Honesty and Advertised Internet Speeds

The Internet has quickly become one of the fastest-growing technologies of all time. In a short number of years, the ability for you to stream data into your home on-demand has become rather commonplace in the first world. There are still issues however with the access to reasonably priced Internet in a number of countries around the world. Even in the countries that do have access to the Internet, there are still sometimes issues when it comes to the advertised speed of your connection and the speed that you are actually receiving. A recent law which has been passed in the United Kingdom looks to change this.

These new laws seek to provide stricter regulation in regards to the manner in which Internet service providers are able to advertise their Internet service speeds. In the past, these companies were able to advertise with vague terminology such as “speeds up to.” This was legal as long as it was possible to provide these maximum listed speeds to a minimum of 10% of customers at any point during the day. According to the new laws, advertised maximum speeds must be available to a minimum of 50% of customers during peak usage times.

Several companies in the United Kingdom have already changed their advertising to reflect the new laws, and as a result, the speeds that they are advertising have dropped. In one case an Internet service provider had to decrease their listed advertised speed from 17 Mb per second to 11 Mb per second. These speeds still do not take into account the possibility for poor Wi-Fi connection and other sources of potential interference.

Even with more honesty in the advertising of the speeds of provided Internet service this still does not take the steps that are necessary in order to change the underlying issues. The infrastructure that provides the country with their data connections is incredibly outdated. The Internet connection speeds available in the United Kingdom are outperformed by almost every other European country. If the United Kingdom wishes to remain competitive, it should become a strong priority to update the infrastructure that is available within their country.

FBI Warns Americans to Reset Their Router Due to Hack

The FBI has recently warned Americans that the same hackers behind the DNC 2016 hacks of the Presidential election are now going after home and commercial wifi routers. The law enforcement agency warned everyone to turn off their router and turn it back on. This is said to clear the cache of the router which prevents the hack from being successful.

 

This simple fix, unfortunately, is only technical. The US DOJ has identified the culprits of the hacks as the Sofacy Group, also known as APT 28 and Fancy Bear. These hackers are directly employed or at least affiliated with the Russian national security services. In this particular hack, the Kremlin-affiliated groups have infected millions of home and business routers across the globe.

 

The FBI and other US intelligence agencies have proof that the malware from these state-sponsored hackers threatens the people of the United States in a number of ways. The name of the current malady is “VPN Filter“. The malware shuts down the router that it infects and also collects any information sent between that router, connected devices, and the internet.

 

This means that any website logins, passwords, confidential numbers, etc. could be stolen using this malware. With the tools available to the vast majority of consumers cannot detect this virus. However, when you reset your router that ends up deleting part of the program that causes the problem. The issue is that this solution does not permanently delete the file- it essentially treats the symptom and not the cause.

 

The ongoing cyber crisis between the United States and Russia is shaping up to be another front in the Cold War 2.0. This hack is designed to scrape as much personal information about users in the United States as possible. This is to steal financial information like bank accounts, credit card numbers etc. They also look to find compromising material in order to gain leverage during negotiations.

 

The FBI recommends that if you believe you are infected with this malware that you wipe and reinstall the OS of both your internet connected devices and router. This is the only current solution known that will completely remove the program. You can also reset your router for a short-term solution but this will not permanently remove the malware.

Saving ZTE?

ZTE is one of the largest phone companies in the world. This China company service many Americans and their phones used across the globe. Recently president Trump has stopped American firms from selling parts to the company until 2025. There are word claims from Washington that ZTE violated a deal that was set a while back in which they disrupted the US sanctions of North Korea and Iran.
Well ZTE denies these claims, an Export ban was still set on ZTE which put the company as a whole one a crutch. In a domino effect, this caused a lot of ZTE employees to lose their jobs and their livelihoods in China. This was an outcry to the Chinese government and put the US government and at fault for the cause. Being contradictive, the White House has reverse there stand on ZTE as the president himself has vowed to restore the effects of these situations. As CNN Reports a tweet from the president and I quote, “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”
I think the United States understand the importance of ZTE as it is the fourth largest smartphone provider in the United States. However, the US was always skeptical since 2012 about the technology that goes into the ZTE phones. Some officials claim that the technology and the phones make it easier for other countries to spy on the users. The United States has been cautious of the security and has warned ZTE before. Even president Trump has made it or wear to the Chinese government even going as far to say it is “unfair trading practices.”
To reflect on the situation, I don’t condone anyone losing their jobs and livelihoods. However, if there is a safety con cern that can put the U.S. in jeopardy then I would not put the country at risk. Also if there’s a stance that you take then I think they should follow through with the whole Act. Taking one action to punish ZTE but then turn around and try to rectify it after you cause it isn’t very professional in my eyes as a country.

Cloud Storage, Voice Posts, and Stories Archiving Aims to Keep Facebook Relevant

It hasn’t been that long since Facebook introduced its new “Stories” format, a way of sharing that allows your content – be it a video or image – to be viewed twice and ultimately disappear after 24 hours. It’s a fairly common format, and now Facebook has decided to follow in the shadow of Instagram and provide the ability to save or archive your stories so that they can be viewed or reshared at a later time. That’s not all, though. Facebook is also adding the ability to make voice posts within your stories will now offer a cloud storage service.

Allowing voice posts is a way to help push the Stories format of Facebook to more people globally, making it easier for some to share without having to use a keyboard. Users will be able to narrate any picture they upload or leave a voice post with nothing more than a colored background. And, since there are loads of “budget” phones out there with next to no storage space available, Facebook is also adding a new cloud storage feature that will allow users to save images and video taken via the Facebook camera directly to the cloud, without taking up a single kilobyte of local storage space.

This trio of features will initially roll out in India which, according to Tech Crunch, is where Facebook went to learn what it would take to get more people involved in using the Stories feature. That same outlet also implies that future of Facebook is reliant on the world adopting stories as their primary medium of sharing their lives. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but it’s certainly not the most popular feature at the moment. Stories are more of a hit and miss for users, with some jumping on board right away and others ignoring it altogether. Facebook has yet to announce when these new features will arrive to users in other parts of the world, but you can bet their release is contingent upon success in India.

New Kickstarter Badges Unveiled that Keep Backers Up to Date

In a move to help smaller hardware manufacturers fulfill on their crowdfunding campaigns, Kickstarter parterned with Avnet and Dragon Innovation in 2017 to make the Hardware Studio initiative. Now, they’re taking things up a notch to help improve transparency and motivation.

This comes in the form of four new badges that will appear on some of the Hardware Studio projects in the near future. The idea behind this update is that having easily recognizable and easy to explain markers on funded projects makes it easier for backers to see how the product they put money into is coming along in development.

These badges will hopefully be rolled out for all campaigns in the Hardware Studio program, though priority is currently being given to those in the Connection program, a subset of Hardware Studio with more rigorous and competitive standards but greater access to planning tools and other perks. So far, there are four badges that can be put onto a project.

The first is the Engaged badge, which tells backers that the campaign they’ve backed has been accepted to the Connection program and that pre-planning and a working proof-of-concept prototype for the product is complete.

The second is the Ready Level 1, indicating that the prototype has advanced to a degree that it could be sold as a legitimate product, though more user testing will be required before this would happen. It would hopefully indicate that the projected cost of production is accurate, as well.

Third is the Ready Level 2, which certifies that production plans have been finalized and that all the units promised can be produced, and that testing and feedback have gone into improving the original design. Funding would typically be used for materials, tools, and finding certification.

Finally, there is the Ready Level 3 badge, which claims that the product is ready for manufacturing. Funding at this level would go exclusively to manufacturing costs.

While these badges in no way guarantee that a product will be made and shipped out, when used honestly, they could be a major help in keeping backers up to date and helping campaign managers organize and run their production.

YouTube Adds New Section to Videos for Additional Song Information

As of May 16, 2018, YouTube has officially made a long awaited change to how its video descriptions work, adding an additional section to include specific song information for music used in a particular video.

So far, over half a billion videos have been given this treatment with more to come in the future as the feature is progressively rolled out. Labeled as the “music in this video” section under the “SHOW MORE” tab, certain videos can now offer information on song titles, their artists, their writers, and the licenses associated with the music. Some videos will even feature a link to an artist’s official channel if the song isn’t being played from the channel already.

This decision was likely made either as part of or in response to the settlement YouTube and the National Music Publishers Association, which cost the Google-owned entity around $40 million worth of royalties to artists. Properly crediting those who make the music on videos would just be one way in which they could avoid this happening in the future, especially if it meant steering viewers back to the artists’ official channels and away from unauthorized uploads.

Unfortunately, this isn’t all good news. In order to help locate videos and provide the proper credit, YouTube has turned to its favorite solution to all problems: The algorithm. To make matters worse, the company says it will be using the same technology that goes into its Content ID system, considered by many to be a disastrous piece of code notable for causing many, many, many problems over the years related to false flagging, improperly flagging, or simply not flagging at all copyrighted material and works allowed under fair use.

If the company can manage to properly utilize this feature, however, it could provide much needed credit and revenue to the artists who make the songs we love. Execution will likely be the determining factor of how things end up.

“Music in this video” is now available for a large number of videos on both the desktop and mobile app versions of YouTube, with more to come in the near future.

Transitioning To Market America From Other Earning Methods

One thing that is almost inevitable for people is that they are going to have to make some major changes in their lives. It is very common for people to change careers. When one person may be working retail at some point, they may find themselves having to change into something that is radically different. There are some cases when people have to become business owners or business partners. For instance, some people may become members of the Market America program which is such a great opportunity for many people who want to live the life of an entrepreneur.

One of the common transitions is from hourly-wage jobs to owning a business through Market America. For many people, it is not wise to quit their jobs and dive headfirst into working with Market America because they do not know how to navigate the business world. Market America will provide the training, but people are going to have to take it upon themselves to adjust to another way of earning. This can take them months before they can replace their most recent job and live off of the money they are making with their new way of earning.

For people that are freelancing and are looking for ways to create passive income, there is a little more freedom. For one thing, freelancers can choose their time. This means that they can dedicate some time to building their business. Another thing they can do is work hard and save money so that they will be able to dedicate an extended amount of time to their business with Market America. One of the most important steps is organizing everything and coming up with a solid plan that will make room for efficiency. One thing that is important is planning around the work that is going to be done as well.

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Facebook Is Allowing Users to Choose if Their Data is Collected

Recently it was announced that Facebook users would soon be getting the option to opt out of the website’s ability to collect their browsing information. This comes after Mark Zuckerberg received backlash for the amount of data that was being collected. This includes from browsers who didn’t even use the Facebook service.

One of the data sets that drew the most attention was their collection of browsing history. Someone’s browser history includes information about the apps and websites that were recently visited, not just Facebook activity. This information was then being sent to developers that used their plugins.

This information’s main use was to target advertisements to users based on their internet activity. An example would be showing an advertisement for an item that a user had viewed previously but not purchased. While there were rumors and jokes about Facebook spying on their user’s internet activity, it turns out that they were not that far from the truth. Fortunately for users, soon they will be able to make sure that their internet history stays private from Facebook and their advertisers.

The feature that is currently being developed is being called “clear history”. It will have a few options to meet the security desires of the users. Not only will Facebook users be able to prevent Facebook from collecting any further browsing history and data, they will be able to have the information that was already collected on their servers removed. While it may still remain on the server, it will be in an aggregated collection that is completely anonymous and unable to be connected to an individual account. Unfortunately for non-users of the site and app, they cannot choose to opt-out of this anonymous collection. If they choose not to have Facebook collect their data, their easiest option is to not visit the website.

In recent weeks, Facebook has made many important changes in how they deal with data collection and the privacy of their users. Many users expressed their dismay with Facebook after it was discovered that they were sharing this data with Cambridge Analytica.

Heartache for Ratings

Imagine ratings going up for a show based on an on-screen heartbreak. Imagine no more because that is exactly what happened on “The Bachelor.” The ratings this season compared to recent years have been low as BuzzFeed News reported last week. It seems that the show’s producers cooked up a plan to leak that Arie Luyendyk Jr. would be choosing to date the woman he had previously rejected. The spin is that he would choose her only after choosing to propose to someone else and changing his mind in order to be with the rejected woman. This leak was shared by magazines all over. Us magazine even reported the scandal on it’s cover. The magazine report was not revealing as to who exactly the women were, therefore not naming them by names. The report simply stated that Arie would be proposing to one and then changing his mind for another.

This story line is what sent rating skyrocketing with 7.8 million viewers. Even so, the finale last year with Nick Viall drew in 8.2 million viewers. It is believed to be Arie not being very charismatic was part of the reason why ratings were down. Another reason is believed to be the fact that some of the dates the bachelor took the ladies on this season where a little dull. The date that took place in the Fort Lauderdale, FL bowling alley.

The finale that took place on Monday was three hours long. First Arie proposed to Becca Kufrin. In place of the usual last hour engaged couple’s called the After the Final Rose update that is held during the last hour of the season finale, that hour was used to crush Becca while the cameras were rolling.

Those who were bachelors and bachelorettes previously were homogeneously angered by this live and unscripted on camera breakup. It was even heartlessly announced to the audience that it was about to happen by the show’s host Chris Harrison. It was said as if raw, live heartache was a good thing.

The Beginning of the Strut Down the Runway

The runway was the began the rise of the American consumer culture as we know it today. Fashion show history unlike the history of they little black dress, the high heel, the corset or the little black, the history of the runway is hard to find. The mainstay of promotion in the multi-billion dollar fashion industry. The fashion show was the center of the American department store development.

When you think about fashion, you think about what’s next. The cheif curator and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology says “The topic of fashion shows remains to find its historian.” The fashion world says “why hash over yesterdays’s clothes.”

What does have a history is New York’s Fashion Week. The week long fashion celebration takes place twice a year. Fashion week began in 1943 as an attempt to overthrow the French. Press Week was organized by a well-known fashion publicist by the name of Eleanor Lambert. The PR realized that 1943 was an advantageous time in fashion. American designers used to rely on the French culture for fashion inspiration before World War II. Due to France being occupied by the Germans in 1940, editors, buyers, and designers were no longer allowed to travel to Paris in order to be present at fashion shows. The fashion world was chafed by this.

Aside from not having the influence of the French culture, American fashion was still making great strides in the fashion world. The American fashion was using homegrown techniques and materials. Press week was held between the Plaza and Pierre Hotels.

Just like Press Week, Fashion Week has given a platform to American writers and editors in order to reach an international audience by showcasing America’s greatest work at one given time and place. It is said that the same way movies belong to Hollywood, fashion belongs to Manhattan. The first fashion show in history is believed to have been organized by former Vogue editor, Edna Woodman in 1954.