Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ISIS's Facebook alternative shuts down days after launch

 Facing a ban from mainstream online social networks Facebook and Twitter, supporters of the Islamic State appear to have launched their own "caliphate book."

But was offline on March 9, just a day after its launch and its Twitter account was suspended, highlighting the challenges faced by backers of the ultra-violent militants based in Iraq and Syria in spreading their message and recruiting online.

The amateur page showed a map of the world dotted with Islamic State's trademark Arabic insignia and was crafted by Socialkit, a program that lets users produce do-it-yourself social networks.

It was unclear who created the site or how many members it attracted. A banner message in its current form said it had temporarily suspended operations to "protect the information and details of its members and their safety."

"5elafabook is an independent site and not sponsored by the Islamic State. We reiterate that the purpose of launching the site was to clarify to the whole world that we do not only carry guns and live in caves as they imagine ... we advance with our world and we want advancement to become Islamic," it added.

Online supporters of the group wondered in an web forum whether platforms like 5elafabook could be trusted or whether they could be used by IS's many enemies to gain intelligence, according to militancy watchdog Site Intelligence Group.

"There is no secure website, even if it did belong directly to the Islamic State, because the servers are controlled by the governments, which can take all the IP addresses of those who visited the website," said a user calling himself Taqni Minbar.

IS militants have relied heavily on social media networks for coordination and communication, and the militants use them to publish shocking videos of beheadings and other violent acts against their enemies.

Twitter Inc. and United States law enforcement are investigating alleged threats against the company's employees by the group's online backers, the company said last week, as Twitter and Facebook work to close accounts spreading IS's message.

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Top 5 Lightweight Open Source Web Servers

 Linux users have been using Apache server for their work for years now. Apache is great and known for its power, reliability and security. There are certain features of Apache that are not very easy to manage. There are plenty of other open source alternatives that can be used instead of Apache. Here are five small footprint Linux based web servers for you.
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1. Nginx:

Nginx follows the scalable, event-driven architecture that is incredibly lightweight that can handle simple load balancing, fault tolerance, auto-indexing, virtual servers, mod_rewrite, access control and much more in an efficient way. Nginx can also be used as reverse proxy and IMAP/POP3 proxy server. The server is used by popular websites and services such as Netflix, Hulu, Pinterest, AirBnB and Wordpress. This lightweight webserver doesn’t perform like typical lightweight servers nor, it runs with minimal resources. Nginx offers optimal modules and addons. It also comes with pre-built packages for Linux for easy installation. Nginx is just 30 MB in size and it can give up to 35 per cent performance increase.

2. Lighttpd:

Lighttpd is perfect server for the machines that very often suffer from load problems. The web server is ideal solution for embedded systems. Many Raspberry Pi users prefer Lighttpd. It offers great functionality for cpu load, FastCGI, SCGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and much more. You will never feel like you are running the massive website with lightweight server. It can handle ten thousands clients simultaneously without any system failure. You can easily configure Lighted to to support PHP with opcode caches. If you are creating embedded system with less resources, Lighttpd is the best solution for you. The tool can handle web components in the best way. The configuration of Lighttpd is saved in single .conf file.

3. Monkey:

Monkey follows traditional approach of lightweight server. It is just another HTTP Daemon that offers support for virtual hosts, indented configuration, plugin support, C API interface and HTTP/1.1. The event driven server is great for stand-alone static content. Scripting languages have mad it easier to deliver content using FastCGI interface. This webserver also provides C framework called Duda I/O. Monkey is just 100 KB in size, it supports ARM, x86 and x64 system architecture. Monkey is the most simple to install and setup server for embedded devices. It is hard to beat in terms of ease of usage and static content performance.

4. Cherokee:

This is another user-friendly, lightweight web server that comes with number of modern features. Cherokee supports FastCGI, SCGI, PHP, uWSGI, SSI, CGI, LDAP, TLS/SSL, HTTP Proxying, video streaming, content caching, traffic shaping and much more features out of the box. The only downside of Cherokee is that, it hasn't received any update in recent time. It still runs on the framework that was released in October 2011. If you are looking for easy to setup server that is cross platform, Cherokee is the best option for you.

5. Hiawatha:

Hiawatha is a lightweight, open source web server with great security features. It is not designed for the embedded systems but, it is known for its fully functioning dynamic web server. Hiawatha is known for its security features. It can stop SQL injections, XSS, CSRF attacks, control external image linking and even ban potential hackers. It has built-in monitoring system that keeps track of all of your web servers. It is an ideal web server for embedded systems that require added security. If you are looking for secure robust web server for your standard or embedded system, Hiawatha is the best option for you. 

9 Biggest Tech Startups In The World

 There was a time when not everyone could start a tech company. Things have changed quite a lot over last three decades in IT industry. Venture capitalists are seeding new generation of digital entrepreneurs to develop a better society and tech culture. Last few months, companies have raised huge rounds of investments. Today we have listed nine biggest startups that are valued more than $5 billlion.
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1. Xiaomi: 

Xiaomi is the biggest Chinese manufacturer and leading market player in Asia. The company is spreading its wings across the globe with innovative product line. The products by Xiaomi are best known amongst Android users. The company is considered as the biggest competition for Apple. Xiaomi has received the total funding of $1.4 billion so far and it is valued at $46 billion.

Notable Investors : Digital Sky Technologies, HOPU Investment Management Company, DST Global, IDG Capital Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Morningside Group

2. Uber: 

Uber has changed the way people travel. The company has a taxi-hailing app that connects users with the drivers of private vehicles. The service offers different types of cars from full-size luxury to smaller vehicles. Uber is valued at $41.2 billion and has received the funding of $5.9 billion till today.

Notable Investors : Benchmark Capital, Menlo Ventures, Google Ventures, KPCB

3. Snapchat: 

Snapchat is a photo messaging app that became immensely popular in last few years. The app lets users send photos and videos that get deleted after a set period of time. The company is valued at $10 billion in its last round in December. It has received the fundings of $648 million so far.

Notable Investors : Yahoo, Kleiner Perkins, Benchmark Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Coatue Management, SV Angel

4. Palantir: 

Palantir is a software and service solutions startup. The company as expertise in data analysis. Palantir has notable clients like government agencies like CIA, FBI etc. The company has received the investments of $1 billion till today and it is valued at $15 billion.

Notable Investors : Founders Fund, Tiger Global Management, Glynn Capital Management, Jeremy Stoppelman

5. SpaceX: 

SpaceX stands for Space Exploration Technologies. The company designs and builds vehicles for space exploration. The company is being led by Elon Musk. It has already launched quite a few vehicles in Space. It has received the investment of $1.2 billion and is valued at $12 billion.

Notable Investors : Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Google

6. Flipkart: 

Flipkart is a leading e-commerce site in India. The company has product listing in various categories. Sachin and Binny Bansal founded the company together in 2007. Flipkart has received the funding of $2.5 billion so far and it is valued at $11 billion.

Notable Investors : Digital Sky Technologies, T Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley, Vulcan Capital, Tiger Global Management

7. Pinterest: 

Pinterest is a social media platform that lets users share/store stuff online by pinning images and other content. The concept become quite popular in span of three years. The company has receiving the funds of $762.5 million and it is valued at $5 billion in its last round of funding.

Notable Investors : Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, Rakuten

8. Airbnb: 

Airbnb is a marketplace for people to rent out their homes for temporary residence. The site is very popular among travelers. The service is widely used in across 190 countries. The company is valued at $10 billion and it has received the funding of $794.8 million till today.

Notable Investors : Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners

9. Dropbox: 

Dropbox revolutionised the cloud sharing and storage platform. The service become very popular in 4 years. The platform allows users to store and share files on the web. It is being used by 200 million users worldwide. The company has received the total funding of $1.1 billion and is valued at $10 billion.

Notable Investors : Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Ventures 

8 Android Apps To Boost Your Productivity

Everyone has a smartphone these days. Most of us use the smartphone for emails, social media updates etc. The smartphone has made everything a lot easier. You are connected with the world all the time. Being connected all the time can be a great drawback as, it’s the big distraction and it eventually leads to decrease in productivity.
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True professionals are always looking for newest and most effective ways to make their everyday work life efficient. There are number of productivity apps available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It is important to choose the best productivity apps. Today we have listed top eight apps for Android that will help you increase your workplace productivity and result in faster workflow.

1. 1Password:

1Password is beautiful, secure app for passwords and other sensitive information that you need to keep safe. You can store thousands of wallet items at free of cost. The app promises the security of you vital information. You can even store Credit card credentials, secure notes, passports, bank account information and even email attachment documents. The app is available for Android, iOS and Chrome. This is a cross-platform solution to all your sensitive information. The free version of app provides almost all features but, you can upgrade to premium version that offers features like adding new login items, secure notes and identities from your Android device.

2. Pocket:

Pocket is the perfect mobile companion that lets you save articles, videos and other web content to view later. The app has very user-friendly and intriguing user interface. The app is dedicated to your time to reading everything you come in contact with. You can simply bookmark everything you want to read later. The service was initially introduced as Read It Later but, later it went under complete overhaul and they reintroduced it as Pocket. The app is available for free on almost all the platforms.

3. Buffer:

Buffer helps you gain total control over when and what you post online. You can use Buffer to schedule your tweets, Facebook posts and any other content at predetermined time. The application is designed to determining the detailed metrics on how particulate post is performing. This helps you analyse your social media presence. If you are a media or marketing person and you deal with social networks such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn on daily basis, this is the best solution for you.

4. Google Keep:

Google Keep is the ultimate note taking application out there. The app is appeared without any hype. It has simple and user-friendly interface. It has deep integration with Google services, you can easily create the new note and even the whole note board and stick anything you want. The app provides great features like snippets, checklists. You can even add photos and reminders. It backs up all the data on Google Drive so, you don’t have to worry about losing the data.

5. Mailbox:

Mailbox has simple and minimalistic user interface and all the features that are needed in an email client. You can work with Mailbox with simple gestures. The app currently supports Gmail and iCloud accounts only. You can easily swipe messages to archive or trash them. The app helps you snooze the mail notifications as well. The application is designed to help you learn frequent actions and snooze unimportant conversations.

6. Quip:

Quip is a great collaborative tool. The app has interesting features of messaging and instant group editing files. You can create, import, share different types of documents, notes, to-do lists and even edit them very easily. The app works well with Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote. You can save or export them in different formats. The app is available for free for Android and iOS.

7. Basecamp:

Basecamp is good solution for a whole company. It offers a platform to keep track of your current project or to-do lists. You can easily add documents to Basecamp from Google Drive. The platform also offers its own storage space where you can upload your own files. The app is available for free up to certain number of projects. It has multiple plans that are suitable and affordable for everyone.

8. Microsoft Office 365:

Sometimes you just have to rely on Microsoft office for your workplace documents. If your workplace requires you to stick to Microsoft ecosystem, this is a great app for your smartphone. Accessing MS office documents on Android smartphone has become easier with Windows’ cloud capabilities. The app is available in both free and paid version. You can access and edit your Office files in free version. To use cloud capabilities of platform, you need to pay a subscription fee. This is a great file editing tool for heavy Microsoft users.