Around the IT Industry 1/14-1/18

by Modis on January 18, 2013

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Instagram Users Halved in One Month

The fallout from Instagram’s highly controversial terms of service changes still hasn’t settled, and already the company is feeling the sting.  Since the proposed changes were announced in December, more than 50% of daily Instagram users have stopped using the service.  While monthly users of the application are still on the rise, however, such users are responsible for only a very small portion of the content that passes through the service on a regular basis.  This radical change in usage pattern should serve as a loud wake-up call to other entities with their eye on capitalizing user input.

Tech to Watch For in 2013

While 2012 had its share of fascinating technologies, from the failed launch of the Microsoft Surface Tablet to the astounding success of the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, looking forward to 2013 gives us a glimpse of things to come.  From Google’s long-awaited Project Glass wearable heads-up display device to the first of a new generation of gaming consoles in the form of Microsoft’s Xbox Durango, 2013 is shaping up to be a fascinating year in tech.

Dating in the Modern Age

These days, many people are finding love online through dating sites such as OkCupid, eHarmony, and Zoosk (amongst many others) rather than meeting in person and developing a relationship the old-fashioned way.  While this new trend certainly opens up a wide variety of options that might not have otherwise been available before, even dating itself is nothing like it used to be.  There is a trend amongst younger people to simply “hang out” rather than more traditional forms of dating, in which the couple spends time in the company of other friends engaged in group activities such as dancing, partying, or watching movies.  Such gatherings are often arranged spontaneously (usually via text messages) and often highly mutable, making it perhaps more difficult than ever to really connect with a potential mate.

A la Carte Cable Channels?  Don’t Count on It

Customers have clamored for years for cable companies to provide a pricing scheme in which channels can be subscribed to “a la carte” in lieu of bundles which often feature a wide variety of channels many users have no need for.  During a panel at CES 2013, however, several cable company CEOs weighed in on why that dream may not be coming anytime soon.  Due to the fact that many channels are owned by larger media conglomerates with their own bottom lines to worry about, un-bundling those channels would result in a significant reduction in the conglomerate’s net income and thus eliminate much of the funding needed to develop new content for all the channels under its umbrella.

Large-Scale Cyberattack Discovered by Kaspersky Labs

A massive cyber-attack that may have been stealing confidential documents from a variety of governments ever since 2007 has been uncovered by researchers at the Russian-based Kaspersky Labs.  The attack comes in the form of malware, dubbed “Red October” by the researchers, which uses an incredibly sophisticated set of filters to locate sensitive files, even undeleting such files whenever possible.  The malware itself is able to “hide” within a system if detected, leading many users to believe that the threat is gone when, in fact, it isn’t.  The malware is very specific in the types of files it targets, particularly encrypted files and documents of various natures.  Kaspersky intends to put together a 100-page report on the malware to be published later this week.

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