Warning ‘Heartbleed Bug’ – Public Urged To Reset All Passwords

OpenSSL-HeartBleed-BugA flaw has been discovered in an encryption method used on about two-thirds of all websites, including Google, Amazon, Yahoo and Facebook, potentially exposing web traffic, user data and stored content to cyber criminals.

The “heartbleed bug” was found in the OpenSSL software by a team of security engineers last week, leaving technology companies scrambling to fix their systems before it was announced on Monday night.
A newly discovered bug in widely used Web encryption technology has made data on many of the world’s major websites vulnerable to theft by hackers in what experts say is one of the most serious security flaws uncovered in recent years.

Bugs in single software or library come and go and are fixed by new versions. However this bug has left large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed to the Internet. Considering the long exposure, ease of exploitation and attacks leaving no trace this exposure should be taken seriously.

Updates are already available to address the vulnerability in OpenSSL, which could enable remote attackers to access sensitive data including passwords and secret keys that can decode traffic as it travels across the Internet. Computer security experts warned that means victims cannot tell if their data has been accessed which is troubling because the bug has existed for about two years.

Google said it had fixed the flaw in key Google services and Facebook said it had added protections before the issue was publicly disclosed. Amazon Web Services, whose clients include sites from Netflix to Unilever, said it had applied “mitigations” so customers did not need to act. Yahoo said it had “made the appropriate corrections” to its main properties and was working to fix its other sites.

But even those who fix the software cannot necessarily see if a hacker has already used the vulnerability to access their systems. Netcraft, which monitors what code is used in each site, said more than half a million trusted websites were vulnerable to the bug.

You can read more about Heartbleed Bug on there website >> Heartbleed.com

Google Doodle’s Halloween Turns You Into a Witch

canvasThe image begins with a green-faced witch with a huge warty nose intently reading a large book with the word Google across the front of it in arcane letters. You can click on the book and when you do so, you are taken to the witch’s lair where she can be seen stirring a bubbling cauldron full of witch’s brew. The user is then invited to add ingredients to the brew such as a bone, an apple or a skull. Throwing in these items creates a puff of smoke, following which the with disappears from view.

You are then taken to a series of different mini games, from whack-a-mole with the undead, to a shell game where your goal is to find a mummy in a sarcophagus.

Social Media – Pros & Cons



Facebook, Google, Amazon Technology Gurus To Design Cancer Research Game

facbook amazon googleScientists from a British cancer charity are teaming up with technology gurus from the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google to design and develop a mobile game aimed at speeding the search for new cancer drugs.

The project, led by the charity Cancer Research UK, should mean that anyone with a smart phone and five minutes to spare will be able to investigate vital scientific data at the same time as playing a mobile game. The first step is for 40 computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists to take part in a weekend “GameJam” to turn the charity’s raw genetic data into a game format for future so-called “citizen scientists“.

After the GameJam, which runs in London from March 1-3, an agency will build the game concept into reality and the team plans to launch it in mid 2013.  Cancer already kills more than 7.5 million people a year and the number of people with the disease worldwide is expected to surge by more than 75 percent by 2030, according to the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC.

CRUK’s scientists are working hard to identify the genetic faults that drive cancer to try to find new ways of diagnosing and treating patients in a more targeted way based on their genetic profile and that of their tumors. In a major international study on breast cancer genetics published last year, CRUK researchers said they are now able to classify the disease into 10 subtypes – a finding that could lead to more accurate and tailored treatment in future. That study also found several completely new genes that drive breast cancer, offering potential targets for new types of drugs. Yet this type of research generates colossal amounts of data that need to be analyzed, CRUK said as it announced the gaming project. And while advances in technology mean scientists can process data faster than ever, much of it still needs to be analyzed by people rather than machines.

“The human eye can detect subtle changes that machines are not programmed to look for – leading to serendipitous discoveries providing clues to the causes and drivers of the disease,” the charity said. With the collective power of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe helping our scientists to analyze this data we could drastically speed up research.”

Facebook Will No Longer Let Users Have Say In It’s Privacy Rules

Social Network, Facebook announced Friday 23rd November 2012 that it will no longer let users have a say in its privacy policies or be allowed to vote on proposed policy changes at the company because their comments weren’t good enough. The move prompted data protection regulators in Europe to seek urgent clarification from the company. Facebook revealed that it will reverse its 2009 policy that let users vote on its privacy rules, blaming the move on the low quality of the comments that it often received.

While promising to value user feedback, Facebook Vice President for Communications, Public Policy and Marketing Elliot Schrage declared in a company blog that

“We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement”

Facebook said in a post detailing the proposed changes published on Wednesday.

The news hasn’t gone down well with Facebook users, who ironically have taken to the social network to voice their rage and dissatisfaction. Leaving messages saying:

”I oppose the change, want to vote on this. I do not approve of any private or public data, created, stored, shared, or posted on my profile or associated with my profile, to be used by any other party including Facebook, without my prior explicit approval.”

”Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the proposed changes. I do NOT want these changes to go into effect. I do not want you to use my information for your own purposes. I do not want my information shared with those whom YOU decide. In short, I vehemently oppose these proposed changes. You do not have my permisson to share any information about me.”

”I demand the abilty to delete anything and everything that I wish to remove from facebook and demand that any such deleted information, picture or otherwise, be deleted from facebook permanently. I oppose facebook storing any information about me that I wish to remove. I oppose the changes and want an opportunity to vote.
Further, I want an “opt-in” policy rather then “opt-out” and a clear explanation of changes that are going to be made with specific examples before the changes are implemented”

”I have to disagree with these changes, Big Brother comes to mind, I have never shared information about me, pics or any thing that would be offensive, but want to choose who sees my “life”, I will choose to opt out and close my FB account if this is your bottom line. I only have a FB account to stay in touch with close family and friends who are far away through the miles, but we can skype and call it a good day instead. It is your site, and you need to do what is in your best interest for your site, but you will probably lose many of your users over this one.”

”I oppose the changes and want a vote about the demands on www.our-policy.org”

Leave Comment Under This Story – Have Your Say On This Story


Google Adds Snow To Your Computer Monitor

Google is helping searchers get into the Christmas spirit by offering a sprinkling of snow on their computer monitor.

When typing the words “let it snow” into the popular search engine, a flurry of snowflakes trickle down the screen, followed by frost. You can wipe away the frost by clicking the left button on your mouse as an ice scraper or pressing the “Defrost” button, which appears in place of the blue “Search” button.

Just don’t try to use it on older browsers, such as the popular Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8 — or old versions of Safari of Firefox, for that matter.


Google Doodles For Art Clokey

With its latest creation, Google is celebrating the birth anniversary of the pioneer of stop motion clay animation.
Google’s home page today shows a set of five coloured balls that pop up to assume the form of animated clay characters.
With this latest doodle, the search engine celebrates the 90th birth anniversary of stop motion clay animator Arthus (Art) Clokey.

Born in Detriot, USA on October 12, 1921, Clokey was a pioneer of stop motion clay animation, a technique he first used to experiment with in a series of short clay animation movies including a three-minute short called Gumbasia back in 1953.  Out of Gumbasia would be born Gumby, the famous character that would be associated with Clokey through his life.  The short films eventually led to The Gumby Show, which was a hit among audiences in the 50s and 60s.

Gumby’s name is said to be inspired by Clokey’s childhood experiences of visiting his grandfather’s farm, where he first enjoyed playing with clay and mud mixture, which was also called ‘gumbo’.  Art Clokey died due to a bladder infection at the age of 88 on January 8, 2010 at his home in California.

Google Doodle Celebrates Jim Henson’s 75th Birthday

Muppets creator Jim Henson is the latest person to be celebrated with one of Google Doodles Henson’s birthday isn’t actually until tomorrow, September 24th, but Google jumped the gun with this one, probably hoping to roll out their interactive Doodle before it was too late on the West Coast. Henson, who passed away in 1990, would have been 75 tomorrow.

The Doodle is an interactive one, though it’s not particularly elaborate given what we’veseen from them in there past.  It features six Muppets created by the people at the Jim Henson Company. Each of the Muppets has a button beneath it which, upon being pressed, causes that Muppet’s head to follow the cursor around the screen. Each is capable of looking in eight different directions, so long as the cursor stays within the browser window.

Unlike most Doodles, this one is not immediately clickable. To get to a search engine page and learn more about Henson (or why the Doodle is being displayed today), users needs to hover the cursor over the interactive for a few seconds before a link will appear.

The Doodle might seem simple, but don’t miss its key point: It makes the user the puppeteer, just as Henson was when he was lighting up our childhoods or delighting our children, depending on how old you are.

Google talked about the Muppet Doodle on their official blog, noting that it was the puppeteer’s 75th birthday and including a note from Henson’s son, Brian Henson. Brian Henson wrote lovingly about his father and informed readers that the The Jim Henson Company is still around and that they’ve changed with the times, moving into the fields of animatronics and also digital animation. Both are modern day equivalents what Jim Henson started doing in 1954, so while mediums have changed the company’s focus is unchanged.

The Henson Company’s site was updated for the occasion as well. It features the video below, as well as quotes from people, including George Lucas and Caroll Spinney (the man who played Big Bird on television’s Sesame Street). A special edition podcast is available for the occasion, if you’d like to learn more about Jim Henson, his company, The Creature Shop, or Henson’s coworkers.

Facebook To Start Charging This Summer

Some Facebook users have started posting a message on their walls, and encouraging their friends and family to do the same, claiming that Facebook will start charging this summer. According to the message, if you post it on your own Facebook wall then you will still be able to use the social network free of charge.

There’s no link to any supporting evidence to the claim, and users would be right to treat it with extreme skepticism!

The truth is that Facebook has no plans to charge its users for accessing the site – indeed, it would be a very odd time for them to announce such a controversial move, just as its freely-available Google+ rival is launched.

My guess is that someone has started the chain letter as a piece of mischief – curious as to how many people they could fool into posting the message onto their Facebook pages.

It’s not the first time, of course, that Facebook users have been duped by hoaxes and chain letters. For instance, earlier this year, messages were spreading that because the social network had become too slow the site was considering deleting inactive accounts. Again, totally bogus.


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