Special Report: 7 Ways the Mobile Consumer Changes Everything

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 29, 2014 |

It's no longer enough to think of consumers as online vs. in-store, as the mobile shopper is neither and both of these, and becoming the norm rather than the exception. The trend of shopper's mobile usage in research and buying is exploding.

And, just like their desktop counterparts, mobile shoppers who read reviews and other customer-written content are far more likely to convert than those who don't. In fact, mobile shoppers who read customer content like reviews show 133% higher conversion rate.

Even if your product is a non-digital product, you can bet your customers are doing research via mobile devices. Its continuing adoption is driving not just consumer behaviors but also business strategy.

Learn about the top mobile transactional activities and how they’re expected to evolve in the future, along with gaining deeper insight into how to market to developing mobile economies. Download your free copy today.

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Shellshock flaw hits Mac and Linux Systems

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 26, 2014 |

Shellshock flaw is found in the bash functionality that evaluates specially formatted environment variables passed to it from another environment, and was reported to Red Hat by St├ęphane Chazelas, an Akamai security researcher. The flaw in the Unix Bash shell, leaves Linux systems, Mac OS X, routers, and other devices vulnerable to attack.

The trigger lies in old Shell Shock, and apparently has been lurking in the Bash shell for years.

It allows attackers to run deep-level shell commands after exploiting the flaw, even as certain services and applications allow remote unauthenticated attackers to provide environment variables. An attacker could override or bypass environment restrictions to execute shell commands.

The true danger lies in the fact that a larger chunk of the web-connected devices, servers, and other web-service infrastructures run on Linux distributions equipped with the Bash shell, though many embedded devices don't actually use it. However, its direct impact appears somewhat slim if you apply standard security precautions.

Red Hat has promptly released a patch for its Linux distributions, albeit the patch is incomplete, and vendors like Akamai have issued advice on how to mitigate the problem. Meanwhile, Apple is yet to issue a fix for Mac OS X.

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Special Offer: The Social Media Pocket Guide

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 21, 2014 |

The Social Media Pocket Guide, which includes 15 big media and brand examples can help your team stay up to date on today's social realities. From real-time marketing to social TV and more, the Pocket Guide provides a broad overview of social media's evolution.

It's packed with fresh strategy inspiration from 15 different global brands and media properties, including current themes like pay to play, digital integrations, social TV, and more.

If you're looking for a general primer or quick tactical reference, The Social Media Pocket Guide is made for you in engaging, bite-sized nuggets. Also, breaking down the latest tips and tactics for the four most common social objectives and explore specific use cases like product launches, events, and real-time marketing.

Wherever your social strategies take you, make sure The Social Media Pocket Guide is along for the ride.

Find out how today's best social brands are reaching their goals - and you too can. Get the offer now by downloading the Pocket Guide free.

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Enter Service Workers: No more Offline sites?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 19, 2014 |

The Service Worker is an in-browser proxy that gives you the power to script what happened before going to the network, and what happens after you're back from the network. It ensures a website is responsive, that it is always available and speeds up delivery of Web content by reducing the amount of back-and-forth communication between a browser and a server.

It is a generic entry point for event-driven background processing in the Web Platform that is extensible by other specifications. It works through the provision of a browser-based offline processing capacity, allowing a website to store documents, and other resources.

The draft specifying how Service Workers should be implemented in browsers, co-edited by Google Engineer Alex Russell and Jungkee Song of Samsung Electronics, describes a method that enables applications to take advantage of persistent background processing, including hooks to enable bootstrapping of web applications while offline.

A Web page is treated like a desktop application, with a shell stored locally to serve as the initial user interface if a site is offline, then a Service Worker provides the user with cached pages, or other information and functionality to peruse until access is restored.

The service will be coming to Google Chrome later in the year, while Mozilla is also planning to implement Service Workers for Firefox.

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Apple Pay: Swipeless Mobile payment using NFC technology

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 15, 2014 |

Apple's new payment system, Apple Pay, brings Near Field Communications (NFC) - the technology behind swipe-free terminals, allowing instant payment by just tapping the terminal with your credit card instead of swiping and waiting for payment to the mobile device.

NFC is a set of standards for mobile devices to establish radio communication with each other by bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters.

Albeit, NFC isn't a new mobile technology, Apple's Watch, iPhone 6 or 6 Plus brings the secure element and the NFC chipset, as core hardware. And Apple is the first vendor to support this new payment system.

Apple Pay initializes a connection to the payment network or issuing bank associated with your card, which then provides a Device Account Number, known as tokenization.

Tokenization, as a security structure, replaces a sensitive piece of data (credit card number) with a random data that has the same formatting. It is handled by the payment network, which encrypts the credit card number, sends it back for the token, and provides that to the merchant to keep for things like refunds or customer tracking.

Unlike Google Wallet, in which Google stores your card on its own servers and mediates and records all transactions with the payment networks. Apple doesn’t store a user's card locally, neither does it track your transactions, and your privacy is protected.

While, Apple Pay is certainly not the first mobile payment system, Apple is poised to shake things in the mobile payment scene, for some obvious reasons.

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Holistic security is the recognition of the interconnected nature of security requirements, incorporating various aspects of security - notably by distinct and often non-communicating departments like IT security, physical security, and fraud prevention.

While, holistic security architecture can help address emerging security challenges offering the widest attack coverage and shortest time to mitigate, organizations need an integrated detection and mitigation solution.

As DoS/DDoS attacks continue to rise, so does the risk for organizations. This white paper on "Holistic Security Architecture Designed to Fight Emerging Cyber Attacks" will teach you how to protect your organization against all types of availability-based threats.

And maintaining business continuity even when under attack, is another area of insight afforded by this special report series.

Download this white paper NOW to learn how to reduce operational costs and save on enterprise infrastructure expenses, while interfacing with emerging security applications.

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With more and more African companies taking their business online, the race is now on to conquer new markets - but as only 6% of individual Africans are online, the market within the continent itself is limited. Reaching out to connect with customers globally is the smart strategy for businesses looking to expand and really fulfill their potential. Globally, customers are also willing to pay more and are more willing to make quick decisions. So what do you need to know to reach them?

Understanding global markets

Before you can expect to start selling in a foreign market, you’ll need to understand it first. This means not only studying economic data but also getting a feel for a country culturally. Social media is a great tool for doing this, allowing you to observe the way potential customers in your sector talk to each other regarding purchases. You can also use it to acquire business contacts in the areas where you hope to expand, so that you'll have somebody to go to with your questions. Remember that every national market is different, so take your time in selecting those that are the best fit for your business.

Mobile marketing

One big difference between different international markets is the number of people using mobile devices. As this is a growing trend, it’s really essential to have a mobile-friendly website. This also increases the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), because if you’re not ranked high on
SERP in any given search, mobile users are not going to visit your site.

Social media

Effective use of social media is not only important for reaching a mass audience, it’s also important because of the way it lets you engage directly with prospective customers. This means you can talk to them in the personal, friendly manner of a traditional shopkeeper, not like an aloof and inhuman corporation. Much like the strategy that proved so successful for the Jubilee Alliance in last year’s Kenyan election, this builds loyalty and helps to generate good word of mouth publicity. Social networks like Facebook are the best way to reach customers in most countries, but Twitter too has a good degree of international penetration.

Getting involved

One of the most effective ways to help your business grow internationally is by getting involved in community and social initiatives that raise your personal profile, as well as by engaging with others who will speak well of you and your business as their own careers take off. If you look at the bio of Tunde Folawiyo, for instance, you will see how his work to help build the next generation of young African leaders has helped him to increase his visibility and make an impression on major international players.

Breaking into global markets can be tough if you don’t have the right connections, so make an effort to use social networking personally wherever you can, both internationally and within Africa. As the likes of Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu and Farai Gundan have shown, getting to know the right people can give you the leverage you need to get your business noticed worldwide.

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ChitChat - Short Voice Messages that Self-Destruct?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 08, 2014 |

Now, If you're not familiar with Snapchat, the notorious photo messaging application, that allow users to take photos and send to friends that self-destruct, ChitChat trails same formula. The formula is effective in that sometimes you won't necessarily want your friends' kitty photos to clog your already limited phone or SD memory.

ChitChat messages are deleted once you've heard them, and listening to messages just requires one quick tap on a friend's profile to access them.

The app works by allowing you to enter your mobile numbers, which acts as an ID, which then looks up your Address Book to connect you with family and friends already on the platform. And you can send messages to multiple contacts at once.

It brings a new perspective to voice messaging by rethinking how we connect individually and as a group.

ChitChat at the moment is available for iOS only, and hopefully, an Android version is not too far away. Meanwhile, iOS users can download ChitChat for free from the iTunes app store.

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Enterprise mobility is about more than just Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), it incorporates how to determine the business process aligned to the mobile IT, and how to support mobile workers when they are using these devices in the workplace.

Today's cutting-edge organizations are adopting mobile strategies that balance seamless connections for employees and customers while maintaining a secure, flexible supporting infrastructure.

Even if you can't anticipate all the ways mobility will transform your business, as many mobile workers anticipate ways to use their new devices to improve and streamline work-related processes such as checking email, employers generally understood that mobility may increase productivity.

These seven ways you can get started today to develop an enterprise mobility strategy will accelerate your mobility transformation and ensure you are prepared for what the future has in store. Request now for your Complimentary eBook on "7 Ways to Create an Unbeatable Enterprise Mobility Strategy"!

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Apple iCloud hack Aftermath

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 04, 2014 |

Apple has acknowledged that hackers actually broke into accounts of several celebrities to steal personal photos that have been posted online, while blaming the breach on the intruders' ability to figure out passwords, thereby bypassing other safeguards.

The company, however maintains that none of the cases investigated has resulted from any breach in any of its systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.

The compromise which led to private photos and videos of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, been released on internet meme site 4chan, has again called to point that not even Apple, with its acclaimed security systems is hack-proof. Apple's iCloud, which is widely used by iPhone and iPad owners to store personal photos, may have thereby suffered a massive security lapse.

In a statement, the company advised users to switch to stronger passwords and enable two-step authentication in the aftermath of the hacking attacks.

HackApp had posted a proof of concept exploit for an iCloud flaw the day before the attack, with the "iBrute" vulnerability flooding the Find My iPhone website, resulting Apple to now lockout its online accounts after five unsuccessful password attempts.

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Web Programming: Yahoo discontinues YUI Project

Posted by John Onwuegbu | September 01, 2014 |

Yahoo User Interface library (YUI) is a JavaScript library, prepackaged with collection of useful features that web programmers can include on their sites for easy graphics, sliders or drag-and-drop actions. But, as large JavaScript is no longer favored by developers and YUI receiving less attention from the community, hence discontinuation of the project became expedient.

Yahoo formally killed YUI last Friday, according to the company blog, while reiterating the mission to continue to deliver the best next-generation presentation technologies with an initial focus on internal developers.

YUI releases will likely be few and far between, and will only contain targeted fixes that are absolutely critical to Yahoo properties, stated Julien Lecomte, engineering director for Yahoo Presentation Technologies.

Yahoo is definitely not killing its Web programming ambitions, and are eager to continue working with the external front-end community to share and learn together.

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