What Is Going on Between Apple and Google Regarding the Maps Deal?

Apple, in the beginning of the year, created its own maps application, Apple Maps that proved to be a fiasco. It was riddled with mistakes—missing areas, low-quality pictures, poor choice of colors, incorrect information, etc. It has been a tremendous shame to an innovative company like Apple. After its decision to create a map to provide better navigation to its customers, Apple probably had too little time to develop a full-fledged application from ground up (despite the fact that there was Apple Maps since the first iPhone, they decided to create Maps from the ground up).

A few days ago, Apple CEO, Tim Cook apologized to the customers regarding the inferior mapping tool.

What Is Wrong With Apple Maps?

 

A lot is wrong with Apple Maps. Here are a few gaffes:

Ireland’s BreakingNews.ie reported this: Airfield House is a farmland in Dublin, Ireland, and Apple Maps identifies this as an airport.

BBC has reported: Search for Manchester United Football Club, and you will be getting ‘Sale United Football Club’ which is a football community for children. Certain missing areas include Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of William Shakespeare), and Uckfield in Sussex is wrongly placed.

HuffPost has reported non-existing places found on Apple Maps: Aldwych Station (closed for over eighteen years); Woolworths (closed since 1997); F Chamberlain & Sons (closed for over 15 years).

non-existent places in apple maps

 

Guardian of the UK reported that when you search for London, you get the town named London in Ontario, Canada. And Paddington station is missing in the Maps search function.

Australian Business Traveller has reported recently: Park Hyatt hotel in Tokyo is missing in search (but the location database can find it); the Tokyo railway station is not showing up in search. Also, the center pin on even the important cities like London and New York is placed at the most obscure of locations.

apple maps search

 

Haartez has reported that Israel the country has no capital in Apple Maps. There is no Jerusalem!

The New York Times has reported another error in Florida, where a supermarket was replaced by a hospital in Apple’s famed maps.

Besides these, there are many pictures, some funny fakes and some real that appear on image search for ‘apple maps’. Here is a mashup of some of them. Click to enlarge:

apple map blunders

 

Latest Google Maps

 

Another report from Apple Insider has pointed us in another direction. According to them, Apple knew the troubles of iOS Maps before launch.

However, that’s all history right now. Google is bringing up its own version of Maps to get approval by Apple in the coming days. According to the WSJ, Google is currently field-testing the app before submission to Apple. And they have their fingers crossed for Apple approval, which according to the industry-talk is a big thing.

After the Maps failure, Apple probably has realized that it is going to affect the brand in a big way, and that is the reason behind the letter by Tim Cook. However, even in that letter, Mr. Cook doesn’t speak much about the mistakes of Apple Maps in any detail. In fact he is just recommending other map apps to customers.

At this point, Apple has no go other than approving Google’s product which will be launched soon for iPhone 5. In the meanwhile, iOS customers have no other option than using Google Maps on the browser or installing it as a widget within the browser for quick opening.

Conclusion

 

Apple has made a huge dent on its brand identity with this humiliating failure of Maps. Still, the company has a huge number of customers to its products. Let’s wait and see how it will progress in the coming days.

[Image credit: Forbes; HuffPost; ausbt.com.au; weknowmemes.com]

Do This If Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked!

facebook

Facebook, being the largest social network, is a haven of hackers. They have been targeting Facebook users for years. A lot of things can be done with a hacked Facebook account—promotion of products, free advertisements, building email lists, and spamming.

You can find out if your account has been compromised through a few symptoms.

One way to know if your account has been hacked is obvious. You spot new people in your friends list; your account sends out spam to your friends; it shows up promoting illicit stuff—drugs, sex toys and pills, spam, etc.; or you have lost access to your account because of a change in password. But there is a chance that the attacker has been working secretly without your knowledge, making it difficult for you to recognize the situation.

In such cases, he does not send out any information from your account or change your password. Instead, he would be gathering information from your account—your personal and financial details and information about your friends.

Finding out If Your Account Has Been Hacked

 

Okay, the situation is that you are still able to log into the account, and you are able to transact as you normally do. There is also no complaint from any of your friends about any spam activity from your side. Still you can suspect that your account has been compromised. Here’s how to find out.

Go to Account Settings->Security->Active Sessions. In this list, you will find if there is any other active login session. If the attacker has logged into your Facebook account from any other location, you will be able to see it here.

Things to Do About Hacked Accounts

 

If your account is hacked and you still have access to it, then you should consider yourself very lucky. You are in control and you can easily counter the attack. In this case, immediately change your password and other security parameters, such as security questions.

In case the account is sending out spam, you can report it to Facebook through Facebook Hacked page. This is very important as Facebook may take action on the account by limiting or removing it unless you report it immediately.

In Case Password Was Changed

 

First of all, as in any web service, the biggest social network also has a ‘Forgot your password’ option. Click on it, and identify your account through certain details. If you still have access to the email under which the Facebook account was registered, you can regain access immediately.

facebook identify

 

In case you doubt that the email address or phone number may have been changed, go with the second option above (your name and one of your friends’ name).

recovery email

 

In case you don’t have access to the email or phone number associated with your account, you can use another email address to get your account back. In this case, you just have to get three trusted friends involved, and get the security codes from them in order to get access to the account.

[Update: The trusted friends method is no longer used by Facebook, it seems. Now you can recover your FB account only with access to your email address. If you cannot access the email, Facebook wants you to take the issue up with the email provider.]

Rogue Applications

 

You should know which applications you use on Facebook. Remove any that you don’t use or think is insecure. You can access all application settings under Account Settings. From here, remove any unknown or insecure applications. Check what information on your account each app that you install requires. This can be viewed from Settings->Apps.

facebook app settings

 

From this page, you can easily see which information the app requires to work and which information it has been accessing in the past. In case you think the app is rogue and is taking advantage of the data in your account, immediately remove it by clicking on the ‘Remove app’ button.

In the same way, you should know what information an app requests from your profile every time you install one. Look at this image:

 

Tips to Stay Safe

 

1. Change your password every time you doubt that the account may have been hacked.

2. Change your password once in a while anyway.

3. Do not use apps that suspiciously require too much information.

4. At least once in a while check your user sessions and log out any other active session that you logged on to.

5. Enable Login Notifications in order to get a text message or email when your account has been accessed from an unrecognized device.

6. Do not log into Facebook from insecure locations.

Conclusion

 

It is important that you keep your Facebook account secure as it is the gateway to yourself in the Internet. It may contain a lot of important information, even your important financial information. Moreover, your account’s security also ensures that of your friends (as they trust you and the links you share). So, you cannot afford to be nonchalant about Facebook security.

Comparing Popular Cloud Storage Services Online

;">Cloud storageSaving and getting access to your files online has become easier than ever today. All the big names in the computing world are there in the cloud storage facility—Google with Google Drive, Microsoft with SkyDrive, Apple with iCloud, etc. The greatest advantage is that you can get your files synchronized to any device anywhere as long as you have Internet access.

All online storage services provide you with some obvious features—syncing across multiple devices or platforms, file encryption, easy access from any device connected to the Internet, etc. Let’s look at the features of some of the most popular online storage facilities and decide which the best option to go for is.

1. Google Drive

Google DriveGoogle’s online office software, Docs will no longer be there; it will be upgraded to Drive. This online storage facility from Google has got it all—backup, syncing across devices and platforms, and facility to open multiple file types. Also, the security of your files is ensured by Google. File encryption is not available though.

Google Drive feature has full integration to other services like Gmail, Google Chrome, etc. The free storage given is 5 GB (you will still retain the 7 GB you are getting on Gmail, 1 GB you get on Picasa web albums, and unlimited sharing facility on Google Plus).

Additional storage on Google Drive cost you as per the following:
Size Price (in Dollars per month)
25 GB 2.49
100 GB 4.99
200 GB 9.99
400 GB 19.99
1 TB 49.99
2 TB 99.99
4 TB 199.99
8 TB 399.99
16 TB 799.99

 

Feature list:
Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage No
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 10 GB
Network Drive Available
Web Access Available
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

2. Microsoft SkyDrive

Microsoft Sky Drive

SkyDrive is the cloud storage platform from Microsoft and it obviously has all the features offered by other services. SkyDrive provides you with a client piece of software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android. SkyDrive provides you with 7 GB of free storage. However, if you are an already existing user of Microsoft Live, you will an additional 18 GB of storage.

SkyDrive gives you on-the-go access to all the major platforms. Also, the paid plans are highly affordable—20 GB for 10 dollars per year, 50 GB for 25 dollars, 100 GB for 50 dollars.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage No
Free Storage 7 GB (25 GB for existing users)
Maximum File Size 2 GB
Network Drive Available
Web Access Available
Platforms Supported Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

3. Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud

 One of the greatest disadvantages of iCloud is that it’s an Apple product and doesn’t support Android or Windows Phone. It has support for all Apple products—iPhone, iMac, iPad, etc., and all Apple technologies.

It’s the greatest product for file syncing and storage if you have only Apple products. 5 GB is the basic free storage and extra storage costs you some more—20 dollars for 10 GB, 40 dollars for 20 GB, and 100 dollars for 50 GB per annum.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 2 GB
Network Drive No
Web Access No
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X Lion
or later, iOS (5.x or later)

4. Box.com

box.com

Box is an online file storage service providing personal, business, and enterprise solutions. Personal free storage is 5 GB and upgrade plans are pricey—25 GB at 9.99. dollars per month and 50 GB at 19.99 dollars per month.

Mobile versions of the storage app is available and encryption is provided. If you have a small business, then you can get 1000 GB storage and will cost 15 dollars per user per month; minimum of three users have to be there to register the small business plan though.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size 100 MB (personal) 2 GB (small business)
Network Drive No
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X, Android, iOS

5. Dropbox

dropbox

 

This file sharing platform has become one of the most popular today. Dropbox provides you with a piece of client software for Windows, Mac and mobile platforms for creating a pretty drop box on your system.

Just drag and drop your files to this drop box to get it synced across platforms. The app is available for almost all platforms out there. 2 GB only is given free, and extra storage costs more: 100 GB for 9.99 pm or 99 pa, 200 GB for 19.99 pm or 199 pa, 500 GB for 49.99 pm or 499 pa. Dropbox also has the two-factor authentication feature which makes the service more secure.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 2 GB
Maximum File Size 300 MB
Network Drive Yes (with limits)
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS,
BlackBerry, Kindle Fire

6. SugarSync

Sugarsync

This is another file storage platform that supports all the basic features including encryption. Also, the platforms supported are many. Free storage given is 5GB and it can be expanded to 32 GB through their referral program.

SugarSync is touted by several web reviewers as one of the top-notch file sharing services out there. Pricing for plans: 30 GB for 4.99 pm or 49.99 pa; 60 GB for 9.99 pm or 99.99 pa; 100 GB for 14.99 pm or 149.99 pa.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes
Free Storage 5 GB
Maximum File Size No limit
Network Drive No
Web Access Yes
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS,
BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, Symbian

7. ADrive

Basic features of ADrive online storage include 50 GB of free storage among others. This is the largest free storage you can get among cloud storage services. Mobile apps are provided for iOS and Android. In order to edit office documents, you can use Zoho within ADrive. Besides these, premium features are available for higher storage plans.

Pricing is as follows: 50GB to 10TB at 6.95 pm (known as Personal Premium plan); 100 GB to unlimited at 16 dollars pm (Business plan). Unlike other storage services, the mobile app is ad-supported for revenue.

Feature Availability
Encrypted Storage Yes based on plan chosen
Free Storage 50 GB
Maximum File Size No limit
Network Drive No
Web Access No
Platforms Supported Windows (PC), Mac OS X, Android, iOS

 


 

[Update:

8. Kim DotCom's Mega

Earlier in Jan 2012, Kim DotCom (born Kim Schmitz) used to be the creator of a file upload platform called MegaUpload. It was shut down on . Exactly one year later, on Kim DotCom came up with the new service called Mega. It is by far one of the largest file sharing platform, with 50 GB of free space available.

Mega uses 2048-bit advanced AES encryption on the client side, which makes it perfect for storing important files.

Conclusion

In this review, we have touched upon some of the biggies in online storage. Based on the technologies and standards available, you can choose which is the best for you. There are a number of other online storage services as well. At another time, we will review some others.

Six Great Tools to Test Your Website on Mobile Devices

Today, it’s not enough to have a website display well on desktop browsers alone. You have to be able to show your website to millions of users that browse with a mobile phone or a tablet. In order to see if the website displays well in all those devices, there are certain tools available.

Mobile devices in general do not support Flash, JavaScript, ActionScript, ActiveX, etc. You should do away with such embedded objects on the mobile version of your site. The mobile testing tools will tell you which part of the website doesn’t render well. In this article, let’s look at some of these testing tools.

1. Adobe Device Central

 

device central showing mobile website

Adobe Device Central debuted with the Creative Suite version 3. This application runs from your desktop and allows you to test a lot of mobile devices to see the compatibility of your website on them. Device Central provides a huge list of mobile devices offered for testing that can be updated online.

It automatically communicates with the server to update the list of devices. Different versions of each phone or tablet are also available. After displaying the webpage, it will tell you what sort of errors it was able to detect on it. This is a great way to test a website on a number of mobile devices and find the most recurring issues. With Creative Suite 6, Adobe is discontinuing Device Central, though.

2. MobiReady

MobiReady is an online testing tool that gives you an overall score for your website on a mobile phone based on various factors. It checks for speed, HTML code errors, character encoding, HTTP response headers, etc. Also, you can see the preview of your website on a few old handsets—Nokia N70, Samsung Z105, Motorola v3i, etc.

mobiready mobile testing for websites

 

3. iPhoney

iPhoney is an open source application that helps you visualize your website on Apple iPhone. This is not a simulator for any version of iPhone. Instead, it will give you a platform to test how your website will look on it. The resolution supported is 320x480.

iphone simulator

 

4. iPad Peek

iPad Peek gives you a view of how a website looks on Apple iPad. The web page has a big iPad screen on it in which the website you are testing loads. It is not known if the rendering is accurate or just uses the browser in which iPad Peek has been loaded. However, the developers recommend you use the web browsers like Firefox 4 or later, Google Chrome 5 or later, Opera 10.5 or later.

peek into ipad version of your website

 

5. Gomez

Gomez is a web based testing tool just like MobiReady. It tests a website based on over 30 different factors to rate it between 1 and 5. In order to get results, however, you have to register with the service with your email address and other details. The report about your website is then sent to your email. The report is straightforward with recommendations as to how to develop the website better.

gomez mobile phone testing

 

6. Changing User Agent on Chrome or Firefox

You can also test your website through your browser. Every web browser identifies to the website through a string known as user agent. The user agent string contains the browser version, operating system version, location specific data, plugin data, etc. You can use add-ons to change the user agent string on your browser to the user agent string of a mobile device. The web page will then render on your desktop browser how it will on that mobile device.

On Chrome and Firefox, you have an add-on called User Agent Switcher that you can use for this purpose.

google on iphone through chrome
Viewing Google website with iPhone user agent through Google Chrome on a laptop

 

Conclusion

Testing a website on a mobile platform is very important for the next web. People are on the move and almost all of them are using mobile phones to access the Internet. In such a world, you do need your website to look good. Use one of these testing tools to make sure your website mobile version looks awesome.

How People Are Finding Jobs Through Social Media and Networking Sites?

We know how social networks have changed our lives. Led by Facebook, they crawled in and conquered us. How many of them do we know now? How many of them do we use? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, and it goes on. Each of these social networks satisfies a specific group of individuals, I believe.

For instance, Facebook is for the general public, who want to share their pictures and videos and want to know what is happening with their friends. Twitter is for celebrities and large organizations to immediately share their important news with the followers, and also for latest news on civilian emergency response. LinkedIn is for anybody to boast about their career and business plans or to interact with others in the same industry. Google + satisfies website owners and authors.

The social media job revolution began when Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), CMO and Chief Customer Officer for Enterasys Networks, a wireless networking equipment provider, tweeted this:


The position to be filled mentioned by Vala Afshar is a six-figure social media job. For this specific job, there are a few requirements, such as a minimum Klout score of 60 and Kred Influence score of 725.

Marketing and Communications company, Commpro has shared these statistics:

  • employers using social networks: Linked-98%, Twitter-42%, Facebook-33%
  • LinkedIn is the favorite destination for recruiters. 48 percent of them exclusively use this social network, and an average recruiter probably has over 600 connections on LinkedIn, while they have only 245 on Facebook and 37 on Twitter.

This is one of the indications of how the industry is progressing—especially the tech industry. These tech giants already know how social networks can influence growth and sales. Only a dumb-ass CEO won’t open a social media profile for his company. Even the big corporations at the top of the industry have their own profiles in competing social networks, don’t they? Here’s Google’s Twitter page, and here is Facebook’s YouTube channel.

Klout and Kred Influence

These job offerings based on social media probably require you to have a killer profile—one that really talks about your interests, plans, achievements, and level of influence. If you are really keen about getting a job through your social media profile, you should immediately rethink the way you use it. Not just Twitter, but Facebook, LinkedIn and any other social network you are part of.

LinkedIn assumes special importance, as it is the largest professional network in the world. Within LinkedIn, people make connections with their coworkers and contacts from other companies, rather than their college buddies. Hence, pay attention to how you represent yourself on this network.

A starting point would be how to be smart on Facebook. That article discusses about various things that you should be doing in order to have a good Facebook account, such as sharing the stuff that matters, and refraining from liking everything you come across.

Klout and Kred Influence are two services that measure your social media presence. These platforms let you connect via various social networks you have—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, etc. Here, my Klout score right now is so low, but it’s okay since I am not actively trying to get recruited through social media at this point.

Klout scores you between 1 and 100 based on various factors—actually Klout says nearly 400 factors. The tweets you make, the topics you are interested in, retweets, mentions, votes that others give you, etc., all factor into your final Klout score.

Ellen Degeneres Klout score

Klout also gives you actual perks for growing your social profile. Interestingly, there were a number of giveaways, such as a Chevy Volt driving experience, Windows Phone to try out with 3 months of service, AMEX 25 dollar gift cards, etc., are some of them.

It goes without saying how important it is to maintain a good standing on your social profiles.

Kred is another platform similar to Klout that measures your social standings. We were unable to test it out fully as the email confirmation system was not working properly.

Social Media Tips

It just doesn’t mean you will get a job as soon as you have a huge number of friends and followers. You really have to have influence on that group of people. There are a number of spam services in the social media world that can give you a huge number of friends and followers in very limited amount of time. Most of them work through a point-based system in which a user is given points to share another user’s Facebook profile, and the user can then spend these points to promote his own profile. In essence, it is a mutual-promotion system.

There are huge downsides to this kind of spam. Even if you manage to gather a huge number of followers, none of them may be actually interested in the stuff you share. All of your followers may have huge number of people that they follow themselves, making it difficult for anybody to share anything valuable.

In essence, it is always best to gather followers and friends naturally. Here are a few tips you should follow on your social media profiles to make it more attractive to employers.

  1. 1. Information you share should be correct and verifiable. You should not create fake profiles and share incorrect information. This also does not mean that you should share personal information. Share what you would not mind others to see, and make sure they are correct information.
  2. 2. Do not try spamming activities. If you would like to meet a specific person, do not be persistent. Try to send a message through whichever social network you are using and seek whether it is possible for you to network with that person. Within LinkedIn, you can make connections, and if the other person doesn’t know you and turns down that connection, that is a negative point for you.
  3. 3. Share only valuable and interesting things. Really put a check on what you share with your followers. If you find a dishonest marketing gimmick from the social media profile of a company, do not share or comment on it. Do not even like it. Anything you like or comment on, may appear on your timeline, appearing on your friends and followers. In essence, don’t be stupid.
  4. 4. On Twitter, do not follow too many people that you cannot manage. Follow only a few important accounts that can update you on the things that matter. Do not follow another account just because that other guy has auto-follow turned on.
  5. 5. When you are tweeting, do not simply post a link and a comment like “I like this” or the title of the story. Try to capture your observation into that tweet. Make it something like “CNN published this story <link> and I couldn’t find any evidence of <something> happening”. Make it stand out from the rest of the updates. A lot of people have Twitter updates turned on, on their smartphones. They will see your update and read it. You really want to design how you appear to them.
  6. 6. Make your Facebook timeline clean. You could turn on a specific feature called timeline review. This will help you review anything that you are tagged on before it appears on your timeline.
  7. 7. Be active!

 

Conclusion

Remember your credit score? You build a horrible credit score and you end up not being able to get a loan anywhere. A social media profile is almost the same. You post a number of spammy entries, and the Internet always has someone watching and keeping track of them. Keep your track clean and you should be good to go.

[Image: Bufferapp]