls For Break Up Of Google

Today many Americans are busy preparing Thanksgiving meals or getting ready to travel to the homes of friends and family to celebrate the holiday. But Google certainly won’t be giving thanks for the European Parliament’s vote in favor of a resolution to “unbundle”…



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“Big Data Ethics” Sound Great, But They Won’t Stop The NSA—Or Facebook


It was worth a shot. At the recent Strata Conference in Barcelona, Hadoop founder Doug Cutting took to the stage to argue for a new era of Big Data ethics.

“It’s time for us to reflect as we enter this new data age on how we want it to work,” Cutting declared. “This is the time when the practices and policies we want will be set for the coming decades.”

Cutting is right, of course. But he’s also too late. By open sourcing Hadoop under a liberal license, Cutting gave the world the rope to save or hang itself.

On the data privacy front, we seem hell bent on the latter.

Spying On The Elephant

While Big Data bad behavior isn’t remotely exclusive to government, it is the U.S. government that has turned data into a cause for concern. Against this backdrop of widespread data (mis)use, Cutting told Strata attendees that the time is now to establish principles of transparency and ethics for the coming decades of Big Data adoption and use.

“In science fiction, the people who collect the data are the bad guys,” he laughingly noted. “I don’t want to be one of those bad guys.”

Few, perhaps, do aspire to misuse data. But one person’s misuse is another’s fair use. And given that all the best Big Data technology is open source, there’s really nothing to prevent governments or private corporations collecting and using data however they see fit. 

As one Quora commentator puts it, “Open source is open source and people will use it for whatever and however they want to use it. It’s hard to make a morals call.”

And why shouldn’t they? After all, not only are organizations like the NSA and CIA feverishly using Hadoop, they’re also actively helping to develop Hadoop and other Big Data technology. In fact, while the NSA used to try to build its own data tools, it now has turned to Hadoop for much of the heavy lifting on analyzing data sets on its citizens.

Some of the NSA’s modifications to Hadoop are being contributed back. Some almost certainly are not. Regardless, both jeopardize trust in government to the point, as Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt posits, “We’re going to wind up breaking the Internet.”

The People Fight Back

Concern over government and corporate spying has given rise to new open-source projects like Detekt to help consumers fight back. Detekt, launched by Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other non-profits, aims to uncover “commercial surveillance spyware that has been identified to be also used to target and monitor human rights defenders and journalists around the world.”

It’s a nice step in the right direction, though it’s hobbled by being a Windows-only executable. Running on Windows is irony at its finest, given that Windows has long offered U.S. spy agencies a back door

What, Me Worry?

But it’s probably not fair to single out the U.S. government—or any other—for Big Data malfeasance. After all, private corporations are only too happy to use data to fight competitors and rope in consumers.

As I’ve written before, I’ve watched my own son get hammered by data-hungry gaming companies, and I have friends whose lives have been decimated by data-mad porn companies. 

Cutting wants a new era of responsibility, but the temptation to use data will almost certainly prove irresistible for companies and governments to resist. The only solution seems to be an uprising, not from the tech industry but rather from ordinary folks whose data is misused. 

But for that to happen, we need to lose our addiction to free services like Gmail or Facebook (powered by Hadoop), which encourage us to contribute data so that we can have free storage, free socializing, free everything. Evgeny Morozov calls out this “disturbing trend whereby our personal information—rather than money—becomes the chief way in which we pay for services—and soon, perhaps, everyday objects—that we use.”

In sum, it’s nice to wish for a new era of Big Data ethics, whereby corporations and governments respect our privacy, but it’s hard to square that vision with the consumer’s willingness to sell her data for a mess of free services.

Lead image by takomabibelot 

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What They Don’t Tell You in School About Being an Entrepreneur by @LarryKim

Past generations might find today’s vision of the American dream unrecognizable. While the American dream was once composed of white picket fences and a comfortable home in the suburbs, today “making it” looks quite different. Many individuals would gladly sacrifice the 9-5 grind for a chance at becoming an entrepreneur, with the promise of becoming your own boss, developing a business of your own creation, and watching it grow and thrive. Starting WordStream and witnessing it develop from a startup into a truly successful company has been a wild and rewarding experience, but there are definitely some aspects about being […]

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AdWords Callouts – How Are They Performing to Date?

Lots of clients have adopted Google callouts as part of their copy strategy, but how are they performing so far?

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Google On How They Know When To Slow Or Stop Crawling Your Web Site

Today at SMX East, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Gary Illyes shared with the audience two technical ways Google determines when GoogleBot, their crawlers, should slow down or stop crawling your web site. One of the more important factors with SEO is to ensure the search engine crawlers…



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In The EU, Lots Of People Are Asking Google To Forget Content That They Authored

Here’s one from the “shaking my head” department: If you assumed that all of the “Right To Be Forgotten” (RTBF) requests that people in the European Union are sending to Google are for unflattering or inaccurate web pages written by third parties, you’d be wrong….



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Sitelinks: What They Are and Why They’re Important for SEO – Business 2 Community

Sitelinks: What They Are and Why They're Important for SEO
Business 2 Community
However, you can indicate that a sitelink is not important or relevant by demoting it. Sitelinks are created through good content marketing and SEO practices, both on and off site. The process of creating sitelinks may sound like website development

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7 Objections Against SEO (And Why They Aren’t True) – Forbes


Business 2 Community
7 Objections Against SEO (And Why They Aren't True)
Forbes
Whether you run a local business, an ecommerce store or small service company, it is crucial that you focus on increasing organic presence and traffic. What follows however is a list of the 7 most common objections against SEO along with explanation
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