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In the News 3-2-11



AT&T announced a new feature called ShopAlerts; special offers that consumers receive through mobile phones. These alerts are based on geographic location, using what they call a “geo-fence” which broadcasts information on offers, rewards, and coupons to a roughly one mile radius around participating businesses and are activated when customers are nearby. This is an optional feature available to consumers at their request. Anyone interested can sign up via text message, social networks, or the web [1].

Placecast [2], a company focusing on mobile location-based services and digital advertising provides the platform for ShopAlerts.

In addition to the offers, according to AT&T, “The messages are enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.”

Kmart is one of the companies that has embraced this technology, saying that “ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology.” Other participating businesses include, Kibbles ‘n Bits, JetBlue, and HP. The launch will take place in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.

As someone who doesn’t care much for mobile phones, or any other kind for that matter, all I can say is, “Great, now all the people swerving from lane to lane near participating businesses have yet another way to be distracted by their phones.”


Facebook Security

Facebook recently announced a new security feature; a setting that will allow users to experience Facebook entirely over https. This feature offers a secure connection between users and their Facebook accounts. Since the secure settings may hinder connection speed and since not all third party applications associated with Facebook are currently supported, some users may not want the increased security. So, this is not the default security setting for Facebook and must be changed manually. The directions below describe the process.

Sign in to Facebook and look at the address bar in your browser. If the address reads, as it does below, http://, your setting is not secure. Https:// [3] represents a secure connection.

To change this, click on Account and select Account Settings.

In Account Settings, click on Account Security to open it, and check the box below Secure Browsing (https).

When you return to your address bar, you should see the new https:// setting.

That’s all there is to it. Now, your Facebook activity is secure…until your boss sees those pictures you posted.