In the wake of National Security Agency (NSA) Surveillance saga, encryption has taken a new level of priority in the scheme of web service providers who have privacy of users in mind. Google has led the way in encrypting users' data, and have also promised extending same level of encryption to searches by users.

Whilst other internet companies have equally implemented digital defenses in response to reports that the NSA has been tracking online communications without the companies' knowledge or cooperation, privacy advocates had described the moves as long overdue, albeit, warning that the companies' efforts may not be a permanent safeguard, as encryption technology continues to evolve.

Privacy will remain a major debated topic in 2014, and as targeted tracking technologies gains upper hand, may even pose serious security concerns. 

Social networking platforms like Facebook has already demonstrated the business side of the social web, even as analysts remain wary of Twitter IPO, latest indication proves otherwise as WSJ reports that shares have nearly tripled since their initial public offering last month, including an almost 5% gain on Thursday, making the microblogging site's IPO one of the best performing this year.

Microsoft generation-shift to embracing users' feedback in enhancing its service offerings cannot be denied, and the innovative approach has seen it regaining immense number of users, especially across its web services including

The whole of 2013 can be summed up as a new beginning for the enthroning of web-based application and services over conventional technologies. And the coming year will witness an unusual level of engagement and development in that regard.

Flashbacks: 2013 in Retrospect

THE AFFAIR is a geeky designers outfitters which recognizes and target the discerning intellect of men who read. As such every design has its literary inspiration printed on the inside neck, so you’re primed for chatting about something other than the weather.

It all began in late 2007 when a strange thing happened amidst the rubble of broken dreams and the boozers of East London, bringing the foreseen union of  industry experience, raw talent and shamelessly egotistical aspirations to live.

And now, they're extending the Christmas joy with a Bad Ass Boxing Day sale. Anything and everything at THE AFFAIR will be up to half off, with their three most popular styles at 70% off the regular price.

So use your spirit of giving wisely and give yourself something awesome this holiday season, also included is free hand screened Art Print with any purchase of two or more t-shirts. Get the scoop here:; and enjoy the season. Merry Christmas!

THE AFFAIR: Invite for Geeks to Indulge

Microsoft's commitment to ensuring secured online experience for users continue to get attention as the company announced "Recent activity notification" feature for Microsoft Accounts. The recent activity log serves to notify users of various point and means through which access has been gained into accounts, so as to be able to ascertain when an unauthorized access is gained.

The “Recent activity” page shows info about the activity in your Microsoft account, within the last 30 days, including any time that you signed in to your account, whether on a web browser, your phone, an email app, or a third-party app.

Microsoft is equally adding more control over security notifications for certain activities, such as resetting your password or logging in from a new device.

The company had recently pushed out Two-Factor Authentication to all users, ensuring maximum security through a second authentication method outside the common password. And with the new feature, promises to provide a fallback for users who have enabled two-step authentication on their accounts.

Security: Recent Activity Log coming to Microsoft Account

Microsoft has launched Bing Maps Preview app for Windows 8.1, bringing full 3D capabilities and zooming on a 3D globe to users worldwide. The new app comes as a true analogue to "Google Earth", with street-level scenery, routes from point to point, and virtual Earth views.

The new Maps Preview also feature a compass and a permanent search bar, which allows users to search out a destination or map out a route.

Now available for download in the Windows Store, Bing Maps Preview bring icons to toggle back and forth between 2D and 3D views, a feature that was lacking in the default Maps.

And Microsoft has integrated Maps with Skype, making a click-to-call functionality possible on the new Maps app. Also, boasting of a "street view" capabilities, accessed by swiping up on the screen, the new Maps Preview is truly a "Google Earth" challenge.

Bing Maps Preview debut on Windows 8.1

Facebook announced update to News Feed ranking in recognition that people want to see more relevant information and see how their friends react to such news. The company in a post on Monday iterated on its plans to prioritize news articles, differentiating it from random posts from other sources.

What this means is that users will start to notice links to articles a little more often in News Feed, especially on mobile, the company stated that people enjoy seeing articles on Facebook, and so they're now paying closer attention to what makes for high quality content.

According to its surveys, people on average prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme.

So, the company intends doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile. And also, looking at ways to show people additional articles similar to the ones they've just read.

News Feed takes Priority on Facebook