Yahoo Resets Passwords After Accounts Are Comprised in Third-Party Breach
Yahoo reset the passwords on some Yahoo Mail accounts after passwords and usernames were compromised in a hack. Yahoo shared the news in an "Important Security Update" posted on its main Tumblr blog. Yahoo did not reveal the scope of the hack.
Yahoo says, "We are resetting passwords on impacted accounts and we are using second sign-in verification to allow users to re-secure their accounts. Impacted users will be prompted (if not, already) to change their password and may receive an email notification or an SMS text if they have added a mobile number to their account."
Yahoo also says it is working with federal law enforcement officials about the breach. The Internet company says malicious computer software was used to get the usernames and emails from a third-party system. They were not obtained directly from Yahoo's systems.
Yahoo also recommends its users change passwords regularly and use passwords with "different variations of symbols and characters." They also advise not using the same password on multiple sites or services, which is always wise. If hackers get a working password they will often try and use that same password on that person's other sites and services. Take a look:
SplashData, a provider of password management application, has announced its annual list of the 25 most common passwords found on the Internet. Any password without capital letters, numbers and symbols is considered insecure, but these passwords are very, very bad. They are only used because they are so easy to remember. Here are the ten worst passwords. Using "password" as your password dropped from the number was slot this year. You can see the complete list here.
SplashData says its list was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online during the previous year.
Stephen Colbert Reveals Plan to Defeat Google's New Military Robots
Google made the surprising acquisition of Boston Dynamics last month. The company is known for its often fearsome looking military robots, such as BigDog, a robotic pack mule that can hurl cinder blocks. Stephen Colbert says the robots are the only way Google can get us to sign up for Google+. He has a plan to battle Google's new military robots. He is developing an Ewok breeding program as Ewoks are known for their ability to take down large military robots. Take a look:
Target Reveals Some Black Friday Deals Through Facebook Memory Match Game
Retailers are still using social networks to share Black Friday deals. Target has shared a Memory Match game here on its Facebook page. Like most apps, the Memory Match requires Facebook users to share some personal data with Target. 16 of the retailer's Black Friday offers are revealed after the game is completed. Here are some of the gadget deals provided in the game:
Beats Solo Headphones - $119 (reg. $179.99)
Samsung 40-inch HDTV - $397.99 (reg. $499.99)
Nintendo 3DS XL - $149.99 (reg. $199.99)
Vizio 47-inch HDTV - $379.99 (reg. $519.99)
PS3 250GB Bundle - $199.99
Nabi Tablet - $129.99 (reg. $179.99)
An image of all the revealed deals has leaked here. Generally when retailers start leaking their own deals on Facebook or other social networks the full ad release is not far off. More of this year's released deals can be found on the Black Friday Ads Chart.
How to Stop Junk Faxes
Junk faxes are the fax version of spam and they can be more irritating than spam messages, which can be blocked and filtered to some extent. L.A. Times Columnist David Lazarus runs an Ask Laz advice column. He recently did a segment on junk faxes. Sadly, there is not a Do Not Call option for faxes. Lazarus advises against calling the "unsubscribe" number provided by the faxer because it lets the spam faxer know they have a live target. He says the best move is to contact your state attorney general.
The Consumerist has a few more ideas here, such as filing a complaint with the FCC and notifying the JunkFax.org advocacy site. JunkFax.org also has a list of ten different steps you can take against junk faxers. They advise saving your junk faxes as evidence if you plan to take any action.
Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates Channel Dr. Evil and Austin Powers
Steve Ballmer channels Dr. Evil from Austin Powers in this video from 2009 which is viraling around the Internet this week. Ballmer demolishes a competitor's building as he gives an evil laugh. Bill Gates then says, "Oh, behave," and dances around as Austin Powers. The video is being heavily criticized in the YouTube comments, but it really isn't that bad considering the Microsoft executives are not actors. Gates' dancing is amusing. Take a look:
E Ink Introduces Carta, Latest Version of its Electronic Ink Display
E Ink has announced E Ink Carta, the latest version of its electronic ink display technology. E Ink says Carta sets a new standard as the whitest and highest contrast ratio display in the industry. It provides a 50 percent improvement in contrast ratio and over 20 percent improvement in reflectance over the previous version. Amazon selected the Carta display for its recently unveiled Kindle Paperwhite eReader.
Giovanni Mancini, director of product management for E Ink Holdings, said in a statement, "The Carta display technology is a testament to E Ink's continued innovation and leadership in ePaper and electronic ink displays. E Ink has always enjoyed a close working relation with its customers. The launch of Carta reaffirms our belief in the future of the ePaper market and we believe it will herald a new standard in ePaper displays."
Yahoo has unveiled a new logo. The company had 30 days of different logos leading up to the new one. The new logo is part of a Yahoo makeover under new CEO Marissa Mayer.
Ad Agereports that the new logo was created in-house at Yahoo. It uses a proprietary font. The different letter sizes are meant to represent a yodel's sound waves. The exclamation mark in the logo is briefly animated when a user arrives at yahoo.com.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Plans to Retire Within 12 Months
Microsoft Corp. announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months. He will retire upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. The Board of Directors appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.
Ballmer said in a statement, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."
Ballmer, 57, has been running the company for 13 years. Take a look:
Worst ATM PINs Revealed
The worst series of numbers to use for your ATM PIN number have been revealed. It is not surprising that these PIN numbers are easy to remember. Timereports that study was conducted by DataGenetics. The study found that thieves who steal debit cards can guess 25% of stolen card PINs within just 20 attempts. Here is a list of the top ten most-used PINs:
Four digits does not give you a lot of options, but the best method is to use a number that does not hold any significance to you. For example, do not use something a criminal could guess, such as your birth year, graduation year or partial zip.
The Squito is a throwable camera that records 360 degree panoramic video and high-resolution images. Pop Photo reports that Squito is the invention of Boston based inventor Steve Hollinger. The video footage is a little shaky, but far better than you would expect. The aerial images and panoramas look very good. The Squito has spin stabilization to make the video less shaky than it normally would be. Take a look:
Hollinger was recently granted a second patent for the technology used in Squito.
iRobot has announced that it has been awarded a $30 million Army contract. The four-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract allows for the delivery of iRobot PackBot FasTac robotic systems and associated spares.
The iRobot PackBot allows military and public safety personnel to investigate dangerous objects and environments from a safe distance. The robot is used in a wide variety of operations. Some of the operations include neutralizing roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices. It can also screen vehicles and search buildings, bunkers, caves and tunnels. iRobot says it has deliverd over 5,000 robots to military and civil defense forces worldwide to doate.
iRobot is also known for its consumer line, which includes the Roomba.
3M Touch Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3M Company, has announced the launch of the 3M Multi-Touch Display C4667PW. The display can track up to 60 simultaneous touches. It has a 10 millisecond touch response rate. The display has 1920x1080 resolution and 178 degree viewing angles.
Diego Romeu, global business unit manager, 3M Electronic Business Solutions, says in a statement, "The 46-inch C4667PW chassis display is our largest multi-touch display to date and helps redefine on-screen collaboration possibilities. This new display is an ideal solution for companies developing multi-user applications that are looking for the reliability, robustness, and touch performance needed for commercial environments."
New York City Launches .nyc Top-Level Domain
New York City has announced the launch of the .nyc Top-Level domain. The .nyc names are expected to become available in late 2013. Fees for the domains will be determined then. A website for .nyc has been set up at mydotnyc.com.
The City of New York says New York City businesses and organizations with a NYC address, individuals with a primary residence in NYC, as well as those offering products or services to New Yorkers can register a .nyc domain name.
Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer for New York City, said in a statement, "Pursuing the .nyc top-level domain has been a goal of Mayor Bloomberg's Digital Roadmap from the start, and this caliber of innovation keeps New York City on track to becoming the world's leading digital city. Our digital strategy is focused on improving the lives of New Yorkers through investments in technology infrastructure, education, data, engagement and industry. The introduction of .nyc will spur unprecedented local civic and economic activity."
iRobot and Cisco Launch Ava 500 Video Collaboration Robot
iRobot and Cisco have partnered to launch the Ava 500 video collaboration robot, a new telepresence robot. iRobot says that Ava 500 can help a remote worker meet with colleagues in an office setting or take part in experiences, like a facility tour, that would otherwise be difficult or impossible from afar.
The system can be controlled through an iPad interface. The robot will be available starting in early 2014. Take a look: