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(via Business Insider)

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No matter how you look at it, LinkedIn is one of the stand-out Valley success stories.

It has forever changed how we find jobs and network with business colleagues. Jeff Weiner is ranked as the best CEO in the nation, according one rating service, and cofounder Reid Hoffman is a Valley A-lister, worth almost $4 billion.

But it wasn’t always like this. LinkedIn was founded in December 2002, with a couple handfuls of people. And a few months after it launched on May 5, 2013, it was in danger of being a bomb.

People weren’t joining the service, until Hoffman "sat down with the team and said, if we don’t solve this, we’re dead." They came up with one idea: let people upload their email address books to see which of their friends had joined.

Thankfully that worked, the site went viral, and today it’s a $25 billion company with 313 million members in over 200 countries, and an employer of 5,700.

Lee Hower: From PayPal to venture capitalist

Lee Hower was part of LinkedIn’s founding team in 2002. Today he’s a venture capitalist at a firm he cofounded, NextView Ventures, which specializes in… Continue reading

(via Mashable)

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SYDNEY — Since the terror alert was raised to high in September, the Australian Government has been very busy.

Tony Abbott’s government has pushed through a number of changes that affect your privacy and life online. First the government changed the law to allow Australian spies monitor the entire internet, they then introduced legislation which allows the government to easily cancel passports and restrict areas of travel for Australians.

On Thursday, the government hastily introduced the third in the set of anti-terror legislation, a data retention bill, which will ensure everyone’s metadata is retained for two years by service providers. Read more…

More about Australia, Metadata, Us World, Data Retention Bill, and Australian Goverment


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(via Slashdot)

Advocatus Diaboli writes with a selection from The Intercept describing instructions for commercial spyware sold by Italian security firm Hacking Team. The manuals describe Hacking Team’s software for government technicians and analysts, showing how it can activate cameras, exfiltrate emails, record Skype calls, log typing, and collect passwords on targeted devices. They also catalog a range of pre-bottled techniques for infecting those devices using wifi networks, USB sticks, streaming video, and email attachments to deliver viral installers. With a few clicks of a mouse, even a lightly trained technician can build a software agent that can infect and monitor a device, then upload captured data at unobtrusive times using a stealthy network of proxy servers, all without leaving a trace. That, at least, is what Hacking Team’s manuals claim as the company tries to distinguish its offerings in the global marketplace for government hacking software. (Here are the manuals themselves.)

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(via Gizmodo)

Why Everyone Wants to Kill the Mouse and Keyboard

In the past few decades, everything about our computers have changed. The screens. The guts. The size, weight, and materials. The software itself, of course. But one thing has stayed exactly the same, frozen in time from the early days: The tools we use to tell them what to do. So it’s odd that we’re so desperate to throw them out the window.

Early on, there were two competing ways for us to talk to our computers. The command line and the graphical user interface, or the system that gave us a screen that looked like a desktop and files that looked like little file folders, which we could navigate through using the keyboard and mouse. The latter won out, and since then, they’ve reigned as the primary way to communicate with a PC.

But over the past five years, usurpers have arrived, first in the form of touch screens, then in the form of gestural interaction systems like Leap Motion. Yesterday, HP introduced us to Sprout, a computer that consists of a touchscreen monitor, a RealSense 3D camera, a projector, and a flat touchscreen mat to create the ultimate Frankenstein of interaction methods. It also, like… Continue reading