Category: Internet Informations

MySpace users threaten to sue after years of blogs deleted

MySpace has been accused of deleting years worth of users’ personal blogs and histories after the site underwent a $20 million relaunch last month.

The move was a bid to shed the site’s outdated image and attract a new teenage fanbase, after millions of users migrated to Facebook as their primary social networking site in the late 2000s.

Purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 2005 for $580m, a decision Murdoch has since called a “huge mistake”, MySpace’s focus on music and entertainment over social interaction has been credited as one of the reasons behind its decline.

At its peak, the site boasted 125m users and more webpage visits than Google. It now has around 25m users.

In 2011 Specific Media Group and pop heartthrob Justin Timberlake jointly purchased the company for $35m, and have since attempted to rebrand the site for the teenage generation through campaigns with rapper Pharrell.

This sleek new makeover has resulted in the deletion of blogs, videos, private messages, posts and comments without prior warning, much to the fury of its remaining loyal users.

Distraught fans created a thread entitled ‘I want my blogs and classic myspace back’ to vent their frustration at the move one user called “crass arrogance”.

They continued: “You have stolen 6 years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

Another lamented the deletion of her blogs, writing: “Openly and freely I shared intimate moments that can not be relived or retold for they where experienced. I would revisit myspace religiously because of my blogs… Myspace did an ultimate back stab.” [sic]

MySpace responded to concerns with the soothing message that the information had not been lost forever.

It said: “Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

Zulu Creative Launches Redesigned Website For MAX’s Wine Dive

Zulu Creative is proud to announce the launch of a new website for MAX’s Wine Dive, the award-winning, rockin’ restaurant concept from Houston-based Lasco Enterprises that combines gourmet comfort food with retail wine sales and features unlikely pairings such as fried chicken and champagne. The new website is mobile-friendly for diners on-the-go and contains unique content for five MAX’s locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, plus corporate-specific content. The MAX’s website is the second of three that Zulu Creative is designing for Lasco. A new website for Boiler House, Lasco’s Texas grill and wine garden concept located at the historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, was completed in fall 2012. A complete redesign of The Tasting Room site is forthcoming.


Taking its design cue from current branding, the new MAX’s site features a black and white color palette with red accents and bold typographical elements. Zulu Creative recommended key website enhancements to better convey MAX’s funky, eclectic brand vibe online. The website reflects each location’s unique ambience and personality through witty slogans on each page, graphical jukebox-inspired elements that evoke the restaurant’s dive-bar feel, and location-specific featured images.

Site visitors can easily make online reservations and access key information such as each location’s address, hours, contact information and menus. In addition, visitors can view each location’s calendar of events, read chef and wine manager bios, see private event/catering options, purchase gift cards online, sign up for MAX’s newsletter and easily connect with MAX’s through their social media channels. Press+Awards pages tout each location’s accolades, while a corporate Employment page lists all job openings by location and serves as a useful recruiting tool.

Designed and built on a content management system (CMS) platform with multisite functionality, the website is scalable, making it easy to manage multiple websites through a single interface and add new sites as Lasco opens new MAX’s locations.

“We are extremely excited about the new website for MAX’s Wine Dive created by the talented team at Zulu Creative,” said Jonathan Horowitz, Chief Brand Officer of Lasco Enterprises. “Throughout the entire creative process, the Zulu team exercised intense attention to detail and introduced a new site that is easy for our guests to navigate, as well as met our goal to produce a product which mimics the energy, look and feel of the MAX’s Wine Dive concept.”

“Designing sites for three award-winning Lasco brands is an exciting opportunity and huge honor,” says Tina Zulu, Founder and Creative Chieftess of Zulu Creative. “Our experience creating websites for other successful restaurants and bars made the Boiler House, MAX’s Wine Dive and The Tasting Room projects a perfect fit for us, and our teams work extremely well together. We couldn’t be more thrilled and congratulate Lasco on their continued success and growth. Cheers!”

About Zulu Creative
Fun! And smart! Zulu Creative is a boutique agency in Midtown Houston, Texas, specializing in marketing and brand development for lifestyle businesses that serve consumer niche markets. The Zulu crew is a dynamic team of intelligent professionals who are energetic, innovative, passionate and reliable. Clients who choose Zulu Creative get a big bang for their buck, benefit from a diverse team of experience and talent, and enjoy a smashing, cutting-edge image in the Houston community, nationally and globally. Whether a brand needs a kick-start, upgrade or extreme makeover, Zulu Creative is known for creating memorable experiences and making an impact. It’s all about positioning brands at the top of the target audience’s mind. Zulu Creative accomplishes it through innovative, integrated marketing. For more information, visit

About Lasco Enterprises
Established by Jerry and Laura Lasco in Houston in 2003, Lasco Enterprises, LLC is the parent company for MAX’s Wine Dive (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Ft. Worth), The Tasting Room Wine Cafés, Lasco Events & Catering, Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden (San Antonio), and The Black Door online wine community, and now has more than 500 employees in five cities. In 2010, Inc. 5000 named Lasco Enterprises one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. In 2011 and 2012, Lasco was named as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Texas” by the Best Companies Group. The Houston Business Journal named Lasco Enterprises to its Fast 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in Houston in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012. In 2009 and in 2012, the publication awarded Lasco the Houston Business Journal’s “Enterprise Champion” award for the company’s commitment to its employees, the communities in which it operates, and for its contributions to its industry. For more information,

Revealed, Microsoft SkyDrive Allow Skype and Tapped

A document reveals how Microsoft is working with U.S. intelligence agencies to read messages from users, including helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secret unlock code Microsoft, Australia Guardian reported on Friday (07/12/2013).

Confidential documents obtained by the Guardian of Edward Snowden, U.S. intelligence whistleblowers, said the level of cooperation between Silicon Valley and American intelligence agencies in the last three years.

The document, among others, suggests, Microsoft helped the NSA to read the conversation at the new portal by giving the company secret code. NSA has access to including Hotmail before the messages are written in the form of a code (encrypted).

Microsoft is working with the FBI this year that the NSA get easier access to the data warehouse via Prism SkyDrive which has 250 million users in the world.

Microsoft is also working with the FBI to the intelligence agencies “understand” the issues that potential that allows users to use the e-mail alias for them.

In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA is proud to mention that the NSA has been able to increase the amount of video that they can access through Skype as much as three times through the Prism program. The materials obtained from Prism program routinely accessed by the FBI and CIA. One of the documents referred NSA has the name “team sport”.

Snowden documents also reveal the tension between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. Leading technology companies lobbying the government to be allowed to express the depth of their cooperation with the NSA to address customer concerns in terms of privacy.

Corporate leaders are not trying to claim that they have collaborated and worked with intelligence agencies like NSA documents mentioned in the argument that the process is carried out according to the lawsuit.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “If we increase the capacity (upgrade)-prudok and updating our products, we are not exempt from having to comply with applicable laws, both now and into the future.”

Microsoft reiterated his argument that they provide the customer data “only in response to government requests, and we only serve the demand for specific address or identity”.

Last June, the Guardian reported that the NSA claims to have “direct access” program through the Prism system leading internet companies including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.

Hackers use Dropbox, WordPress to spread malware

The Chinese cyberspies behind the widely publicized espionage campaign against The New York Times have added Dropbox and WordPress to their bag of spear-phishing tricks.

The gang, known in security circles as the DNSCalc gang, has been using the Dropbox file-sharing service for roughly the last 12 months as a mechanism for spreading malware, said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer for Cyber Squared. While the tactic is not unique, it remains under the radar of most companies.

“I wouldn’t say it’s new,” Barger said on Thursday. “It’s just something that folks aren’t really looking at or paying attention to.”

The gang is among 20 Chinese groups identified this year by security firm Mandiant thatlaunch cyberattacks against specific targets to steal information. In this case, the DNSCalc gang was going after intelligence on individuals or governments connected to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN is a non-governmental group that represents the economic interests of ten Southeast Asian countries.

The attackers did not exploit any vulnerabilities in Dropbox or WordPress. Instead, they opened up accounts and used the services as their infrastructure.

The gang uploaded on Dropbox a .ZIP file disguised as belonging to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Messages were then sent to people or agencies that would be interested in the draft of a Council policy paper. The paper, contained in the file, was legitimate, Barger said.

When a recipient unzipped the file, they saw another one that read, “2013 US-ASEAN Business Council Statement of Priorities in the US-ASEAN Commercial Relationship Policy Paper.scr.” Clicking on the file would launch a PDF of the document, while the malware opened a backdoor to the host computer in the background.

Once the door was open, the malware would reach out to a WordPress blog created by the attackers. The blog contained the IP address and port number of a command and control server that the malware would contact to download additional software.

Dropbox is a desirable launchpad for attacks because employees of many companies use the service. “People trust Dropbox,” Barger said.

For companies that have the service on its whitelist, malware moving from Dropbox won’t be detected by a company’s intrusion prevention systems. Also, communications to a WordPress blog would likely go undetected, since it would not be unusual behavior for any employee with access to the Internet.

In general, no single technology can prevent such an attack. “There’s no silver bullet here,” Barger said.

The best prevention is for security pros to share information when their companies are targeted, so others can draw up their own defense, he said.

In The New York Times attack, the hackers penetrated the newspaper’s systems in September 2012 and worked undercover for four months before they were detected.

The attack coincided with an investigative piece the newspaper published on business dealings that reaped several billion dollars for the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister.

Google Nexus Ready to Use Android 4.3

California – Google announced the Android 4.3 operating system in a Google event in San Francisco on July 24, 2013. Android 4.3 will be used on the Google Nexus 7 new and old.
Since the announcement of Android 4.3, the operating system on a tablet computer Google Nexus 7, 10 and Nexus smartphone Google Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus will be upgraded to Android 4.3, said Hugo Barra, vice president of product manjemen Android.
While the mobile operating system of the Samsung Galaxy S4 edition of Google Play and HTC will also be enhanced, Barra stated.
Barra did not say when the other Android devices can get Android 4.3. At the operating system is not much change. There is only a little extra on the software. For example, the profile Multi-User Restricted, Smart Bluetooth technology and the higher graphics capabilities thanks to Open GLES 3.0.
Officially, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is still in version. In accordance with the changes only slightly. This means, the fans still have to wait for Google’s Android operating system Key Lime Pie.

Google Maps for iPad Launched

Jakarta – After a week after Google Maps launched for Android users, the information technology company is now re-presenting feature map for iPad users. Google Maps 2.0 can be enjoyed globally since Tuesday, July 16, 2013.
Features that are designed for use with the device’s larger screen choose the look with clearer images and soft colors.
Just like the Android version, iOS-based applications include traffic information in real time. Google Maps 2.0 comes with Foursquare and navigation that includes information about a variety of places, including restaurants and shopping centers.
This application actually has not been downloaded from the App Store could in their home country, the United States. Yet it can be downloaded for users in Asia.
Google Maps before, they can be enjoyed by users of smart phones iPhone. Launch the application updates to follow up on complaints that come from iPhone users, especially iPhone 5 to Apple Maps. Users complained about the lack of accuracy especially on Apple Maps. Apple Management then apologized in writing to the users of the iPhone and iPad.
Service on the map offers features traffic information, navigation, transit directions, satellite, road, indoor photos, restaurant reviews, and the integration of the Google profile. Unlike other Google apps made​​, this map is a special feature produced for the default operating system iOS. The application advantages are speed and small file size so it does not take much memory.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Pushes Beyond Second Screen To Companion Web

“We’re at a tipping point with connected devices,” a recent blog post from Microsoft Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer team reads. “Every day, 3.6 million mobile devices and tablets are activated worldwide. That’s over five times more than the number of babies born each day!” They’ve got a point, but it is a sad irony for Microsoft that so few of those mobile devices run their software.

But Microsoft has sold more than 70 million Xbox 360s and has a very TV-centric followup, the Xbox One, coming in November. As contributor Tristan Louis points out in today’s post on Smarter TVs, ”the upcoming battle for the living room is a chance to redeem itself and turn its fortune around.” The parody video that Louis refers to shows all of the instances of the words “TV,” “television,” “sports” and “Call of Duty” in the launch announcement. Although the announcement raised the ire of hard core gamers, the emphasis on TV (and perhaps the two things TVs are most used for, watching sports and playing Call of Duty) must have been highly intentional.

Games have been Microsoft’s route into the living room, but that strong association is now an impediment to its more generalized assault of the living room. Non-gamers are probably thinking more about the future AppleApple TV than about the Xbox as their upgrade path to interactive TV. In response to this perception, Microsoft has launched a new program called “Companion Web.” The idea is to facilitate real time interactions between different devices. And because Microsoft has no footprint to speak of in the world of mobile, they are now trying to emerge as a unifying force between iOS and Android.

The problem Microsoft is trying to solve (other than the risk of their own irrelevance) is that “the majority of sites on the web are built for only one device at a time.” The user can search for related information to what they are watching on their TV, for instance, but real time it ain’t. And content owners can make second screen experiences, but they have tended to be operating system (and sometimes even device) specific. Microsoft is after a more generalized solution that does not impose an unmanageable burden on developers.

“Regardless of who makes the device or software that powers the device, the Companion Web enables the internet to bridge the gap between these devices,” the IE blog post reads. “For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience. For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”

Companion Web would seem to be a more generalized version of the Xbox SmartGlass, which also allowed you to interact with your TV via Windows devices and select iOS and Android devices, but only on very specific games and content. The promise of the Companion Web is of a much broader range of experiences that the user could have between devices.

So far, Microsoft has released three such “Companion Web experiences” working with outside developers. I became aware of the program through Luke Wroblewski who has created a version of his Polar app that works in this companion manner with Internet Explorer. As you can see in the video below, Polar uses IE’s snap mode to assign a “sidebar” portion of the screen (in this case a Surface tablet acts a s a proxy for a Windows 8/Xbox One enabled TV) to itself while the user uses the balance of the screen to watch Futurama.

Wroblewski demonstrates the ways that you can find polls with Polar about Futurama and watch the results update in real time while you are watching the show. You can imagine something like this being a lot of fun for big live TV events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, where the amount of real time activity would be high and seeing how other people are reacting becomes part of the entertainment. Similarly, you can make up your own hashtags for polls in Polar so that the reactions you are monitoring are only a select group of people. Either way, mass or niche, the real time linkage with the content on the big screen really extends the idea of the Polar app by making these interactions available to a room full of people—each potentially interacting with their own mobile devices.

And, important to note (since this is IE, after all, that we are talking about) that this all uses standard open web technology. Specifically, Wroblewski tells me, Companion Web uses web sockets to create the real time connections between devices. He says, “you can make a connection between pretty much any two ‘modern’ Web browsers regardless of device.” One of the other really interesting things about the Polar demonstration is that, as I described in a recent post, it uses a multi-device web page that enables all kinds of input (touch, mouse and keyboard) depending on device. And in the Companion Web experience, all all of these inputs can be used to control the connected screen.

What the other “modern” browsers don’t have that Internet Explorer 10 has is this snap mode. If there was one thing that iOS 7 should have copied from Windows (instead of all that flatness stuff) it would have been snap mode. So these Companion Web experiences will work across virtually all devices (because they use standard web tech) but the Xbox One will retain an advantage of being the only way to uses these “companions” on the screen simultaneously with other activities. And Polar, I think, has shown how this could become a really powerful feature.

The other two Companion Web experiments released so far do not make use of this snap mode feature. DailyBurn, see video below, uses a smartphone or tablet to get real time data related to workouts you view on your TV. This app is clearly trying to appeal to users who may need some constructive excuse to get an Xbox One.

Mix Party, introduced in the (purposely?) obnoxious video below, allows people at a party to create real time, collaborative playlists with their phones. As with Polar, the real time aspect of this is part of the entertainment value. I’m not sure if DailyBurn is intended as a solo experience or if multiple people could monitor their own individual performance of a shared video workout or not, but Mix Party and Polar clearly have real time, fact to face interactions in mind.

What is interesting to me about this strategy is that there are some extra capabilities that Microsoft has built into IE 10/Xbox One (and likely will build more) that will give it an advantage as an app enabled web TV platform, but the apps developers write will also work well on all devices. This strategy of “progressive enhancement” is a comfortable one to developers because it keeps their options open. Allowing for these entropic possibilities is a smart way to get developers on board, which, in turn, could be the means to Microsoft’s resurgence through the big screen.

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.

Four Techniques Local Businesses Should Use for Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

Hands down, a WordPress website is one of the best investments that can be made in a local company’s online lead generation efforts. Admittedly, it can also be one of the biggest investments. My Local Leads, a Maine based marketing firm, works on design and development as well as continued maintenance of affordable WordPress websites for local businesses across the US. There are undoubtedly some decisions that go into the initial planning and development stages that can greatly impact marketing effectiveness of the site. Then, there are things that require continued and near constant observation and work. These few techniques are important to helping make a WordPress website part of a successful local search marketing campaign.

Choosing the right domain name can be pivotal in helping increase a websites reach, especially in the early stages. It was popular to stuff a domain with keywords, but recent search engine algorithm updates have lessened the value of such a practice. Branding is important for the domain name. It needs to be simple enough for people to remember. If a keyword fits naturally, sure it can and should be added. If it ends up making it too weird, too long, or too hard to remember, it is most likely not worth it.

It is also important to remember to turn on WordPress’s built in SEO tools when putting up a site for a local business. There is a setting under privacy of a WordPress site that will automatically hide the site from search engines, and this certainly is not what anyone attempting to build a site for search engine optimization wants to have set. At the same time, the WordPress website should have the permalinks set to be friendly URLs, which will help with the site ranking.

There are important add-ons that any WordPress website should have including sitemap and SEO tools. The meta titles and descriptions can be easily added with warnings and suggestions through using a tool like Yoast. The sitemap is a factor in overall page ranking and can be done automatically through a plugin whenever new pages or posts are added.

Another factor that business owners will want to keep an eye on with their WordPress site is the actual functionality. The site should load quickly, have no dead links, and have clean code. Ugly and broken code can harm the rankings as well as user experience. Slow sites or sites that go down frequently can also be detrimental to both customer experience and search engine rankings.

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache(tm) Mesos(tm) as a Top-Level Project

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today that Apache Mesos has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic process and principles.

Apache Mesos is a cluster manager that provides efficient resource isolation and sharing across distributed applications, or frameworks. It can run multiple frameworks, including Apache Hadoop, MPI, Hypertable, Jenkins, Storm, and Spark, as well as other applications and custom frameworks.

“It was our goal all along to see Mesos become a kernel of the infrastructure stack of the future,” said Benjamin Hindman, Vice President of Apache Mesos. “The project’s graduation from the Apache Incubator is recognition that the software is mature and has brought together a diverse community to sustain it in the future.”

Initially created at the University of California at Berkeley’s AMPLab (the research center also responsible for the original development of Apache Spark) to manage resource sharing and isolation in data centers, Mesos acts as a layer of abstraction between applications and pools of servers. Mesos helps avoid the necessity of creating separate clusters to run individual frameworks and instead making it possible to optimize how jobs are executed across shared machines.

Whilst in the Apache Incubator, Mesos had four releases, and established an Open Source community according to The Apache Way of governance. Additional improvements to the project includes its flexibility to support several application framework languages, and scalability that has been production tested to thousands of nodes and simulated to tens of thousands of nodes and hundreds of frameworks.

Apache Mesos has proven to be reliable for use in production, and has already been adopted by several organizations for cluster management.

“Mesos is the cornerstone of our elastic compute infrastructure,” explained Chris Fry, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Twitter. “It’s how we build all our new services and is critical for Twitter’s continued success at scale … one of the primary keys to our data infrastructure efficiency.”

“We’re using Mesos to manage cluster resources for most of our data infrastructure,” said Brenden Matthews, Engineer at Airbnb and Apache Mesos Committer. “We run Chronos, Storm, and Hadoop on top of Mesos in order to process petabytes of data.” (Chronos is an Airbnb-developed Mesos framework as a replacement for cron, and an example of how custom frameworks can be developed on Mesos to leverage its resource sharing).

“Community support for Apache Mesos is encouraging, particularly as more companies assess how they manage their clusters and look for more efficiency,” added Hindman. “Now that we’ve graduated, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of Mesos adopters and fostering an ecosystem around the project.”

Availability and Oversight
As with all Apache products, Apache Mesos software is released under the Apache License v2.0, and is overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. A Project Management Committee (PMC) guides the Project’s day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.