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06 Feb

Should police be required to get a warrant before obtaining emails from your service provider?

That's the opinion of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, whose interest in pushing that issue, among others, convinced him to stay on as chairman of his chamber's Judiciary Committee. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), passed by Congress more than 25 years ago, forces police to get a subpoena -- which, unlike a warrant, doesn't need a judge's signature -- to peek at emails older than six months. That time period was decided upon long before emails were eternally stored on cloud servers.

04 Feb

According to MSN, big data is becoming huge in the business world, as businesses find new ways to extract data across multiple servers. The challenge has always been how to channel all the data available to us in order to use it. But until recently, it's a challenge only the biggest businesses have been able to meet.

All of that is about to change. Thanks to big businesses realizing smaller businesses and consumers can benefit from this data, companies like IBM are providing big data platforms to businesses to allow them to learn more about their day-to-day operations. SMBs can now access analytics on call volume, patient data, improve energy output, and more.

03 Feb

MySpace who? Most of us can recall when the current social media king Facebook didn’t dominate social networks like MySpace, Friendster and Orkut. Time has caused social media to evolve and users are demanding niche experiences for their increasingly individualistic needs. This kind of change questions present social media and what’s to come in 2013.

01 Feb

Finding online reviews of restaurants, stores and hotels is simple. Just Google the names and subjects.

Finding reliable reviews on well-organized sites presents a different challenge -- one that sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are only too glad to meet. Since both sites are free to use, though, how does either make any money?

31 Jan

Siri doesn't understand me.

Approximately 75 percent of the time, I utter a command and Siri says some variation of, "I'm sorry. I didn't catch that." At first I assumed it was me, but when I complained about it to a friend, he pointed out that voice translation is a very complex technology. So complex, in fact, that when someone invests in the full version of Dragon Dictate, eight to ten minutes of "training" are required to allow the software the chance to learn a user's particular vocal quirks.

So when I read about Google Translate's ability to instantly translate 64 languages, I was skeptical. We've all used online translation services before and had our multilingual colleagues tell us the translation is off by a mile. But when Google does something, it puts the full power of today's top technology into it, so Google Translate could be just the thing to solve all of business's problems today. No need to send documents out to some high-priced translation service. A couple of clicks and your document is translated.

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