Great Ways to Find Customers Through Mobile Marketing

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What are great ways to attract new customers, keep them interested in what you have to offer and turn them into repeat customers?

If you are marketing smart and not hard, you find your customers where all their attention is focused. Nowhere else will you find people more focused than on their mobile devices and, to top that, did you know that it takes an average of three seconds to open your message?

More than two-thirds of the population now has a mobile phone and is active on the Internet. Facebook says more than 500 million of its subscribers use its service on their mobile phones, and these have twice the activity level of those accessing Facebook from a laptop or desktop computer.
It seems that mobile marketing is now a necessity.

Here are 10 ways to nab customers with mobile marketing:

Text messaging: This is the technique that is used most often with mobile marketing. Get your customers to opt-in to your database and confirm they want to hear from you, then send them offers they will find hard to refuse.

Mobile advertising: Place advertisements on mobile content websites like blogs and mobile newspapers.

Mobile e-mail: Most people can receive e-mail on their Smartphones. Ask your subscribers to text you their e-mail addresses and sign up for an e-mail list. You have more options with e-mail than with texting alone, such as graphics. You can give more detail, and you can offer a mobile coupon. Have an opt-in box on your website for this.

Mobile applications: You can create apps and list them in the app stores such as Google Play. Customers can find you through the store and download your app. You can then send offers through this app.

MMS (Multi-media messaging): These are messages that can use pictures, a lot more text, sound and video. It works the same way as text messaging.

Mobile Internet and QR codes: You can use a mobile version of your website and QR codes to send your mobile visitors to your site.

Voice messages: Have an interactive voice response system answer your phone calls and give your phone number to your customers.

Mobile content: You can send customers links to interactive content such as images, videos, slideshows and other downloads which will lead to more traffic and more signups.

External ways: You can advertise through Wi-Fi, mobile newspapers and GPS.

Mobile search: Many people search online from their mobile devices for a product or service that is near them. Make sure they will be able to find you by providing directions and maps from your website.

If you are a savvy marketer, you will make sure you can be found by mobile marketers in all the above ways.


Article by Hannah du Plessis. To learn more about mobile marketing and how it can help you, visit Attraction Marketing today, and sign up for the mobile toolkit.

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Great Ways to Find Customers Through Mobile Marketing

Five Tips for More Effective Business Social Networking

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Latest News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

Effective business social networking is a skill — one that is easy to begin with and gets better with practice. As a business owner, one of your main concerns will always be how to improve your return on investment for time spent social networking.

While it is easy to set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, using these sites to meet your business objectives requires a thoughtful approach and consistent action.
Let’s take a look at five tips to help you become a better business social networker and to make more profitable business connections online.

1. Realize online networking is similar to real life networking

In real life networking, you make connections one person at a time. The same is true for online networking. Don’t be seduced into thinking you can create meaningful relationships with a lot of people at once, simply by posting updates about what you do.

A better strategy is to consider the online social networks as providing you more access to more people, from the comfort of your home or office, while realizing that the basic relational skills to make a connection remain similar both online and offline. In other words, meet a lot of people, but meet them one-by-one.

2. Keep your desired outcomes in focus

If you will be using social networking to grow your business, it is wise to capture baseline data and keep track of your success along the way. Let’s say, for example, that you want to increase your number of local contacts and relationships using Facebook. You would want to note how many contacts you have as you begin, and to make periodic assessments of how many new contacts you make. Only by measuring before and after will you know if social networking is helping you reach your goals. It is often easiest to select just one metric per campaign.

3. Keep it simple

If you are focusing on building relationships one at a time, you want this to be as simple as possible. One way to keep this simple would be to focus on just one social network. Participate deeply in your chosen network, rather than sporadically across two or more. Given the time-shifted and asynchronous nature of social media, you must network consistently in one place to get the best results. Without this commitment, you run the risk of wasting your time and efforts.

4. Focus on giving first

One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise or the benefits of your business is by “showing, not telling.” This means giving advice, sharing resources and pointing people to information that will educate and inform them. By filtering the most useful and relevant information for them, you position yourself as someone with credibility and you gain social influence. People will begin to pay more attention to what you say when they perceive you as someone who provides good information that helps them.

5. Cement your online connection in real life too

The best way to use social networking is as a means to create in-person connections. Once you get to know someone better online, be sure to invite himor her to an event or meeting so you can meet in real life too. Make an effort to set up a coffee date or lunch date, and to even do this when you travel out of town. I, for instance, try to meet up with one or two of my online connections each time I travel to a new city. People like to do business with people they know and trust, so the goal is to meet in person to cement that “like and trust” factor.

If you remember that the goal of social networking is to make real connections, and to improve the lives and experiences of those you connect with, you’ll be well on your way to more effective business social networking. Becoming skilled in business social networking will grow your connections, will generate referrals and will bring you new opportunities. All of which makes dollars and sense.


Rachna Jain helps her clients become more profitable and more well known online. She blogs at ProfitablePopularity.com.

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Five Tips for More Effective Business Social Networking

Twitter Defect Gave Third-Party Apps Access to Private Data

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A hole in Twitter’s security enabled third-party applications to gain access to the direct messages of users who signed in to the apps using their Twitter accounts, said security researcher Cesar Cerrudo.

The chief technology officer of IOActive found the defect while testing a web application still under development — it allowed users to sign in using their Twitter accounts.

He chose to sign in with his Twitter account because he believed the social networking site would prevent the app from being able to access direct messages or see his Twitter password.

“After viewing the displayed web page, I trusted that Twitter would not give the application access to my password and direct messages,” Cerrudo wrote in a blog post. “I felt that my account was safe, so I signed in and played with the application. I saw that the application had the functionality to access and display Twitter direct messages. The functionality, however, did not work, since Twitter did not allow the application to access these messages.”

For the app to gain access, it would have to request proper authorization through the following Twitter web page:

The above page was not displayed to Cerrudo at the time. He had been playing with the app for some time, logging in and out of both it and Twitter to determine its functionality when he discovered the app was displaying all of his direct messages from Twitter.

“This was a huge and scary surprise,” he wrote. “I wondered how this was possible. How had the application bypassed Twitter’s security restrictions? I needed to know the answer.”

He logged in to Twitter to check its application settings. The page said: ‘Permissions: read, write, and direct messages.’

“I couldn’t understand how this was possible, since I had never authorized the application to access my ‘private’ direct messages,” Cerrudo said. “I realized that this was a huge security hole.”

He reported the problem to Twitter on Jan. 16 and it was addressed in less than 24 hours.

“They said the issue occurred due to complex code and incorrect assumptions and validations,” Cerrudo said.

The fix, however, does not appear to be retroactive. The app still had access to Cerrudo’s direct messages until he revoked access personally.

Cerrudo said Twitter’s disclosure policy leaves a lot to be desired — the social network has not issued an alert to its users about the now-fixed security issue.

He said millions of users could be oblivious to the fact that third-party apps had already accessed their private information.

“I love Twitter,” he said. “I use it daily. However, I think Twitter still needs a bit of improvement, especially when it comes to alerting its users about security issues when privacy is affected.”

He suggested users tweet the following:

Twitter shares your DMs without authorization, check third party application permissions  http://bit.ly/UfSizZ #ProtectYourPrivacy (Please RT)

 

 

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Twitter Defect Gave Third-Party Apps Access to Private Data

Microsoft Launching Surface Windows 8 Pro

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Microsoft is adding to the Surface family.

The company announced Jan. 22 its newest model — Surface Windows 8 Pro — will be available for purchase Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada.

Starting at $899 for the 64GB model, Surface Pro runs on an Intel Core i5 processor and can run Windows 8 applications, as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. It will also come in a 128GB model.

Another new feature is the Surface Pen.

“Surface Pen is included and makes for an amazing experience for writers, graphic designers or even engineers, and with Palm Block technology writing and drawing is fun for everyone on Surface Windows 8 Pro,” said Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay in a blog post.

“Surface Windows 8 Pro is an exciting new addition to the Surface family, bringing a powerful, work-ready device that is just as at home in the boardroom as it is the family room. Whether you’re a road warrior, a student or someone who just wants a flexible and powerful Intel PC, the Surface Windows 8 Pro will deliver. It’s the perfect complement to the Surface Windows RT and delivers hours and hours of entertainment with plenty of power and productivity to get your work done as well.”

The Surface Windows 8 Pro can be purchased through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada.

Customers will also soon be able to buy Surface Windows RT in 13 additional markets globally — more than double the number of markets in which Surface is currently available.

“The response to Surface has been exciting to see,” Panay said. “We’re thrilled to continue growing the Surface family with the availability of Surface Windows 8 Pro on Feb. 9 and by increasing the number of places customers can experience Surface firsthand.”

Additional Surface accessories will also soon be available:

• Surface Windows RT will be available in a new 64GB standalone version for an estimated retail price of $599 to allow customers the option of selecting a cover of their choice.

• Three new Touch Cover Limited Editions in red, magenta and cyan will be sold at an estimated retail price of $129.99.

• Customers will have the option of purchasing a Wedge Touch Mouse, Surface Edition, for an estimated retail price of $69.95 in all markets in which Surface is currently sold with additional markets to follow in the coming weeks.

 

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Microsoft Launching Surface Windows 8 Pro

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 23, 2013

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AT&T to Purchase Alltel U.S. for $780M

AT&T will be shelling out $780 million to acquire Atlantic Tele-Network’s Alltel U.S. retail wireless operations.

The purchase, which will include the licenses, retail stores and network assets, along with about 585,000 subscribers, is a bid by AT&T to increase its range in rural areas.

Alltel’s network encompasses roughly 4.6 million people, mostly in rural areas across six states: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

AT&T said network upgrades will improve mobile Internet service for both Alltel and AT&T customers. Alltel runs on CDMA, so customers will need to be upgraded to GSM once the acquisition is complete.

The deal is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2013.

Mozilla Announces Developer Preview Phones

Mozilla announced its developer preview phones Jan. 22 — devices that will allow developers to test its new Firefox OS.

The phones, which are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica and Geeksphone, are a bid by the company to “make the mobile web more accessible to more people,” says Mozilla director of websites and developer engagement Stormy Peters in a blog post.

“Developer preview phones will help make the mobile web more accessible to more people. Developers are critical to the web and to Mozilla’s mission to make the web accessible to everyone,” Peters writes. “Now we are working on bringing the power of the web to mobile, through Firefox OS, along with all the power of open standards and an open community.”

The developer phones, dubbed Keon and Peak, will run software created with HTML5. Peters says HTML5 apps can do “phone things — they can make the phone vibrate, make a phone call or send a text message.”

The Keon specs include: CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 1Ghz, UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA), GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE), screen 3.5-inch HVGA multitouch, 3 MP camera, 4GB ROM, 512 MB RAM MicroSD, Wifi N, light and proximity sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB, 1580 mAh battery, over the air updates, unlocked, add your own SIM card.

The Peak specs include: CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.2Ghz x2,  UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA), GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE), screen 4.3-inch qHD IPS Multitouch, Camera 8 MP (back) + 2 MP (front), 4 GB (ROM) and 512 (RAM), MicroSD, Wi-fi N, light and prox. sensor, G-sensor, GPS, MicroUSB, flash (camera), battery 1800 mAh.

300 More Blockbusters to Close

The ever-growing popularity of on-demand Internet streaming media companies like Netflix and online video sites such as YouTube means more nails are hammered into the coffins of brick-and-mortar video stores.

Dish Network announced this week it will close 300 more Blockbuster stores putting about 3,000 employees out of work.

Underperforming stores and those nearing the end of a lease will be on the chopping block. With the recent cut, only 500 U.S. Blockbuster stores will remain in business — 26 of them near Dish Network’s Colorado headquarters.

The Dish Network acquired Blockbuster out of bankruptcy for $320 million in 2011. At the time of purchase, Blockbuster had 1,700 retail sites and a streaming service.

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Technology News Briefs — Jan. 23, 2013

Google – One Way or the Other, We’re Gonna Get YOU

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, SEO News, Social Media News, test

I talk a lot of smack about Google, but I need to come clean with you guys about something. I simply adore the Google Chrome browser for general web surfing. It’s lightweight, highly intuitive, and a downright pleasure to use. However, I never sign into my Google account on Chrome. Google always gripes me out, chastising me by taunting, “You’re missing out!” as soon as I hit the homepage.

At first, I thought this was nothing more than a minor annoyance, but then I learned that Google recently placed a job ad with a description specifically aimed at driving up user sign-in rates. Brian Ussery discovered the listing and reported his findings on his personal blog. The most interesting part of the story, however, is Brian’s uuber-provocative write-up dissecting Big G’s motives.

Looking at the Listing

Brian was smart enough to grab the following screenshot before the Google listing disappeared into the Internet abyss:

It’s a little small, so here’s a close-up of the portion Brian highlighted above:

“The mission of the search growth marketing team is to make that information universally accessible by enabling and educating users around the world to search on Google, search more often, and search while signed-in. Research and analysis has shown that putting Google search access points at the fingertips of users is an effective way of achieving these goals. And the more users that are signed in to Google, the better we can tailor their search results and create a unified experience across all of the Google products that they use.”

Long story short, Google’s so hungry to get you signed in that the company’s willing to pay someone good money to figure out how to convince you. And do you blame ‘em? If you’re signed in, then Google gets the juicy insider info needed to provide super-personalized search results for you, and (as Brian points out) better target ads. Google+, he notes, is a major component of the search giant’s sign-in plan. However, much to the company’s chagrin, the social network has nowhere near the viral likability of rivals such as Facebook and Twitter. G+ is growing, yes, but most of the people who use the service do so for the business benefits alone.

Google’s Catch-22

As Brian pointed out in his post, Google has a serious setback hindering its growth: rival social networks block G from accessing their astronomical database of user-generated content. This lockout is detrimental to Big G’s bottom line. The majority of the blocked content contains valuable personal info that Google would love to use in order to serve relevant ads.

Hence, Google+ jumped to the top of G’s list of priorities. Although the company has a much greater audience reach than Facebook, Facebook has exponentially more personal data on each member. Google+ is a way for Big G to counteract this problem by harvesting more personal data from searchers than it could uncover otherwise.

But Google’s still waiting for that goldmine. James Whittaker, a former development director for Google, wrote about the company’s new direction in a blog post manifesto defending his decision to leave. James grew frustrated with G’s shift from innovator to relentless competitor, and he noted this about the company’s push to make G+ a success:

“A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice, “social isn’t a product,” she told me after I gave her a demo, “social is people and the people are on Facebook.” Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

Obviously, Google needed to do something bold to make G+ catch on. The answer? Tie all Google’s offerings together under the umbrella of a verified Google account and focus on forcing sign-ins.

Google: Multiple Services, One Goal

Last January, ZDNet reported that Google was testing the idea of automatically creating a Gmail account and a Google+ profile for people who set up new Google accounts. The author updated the post in November, stating that Google began a full-scale (and very hush-hush) rollout of the new automatic signup feature. This is the statement G’s PR people issued when questioned about the quiet new change:

If you’ve signed up for a Google account any time during the last year or so, you have a Gmail account and a Google+ profile – whether or not you decide to use it. But Google’s not stopping there. According to Google Support, if you want to use Google Play on any of your mobile devices, you’ll need a Google account for that as well. Plus, you’ll need a Google Wallet account tied to your Google account if you want to buy apps or any other paid content.

See what they did there? Google is slowly filling in every possible escape hatch for users who want to avoid signing in. That’s their answer to their whole “lack of personal user data” conundrum. G’s given up on trying to entice you to use its services – the search titan has opted to pursue the easy route instead: leveraging its reach and Internet domination to penetrate every aspect of your online life and quite literally force your hand.


Nell Terry is a tech news junkie, fledgling Internet marketer and staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She thrives on social media, web design, and uncovering the truth about all the newest marketing fads that pop up all over the ‘net. Find out more about Nell by visiting her online portfolio at Content by Nell.

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Google – One Way or the Other, We’re Gonna Get YOU

Daughter of Google Exec Dishes About North Korea Trip

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, Social Media News, test

The daughter of Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who was part of a recent controversial private delegation to North Korea with her father, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and Google executive Jared Cohen, is describing the trip as an eye-opener.

“It’s impossible to know how much we can extrapolate from what we saw in Pyongyang to what the DPRK is really like,” Sophie Schmidt wrote in her blog.

“Our trip was a mixture of highly staged encounters, tightly-orchestrated viewings and what seemed like genuine human moments.  We had zero interactions with non-state-approved North Koreans and were never far from our two minders (2, so one can mind the other). The longer I think about what we saw and heard, the less sure I am about what any of it actually meant.”

The private delegation led by Richardson was for two purposes: politically, to win the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American tour guide from Washington who was detained by authorities last November and, technologically, to discuss the country’s ban on the Internet.

Neither purpose was successful. Bae, who has been accused of “hostile acts” by the North Korean government was not released, although Richardson was assured Bae was well and judicial proceedings were set to begin soon.

Schmidt was also unable to meet with the country’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-un, during the three-day delegation.

“As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world,” Schmidt told reporters Jan. 10 at the Beijing airport. “The government has to do something — they have to make it possible for people to use the Internet, which the government in North Korea has not yet done. It is time now for them to start or they will remain behind.”

Sophie described the life of an average North Korean as being in “a near-total information bubble, without any true frame of reference.”

“My understanding is that North Koreans are taught to believe they are lucky to be in North Korea, so why would they ever want to leave?” she wrote in her blog “They’re hostages in their own country, without any real consciousness of it.  And the opacity of the country’s inner workings — down to the basics of its economy — further serves to reinforce the state’s control.

“The best description we could come up with: it’s like The Truman Show, at country scale.”

The group was warned to expect little privacy during the trip. Bugs, they were told, could be in phones, cars, rooms, meetings and restaurants.

“My father’s reaction to staying in a bugged luxury socialist guesthouse was to simply leave his door open,” she wrote.

“Since we didn’t have cellphones or alarm clocks,  the question of how we’d wake up on time in the morning was legitimate.  One person suggested announcing  ‘I’m awake’ to the room, and then waiting until someone came to fetch you.”

The Kim Il Sung University e-Library was eerie, according to Sophie’s account of the visit. With 90 computer stations in the room, each one occupied, it should have been a flurry of online activity.  But as Sophie’s blog indicates, “no one was actually doing anything.”

“A few scrolled or clicked, but the rest just stared. More disturbing: when our group walked in–a noisy bunch, with media in tow — not one of them looked up from their desks.  Not a head turn, no eye contact, no reaction to stimuli. They might as well have been figurines.”

The visit, Sophie said, made them question if the people were real students or if they were props in a scene staged for the delegation’s benefit — perhaps in a bid to convince them the country was not as closed to its citizens surfing the Internet as it appeared.

The following excerpt from the blog describes Sophie’s take on the North Korean technological front:

Everything that is accessible is accessible only in special tiers.

Their mobile network, Koryolink, has between 1-2 million subscribers. No data service, but international calls were possible on the phones we rented. Realistically, even basic service is prohibitively expensive, much like every other consumption good (fuel, cars, etc.). The officials we interacted with, and a fair number of people we saw in Pyongyang, had mobiles (but not Smartphones).

North Korea has a national intranet, a walled garden of scrubbed content taken from the real Internet.  Our understanding is that some university students have access to this.  On tour at the Korea Computer Center (a deranged version of the Consumer Electronics Show), they demo’d their latest invention: a tablet, running on Android, that had access to the real Internet.  Whether anyone, beyond very select students, high-ranking officials or occasional American delegation tourists, actually gets to use it is unknowable.  We also saw virtual-reality software, video chat platform, musical composition software (?) and other random stuff. 

What’s so odd about the whole thing is that no one in North Korea can even hope to afford the things they showed us. And it’s not like they’re going to export this technology.  They’re building products for a market that doesn’t exist.  

Those in the know are savvier than you’d expect. Exhibit A: Eric fielded questions like, “When is the next version of Android coming out?” and “Can you help us with e-Settlement so that we can put North Korean apps on Android Market?”  Answers: soon, and No, silly North Koreans, you’re under international bank sanctions. 

They seemed to acknowledge that connectivity is coming, and that they can’t hope to keep it out.  Indeed, some seemed to understand that it’s only with connectivity that their country has a snowball’s chance in hell of keeping up with the 21st century. But we’ll have to wait and see what direction they choose to take.  

 

 

 

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Daughter of Google Exec Dishes About North Korea Trip

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 22, 2013

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Volume of Mega Sign Ups Leads to System Overload

Mega may be a mega hit, but has also had mega problems due to the sheer volume of people trying to sign up for and use the newly-launched cloud storage site.

Kim Dotcom debuted Mega on Jan. 20, exactly one year to the day the U.S. Department of Justice forced the shutdown of his previous site, Megaupload.

Mega pulled in so much traffic minutes after it went live Jan. 20, however, the site was overloaded off and on for several hours.

Dotcom clearly was not expecting one million people to sign up for the service on its first day, and is now scrambling to fix the issues.

These issues include:

• Some users being unable to access the site.

• Some users could not access the service because their confirmation e-mails disappeared.

• Some were able to set up an account and start uploading, but many of the uploads quickly froze.

Dotcom tweeted that Mega is “slowly stabilizing.”

“Still fixing bugs and issues with some servers. You can expect a smooth experience soon.”

Graph Search Could Aid Phishers

Facebook’s newly launched Graph Search could be a breeding ground for phishers, according to security researchers.

“It makes the job of researching targets easier because phishers don’t have to depend on Google’s noisy search results,” Invincea CEO Anup Ghosh told TechNewsWorld. “It’s not a game-changer, but it does make reconnaissance easier.”

Graph Search could be employed to create big data offensives against organizations by enabling the mining of people, places, photos and interests, Angel Grant, senior manager for authentication solutions at RSA told TechNewsWorld.

“It will simply help expedite and simplify creating a targeted social-engineering attack,” he said. “Although Graph Search was designed with privacy in mind, only allowing to see what you could already view on Facebook — think about how many of your Friends you really know.”

Red October Dying a Slow Death

A global spy ring targeting governmental, diplomatic and scientific research organization computer networks is slowly dying.

After being uncovered by Kaspersky Lab last week, the activity level of the malware used by Red October appears to be dwindling, according to security reaserchers.

The malware has targeted specific organizations mostly in Eastern Europe, former USSR members and countries in Central Asia, but has also hit Western Europe and North America, according to a post on SecureList, Kaspersky Lab’s blog.

The infrastructure began to fade Jan. 14, according to news reports.

In fact, domains connected with the campaign are in the process of being shut down, a Kaspersky researcher confirmed.

Red October’s activity level has also shrunk because companies hit by the malware are actively working to shut it down and registrars are cutting domains connected to it. Also, host companies are removing the servers used to control the operation while black-hats are disabling parts of the system with plans to bring it back to life in the future.

 

 

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Technology News Briefs — Jan. 22, 2013

Google Best Employer Fourth Year Running, Fortune Finds

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in Blogging News, Google News, Latest News, test

Google is No. 1 on Fortune’s 2012 ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list.

The search engine firm is not the only technology titan to make the list, although none of the other big names: Apple, Facebook or Microsoft even cracked the top 50.

Microsoft placed 75th while Apple and Facebook did not rank at all.

The search engine king, headquartered in Mountain View, CA, takes the ‘Best Companies’ crown for the fourth time in a row.

According to Fortune, Google is not afraid to drop some dough to ensure its employees are healthy and relaxed. The company doled out 100,000 hours of subsidized massages in 2012.

“New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits,” the website reads.

The company, which employees 34,311 people, also offers on-site child-care, a subsidized gym membership, has a job-sharing program and allows telecommuting.

No. 2 on the list is SAS, a privately held data analytics firm, that “takes creativity seriously,” reads the Fortune website. “One employee cites SAS’s ‘creative anarchy’ as conducive to innovation. New this year: an organic farm for SAS’s four cafeterias.”

The firm, obviously, is modeled on CEO Jim Goodnight’s philosophy: “Treat employees like they make a difference and they will,” reads the quote on the company website.

The other technology companies to make the Fortune list are:

•  Qualcomm, No. 11.

• Salesforce.com, No. 19.

• Intuit, No. 22.

• Rackspace Hosting, No. 34.

• Cisco, No. 42.

• Hitachi, No. 63.

• Intel, No. 68.

• Microsoft, No. 75.

Fortune’s list differs greatly from that of LinkedIn, which released The 100 Most InDemand Employers last October.

Taking the top four spots were Google in first followed by Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. Twitter was No. 14 on the list.

“Using our massive professional data set, LinkedIn has identified which companies are most attractive to potential candidates,” wrote LinkedIn business analytics senior manager Michael Li in a blog post.

Although Google placed first on both Fortune’s and LinkedIn’s lists, the two lists had little else in common. Fortune’s list ranked companies according to what they had to offer their workers, whereas LinkedIn’s listed the most sought after companies to work for.

 

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Google Best Employer Fourth Year Running, Fortune Finds