Best of Today (8/2)

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Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered, U.N. hit. Enter the Cyber-dragon. Exclusive: Operation Shady RAT—Unprecedented Cyber-espionage Campaign and Intellectual-Property Bonanza. When the history of 2011 is written, it may well be remembered as the Year of the Hack.

Exclusive: Operation Shady RAT—Unprecedented Cyber-espionage Campaign and Intellectual-Property Bonanza

Long before the saga of News of the World phone hacking began, stories of computer breaches were breaking almost every week. In recent months, Sony, Fox, the British National Health Service, and the Web sites of PBS, the U.S. Why Did Facebook Buy an e-Book Publisher? Is Facebook about to get into the e-book business?

Why Did Facebook Buy an e-Book Publisher?

On Tuesday the social network announced that it was acquiring Push Pop Press, a digital book maker that specializes in interactive books for the Apple iPad and iPhone. The e-books built by the publisher feel like movies; interactive graphics with words sprinkled about cross the page. Could we expect Facebook to start making and selling e-books on its Web site where it would go head-to-head with Apple, Amazon and Google? Facebook denies such a claim. A press release on the Push Pop Press Web site said, “Although Facebook isn’t planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories.” Ron Wyden Puts Hold On FISA Amendments Act; Wants Answers To How Many Americans Have Been Spied On. Apple’s Tech Support Is Not As Good As It Used To Be, Study Claims. According to a study conducted by Minnesota-based research firm Vocal Laboratories (aka Vocalabs), Apple’s lead in tech support quality is slipping, while consumer satisfaction scores for HP are improving.

Apple’s Tech Support Is Not As Good As It Used To Be, Study Claims

Vocalabs interviews people by telephone right after a customer service experience, and for this study completed 4,161 surveys between May 2008 and June 2011. The firm found that Apple continues to lead both Dell and HP in customer service quality for phone-based technical support, but customers are reporting more problems with the automated part of calls. In interviews immediately following a support call, 58 percent of Apple customers were “Very Satisfied” with the experience during the first half of this year, compared to 47 percent of Dell customers and 53 percent of HP customers.

Apple’s satisfaction score is down 15 points from a year ago, while HP has improved 9 points over the past two years. 54,805 reasons not to be Amazon’s free app of the day — Mobile Technology News. Amazon App Store: Rotten To The Core. About 3 months ago, we set off on a little experiment into the world of the Amazon App Store.

Amazon App Store: Rotten To The Core

Back then people were hailing it as the solution to the problems with the Google Market, industry pundits like Andy Ihnatko called it ‘An Excellent Work in Progress‘. Amazon’s biggest feature by far, has been their Free App Of The Day promotion. Publicly their terms say that they pay developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free. To both consumers and naive developers alike, this seems like a big chance to make something rare in the Android world: real money. Amazon's Growing Appstore Problem: Android Developer Relations. When the Amazon Appstore was announced, there was great hope for the new platform.

Amazon's Growing Appstore Problem: Android Developer Relations

But application developers are growing unhappy with the e-commerce king. The promise was to bring eyeballs and dollars to apps. For some, only half of that has proven to be true and the gripes are starting to mount. The Android Market was and continues to be a work in progress (with more malware infiltrating it every day): difficult to search and with no application filtering process, a la Apple.

Amazon was supposed to be the cure for what ails the Android Market and untrustworthy, third-party application stores in general. AOL Makes an iPad Reader. AOL’s personalized news reader for the iPad, Editions, is intended to give people a daily news briefing.

AOL Makes an iPad Reader

IPad owners have plenty of options for reading online news in one place. Flipboard, Pulse and Zite all pull articles from a variety of publications into a personalized digital magazine. Broadband subscribers mostly get what they pay for. Good news for U.S. broadband customers: On average major Internet service providers are delivering up to 80 percent of advertised broadband speeds, according to a study by the Federal Communications Commission.

Broadband subscribers mostly get what they pay for

This is a big improvement over 2009 when the FCC noted as part of its preparation for the National Broadband Plan that actual download speeds for broadband service were often about half of what broadband providers advertised as their maximum speeds . Rural broadband for all means satellite for some under big telcos' plan. Good news, Federal Communications Commission watchers.

Rural broadband for all means satellite for some under big telcos' plan

According to the agency's schedule, most of the proceedings for the FCC's National Broadband Plan are up and running. Questions are being asked, issues are being debated, and problems are (hopefully) being solved. The Latest Groupon Killer: Amazon - Deal Journal. Getty Images The clones are attacking in droves.

The Latest Groupon Killer: Amazon - Deal Journal

While Groupon has become perhaps the fastest-growing company in the history of humanity, Groupon fans have been forced to fend off nagging questions about when and whether competitors would start pecking away at its business model. Well, here comes another peck, from one very big duck. Amazon.com is quietly launching its own deal-of-day discount offers in Chicago, a launch reported earlier by the Chicago Tribune.

Groupon's Worst Nightmare: Amazon Entering Daily Deals Space. Daily deals giant Groupon has to be wondering what it did to anger the largest e-commerce player in the market.

Groupon's Worst Nightmare: Amazon Entering Daily Deals Space

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is not only launching a daily deals program, called Amazon Local, but the initial rollout is coming to Groupon's backyard of Chicago. The Most Expensive One-byte Mistake. Related Content.