Breaking Tech News: Gmail Unsubscribe, Russian Hackers, and More!

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.

Gmail Unsubscribe

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!

Also check out Unroll.me that can unsubscribe you and combine your subscriptions into a single daily email to make your inbox more manageable.

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.

Russian Hackers

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.

See, Forbes Firm That Exposed Breach Of ‘Billion Passwords’ Quickly Offered $120 Service To Find Out If You’re Affected and The Verge The Russian ‘hack of the century’ doesn’t add up.

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

Good news for those who can’t wait but can’t get to a store. Same-day deliveries are now offered by Amazon in more cities and by partners Google + Barnes & Noble.

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.

Overstock offers:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Reptiles
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Other

“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?

Your Thoughts

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!

 

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* Digital World image by Keerati at freedigitalphotos.net (edited)

** Russian Hackers image courtesy of Santiago Zavala (edited)

*** “Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave flagship” by Beyond My KenOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Comments

  1. Victoria says

    Yesss! Unsubscribe is a wonderful feature! Really! and one I was waiting for for a long time. It’s often so boring to go to the site to try and unsubscribe, plus not always possible. It is really cool that now Google solves this problem for us!

    • says

      Hi Jens, Yes, Unsubscribe will certainly make life easier for many people. No more need to hunt for an Unsubscribe link buried in a newsletter.

      I don’t believe the Unsubscribe link will appear after the sender’s email address in email clients other than the native Gmail site in your browser but please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..How to Personalize Your Gmail with Themes!My Profile

  2. Sarah Mehta says

    Actually Google just says that he feel for users and try to make their daily life easy. But Google never try give us little features that can enable us more controls. It’s good to hear that unsubscribe feature is added.

  3. Gaurav Arora says

    I have found this blog very useful for me. I am from India and I wanted to stay in touch with latest tech reports like you have added. Truly impressed by the simplicity of the site.

  4. says

    I like that unsubscribe link! Another reason to use gmail for mailing lists. Also, happy that Barnes and Noble and Google are teaming up to compete against Amazon. Healthy competition is a good thing. But, of course, I will still use Amazon a lot – they make it way too easy.
    Leora recently published this awesome post..Image Titles: Add Text to an ImageMy Profile

  5. SmithLopez says

    Hi Carolyn
    Here you have posted an informative post. To be honest then I was completely unaware from this. Really i found this post very helpful and useful.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep posting.

  6. says

    Hi Carolyn,
    I welcome the unsubscribe feature in Gmail. Its quite often that I don’t want to subscribe to people who are now dead when it comes to posting. This feature is a sign to all the subscribers who want unwanted mails out of their mail box.

    Also loved the idea of Overstock.com guys. Adopting a pet will not only make others help these beautiful and needy creatures but it will also spread awareness among others to make a step forward and adopt more animals that need proper care and love but was neglected.
    Aditya Antil recently published this awesome post..A Brief on Organic and Paid SEO and How they Influence the Growth of a BusinessMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Aditya, Yes, it’s great that Google made unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters so easy. When our email inboxes become overcrowded we can miss important information. It’s also better for people who send newsletters that they aren’t sent to the Spam folder.

      I loved that Overstock started pet adoptions from shelters on its website. What a brilliant way to connect people with pets who need a loving home! You’re right, this is a big step forward to make a positive difference in the world.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..The 15 Best Twitter Tips to Get More Followers! [Infographic]My Profile

  7. says

    Hey Carolyn,

    I saw that addition to Gmail and I think that’s a great addition. I actually have been getting spam from someone that I’ve unsubscribed until I’m blue in the face. I even contacted his autoresponder service to complain but I’ve yet to hear back. He’s sending me crap on every single darn email I have and I’m about to lose my religion. If he’s a real person, which I do know there is someone by that name, I would love to ask him why he’s irritating people to death. Okay, sorry for my rant but man oh man.

    I heard about the Russian hacking and I’m with you. Why aren’t they giving us any more information about the sites that have been compromised? I do have strong passwords and I do change them regularly. I do have my sites about as secure as I can although we always know nothing is every 100%.

    Not too sure I want any of the BB’s furniture but I’m still enjoying the show. This week should be another interesting one. ;-)

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently published this awesome post..Why I Do Not Have A Guest Posting PolicyMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne, You’re right, that is annoying. If you’ve asked to be unsubscribed multiple times then the continued emails are spammy. I don’t like sending emails to spam unless they’re really spam but this sounds as if it fits the bill!

      You’re right, nothing is 100% secure but if this hacking is as widespread as claimed why don’t we have more details? Why weren’t law enforcement authorities contacted? It just seems strange that we have no further details.

      I would like the Nest bed but that’s not available on Overstock. The other furniture wouldn’t really work with my decor, but it’s still cool to see what’s available.

      Yes, this weekend was very wild on Big Brother. I’m looking forward to seeing the shows!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..The Exciting New Pinterest Feature My Profile