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PC Magazine reports the FBI emailed a five-page confidential notice warning US businesses to watch out for malware similar to the kind that infected Sony Pictures Entertainment’s internal system. The notice shared some details on what happened at Sony including overwriting of data that may be difficult or impossible to recover. The BBC asked the North Korean government if it was involved in the attack. A spokesman for the North Korean government replied: “”The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK (North Korea). I kindly advise you to just wait and see.” Meanwhile Reuters reports a U.S. national security official says North Korea is among the multiple suspects being investigated.
The Verge reports Twitter announced changes to its process for reporting abuse. Fewer steps will now be required to report such behaviour, and those who are not involved have an easier way to flag abuse when they see it. Also, blocked users will no longer be able to view the profiles of people who have blocked them. Users will also have a page where they can view and edit accounts they have blocked.
Recode reports that Sprint has a new promotion coming Friday in the US. Customers who bring a current AT&T or Verizon bill into a Sprint store can set up a new Sprint plan that is half the cost of their current charges for calls, texting and data. The customer has to buy an unsubsidized phone though. Sprint will also pay up to $350 in early termination fees or remaining device payments, if customers turn in their existing devices. The offer does not extend to T-Mobile customers. Or current Sprint customers.
The Verge reports Snapchat now allows all its users to create pictures with geofilters. Snapchat added the feature earlier this year allowing users to view images attached to a location but until now only developers could create the images. Users interested in submitting images must follow template instruction at snapchat.com/geofilters, choose the location, then upload. Snapchat employees must approve the art before it’s shared with friends.
The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is making a comeback. The Verge reports the popular 1980s computer from the UK is being recreated through an Indiegogo project endorsed by Sir Clive Sinclair himself. The new Sinclair Spectrum Vega comes in the shape of a rectangular gamepad with 1,000 preloaded games. You can also use an SD card to load in more games. Backers must pay £100 for delivery expected to begin in February.
Reuters reports that Cyber Monday sales got off to a slow start, apparently because web promotions got off to an EARLY start. According to data from IBM Digital Analytical Benchmark, US online sales grew only 8 percent on Cyber Monday. Sales were projected to rise between 13-15 percent. The reason? Promotions began during the Thanksgiving weekend or even earlier possibly taking business away from Monday. So basically, people are shopping all the time, not just on one day. IBM also said Cyber Monday sales continued to be driven by mobile traffic which grew 38.3 percent this year, even as the average order value remained flat at $131.66.
TechCrunch reports US FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai sent a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings today alleging the company is working to effectively secure Internet fast lanes. Pai notes Netflix, like Google did not join a consortium to create streaming video standards then accuses Netflix of changing its protocols to impede open caching software from correctly identifying Netflix traffic. Pai seems to be referring to Netflix’s Open Connect program where edge caching machines are placed inside ISPs like Cablevision to improve performance of Netflix video.
The Next Web reports Steam unveiled a new beta feature today called ‘Broadcasting.’ The feature allows a user to stream gameplay to friends, similar to Twitch, but directly from the Steam client. Steam broadcasting is only available for PC at launch but game streams can be viewed in Chrome and Safari.
News From You:
KAPT_Kipper sent us the devastating news that Microsoft has closed down the clip art and image library on office.com. Tech Crunch reports that users in need of imagery will now be pointed towards Bing Image search with a Creative Commons filter turned on. So, goodnight cow. Goodnight moon. Good night lady, with cake and balloons.
In related news, D’Angelo Barksdale was last seen yelling, “Where’s Word ART? String, look at me! Where’s WORD ART?”
TNTFan sent us theThe Next Web report that famed physicist Stephen Hawking has a new communications system that uses technology from SwiftKey to make it easier for him to write and talk. The updated system, which is built by Intel, lets him accurately choose entire words rather than individual characters. Professor Hawking’s typing speed is twice as fast with the new system. Wired Magazine has details of the development of the system, called called ACAT (Assistive Context Aware Toolkit) which is available as open source software in January.
ktoll2 passed along the Verge story about the journal Nature making research studies it publishes free to read online. Well sort of. The studies are free to read using a proprietary software platform accessible only if you have a direct link provided by a subscriber, and kept in a format that prohibits copying, printing, or downloading. So not really free as in beer or speech, more like free if you can get to it. Still that’s 140 years of peer-reviewed research that technically anyone can access.
Discussion Links: Objective v. Subjective
Pick of the Day: Junecloud via Jamie Brand
I wanted to tell you about an app I just discovered today called Deliveries by Junecloud. It’s a package tracking solution that has apps for iOS and OSX and makes tracking your shipped packages painless. It breaks down the ETA for each package, and even sends notifications if there is a change to your scheduled delivery date. The app for iOS costs $4.99 but with that you are able to use almost all of the main shipping outlets like UPS, USPS, Canada Post etc, and it even lets you forward confirmation emails to automatically add tracking information to the app. They just added a Widget to the Today screen as well so you don’t even have to open the app. I will be using this alot in the coming weeks for my many amazon purchases and hopefully fellow DTNS listeners can do the same.
Jamie in beautiful BC
Plug of the Day:
Wednesday’s guest: Allison Sheridan of the Nosillacast podcast