Tag Archives: research

Cyber Monday Now The Biggest Online Shopping Day – Exceeded $2 Billion

There have been a number of reports recently which said that the holiday shopping was not meeting expectations this year and had actually declined. Research firm comScore has now come out with online shopping numbers which show the opposite.

Cyber Monday sales increased 17% from last year and is the biggest shopping day for the first time. Sales came in at $2.038 billion.

Black Friday sales increased 26% to $1.505 billion.

“With more than $2 billion in online buying on Cyber Monday to cap an exceptionally strong 5-day period since Thanksgiving, the online holiday shopping season is clearly going very well at the moment and is currently running ahead of forecast,” said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni.”Varying reports have also indicated weakness in the consumer economy due to flagging brick-and-mortar sales over the holiday weekend, but what we may really be seeing is an accelerating shift to online buying as mobile phones spur increased showrooming activity. The data we’re seeing suggest it may be more a change in shopping behavior than a lack of consumer demand.”

Here is a historic look at the holiday season sales from 2010 – 2014

Weekly-Desktop-Online-Holiday-Retail-Sales-in-Millions-2DEC_reference

Millions Of WordPress Websites Have Security Hole

According to a Finish security research firm, tens of millions WordPress websites are vulnerable. Apparently the bug was released with WordPress 3.0 back in 2010, the attacker needs a text entry field such as the comment form which is enabled by default.

Statement from Klikki:

“An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by entering carefully crafted comments, containing program code, on WordPress blog posts and pages. Under default settings comments can be entered by anyone without authentication (login).

Program code injected in comments would be inadvertedly executed in the blog administrator’s web browser when they view the comment. The rogue code could then perform administrative operations by covertly taking over the administror account.

Such operations – demonstrated by our proof of concept exploits – include creating a new administrator account (with a known password), changing the current administrator password, and in the most serious case, executing attacker-supplied PHP code on the server. This grants the attacker operating system level access on the server hosting WordPress.

Exploitability without login, under default settings, and the server-side impact make this probably the most serious WordPress core vulnerability that has been reported since 2009.”

The company has now worked with WordPress to solve the problem and patches have been released and will be deployed automatically.

Looking At Your Smartphone Puts 60lbs Of Pressure On Your Neck

A new study called “Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head” has found that looking at your smartphone puts as much as 60lbs of pressure on your neck.

In the regular position an adult head weights 10 to 12 pounds, when tilting the head forward the weight increases all the way up to 60lbs at a 60 degrees angle.

The research concludes that these stresses may lead to early wear, tear,degeneration, and possibly surgeries.

The recommendation is to make an effort to look at your phone in a neutral position as much as possible.

research

You can read the article here.

Twitter Gives $10 Million to MIT for “Laboratory of Social Machines.”

Twitter gave $10 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today. The funds will be used to build a new lab called “Laboratory of Social Machines.”

The goal is to more insight into how social media is being used.  The university is going to get access to Grip which is the Twitter database of historic tweets.

“Twitter is seizing the opportunity to go deeper into research to understand the role Twitter and other platforms play in the way people communicate, the effect that rapid and fluid communication can have and apply those findings to complex societal issues,” said Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo in a statement.