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July 2017 Archives

Winning at Launch Time

Your extraordinary work on game development through concept to crunch, your tireless community building, brand awareness, and engagement all converge on one moment: Launching the game.

Is it possible to ever finish building a video game? The longer the dev cycle, the more likely it is you'll run out the clock on tech, slipping down the slope toward obsolescence. The more time you give your team, the more features and assets they'll want to include and incorporate.

Ransomware has changed a lot since it was introduced back in 1989 by Dr. Joseph Popp, where 20,000 floppy disks were distributed via snail mail. The malware hid files on a victim's hard drive and encrypted only the file names, rather than the entire files themselves. As one might assume, the entire remediation process was manual, rather than digital. Popp's program asked victims to print the ransom note and send $189 to a bank in Panama. When he was caught, he was determined unfit to stand trial. All the money he obtained was donated to AIDS research.

Part 1: Reading SPAM for Research

 I recently wrote an article for Information Security Magazine where I explained how internet security researchers could use their spam folders as a resource tool.  It got me thinking about going into greater detail on what I've found in my inbox.

Phishing Sites

I noticed an increase in "free gift cards" and other e-commerce type offers in my spam email account around Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, which didn't subside until the end of the holiday season, several weeks later. These e-mails claimed to offer me a free $50 dollar Amazon gift card. When I click the link it leads me to a bogus but almost legitimate looking Amazon login site in an attempt to nab my login credentials.  The broken TLS lock icon and odd looking URL are a dead giveaway as to suspect this site isn't legitimate.  

 

Congratulations to TalkTalk, who were just named the number one provider in the UK for Fibre Broadband response times by the SamKnows industry benchmark. How did they accomplish this? With the support of Nominum's, now part of Akamai, carrier-class DNS software solution, CacheServe.

Girls Who Code Week 2: Let the Coding Begin!!

The Akamai-sponsored Girls Who Code program is well under way! Week 2 featured lots of activity in the Girls Who Code classroom at Akamai's Cambridge, MA headquarters.

The girls learned to use Scratch, a visual programming language that was developed at MIT to help people learn to code. They used Scratch to create a paddle-ball game and a side-scroller game. This included the use of functions, parameters, user input, conditionals, and cloning to create their games. With these building blocks in place, the girls will continue to learn about more complex computing concepts as they progress through the program.

Don't Say Goodbye to Your OTT Viewers

Takes a second to say goodbye
Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh
It takes a second to say goodbye
Say goodbye, oh, oh, oh, say bye bye
Where you going to now

When U2 penned the lyrics to its song, "Seconds," in 1983, there was no such thing as online video. In fact, video had killed the radio star only four years earlier, and the Internet was a notion that barely extended beyond the walls of a few educational and government institutions. Yet, the above passage could very well describe what's weighing on the minds of today's OTT service executives some 30-plus years later.

New research from Akamai shows online video viewers have little patience for symptoms of poor-quality streaming such as buffering and low resolution. The study, conducted in conjunction with biometric research firm, Sensum, was designed to measure viewers' emotional and physical reactions to varying levels of video streaming quality and experiences, and how they relate to OTT business models and brands. And the results were amazing.

There's an old adage that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you're like me, you can apply this to your own experiences. For example, about 5 years ago a small chain of gyms that exclusively used vibrating exercise machines popped up near my home. Their gym goers would stand on a vibration platform for 15 minutes while reading or watching TV. The gym promised weight loss, fat burn, improved flexibility, and enhanced blood flow. The thought of getting a complete workout in 15 minutes without breaking a sweat is pretty appealing. I'm in! Unfortunately, research (or lack thereof) brings us back to reality and it appears that adage about something being too good to be true applies once again and those people who stood on a vibrating platform for exercise, at best experienced minor caloric burn.

Unwelcome Interruptions

Imagine your player's first experience with your game. Finally, after waiting all these years, she's got the game in hand. She tears the cellophane, cracks the case, slots the disc, and . . . "Game is now updating. Please wait." Watching 20 GB load onto a machine is not anyone's idea of fun.

Your customers are unique and they all expect fast, secure, personalized digital experiences. They are spread across the world, in regions of varying network connectivity, utilize a plethora of devices and screen sizes - making it challenging to deliver your experiences.

By delivering 95 Exabytes of data over billions of devices every year, Akamai provides the world's largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform that empowers you to provide fast, secure, scalable and reliable experiences. It is the only platform that seamlessly integrates web and mobile performance, cloud security, enterprise access and video delivery solutions helping you deliver consistent superior experiences no matter where the customers are and what device they are using.

Written by Lisa Adams

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion program at Akamai Technologies is off to a great start! During Week 1 we welcomed the class of 20 girls and the teaching team of three instructors from Girls Who Code. The girls began learning how to program in the Scratch language, and already gave impressive demonstrations using their new skills! We also conducted the Meet and Greet event, which was well attended by the girls, the teaching team, the girls' parents and supporters, and the Akamai organizing team and mentor groups. The event featured a talk by Dr. Tom Leighton, Akamai's co-founder and CEO, where Dr. Leighton shared his excitement about Akamai's hosting the Girls Who Code for a third consecutive year. Dr. Leighton told the audience: "You are going to make a difference, even if you don't know it yet. You will define the future."

Written by Or Katz and Raviv Perets

A widespread phishing scam that offers free airline tickets has been spotted in the wild by Akamai's Enterprise Threat Protector (ETP) security research team. The campaign uses a number of social engineering techniques to trick people into providing their private information. When someone clicks on the link in the phishing email, they are taken to a dedicated website that tells them they have "won" two free airline tickets.