The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advised computer users to consider using alternatives to Microsoft Corp‘s Internet Explorer browser until the company fixes a security flaw that hackers have used to launch attacks.
The bug is the first high-profile security flaw to emerge since Microsoft stopped providing security updates for Windows XP earlier this month. That means PCs running the 13-year old operating system could remain unprotected against hackers seeking to exploit the newly uncovered flaw, even after Microsoft figures out how to defend against it.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of Homeland Security known as US-CERT, said in an advisory released on Monday morning that the vulnerability in versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer could lead to “the complete compromise” of an affected system.
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute warned in a separate advisory, that US-CERT linked to in its warning.
Versions 6 to 11 of Internet Explorer dominate desktop browsing, accounting for 55 percent of the PC browser market, according to tech research firm NetMarketShare.Google Inc‘s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox account for the majority of the rest of the traffic.
News of the vulnerability surfaced over the weekend as Microsoft said its programmers were rushing to fix the problem as quickly as possible. Cybersecurity software maker FireEye Inc warned that a sophisticated group of hackers have been exploiting the bug in a campaign dubbed “Operation Clandestine Fox.”
FireEye, whose Mandiant division helps companies respond to cyber attacks, declined to name specific victims or identify the group of hackers, saying that an investigation into the matter is still active.
“It’s a campaign of targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defense and financial sectors,” said FireEye spokesman Vitor De Souza on Sunday. “It’s unclear what the motives of this attack group are, at this point. It appears to be broad-spectrum intel gathering.”
Instead of Internet Explorer, there are many browsers that can be used; Google Chrome, Safari, and FireFox are the most popular.
Earlier this week, Google’s Vic Gundotra announced that he would be leaving the company after eight years. The first obvious question is: “Where does this leave Google+?”, Gundotra’s baby and primary project for the past several of those years.
What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
A Google representative has vehemently denied these claims. The “news has no impact on our Google+ strategy — we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos.”
According to two sources, Google has apparently been reshuffling the teams that used to form the core of Google+, a group numbering between 1,000 and 1,200 employees. There is a new building on campus, so many of those people are getting moved physically as well.
As part of these staff changes, the Google Hangouts team will be moving to the Android team, and it’s likely that the photos team will follow, these people said. Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform, we’re hearing. Google has not yet decided what to do with the teams not going to Android, and that Google+ is not “officially” dead, just going in a different direction.
It’s not clear, according to our sources’ intelligence, where the rest of the employees will go, but the assumption is that Larry Page will send the bulk of them to mobile roles. Thus showing the public a potential acceleration of mobile efforts in general, rather than Google+. The teams will apparently be building “widgets,” which take advantage of Google+ as a platform, rather than a focus on G+ as its own integral product.
One big change for Google+ is that there will no longer be a policy of “required” Google+ integration for Google products, something that has become required for most product updates.
That doesn’t mean that all G+ integration will go away, though. Gmail will continue to have it, but there may be some scaling back that keeps the “sign-on” aspects without the heavy-handed pasting over of G+.
We’ve heard that the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook may have been a factor in the phasing out of Gundotra’s grand experiment. There was a perception that Google had missed the “biggest acquisition in the social space.” Though another source tells us that Google knew what was up with WhatsApp but simply didn’t want to pay out for it.
Google+ is and always has been about turning every Google user into a signed-in Google user, period. If true, these changes dovetail with that focus going forward, with Google+ acting as a backbone rather than a front-end service. That being said, there are a ton of really interesting things going on in Google+ like its efforts in imaging. Having the photos team integrate the technologies backing Google+ photos tightly into the Android camera product, for instance, could be a net win for Android users.
As you will notice, there have been many changes and updates to the way Google products look, interact, and are used in the past few weeks. Expect more of these changes, and just remember, DON’T Panic!
It is a gorgeous Thanksgiving morning! The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is fully underway and we are anxiously awaiting the appearance of Santa. This year, stores are opening early for Black Friday Sales, do you have your shopping planned? If not, visit The Black Friday 2013 to view all the sales and get ready to plan out a day full of shopping!
If you don’t find all the gifts that you need on Black Friday, don’t worry! You can always shop Cyber Monday! Get deals online and have your gifts shipped to your front door in time for the holidays! To see all these amazing online deals, visit Cyber Monday 2013 today!
No matter where you live, it is important to make sure you are in the Holiday Spirit! The best way to get into the Holiday Spirit, here is a guide to all of your favorite Holiday Movies and shows!
From everyone here at Technology Turtles, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and a fabulous Holiday Season!
If you’re a salesperson, you’re likely quite familiar with the idea of an “elevator pitch”. It’s a simple concept, really, whose general idea is to prepare you to succinctly–and with punch–answer the question, “What do you do?”
In my career, and very likely yours, having a good, well-thought-out answer to that question has led to new business. Having a great elevator pitch is a key component to making a business successful. But one thing that an elevator pitch is NOT is a positioning statement. They are very different and, quite often, they’re things that many salespeople confuse. Knowing the differences and how to use each to their greatest strengths can make all the difference in the growth of your business.
An elevator pitch tells people what you do. A positioning statement tells them why they should do it with you.
It’s a subtle difference, but that difference is a critical part of the sales process. When used properly, an effective positioning statement does far more than help you make a sale; it puts you forever in the mind of the person to whom you communicate it.
An effective positioning statement tells your prospect why you are uniquely qualified to serve them. In industries like real estate, insurance, and banking, where the consumer has difficulty identifying (or even understanding) the differences between you and your competitor, an effective positioning statement not only helps them choose you, but it actively defends you from your competitors.
For example, if someone asks me what I do at Keller Williams Realty, I say:
I handle all of the technology systems that our agents use to grow their business.
While this tells them what I do, and usually invites follow up questions too, it doesn’t give them a real indication of how I am uniquely qualified to help them. This is an elevator pitch; it is not a positioning statement.
When I further explain that I’m a serial ladder climber, that I started my career at the Front Desk answering phones, and that I’ve learned how to quickly build and nurture relationships, I start to get a little closer, but I still haven’t given them anything special. There are millions of people climbing the proverbial ladder, after all, and everyone knows the importance of building and maintaining relationships.
But when I tell them that I work for the number one real estate company in East Orlando, and Keller Williams is the number one franchise in North America, I start to carve out a little space in their brains. I cease to be just “that blonde girl” who might be able to help them and become someone with a proven track record of success.
When I go on to tell them that our offices have grown our sold units by 147% from last year, and our sold volume by 185%, they start to imagine what results I can produce for them.
Still, that’s not enough. If I want to stand out in their minds, I’ve got to give them a little more. It’s nice that I’ve caught their attention and it’s good that they’ve started to see me as a unique individual, but to make a lasting impact, I’ve got to put it all together in a way that’s truly memorable.
That’s why I say, “Using technology isn’t a challenge today. There are countless companies that have technology at their fingertips. Keller Williams Realty is different because we’ve developed a unique system that has all of the technology that you need to run your business all in one spot, and we have the staff support to help you every step of the way.”
So, let’s review.
First, I’ve stated that I handle all of the technology systems that our agents use to grow their business.
Then, I tell them something unique and memorable about me–something that’s relevant to my capacity to serve them.
“ Of course many companies have technology at their fingertips, how many can say that they have it all in one place and have the staff support to help you with that technology? It’s my experience that makes me different. You should know that I’m a serial ladder climber and that everything we do at Keller Williams Advantage Group is influenced by that experience. I know that our customers need results, and they need them right away. Keller Williams Realty is uniquely positioned to help them achieve those results.”
Finally, I connect that to what it means for them.
“This is important; because it’s my technology experience that has allowed us to train our agents and give constant support that has resulted in almost thirty-three million dollars in sales last month our agents. It’s why we are number one in East Orlando, and Keller WIlliams is number one in North America.”
Telling people what I do gets their attention. But it’s the positioning statement that earns their confidence and their business. And it’s the thing that makes all the difference.
All of the technology in the world can’t help you if you don’t know how to use it. Keller Williams Realty works hard to empower its agents to become masters of the technologies that power their business, providing specialized training programs, and making expert advisors available on a regular basis. Portia Springer, the Director of Marketing Technology will teach two technology classes this month that are available to anyone who is interested in building their online business.
This month, we have two Technology Turtles classes on the calendar. Anyone is welcome to attend either class!
The first class will be held on May 16th at 1:00pm in the Keller Williams Oviedo Market Center. We will be learning about Blogs and answering the following questions:
- Why should I blog?
- What type of blog should I have?
- What should I blog about?
- How often should I blog?
- How can blogging affect my business?
Make sure to bring your computers as we will be setting up your blog, and creating your first post!
The second Technology Turtle class will be held on May 24th at 11:30am in the Keller Williams Lake Nona Market Center. This class will walk you through how to set up your eEdge website. We will be ansering the following questions:
- What is the difference between the eEdge and eAgentC websites?
- Why should I use the eEdge website?
- What type of content should I put on my eEdge website?
- How do I update my eEdge website?
Make sure to bring yoru computers as you will walk away with a fully functional website for your business!
The Keller Williams Advantage Realty Group kicked off their new Technology Turtles program with a class on Creating a Facebook Business Page. Each Technology Turtles class will be recorded and posted on their YouTube page in an attempt to create an archive of training that is open to the public.
MEDIA CONTACT: Portia Springer
KW Advantage Group
The Keller Williams Advantage Realty Group has a lot of technology for their real estate agents to use and learn. There are some who feel they are not ‘tech savvy’, but what does ‘tech savvy’ mean? Does it mean that you know everything about technology? Does it mean that you are proficient in using technology?
The Technology Turtles program at the Keller Williams Advantage Realty Group define ‘tech savvy’ as being comfortable using the technology that is available to them on a daily basis. The Technology Turtles are learning the ins and outs of every day technology such as Facebook, YouTube, business Marketing, and Microsoft Publisher.
As these real estate agents learn the basics of what these technologies are used for and how to set up their accounts, they can begin to share their knowledge with other real estate agents. By learning all about the technology that is available, real estate agents will begin to grow both their online presence and their business at the same time!
As the world shrinks and becomes accessable by the click of a finger, we want to make sure our real estate agents are leading the technology charge.
If you are interested in learning more about Technology Turtles, please connect with us through Facebook!
Media Contact: Portia Springer
KW Advantage Group