Web 2.0 security risks scrutinized

Web 2.0 sites that enable people to create content are increasingly used to carry out a wide range of attacks, according to a new security study.

Websense's State of Internet Security" (PDF), released Tuesday, notes that attackers are focusing their attention on interactive Web 2.0 elements. Some 95 percent of user-generated comments on blogs, message boards, and chat rooms are either spam or contain malicious links, the security vendor warned.

"The very aspects of Web 2.0 sites that have made them so revolutionary--the dynamic nature of content on the sites, the ability for anyone … Read more

Outlook add-on

Sales managers will appreciate how this add-on exploits Outlook's powerful Contacts feature as a basis for managing existing customers and adding new ones.

Some apps adopt the typical e-mail client interface to lend a sense of familiarity and ease of use to its functions; this one adopts the client itself. If you use and like Outlook, you'll be happy. If you rely on another e-mail client, you won't be so happy. SalesOutlook installs an unobtrusive minitoolbar to Outlook's existing toolbar. It provides quick access to the add-on's tools and features and simply folds into the … Read more

Google shrinks Gmail map links on iPhone, Android devices

Chances are that you have seen extremely long links when you receive an e-mail that contains a Google Maps address or driving instructions. This gets annoying, especially on mobile devices, because not only do the links take up a lot of space, but they also make it hard to find out the important information, such as the address, hidden within it.

Now that has just changed for Gmail users who use the iPhone or Android-powered devices to read their e-mail.

On Tuesday, GoogleMobile announced the Smart Links feature, a mechanism that automatically shortens a raw link and converts it into … Read more

Broken record: Why labels want new album format

Apparently, the digital download didn't kill the album after all.

The four largest recording companies and Apple reportedly have plans to create what they hope is the next-generation album. Driving the efforts is the hope that music can once again deliver fat profits, instead of the scrawny margins earned on 99 cent downloads.

On Sunday evening, the Financial Times reported that Apple plans to entice customers to accept packaged music by throwing in "photos, lyric sheets and liner notes" and also enable consumers "to play songs directly from the interactive book without clicking back into Apple'… Read more

Labels to serve digital albums to iTunes rivals

When news broke late Sunday that Apple has plans to create the next-generation music album, some in the record industry were steamed.

The Financial Times reported that Apple was working on a plan code-named "Cocktail" that involves the creation of "new type of interactive album material, including photos, lyric sheets and liner notes that allow users to click through to items that they find most interesting." That's nearly identical to a plan that executives from some of the four largest music labels pitched Apple about 18 months ago, said a music industry source who requested … Read more

Ad industry groups agree to privacy guidelines

A coalition of advertising industry trade groups have agreed on new guidelines for privacy related to behavioral targeting on the Web. Officially released on Thursday and expected to go into effect early next year, the set of principles concern what advertisers can do with personal data collected in order to zero in on target audiences.

The groups involved are the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The guidelines take the form of seven principles, ranging from a commitment to better consumer education … Read more

Crowdsourcing a video game's design

Laughing in the face of the concepts of the "tragedy of the commons" and "don't-design-by-committee," a game publisher has decided to put nearly all of the design decisions for a forthcoming console video game in the hands of a large-scale community of users.

The publisher, Roundhouse Interactive, says it will work with programming partner Frima Studio, but will rely mainly on the whims of a potentially six-figure-large community for the major decisions in the game's creation. The game, which is currently going by the code name The Game Cartel, is expected to be a … Read more

Understand the real human multitouch technology

We complain a lot about our computer, like how it takes up to a minute to turn on, applications take more than few seconds to load, it crashes once in a while, and e-mails take forever to be delivered.

Now, let's imagine how all that would be if we did it ourselves. It takes most of us half an hour to get out of bed and get ready to begin with. Personally, give me like 45 minutes.

With this in mind, a design group called Multitouch Barcelona has carried out the Natural Interaction project to explore the communication between … Read more

WiiSpray: Graffiti, without the legal hassles

If blank walls tend to stir your graffiti urges, the Nintendo Wii may soon offer a solution that doesn't involve arrests of any kind.

Students at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany, have come up with WiiSpray, a concept interactive game that uses a Wiimote plugged into a special spray can. Players then get to unleash their artistry on a virtual canvas.

That canvas "allows the user to decide what is saved and what is discarded, all the while keeping the surrounding area clean and free of what otherwise would be a messy form of media," media students … Read more

Putting our arms around the future of touch

SAN JOSE, Calif.--The success of Nintendo's Wii and Apple's iPod have shown the consumer appeal of devices that respond to human touch and movement, but a quick glance around the San Jose Hilton showed just how young the industry is.

While this week's RSA 2009 show fills the Moscone Center a little ways up north in San Francisco, the Interactive Displays 2009 conference barely fills a mid-size ballroom here. Its show floor more closely resembles a science fair than the glitz of a big-time trade show.

But if you used one of the interactive displays here … Read more