Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

In search of a social site that doesn’t lie

Facebook and OKCupid experiment on users. So what’s wrong with that?

Rudder’s post described a few of the experiments that the dating website had carried out. In one, OKCupid told people that they would be good matches with certain other people even though the site’s algorithms had determined that they would be bad matches. That’s right: The company deliberately lied to its users. OKCupid wanted to see if people liked each other because they have the capacity to make up their own minds about who they like, or if they like each other because OKCupid tells them they should like each other.

(The controversial post was Rudder’s first in several years; he had taken time off to write a book about experimenting on people. Due out next month, the book is called Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking).)

The OKCupid post was in part a response to controversy over a recently discovered Facebook experiment, the results of which were published in an academic journal. Facebook wanted to see if people would post more negative posts if their own News Feeds had more negative posts from their friends. In the experiment, Facebook removed some posts by family and friends because they were positive. The experiment involved deliberately making people sadder by censoring friends’ more uplifting and positive posts.

Don’t like this kind of manipulation? Here’s Rudder’s response: “Guess what, everybody: if you use the Internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site.

That’s how websites work.”

What’s wrong here

Rudder’s “everyone is doing it” rationalization for experimenting on users makes it clear that he doesn’t understand the difference between what OKCupid and Facebook are doing, and what other sites that conduct A/B tests of different options are doing.

The difference is that OKCupid and Facebook are potentially changing, damaging or affecting the real relationships of real people. They are manipulating the happiness of people on purpose.

These companies might argue that this damage to the mood and relationships of people is small to the point of being inconsequential. But what makes them think it’s OK to deliberately do any damage at all?

The other glaring problem with these social science experiments is that the subjects don’t know they’re participating.

Yes, I’m sure company lawyers can argue in court that the Terms of Service that everyone agreed to (but almost nobody read) gives OKCupid and Facebook the right to do everything they do. And I’m sure the sites believe that they’re working so hard and investing so much to provide free services that users owe them big time, and that makes it all OK.

Imagine a splash screen that pops up each month on these sites that says: “Hi. Just wanted to make sure you’re aware that we do experiments on people, and we might do experiments on you. We might lie to you, meddle in your relationships and make you feel bad, just to see what you’ll do.”

No, you can’t imagine it. The reason is that the business models of sites like OKCupid and Facebook are based on the assumption of user ignorance.
Why OKCupid and Facebook think it’s OK to mess with people’s relationships

The OKCupid admission and the revelations about the Facebook research were shocking to the public because we weren’t aware of the evolving mindset behind social websites. No doubt the OKCupid people and the Facebook people arrived at their coldly cynical view of users as lab rats via a long, evolutionary slippery slope.

Let’s imagine the process with Facebook. Zuckerberg drops out of Harvard, moves to Silicon Valley, gets funded and starts building Facebook into a social network. Zuck and the guys want to make Facebook super appealing, but they notice a disconnect in human reason, a bias that is leading heavy Facebook users to be unhappy.

You see, people want to follow and share and post a lot, and Facebook wants users to be active. But when everybody posts a lot, the incoming streams are overwhelming, and that makes Facebook users unhappy. What to do?

The solution is to use software algorithms to selectively choose which posts to let through and which to hold back. But what criteria do you use?

Facebook’s current algorithm, which is no longer called Edgerank (I guess if you get rid of the name, people won’t talk about it), is the product of thousands of social experiments — testing and tweaking and checking and refining until everyone is happy.

The result of those experiments is that Facebook changes your relationships. For example, let’s say you follow 20 friends from high school. You feel confident that by following them — and by them following you — that you have a reliable social connection to these people that replaces phone calls, emails and other forms of communication.

Let’s say you have a good friend named Brian who doesn’t post a lot of personal stuff. And you have another friend, Sophia, who is someone you don’t care about but who is very active and posts funny stuff every day. After a period of several months during which you barely interact with Brian but occasionally like and comment on Sophia’s posts, Facebook decides to cut Brian’s posts out of your News Feed while maintaining the steady stream of Sophia posts. Facebook boldly ends your relationship with Brian, someone you care about. When Brian posts an emotional item about the birth of his child, you don’t see it because Facebook has eliminated your connection to Brian.

And don’t get me started on OKCupid’s algorithms and how they could affect the outcome of people’s lives.

Not only do both companies experiment all the time; their experiments make huge changes to users’ relationships.

The real danger with these experiments
You might think that the real problem is that social networks that lie to people, manipulate their relationships and regularly perform experiments on their users are succeeding. For example, when Facebook issued its financial report last month, it said revenue rose 61% to $2.91 billion, up from $1.81 billion in the same quarter a year ago. The company’s stock soared after the report came out.

Twitter, which is currently a straightforward, honest, nonmanipulative social network, has apparently seen the error of its ways and is seriously considering the Facebook path to financial success. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in an interview this week that he “wouldn’t rule out any kind of experiment we might be running there around algorithmically curated experiences or otherwise.”

No, the real problem is that OKCupid and Facebook may take action based on the results of their research. In both cases, the companies say they’re experimenting in order to improve their service.

In the case of OKCupid, the company found that connecting people who are incompatible ends up working out better than it thought. So based on that result, in the future it may match up more people it has identified as incompatible.

In the case of Facebook, it did find that mood is contagious. So maybe it will “improve” Facebook in the future to build in a bias for positive, happy posts in order to make users happier with Facebook than they are with networks that don’t filter based on positivity.

What’s the solution?

While Twitter may follow Facebook down the rabbit hole of user manipulation, there is a category of “social network” where what you see is what you get — namely, messaging apps.

When you send a message via, say, WhatsApp or Snapchat or any of the dozens of new apps that have emerged recently, the other person gets it. WhatsApp and Snapchat don’t have algorithms that choose to not deliver most of your messages. They don’t try to make you happy or sad or connect you with incompatible people to see what happens. They just deliver your communication.

I suspect that’s one of the reasons younger users are increasingly embracing these alternatives to the big social networks. They’re straightforward and honest and do what they appear to do, rather than manipulating everything behind the scenes.

Still, I’d love to see at least one major social site embrace honesty and respect for users as a core principle. That would mean no lying to users, no doing experiments on them without their clear knowledge, and delivering by default all of the posts of the people they follow.

In other words, I’d love to see the founders of social sites write blog posts that brag: “We DON’T experiment on human beings.”

Wouldn’t that be nice?


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Free cooling lures Facebook to Arctic’s edge

Data center in northern Sweden will use outside air year-round to cool machines, draw on renewable hydroelectricity for powerIn a move that will further bolster Facebook’s green data center credentials, the social networking giant plans to build an enormous new 120MW data center in Luleå, Sweden, just 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The company will make the official announcement Thursday, according to the Telegraph.

 

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The allure of the locale is three-fold: First, it’s a prime location for taking advantage of free cooling — that is, using outside air to chill machines instead of running costly CRAC (computer room air conditioner) units 24/7. Second, dams on the Luleå river generate an abundance of renewable electricity — enough so that half is exported — so Facebook needn’t worry about an energy shortfall any time soon. Third, Sweden has a dense fiber-optic network, which means data can flow reliably and easily through Finland and on into Eastern Europe and Russia.

For the past few years now, organizations have struggled with strategies to cut costs and energy consumption within their data centers. Free cooling has proven a paricularly desirable technique as the cost of generating artificially chilled air can be quite considerable. Facebook employs free cooling at its data center in Prineville, Ore., for example, though the AC sometimes needs to be turned on during the summer. That contributes to the facility’s remarkably low PUE (Power Utilization Effectiveness); Facebook claims the figure is 1.07.

This new Luleå facility — the first Facebook data center to be built outside the United States — could be cooled freely throughout the year: The average temperature in the region is around 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Telegraph, and the temperature has not exceeded 86 degrees for more than 24 hours for the past 50 years. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recommends operating data centers at a temperature range of 64.4 to 80.6 degrees.

Notably, server vendors are taking note of the growing trend toward using outside air to cool datacenters. Earlier this year, Dell began to warranty servers running in temperatures as high as 133 degrees.

The abundance of renewable energy is another boon for Facebook, as it earns the company eco-points by reducing its overall carbon footprint. Other data center operators, too, have turned to alternative energy to cut operation costs and to improve cut emissions. Google, for example, has a huge solar installation, while Fujitsu installed a hydrogen fuel cell at its Sunnyvale, Calif., campus.

Survey: Vast majority of Facebook users dislike new redesign

In a recent survey of over 1,000 people conducted by Sodahead, the social voting-based site found that 86 percent of the Facebook audience gave a strong dislike to the changes announced by Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s F8 conference this week. Teens and women showed the most contempt for the upcoming changes with approximately 90 percent of each group railing against the alterations. About 80 percent of young adults and men had a dislike for the new features. While women are clearly in the majority over men on Facebook, young adults between 18 to 25 years old comprise the largest percentage of users in the United States.

 

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The only group that had a majority of users in support of the new changes were IT workers. In addition, people with incomes over $100,000 as well as college students didn’t put up as much animosity toward Facebook as other users. Since the announcement of changes like the News Ticker and the new profile design, Facebook has received thousands of negative comments on the official blog post announcing the changes. After the main press conference announcing the new features, Zuckerberg was immediately put on the defensive with questions about angry users that dislike the changes. Zuckerberg stressed that the design had been tested by people in and out of the Facebook offices, but feedback from the community will be appreciated.

While angry users can opt out of the new version of the profile page initially, they will eventually be forced to switch to the Timeline design for contiguity among profiles. The Timeline profile mode is still being beta tested and Facebook officials are expecting to roll out the finished product very slowly across accounts. Anyone interesting in checking out Facebook Timeline before the rest of their friends can use our guide in addition to checking out the changes in our preview of the new design.

5 ways to make your keyboard easier to use

How to use a keyboard might seem academic, but there’s more to typing than just tapping the keys. For most people, the keyboard is the primary computer input and control device—that’s why it’s important to leverage the features and shortcuts that keyboards offer. Read on for tips to maximize ease of use, comfort, and efficiency.

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1. Get to know your keyboard

Whether your keyboard is just out of the box or it has seen years of use, it may have features you don’t know about. Take a moment to review the literature that came with your keyboard, visit the manufacturer’s product website, and familiarize yourself with the layout of the keys. Knowing your keyboard’s capabilities and limitations—and where to find time-saving keys—can make it easier to use and can even increase your productivity.
2. Customize keyboard settings

After you’re familiar with your keyboard, customizing just a few basic settings can further improve your efficiency and accuracy. For instance, you can adjust:

The pause before a character starts repeating.

The speed at which characters repeat, which can help you avoid typing errors.

The rate at which the cursor blinks, which can enhance its visibility.

You can make these changes right now:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

3. Take shortcuts

Even if you’re a genius with the mouse, keyboard shortcuts can still save you time. They’re called shortcuts for a reason—they reduce multiple clicks to a single combination of keys, like hitting a chord on a piano. They also economize hand and arm motion.

Using keyboard shortcuts for the things you do all the time, like saving or closing files, can make computing much easier and faster. So whether you want to work more easily and efficiently in Internet Explorer, streamline your Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 experience, or key international characters into your emails, you’ll find scores of shortcuts to speed you on your way. The table below offers only a few common standard-keyboard shortcuts, many of which work across Office applications—from Outlook to Access, from Visio to PowerPoint, from Word to Excel. You can find a more complete list of built-in keyboard shortcuts for a particular application by searching in Help for keyboard shortcuts. You can even peruse keyboard-shortcut lists:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

Press this

To do this

F1

Open Help

F7

Check the spelling of titles or words in any Office application with the Spelling & Grammar checker

Windows logo keyWindows logo key

Open the Start menu

Alt+F4

Quit a program

Alt+Tab

Switch between open programs or windows

Ctrl+N

Open a new (blank) document

Ctrl+A

Select all content in a document, window, or text box

Ctrl+S

Save the current file or document (works in most programs)

Ctrl+C

Copy the selection

Ctrl+X

Cut the selection

Ctrl+V

Paste the selection

Ctrl+P

Print a document or webpage

Ctrl+Z

Undo an action

Ctrl+Y

Redo an action

Ctrl+F

Find text in a document

Ctrl+H

Find and replace text in a document

Ctrl+B

Boldface text

Ctrl+I

Italicize text

Ctrl+U

Underline text

Ctrl+G

Go to a page, line, or bookmark in a document

Windows logo key Windows logo key +F1

Display Windows Help and Support

Esc

Cancel the current task

Application key Application key

Open a menu of commands related to a selection in a program (equivalent to right-clicking the selection)
4. Make it easier to press multiple keys

If pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del seems an acrobatic feat, you can set up Sticky Keys. The Sticky Keys feature lets you hit shortcut keys one at a time rather than all at once. You can even set Sticky Keys to make a noise so you know it’s working.
All together now

You can set up Sticky Keys:

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP

(Tip: In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, Sticky Keys has a keyboard shortcut—press Shift five times in a row.)
5. Find a comfortable keyboard

Keyboards come in many shapes and sizes, and the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard your coworker swears by might feel downright awkward compared to the Comfort Curve 2000 you covet. Keyboards come in a variety of colors and key styles, too, not to mention with and without wires. And some keyboards are definitely louder than others. All Microsoft keyboards are carefully designed to balance form and function with comfort. Test drive a keyboard or two to find the right one for you.

Although using the right keyboard can really make a difference, ergonomics also play a key role when it comes to typing comfortably.
Tips for using your keyboard ergonomically

It is essential to use good ergonomic practices to help prevent or reduce soreness or injury to your wrists, hands, and arms. It is particularly important if you’re in front of your computer for long periods.

Here are some ergonomic tips for a safer, more comfortable computer session:

Position your keyboard at elbow level, with your upper arms relaxed at your sides.

Center your keyboard in front of you. If it has a numeric keypad, use the Spacebar as the centering point.

While typing, use a light touch and keep your wrists straight.

When you’re not typing, relax your arms and hands.

Take a short break every 15 to 20 minutes.

Type with your hands and wrists floating above the keyboard, so that you can use your whole arm to reach for distant keys instead of stretching your fingers.

Avoid resting your palms or wrists on any surface while typing. If your keyboard has a palm rest, use it only during breaks from typing.

How you use the keyboard is up to you. But by taking the time to adjust a few settings and to follow the guidelines above, typing on it can become easier, faster, and even safer.

HowTo Migrate Facebook Friends, Photos, Videos to Google Plus

The permanent migration from Facebook to Google Plus may not happen for you immediately as most of your friends never made it to Plus, and to your surprise most of them didn’t even hear about it. Its a good time to actually make that happen by inviting them all in single shot, as you migrate your Facebook data including Photos, Friends to Google Plus.

 


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How to Migrate Facebook friends to Google Plus

Facebook won’t let you export your Facebook friends to Gmail or Google Plus for their own anti-competitive reasons. But what you can do is export Facebook contacts to a new Yahoo account and then import to Google Plus. It might silly but this is the only reliable way to do it.

1. Exporting Facebook contacts: Create a new Yahoo account, if you don’t have it already. Once you’ve created an account, sign in and head to the Contacts tab. Click on “Import Contacts” and choose the Facebook option. You should now see all your Facebok friends in your Yahoo address book.

2. Importing Facebook contacts, Inviting all: Now goto Google+ Circles tab. Click “Find and Invite” and then click the Yahoo button. It’ll add all your Facebook Contacts that were previously added to your yahoo account. In Find and Invite page, add your Facebook friends to your circles and they should get the invites. You may also find all the people that already are on Plus.

Migrate Facebook Photos to Google Plus

You can even migrate all your Facebook photo albums to Picasa (hence Google Plus) using Chrome a& Firefox extensions. Install & run them, it should take couple of minutes depending your number of photos.

Migrate Facebook Videos to Google Plus

Unfortunately,  this one takes some effort as you would have to download them all and re-upload. You can do this Account > Account Settings, and scroll down to “Download Your Information”. Click on “learn more” link and then Download button. It will take a while to gather your info, but you’ll receive an email when it’s done, and you can download a ZIP file full of your photos, videos and profile information.

Goto Google+, click on your profile, and go to “Videos”. Hit the “Upload New Videos” link and re-upload your videos to your Google+ profile.

The 5 biggest IT security mistakes

IT security can be a thankless task no doubt and mistakes only magnify problems Like cleaning the windows, IT security can be a thankless task because they only notice when you don’t do it. But to get the job done in the era of virtualization, smartphones and cloud computing, you’ve got to avoid technical and political mistakes. In particular, here are five security mistakes to avoid:

 

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1. Thinking that the business mindset of the organization is the same as five years ago.

It’s not. Your power and influence are being whittled away as the organization you work for flings open the doors to allowing employees to use personal mobile devices at work, and pushes traditional computing resources and applications into the cloud — sometimes without your knowledge. You have to be proactive in introducing reasonable security practices onto what are fast-moving technology choices which are sometimes made by those outside the IT department altogether. It’s a “mission-impossible” assignment, but it’s yours. It may involve developing new policy guidance to clearly spell out risk factors so there are no false assumptions.

VIRTUALIZATION SECURITY: Shift to virtualized environments shaking up security practices

2. Failing to build working relationships with IT and upper-level managers.

IT security divisions are typically small in relation to the rest of the IT department. IT security leans on IT staffers to get basic security jobs done. The security professional may have specialized knowledge and a pocketful of certifications like the CISSP, but that doesn’t mean he or she is necessarily admired or liked because of that — especially as security people are usually the ones saying “no” to other people’s projects.

Moreover, don’t think the power structure is always pointing toward the chief information officer as top decision maker. A fundamental shift is occurring in which the traditional role of the CIO as commander of IT projects is declining in favor of the rise of the chief financial officer having the final say on IT projects. Some evidence shows the CFO doesn’t even like the IT department. The CFO’s ideas about security may only go as far as the general legal idea of “compliance.” The job for the security professional must be to communicate, communicate, communicate.

3. Not understanding that virtualization has pulled the rug out from under everyone’s security footing.

Organizations are well on their way to achieving 80% virtualization of their server infrastructure, and desktop virtualization projects are increasing. But security is lagging, with many incorrectly assuming it begins and ends with VLANs. The reality is that virtualization architectures change everything by opening new pathways that can be exploited. As has happened so many times before in the IT industry, groundbreaking technologies have become available for use with inadequate attention paid to the security impact.

Some traditional security products, such as anti-virus software for instance, often don’t work well in virtual machines. Physical appliances may have new “blind spots.” Today, specialized security products for virtualized environments are finally coming to market — and security professionals need to figure out if any of them should be used, while also keeping up with evolving security plans from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. Virtualization holds tremendous promise in eventually improving security, especially disaster recovery.

Yahoo, Facebook and Google to IETF: Where are the IPv6 users?

Meeting of Internet standards body indicates shift in IPv6 debate from content to carriers

QUEBEC CITY — Where are the users? That’s what popular websites including Yahoo, Google and Facebook are asking the Internet engineering community when they are questioned about their long-range plans to deploy IPv6.

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These popular websites — and tens of thousands of others — participated in a successful, 24-hour trial of IPv6 on June 8 dubbed World IPv6 Day. Sponsored by the Internet Society, World IPv6 Day was a large-scale experiment designed to test the readiness of IPv6 to replace IPv4, which has been the Internet’s main communications protocol since its inception 40 years ago.

The Internet’s largest players are providing detailed analysis about their experiences on World IPv6 Day and they are discussing next steps for IPv6 deployment at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) being held here this week.

BACKGROUND: World IPv6 Day: Tech industry’s most-watched event since Y2K

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What’s evident at the IETF meeting is a shift in focus on the IPv6 debate from content to carriers. The Internet engineering community appears to be ratcheting up the pressure on ISPs, particularly residential broadband providers, to enable IPv6 to home users as the next step to IPv6 deployment.

“The focus is absolutely on the access networks,” said IETF Chairman Russ Housley. “What World IPv6 Day showed is individuals who wanted to participate from home could not get IPv6 support from their ISPs. They had to set up their own [IPv6-over-IPv4] tunnels, and the average user doesn’t have the knowledge to do that.”

Yahoo said it deployed dual-stack IPv6 and IPv4 proxy servers at seven locations worldwide and created a special infrastructure to improve the performance of the 6to4 tunneling protocol for World IPv6 Day. Yahoo also modified its geolocation and ad-targeting code to be IPv6 aware, and it over-provisioned its IPv6 servers as an extra precaution.

On World IPv6 Day, Yahoo served IPv6 content to more than 2.2 million users, representing a peak of 0.229% of the overall traffic on 30 different Yahoo-affiliated sites. Yahoo hailed World IPv6 Day as a success but turned off IPv6 support after the event.

“IPv6 is not a wide deployment,” said Igor Gashinsky, a principal architect with Yahoo. “That was a lot of work for 0.229%. We need more IPv6 access. Can we break single digits, please, and then we can talk about leaving it on?”

Similarly, Facebook served content to more than 1 million IPv6 users on World IPv6 Day. But this represented only a small fraction — 0.2% — of Facebook users that are IPv6 capable. Of those Facebook users, 0.16% had native IPv6 access and the other 0.04% used 6to4 tunneling.

“There are some people who are very, very passionate about IPv6 … but it’s difficult for most people to understand,” said Donn Lee, a member of Facebook’s network engineering team. “It’s very much a concept of, ‘I have restored my Internet connection.’ That’s what the user cares about. The user doesn’t care about if it’s IPv6 or IPv4.”

The IETF created IPv6 a decade ago because the Internet is running out of addresses using IPv4. The free pool of unassigned IPv4 addresses expired in February, and in April the Asia Pacific region ran out of all but a few IPv4 addresses being held in reserve for startups. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), which doles out IP addresses to network operators in North America, says it will deplete its supply of IPv4 addresses this fall.

How to live with malware infections

Get used to it: Malware can’t be completely blocked or eliminated. But you can manage your PCs, mobile devices, and networks to function despite being infected

How can you be sure your organization doesn’t have insidious viruses or other malware lurking within systems and applications, waiting to inflict damage? You can’t.

 

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Malware has grown sophisticated to the point where there’s no guarantee that it’s actually gone, even when you’ve applied the latest antivirus software. Making matters worse, IT infrastructures are becoming much more complex — with an ever-growing population of devices that give malware even more possible entry points.

[ Your executives are big, fat, juicy targets for spearphishing attacks. Learn how to protect them from being harpooned. | Find out how to block the viruses, worms, and other malware that threaten your business, with hands-on advice from InfoWorld's expert contributors in InfoWorld's "Malware Deep Dive" PDF guide. ]
Malware Deep Dive

These days, you have to assume there are some infected PCs or other devices on the corporate network.

Get used to it: Malware is everywhere you go
The malware problem is getting worse. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2011 State of Endpoint Risk study, 43 percent of the 782 U.S.-based IT and IT security professionals surveyed reported a “dramatic uptick” in malware in 2010. Fully 98 percent of the organizations surveyed by Ponemon experienced a virus or malware-based network intrusion, and 35 percent said they had experienced 50 malware attempts within a span of just one month, or more than one intrusion per day.

“The current batch of malware we’re seeing is very sophisticated and well written, and it hides itself well and avoids detection well,” says Fred Rica, principal in the information security advisory practice at the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm.

The good news is that this “living with malware” scenario doesn’t have to lead to lost data, unavailable systems, or other problems. Companies can and do function despite these intrusions.

Here are some approaches that can help minimize the effect of malware on your network and in your systems so that your company can carry on with business despite the nagging presence of these troublesome programs.

Malware survival tip No. 1: Practice good data governance
You can help minimize the damage caused by malware by more effectively protecting the specific types of data that many of the malware programs are going after in the first place. In a lot of cases, they’re looking to exploit sensitive data such as personal information, trade secrets, research and development findings, and other intellectual property, Rica says.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is working with many of its clients to create a strong data governance model that helps the organizations better understand what their most critical data is, where it’s stored, how it moves on the corporate networks, and how they can put the right controls in place to maximize the security of that information.

An audit of the information assets at many companies will show that sensitive data such as customer credit card numbers is initially well-guarded, Rica says. But eventually it ends up in less-protected applications such as spreadsheets or emails, where it is more susceptible to malware.

“We’ve seen clients lose tens of millions of credit card or Social Security numbers because they’re in spreadsheets somewhere outside the HR system,” Rica says. “Our approach is to use better data governance models so that this data has the same [security] controls around it regardless of where it resides. Make sure the data is protected through all stages of its lifecycle.”

Because all data is not equal, a key part of data governance involves categorizing information so that you can identify which data is most critical to the company and its customers. From there, you can apply more stringent access controls.

“Start to separate the infrastructure based on what are your crown jewels versus what’s costume jewelry,” says Patricia Titus, chief information security officer at technology services provider Unisys. Titus says Unisys uses guidelines created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) designed to help organizations characterize the importance of their data and select the right security controls.

10 Hidden Features in Facebook

Sure, you go there every day to see what your friends and family are up to , but do you really know how to use the most widely used site on earth?

 

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Facebook is the category-killing social network, makes up a quarter of the earth’s Web traffic, and can claim nearly three-quarters of a billion users. But many of them don’t dig beneath the skin of what the social network can do. There’s a ton of hidden Facebook functionality, most of which the average user will never find. PCMag readers, however, want to go deeper.

Facebook has come a long way since its dorm-room beginnings as portrayed in the fictional hit movie, The Social Network. Along the way, the site has beefed up its messaging, added more photo and video capability, and changed the way groups work. They’ve also taken some hits along the way, most often for privacy concerns. The latest of these is the sites new use of face-detection to identify people in photos for tagging. We’ve offered tips in the past for how to protect yourself while using the social network. And we’ve offered tips on safe social networking in general (in the wake of a local congressman’s indiscretions). We’ve shown you how to use Facebook Places, we’ve even shown you how you can get the best local deals on mobile Facebook.

This time, we wanted to simply uncover some of the lesser-known fun stuff on Facebook to enhance your interactions. We cover everything from messaging to movies, with some other nifty interface and community features along the way. Read our slideshow to find out Ten cool things you might not know how to do in Facebook. None of them are earth-shattering, but if you spend as much time on Facebook as the average person does, even a little extra knowledge can go a long way.

Google, Facebook promise new IPv6 services after successful trial

Google leaves IPv6 on for YouTube; Facebook adds IPv6 to developers’ site; Yahoo sees ‘minimal risk’ to IPv6
One day after completing a successful 24-hour trial of IPv6, Facebook, Google and Yahoo said at a joint press conference that they would begin permanently supporting this upgrade to the Internet’s main communications protocol on some of their key websites.

 

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Joined by two content delivery networks — Akamai and Limelight, which also pledged their commitment to IPv6 deployment — these popular websites proclaimed the World IPv6 Day trial to be a resounding success. All three companies said they had handled a significant increase in IPv6 traffic on June 8 without suffering serious technical glitches.

IPv6 features an expanded addressing scheme, so it can handle vastly more devices connected directly to the Internet than its predecessor called IPv4. However, IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4, which means website operators have to upgrade their network equipment and software to support IPv6 traffic.

Google said it has decided to leave its main YouTube website enabled for IPv6 for the time being. Since 2008, Google has supported IPv6 on separate websites — such as www.ipv6.google.com — rather than on its main websites.

“We saw 65% growth in our IPv6 traffic on World IPv6 Day,” said Lorenzo Colitti, IPv6 Software Engineer at Google, who pointed out that Google added IPv6 support to several new services including Orkut for the trial. “This event has really been successful in galvanizing the community.”

“At Facebook, we saw over 1 million of our users reach us over IPv6,” said Don Lee, senior network engineer at Facebook. “There were no technical glitches in this 24-hour period. We were encouraged by the many positive comments on our blog. … It is really interesting to see how passionate people were about IPv6 around the world.”

Because of the positive results from World IPv6 Day, Facebook has decided to support IPv6 on its Website for developers, which is www.developers.facebook.com.

“We will continue to adapt our entire code base to support IPv6,” Lee added. “IPv6 will allow the Internet to continue its amazing development.”

BY THE NUMBERS: IPv6 traffic surges at launch of World IPv6 Day

World IPv6 Day was held yesterday and was sponsored by the Internet Society. The event attracted 400-plus corporate, government and university participants that deployed IPv6 on more than 1,000 websites for the day.

Leslie Daigle, chief Internet technology officer for the Internet Society, said World IPv6 Day was designed to motivate service providers, website operators, hardware makers and software suppliers to test-drive IPv6 and to identify any remaining technical issues that need to be resolved with this emerging technology.

“It was perceived to be quite a successful day,” Daigle said. “It was an amazing display of cross-industry participation. … It’s an important step in the Internet’s progress. We are running out of IPv4 addresses, and IPv6 is definitely the way to move forward to make sure the Internet is a platform for innovation.”