With Google Glass on sale to the general public today, it's time to have a serious and overdue discussion about technology and privacy.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 15, 2014 10:27AM

Associated Press Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay wears Google Glass in New York, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. © AP Photo/Seth WenigFortune on MSN MoneyBy Christian Madsbjerg, Fortune


Google (GOOG) opens up its Explorer Program Tuesday, offering the general public an opportunity to purchase Glass for $1,500.


Although spots are limited, the expansion of the Glass club has created tremendous excitement across tech blogs and Silicon Valley -- finally, the tools are readily available to record our complete existence, every moment of our lives on Earth, every face we encounter.


And what about the people on the other side of the camera? As they have no legal or political mechanism for opting out of Glass, they can either jump on the bandwagon or stay home: Our entire lives are now fair game for recording and sharing.


Lest we fret too much about the prospect of full disclosure, Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg reminds us that privacy is no longer a "social norm." It's so last century, right?

 

The widespread security flaw, discovered this week, leaves much of the Internet at risk of exploitation. Here's how it works and what you can do to protect yourself.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 10, 2014 10:27AM

File picture illustration of the word 'password' pictured on a computer screen between lines of binary code © PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/Newscom/ReutersBFortune on MSN Moneyy David Nield, Fortune


Late Monday afternoon, the details of one of the most serious security problems to ever affect the modern Web were posted online. Dubbed Heartbleed, the vulnerability has major companies scrambling this week to patch their systems and could have been exploited to harvest data from millions of users.


The bug has been in the wild for more than two years, and leaves no trace of suspicious activity. Some estimates suggest that two-thirds of the Web has been at risk since 2011.


Heartbleed affects OpenSSL, one of the key technologies used to encrypt data online. It allows attackers to retrieve sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details from servers running the software. While OpenSSL is not used by the likes of Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL), it's a popular choice for countless companies large and small.

 

By creating an independent, peer-to-peer 'mesh' network among devices, users could wrest the Web free from the hubs of giant corporations.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 11:34AM

Apple store employee uses an iPhone 5Fortune on MSN MoneyBy Ryan Bradley, Fortune


A few weeks ago, a messaging app called FireChat launched. It looks, at first, like just about any other messaging app in an already very crowded market, but FireChat is sneakily subversive and quite possibly the most important thing to happen to the Internet since international network hubs began to form in 1995.


(This is the moment when you ask: "Wait . . . what? Why?")


FireChat uses a criminally underexploited feature in iOS 7 called the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. This sounds fancy and complicated, but all it means is that one Apple (AAPL) device (an iPhone, an iPad, even an iPod Touch) can connect to another without using the Internet.


That last part is the most important and worth repeating: The device need not have a traditional network connection -- 3G, wireless, whatever -- but is instead creating its own network with another device. Two smart, connected machines, communicating via their own wireless signals, or Bluetooth, to talk to one another: This is what's called a peer-to-peer connection. It's also how Apple's Airdrop feature works.

 

While most digital natives know how to connect with people they already know, they aren't as good at using social networking to boost their careers.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2014 12:30PM

Young woman using laptop and smacking her forehead © kristian sekulic/Getty ImagesBy Ryan Holmes, Fortune


They're the generation brought up on Facebook (FB). Some have never known a world without the Internet. The innermost details of their lives have been exhaustively Instagrammed, and they get their news from Twitter (TWTR), not TV.


BFortune on MSN Moneyut when it comes to using social media at work, millennials -- the generation whose birth years can range anywhere from 1980 and 2000 -- can be surprisingly, even dangerously, unprepared.


"Because somebody grows up being a social media native, it doesn't make them an expert in using social media at work," says William Ward, professor of social media at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. "That's like saying, 'I grew up with a fax machine, so that makes me an expert in business.'"

 

With its new $99 Fire TV device, the online retail giant aims to compete in the living room with Google, Apple, Roku and others.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 2, 2014 11:59AM

Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon.com Inc., introduces Amazon FireTV during a news conference in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 © Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Shalini Ramachandran and Greg Bensinger, The Wall Street Journal


Amazon.com (AMZN) unveiled a new set-top box Wednesday dubbed "Fire TV" to stream video, games and music to the TV set, an ambitious move by the Internet retail giant to break into the living room.


The Wall St. Journal on MSN MoneyThe new device is part of its Kindle series of products, and is priced at $99 -- the same prices as Apple's (AAPL) competing box, Apple TV. Fire TV begins shipping Wednesday and offers features like voice-activated search, gaming capabilities, instant-start video and a FreeTime program for kids.


Amazon also is offering a gaming controller for $39.99.


The device thrusts Amazon into an intensely competitive market in streaming devices, particularly following the runaway success of Chromecast from Google (GOOG) last year. Amazon will have to distinguish the FireTV from Roku's set-top box, Apple TV and gaming consoles such as Xbox from Microsoft (MSFT), all of which carry similar apps and services. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

 

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