Amazon Considers Preemptive Shipping

You’ve ordered Christmas gifts, picked up your favorite movies and games, maybe even ordered items for your home; by now online retail giant Amazon must know your shopping habits pretty well. So well, in fact, that the company might even try to ship you things before you’ve thought to buy them yourself.

According to a report by technology news site TechCrunch, Amazon has recently filed a patent entitled “Method and System for Anticipatory Package Shipping”. To cut a long story short, Amazon believes it might have a good enough grasp of your shopping habits to be able to anticipate what your next order will be before you even place it.

When an order is anticipated by Amazon, it will automatically deliver the products you might want to the warehouse nearest to your delivery address. The patent, which was filed in 2012 and granted just before the end of 2013, details Amazon’s intended methods for “anticipatory shipping”. Which items get preemptively shipped could depend on a number of factors including buying history, demographic data, and wish-lists, to name a few.

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Target Offers Credit Monitoring After Hack

If you are one of the tens of thousands of people affected by Target’s point-of-sales hack during the holiday season, you should have received an e-mail from the company this Wednesday. In an effort to smooth things over after the massive security breach, the retailer has offered to compensate customers with a year’s free credit monitoring from Experian.

The offer is a generous one, with a year’s worth of service from Experian priced at $191, but will it be enough to fix the PR nightmare that the hacking attack caused? The security breach, which occurred between November 27th and December 15th is thought to have compromised personal information for as many as 110 million customers around the country. Information stolen by the hackers included credit card details, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and full names.

In the email sent out by Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, affected clients were informed that their data had indeed been compromised during the hacking attack. Steinhafel offered his sincere apologies for the incident and any inconveniences caused by it, whilst informing clients that they were entitled to Experian’s ProtectMyID service in order to keep their data secure during the coming year.

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Woman Scammed for $500K on ChristianMingle.com

According to a news report from CBS San Francisco, a 66-year-old woman in California has fallen victim to a scam perpetrated by a man she met on dating site ChristianMingle.com. The unnamed victim was conned out of a total of $500,000 over a number of months by a Nigerian conman pretending to be an upstart oil rig worker.

The conman used a picture of a male model and a false identity to lure the woman into an online relationship with him before asking for a staggering amount of money. Posing as an Irish oil rig worker named David Holmes, the scammer convinced his unnamed victim to send him $300,000 dollars in order to help him start a business of his own.

Trusting the man she had come to know one what she presumed was a safe dating website, the woman transferred the money to a Turkish bank, where an accomplice withdrew the funds. After sending a further $200,000 to her digital romancer, the authorities were finally alerted to the scam. Thanks to the quick intervention of the authorities, the woman was at least able to reclaim the $200,000 payment, though the scammer has yet to be apprehended.

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Facebook Introduces Trending Topics

Taking a page out of Twitter’s book, Facebook has announced the introduction of a Trending feature- with one major improvement on the old formula.

Where Twitter’s Trending Topics bar is dominated by Justin Bieber and YOLO hashtags favored by throngs of tweeting teenagers, Facebook’s take on the feature will feature personalized topics. The trending topics you’ll see on your Facebook page will be influenced by what you like, where you live, and what your friends are posting about.

Since Facebook introduced hashtags last summer, the introduction of trending topics was also hinted at too; however the company only officially announced the introduction today. The rollout is expected to start slowly, with a handful of countries and a small percentage of users receiving the first wave of updates. It is also expected that the Trending bar will make an appearance in Facebook mobile apps before long, but the update is still being tested.

Keep a look out for Trending topics on your Facebook page within the next few months. The new bar is set to appear on a sidebar just to the right of your newsfeed, right beside the state update bar.

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Windows XP Malware Products Extended until 2015

Even though support for Windows XP will officially end for users in April 2014, Microsoft announced today that it would continue to release updates for security products until July 2015. Users who have not yet updated to a more recent version of the Windows operating system will still be able to receive updates to their security programs for an additional 15 months.

Although there have been several newer version of Microsoft’s operating system released, there are still millions of computers around the world running on Windows XP. Since announcing an end of support date, Microsoft has been trying to encourage stragglers to update to a more secure system.

Even though security programs will continue to be updated until July 2015, Microsoft stated that these programs are expected to only have limited effectiveness once Windows XP is out of support. The operating system is now over 12 years old, and may be vulnerable to attacks even with security software installed. The recommended course of action from Microsoft is for users to upgrade to a newer system if they wish to continue receiving updates and support.

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Facebook Loses 3 Million Teens in 3 Years

The latest social media statistics released have shown that Facebook has taken a major nosedive in terms of its popularity amongst teenagers. Although the social network is more popular than ever with the older generation, teenagers have steadily moved to greener pastures in the past three years, resulting in a loss of 3 million users in the US alone.

Whilst kids aged between 13 and 17 have shown an overall decline of -25.3% on Facebook, users over 55 years of age have surged forward by 80.4% in the last three years. Many experts believe that the two statistics have a lot to do with one another; quite simply, teenagers may be less interested in Facebook because their parents and grandparents are all over it.

The statistics were released by iStrategyLabs, who have been monitoring Facebook’s US-based user data since 2010 using the social network’s Social Advertising platform to take a good long look at the user base. This is not the first time that major problems retaining teenagers has been an issue for Facebook; the social network has steadily been losing interest amongst teens in favor of newer platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

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Check for Licensing Rights with Google Image Search

Keeping licensing rights is always important when searching for images online, and whilst this has long been possible with Google’s Image Search feature, an update to the search has just made it far easier.

Since 2009, Google users have had the option to filter their image search results by their licensing rights, but it was always buried somewhere within the search engine’s advanced search settings. Copyright-conscious Google users can now take it a little easier thanks to the addition of a licensing filter embedded in the engine’s main search options.

The change comes thanks to a request made by Creative Commons founding member and law professor Lawrence Lessig, making it far easier to find images which are free for anyone to use. It is worth noting that Bing has had a similar feature in place since last July.

For anyone in search of a fairly-used (and legal) image for blog posts, memes or any number of other uses, Google’s search options now allow users to filter out images marked for commercial reuse, private modification, or commercial modification.

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