Amazon Launches Prime Streaming Music Service

On Thursday, June 12th, Amazon launded a streaming music service to all Prime members. This new feature has over one million songs, and comes with unlimited, ad-free listening at no extra cost to individuals who are already members of the service.

Amazon enters the streaming music business with other competitors, such as: Pandora, Spotify, Apple iTunes Radio, SoundCloud, Google Play Music All Access, and many others. Spotfiy has the largest number of paid subscribers at 10 million, and Pandora has 76 million listeners with its free service.

With Prime Music, listeners have the ability to add in songs that are already on their computers, make playlists, listen to other users' lists, and so on. At this time, there is no feature which works as a social component to link Prime with Facebook, Twitter, and so on as is the case with Spotify.

Amazon Prime members pay $99/year for unlimited streaming services for movies and TV shows, and now add to it a streaming music service. A Spotify subscription costs around $9.99/month and doesn't offer streaming movies or shows, only music.

Read the full story here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/12/technology/enterprise/amazon-prime-music/index.html

Simple Tips to Avoid Getting Hacked

In the past several weeks and months, there have been numerous stories being published about security threats online, hackers, government surveillance, corporate cybersecurity failures, and so on. So, what can you do to keep yourself safe online and with your smartphone?

There are several simple things you can do to stay safe.

1. Make sure you see "HTTPS" in the URL of any site where you are giving out personal information, such as on sites where you are making purchases. The "S" stands for "secure." There is also an add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera called "HTTPS Everywhere" which ensures that whenever you visit a site that has data encrpytion, you are making use of it.

2. Always update your software when prompted to do so. Whenever a company finds vulnerabilities in their software, they release patches to fix the problem. This could appear on your computer as a pop-up or as a download prompt. Make sure that you are always keeping up with these updates to keep your computer safe and protected.

3. Two-Factor Authentication. Many sites, such as Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter now offer a feature that works with your smartphone to provide you with an extra layer of protection while online. You log in with your credentials, and the site will send a numeric code to your phone that you enter before finally being signed in.

4. Put tape over your camera on your laptop, desktop PC, smartphone, etc. Even when you aren't actively using your camera, there are some hackers who are able to activate it from a remote location, letting them see whatever you may be doing. An easy solution to this problem is to put tape or a post-it note over the camera when you aren't using it.

5. Put your phone away. There are some hackers who are also able to activate the microphone in your smartphone when you aren't using it. If you are worried about people listening in on your private conversations, be sure that you stow the phone away in another room or area when you aren't using it.

6. Protect your e-mail. If you see junk or spammy e-mail, always make sure you mark it as such. Don't ever download files or attachments from a name you don't recognize, or from any e-mail message that seems strange to you.

With all these tips in mind, you will surely be much safer when browsing online or using your smartphone.

Read the entire articles here: http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/13/technology/security/dont-get-hacked/index.html

Facebook's Anonymous Login

Everyone knows how universal Facebook has become with their site, games, and mobile apps that let users check what there friends are up to from their own phone. However, how much information does this social media giant share every time you login? It leaves some users wary of using certain apps or signing in on public computers.

In the next coming months, Facebook plans to make it possible for users to use an anonymous login. This means that when they login and want to use certain apps or games, they will not have to share their information with the developers of the particular program. There are some apps on Facebook that are notorious for sharing users' information with other companies, and of course, a lot of people would like to avoid this.

Users will have the ability to choose which programs are able to see their information through the settings connected to the particular app.

Mark Zuckerburg says that this change comes from wanting to make sure "we put people first."

Wearable Tech Gadgets for Kids

More and more companies are starting to manufacture wearable gizmos and gadgets for adults, and now LeapFrog, maker of education-oriented toys, apps, and books is now stepping into the arena.

For $40, you can get a device that looks a lot like a common wristwatch. It's designed for children 4-7 years of age, and it comes with 50 different fun and educational programs already programmed. It helps to encourage active play with youngsters and poses many challenging tasks that will get your little one thinking.

LeapFrog makes it their mission to help children reach their potential through the use of fun learning games that teach about the ABCs, 123s, and they encourage healthy habits.

The newest product coming from LeapFrog will have children performing fun activities like "walk like a crab" or "spin like a helicopter."

Parents are able to choose which websites or apps the device can access through special controls. Parents can also go online to monitor what their children have been doing and how much they have used the device.

Car Makers to Offer iPhone Platform

On Monday, Apple announced that it had formed partnerships with several well-known car manufacturers to provide an in-car entertainment system known as CarPlay. With CarPlay, drivers and passengers in a car would be able to use a touchscreen console, as well as buttons on the steering wheel, to control music, hear and compose text messages, make calls, listen to voicemail messages, and even get directions and make use of other apps commonly used by iPhone users.

What Vehicles Will Have CarPlay?

The first cars to come with CarPlay will debut later this year from Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz. Also, further on down the road, manufacturers such as Honda, GM, Ford, BMW, Hyundai, and Toyota will release models featuring this in-car entertainment system.

This comes after a partnership revealed in January by Google stating that Audi, GM, Honda, and Hyundai would be releasing vehicles with an Android operating system later on in 2014.

Why the Push for In-Car Entertainment Systems?

These in-car entertainment systems were designed to make driving much safer for the driver and passengers in the car. One of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents involves the use of cell phones. Apple and Google feel that they can help cut down on these accidents, and possible deaths, by developing a system that makes it very easy and safe to use all the features of a phone from a console or through voice-activated commands so that the driver doesn’t have to take their hands off the steering wheel.

For more information about this story, please visit: http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/03/technology/apple-cars-iphone/index.html


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