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YAHOO SUFFERS WORLD's BIGGEST HACK AFFECTING 1 BILLION USERS


DECEMBER 15 -In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, a cyclist rides past a Yahoo sign at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Yahoo hack announced Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 exposed personal details from more than 1 billion user accounts, potentially the largest breach of an email provider in history. AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo has discovered a 3-year-old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company's own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history. The digital heist disclosed Wednesday occurred in August 2013, more than a year before a separate hack that Yahooannounced nearly three months ago . That breach affected at least 500 million users, which had been the most far-reaching hack until the latest revelation. "It's shocking," security expert Avivah Litan of Gartner Inc. READ MORE...

ALSO: 16 biggest hits and misses of 2016


DECEMBER 19 -As this turbulent year comes to a close, GadgetMatch presents a total of 16 unforgettable moments and polarizing announcements that have shaped the past 12 months. Hit: Google Releases Its Own Smartphones To Positive Reception Google’s Pixel and larger Pixel XL have been experiencing great critical and commercial success – so much so that Google’s third-party partners, specifically Samsung and LG, are caught in an upstream, and the Nexus program has been set aside for now. The search giant is showing manufacturers how to do Android right, but one question remains leading into 2017: Where’s Android One headed?  Miss: Samsung Recalls Its Greatest Phone Ever This has to be the most heart-wrenching miss on this list. The recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caused such an impact on the tech industry, we’ll still be feeling it well into 2017. It’s a shame really, as many media outlets – including ours – praised the stylus-equipped smartphone as not just the best smartphone this year, but even the greatest Android device ever made. READ MORE...

ALSO: 5 tech predictions for 2017


DECEMBER 26 -The Philippines is not always the first in terms of tech but that does not need we’re not going to see any improvements or suprises for next year.
Here are my top tech predictions for next year. 10Mbps average broadband speed. The Philippines is still among the slowest in terms of broadband internet speed in the region. The latest Akamai report for Q3 2016 points to about only 4.2Mbps on average. This could drastically change in 2017. PLDT is ramping up its efforts on both fronts while Globe is also aggressive in fiber connections. The number of fiber internet subscribers could spike next year that a lot more people will be able to gain access to 100Mbps to 1Gbps under the new fiber network. That will definitely pull up to average broadband to close to 10Mbps. Netflix to go all out on content. Last year, I correctly predicted that Netflix will arrive in the Philippines. However, the library is really good and updated content isn’t that much. This is mostly due to some conflicting distribution rights in the region. With Amazon Prime Video going worldwide, including the Philippines, this could force Netflix to push for wider availability of their content library in many countries like ours. Add to that, Amazon has a cheaper subscription fee of $2.99 a month for the first six months and $5.99 after that. READ MORE...


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Yahoo suffers world's biggest hack affecting 1 billion users


In this Tuesday, July 19, 2016 file photo, a cyclist rides past a Yahoo sign at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Yahoo hack announced Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 exposed personal details from more than 1 billion user accounts, potentially the largest breach of an email provider in history. AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

SAN FRANCISCO, JANUARY 2, 2017 (PHILSTAR) By Michael Liedtke (Associated Press) December 15, 2016 -

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo has discovered a 3-year-old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company's own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history.

The digital heist disclosed Wednesday occurred in August 2013, more than a year before a separate hack that Yahooannounced nearly three months ago . That breach affected at least 500 million users, which had been the most far-reaching hack until the latest revelation.

"It's shocking," security expert Avivah Litan of Gartner Inc.

READ MORE...

Both lapses occurred during the reign of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a once-lauded leader who found herself unable to turn around the company in the four years since her arrival. Earlier this year, Yahoo agreed to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion — a deal that may now be imperiled by the hacking revelations.

TWO HACKS, MORE THAN A BILLION ACCOUNTS

Yahoo didn't say if it believes the same hacker might have pulled off two separate attacks. The Sunnyvale, California, company blamed the late 2014 attack on a hacker affiliated with an unidentified foreign government, but said it hasn't been able to identify the source behind the 2013 intrusion.

Yahoo has more than a billion monthly active users, although some have multiple accounts and others have none at all. An unknown number of accounts were affected by both hacks.

In both attacks, the stolen information included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers. The company says it believes bank-account information and payment-card data were not affected.

But hackers also apparently stole passwords in both attacks. Technically, those passwords should be secure; Yahoo said they were scrambled twice — once by encryption and once by another technique called hashing. But hackers have become adept at cracking secured passwords by assembling huge dictionaries of similarly scrambled phrases and matching them against stolen password databases.

That could mean trouble for any users who reused their Yahoo password for other online accounts. Yahoo is requiring users to change their passwords and invalidating security questions so they can't be used to hack into accounts. (You may get a reprieve if you've changed your password and questions since September.)

Security experts said the 2013 attack was likely the work of a foreign government fishing for information about specific people. One big tell: It doesn't appear that much personal data from Yahoo accounts has been posted for sale online, meaning the hack probably wasn't the work of ordinary criminals.

That means most Yahoo users probably don't have anything to worry about, said J.J. Thompson, CEO of Rook Security.

QUESTIONS FOR VERIZON

News of the additional hack further jeopardizes Yahoo's plans to fall into Verizon's arms. If the hacks cause a user backlash against Yahoo, the company's services wouldn't be as valuable to Verizon, raising the possibility that the sale price might be re-negotiated or the deal may be called off. The telecom giant wants Yahoo and its many users to help it build a digital ad business.

After the news of the first hack broke, Verizon said it would re-evaluate its Yahoo deal and in a Wednesday statement said it will review the "new development before reaching any final conclusions." Spokesman Bob Varettoni declined to answer further questions.

At the very least, the security lapses "definitely will help Verizon in its negotiations to lower the price," Litan predicted. Yahoo has argued that news of the 2014 hack didn't negatively affect traffic to its services, strengthening its contention that the Verizon deal should be completed under the original terms.

"This just adds to fuel to the fire and it won't help Yahoo's cause," said Eric Jackson, a longtime critic of the company's management. Although he has in the past, Jackson doesn't currently own Yahoo stock.

Investors appeared worried about the Verizon deal. Yahoo's shares fell 96 cents, or 2 percent, to $39.95 after the disclosure of the latest hack.


PHILSTAR

16 biggest hits and misses of 2016 By Marvin Velasco (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 19, 2016 - 12:00am googleplus

MANILA, Philippines – As this turbulent year comes to a close, GadgetMatch presents a total of 16 unforgettable moments and polarizing announcements that have shaped the past 12 months.

Hit: Google Releases Its Own Smartphones To Positive Reception

Google’s Pixel and larger Pixel XL have been experiencing great critical and commercial success – so much so that Google’s third-party partners, specifically Samsung and LG, are caught in an upstream, and the Nexus program has been set aside for now. The search giant is showing manufacturers how to do Android right, but one question remains leading into 2017: Where’s Android One headed?

Miss: Samsung Recalls Its Greatest Phone Ever

This has to be the most heart-wrenching miss on this list. The recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caused such an impact on the tech industry, we’ll still be feeling it well into 2017. It’s a shame really, as many media outlets – including ours – praised the stylus-equipped smartphone as not just the best smartphone this year, but even the greatest Android device ever made.

READ MORE...

Miss: Apple Lets Go Of Everyone’s Favorite Port

No bit of tech news this year harmed mainstream audiences as much as Apple’s removal of the audio jack in its latest crop of iPhones. It’s a move marketing head Phil Schiller believes takes “courage,” but we think it has more to do with consumerism, making people buy new pairs of wireless headphones which Apple coincidentally markets together with partner company Beats.

Hit: Nintendo Cares About Our Childhoods

Nintendo clearly won the award for coolest gift to buy your parents, yourself, or even your kids this holiday season. The miniature Famicom and NES consoles are always sold out wherever they’re available, and why not? They’re incredibly affordable, come preloaded with 30 classic games, and make you relive all those bitter sibling rivalries during childhood.

Miss: Android Nougat Never Really Took Off

It’s been four months since Android 7.0 Nougat’s rollout, but a total of only 0.4 percent of consumer devices actually have it today. To make matters worse, an even newer Android 7.1 came out already, and support for the more widespread Android 2.3 Gingerbread will be discontinued early next year. Google has a lot of ground to cover until Android 8.0 launches next year.

Miss: Smartwatches Are Going The Way Of The Dodo

How many people do you know constantly wear a smartwatch? Exactly. Sales have been slumping, and even though the latest version of Android Wear is set to release early 2017, brands like Motorola and Samsung aren’t keen on applying Google’s smartwatch operating system, opting instead to either give up completely or use their own interface.

Hit: Chinese Smartphone Brands Reach New Heights

Chinese smartphone brands ruled 2016. Yes, Apple is still on top when it comes to total profit, raking in 91 percent of all smartphone revenue last quarter, but the global rise of Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo is unprecedented. And it’ll only get better with these Asian companies making a stronger push in the western hemisphere in the next few months.

Miss: Project Ara Doesn’t See The Light Of Day, Sort Of

We were so disappointed to hear this news: After years of development and hopeful demos, Google’s modular Project Ara smartphone never entered the mass production phase. Fortunately, an actual prototype of the project leaked last month, but all it did was remind us how much potential was wasted.

Miss: GoPro Suffers Financially And Recalls Karma Drone

GoPro has been the go-to brand for all things action camera since its conception. Now, unfortunately, its profits have plunged, and mishaps like the recall of its ambitious Karma drone doesn’t help maintain a positive image for the brand. GoPro will need some divine intervention to make up for its 40-percent drop in sales as compared to 2015.

Hit: Apple Finally Updates Its Macbook Lineup

After years and years of minor refreshes, Apple finally launched what we’ve all been waiting for: an all-new MacBook Pro. With so many changes – such as the new keyboard and loss of several important connectivity ports – it feels like a totally new product, but the true innovation comes in the Touch Bar, which is open to endless support from third-party developers.

Miss: Blackberry Gives Up On Hardware

In what was the least surprising yet still heartbreaking news, BlackBerry has halted all plans for designing its own smartphones. Instead, the entire development and manufacturing process is now in the hands of third-party companies, to the disgruntlement of long-time fans. The awkwardly named BlackBerry DTEK50 and DTEK60 are simply rebranded midrange Alcatel handsets with added security, courtesy of BB.

Hit: Xiaomi Cuts In Front Of Innovation Line

We’ve seen hundreds of leaks and prototypes that never got turned into actual commercial products, but Xiaomi went ahead and pulled the trigger with its Mi Mix concept phone. Just look at its massive near-borderless display, ceramic-encased design, and high-end specifications — has Xiaomi set the standard for what smartphones will strive to be in 2017?

Miss: LG Fails Modular Experiment

For every successful modular phone, there are a few that fail. LG had its first attempt with the flagship G5 earlier this year, but a not-so-great reception to its not-that-intuitive execution lead to the Korean company possibly junking it completely. The recently launched V20 doesn’t have modularity either, so Lego-like phones are probably better left as works in progress for now.

Hit: World Goes Crazy

For Pokémon Go No single game has caused as much controversy as Pokémon Go this year. The augmented reality app invaded smartphones all over the world, making developer Niantec filthy rich in the process. We ourselves got swept into the craze, writing comprehensive guides for getting started and finding the best spots for those rare creatures.

Miss: Asus Jacks Up

This Year’s Zenfone Prices Asus made waves in 2015 with ZenFones that had unmatched horsepower for their price points, effectively forming a booming segment of bang-for-buck phones we still see today. A year later, when the Taiwan-based company released the outrageously priced ZenFone 3 series, formerly loyal fans have been jumping ship for more affordable offerings.

Miss: Yahoo Goes Up For Adoption

How the mighty have fallen — Yahoo was so wealthy at one point, it could have bought Google. Instead, the former internet giant got bought by Verizon for only $5 billion; that’s a huge drop from its $125-billion valuation back in 2000!

The nail in the coffin came when news broke about 500 million Yahoo accounts getting hacked – two years after the breach actually happened.


PHILSTAR

5 tech predictions for 2017 YOU GOT TECH By Abe Olandes (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 26, 2016 - 12:00am googleplus

The Philippines is not always the first in terms of tech but that does not need we’re not going to see any improvements or suprises for next year.

Here are my top tech predictions for next year.

10Mbps average broadband speed. The Philippines is still among the slowest in terms of broadband internet speed in the region. The latest Akamai report for Q3 2016 points to about only 4.2Mbps on average. This could drastically change in 2017. PLDT is ramping up its efforts on both fronts while Globe is also aggressive in fiber connections. The number of fiber internet subscribers could spike next year that a lot more people will be able to gain access to 100Mbps to 1Gbps under the new fiber network. That will definitely pull up to average broadband to close to 10Mbps.

Netflix to go all out on content. Last year, I correctly predicted that Netflix will arrive in the Philippines. However, the library is really good and updated content isn’t that much. This is mostly due to some conflicting distribution rights in the region. With Amazon Prime Video going worldwide, including the Philippines, this could force Netflix to push for wider availability of their content library in many countries like ours. Add to that, Amazon has a cheaper subscription fee of $2.99 a month for the first six months and $5.99 after that.

READ MORE...

Apple is going to give up on the smartwatch. Sales of smartwatches have already slowed down in the past several quarters and it might continue to do so in 2017. Even Apple’s venerable Watch is not immune to this trend. The second generation Apple Watch didn’t bring anything new or exciting and this could prompt the company to re-think their strategy in wearable tech. Best case scenario is it will end up in a protracted upgrade cycle just like the iPod.

SIM card registration for all. This has long been a topic in both houses of congress and we might just see a SIM Card Registration Bill become into law in 2017. The current administration is in favor of this and so is the House of Representatives and the Senate. While telcos are a bit hesitant because this could slow down sale new SIM cards (or new subscribers), they’re already doing it with postpaid subscribers so there’s no reason prepaid users can’t be registered.

Nokia will make a successful comeback. It’s not the original Nokia but the name still have a lot of brand value left. An affordable Nokia smartphone running Android can offer serious competition against existing vendors that are still trying to make a name for themselves. The Philippines used to be a Nokia country just a decade ago so Filipinos would certainly love to see its comeback.

There’s not much to look forward to in 2017, but I hope some brand out there are cooking up something really ground-breaking. So far, the only exciting product I’m eager to get my hands on is the Nintendo Switch (March 2017).


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