Battle brews as tech companies attempt to fend off NSA hacking

The NSA allegedly gathered millions of records from Google and Yahoo data centers around the world, but soon, the agency might have a much harder time trying to collect this type of data.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, and other prominent technology companies are investing heavily in stronger, 2048-bit encryption. Due to computing power constraints, it's expected to be more than a decade before this type of encryption can be easily overcome.

Google, one of the leaders in the effort, announced in May that it would switch over to 2,048-bit encryption keys by the end of 2013. Yahoo recently … Read more

Giveaway: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus

Good news, fellow Downloaders! Christmas is coming a little early this year thanks to the good folks over at Bitdefender. For one week only, the popular AV is giving away free licenses of their Mobile Security & Antivirus (Android) app to the first 1 million users. Get 180 days-worth of protection on any of your mobile devices, absolutely free. It's easy:

Sign up on the giveaway page using your e-mail. Grab the app from the Google Play store. Follow the instructions to enter in the key from the email and you're all set!

A trusted name in the … Read more

Review: Webroot SecureAnywhere 2014


Robust web app: Webroot has boosted storage from last year's 10GB to 25GB of backup. The ability to manage and run remote commands works decently and makes sense for those who don't want their device security management to be limited to one machine. Other perks include bookmark syncs and a robust password generator.

Lightweight: The application feels extremely light for a security scanner. Scanning is fast, there's very little noticeable impact on system performance, and the overall experience of running the app remains consistent across both Windows and Mac environments.


Design and UI: Webroot may … Read more

Google reveals new colorful Chromebook

CNET Update colors your world:

This episode of Update takes a close look at Google's latest laptop, the HP Chromebook 11, selling now for $279. As the majority of our work and play shifts to Web apps, Chrome is a affordable option for a modern computing lifestyle -- especially for students.

Update also takes a look at Nest's latest product in building a smarter home, the Nest Protect, an app-powered smoke detector. And Kindle Fire tablet owners can score some free credits by downloading select apps.


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Nest's Tony Fadell on reinventing the smoke detector -- and your home (Q&A)

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Tony Fadell, the man who is making home thermostats, well, cool, is at it again, this time with the release of Nest Protect, the company's "smart" smoke detector.

Fadell, the founder and CEO of Nest who once ran Apple's iPod division and was part of Steve Jobs' inner circle, is trying one by one to reinvent devices around the house that, as he puts it, are "unloved."

I met with Fadell at Nest's headquarters here, to talk about Nest Protect and where the whole connected-home movement is going.

Question: … Read more

Smoke detector, smartened. So, Nest, what next?

In the beginning, Nest Labs sprinkled Apple's design magic on thermostats, and the people loved it. Then it went after lowly smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and those pedestrian devices may never be the same. But what's next in Nest's bag of tricks?

On Tuesday, as expected, the hot smart appliances company founded by iPod creator Tony Fadell unveiled Nest Protect, its answer to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The news was first reported last month by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin.… Read more

Advertiser group: Do Not Track Web privacy effort is dead

Thwarted by irreconcilable differences, the Digital Advertising Alliance has withdrawn from an effort to standardize how browsers could tell Web sites that users don't want their behavior tracked.

The World Wide Web Consortium's Do Not Track effort included browser makers, privacy advocates, and advertisers, but the conflicting agendas hobbled an already contentious effort. Most recently, the working group trying to hammer out the standard rejected a July proposal from the DAA.

"After more than two years of good-faith effort and having contributed significant resources, the DAA no longer believes that the TPWG is capable of fostering the … Read more

Review: Secure your PC with Norton 360's all-around protection

Norton 360 is the top of Symantec's new line of premium anti-virus tools. Like its stablemates, Norton 360 offers real-time protection from a host of existing and emerging threats, including viruses, malware, phishing, corrupt downloads, and online scams. It protects your e-mail, social media sites, mobile devices, Cloud-based resources, and even your family. And Norton 360 also includes 24/7 technical support as part of its subscription price -- something free anti-virus tools can't match. You can install Norton 360 on three separate PCs, too, so it can protect your home network or other family members' computers (with … Read more

Review: Protect your home or family network with Norton Internet Security 2014

Norton Internet Security 2014 sits in the middle of Symantec's new line of premium anti-virus tools. It has the same comprehensive, real-time protection from viruses, malware, identity theft, and online scams as Norton AntiVirus, as well as 24/7 support, online software management, deep cleaning and repair, and a streamlined interface. Internet Security 2014 adds system performance tools, parental controls, an intelligent two-way firewall, and more. But it really earns its keep by protecting up to three PCs, making it a great choice for a family network or users with more than one computer.

Installing Norton Internet Security 2014 … Read more

Review: Protect your PC with Norton AntiVirus 2014

Norton AntiVirus 2014 is the latest from one of the oldest names in anti-virus software. With protection for one PC, it's the most affordable of Symantec's premium packages. OK, we know what you're thinking: Why should you buy an anti-virus program, let alone one with an annual subscription, when freeware that does most of what it does is...well, free? Our two-part answer: 1) You get what you pay for, even in software; and 2) What's your system worth? How about your time? Or peace of mind? AntiVirus 2014 comes with the 24/7 technical support … Read more