Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Acer Reveals Budget-Minded Ultrabook”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Acer Reveals Budget-Minded Ultrabook”

Acer Reveals Budget-Minded Ultrabook

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 05:02 AM PDT

PC manufacturer Acer announced on Wednesday a new low-end Ultrabook which will likely resonate with students during the back-to-school shopping season.

Boasting a thin and light design, the lower-end Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 Series measures just .81 inches thin and weighs in at 4.3 pounds. Ultrabooks — which are ultra-slim laptops typically around or under 0.8 inches thick –- have become increasingly popular among manufacturers and consumers, giving on-the-go users a lightweight, full-computer alternative.

The M5 Ultrabook comes in 14- and 15.6-inch HD displays, each packing third-generation Intel Core processors (Core i3 and i5 only), a 500GB hard disk drive and the lat…
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More About: Acer, computers, PCs, Ultrabook, Ultrabooks

Peter Thiel’s Mithril and Two Other Stories You Need to Know

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 03:24 AM PDT

Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world. Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories.

Peter Thiel Launches Mithril Fund

Angel investor Peter Thiel, best known for his early investment in Facebook, has launched Mithril Capital Management, a late-stage fund with $402 million to spend.

Named after the legendary metal mithril from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the fund will focus on fast-growing tech companies that haven't yet gone public.

Microsoft Kept Surface a Secret From Its Partners

Microsoft has developed its tablet, Surface, under a veil of secrecy…
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More About: features, first to know series, Google Maps, mashable, microsoft, Mithril, peter thiel, surface

Use This App to Teach Your Kids Basic Banking

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 02:46 AM PDT

The concept of budgeting is a heady subject for kids to grasp. Oftentimes, the first real lesson comes at age 16, when teens are legally able to hold part-time jobs and own cars. But if you're a parent who wants to get a jump start on teaching the value of a dollar, the new Tykoon app is a great financial-basics platform to engage kids as young as eight.

A free download for iOS devices, Tykoon turns "I want this" into "How do I earn this" with a Chore Chart where parents can create activities that kids can complete in order to earn a specified allowance each week.

The app has two interfaces, both of which proved to be easy to manage in private beta testing. On one end is a control ce…
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More About: App, iphone app, Kids, personal banking

Does Facebook Know Your Love Secrets? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 02:25 AM PDT

Like to keep your love life under wraps? Be careful if you're on Facebook.

The social network may be able to predict how happy you are in your relationships, how satisfied your boyfriend or girlfriend is, when you're most likely to break up or make things official with someone new and even what songs you're most likely to listen to when you're on a hormone high or down in the dumps.

"It's not official until it's on Facebook," goes the not so old maxim. If that saying holds true though, people are most ready to start going steady around Valentine's Day and Christmas, with the beginning of April not far behind. On Feb. 14, new relationships outpace fresh breakups by 49%, according to d…
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More About: Facebook, infographics

Ever Imagined a World Without Internet? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 01:30 AM PDT

Steve Carrell may be seeking a friend for the end of the world, but here at Mashable, we're more concerned with the end of the Internet.

Can you imagine it? Instead of an iPad, you'd be clutching a weighty $1,200 Encyclopedia Brittanica as you rock yourself to sleep. And instead of tweeting with pals halfway around the world, we'd be licking stamps that would total $6.3 trillion in the United States alone. We're cringing at the thought.

SEE ALSO: The Internet Is Ruining Your Brain [INFOGRAPHIC]

Online Education created this graphic detailing the nightmare that would be the world without Internet. Sure, we're grateful to the World Wide Web for giving us all the joy of narcoleptic ca
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More About: infographics, internet, Social Media, Tech, trending, web

Reading Rainbow is Back: Can it Do for the iPad What it Did for TV?

Posted: 20 Jun 2012 12:06 AM PDT

Reading Rainbow began its 26-year run on PBS as a way to combat summer mind decay. Now it's taking the same goal to a different medium.

"What were [kids] doing in the 80s? Sitting in front of the television," explains Levar Burton, who hosted the show. "So we went where they were to steer them back in the direction of where we wanted them to go."

While television still accounts for the largest amount of children's screen time, it's not the only screen in town anymore. About half of children under 8 have access to some sort of mobile device.

Kids are on tablets, and, as of Tuesday, so is Reading Rainbow.

The new iPad app incorporates classic Reading Rainbow segments, 16 new video…
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More About: Levar Burton, Reading Rainbow

Visualized: 100 Years of Movie Poster Colors

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 11:34 PM PDT

Over the years, technology has increased the quality of cameras and screens to make the cinematic experience better and brighter than ever. Movie posters have been a part of film promotion and marketing since the early 1900s, but trends in color and design have changed quite a bit -- or have they?

Software engineer Vijay Pandurangan created this stunning visualization of popular colors found in movie posters from 1914 through 2012. The interactive chart takes a look at color distribution within each individual year.

SEE ALSO: 29 Meme-Inspired Movie Posters [PICS]

As you can see in the image below, 1924 is missing, which Pandurangan says on his blog was an error in the visualization'…
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More About: color, design, Movies, pics, posters, viral, visualization

Samsung Galaxy S III: Not So Human After All [REVIEW]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 09:01 PM PDT

There are Android phones, there are Android superphones, and then there's the Samsung Galaxy S III. Samsung's Galaxy phones are no longer just hot new mobile devices -- they've become a force of nature. Just like the iPhone, users can expect a new Samsung Galaxy every year, and then must decide whether or not to upgrade.

The first Galaxy S arrived in 2010. Prior to it, the "hero" Android device was the Motorola Droid, but the Galaxy set a new standard with its bright screen, slim form and wide availability. The Samsung Galaxy S II came the following year, taking the line a step further with a better processor, improved camera and extremely thin design. Thanks to the S II, Samsung beca…
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More About: android, nfc, reviews, samsung, Samsung Galaxy S III, smartphones, voice cont

The Numbers Behind Teen Video Habits [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 08:22 PM PDT

Recently the Pew Research Center found that 95% of teens ages 12-17 were using the Internet. But their statistics found that a significantly smaller percentage of teens were using video functions like chatting, uploading video and streaming live video footage.

The study did find that 80% of teens using the Internet used social networking sites, and video use by teens on sites like Facebook and Twitter was much more popular than teens who didn't have social networking accounts.

Differences in household incomes played a factor into teens' video habits; the study found teens from high-income families were more likely to video chat than those from low-income households.

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More About: infographic, Pew Center, teens, Video

Lettrs Brings Snail Mail Back to The Future

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 08:02 PM PDT

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.

Name: lettrs

Quick Pitch: lettrs provides an online platform to write, save or share snail mail.

Genius Idea: Users can upload and curate "old letters" or write and share "new letters" on the site's virtual Writing Desk; lettrs also offers an old-school paper mail service that sends letters from their postal center in Collinsville, CT.

The world is currently enjoying a quantity-over-quality approach to communication.

lettrs wants to change that.

The site f…
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More About: bizspark, startup, writing

See a Huge Ad on Your Facebook Profile Page? It’s Adware

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 07:06 PM PDT

Seeing a big banner ad across the top of your Facebook profile? It's probably adware.

The banner ad above, which measures approximately 730 x 90 pixels on a 24" desktop display, appeared at the top of my colleague Christine Erickson's Facebook page Tuesday afternoon. We were worried for a minute that Facebook was testing a new ad display unit. So much for that earlier report about Facebook refusing General Motors's request to do a page takeover, we thought.

Thankfully another of our colleagues, Christina Warren, was a little more skeptical. She pointed us to Facebook's page on Adware. "Facebook ads will never appear as banners in the center, top or left column of Facebook web p…
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More About: adware, Facebook

The Connection Between Education, Money and Happiness

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 06:39 PM PDT

Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Recently entrepreneur and educator Vivek Wadhwa took on PayPal founder Peter Thiel's premise that students would be better off starting businesses without finishing or even starting college. By framing the argument in terms of cost of education versus long-term earnings, both overlooked one of the most important factors in the decision -- the connection between higher education and happiness.

SEE ALSO: Dear Peter Thiel: Let's Fix College, the Right Way

A few years back Richard Easterlin, an early economist in the econometrics of "happiness" published a surprising study. After looking at many things that correlate to happiness, including economic success and having kids, whic…
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More About: contributor, features, online education, paypal, startup

Hilarious ‘Milk In My Sippy Cup’ Rap Is Not Just For Kids [VIDEO]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 06:17 PM PDT

You've probably already made your summer playlist, but be advised -- you're missing what could be the season's hottest single.

The YouTube video is pretty cute, too.

Watch as toddler Max sips milk (whole, not skim, mind you) while riding in his firetruck and composing a sick backbeat with minimal effort. Max's epic song and video were are credited to Wax, Herbal T, EOM, Andrew Kurchinski and Yesica Rodriguez, all of whom deserve some serious street cred for turning an average playdate into a share-worthy hip-hop video.

Now go play with your music toys.

More About: viral, viral videos, YouTube

Social Shopping Site Launches UK Platform, Acquires Llustre

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 05:57 PM PDT

Ecommerce website is celebrating its first anniversary by launching Fab UK on Tuesday.

As a part of its British expansion, Fab is acquiring what was a UK competitor, online home goods hub Launched in April 2012, similarly sold products from indie designers.

Fab and Fab UK will specialize in limited edition pieces and exclusive design-driven products. The company currently sells designs that cost $1 to $20,000. New products appear daily.

In a year since launch, Fab has about 5 million active users in 20 countries and sells products from 5,000+ designers. In the past year, more than 1.8 million products were purchased on

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More About: Business,, Social Media, social networking, Startups

Linsanity! Jeremy Lin Strikes Back With Social Media Award

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 05:11 PM PDT

If your digitally addled brain can remember all the way back to February, then you'll recall a fleeting -- yet glorious -- few weeks when Linsanity ruled the social web.

Memory a little fuzzy from reading too many tweets? Here's what happened:

Jeremy Lin, an unheralded, underdog Taiwanese-American guard was forced into the starting lineup for a depleted New York Knicks squad -- only to explode and shock the world with an eye-popping stat line of 28 points and seven assists. Days later he led the Knicks to a win over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers with a 38 point outburst at Madison Square Garden, sandwiching in a number of other seemingly miraculous feats and performances bef…
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More About: Jeremy Lin, NBA, Social Media, sports, Twitter

Latest ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer Hits YouTube

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 04:42 PM PDT

In just one month, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters.

The final installment in Nolan's Batman trilogy is easily one of the most anticipated films of the summer, thanks to a prolonged viral campaign and a series of successful trailers.

The latest trailer debuted on Nokia's YouTube channel. Not only is the smartphone maker issuing a limited edition Batman Lumia 900, it's also offering various tie-ins in the U.S. with carrier T-Mobile.

Starting on June 20, U.S. users can nab a free Nokia Lumia 710 along with a free special edition The Dark Knight Rises Xpress-On Color Cover at T-Mobile stores.

For users that already have a Lumia 710, they can get a free…
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More About: Lumia 710, Lumia 800, movie trailers, Nokia, The Dark Knight Rises

Twitter’s Funniest Women Respond to Adam Carolla’s Sexist Remark

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 04:28 PM PDT

1. Kelly Oxford

Over the years, Kelly Oxford has somehow balanced raising three children and making a name for herself through writing and social media. She now has a major following on Twitter, as well as a book deal and movie script in the works.

Click here to view this gallery.

Man-advocate Adam Carolla had a few choice words to say about women in comedy. His comments appeared in a New York Post interview on Saturday.

According to the Not Taco Bell Material author and former Dancing With the Stars contestant, women aren't funny.

"The reason why you know more funny dudes than funny chicks is that dudes are funnier than chicks," Carolla told the New York Post. "If my daughter has a mediocre sense of humor, I'm just gonna tell her, 'Be a staff writer for a sitcom. Because they'll have to hire you, they can't really fire you, and you don't have to produce that much. It'll be awesome.'"

SEE ALSO: Twitter Comedy: How to Be Funny in 140 Characters
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More About: comedy, conversation, humor, Social Media, Twitter, viral

New ‘The Master’ Trailer is Latest in Deliberate Viral Campaign

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 04:06 PM PDT

The viral campaign for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master continues to suck us into its glacial-paced vortex.

A new clip for the film, "

More About: ad campaign, Paul Thomas Anderson, scientology, The Master, viral campaigns

Conflicting Reports of Hosni Mubarak’s Death Sweep Web

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 03:46 PM PDT

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was declared dead by Egyptian state media, though reports are conflicting as to whether he is in critical condition on life support. News of his deteriorating health, though conflicted, comes as protesters return to Tahrir Square to protest military rule in the country.

Mashable has not confirmed Mubarak's current state and is basing its report on other agencies.

SEE ALSO: Egypt: People and Technology Change a Nation

Mubarak, who led Egypt for 30 years, suffered a stroke Tuesday and his condition rapidly deteriorated. His lawyer told Al Jazeera that he was not dead.

The New York Times sent out a breaking news alert saying that Mubarak w…
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More About: Arab Spring, Egypt, trending, Twitter, World

How to Get More Likes, Shares on Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 03:38 PM PDT

If you're looking to get better engagement out of your Facebook posts, add more pictures and start speaking in the first person.

Social media data expert Dan Zarrella -- who tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages -- has released details about which posts get the most likes, shares and comments on Facebook, from post type and length to the best time of day to add updates.

Photos bring in the highest number of engagement across the board, followed by text and video, according to Zarrella. News links bring in the least numbers of likes, shares and comments.

Meanwhile, posts with a high number of self-referential words such as "I" and…
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More About: engagement, Facebook, Social Media, social networking, trending, Twitter

Analyst: Opening Facebook to Kids Would Help Mobile Ad Revenue

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 03:31 PM PDT

Facebook is reportedly looking to open a membership option for kids younger than 13, and one analyst says doing so could help the social network in a place it's drawn criticism since its dud of an IPO -- mobile strategy.

Simon Mansell is CEO of the of the Facebook advertising agency TBG Digital, which works with a long line of high-profile clients including JetBlue, Heineken and Coca-Cola.

TBG recently analyzed more than 170 million Facebook ad impressions to see how ad cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through-rates (CTR) for Facebook's youngest teenage users compare with those for the rest of the site's population. CTR for users between the ages of 13 and 15 was not significantly lowe…
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More About: Advertising, Facebook, Mobile

‘Boyfriend’ Parody Singer Tackles ‘Call Me Maybe’ [VIDEO]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 03:17 PM PDT

Laina Walker, who became the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme after her stalkerific parody of Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" went viral this month, has returned with an equally creepy take on "Call Me Maybe."

"Hey, I just saw you, with that lady, paid for her dinner, that's kind of shady," sings the viral sensation who turns 21 on June 22. "Remember you're mine, you say you're dating, I know you're kidding, so I'll be waiting."

The parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's infectious song has racked up 1.8 million YouTube views since Monday, while her "Boyfriend" parody has netted 6.1 million views since June 6. "Boyfriend" spawned from Bieber's online contest that asked fans to put a female spin…
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More About: Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen, celebrities, Entertainment, humor, Music, music videos, parody, trending, viral, viral videos

Twitter Update Will Hide Replies on Verified Accounts

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 03:03 PM PDT

Twitter announced today that it will soon roll out a design tweak that will hide @username replies on verified accounts.

Twitter's current design shows all tweets the user has created, so relevant updates can often get lost in a sea of replies on the account's profile page. This will change with the latest update -- all tweets that begin with @username will be hidden in verified accounts. However, you will still be able to easily access these tweets by selecting "All" above the timeline on the profile page.

According to Twitter's Blog, the new, simplified profile will make it "easier to understand what kind of content the user shares on Twitter." This feature will be super helpful…
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More About: Twitter, twitterfeed, verified accounts

Microsoft Surface: Are You Ready to Buy? [POLL]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:53 PM PDT

Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet last night in Los Angeles. The company positions the device as a reimagining of the tablet - something that's not quite a tablet nor an ultrabook.

We know it will come in two versions - one running Windows RT and one running Windows 8 Pro - but we don't know about the pricing of either model, nor do we know when the Surface will become available.

These certainly aren't the only questions surrounding the product, but they are two of the most obvious. Until we see how it runs, we're forced to speculate. From a design perspective it certainly appears to be a win, and the Touch Cover keyboard case looks like real innovation.

Still, other…
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More About: Gadgets, microsoft, surface tablet, tablets, trending

Egypt: People and Technology Change a Nation

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:40 PM PDT

Egypt has been in tremendous flux since citizens began protesting the decades-long rule of ex-President Hosni Mubarak. Late Tuesday afternoon, Egyptian state media, followed by U.S. news sources, reported that Mubarak was clinically dead.

His reported death brings renewed global attention to the ever-changing narrative of Egypt's revolution. The Internet and social media played a key role in the Egyptian uprising -- many Egyptians turned to services such as Twitter to organize protests.

Mubarak eventually stepped down, clearing the path to Egypt's first presidential election in many Egyptians' lifetimes. That vote took place over the weekend, amid controversial moves by the pro-Mubarak…
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More About: Arab Spring, Egypt, egyptian revolution, hosnai mubarak, middle east, Social Media, technology, World

Gmail Themes to Get a Custom Makeover

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:24 PM PDT

Your Gmail inbox is about to get a new customized look.

Gmail themes aren't anything new. The service has allowed inbox personalization since 2008, but now that customization is getting a little more advanced, allowing you to upload your own images to the service on either a light or dark background to give your inbox a more personal touch.

Images can be added from your Google+ photos, or you can paste any image URL into Gmail to make it your background. Google will also offer a searchable Featured Photos section where you can check out some shots that might give your inbox the look you want.

Google introduced a number of HD themes for Gmail when in unveiled its new look in Novem…
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More About: gmail, Google

Facebook to Launch App Subscriptions in July

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:13 PM PDT

Facebook on Tuesday announced it will soon offer app developers the ability to charge for subscriptions, opening up another revenue stream for the newly public company.

The move, announced on Facebook's Developer Blog, will let makers of apps -- particularly gaming apps -- cultivate another source of recurring income of which Facebook will get a 30% cut. Such subscriptions will be priced in local currency (example: the U.S. dollar or the British pound) rather than in Credits. As Facebook admits in the blog entry, Credits haven't become the standard method of payment since most games on the platform have implemented their own virtual currencies.

Although the program officially starts in…
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More About: Facebook, Gaming, trending, Zynga

Zynga Rolls Out New Facebook Game: ‘Ruby Blast’

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 02:03 PM PDT

Zynga released its newest arcade title for Facebook Tuesday. Ruby Blast is a match-three game that invites players to excavate a gem mine to beat their friends' high scores.

This is Zynga's third foray into the arcade genre, and it helps them broaden their reach beyond the popular Ville games that are their bread and butter. Their first arcade release, Bubble Safari, is now the top game on Facebook's App Store with 100 million installs.

Ruby Blast is the first game from the Zynga Seattle studios, and their take on the oft-reinvented match-three subgenre of puzzle games. Notable examples already exist, such as Bejeweled (and Ruby Blast feels similar to that title's "Diamond Mine" mo…
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More About: facebook games, Zynga

How Technology Is Speeding Up Humanitarian Response

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 01:52 PM PDT

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Amid discussions Tuesday of ways social media can be used to ensure a sustainable future for the planet, one Rio+Social conversation emphasized how technology is accelerating and improving humanitarian relief.

Antonia Guterres, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson, and Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme discussed how their respective organizations use technology to address the world's challenges, in a panel moderated by Robb Skinner, associate director of the U.N. Foundation.

"We need to use technology to deliver because we are overwhelmed by the humanitarian problems in the world," Guterres said. "If you…
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More About: Rio plus social, Social Good, technology

U.S. and Israel Designed Flame Virus to Target Iran [REPORT]

Posted: 19 Jun 2012 01:20 PM PDT

The United States and Israel teamed up to design Flame, one of the nastiest computer viruses ever discovered in the wilds of the Internet, according to a report.

Flame, which is a highly sophisticated piece of malware that turns infected computers into listening machines, was designed to map out Iran's nuclear systems and spy on Iranian officials, according to "Western officials with knowledge of the effort," reports the Washington Post.

The joint effort, codenamed "Olympic Games" (which also reportedly bred the Stuxnet virus) involved the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and elements of Israel's military.

Flame was designed to disguise itself as a commonpla…
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More About: cybersecurity, flame, iran, Israel, trending, US, World

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