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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Internet Sales Tax?

A democratic senator from Illinois plans to introduce legislation that will end the Internet's tax free advantage. This proposal is said to be made public shortly after Tax Day and will write rules for internet sales sites. and are just a few examples that would have to require buyers to pay sales tax. Dick Durbin is the senator that proposes this and he plans to introduce the bill to Senate after their Easter recess. He claims online websites have an unfair advantage over physical stores. Durbin's bill will be called the Main Street Fairness Act. The Direct Marketing Association sued Colorado last year to block a similar state tax law from taking effect, and is now preparing to rally opposition to Durbin's legislation. I think I don't have to express my point, I'm obviously opposed to such a bill. I think that our government is wasting enough money as it is and to give them this extra would be foolish. Its putting money in the hands of an 8 year old to me. But what do you think? Do you think it is fair to apply sales tax to internet stores?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Breach

If you haven't already heard, Epsilon was breached over the past week and hundreds of thousands of emails were obtained by outside sources. Whats Epsilon? Epsilon is a company that offers outsourced services to help companies gain customers. It offers e-mail marketing services and management of customer email databases for clients. It also monitors social networking and other similar sites to see what people have to say about companies. It uses this information to give advice on markets to target, and to help maintain customer loyalty. It also offers Abacus, "the world's largest cooperative database with over 8.6 billion consumer transactions and 4.8 billion business transactions."

A picture of the epsilon email network web page.


How can you tell if you were affected? Well right now the best way to find out is through the companies that use Epsilon. There is a list going around of companies that have been identified as using Epsilon, possibly with your emails. They are following stores: 
Target, Kroger, TiVo, US Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Citi, Home Shopping Network, Ameriprise Financial, LL Bean Visa Card, McKinsey & Company, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Marriott Rewards, New York & Company, Brookstone, Walgreens, The College Board, Disney Destinations, and Best Buy.

If you were affected and it is a possibility that your email was obtained by outside sources, you will have received an email from one of these companies. Now you are probably wondering what will happen if it was obtained? Well not to worry, they didn't steal your password, just your email address. Chances are people will be subjected to much more spam and phishing emails now. What these types of attacks do is to prompt a user for a username and password to sites you think you are a member of, but then maintain the data for themselves. At that point they will have your password. The best solution to these emails is to not open them in general. Only open emails from people you know. As always, stay safe.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

N64. Portable. Yeah- I know.

Now, I know what your thinking, its been done before. Someone has just made another portable N64. Well thats true. What makes this different? Well I'll tell you. Its capable of playing GoldenEye. Split screen. Thats right, this portable N64 is capable of playing one of the best N64 games, split screen. It also has an extra controller port. Now I don't know if you guys are N64 fans, but this just makes me happy. I wish I could get my hands on one. While the screen may be a little bit small to play a split screen game on, we do have to keep in mind, this is a portable console not a television.
There it is. That is the portable console with the extra controller port next to it. The design isn't anything fancy, and not so much creative but I believe it is still worthy of sales. I know if I had the choice I would buy it. It would be really cool if game stores across the nation would re-release old consoles in modified forms like this. I'd get it. What about you? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I just reached 50 followers! It isn't much in the eyes of the big bloggers but it means a lot to me. It's a milestone and I'm certainly happy about it. I didn't think my blog would grow this fast! So instead of making this just a congratulations post, I want to know, what do you guys want to see? Tech reviews, App reviews, Tech news? You name it and I'll try to do it.

Thanks again to my 50 followers! Have some cake!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FOLLOW UP: You dun' been Keylogged

A new news article came out just recently regarding the issue I blogged about earlier; the key-loggers on Samsung Laptops. As it turns out, there weren't actually key loggers on the laptops and Samsung was cleared of the allegations. After further research, they found out that what the researcher was finding was actually a program called VIPRE, which is falsely  identified as malware. It turns out that Windows live uses that directory to install language files, and Samsung pre-loads Windows Live. While the problem was fixed in the latest update for the software, it was too late to re-call the information already leaked. The false word of key-loggers on Samsung laptops spread all over the web. Now, Network World is under fire for not investigating the researchers allegations before publishing the news. Key-loggers: debunked. 
Rest assured, your Samsung laptops are safe, but for me this raises one question. Is your online information safe? The spread of information is growing faster and faster with improvements to the web. This story was spread all over the place in a matter of hours. Can information on the internet be trusted? Can you trust the internet with your information? What do you think?

Android Apps with Growing Potential

I just read a very interesting news piece on a unique Android application. What they have done is applied technology to football, and came out with something very impressive. Its called the "Replay Football system." It uses a Bluetooth enabled Nerf Football and an internal processing module with inertial sensing to analyze your throw. It allows real-time use and possibly soon, tips to improve your throw. Right now it includes the following performance measurements: Velocity, time in flight (in seconds), accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, wobble, and spiral rotation speed.

Now, I have to admit, I'm not a huge football fan if you hadn't already guessed from my Technology Blog. But I do see this app growing a lot in the near future. I think this technology could grow to be used in all sorts of other things. Not just all other sports but every day activities. Imagine lifting weights and having an app to help you lift more effectively, or shoes to tell you your walking stats for the day. I'm not saying we are at that point yet but we could get there. What do you guys think?