Alan Buckingham

You won't believe how many subscribers iHeartRadio has


iHeartRadio, a leading provider of streaming music, has numerous stations customers can listen to either on the web or through mobile apps. It's a popular service in a crowded streaming market. In fact, it even sponsors a major music festival each year in Las Vegas, the most recent taking place back in September.

What sort of follower-base does putting on a show with big name artists take? Obviously there's a lot behind it, aside from followers -- contracts with artists and radio stations, for example.

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Angler exploit kit celebates the new year by adding CryptoWall 4.0


We're only a couple of weeks into a brand new year, and the outlook for security isn't looking particularly better. That doesn't mean you'll be hacked or malware will run wild on your computer, but it does mean you'll still need to be vigilant.

Now the popular Angler exploit kit has a brand new threat contained within it and this one could be especially scary. CryptoWall aims to lock up your files and hold them for ransom, an attack method that has been around now for sometime.

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Stream the Super Bowl live on your Roku device


The big game isn't far off, though we don't yet know which two teams will square off. The field is, however, narrowed down to four contenders. Will the Broncos or Patriots win? Can the Cardinals triumph in Carolina? Those questions will be answered soon and subsequently followed by two weeks of hype.

If you've disconnected your cable or satellite service and are wondering how you will catch the big game then Roku has a solution for you.

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Amazon Echo now works with Vivint home security and automation

Vivint Smart Home product lineup (1)

Of the countless product  announcements that filled the Consumer Electronics Show it was easy to miss many things. One announcement came from Vivint, which produces home security and automation products. The company unveiled that it planned to work with Amazon Echo to allow customers to control its products by voice.

It hasn't taken long as the integration becomes available now. Products include smart door locks, an automated thermostat, cameras, smoke detectors, a tocuhscreen control panel and a doorbell camera. You'll need to get an estimate on installation, but that part is free when they put the system in. It also has 24/7 monitoring, just as any alarm system should have.

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Earbits music service had a data breach, but there should be no need for concern

Data breach wall writing man

Earbits, which came close to shutting down before being backed by You 42, is a popular platform for finding new artists. It's available, not only on the web, but also for Android, iOS and Chrome. The service was founded in 2010 by Joey Flores with the goal of promoting the artists and doing so without ads or premium plans.

The problem with any online service is security and there are many examples of those who got that part wrong. Often times these sites were poorly protected and user data has been stolen -- names, emails, even credit card numbers.

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Your appliances and devices can now spend your money, as Amazon expands Dash Replenishment

Home automation 1

The Internet of Things is all around us, and expanding daily. Our devices and appliances are increasingly connected, which can be both a good and a bad thing. Want to turn on the lights before you get home? You can do that. Forget to lock the door when you left? Do it from the store.

That all sounds great, and truthfully it is. However, there are problems, mostly surrounding security concerns that have plagued some products.

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France joins the Netherlands in saying no to cryptographic backdoors


Secure communications exist for many reasons, including free speech from behind the borders of certain nations, to business secrets being discussed. These days it's under attack from several sectors, including law enforcement agencies investigating crimes and those who claim to need info for catching terrorists -- something we've recently found can be futile in some cases.

Just the other day we heard that the state of New York is looking to legislate backdoors into mobile devices, a law that seems unlikely to pass, given the amount of opposition and evidence against it being effective to anyone but the hackers, who are likely to be quick to find these openings.

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What's on your wrist? Wearable market expected to continue its surge


Apple Watch, Android Wear, Google Glass, the list of wearable technology continues to grow longer. New products were unveiled just recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We saw items like the watch from Casio, which may appeal to this year's buyers.

The trend is expected to continue, at least according to a new report from Irish firm Research and Markets. How big will this growth be?

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Watch the final Democratic debate live on YouTube


It's that time of the year. Campaign season, like the holiday shopping season, seems to begin earlier all the time. It's fascinating in some inexplicable way, but then again people slow down to look at car wrecks also. Regardless of who you are throwing your vote behind, it's good to watch the seemingly endless debates to get a feel for each candidate in the presidential election. And with Iowa right around the corner it's crunch time.

Tonight is the final Democratic debate and, unlike the plethora of folks on stage in the Republican contests, there are only three to focus on. We won't go into the good and bad of any of them, that's personal opinion and you should make up your own mind.

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The NFL playoffs continue and you can watch games on Roku


The NFL playoff games continue this weekend with some big contests including some of the hot teams. Those games require viewers to have cable or satellite TV, or do they? If you have a Roku device then there is a work-around to watch at least a couple of games.

Who will win it all? You'll need to watch the games to find out. Roku's CBS Sports Channel will bring them to you. Obviously this only brings you the AFC games, but that's at least half of the weekend. Today you can catch the Steelers and Broncos at 4:40 ET.

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New York is trying to force backdoors into phones with legislation

Mobile data spy

Cryptography has become popular in the post-Edward Snowden era. Everyone seems to be worried about being spied upon and is looking for ways to avoid it. While the majority of users likely have nothing to hide, it's still a creepy feeling to know that someone can, and possibly is, checking what you say and do.

There has been a lot of talk about adding backdoors, mostly from those who want to spy and those who simply don't understand the technology. The latest of this is currently taking place in New York.

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Catch the NFL playoffs on TuneIn and enjoy the first 24 hour team channel


The wild card games are out of the way now and this weekend the NFL heads into the next round to find out which teams will square off in the respective championship matchups. Can the Patriots repeat? It's hard to say, especially since the squad limped into the playoffs, though a first week bye may have provided some recovery time.

If you aren't near a TV then you can still catch all of the action from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and the rest. You'll be doing so via the radio broadcasts, but that's not too bad since you'll still have a play by play coverage option.

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Your smart doorbell may let in unwanted visitors

home automation

It seems everything can be put online these days -- lights, window shades, door locks, refrigerators, crock pots, you name it. One popular item being advertised vigorously in the US is the smart doorbell. It's a nice idea as it allows the user to see who's at the door without opening it. You can even talk to visitors and all of this is done from an app on the smartphone, even if you aren't actually home.

But, as we've seen with other IoT devices, this isn't always safe. These days even your daughter's Barbie doll has security concerns.

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EFF goes after Cisco for human rights violations in China

Thousands of online accounts fall victim to Chinese censorship

China can be a difficult place to do business and it's sometimes a question of conscience or pocketbook. It's a huge market and companies stand to make a lot of money there, but the government isn't shy about wanting data in return. Is it worth it? To many corporations the answer seems to be yes, but for those who suffer there because of it the answer is a resounding no.

Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation is pursuing Cisco in court. This isn't a particularly new accusation or case, but the organization isn't ready to let it die.

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Missed President Obama's final State of the Union address? You can watch it on Amazon Prime


The State of the Union address is arguably the most important speech given by any president and what will be included in the context of it is sometimes a mystery. We generally have an idea as rumors leek out, perhaps on a controlled basis.

While watching isn't a requirement for a citizen -- this isn't North Korea (and I'm not sure it's even required there, we know so little of what goes on) -- it is a good idea for responsible people. After all if you don't know, you really can't complain, though that doesn't stop some people.

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