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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

Protect your car tech privacy with these six simple tips

Today's cars are filled with loads of dashboard tech: GPS navigation to guide you, data connections that increase the safety and convenience, Bluetooth hands-free calling systems to keep you in contact with the important people in your life. But no one wants to manually input his or her home address at the end of every day or memorize every number in an address book, so in order to work seamlessly, this tech stores quite a bit of your personal data.

Much in the same way that you think about protecting the personal data in your smartphone, PC, and social … Read more

Despite DRM opposition, Chrome for Android to get Google's Widevine

In a move that paves the way for watching Web-based Netflix videos on an Android device, Google is adding its Widevine digital rights management software to its Chrome browser for Android.

Google engineers on Monday announced their intention to build the DRM feature into Chrome for Android on a mailing list for Blink, the browser engine at the heart of Chrome and its open-source foundation, Chromium. Google acquired Widevine in 2010; Netflix and Blockbuster use the technology for barring unauthorized copying and optimizing online streaming.

DRM in the browser has been a touchy subject. Ian Hickson, for years a central … Read more

Review: Onava Protect creates a series of added security layers on your phone

Onava Protect - VPN Security is a powerful added layer of security for your iPhone, constantly checking for and blocking unsafe forms and Web sites to protect your device. With the iPhone becoming one of the most popular tools on the planet for surfing the Web, it has become increasingly important to have security measures in place, and Onava Protect manages to integrate well into the iOS architecture.

What sets Onava Protect apart from other security tools is that it works with your existing apps. It doesn't require a third-party browser. Instead it installs a security certificate on your … Read more

Student group files complaint against U.S. firms over NSA data snooping

A student group has charged several U.S. technology companies with violations of European law for allegedly cooperating with the NSA to collect data on private citizens.

Known as Europe-v-Facebook (EVF), the group of Austrian students announced Wednesday that it filed formal complaints with the EU against Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo. The group contends that since the five companies do business in Europe through subsidiaries, they fall under European privacy laws.

Such laws allow the export of data only if the company's European subsidiary can guarantee an "adequate level or protection" in the home country. … Read more

Review: K9 Web Protection Browser is an effective content filter

K9 Web Protection Browser attempts to fill the gap in Safari's access filters by providing a secondary browsing experience for children, combined with adjustment of some security settings. The built-in protection settings on an iPhone or iPad are fairly decent but are in some ways limited, especially for younger children. The Web browser in particular allows open access to the Internet if not filtered in some way. This is what K9 Web Protection Browser strives to fix.

The K9 browser looks identical to the Safari browser built into the iOS design, and while there are certainly some limitations as … Read more