Today at CES, Neatgear introduced two connected-home products: the Universal Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, which helps rid your house of dead spots where there is no wireless signal, and the VueZone Add-On Night Vision Camera (VZCN2060). What sets them apart from other smart-home devices is that they are both completely wireless—not even a power cable.
UPDATE 12/19/12: Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom responded to user concerns yesterday in a blog post that said, among other things, "The language we proposed also raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement. We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we're going to remove the language that raised the question."
Don't want to brave the lines, crowds, and general pandemonium of Black Friday? You could always stay home and shop online on Cyber Monday instead. Many online retailers will be offering substantial discounts, free shipping, and other attractive perqs to Web shoppers on the Monday after Black Friday—that's November 26 this year.
The Federal Trade Commission takes action to halt scams in which telemarketers pose as tech support from major computer companies and tell consumers that they have detected malware on their computers, and then charge $49 to $450 to remotely access and remove the malware.
Update: The Consumerist heard back from Sprint and then got a reaction from the original blogger; see the new post, Sprint Says Virgin Mobile Site Isn't Completely Insecure; Blogger Disagrees, for details.
Facebook offers over 9 million apps, many of which are quite entertaining—but some apps may be revealing more about you than you realize or want them to. Consumer Reports senior electronics editor Donna Tapellini visited the Into Tomorrow radio show to offer her tips to how to keep your privacy intact on the social media site.
Amazon.com has instituted a new policy that no longer allows its customers to phone in to change account settings, such as credit cards and e-mail addresses. This follows the hacking last week of Wired reporter Matt Honan's Amazon account, which in turn gave the hackers access to numerous other private online accounts belonging to Honan.
Because Google didn't learn anything from the Google Buzz privacy debacle, the company has now decided to begin testing the integration of users' Gmail content into general search results. So, for example, a search for Amazon on Google.com would also bring up a sidebar with e-mails from or related to your Amazon purchases.
The AARP has issued an alert regarding phony e-mails that say recipients have won a $1,000 VISA gift card: The e-mails are ostensibly from the organization but actually are meant to collect personal information. This data is then sold to marketing companies who use it to target victims with sales pitches; stolen personal data can also be used for identity theft.
I was surprised recently to get a message from a friend thanking me for a birthday card I'd sent her on Facebook. I did want my friend to have a happy birthday, but I hadn't sent that card. Turns out I'd somehow given a greeting-card app permission to send cards to Facebook friends on their birthdays.
Earlier today, news broke that a file containing over 400,000 usernames and passwords, apparently stolen from a Yahoo service by a hacker collective, was posted online. The passwords appeared in "plaintext" (or "cleartext"), meaning they were unencrypted.
On Monday, July 9, hundreds of thousands of Internet users could lose Internet access because of DNS Changer malware from Rove Digital, an illicit online company shut down by police last year. And while global law enforcement agencies and Internet companies warn Web surfers to clean the malware off infected computers, Consumer Reports online experts also warn not to fall for online scams claiming to "disinfect" your PC from online risks.
Facebook's proposal to allow users who click the "Like" button to opt out of online ads that use their names and faces to promote products is a good step forward, but doesn't go far enough, says Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.
Several consumer-, privacy-, health-, and child-advocacy groups are calling on Facebook to provide privacy and marketing safeguards if it opens the social-networking service to children under 13.
Earlier this year, the voice of the global Internet spoke out—and defeated—proposed American legislation SOPA and PIPA, the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Act, respectively. But now, a few American legislators believe that the power of online citizens can help draft a positive piece of online legislation—a "Digital Bill of Rights."
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