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September 28, 2011 / David Bleeker

Speedier Firefox 7 Uses Less Memory

Mozilla has released Firefox 7. Thanks to the faster release cycle, Firefox 7 comes just six weeks after Firefox 6 and brings some significant speed boosts that make it well worth the upgrade.

If you’d like to take Firefox 7 for a spin, head over to the Mozilla downloads page. Current Firefox users will be automatically updated to the latest version.

Firefox 7 sees as much as a 50 percent reduction in memory use, which is great news for those that frequently have a lot of tabs open or leave Firefox running for long periods of time.

The shrinking memory footprint is part of Mozilla’s ongoing effort to reduce Firefox’s memory use. This is the first release to benefit from the MemShrink project, as it’s known. Those who’ve been using the Nightly or Aurora channels know that even more memory improvements are on their way in Firefox 8 and 9. [read more]

September 28, 2011 / David Bleeker

Mobile shopping will spike after Thanksgiving dinner: PayPal

PayPal predicts that after Thanksgiving dinner will be the first mobile shopping spike of the holiday season.

According to the company, this will start a new Thanksgiving tradition of couch commerce. PayPal’s recent survey found that almost half – 46 percent – of consumers said they plan to make holiday purchases with a mobile device this year. [read more]

September 28, 2011 / David Bleeker

Burglars Now Using Twitter, Facebook Against You

Common sense, but often ignored…

Next time you leave your home for any appreciable length of time, whatever you do, don’t tell the Internet. A new study has revealed that an unsettling 78% of burglars use social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to choose just where they’re going to break in next.

That’s not the only way that burglars have started using the Internet; 74% of those polled by British home security firm Friedland also admitted to casing their joint of choice using Google Street View wherever possible. [read more]

September 27, 2011 / David Bleeker

SlideShare ditches Flash, rebuilds entire site in HTML5

SlideShare, the website for sharing PowerPoint presentations and other documents, has had a major makeover. The company has ditched Adobe Flash technology entirely, and rebuilt its website using the HTML5 markup language, SlideShare co-founder and CTO Jon Boutelle will announce at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference Tuesday.

This means that SlideShare is now viewable on every kind of mobile device, from iPads to iPhones to Android devices and beyond. Another perk is that the website is now 30 percent faster and its files take up 40 percent less space than they used to. Search engines can now read the content within SlideShare slides, meaning that presentations hosted there should start to get much higher page rankings on sites like Google. Text within documents can now be copied and pasted, as well. [read more]

September 27, 2011 / David Bleeker

Apple updates OS X to block Mac Trojan

Apple has updated the bare-bones antivirus protection included with Mac OS X to detect a Trojan horse that poses as a PDF document.

That Trojan, named “Revir.A” by Finnish security company F-Secure but “Revir.B” by others, masquerades as a PDF file. Unwary users who download and open the fake PDF actually start a malware chain reaction that infects a Mac with multiple pieces of attack code, including a “backdoor” designed to listen to a hacker-controlled server for further instructions. [read more]

August 15, 2011 / David Bleeker

Is the Cloud Obstructing Security?

In the past, before the days of the World Wide Web and the cloud, security seemed to be much easier to manage, simply because there was physical control of the endpoints. PCs were usually located on desks, within the building, unauthorized access was usually easy to spot and building security added another layer of protection.

Today, most administrators are challenged on several levels to keep data secure. First, there is the user perspective, where users want to avoid any complicated log-in mechanisms or even have to remember multiple, complex passwords and log-in names. Simply put, making it easier for the user tends to compromise security. Yet there is another issue here: Making it complicated for the user can compromise security. This is evident by the number of post-it notes attached to monitors that have log-in instructions, account names and passwords all out in the open.

So here we have the classic catch-22: Simple security measures can lead to security breaches, while complex security measures can also lead to security breaches. [read more]

August 15, 2011 / David Bleeker

Motorola acquisition means Google gets 17,000 patents, 3 times Nortel’s

So – Google has acquired Motorola’s mobile phone business for a whopping $12.5 billion. Things just got very interesting in the Google, Apple and Microsoft battle.

Android now has around half of the global smartphone market. And combined with iOS, Google and Apple account for over two-thirds of the smartphone market globally.

It’s easy to explain Android’s dominance. It’s a free, open-source platform, and thus can be used by any mobile phone manufacturer, just as the likes of HTC, Samsung, Acer, Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola already do.

News that Google has acquired Motorola Mobility means that besides now adding a mobile phone company to its repertoire, it also owns many, many patents.

Motorola Mobility spun off as an independent company from Motorola back in January, and at that time it announced it had over 24,000 patents ‘granted and pending’, though it’s thought its actual existing portfolio is around the 17,000 mark. These will now belong to Google. [read more]