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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google Inc. is preparing to roll out a music download service tied to its search engine later this year, followed by an online subscription service in 2011, according to people familiar with the Internet giant's discussions with the music industry.

Google's proposals are still vague, say these people, and it's unclear whether it has struck any deals with record labels so far. But Google has been stepping up conversations about offering new music services tied to phones running its Android operating system along with the broader Web, said people who have been briefed on the talks. The launch of Google's download music store is still months away, these people said.

The discussions come as Google has been pushing deeper into music. Last year, as a first step, the company began linking to partner websites like iLike and Pandora through its search engine, allowing people to stream songs with one click from its search page. Now, the company is looking to tie its own service to its search engine, too.

The discussions come as the Mountain View, Calif.-based search company has been ramping up on entertainment content. Google is also moving to add professional content on its YouTube video site, and is planning to roll out a digital bookstore this year.

The launch of a Google music store would heighten tensions with Apple Inc., whose iTunes store is the leading U.S. digital music seller. Apple also recently began selling digital books. The two Silicon Valley giants have been at odds since Google launched its Android mobile phone software, a direct challenge to Apple's popular iPhone. Apple recently hit back with an advertising platform for its iPhone and iPad tablet that has terms Google says could limit competition.

Google and Apple declined to comment for this article.

Google's push into music retailing is likely to be welcomed by music labels that are increasingly concerned about Apple's dominant position among U.S. music retailers. Apple accounted for 28% of all music purchased by U.S. consumers in the first quarter, according to NPD Group.

The recording industry has long sought a counterweight to Apple's growing clout, but rivals such as Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. remain far behind with about a 12% share each, according to NPD.

The first phase of Google's music service is expected to be a Web store where users can buy and download tracks, music industry insiders said. It will be tied directly to Google's search engine, so that people using to look for a particular group or song will be served a link to the company's music store, according to people familiar with the talks.

These people also said the download store would be an "interim" step toward what is expected to be a more ambitious cloud-based subscription service compatible with mobile phones built with Google's Android software. A cloud-based service would enable subscribers to stream music directly from the Internet to their mobile phones, so that users wouldn't need to store music files on their devices. Google recently provided a glimpse of a Web-based music store within its Android Market, which sells apps for phones built with Google's Android mobile software.

Apple in the past several months bought and then shut down online music service, prompting widespread speculation it might also soon launch a new cloud-based version of its iTunes music store.

—Jessica E. Vascellaro contributed to this article.



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Monday, June 21, 2010

In one of my previous post, I wrote about the importance of getting value Twitter Followers. Value Twitter followers are nothing but real followers who love and reply your Tweets. But the value of “ Value Twitter Followers “ is now going down after the introduction of Making Money through Tweets. If you really want to make money through Twitter then you need massive number of Followers because most of these money making programs are based on how many clicks others made on your Tweet. ( PPC ). The theory is quite simple, the more followers you have then more chance to make money.
more chance to make money.

image image image

I suggest my readers to use Sponsored Tweets, RevTweet, and Magpie as your twitter money making options. Sponsored Tweets gives you freedom to rate our own Twitter Account and in RevTweet we can automate our money making Tweets. ( I am so happy to say that recently I successfully completed one Tweet offer in Sponsored Tweets ).

Now you should concentrate on how to make more followers. There are many pay sites that offer bulk followers for Twitter. Unfortunately most of these twitter accounts are invalid or inactive accounts. So it is always better that you should participate in a program where account holders manually follow each other. Two interesting programs are given below, which you can try to get many followers.


What I Like in FastFollowers ? Click here to reach Fastfollowers

1. This is a game of earning credits and getting good followers. Once a member is out of credit, then he will not get followers. So this makes him, actively follow others. We can make sure that somebody will follow you.

2. The program will notify us through email when our credit reaches zero.

3. You may change the offer of your credit and can view how many people followed you through FastFollowers.

4. Free to enjoy. ( Not all options, still very useful in earning good followers )

5. Fastfollowers using Twitter Oath to verify account and no need to update Twitter Account each time.

What I hate in FastFollower ?

1. Some accounts that I already followed are appearing again in the list. This makes me confusion whether to click on that account again or not.

2. The members list to follow is very short and it should be at least 50 members for us to choose in a single time itself.


What I Like in Twitter Follower ?

1. Very easy one click option to follow and unfollow others. Just Login and Start following people who are available in the list. Now more than 2000 active Twitter accounts available in Twitter Follower.

2. Free to use, Site owned by John Chow, Famous internet celebrity.

What I hate in Twitter Follower ?

1. Every time we need to update our Twitter Account , with username and password. This site doesn't use Twitter Oath to approve login.

2. Some Twitter accounts in “List” are inactive or invalid. So after every login, we need to unfollow those who are not following us back.

3. If our name is in the last page of the list, then not sure that somebody will follow us.

I suggest my readers to use both programs simultaneously. This will definitely earn huge followers for you. But, never forget to monetize your Twitter before doing this.


Folder lock 6.4.1

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Sunday, June 20, 2010


How to make money with PTC sites

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Friday, June 18, 2010

how to make money online is a search phrase that thousands of people type into their search engine each day, and if you are anything like me, then you’ve read a whole lot of different ways how to make money online.

How do you make money online then? There are a few ways to make money straight away, but the way I’m going to explain here is PTC.(Paid to click)

You may or may not have heard of PTC, or even read articles about how people make money online using it. The truth is you’re not going to make a small fortune with it unless 1. You sign up to every PTC site and click every ad or 2. Refer every single person you possibly can to sign up to the sites you’re registered with, and click the ads. The second option being the better one, unless you have got time to click ads all day!.

What is PTC?

PTC sites have got paid advertisements on them that pay you $0.01c for you to view them for 30 seconds. You can only view one ad at a time, and you must wait for the counter to count down 30 seconds before your PTC account gets credited.

If you refer someone, anyone as long as it’s not the same computer as yours, and then your account gets credited $0.01c for every ad they click on as well. So the more sites you join, and the more people you refer, the more money you make.

How to make money online with PTC :

1. Firstly if you haven’t started an Alertpay or PayPal account then sign up for one of those, I prefer AlertPay as not every site uses PayPal.

2. Sign up to a PTC site. I would start with 5-10 different PTC sites, depending on how much time you have to click on the ads. There are usually 5-13 different ads to click on each different site, with 30 seconds per ad, it does add up.

3. Click on all the ads that are available. Remember you can only click on 1 PTC ad at a time, or you won’t get credited to your account. It’s good to read through some of the ads for future marketing tips.

4. Refer people to the PTC sites that you have joined. You can do this many ways, start a blog, write articles, send emails to friends, use comments on different blogs and sites, word of mouth! Where ever you think people may want to do this as well, give it a go. Start small and grow and grow and grow. This is how you make money online with PTC, refer refer refer.

Here is a PTC site that I recommend to start with, find more at my blog:


How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

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Many wonder, how does affiliate marketing work for them? Those who are looking to begin an internet business, or add a stream of income to already existing ones may find themselves interested in the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, which truly is not a difficult concept to understand. Affiliate marketing is beneficial for both the merchant and the individual who partners with the company, and with a successful relationship, this form of Internet advertising can, in the long run, be quite lucrative. The Internet is rife with companies selling products or offering services to people who surf the web. More so than even in a traditional market, advertising is extremely important online. The competition is so fierce on the World Wide Web because of the fact that companies are no longer competing with others in a general geographic area, they are having to go up against others who offer similar goods but that could be based anywhere in the world. This is why advertising is so essential.

Understanding the changing business climate important when finding out the answer to how does affiliate marketing work. So, considering the suddenly steep competition, merchants began to try and think of new ways to get the word out about their companies. This is where the individual website owner plays a vital role. Business owners began to realize the potential that independently run websites have in reaching a large section of the population. Companies began contracting these people to advertise on their websites. And it was not before long, considering the success of these ventures, that many began to ask themselves, "how does affiliate marketing work?"

But how does affiliate marketing work for the individual? For those thinking about beginning an Internet-based business, this brand of marketing can often be a wise investment to make. It operates under the confines of an already existing website. So it is wise to make sure that an individual has his own website first before looking into affiliate marketing opportunities. Once there is a steady stream of traffic that visits the site on a consistent basis, a person will begin looking attractive to potential companies.

One of the next most frequently asked questions after "how does affiliate marketing work," is "how much effort does a person have to put into this?" The answer to the last question varies. An affiliate can basically decide how much work he wants to put in on his end of the bargain. While sometimes companies may have preferences about what they expect, for the most part, that decision is left up to the website owner. Some choose to write actual advertisements out for the company, posts or entries that detail the highlights of the product being advertised. Others are simply content to just post a banner or ad on their website and wait for people to click on it, without any extra urging.

So what happens once a person clicks on an advertisement? How does affiliate marketing work in this aspect? First, in order to answer this question for a seller, one must look at his contract for the specifics, although there are standardized business practices across the board that affiliate marketers can look at when trying to get a general idea. Depending on the agreement with the company, some merchants will offer pay per click or pay per sale. Pay per click, while not in popular use today, is the practice of paying a commission to a website owner every time a reader clicks on an advertisement for the company. Once a reader mouse clicks over the banner, it redirects them to an offshoot of the company's site; the website owner has a specialize code linked to the URL, that tells the merchant how many people were directed there from the banner. The merchant then pays the commission accordingly; these, however, have declined in popularity since their inception.

Because of the fact that dishonest individuals were able to find ways to fool the computer systems and scam merchants into paying for customers who did not actually visit the companys site, many companies have tried to find other ways to measure the success of an advertisement. As a result, most merchants have moved to a "pay per sale" method. This pays the commission to the website owner each time a customer purchases something from the business after going through the affiliate's ad. While this certainly benefits the merchant more than the individual, seeing as how the company only has to pay once results are seen, this method also safeguards the individuals in a way. This assures that individuals will not have to be victims of fraudulent practices as well. Although, this method of payment will generally not generate revenue as quickly as the pay per click would.

How does affiliate marketing work differently from other forms of Internet business? A person does not have to spend exorbitant amounts of time fostering business for the company. As long as he continues to do what he had been doing previous to becoming an affiliate, the work should not add any extra stress to his life. "Be thou diligent to know the state of they flocks, and look well to thy herds" (Proverbs 27:23). If a person is able to watch over his own interests, then there should not be any reason why being a marketer should not add increased revenue. No longer will anyone have to ask, "how does affiliate marketing work?" As shown, clearly it can and does work, and can work for anyone


YouTube Builds a Cutting Room in the Cloud

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YouTube Builds a Cutting Room in the CloudGoogle has unveiled the YouTube Video Editor, which lets people edit their videos in the cloud.

The application lets users merge clips into a longer video or edit down a video, among other things. Google said it will add new features based on user feedback.

The video editor is available on TestTube, which is a laboratory of sorts for YouTube.

About the YouTube Video Editor

The video editor lets users combine multiple short clips they have uploaded to create a longer video. It also lets them trim the beginning and ending of their videos.

Users can add soundtracks from Google's AudioSwap library. They can also create new videos without worrying about file formats, then publish them to YouTube with one click.

"We're looking forward to adding new features based on your feedback to make the video more powerful while still retaining its simplicity," Google's Rushabh Doshi and Joshua Siegel wrote on the YouTube blog.

"The video editor is pretty simplistic and only does two things," remarked Andrew Eisner, director of community and content at Retrevo. "It lets you rearrange some clips and add soundtracks from this new Google sound library," he added.

"We've released the editor into TestTube, which is where we push products we want the community to test out before we push them out more widely to the '.com' site," YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale told TechNewsWorld.

He declined to give a date for when the editor will be put into general circulation.

The Rough Edges

Some early users have complained that the editor is very slow and video takes a long time to load, but Dale pointed out that this is because the editor is online.

"Because it's based in the cloud, Video Editor's responsiveness is dependent on the strength and speed of your Internet connection," he remarked.

Other users have warned that Google's servers could be overloaded because edited videos have to be saved separately from the originals, and that will mean there may be several versions of a video online unless the earlier ones are deleted.

"We're not worried too much about this, and our users certainly shouldn't worry about it," Dale said. "We have enough servers to easily handle the 24 hours of video that is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and regularly challenge our users to upload even more content to YouTube."

Shaking Up the Industry

Google's entry into the free online video editing industry will shake things up for the incumbents, Retrevo's Eisner told TechNewsWorld.

"Sure, it validates the idea of this service, but it brings to mind that old story about the elephant stepping on the ant and saying, 'There, you've got your validation,'" Eisner explained. "It could spell trouble for some of the other online video editors unless they come up with some differentiation."

A host of free video editors is available online. They include Cuts from Rifftrax; Jaycuts, and Motionbox, which powers personal video uploads for Shutterfly and AOL.

Cuts is a service that lets users create and share their takes of any online video. They can insert sound effects, add captions and loop the parts they like the most. They can then embed their creation on any webpage or blog, or email it to their friends. It works with any platform and within any browser.

Motionbox offers a personal video service that lets users share videos only with people they select. It offers a basic free service as well as a premium, for-pay service. The premium service offers "virtually unlimited" video storage, high-quality downloads to a computer or iPod, a high-definition player and full-screen playback, DVDs and Flipbooks of members' videos and large file uploads.

Jaycuts is one of the free online video editors that offers differentiation by licensing its editor out, Eisner said.

"If you have a social media site or are building a travel site and want to let people edit videos on that site, you can let them do that by licensing Jaycuts' video editor," Eisner explained. "You can't do that with YouTube on your site, you'll have to go to the YouTube site.


SEO: Google's Next Big Move

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(Will your website be ready, or will you be playing catch-up six months too late?

November 2003 might go down in history as the month that Google shook a lot of smug webmasters and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists from the apple tree. But more than likely, it was just a precursor of the BIG shakeup to come.

Google touts highly its secret PageRank algorithm. Although PageRank is just one factor in choosing what sites appear on a specific search, it is the main way that Google determines the "importance" of a website.

In recent months, SEO specialists have become expert at manipulating PageRank, particularly through link exchanges.

There is nothing wrong with links. They make the Web a web rather than a series of isolated islands. However, PageRank relies on the naturally "democratic" nature of the web, whereby webmasters link to sites they feel are important for their visitors. Google rightly sees link exchanges designed to boost PageRank as stuffing the ballot box.

I was not surprised to see Google try to counter all the SEO efforts. In fact, I have been arguing the case with many non-believing SEO specialists over the past couple months. But I was surprised to see the clumsy way in which Google chose to do it.

Google targeted specific search terms, including many of the most competitive and commercial terms. Many websites lost top positions in five or six terms, but maintain their positions in several others. This had never happened before. Give credit to Barry Lloyd of for cleverly uncovering the process.

For Google, this shakeup is just a temporary fix. It will have to make much bigger changes if it is serious about harnessing the "democratic" nature of the Web and neutralizing the artificial results of so many link exchanges.

Here are a few techniques Google might use (remember to think like a search engine):

  1. Google might start valuing inbound links within paragraphs much higher than links that stand on their own. (For all we know, Google is already doing this.) Such links are much less likely to be the product of a link exchange, and therefore more likely to be genuine "democratic" votes.

  2. Google might look at the concentration of inbound links across a website. If most inbound links point to the home page, that is another possible indicator of a link exchange, or at least that the site's content is not important enough to draw inbound links (and it is content that Google wants to deliver to its searchers).

  3. Google might take a sample of inbound links to a domain, and check to see how many are reciprocated back to the linking domains. If a high percentage are reciprocated, Google might reduce the site's PageRank accordingly. Or it might set a cut-point, dropping from its index any website with too many of its inbound links reciprocated.

  4. Google might start valuing outbound links more highly. Two pages with 100 inbound links are, in theory, valued equally, even if one has 20 outbound links and the other has none. But why should Google send its searchers down a dead-end street, when the information highway is paved just as smoothly on a major thoroughfare?

  5. Google might weigh a website's outbound link concentration. A website with most outbound links concentrated on just a few pages is more likely to be a "link-exchanger" than a site with links spread out across its pages.

Google might use a combination of these techniques and ones not mentioned here. We cannot predict the exact algorithm, nor can we assume that it will remain constant. What we can do is to prepare our websites to look and act like a website would on a "democratic" Web as Google would see it.

For Google to hold its own against upstart search engines, it must deliver on its PageRank promise. Its results reflect the "democratic" nature of the Web. Its algorithm must prod webmasters to give links on their own merit. That won't be easy or even completely possible. And people will always find ways to turn Google's algorithm to their advantage. But the techniques above can send the Internet a long way back to where Google promises it will be.


HP Delivers Web-Based Printing but It's Not Clear Who Wants It

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Printer giant HP (NYSE: HPQ) has announced a new line of printers that will ship equipped with a suite of services allowing their owners to print to them from anywhere on the Web, using any device capable of sending an email. The line starts at US$99 and the Web-based service will be supported by digital print advertising.

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HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One
(click image to enlarge)
Every HP ePrint printer in the line, said the company, will have a unique email address to which users can direct items for printing. Users also can send documents to print through an HP ePrint mobile app on their smartphone device to a home, office, or public print location such as a hotel or FedEx Office store. Supported file formats include Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Office, PDF and JPEG.

The question, though, is whether smartphone and tablet users are clamoring to be able to print from their gadgets. Not so much, according to Josh Martin, senior analyst with Strategy Analytics.

"We live in a digital age," Martin told TechNewsWorld, "and this is an analog solution."

Partners Galore

Customers who buy one of the new e-Print-capable printers will be able to access their Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) suite of applications, such as Google Docs, Photos and Calendar, directly from their printers, according to HP. Documents and photos can be sent to print from iPhones and other smartphones and, perhaps most interestingly, the iPad, which has no native print support.

Content partners announced along with the printers include Crayola, DocStoc, Facebook,, Picasa Web Albums, Reuters, and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO). Each will provide Web-based print applications. It's a heavy-hitting group, to be sure.

A service called "Scheduled Delivery" will allow customers to choose content to be pushed to a printer at a designated time each day or week, said HP. News is one example the company gave.

In a pitch to parents, the company also noted that customers might "choose fun kids' activities from Disney (NYSE: DIS) to be ready when the children get home from school.

However, the most successful category of applications in the mobile space to date have been entertainment and gaming, noted Martin. "These applications, which generally dominate the top-ten lists on iPhone, are not generally in need of printing," he explained.

Aye, There's the Rub

Like users of free Web services such as Pandora before them, the buyers of HP's new printers may be surprised to find coupons and ads on the materials they print through the ePrint tools. HP has positioned the information to be provided by print advertisers as "premium content" and stressed that "brands can add value to their audience by populating select print content with customized messages."

In translation, though, this means that -- like a My Yahoo homepage or Flickr album -- the service will be supported by ads pushed to consumers. Many, like those who just want to print their Grocery IQ lists easily or send a photograph received on a netbook to a high-quality printer quickly, likely won't mind the intrusion.

"Having the ability for a printer to print from a mobile device could be a useful feature in differentiating one product from another," posited Martin.

While the ePrint service may be a welcome addition, then, to an already strong line of personal printers, it's "a good feature, but not the makings of a successful standalone product," predicted Martin.

Coinciding with the ePrint announcement, HP announced a new app available for Android smartphones, called "HP iPrint Photo." The app will allow direct wireless printing to HP inkjet printers connected to a local WiFi network, said the company.

Currently, HP supports such printing from Symbian, Windows Mobile, and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch devices. The Snapfish by HP mobile app for Android is expected to launch this summer.


Ecel 2010 for dummies

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010



When Google Stopped Doing Windows

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It's always a heart-warming occasion when some company or organization opts not to use Windows, and that's nothing if not an increasingly common phenomenon.

But when said company is none other than Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) -- and when it's done in an apparently public way, with explicit mention of Linux as a preferable alternative -- and when Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) feels worried enough to try to "set the record straight" soon afterward -- well, parties just have to break out in the Linux blogosphere.

Slashdot (not just once, but twice), LXer (once and again) and Linux and Whatever were just a few of the sites that played host to such events, which saw bloggers debating everything from the security FireHost - Affordable Secure Web Hosting for Every  Company.  Learn more. question to the practice of dogfooding.

What could Linux Girl do but join in?

'Quite a Feather in Linux's Cap'

"I'm always excited to hear about a high-profile company publicly adopting Linux, but I think Google is especially important -- assuming it's true," Slashdot blogger Just Some Guy told LinuxInsider.

It's still news when "staid companies such as IBM (NYSE: IBM) warmly embrace Linux, but you'd kind of expect that; those organizations have reputations for caring more about results than image," Just Some Guy explained.

While that's no less true for Google's internal systems, "as a whole they're seen as fresh and exciting and hip," he added. "It's quite a feather in Linux's cap to be endorsed by a company with such a trendsetting history as a business-ready alternative to Windows."

Image aside, Just Some Guy was also rejoicing for practical reasons.

"It's nice to know that the same people who are developing the web apps I enjoy using will have the same desktop system I do," he said. "Now the little rough edges I've had to tolerate are shared by the developers who have the ability to fix them."

'What Does That Say for the Rest of Us?'

The move will likely "cause a lot of decision makers to really think about the security of Windows," Slashdot blogger Patrick Narkinsky suggested.

"Google is an incredibly sophisticated operation, with resources most companies can only dream of," he explained. "If they are saying that they find Windows to be an unacceptable risk, what does that say for the rest of us?"

Another likely result will be to "accelerate the development of Google's cloud-based offerings" such as its word processor and other office products, Narkinsky added, as well as encouraging "feature-parity," he said.

"Until now, we Linux users have had to wait for Google products to be released for non-Windows platforms," he explained. "If Google is really committed to a 'No Windows' policy, one can only hope that they will at least release Linux, Mac and Windows versions of desktop applications at the same time for all three platforms."

'Google Believes Its Own PR'

Eric Schmidt actually talked about "exactly the same kind of move two months ago at Google's Atmosphere event," Slashdot blogger Daengbo told LinuxInsider. "If you haven't watched his 'Fireside Chat' interview, I recommend that you do."

In addition to improving security and "eating its own dogfood, Google will be proving to enterprises that it is possible to run a company on Google products, creating trust in this new market," Daengbo explained.

"Google is a company that believes its own PR," he added. "It believes that everything on the web should be open and that everything should be in the cloud. Google trusts in its own ability to excel in this new, open world."

'Microsoft Has to Be Pissed'

Slashdot blogger cupantae had a different view.

"I think that the main reason for the switch can only be to publicly humiliate Microsoft," he asserted. "Here is a company which is saying to the world, 'Windows = worse security.'"

Indeed, "Microsoft has to be pissed," Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack agreed. "Not only did Google institute an 'anything but Microsoft' policy, but they did it publicly so other companies will be encouraged to try it too."

'Malware Is a Daily Problem'

Then, too, there's the fact that "Google will be releasing its own desktop OS later this year, and the main target consumer group will be Windows users," cupantae added. "Making an operating system appear superior is a tricky game. Google will make every effort to ensure that Windows looks bad."

That doesn't mean, however, that the move isn't the right one technically, he added.

"When you take away the games and the specialist applications which will only run on Windows, really what are you left with?" cupantae pointed out. "It's slow, it's incredibly buggy, and malware is a daily problem. And all of that also applies to Windows 7, as much as it is hailed as the future of computing."

'Windows Sucks More Power'

Google will even benefit through reduced energy costs, noted Barbara Hudson, a blogger on Slashdot who goes by "Tom" on the site.

"Windows simply sucks more power than linux," Hudson explained. "More power means more heat and decreased component life."

If there are 20,000 Google employees -- half using Windows, but most with at least two computers -- "we're back up to 20,000 computers," she began. "At a 50-watts-per-computer savings (number pulled out of thin air, the same source as all those Microsoft TCO studies), that's a lot of juice -- a megawatt less. On an annual basis, that's 200 homes."

Bottom line? "This move will save google over (US)$2 million in electricity over the next decade," Hudson predicted. "It's nice to know that being more secure can save you both grief and money."

'I Don't Do Windows'

Overall, "good for Google," was blogger Robert Pogson's summary. "This puts the lie to nonsense like 'essential for business' when fans talk about that other OS. Saving the cost of licensing and insecurity forever easily justifies any expense of migrating."

Of course, "the litmus test is how this looks down the road," Slashdot blogger yagu pointed out. "How successful will Google be cleaning house (or windows)? How complete will the conversion be?

"If, in the near future, we see an article with glowing reviews of a business of Google's splendor running happily with NO Windows, it opens doors for Linux and Mac and lets CIOs broach the idea with more confidence that a) it really can be done and, b) it won't be shouted down at the first meeting," yagu explained.

"I for one welcome our new overlords of a non-Windows universe," yagu concluded. "I've always wondered what it would be like to work somewhere where you can accurately say, 'I don't do windows.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Facebook is responding to yet another "clickjacking" attack, following similar attacks that reportedly impacted thousands over the weekend.

This particular form of clickjacking baits the hook by purporting to link to a subject Facebook users might find interesting. The latest attack consists of a link that appears to point to a website displaying a naked photo of Hayley Williams, lead singer of American rock band Paramore. Others including supposed links to singer Justin Beiber's phone number and a video of a man who took a picture of himself every day for eight years.

Clicking on the link will force the user's profile to indicate he or she "likes" the page, and that gets published on the victim's own profile and shared with friends. Those users then see that their mutual friend apparently gave the link a stamp of approval and may be more likely to click on it themselves.

Putting Out Fires

Facebook says the clickjacking attacks have impacted relatively few people.

"Overall, an extremely small percentage of users was affected," Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten told TechNewsWorld. By its own count, Facebook has well over 400 million active users.

The social networking giant has blocked the URL associated with the clickjacking site, Axten said, and "we're cleaning up the relatively few cases where it was posted."

While Facebook has the power to block any URL posted to its system, the clickjackers could counter that move simply by changing the URL they're using, Sean-Paul Correll, a threat researcher at Panda Security, told TechNewsWorld.

Like Is a Four-Letter Word

The clickjacking attacks happening over the past week exploit Facebook's "like" feature, which lets a user indicate approval of what the user's friends are sharing on Facebook.

Facebook members see links to subjects that their friends appear to have "liked" when they log onto their Facebook page, Sophos security FireHost - Affordable Secure Web Hosting for Every  Company.  Learn more. consultant Graham Cluley said.

Clicking on the link takes the Facebook to a page that often contains a button asking them to click it to confirm they're over 18 years old. This isn't uncommon for sites that carry salacious material, such as the supposed Williams photos.

When users click on that button, however, it adds a link to the users' Facebook profiles saying they "like" the site. Facebook then publishes the "like" to the users' friends, spreading the worm.

So where's the threat? So far, the clickjackers haven't apparently done anything more than force users to unwittingly endorse their websites, but they could easily launch password-stealing Trojans or other malware.

iFraming Victims

The clickjackers create an "iFrame," which they layer invisibly over the Facebook site.

An iFrame is an inline frame that places one HTML document in the frame of another.

Frames let developers split an HTML browser window into segments, each of which can show a different document. This reduces bandwidth use because repeating parts of a layout can be used in one frame while variable content, such as a Flash presentation, can be shown in another.

Inline frames, or iFrames, can be the target frame for links defined by other elements, and that's how the clickjackers used this technology.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) introduced iFrames in 1997, in Internet Explorer.

Been There, Clickjacked That

This round of is at least the fourth wave of clickjacking attacks to hit Facebook since November of 2009.

In May, some users were clickjacked with messages like "This Girl Has An Interesting Way Of Eating A Banana, Check It Out!" according to Graham Cluley's blog for that date.

Before that, a Facebook clickjacking attack in November of 2009 displayed a photograph of a scantily clad woman on a user's profile pages with a message inviting viewers to click a button to "see something hot." Clicking on the button automatically updated the viewer's profile page to include the image with the message.

Facebook blocked the URL associated with the site of that attack and began cleaning up the mess.

Twitter has also reported incidents of clickjacking, which the site eventually blocked.

Coping With Clickjacks

Clickjacks succeed because people tend to trust information given to them on social networking sites, especially if it appears to have won the approval of several friends.

"People have an inherent trust of information that appears to be from their friends or family," said Panda Security's Correll. "When a post comes out that says 'check out this photo' or 'check out this post,' and it appears to be from your friend or someone in your family, you naturally click on that link. That propagates the attack."

Traditional antivirus protection doesn't help prevent clickjacking because it's a relatively new form of attack, being only about two years old, Correll said.

Preventing clickjacking attacks requires users trust no one.

"Break the inherent trust you have for friends' and family's online profiles," Correll recommended. "We should ask ourselves, 'Will my friend or family member really post that?' before clicking on something."

"Don't click on suspicious links, even if they've been sent or posted by friends," Facebook's Axten said.

"Ignore the 'Check Out the Best Beach Bods' link from your friend," Kevin Haley, director of Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) Security Response, told TechNewsWorld. "It likely came from a hacker who broke into their account."

Users ignore requests from people they don't know, Haley recommended. They should also stay informed of Facebook's privacy settings and the changes they undergo, he said.
By Richard Adhikari


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