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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

According to BetaNews, the United States continues to lag behind many other nations when it comes to broadband penetration and access speeds. To make matters worse, Americans pay more for Internet than many countries with faster speeds.

BroadbandNow.com, which has helped over 1M people search for Internet, takes your zip code and helps you find the best Internet providers in your area, analyzing their plans, prices and rating for all available providers.

It’s a Texas based startup, and provides all relevant broadband information, from provider footprints to local pricing statistics, on what kind of coverage is available for your current or prospective address. The company was founded by Duane Anderson and Nick Reese, who after founding a successful email marketing company Gwun, which later served over 400 realtors and marketed thousands of luxury properties, decided that he wanted to make a larger impact.

“We still have over 800,000 Americans without access to any broadband connection of 3mbps or higher, even wireless. One of our primary goals is to bring attention to under-served areas to help raise awareness and foster competition,” says Nick Reese.

broadbandCo-Founder Nick Reese

To solve this challenge, BroadbandNow spends countless hours crunching relevant governmental data, over one billion rows of data to be exact, to help customers make an informed decision of what is available in their area. Instead of contacting 30 different providers yourself to analyze which coverage is best for your needs, BroadbandNow gives you an analysis of different plans, prices and ratings for all available providers.

BroadbandNow is also the only company that provides an API to access broadband availability data at an address level and gives access to an ever-growing amount of provided proprietary data including: More than 486,212 On-Net and Near-Net addresses; over 2,569 provider footprints; and Information on 1,200+ datacenters. The startup also creates a host of resources that have been sourced by the US House of Representatives to local state offices.

“Whether you’re looking for service at new location or you’re shopping for alternative providers at an existing location, finding which providers have network near you is key to expanding your Internet options,” Reese continues. “ With our “Calculated Near Net” results, we’ve streamlined this process to show you a rough estimate of how far away a provider’s network is from your location.”

broadbandFounders (L) Nick Reese and (R) Duane Anderson

Founders Nick Reese and Duane Anderson tend to lean away from the cameras, however they’ve long been recognized as leaders within the entrepreneurial community. Nick earlier spoke at the White House about what it takes to build a business in a tough economy, and in a prior life also co-authored a book with New York Times best selling author Chris Brogan. He’s also the CEO of Microband Media, a company that builds profitable web assets, and has mentored over 100 entrepreneurs who have built businesses with with more than $100K in revenue.

Source : This article was published in Sociable.co By CONRAD EGUSA

Facebook, with its tech cohorts Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, have huge pools of data about their users, which lend considerable network advantages over smaller players. Credit Noah Berger/Associated Press

There is a growing drumbeat that the five leading tech behemoths have turned into dangerous monopolies that stifle innovation and harm consumers. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook — what the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo calls the Frightful Five — have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.7 trillion and are an increasing part of everyday life.

They are each assembling enormous pools of data about their users — which they use not just to sell more targeted advertising, but to improve and personalize their services, increasing their network advantage against smaller players.

But while these firms are increasingly formidable and deserve scrutiny, over all their market power appears less durable than infrastructure-based monopolies of previous generations. As David Evans and Richard Schmalensee note in “Matchmakers,” dominant digital platforms are “likely to be more transient than economists and pundits once thought.”

In most tech markets, multiple players reach viable scale. And consumers often have an incentive to switch between competing services, based on convenience and price.

Not only are these titans vulnerable to regular existential threats (recall Microsoft’s unbreakable hegemony over PC software that didn’t translate to mobile computing), they are also all converging — therefore competing — with one another.

All five of these firms are in a broad race to dominate consumers’ digital lives at home and at work. They all offer a suite of connected services — for instance, some combination of music, video and communication services — which increasingly overlap with one another. They are each expanding their market opportunity, but also straying out of their zones of competitive advantage into areas of increasing rivalry. This convergence in strategy, products and tactics is a powerful inoculation to anticompetitive outcomes.

Many of the recent monopoly arguments rely upon narrowly defining markets to make a rhetorical case, as well as hypothetical consumer harm. Ben Thompson, who writes the tech newsletter Stratechery, for instance, argued recently that Facebook has a monopoly in the “content provider market.”

It is easy to see how commentators get worked up about Facebook, given it controls several large, overlapping networks including WhatsApp and Instagram. But the claim that it has a monopoly over content providers, is risible. Even if Facebook were the singular acquirer of content, that would make it a monopsonist, not a monopolist. This distinction is critical because a monopsonist — who is the only buyer for a given set of suppliers — uses its power to squeeze input prices (like the sole employer in a town, keeping wages low). Whereas a monopolist uses its power to raise consumer prices.

Facebook’s importance as a major traffic source for many content sites is self-evident, but publishers still go directly to consumers and use other significant intermediaries — notably Google, which is owned by Alphabet. The woes of the publishing industry are because of the impact of the internet, not Facebook.

Mr. Thompson unconvincingly asserts that Facebook’s power over publishers produces a “dead weight loss” (where monopoly taxation leads to a waste of resources) and that consumers are afflicted by Facebook’s stifling of innovation. But Facebook users are not suffering under the yoke of oppressive masters. On the contrary, they are benefiting from a period of intense competition.

The same applies when it comes to entertainment. Netflix isn’t one of the big five, but it enjoyed a brief honeymoon as a monopoly after it crushed Blockbuster. But just a few years later, it faces intense competition around the globe. While the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, may say that “sleep” is his company’s major rival, in reality, Amazon and Alphabet — not to mention Hulu, HBO and myriad local players — prevent Netflix from running away with the market.

Commentators often conflate ubiquity, or narrow market dominance, with a broad-based monopoly. Amazon regularly gets tarred with this brush. About 80 million people now take a Prime subscription bundle, according to industry estimates. Weaving together multiple products and services under one compelling offering gives Amazon a formidable advantage to which its rivals are scrambling to react. But even so, Amazon is so far only exhibiting signs of market dominance in the market for books. And even there, as Paul Krugman has noted, it looks more like a monopsonist exerting market power than a monopolist exploiting consumers.

For diapers, dog food, videos, music, cloud-computing services, voice technology and so forth — it faces extreme competition from other tech companies, not to mention traditional retailers. Walmart alone is still four times its size in retail (albeit much smaller online). In video and music, Amazon is an order of magnitude smaller than Netflix and Spotify. And in cloud computing, Amazon faces serious competition from Alphabet and Microsoft and others, which offer similar services, also on a grand scale.

It is blindingly obvious that traditional retailers are suffering. But holding Amazon responsible for the decline in brick-and-mortar retail is like blaming Craigslist for the death of print classifieds. The natural gravitational pull of the internet caused those problems, not one company.

While almost all of the hand-wringing about tech monopolies is overblown. The player that perhaps warrants the closest scrutiny today is Alphabet, and in particular its Google search engine.

Google’s overwhelming dominance of search (it has 90 percent market share in United States search revenue) is particularly critical given search’s centrality to the web’s commercial ecosystem. Google, however, has not been sensitive enough in handling its power — especially with its history of bringing the fight to smaller, narrowly focused rivals, like Yelp in the local reviews market. Its strategy in certain verticals resembles the old survival maxim: First, eat what the monkey eats, then eat the monkey.

There is no denying that the leading tech companies are riding high. The recent signal by the Federal Communications Commission that it intends to ditch net neutrality has fueled concerns that the Frightful Five will further stifle competition from start-ups. While these firms have all been public advocates for net neutrality (they don’t want to be taxed by Comcast or Verizon), they won’t have any trouble affording whatever “tax” the carriers might impose. Instead, the companies at some risk of real disadvantage will be start-ups we haven’t heard of yet.

However, as consumers continue to migrate to mobile, neutrality matters less. Mobile carriers already use “zero rating” (whereby certain services don’t count toward data caps) to advantage their own content (or that of their partners). And unlike in fixed broadband, consumers are afforded some protection by the real choice they have in mobile carriers.

Plainly there is no cause to be Pollyannaish. It’s sensible to be wary of acquisitions and potential overreach. And there may be specific cases that cross the line and should be reined in. Over all though, the kind of competition we see among Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft tends to sort things out naturally and brutally.

The only surefire winner from this battle is the consumer.

Source : This article was published in nytimes.com By JEREMY G. PHILIPS

China will further tighten its internet regulations with a pledge on Sunday to strengthen controls over search engines and online news portals, the latest step in President Xi Jinping's push to maintain strict Communist Party control over content.

Xi has made China's "cyber sovereignty" a top priority in his sweeping campaign to bolster security. He has also reasserted the ruling Communist Party's role in limiting and guiding online discussion.

The five-year cultural development and reform plan released by the party and State Council, or Cabinet, calls for a "perfecting" of laws and rules related to the internet.

That includes a qualification system for people working in online news, according to the plan, carried by the official Xinhua news agency.

"Strike hard against online rumors, harmful information, fake news, news extortion, fake media and fake reporters," it said, without giving details.

Xi has been explicit that media must follow the party line, uphold the correct guidance on public opinion and promote "positive propaganda." The plan comes on top of existing tight internet controls, which includes the blocking of popular foreign websites such as Google and Facebook.

    The government last week issued tighter rules for online news portals and network providers. Regulators say such controls are necessary in the face of growing security threats, and are done in accordance with the law.

    Speaking more broadly about the country's cultural sector, the plan calls for efforts to reinforce and improve "positive propaganda".

    "Strengthen and improve supervision over public opinion," it added.

    The plan also calls for more effort to be put into promoting China's point of view and cultural soft power globally, though without giving details.

    Source : This article was published in newsweek.com By REUTERS

    Monday, 08 May 2017 03:26

    New iPhone 8 Details Will Anger Users

    Exciting leaks and images about 2017’s new iPhones have users so excited Tim Cook claims they have caused iPhone sales to slow in anticipation. But the latest news from financial giants JPMorgan Chase will leave users feeling far from happy…

    iPhone 8 concept based on leaks prior to the JPMorgan report is much more exciting

    In a lengthy report obtained by 9to5Mac, the multinational giant claims Apple AAPL +1.65%’s plans to introduce three new models: an iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and new flagship iPhone 8 will prove underwhelming.

    In contrast to the widely published, eye popping iPhone 8 renders seen recently, JPMorgan claims Apple the new device will not have tiny 4mm bezels around the display. Instead the smartphone will be more like Samsung’s Galaxy S8 with an edge-to-edge panel horizontally and reduced, but clearly visible top and bottom bezels. It published the following diagrams to illustrate this:

    JPMorgan claims the iPhone 8 will look more like a Galaxy S8 than a radical redesign

    JPMorgan

    In addition to this JPMorgan says the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus will retain the same basic design Apple has used since the iPhone 6, but marry its aluminium sides with glass backs like the iPhone 8.

    This tweak is to enable the phones to support wireless charging, though talk of the switch to glass is a move which is controversial given it was a major structural vulnerability on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S before being dropped. The iPhone 8 will mesh stainless steel and glass to a slightly more premium finish.

    JPMorgan also indicates that Apple’s well reported move to integrate Touch ID into the front panel remains in the balance. In fact in its summary table for the iPhone 8, it simply leaves a question mark over this feature:

    How Touch ID will be integrated into the iPhone 8 remains a major - and literal - question.

    JPMorgan

    More positively JPMorgan reiterates that the iPhone 8 will use an L-shaped battery which will result in 30% larger capacity and rear dual camera, which is backed up by previous reports. Though it states all these upgrades will lead to a $75-80 manufacturing cost per unit (excluding construction), which ties in with expectations of a higher price - possibly in excess of $1,000.

    And yet for users who are angry at what JPMorgan is presenting as a significantly less ambitious iPhone 8 than some had expected, there is a flaw in its reasoning which suggests any frustrations be directed at it instead: it concludes the iPhone 8 will come bundled with AirPods.

    Quite frankly, I find this preposterous. Other than the dent this would add to Apple profits (and be a needless expense to anyone already owning quality earphones/headphones), is the fact it makes no logistical sense.

    Ever since their release, Apple has suffered major supply issues with AirPods and even at the time of publication buyers are told to expect a six week shipping delay. So the thought Apple could fix this to the extent that AirPods will be supplied in the 60-80M iPhone 8 units Apple is predicted to sell in its first quarter is comical.

    So keep calm and keep the faith...

    Source : This article was published in forbes.com By Gordon Kelly

    Consumer-grade drones have been booming in popularity in recent years. Why? Maybe because people like piloting these unmanned aerial vehicles while they still can. You know, before the drones become self-aware and enslave humanity. Until then, however, you can purchase a decent drone for anywhere from $500 to $3,000. Although you shouldn't think that you can simply buy a drone and fly it where you please. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)—the government entity that regulates all air traffic in the United States—places several restrictions on the use of consumer drones. So with this in mind, here are some of the drone-related activities that could get you an all-expenses paid visit to the hoosegow.

    Using drones for profit

    Yes, your pet photography business may benefit from aerial shots. What client wouldn't want to see photos of their adorable dog Muffy from 400 feet? Keep in mind, however, that the FAA prohibits drone hobbyists from using their aircraft for commercial gain unless you apply for an exemption. How strict is the FAA with this rule? In 2015, a drone hobbyist in Tampa, Florida received a cease-and-desist letter from the FAA for posting his drone videos on YouTube. The FAA's argument was that, since YouTube contains ads, the videos were for commercial use.

    Spying

    No, you can't use your drone to spy on your ex's wedding. Privacy and drones mix like Harrison Ford in a slapstick comedy…poorly. In September 2015, a Valdosta, GA police officer was fired, arrested, and charged with felony eavesdropping for using his personal drone to spy on neighbors. In short, stick to Facebook stalking. It's way safer for everyone, you creep.

    Interfering with manned aircraft

    Flying your personal drone around an airport is a pretty bad idea. There is a high possibility that your drone can cause an accident by distracting a pilot or simply colliding with another aerial vehicle. Plus, no one wants the jet engine of a Boeing to rip their drone to shreds. The FAA recommends that hobbyists do not fly their drones within five miles of an airport. Also, it prohibits pilots from flying drones higher than 400 feet. In 2015, a hobbyist in Los Angeles was given three years probation and had his drone confiscated after he obstructed a police helicopter that was searching for a suspect. 

    Flying in a crowd

    The FAA recommends keeping drones away from groups of people. Crashing a drone into someone's head at top speed is a great way to ruin an otherwise peaceful picnic. Not only might you get sued for this, but also arrested. In September 2015, a man was arrested for reckless endangerment after flying a drone into a seating area of a New York City park. 

    Photographing famous landmarks

    Taking aerial pictures is probably the most popular use for consumer drones. But this can land you in trouble, too. First of all, flying a drone near a landmark presents a national security hazard. Second, there's a good chance you can crash your drone if you don't know what you're doing. In February 2016, a man was arrested for reckless endangerment after inadvertently crashing his drone into the Empire State Building. Trust us, a night in the slammer with Bubba is not worth a few photographs that you easily download from Flickr. 

    Abjectly stupid things

    You aren't Walter White. You'll get caught and arrested. As did two men in August 2015 who were trying to smuggle drugs and pornographic DVDs into a Maryland state prison. Their buddy on the inside will have to wait for parole before he can see the latest in high-quality adult entertainment. Stick to flying your drone in the park and call it a day.

    Futuristic cities already being built

    All over the world, new metropolises are being built with everything cool you could possibly think of, like state-of-the-art conveniences, high-tech utilities, and—fingers crossed—public bathrooms that are clean. These cities provide a snapshot of what our future will have in store for us, providing we don't, you know, die in a cyborg and/or zombie apocalypse in the meantime.

    Source: This article was published on grunge.com 

    Much like old humans, old iPhones have a tough time holding their juice -- and part of the reason why is how you charge them. "Charging my phone is a breeze," you say. "What could possibly go wrong?" you say. As it turns out, some of our seemingly harmless habits are doing slow, silent, deadly damage to those precious lithium-ion batteries.

    TED talks on psychology rank as some of the most-watched and highest-rated of all-time, most likely because people are endlessly fascinated with themselves.
     
    Some of the talks deal with happiness and success, and others with memory and motivation. But all of them provide an important window into what makes us tick.
     
    Here are a handful to get you better-acquainted with the organ between your ears.

    "The optimism bias" by Tali Sharot

    Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist, discussed in her 2012 talk the value of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. There are three main benefits to optimism, she says.
     
    The first is that high expectations (not low ones) lead to greater happiness, since people tend to believe in themselves and explain away bad outcomes. The second is that anticipation alone makes us happy — we feel good looking forward to something.
     
    Lastly, optimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It isn't just related to success, Sharot says. It leads to success.

    "The riddle of experience vs. memory" by Daniel Kahneman

    "The riddle of experience vs. memory" by Daniel Kahneman
    Daniel Kahneman
    Psychologist Daniel Kahneman spoke in 2010 about the two ways we find happiness: in the moment and in our memories. People must keep each in mind when trying to create happiness, he says.
    For example, according to Kahneman's research, the experiencing self is twice as happy on a two-week vacation over a one-week vacation, but the remembering self isn't, since no new memories are being formed.

    "What makes us feel good about our work?" by Dan Ariely

    Humans aren't motivated by money or power alone.
     
    As behavioral economist Dan Ariely explained in his 2012 talk, people need to feel like their work is valued and that they're making progress toward a goal.
     
     
    Ariely recounted an experiment in which people stopped working far earlier when the researchers destroyed their work before assigning a new task. The takeaway: People are motivated when they feel appreciated.

    "The surprising habits of original thinkers" by Adam Grant

    UPenn psychologist Adam Grant remarked in 2016 that some of history's most original thinkers organized their time in interesting ways to achieve maximum creativity.
     
     
    Specifically, Grant says people should put off their projects for a bit so they can let disparate ideas congeal into something original. It's not quite procrastination since it's intentional, but it comes close.
     
    In other words, waiting until the 11th hour really might help you work better.

    "The psychology of your future self" by Dan Gilbert

    "The psychology of your future self" by Dan Gilbert
    poptech2006/flickr
    People are really good at remembering the past, but pretty lousy at imagining the future, psychologist Dan Gilbert remarked in his 2014 talk.
     
     
    As a result, we tend to underestimate how much we'll change in the coming years. We succumb to what Gilbert calls the "end of history illusion," in which we constantly assume now is when we're our most authentic selves.
     
    Except, now is always a different time, and we do change whether we imagined it or not.

    "Grit: The power of passion and perseverance" by Angela Duckworth

    We say some people are "mentally tough" or "gritty" as if they were mere personality traits. But UPenn psychologist Angela Duckworth has found that stick-with-it- quality to be vitally important in accomplishing our goals.
     
     
    In her 2013 talk, Duckworth highlights how repeatedly getting up after failing cements what the psychologist Carol Dweck has called a "growth mindset." People see themselves as fluid creatures, capable of adaptation and progress.

    "How we read each other's minds" by Rebecca Saxe

    MIT neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe explains in her 2009 talk the concept of "theory of mind.
     
    "As the brain forms, kids develop the skill of placing themselves in other people's heads around age 5. It's a key skill for developing empathy, because it allows people to imagine what life would be like in someone else's shoes.
     
    Adults rely on this mind-reading ability all the time; it's how we know when to ask if everything is alright and when to stay quiet, just to listen.

    "How to buy happiness" by Michael Norton

    "How to buy happiness" by Michael Norton
    TED
    Harvard professor Michael Norton shared in his 2011 talk the findings from research on giving.
     
    While we may want the newest toys as kids, Norton's research has shown the quickest way to boost your happiness is to give, not receive.
     
     
    No matter the size of the gift, his studies have shown much larger increases in wellbeing when people spend on others instead of treating themselves.
    Source : This article was published in businessinsider.com By Chris Weller

    It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

    But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

    1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director

    As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.

    2. Supervisory Attorney

    Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

    3. Senior Medical Writer

    Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.

    4. Environmental Engineer

    Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

    5. Director of Quality Improvement

    Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.

    6. Senior Software Engineer

    It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

    7. Director of Business Development

    As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.

     

    8. Research Biologist

    One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

    Source: This article was published on lifehack.org by - Matt Duczeminsk

    It looks like security researchers have reached an important milestone in the ongoing war against malware. A new search engine has been revealed which can be used to sniff out malware command-and-control servers around the world. Under the Malware Hunter banner – not to be confused with the Malware Hunter software – this search engine looks to bring malware distribution to a halt in the near future.

    MALWARE HUNTER IS A POWERFUL TOOL

    It is not hard to see why security researchers around the globe are quite excited about the Malware Hunter search engine. Having a viable solution to discover command-and-control servers will provide to be useful when it comes to thwarting malware and ransomware attacks in the future. The tool is created by Shodan and Recorded Future, who are trying to become an industry leader in the fight against global cybercrime.

    The way malware Hunter works is as follows: it uses search bots crawling the Internet for computers configured to act as a command-and-control server. It remains unclear if this will yield a lot of positive results, though, as C&C servers may very well reside on the darknet for all we know. Moreover, not every server will easily give up its location either, which could prove to be quite problematic.

    The Malware Hunter search engine comes with a feature that will trick these servers into giving up their location, though. To be more specific, the search engine will pretend to be an infected computer reporting back to the server in question. Assuming the server will acknowledge the request and respond, the search engine will log its IP and update the Shodan interface in real time. This provides researchers with invaluable information when it comes to locating these servers and shutting them down as quickly as possible.

    What makes the search engine so powerful is how it is capable of probing virtually every IP address on the Internet today. This means the algorithm is constantly looking for new computers that may act as a malware command-and-control server. Quite an intriguing development, as it should reduce the amount of time during which malware remains a problem.

    In most cases, once the C&C server is shut down, the malware will no longer cause harm. Then again, some newer types of malware have shown a way tor remains a big threat even when they fail to communicate with the central server. It remains unclear if Malware Hunter will be capable of doing anything about these attacks as well. For now, this search engine is a big step in the right direction, though.

    It is important to note Malware Hunter is capable of identifying several dozen C&C servers used for Remote Access Trojans. Given the recent surge in Remote Access Trojan distribution, this is quite a positive development, to say the least. The team is hopeful Malware Hunter will detect other major threats in the future, including botnets, cryptominers, and backdoor trojans.

    This article was published in themerkle.com By JP Buntinx

    When Google demoed Android Nougat for the first time almost a year ago at Google I/O 2016, Instant Apps was one of the features that stood out, as a trick the iPhone didn’t have at the time and still doesn’t have now. But as hot as it may be, the feature wasn’t ready for public consumption when Google released the final Nougat build last year. However, things might change soon, as Google is apparently getting ready to enable it on devices running Android 7 as well as phones and tablets running older Android versions.

    Instant Apps will let users enjoy instant app experiences on their smartphones without actually downloading a particular app for. Assuming it works as described, the feature will solve a bunch of problems.

    First of all, it’ll help save storage on the phone, as you won’t have to keep an app installed just because you might have to use it every now and then. Secondly, you won’t have to buy an app to try it since developers will be able to offer a portion of an app to test for free. Finally, the Instant Apps features will work on most Android devices out there, not just Nougat-based ones, as it’s built on Google Play Services.

    Looking at the code in the latest version of Google Play Store, 9to5Google discovered that Google might be getting ready to roll out Instant Apps. The code reveals that users will be able to enable or disable the feature and choose which Google account to use with an app.

    Here’s Google’s demo of Instant Apps:

    9to5Google also mentions several new features in the Google Play Store 7.8 update, including a Google Play app discovery service, a pre-registration rewards features for apps, and a new security branding for Verify Apps — that’s Play Protect.

    The original version of this article on BGR.com

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