Alan Buckingham

Welcome to the holiday shopping season, Amazon begins its Black Friday deals

delivery man

Halloween is now behind us, the ghosts and goblins have all hid for another year. And for retailers that means one thing -- holiday shopping. The season begins earlier each year and stores are already displaying decorations, in some cases before All Hallow's Eve was even past.

Amazon is no exception, today announcing it is beginning its run up to Black Friday, which is the official kickoff of the money-spending frenzy.

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Online threats for October 2015, botnets and encryption malware still prevalent


Malware and viruses always seem to be in the news, and there isn't an end in sight. The latest threats are mostly platform agnostic, attacking the desktop. Email and mobile, as well as the dreaded encryption schemes designed to steal your money. The latter was in the news this week as the FBI claimed it recommends paying the criminals, something security firm Sophos, and just about everyone else, took exception to.

Now Dr. Web is releasing its report for the month of October, and there are few surprises. October was actually a less active month, which is good news, but threats stil lurk out there.

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National Geographic Channel and GE announce an early online debut of Breakthrough


We're starting to see companies experiment with modern release methods for media. For instance we've seen movies debut on DVD the same day as they hit theaters and TV shows be available online before airing on networks. We can now add one more to the list.

National Geographic Channel and GE are teaming up to bring the "highly anticipated" new science show Breakthrough to viewers before it airs.

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000WebHost gets hacked, exposes 13 million emails and passwords

Faceless cyber criminal hacker

The high profile company attacks keep coming these days with Target, Home Depot and, most recently, TalkTalk. Now word comes out that a major web hosting service has also fallen victim, spewing a generous amount of information to anyone interested.

000WebHost is working to resolve the problems, which led to 13 million emails and passwords being made public, but in the meantime it is trying to take precautions to protect users, though it seems a bit late for that.

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Microsoft joins forces with Pacific Control Systems for new IoT management system

robot hand keyboard

You can't cast a stone these days without hitting something regarding the Internet of Things, be it a product, story or cautionary warning. That last one seems to be the primary focus lately as people worry, in some cases unnecessarily, about the security of the devices being thrust onto the market.

Now one of the big players in the tech game is getting involved as Microsoft joins forces with Pacific Control Systems for an enterprise management system based on Microsoft Azure.

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Get in the spirit of Halloween as The Enfield Haunting arrives on Hulu

silhouette smoke ghost hand

It's that time of year when the ghosts, witches and various other ghouls and monsters begin prowling our neighborhoods. We pretend to be scared, and some people genuinely are afraid around this time of year, but really it's all in good fun, which makes a good scary movie a must-see.

Hulu has you covered, announcing the availability of the three part The Enfield Haunting series. The show is based on "real" events (just suspend disbelief) that took place in Enfield, located in London, England.

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The Dell Experience arrives at Microsoft's Fifth Avenue store in New York City


Yesterday Microsoft opened its first flagship store, using a very large space on the iconic Fifth Avenue in New York City. The company managed to fill five stories and more than 22,000 square feet with products and demos, and held a big opening day ceremony with ribbon cutting, concert and deals.

This wouldn't all be possible without the OEMs, and these are making their presence felt within the space. One of those is Dell, which is quite excited about its area within the Big Apple store.

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Microsoft arrives on Fifth Avenue, opens a new store in New York City

Microsoft Store

There is no more iconic street than New York's Fifth Avenue -- okay, maybe there are some rivals such as the Champs Elysee -- but the Big Apple's street has its claim to fame. It's the residence of many famous locations and now one more company is calling it home.

Microsoft is opening a flagship store on the famous avenue, marking its latest location in an ever-expanding footprint.

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EFF tells California Supreme Court no searches of controlled substance prescriptions

Apple, Amazon, HP, Verizon and others back Microsoft's fight against US government

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been busy lately, especially with all of the revelations coming from Edward Snowden. The organization has been busy taking on the NSA, but that doesn't mean it won't have time for other causes.

Now the EFF is taking on the California Supreme Court, urging an end to the gathering of personal prescription information by law enforcement and done without a warrant.

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Alexa, what's a good pizza restaurant? Amazon Echo gets more local

Amazon Echo

Once you possess the Amazon Echo there are two reactions. The first is a bit of fear that Amazon is listening to you, but the second is the joy of voice control to answer questions almost instantly, as well as providing news, weather, traffic and more.

Do you want more from the device? Who doesn't, right? Well now Amazon is using location information to provide recommendations for all sorts of things. Ask for a good Italian restaurant and you'll get some choices. But there's more than that. Ask Alexa the hours of your pharmacy and you will hear that information as well.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee gets first 10 gigabit residential internet service courtesy of EPB

Internet speed fast mbps speedometer

Looking to move to a new area? You may wish to add another location to your list of possibilities. Kansas may have Google, but not to be outdone Tennessee is going one better on the search giant, specifically if you live in the area of Chattanooga, a town situated near the Great Smokey Mountains.

The first ever 10 gigabit residential internet service has now been rolled out, appropriately installed for someone who has a pressing need for such massive bandwidth.

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The Xbox app for Windows 10 gets additional social features


The Xbox One is no longer new, but Windows 10 still has that shiny feel. The two were made to go together, along with Windows Phone, in an effort to bring a more unified feel to the platform. You may or may not think Microsoft succeeded in this, but the effort was there.

Now the company is enhancing the beta for its Xbox Windows 10 app with a nod towards social sharing features that allow the user to bring more friends to the fun and games.

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Online pharmacy caught selling consumer data to a lottery company

crook criminal caught

Everyone worries about online privacy to one extent or another. There's a lot of variation between the lackadaisical and the tin-foil hat brigade. The best place is usually somewhere in the middle, those who are cautious but don't go overboard. That can be difficult to balance when stories like this come along -- an online pharmacy turning over its customer info.

This happened in the United Kingdom and was investigated by the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) which is in charge of protecting consumer rights in just these types of incidents.

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Hulu brings James Bond to your TV, adds a second season of Casual


James Bond is one of the longest running movie series of all time. From Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Daulton all the way up to the present with Daniel Craig. The franchise has provided movie-goers with some of the greatest thrills to hit the big screen.

Now 007 is landing on Hulu beginning November 1st. Classics such as Live and Let Die, Goldfinger, Octopussy, A View to a Kill and number of others. The most recent in this release is 1989's A License to Kill.

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Samsung introduces a new IoT line of SmartThings devices


The Internet of Things can be a mixed blessing. Sometimes all works as planned and sometimes things go terribly awry. Things are getting better, though. The trick is compatibility and we aren't there yet, but things keep improving and moving forward.

Now Samsung is beefing up its line of SmartThings products. This isn't new, but only improved. The company is doubling up its efforts, but others will need to adopt the standard, or any standard for that matter.

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