Spritz text streaming technology increases reading speed

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Between email, Web pages, books and other texts, we each read thousands of words a day. A company called Spritz has spent the last few years in stealth mode, developing a technology to help us read even more, in less time.

Spritz—which is both the name of the technology and the verb for using it—streams text on your screen one word at a time, which, the company claims, allows your brain to comprehend it much more quickly and easily. Their trademarked tagline is “Reading Reimagined,” and after playing with the technology a bit I have to agree.

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Spritz technology enables you to read and comprehend information much faster than normal.

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Survey: IT pros not concerned about NSA spying

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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You may have heard that the NSA has been spying on just about everyone, everywhere without regard for whether or not they are an actual threat to national security. The allegation that RSA accepted a payment of $10 million in exchange for cooperating with the NSA led some to boycott the recent RSA Conference, or participate in the TrustyCon counter-conference that was hosted around the corner. As it turns out, though, most IT professionals don’t seem all that concerned with the activities of the NSA.

AppRiver conducted a survey of the attendees at the RSA Conference. AppRiver’s Fred Touchette describes in a blog post  how the boycott and the apparent success of TrustyCon piqued his interest about where government hacking ranks on the overall threat landscape for IT professionals.

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IT professionals are much more concerned with hackers than government spying.

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F-Secure report warns XP zero-day attack is imminent

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Are you still using Windows XP? In its latest Threat Report, security vendor F-Secure warns that a powerful zero-day attack against Windows XP is a matter of when—not if—and provides some guidance for those stalwart (or foolhardy) PC warriors who plan to ignore the April 8 “XPocalypse” when Microsoft support for the OS officially expires.

To be fair, F-Secure does not take a “sky is falling” approach to the end of Windows XP support, but advises that “folks that continue to use XP at home can do so with some reasonable amount of safety, for a while still, but they absolutely need to review their Internet (particularly Web browsing) and computing habits.”

F-Secure's warning is echoed from most security experts, as well as from Microsoft itself. A Microsoft blog post points out that malware developers will simply reverse-engineer patches and updates for other versions of Windows and test to see if those same flaws exist in XP. If they do, attackers will develop exploits and it will be open season on the legacy platform. 

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Study: IRS exposing Social Security numbers online

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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This tax season you may have more to worry about than how much you owe. A new study from Identity Finder finds the IRS is not properly protecting social security numbers in some tax returns.

Personal tax returns are not public, but the tax returns of non-profit organizations are public domain. Identify Finder used the OCR (optical character recognition) module of its Sensitive Data Manager software to analyze nearly four million publicly available tax return image or PDF files ranging from 2001 to 2012.

The research revealed an alarming failure to safeguard sensitive data. Identity Finder uncovered an estimated 630,000 Social Security numbers exposed online in form 990 tax returns.

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Study: 6 out of 10 Android apps a security concern

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Security vendors have been preaching about the impending doom of mobile malware for a few years now. Each year seems to see a dramatic spike in detected malware over the previous year, but users are starting to get a bit cynical about the coming mobile malware apocalypse. A new report from Webroot once again highlights an increase in mobile malware and also sheds light on how iOS compares to Android.

The Webroot Threat Research team analyzed nearly six million mobile applications, and hundreds of thousands of mobile infections between 2011 and 2013 to compile the Webroot Mobile Threat Report. It also reviewed data from around 125,000 customers who activated Webroot’s Lost Device Protection (LDP) feature.

Webroot found that Android poses a greater security risk than iOS. Webroot identified a 384 percent increase in total threats to Android devices over 2012, and found more than 40 percent of the Android apps analyzed were classified as either malicious, suspicious, or unwanted.

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Lookout study: hackers target mobile attacks by region

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Mobile devices are prime targets for for cyber criminals, and a report by mobile security company Lookout reveals some surprising data about how they plot their attacks.

Lookout collected data from more than 50 million users between January and December of 2013. It analyzed the information and broke it down by region and type of attack to get a picture of mobile attack trends. The results are weighted to normalize the differences between life cycles of users in different regions.

What stood out is that attackers adapt attack behavior to target regions where the attack is more likely to maximize profit while minimizing potential detection.

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One tweak can make your Windows PC virtually invulnerable

Tony Bradley , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
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Microsoft published 147 vulnerabilities in 2013 that were rated as Critical. Critical, however, is a relative term, and there is one simple thing anyone can do that would guard against almost every single Critical vulnerability according to a new report from Avecto.

In its 2013 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study, Avecto found that you could mitigate almost every single Critical vulnerability simply by removing administrator rights. The exact number was 92 percent, but that brings the number of serious threats from 147 down to around 12.

Avecto also determined this would circumvent 91 percent of the Critical flaws in Office, and 100 percent—as in every single Critical vulnerability—of those that impact Internet Explorer.

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