Stories that begin to experience a heightened amount of user interest in the form of off-site sharing, user discussion, and of course Diggs, will be presented up at the very top of Digg's home page, as well as being spouted in a special RSS and Twitter news feed. Once at the top of the page, those stories have 10 minutes to get voted onto the front page as a normally dugg … Read more
Note: Gifsoup, as it turns out, is a violation of YouTube's terms of service, which state that user-submitted videos cannot be downloaded unless the author has allowed it and the download is taking place on YouTube.com, and not via its API.
In my book, animated GIFs are one step above glitter graphics in terms of junk trends of the Internet, but I'm a big fan of any tool that makes creating them easy and fun. Gifsoup is no exception--you just point it towards any YouTube video and it turns it into an animated GIF.
To do this, … Read more
I'm one of many who believe this week's announcement of Apps.gov--a portal targeted at reducing the cost and effort for public agencies to acquire cloud services--is forcing all of IT to face the economics of cloud computing.
Apps.gov, a federal government initiative out of the General Services Administration, demonstrates several concepts that have been the dream of many private enterprise IT departments for some time, but have been successfully executed by very few. Here are the five trends that I think Apps.gov demonstrates, and why you should pay attention:
The IT service catalog. For … Read more
Finding the hot conversation keeps getting easier, but predicting what the next big trend will be continues to be a crapshoot. Palm and Federated Media have teamed up to create a new tool called Trend Tracker that does its best to figure out, what in fact the next top trend will be by analyzing items that are gathering buzz.
The system is a mix of tools that can help spot popular URLs and trending topics before they hit it big. But it's more about organizing that data in a simple-to-parse format.
Included are the current top 30 trending topics on Twitter, which can be stacked up against each other to see what's pulling in the highest percentage of tweets. Each trend is represented over a 24-hour time line, where you can see how each particular trend has gone up or down in popularity.
But 24 hours doesn't tell the full story, which is why the tool will soon expand to keep an archive that covers the last 10 or 30 days.
Along with the top 30 trends, Trend Tracker includes a "Pre Trend Watch" (emphasis mine) which tracks five up-and-coming trends that are about to break into the top 10 based on their velocity--the speed in which tweets on that particular topic are gaining in popularity. These are also marked in the trend archive with a little blue flag.
When I was looking at the tool last week, one of the most interesting things this picked up on was… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--The claim has been made in the last couple of weeks that cloud computing has reached the top of analyst firms' famous hype cycle and is a top-of-mind issue for most IT organizations.
That's a bit misleading, as the interest in cloud computing is often taken out of context, and when you bring virtualization into the picture, that interest seems to remain exploratory rather than strategic.
Amazing innovation is happening in both public- and private-cloud offerings, and the overwhelmingly positive response to cloud computing--in particular to Amazon's top-notch Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, and related offerings, … Read more
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
It used to be that an IT administrator could warn employees about opening attachments from unknown sources or clicking on links from unknown e-mail senders as the first line of defense against spam, malware, and other bad stuff on the Internet.
Today, the seedy side of the Internet comes in many different forms and from many different sources. Stop for a moment and think about the new places where malware might be buried, hidden, released, and shared--a legitimate site that's been hacked, a bit.ly link on Twitter, or … Read more
Trend Micro released its 2010 security products earlier this week, with three programs offering varying levels of security and service. The comparatively barebones Trend Micro Antivirus + AntiSpyware clocks in at $40, with the basic suite Trend Micro Internet Security available for $10 more and $70 for the premium Trend Micro Internet Security Pro. They all come with a full-feature 30-day trial.
There's a lot that's new in the Pro version and some of that filters down to the other editions. Users can expect to get full Windows 7 support, auto-run disabling for USB keys, gaming, and video-watching awareness … Read more
Editors' note: This article was first published on February 27, 2008, and was titled, "Clean your PC with Trend Micro HijackThis." It was updated on May 21, 2009.
Malware has gotten more sophisticated at hiding its tracks compared with a few years ago. Adware, it seems, with its pop-ups and unwanted browser toolbars, has taken a backseat to the sly, ever-dangerous, and much more lucrative realm of the botnet, also known as that class of malware that conscripts your computer into an army of spam-spewing zombies, or worse.
If you suspect your Windows computer may be compromised, you should always try running standard adware-removal programs first. Ad-Aware and Avira AntiVir Personal Free are two good starts. If they can't seem to keep the nasties at bay, Trend Micro HijackThis digs deep. For most, HijackThis will be diagnostic software for Windows XP (with high compatibility for Vista) that creates a log of your Windows Registry and file settings. It is not a spyware removal tool. However, its capability to identify commonly abused methods of altering your computer can help you (and the Internet community) determine your next course of action.
Step 1: Install it
Version 2.0.2 of HijackThis contains an installer, unlike the previous version that launched from a ZIP file or EXE. If you're using that legacy version, be sure to update. You'll find that this build also downloads a desktop icon for quick-launching.
Step 2: Scan your system
Trend Micro HijackThis opens with a simple interface that offers limited instruction. Running the program and interpreting its results can be confusing. Click either of the two "system scan" buttons to bring up a list of registry and file entries. Expect to see a mess of entries--even a Firefox plug-in on a completely healthy computer can produce multiple listings. If you choose to scan the system only, you can still save a record after the scan by selecting the "Save log" button on the bottom left. This will save the log as a plain text document that you'll be able to open in Notepad.
Step 3: Identify problems
Here's the rub--now that you've got a long list of your computer's contents, how do you determine which results are critical, and which benign?
There are a few determining factors. Some entries may be obviously tied to a legitimate program you installed. A browser helper object like Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper is clearly harmless and installs with the Adobe Reader application. Listings like these you can ignore or can add to the Ignore List to bypass in future scans. To excuse any entry from showing up in the results list in the future, click the adjacent box to add a check mark and choose the button reading "Add checked to ignorelist." See it in action in this video (Note: The video accurately demonstrates using the ignore list on a previous version of HijackThis.)… Read more
I always enjoy wild hand-wavey prognostications about the future, so I was pleased to attend the 11th annual Churchill Club Top Tech Trends event last night, moderated by my former co-workers from Red Herring, Tony Perkins (now running Always On) and Jason Pontin (publisher of MIT Technology Review). Of the 12 trends, two really made me take notice. Most of the rest, which you can see at the end of this story, were pretty standard projections from existing market circumstances.
Interesting trend #1: Centralized search will fall
Venture capital whiz-kid Steve Jurvetson gave an impassioned pitch for this trend, which he called, "The triumph of the distributed Web." He said the aggregate power of distributed human activity will trump centralized control. His main point was that Google, and other search engines that analyze the Web and links, are much less useful than a (theoretical) search engine that knows not what people have linked to (as Google does), but rather what pages are open on people's browsers at the moment that people are searching. "All the problems of search would be solved if search relevance was ranked by what browsers were displaying," he said.
Jurvetson believes that the future is "federated search," in which the Web's users don't just execute search queries, they participate in building the index by the very act of searching, immediately and directly.
What I find most interesting about this concept is that we can see it already happening, although via a different technological vector. Twitter Search is real-time search. It tells you what people are saying right now, and on popular topics, it gives you far more current information than Google. I think Twitter Search also shows us that Jurvetson's vision of search, while compelling, is incomplete. To get the real-time wisdom of the crowds for the purpose of search, you have to know not just what Web pages people are displaying, but exactly what is on those pages, and you probably also want to know what's showing up on users' computers in apps other than the Web browser.
I am not sure the Web's users will want to participate in the creation of this search engine, nor am I convinced that there's a lot of value in the concept for obscure or "long tail" search queries. But the idea is interesting, and I certainly agree that the value of real-time searching, as well as social-network-aware searching, will increase dramatically and quickly.… Read more
People who prefer playing a home video game to going out to the movies are in good company, according to a recent survey.
Almost 64 percent of Americans have played a video game in the past six months versus only 53 percent who have gone out to see a movie, according to a report from market research firm NPD Group.
The March report, part of NPD's "Entertainment Trends in America" study, also noted that consumers now splurge one-third of their entertainment dollar on video games. The average gamer spent a bit more than $38 per month, with … Read more