Lots of tech news broke this week and, in case you missed it, The Wonder of Tech is here to keep you up to date! Some tech news was good, some was bad and some was confusing. The more you know the more you can decide how tech can help (or hurt) you in your everyday life.
First the good news. Google added a very cool new feature to Gmail this week: Unsubscribe. Google has made unsubscribing to newsletters about as easy as possible. When this feature launches you’ll be able to unsubscribe by merely clicking on Unsubscribe next to the sender’s email address.
If an Unsubscribe link is included in an email, Google will copy that link and put it next to the sender’s email address so you don’t have to hunt for it. Google will screen emails to make sure the Unsubscribe link isn’t spam. From the Google Help page: “For your protection, Gmail won’t display Unsubscribe for lists that are known to be owned by spammers.” The last thing you want is to click on a spammy Unsubscribe link to find out you just validated your email address with the spammer!
You can read more about Gmail’s new Unsubscribe feature at their Google Plus page.
See, Unroll.me – Get Control of Your Inbox! for more information about this free service.
By now you may have heard the story about Russian hackers stealing 1.2 billion password and over 500 million passwords, first reported in The New York Times story: Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords. Hold Security, the company who discovered the stolen collection, says that the information was stolen from “420,000 websites, including household names, and small Internet sites.” The New York Times hired an independent security firm who authenticated the database of stolen credentials.
Hold Security has declined to name any sites that were hacked but has offered its services for $120/year to help you detect if your site has been breached. According to the story these stolen credentials have only been used to hack into Twitter and other social media accounts to send spammy messages.
If you’ve been busy changing all of your passwords in response to this news you may have missed that some sites are calling foul on the Russian hacker report. Forbes and The Verge have questioned the authenticity of the report when it came from a single security firm who then offered its paid services in exchange for more information.
Unlike the Heartbleed bug earlier this year, this hacking news gives us no information about which sites were compromised and whether the vulnerability which allowed the hackers to collect the credentials has been closed. (See, Heartbleed – The Internet Security Flaw That Should Command Your Attention Now.) If the vulnerabilities still exist then changing your passwords won’t help at all.
What should you do in light of this news about Russian hackers and the lack of specific information provided?
➣ Make sure you’re using strong passwords and do change them. See, How to Create a Strong Password and Why You Should Do This Now [Infographic]
➣ Review your permissions on social media accounts. See, Clean Up Your Permissions! for an easy way to review and revoke your permissions.
➣ Close accounts you’re no longer using. See, Justdelete.me – Close Your Online Accounts Easily
➣ Be careful of what you share online. Don’t log into your accounts on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Be sure to log out of your accounts on shared computers.
Also see, Mashable What You Need to Do in the Wake of Russian Hackers’ Massive Data Breach
Same-day Deliveries from Google + Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon
Amazon announced this week that same-day delivery of goods will be expanded to include Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, and Washington DC metro areas. The service has already been available in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle metro areas. Prime members will pay $5.99 shipping for all same-day eligible items in their order. Non-Prime customers pay $9.98 for the first item and $0.50 for each additional same-day item in their order.
You can use the Get It Today search filter to see which items are available for this service.
Learn more about Amazon’s same day delivery from Amazon’s Press Release
Google + Barnes & Noble
Google has teamed up with Barnes & Noble to offer same day delivery of books in Manhattan, San Francisco and West Los Angeles from local stores. Now those who want the satisfaction of reading a print book can enjoy nearly the immediacy of downloading an ebook. Well, it’s almost that fast.
The deliveries are made via Google’s Shopping Express Service which normally charges $4.99 for same-day deliveries but the charges appear to be waived for now.
Pet Adoptions at Overstock.com
Retail website Overstock.com is bringing together pets in shelters with people looking to adopt. Head to the Overstock Pet Adoptions page and enter your zip code. Choose how far you’re willing to travel and your preferred animal.
“Other” in my area includes goats, bunnies, a guinea pig and a Huacaya Alapaca llama.
You can filter your search results by gender, age, size, breed, pet qualities, coloring, energy level and more. You can also see which shelter is housing the pets. Most pets have pictures so you can see what they look like before you arrive at the shelter to pick up your pet.
Decorate Your Home Like the Big Brother House
If you’re a fan of the reality show on Big Brother and want to decorate your home in that style, head to Overstock and check out their Big Brother collection. You can be your own Head of Household when you decorate your house in the style of the Beehive Room, the Fire Room or the Earth Room.
I couldn’t find the famous Nest Bed but Overstock has plenty of cool stuff to make you feel as if you’re locked in a house with complete strangers for the summer. The best part is when you’re done decorating you can invite your friends over and ask, “Who wants to see my HOH room?”
Are you excited to use the Unsubscribe feature of Gmail? What do you think of the Russian hacker reports? Have you been changing your passwords because of the reports? Are you excited about same-day deliveries from Google, Barnes & Noble and Amazon? Are you looking to adopt a pet or make your home look like the Big Brother house? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!
* Digital World image by Keerati at freedigitalphotos.net (edited)
** Russian Hackers image courtesy of Santiago Zavala (edited)