Black Friday has historically been a very American phenomenon, marking the start of the seasonal Xmas shopping rush and happening the Friday after Thanksgiving. In the past it has led to scenes of semi-rioting and chaos in some stores as the Walmartarati fight over bargain electrical goods. The UK got a taste of the madness yesterday, with shoppers working themselves into a frenzy at various Walmart-owned ASDA supermarket stores across the country. Some of the most violent scenes were witnessed at the West Belfast, Northern Ireland branch of ASDA where one woman was hospitalized and [reports](http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/asda-stores-witness-black-friday-chaos-as-fights-break-out-over-televisions-8973447.html) of pensioners being pushed …

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Discount coupons are OK, but consumers consider drive-by location marketing an invasion of privacy. That's the warning message that research across four countries (US, UK, Mexico and India) by ISACA would appear to be flagging loud and clear to retailers wanting to maximise the marketing potential of customers with smartphones. ![9e672bce476015a5b10a7af7765c1643](/attachments/small/0/9e672bce476015a5b10a7af7765c1643.jpg "align-right") ISACA, which specialises in helping business get the most value while managing risk related to information and technology, asked more than 4,000 consumers about their holiday season shopping habits and their opinions on privacy. This revealed that shoppers in India and the UK were the most resistant to …

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Tumblr, the hugely popular blogging service which was bought by Yahoo! last month, has advised mobile users to change their passwords, and change them immediately. In a posting to the Tumblr staff blog, a spokesperson states "We have just released a very important security update for our iPhone and iPad apps addressing an issue that allowed passwords to be compromised in certain circumstances." The precise details of the vulnerability that enabled this password compromise appear to be rarer than rocking horse crap, however there's a pretty big clue in a footnote to that staff blog post which defines 'certain circumstances' …

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Most observers will agree that Google+ has failed to set the social networking world alight, and is far from being a thorn in the side of Facebook. However, now that Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed he's serious about search, could Facebook possibly compete in the Google hood? ![dweb-facebooksearch1](/attachments/small/0/dweb-facebooksearch1.jpg "align-right") The Facebook founder and CEO has gone on the record to insist that "Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer a lot of questions people have" and reveal that the social network is currently fulfilling a billion searches every day "and we’re not even trying". Of course, the arguments have raged for …

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According to the network security team at Oxford University Computing Services ([OxCERT](http://blogs.oucs.ox.ac.uk/oxcert/)) with the title of 'Google Blocks' the world famous seat of learning has decided to put a block, albeit a temporary one, on the use of Google Docs. Robin Stevens from the network security team at Oxford says that the "extreme action" was felt necessary in order to protect "the majority of University users". ![dweb-oxford](/attachments/small/0/dweb-oxford.jpg "align-right") While admitting that Google Docs is a "perfectly legitimate site" and one which is "widely used by staff and students as part of their work and personal lives" Stevens explains that it …

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Gartner defines the '[Nexus of Forces](http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/nexus-of-forces)' as being "the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobility, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios". The global IT analyst outfit has also just released details of research which suggests that the perceived level of maturity when it comes to the privacy activity of organisations has gone down since 2011, with many admitting their own existing privacy efforts are inadequate. Gartner insists that these companies need to refocus their efforts in order to deal with the impact of the Nexus of Forces. According to Carsten Casper, research vice president at Gartner, …

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When participants of a recent study were asked to share sensitive information on two different online surveys -- one designed to look unprofessional and the other backed by a major university -- the participants were more likely to share private information on the unprofessional-looking site.[ATTACH]16892[/ATTACH]Researchers from Carnegie Mellon released yesterday some of their [URL="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/uocp-wdc082410.php"]findings[/URL], which will be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The study found that "many consumers need help recognizing when their privacy is compromised," according to the release. "How can we make sense of the contradictory attitudes that individuals display toward privacy—from the seemingly reckless willingness …

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A New Zealand company is [URL="http://businessblogs.co.nz/2010/07/18/suspended-on-twitter-businesses-be-very-worried/"]reporting [/URL]that its Twitter account has been suspended due to “Updates consisting mainly of links, and not personal updates" -- which, if true, means that any other business that posts a lot of links could suffer the same fate. "I suspect the Reuters account [url]http://twitter.com/reuters[/url] will be suspended very soon as clearly 99% of their posts are links back to their site," noted the social media marketing company, Business Blogs, tongue-in-cheek, in describing the situation. "Of course its not just Reuters – all profiles controlled by news agencies should be suspended as well." The company …

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Writing in the latest edition of Vanity Fair, [Kurt Eichenwald states](http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2013/05/facebook-future-mark-zuckerberg-sheryl-sandberg) that Facebook has "quietly been pioneering a marketing business model unlike any other" and goes on to praise the social networking Goliath for developing new targeting techniques that give "advertisers an unprecedented ability to reach only the potential audiences they want". Eichenwald comes to this conclusion, he says, following months of interviews with Facebook advertising clients, investors and key executives from Facebook itself. The picture painted by Eichenwald in Vanity Fair is of a business which has pretty much revolutionised the marketing and advertising space online, and reinvented itself …

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Global online cash provider [Ukash](http://www.ukash.com), founded in 2001 and with a presence in more than 50 countries across 6 continents, has warned users not to get scammed by a loan company con doing the rounds at the moment. Ukash works on a code basis, with the user buying a voucher in a shop or petrol station for example, and the unique 19 digit code it contains is used to pay for stuff anywhere online that accepts Ukash transactions (the codes can also load 'cash' into prepaid cards and e-wallets). ![8dacd82b5aee0265e8e9055ff922f33a](/attachments/small/0/8dacd82b5aee0265e8e9055ff922f33a.jpg "align-right") Reports are emerging that conmen claiming to represent 'The …

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The news that, following a number of pretty high-profile password compromise cases, Twitter is adopting a two-factor authentication for account access is to be welcomed. 2FA, as it is known, applies the better security concept of something you know combined with something you own into the access equation. The thing you know is your password, and the thing you own is your mobile phone. Here's how it works, once 2FA has been enabled and you try to log into Twitter from a 'new' device a code will be sent by SMS to the mobile phone which you have registered with …

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The latest VIPRE Report from [GFI Labs](http://www.gfi.com) suggests that 2013 started off as a bad year for social network-based cybercrime attacks. The report, which analysed the ten most prevalent threats detected during the month of January, identified phishing messages on both Twitter and Facebook as well as malicious spam messages disguised as event invites on LinkedIn. The report identified a substantial upturn in social networking-related phishing, with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all being targeted with a variety of new creative attacks, a situation not helped by the announcement from Twitter that it had been hacked, resulting in over 250,000 user …

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[ATTACH=right]16373[/ATTACH]Lately there's been lots of buzz over how to keep the flood of online content coming and allow the people and companies that create it to eat, too. This led the Center for the Digital Future at USC's Annenberg School to rehash an old meme in its [URL="http://www.digitalcenter.org/pdf/2010_digital_future_final_release.pdf"]annual report[/URL] released on July 23rd - should Twitter become a pay service? The findings seem statistically impossible and sent film critic Roger Ebert flying into action. The USC report found [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story299550.html"]"0.00 percent" were willing to pay for using Twitter[/URL]. But that didn't sit well with Ebert, so he did his own impromptu …

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A new survey commissioned by IT solutions specialist GFI Software concludes that, for the vast majority of workers in the small to medium-sized business (SMB) sector at least, the conventional nine-to-five/five day working week is dead; and right there holding the smoking gun is email. The survey, independently conducted and blind, of 500 employees within the UK SMB workspace, looked at work-related email habits around usage both during the accepted working day and after hours. Although, having looked closely at the results of the survey, the truth of the matter is that the boundaries between work and home have become …

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[ATTACH=right]16696[/ATTACH]Facebook really dislikes that new 'dislike' button that's been popping up across the social network, and you should, too. That's because it could be a fake - a malicious little app that's actually a survey spam scam of the same ilk as that "[URL="http://www.esecurityplanet.com/headlines/article.php/3885881/Facebook-Phishing-Attack-Promises-Free-iPad.htm"]Free iPad event[/URL]" invitation you've likely received from at least one of your Facebook friends lately. Basically, if you encounter a dialog asking you to grant the 'Dislike' app access to your profile and other information, you can expect to be asked to fill out a survey while your account is being transformed into yet another of …

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That dramatic statement pretty much sums up the feelings of many people taking part in a recent survey. They suggest that online banking and online shopping are akin to playing Russian Roulette and it is only a matter of time before their security, credit cards and bank balances are breached. And women are more worried about this financial doomsday scenario than men. ![shootme](/attachments/small/0/shootme.jpg "align-right")The figures from the survey which analysed attitudes towards online shopping and banking, were revealed today by mobile security outfit [Entersekt](http://www.entersekt.com) and the research was undertaken by OnePoll. It suggests that 410 out of the 1000 people …

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You've been able to use the Internet to swap [URL="http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php"]books[/URL], [URL="http://www.swapacd.com/index.php"]CDs[/URL], and [URL="http://www.squidoo.com/swap-dvds-online"]DVDs[/URL]. Now -- kids' clothes? [URL="http://www.thredup.com/home"]ThredUP[/URL] offers a standard form factor for exchanging kids' clothes -- a UPS flat-rate box, packed full of clothes for a girl or a boy, of a certain size, for a certain season, and the clothes can either be tops, bottoms, or mixed. People select a box, pay $13 to have it shipped to them, then pack one of their own and list it for selection by someone else. (The company makes $1.50 on each box.) But this isn't just an easy way …

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Research from ecommerce solutions provider SellerDeck (which used to be known as Actinic Desktop) has revealed the top ten ecommerce turn-offs that online retailers need to avoid at all costs if they are to turn clicks into sales. ![sellerdeck](/attachments/small/0/sellerdeck.jpg "align-right") At the very top of the avoid list comes insecurity. Your website doesn't actually have to be insecure to turn the shoppers away, but just give the impression that it might not be secure. This should be engraved in stone and filed under 'well duh!' to be honest, but it seems that too many online retailers still fail to take …

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I blame [URL="http://twitter.com/scobleizer"]Robert Scoble aka scobleizer[/URL] for his 'First look at “revolutionary” social news iPad app: Flipboard' post which led to a flipping iPad app taking over Twitter for most of yesterday. Some 24 hours late, Flipboard has thankfully dropped off the trending top ten list at Twitter, although it's a fair bet some of your online friends will still be tweeting about it. So what's all the fuss about? [attach]15984[/attach]The fuss, my friend, comes courtesy of two simple but very powerful keywords: Twitter and iPad. Put these two together and you are almost in social media hysteria territory, and …

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Think of apps and you probably think of your smartphone. After all, Apple pretty much built an iPhone empire around the concept of apps and users of Android and Windows handsets are just as hooked. Truth be told though, and this 'Age of Apps' has spread far beyond the smartphone sphere. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the social media space. ![dweb-profilestalker](/attachments/small/0/dweb-profilestalker.jpg "align-right") Facebook is awash with apps, ranging from the useful to the useless. Many of them fall into the 'simply annoying' category, involving the distribution of games invites or high scores to the largely unimpressed and totally …

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New research published today by security vendor ZoneAlarm, the Facebook Child Safety Report, analysed what 600 kids aged between 10 and 15 and located around the world were up to Facebook. The end result reveals those common behaviours that increase the exposure of children to bullying online, predatory threat and other security problems. The major factor, surprise surprise, that contributes to an increase risk late night usage. ![dweb-facebookeferal](/attachments/small/0/dweb-facebookeferal.jpg "align-right") Three activities revealed a positive link with increased risk: adding friends that could well be strangers, playing those Facebook games which require access to account information and, as mentioned, using Facebook …

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With a billion members, active social circles and more than it's fair share of relative newbies to the world of online security, it should come as no surprise that Facebook continues to be the focus of much attention from those who would do you, your data and your bank balance harm. The latest scam to grab my attention, and unfortunately also lots of those with much less IT security know-how, promises to Facebook profile pages black rather than the default blue. ![dweb-fbblack](/attachments/small/0/dweb-fbblack.jpg "align-right") The distribution channel for this scam is the commonly used one of combining event invitations from Facebook …

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Security researchers reveal ways that willy-waving Chatroulette users might be leaving themselves open to much more than accusations of just being dirty perverts as privacy attack scenarios are explored. [attach]15830[/attach]If you have ever been tempted, like so many male Chatroulette users, to show complete strangers the contents of your trousers new security research might persuade you not to join in this offensive nonsense. Video chat services such as Chatroulette enable random strangers to get virtually connected, but the lure of perceived anonymity and a somewhat ironic assumption of privacy has meant that it has attracted a somewhat unsavoury crowd of …

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As goes Google, so goes the rest of the universe -- or at least that's the fear this week after the start up-turned-giant-turned-common verb reported disappointing earnings that sent the Silicon Valley stock over a digital cliff after-hours Thursday. [ATTACH=right]15859[/ATTACH]The company pulled in 1.84 billion dollars for the quarter or $5.71 per share, less than analysts' average projection of $6.52 per share. Taking the blame for the disappointing figures are Europe's lackluster economic situation -- Google does a significant chunk of its business in the Euro zone -- and a recent ramp-up in hiring that bumped up total expenses. But …

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[ATTACH=right]16062[/ATTACH]In case using a credit card or cash wasn't convenient enough, soon you'll be able to buy a Frappuccino using your phone at any Starbucks store. The coffee company announced this week it will be expanding its mobile payment program, which so far has only been available at select locations in Seattle and the Bay Area and about 1,000 Target stores around the country. How exactly does it work? It's basically an app downloaded to the iPhone. And when you register a Starbucks Card on it, your phone becomes your new card with the barcode to be scanned. Customers can …

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Google has announced the availability of more than 1000 ‘Google Gadgets’ that can be run on any web site, differentiating them from the existing desktop gadgets which could only work locally by way of the Google Desktop software or on a personalized Google homepage. These bits of cobbled together HTML and Javascript code that act as dynamic applications when installed on your web page are also different from the Widgets that Yahoo has had available ever since it acquired Konfablator last year. Those 3000+ plus mini-applications only run if you download and install an 11Mb host application first, and then …

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Last week's Economist (July 16-20, 2010 issue) has an [URL="http://media.economist.com/node/16539424"]interesting story[/URL] on three large internet companies in Russia, China and Africa. That these three emerging regions have growing internet powers is interesting in itself, but there was something else in the story that caught my eye. Russian Internet giant, [URL="http://www.dst-global.com/"]DST[/URL] purchased a stake in Facebook last year, beating the typical American venture capital firms to the punch. [B]Russian Aggression[/B] According to the article, DST took advantage of being cash rich at a time when US financiers were sitting back afraid to act because of the horrible recession gripping the world …

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[URL="http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2010/07/27/altimeter-report-the-8-success-criteria-for-facebook-page-marketing/"]Altimeter Group's recently released report[/URL] establishes eight criteria for measuring success with Facebook page marketing and used the criteria to measure thirty brands, finding that the majority aren't making the most of their Facebook pages.[ATTACH]16178[/ATTACH]Pamper's, Macy's, Kohl's and AXE, on the other hand, were brands successfully using Facebook marketing to increase word of mouth and brand recognition. More and more companies are using Facebook to reach customers, with more than 45% of senior marketers identifying social networks as their priority for this year. Facebook, the report says, is a platform that marketers cannot ignore. Recently Facebook passed the 500 million …

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The study of interactions in online game recently proved an 80-year-old psychological theory, confirming the idea that "a friend of my enemy, is my enemy." The theory is known as Structural Balance theory, which means "individuals tend to avoid stress-causing relationships when they develop a society resulting in more stable social networks," according to an Imperial College London [URL="http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_20-7-2010-10-22-28"]press release[/URL]. The study analyzed the relationships between 300,000 players in the online game [URL="http://www.pardus.at/"]Pardus[/URL], an open-ended virtual universe game. In this simulated society, players make friends and enemies, fight and trade. [ATTACH]16123[/ATTACH]"I find it fascinating to understand how we all interact …

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[ATTACH=RIGHT]16182[/ATTACH][URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL] got some bad news this week when it found out that [URL="http://www.yahoo.co.jp/"]Yahoo Japan[/URL], unlike its U.S. parent company, will be partnering with [URL="http://www.google.com"]Google[/URL], rather than Microsoft's search engine, [URL="http://www.bing.com"]Bing[/URL]. The decision means that most of the Internet searches originating in Japan will use Google's search engine rather than Bing. Yahoo Japan is currently the leading search engine in Japan and handles over half of search activity. Yahoo Japan CEO Masahiro Inoue said in a press conference that, "At the present time, we feel there are quite a few areas where Microsoft is not yet ready. Google is one step …

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The End.