Google filing says Gmail users have no expectation of privacy

As if Edward Snowden hasn’t done enough to highlight how vulnerable electronic communications are to surveillance, Google has made it clear that people who send or receive e-mail via Gmail should not expect their messages to remain private.

In a 39-page motion filed in June (see below) to have a class-action data-mining lawsuit dismissed, the Web giant cites Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 Supreme Court decision that upheld the collection of electronic communications without a warrant.

“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [e-mail provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”

Plaintiffs in the case contend that Google’s automated scanning of e-mail represents an illegal interception of their electronic communications without their consent. However, Google, which uses automated scanning to filter spam and deliver targeted advertising to its users, noted that plaintiffs consented to the practice in exchange for the e-mail services. Google goes on to say that courts have held that all e-mail users “necessarily give implied consent to the automated processing of their emails.”

Public interest group Consumer Watchdog called the statement a “stunning admission” and warned people who cared about their privacy not to use Google’s e-mail service.

“Google’s brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office,” John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said in a statement today. “I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don’t expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it. Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?”

CNET has contacted Google for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Upon its introduction in 2004, Gmail was immediately slammed by lawmakers and privacy advocates alike as a horrific invasion into Internet users’ privacy. Critics contended that it should be illegal for a company to scan the text of its customers’ e-mail correspondence and display relevant advertising.

In a previous statement to CNET, Google has defended its handling of e-mail customers’ data.

“We work hard to make sure that ads are safe, unobtrusive and relevant,” the company said earlier this year. “No humans read your e-mail or Google account information in order to show you advertisements or related information.”

Seizing upon privacy concerns, Microsoft launched a campaign against Google last year that urges consumers to dump the service for its own Microsoft asserts its e-mail service automatically scans the contents of users’ e-mails only to prevent spam, malware, and other unwanted activity.

E-mail users’ privacy has taken on greater attention with the case of Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. for leaking top-secret documents to the media about the NSA’s surveillance practices. Rather than possibly compromise its customers’ privacy, an encrypted e-mail service linked to Snowden shut down last week. Saying it could “see the writing on the wall,” another encrypted e-mail service shut down within hours.

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Canonical takes Ubuntu forums offline in wake of password breach

Canonical, makers of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, recently announced that its Ubuntu help forums suffered a security breach over the weekend. Attackers were able to harvest an estimated 1.82 million user names, email addresses, and passwords from the site. Canonical says it isn’t sure how hackers were able to breach its systems and the company has taken the forums at offline as a precaution.

Canonical is warning anyone with an Ubuntu Forums account about the hack via email. The company is also advising users to change their security credentials on other sites, especially email, if they used the same password and username/email for other online services. services such as Ubuntu One are not believed to be affected by the hack since they do not share the same login account as the Ubuntu forums.

Malicious penguin

Fans of the Ubuntu forums began reporting that the site had been defaced on Saturday. The hacker or group of hackers who breached the site posted an image of a penguin (the Linux mascot is a penguin) holding an AK-47.

The message underneath the image suggested the hackers were more interested in exposing a poorly secured site than anything else. “None of this ‘[you got hacked] by albani4 c3bir 4rmy’ stuff,” the message on Ubuntu’s forums site said. “Straight up, you dun goofed. It’s as simple as that.”

It’s not clear if the hackers plan on exposing the database of user names and passwords online. Nevertheless, there is a definite possibility these account credentials could begin circulating around the less reputable areas of the Internet.

Canonical says forum user passwords were not stored in plain text and were hashed and salted. A hash uses a mathematical algorithm to convert plain text passwords into a series of numbers and letters. A specific hash will create the same string of letters and numbers each time for the same input (in this case a password). To make hashes more secure they are further obscured by “salting,” a process that inserts random bits into the hash making it harder to guess the original password.

Canonical had not returned our request for comment at this writing, so it’s not clear which hashing algorithm the company was using. However, a report from Ars Technica says Canonical was using the md5 hash. MD5 is a popular hashing algorithm that is often used by software companies as a security check to let users ensure downloaded executable files were not tampered with or corrupted. But md5 is not considered to be a secure choice for hashing passwords.

Batten down the hatches

Reports of password breaches are always a good time to reevaluate your own online security practices. Always make sure you are using unique passwords for every site you visit online. For tips on generating your own passwords check out PCWorld’s “Learn to use strong passwords” or “Passwords: You’re doing it wrong. Here’s how to make them uncrackable.”

Use a password manager such as LastPass or Password Safe to store all your various passwords for different online sites. These programs can also create new passwords for you and can automatically fill out login forms for you.

Finally, activate two-factor authentication for any services that support this security measure such as, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and Two-factor authentication requires you to enter a second, shorter temporary password that is usually generated by a smartphone application or small key fob.

Many services that offer two-factor authentication allow you to set trusted PCs so that you only have to enter your credentials once on new PCs or browsers.

Canonical has not said when Ubuntu forums will be back up. In the meantime, any Ubuntu user looking for support can check out sites such as Stack Exchange’s Ask Ubuntu or Ubuntu Discourse.

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Dropbox promises improved syncing, app-data storage

Competition in the cloud storage service market may be stiff, but Dropbox still enjoys a healthy edge over its rivals on the strength of support from third-party developers. Still, it hasn’t been a perfect relationship: Dropbox’s APIs are missing some features, requiring developers to fill in the gaps with their own code.

That changed Tuesday when Dropbox kicked off its first DBX developers conference by announcing three new APIs that should spare developers from filling in those gaps. The latest APIs are also aimed at helping developers enhance Dropbox support in their apps, potentially leading to new features for Dropbox users.

The newest addition that got the biggest reception from the DBX crowd is the Datastore API. While most people use Dropbox to store files they’ve created, developers have had to locally store data files that their software uses. With the Datastore API, developers can now store that data in Dropbox.

More important, that data can sync across devices. For example, if you are playing a game on your phone, and you save your achievements and progress to Dropbox, the game data will sync to your tablet should you decide to pick up where you left off on that device.

For more practical purposes, the Datastore API allows you to work on one platform and continue your work on another, with all the changes kept in place. During a demo of the Datastore API at work, Dropbox presenters created an illustration in Mac software, with all the work visible in the iPad version of the same app. Changes that were made were synced in the background, appearing on each platform.

The new Drop-ins API is a two-part component that developers can plug into their apps for easy file access. The Chooser part of Drop-ins acts as a universal file picker that lets you attach files from a Dropbox account to emails. The Saver part of Drop-ins allows you to save files from your device to Dropbox. Drop-ins is currently available for websites—they’re actually in use in Yahoo Mail—but the API will have a bigger impact on mobile devices, since mobile operating systems don’t present users with a file system for accessing files and folders on the device.

As part of the Drop-ins announcement, Dropbox announced that its Mailbox iOS app will support mail attachments. Dropbox did not say when the new version of Mailbox will be available.

Dropbox on Tuesday also talked about the Sync API that developers can use to sync saved user-created files across platforms. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said that the Sync API should improve sync speed and help developers resolve sync conflicts. Dropbox unveiled the Sync API earlier this year.

During the keynote, Houston stated that Dropbox has more than 175 million users. More than 100,000 apps support Dropbox, with more than a billion files saved to Dropbox each day.

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Windows 8.1 vs. iOS 7 – Battle of Operating Systems

Windows 8.1 vs. iOS 7 – Battle of Operating Systems

Mobile devices will be empty boxes without their operating systems. This month, we saw two major updates for Microsoft Windows OS and Apple iOS. Apple has presented its iOS 7 at its developer’s conference held in San Francisco and it was said that this platform will have its public debut this fall. Microsoft has launched its Windows 8.1 preview few weeks ago at Microsoft Build event in SF. Both platforms have been redesigned and gained new upgrades for their previous features. They represent the future and all new devices coming from these companies will have an improved look. It’s time to bring them head to head for comparison. We are not going to say which one is better because it’s up to you to make the decision.


The iOS 7 interface has been completely redesigned. Its elements (apps and icons) look like they are floating in the display. Apple has said that they will bring the 3D effect that will make your icons distanced from your wallpaper. The design as a whole is completely new and looks different than its predecessors. Some users were scared that this difference will make iOS 7 difficult to use. I can assure you that it’s really easy to use and it’s made handier. There are some extra tools included that will make your iOS 7 experience new and easier.


Microsoft hasn’t done any big changes to Windows 8.1 interface design. There are few additional tweaks though but if you expected a miraculous return to Win 7, we must disappoint you. Windows 8.1 will bring you the same Start Screen interface but with the new additions, like the return of the start button, Windows Blue has been brought closer to Windows PC users.


  • Menus

Control Center is a new feature included into iOS. It puts your most used options and this feature is available from every menu page. Swiping up from the bottom will bring up these tools. The Notification bar has received a slight upgrade. Three tabs will show your calls, messages and alerts you have missed. A new “today” option will keep you on track for your to-do list. It’s not something big but still, it’s pretty useful.

Microsoft has brought back its Start Menu. I know that this is an older feature but it was left out of Windows 8. This time, “Start” doesn’t have the same features like the Start button on Windows 7 but it still useful for many things. It will be used for shortcuts and restart/shut down your system. It’s placed on its casual place, down-left on your screen.

  • Music

iOS 7 brought iTunes Radio that will have the same responsibility as some already known music streaming services. This service will be paired with your Apple ID and yes, you can use it on every platform that has iTunes installed. It includes radio stations created over your favorite music artist and it will let you create some featured radio stations.


On this, Microsoft has answered with improving its Xbox Music. Windows 8 users can use this Xbox Music for streaming music from 30 million songs included into the music library. Microsoft has redesigned its app and brought an easier user experience. On the left and right side, you can see the panels which will help you watch videos, explore artists and content, manage and create playlists and many more. The only difference is that Apple has made deals with big music labels before entering into the music streaming business.

  • Search

Apple has improved Siri and Microsoft has upgraded its Search feature. Siri now comes with different voices and in full-screen. Siri can now be used for triggering system settings like turning on Bluetooth, regulate brightness or playing your voice mail. It still has that Internet based search feature, though. The upgraded Search feature in Windows Blue will give you much wider results. This feature will use several sources for your search that will include files, apps and Web results. They will be brought to you horizontally and you can see other results by swiping right.

  • Camera

Apple has done a great work redesigning its camera app. You can now add some frames to your shots, you can use panorama, still, square configuration. It will bring you options that will let you use some of the filters on your square taken shots. In this iOS version, photos will be organized by chronology and geotagging locations. You can see your photos organized by year if you use the zoom out option.

ios-7-ipad-mini (1)

Windows 8.1 brings a lot of new options. On the previous version, you were able to only use the crop option. Now you will get a full list of photo-editing tools that will help you make great photos. As we said earlier, you will lose couple of hours editing your photos because you will want to try every tool possible.

  • Stores

iOS App Store has received Automatic Updates feature. This can be turned on/off in settings. It can save you a lot of time searching for all updates of your applications.

Windows Store has been completely redesigned with larger images and sophisticated layout. All apps available in this store are updated with the latest versions. Microsoft believes this new look will attract the developer’s attention.

Other features

Apple iOS 7 brings more updated features than Microsoft Windows 8.1. Apple has improved its Safari browser with URL field and unified search. iOS 7 brings AirDrop which is used like data sharing service that will support all devices coming from Apple. It uses peer-to-peer connection. FaceTime audio will bring you quality voice and video calls through Wi-Fi connection. iOS 7 brought a new Multitasking experience for the users. There are few more slight improvements made but these are the major ones.


Microsoft Windows 8.1 (codename Blue) brings the Snap function that will enable you use 4 running apps on one screen at the same time. A high resolution is required. It includes a dual-monitor setup, too and this will let you run 8 different apps at the same time. Personalization feature lets you bring your own style to the devices.

From what we could see, Apple and Microsoft has done a marvellous job improving their OS versions. We are still unable to say which will perform better because we haven’t tested them yet. We have to wait few months more to bring the final conclusion. For now, we are letting you chose between them based on the information we shared.

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Any good password cracker for windows log on?

I’m trying to get past the log in for windows 7 professional but forgot the password. I haven’t used the laptop for a long time. What cracker out there can I download to help me and how do I use it if I can’t get past the log in.

If just want to get back the original lost Windows password, you can try free Ophcrack. This is the only Windows password cracker I’ve ever known. With this program, you can recover lost Windows 7 password via the rainbow tables developed by the software developer. As for the recovery time, it depends. This method is usually takes you a lot of time and it’s not suggested if you are urgent to get something from your computer. Actually there are many great Windows password reset tool available out there to reset forgotten login password in Windows 7.

As the name indicates, Windows password reset tool will reset your forgotten Windows 7 password to blank or a new one, depending on what tool you choose. Of all the applications, Password Unlocker Bundle is highly suggested. Here are some reasons.

Reason 1. Reset any forgotten Windows password
With Password Unlocker Bundle, you can easily burn a boot password reset CD/DVD/USB disk to reset local administrator, domain administrator, and other user passwords on Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2008/2003/2000. GUI interface! 100 secure! 100% password reset rate! Only 5 minutes required.

Reason 2. Recover password for files, archives, IE, IM, MS SQL Server
As a password recovery package, Password Unlocker Bundle is able to reset /recover login or open passwords for 60 applications or file types, including Windows OS, MS SQL Severs, RAR/ZIP archives, PDF, MS Word/Excel/PPT files etc.

Reason 3. Easy to use and cost-effective
This password recovery bundle is designed for everyone, no matter what the level of your computing level is. Resetting or recovering the password only requires a few simple clicks. 100% security is guaranteed. And only $39.95 requried.

Microsoft exec on Xbox One: No Internet? Get an Xbox 360

Bummed out because the Xbox One requires an Internet connection? Microsoft has some advice for you: stick with an Xbox 360.

In an interview with Spike TV at the E3 show Tuesday, Xbox executive Don Mattrick responded to the complaints about the Xbox One’s demand for an Internet connection. Mattrick described the $499 Xbox One, coming in November, as “a future-proof choice,” saying that a console designed to be used online offers certain advantages, such as the ability to link games and entertainment.

And for those people without Internet access?

“Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity,” Mattrick said. “It’s called Xbox 360.”

The interviewer then chimed in, saying “So stick with 360, that’s your message…?” To which Mattrick responded, “Well, if you have zero access to the Internet, that [360] is an offline device.” Citing one unusual example, the Xbox exec said he read a blog comment from someone who serves on a nuclear sub.

“I don’t even know what it means to be on a nuclear sub,” Mattrick said. “But I’ve got to imagine that it’s not easy to get an Internet connection.”

Mattrick makes a valid point here. Sometimes you have to sacrifice backward compatibility to stretch the envelope with new products. And it’s not as if the Xbox 360 is going away. Microsoft has promised to continue to invest in its current console. On Tuesday, the company even launched a new Xbox 360 with a design mimicking that of the Xbox One.

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Old News Of Windows 8 Password Recovery

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 is definitely the official name for its next-generation, this is a series of operating systems maded by Microsoft to use on computer systems, including home and office desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet pcs, and media center PCs. Undoubtedly, this upcoming operating system draws most PC users’ attentions. As a result, we’re going to collect the Windows 8 password recovery methods beforehand for Windows 8 users.
Windows 8 is recognized as a very good alternative option when you still hesitate about whether or not to update to Windows 7. Although Window 8 will launch in 2012, there are numerous rumors within the top features of the forthcoming operating-system, like App Store, ARM Processor Support, History Vault, Instant-On and Improved Power Settings, Multi-Touch Interface Support, Really Fast Install, and so on.

Besides, it is also stated that graphical password logon, a method logon mode preparing for the whole touch operation, is offered for Windows 8. Many of the codes are similar to the graphical codes of Android. It means that there are two ways available whenever you join the newest operating system: traditional text password and graphical codes. It is possible to perform Windows 8 password recovery throughout the graphical password logon method after you forgot Windows 8 password.

It is great news when you are often troubled by a forgotten Windows password. You won’t be worried about how to perform Windows 8 password recovery while you forgot its traditional text password. In that case, you can just logon Windows 8 with all the graphical password. A graphical password is simpler than a text-based password for most people to note. While on the other side, it may well offer better security than text-based passwords. If you are capable of set a graphical password, please utilize it instead of the text password to protect authorized access from your computer files.

In the 4X4 array, Windows 8 users can custom their own graphical logon password. If the device of touchscreen display is in use, users can logon directly with touch on it. Besides the picture constituted by the 4X4 array, Win 8 users can also choose a picture on computer to set the password after entering the os.

After understanding the new feature Windows 8 graphical password logon, you will never keep worrying about forgetting Windows 8 password, as it can easily assist you get into your computer and perform the forgotten Windows 8 password recovery.
Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 8 and some of its new features at the Taipei Computex 2011 in Taipei and at the D9 conference in California On June 1, 2011, but for more details, please expect the BUILD conference held by Microsoft for developers on Windows 8 in September.

The motheds to Reset Windows 8 Administrator Password on Surface Pro?

Windows 8 forgot administrator password on Surface Pro. Is there a way to reset the administrator password?

Forgot your password for logging into to Windows 8 on your own Surface Pro? There are lots of methods to bypass the forgotten password, based on type of account you set up on Surface.

* 1. Utilize your password hint as a reminder.
* 2. Sign in your surface with another administrator account and after that change the forgotten password.
* 3. Reset your Surface in to factory settings.

Would not reset Windows 8 password with all the methods above? Why not take a try of Windows Password Unlocker. In this Windows password reset tool, it is possible to instantly create a boot password reset disk with CD/DVD or USB disk to bypass Windows 8 password that you forgot. Which program may also be helpful when you need to bypass Windows 7 password, Vista password, etc.
Get Started

Prepare a USB drive and backup the most important data on it, then download Windows Password Unlocker in another PC you can run as administrator. Next install and run it.

Note: Mac version is available in the sort of ISO image file, and no installation is needed.
Burn a boot Windows password reset disk

Insert the USB in computer PC, select the inserted USB drive and burn a boot password reset USB disk by clicking the Burn USB button.

Reset forgotten Surface Pro Password

Insert the burned boot password ester disk for Windows 8 inside your Surface Pro, then boot from it. Figure out how to boot Surface Pro from USB as follows:

* 1. Power down your Microsoft Surface Pro device.
* 2. Plug in the burned boot password reset USB flash drive.
* 3. Hold the volume-down (-) rocker.
* 4. Press and release the power button.
* 5. When the Surface logo appears, release the volume rocker. Surface Pro will start the software on your USB device.

Next, you’ll see Windows Password Unlocker in Windows PE with all the user accounts on Surface Pro is listed (see screenshot below).

Now you can select the target user account and click Reset button to remove its password in seconds. Once the password is removed, click Reboot button to restart Surface Pro, and remove the bootable USB disk while restarting. When the login screen appears, sign in Surface Pro without password.

Tip: It’s highly suggested to try the demo version at first to see if Windows Password Unlocker works with your surface pro and match your requirements.

4 Typical Windows Password Faults You Should Prevent

But usually, few users be aware of the significance of a Windows password. Many users set a Windows password that can be easily hacked, like “123456″ or “password”, for convenience. Some people even forgot Windows password frequently without a password reset disk available. The following lists 4 common Windows password mistakes users easily make.

Mistake 1: Set A Weak Windows Password Like “123456″
When creating a Windows password, you need to avoid the passwords like”123456″, “password”, “abc123″, etc, that are too common and weak to be easily recognized, though it seems to easy for you to reset Windows password . According to an analysis survey, the most popular passwords among nearly 400,000 exposed by the Gawker hack were “123456″, with more than 3,000 people had it as a password. When you owned a Windows password like that, stop utilizing them now. Meanwhile, it is advisable not only use letters or numbers this means great significance to you, such as your birthday or names.

There’s 2 key factors for a strong Windows password: length and complexity. An ideal password is regarded to be at least 8 characters long and composed of letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers; avoid personal information, repetition, sequences, and dictionary words. But don’t make it too complicated for your memory. Otherwise it happens to forget Windows password easily. A strong Windows password should be easy for you to remember but hard to hack.

Mistake 2: Always Utilize Same Windows Password
Based on PC World, 75 percents of persons had those password for their email accounts and social networking sites. Have you also employ the password with other accounts for avoiding to lost Windows password? Today we live in a password-drive world which make us have to remember credit card passwords, bank accounts, etc. Of course, it is an effective way to use the same password for getting out of the trouble with many different passwords. But the problem is that if it’s compromised and someone finds it, the rest of your identity is at risk. So it is better not to use the same password for all your accounts, at least for your Windows accounts and other important accounts.

Mistake 3: Seldom Change Windows Password
For many users, they may never remember to change Windows password unless they forgot Windows password. No matter how strong a password is, it may get hacked if the user doesn’t change it all the time. Most computer experts and online security professionals recommend changing passwords and account login information at least once every three months. How long have you ever changed Windows password? Reset it frequantly and find in to the habit of changing your password on consistent basis.

Mistake 4: Forgot Windows password With No Password Reset Disk
With the windows password reset disk feature, it is no longer a big problem when you forgot Windows password. Computer experts strongly suggest that users create a password reset disk when setting a new password, which they will not lose access to your files and information. But many users in fact ignore the importance of the Windows password reset disk until they forgot or lost. If you haven’t create a password reset disk, just start to create one now. You will find everything is still in order though password is gone.

This is the survey which we have collected from Security Community, more info about password management survey, go to its official site.
If you cannot afford to reinstall computer together with computer data lost once you forgot Windows password, an efficient option is to use Windows password recovery tool like Windows Password Unlocker to reset your forgotten Windows password.

How to Retrieve a Lost Windows Password from Safe Mode

Windows Safe Mode, known as the diagnostic and troubleshooting mode of Windows System, is supposed to rescue the program

in case one could not boot into Windows normally. During Safe Mode, Only the bare minimal device drives and system files are

loaded and it’s also especially helpful for fixing the computer When you have any problems booting the Windows system as lost windows password.

Here’s the most usual situation: When your PC happens to be hacked, the hacker may change you login password. If you don’t understand the Windows password, how could you retrieve a lost Windows Password?
Hope to login to Windows System with a user account with administrator authority, you should use the administrator account

to change other user account password. The system should boot into Safe Mode. Once An Account Logon Screen displays, click

on the icon for your default administrator account. The default administrator password is blankif you never set a password for

this before.

Note: It is similar with all the normal logon screen. Reboot the system and try to log in with the new password. Sometimes, to

enhance security, computer users may also password protect the default administrator account. You now forgot administrator password, you can retrieve lost administrator password. I think only applications that can help to recover lost Windows password

for you personally.

How to Retrieve Windows password With Windows Password Recovery Tool:
Download a boot Windows Password Reset Tool, such as SmartKey Windows Password Retrieve from the Internet. Log in to the operating system on the Administrator account using the new password you have just reset.

When the above information does not assistance in retrieving a lost Windows password, the best option left should be to format

hard drive then reinstall Windows system. This always results in data losing. So I do not recommend.
Each time the people forgot Windows administrator password and inquire me for windows password retrieve solutions.

I always told them to use Windows Password Retrieve applications and it never makes friends and neighbors disappointed.