Tech Companies Spend Big On Lobbying

Tech giants spent a lot of money to plead their cases to the government. Facebook,  Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google combined spent $43 million dollars on lobbyists alone in 2014. Google led the way spending nearly $17 million, followed by Facebook with $9.3 million, Microsoft a little over $8 million,  Amazon at $4.7 million and Apple with $4.1 million.

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They hoped to influence decisions on issues like privacy and net- neutrality as well as patents, taxes and other business issues.

Flash Flaw Targets Older Versions of IE

Hackers are using a newly discovered flaw in Flash Player that can install malware on your computer. In fact this flaw is being exploited as part of malicious attack tool kits that would-be hackers can purchase online in shady marketplaces.

Right now the hackers are targeting XP systems running Internet Explorer versions 6-8, Windows 7 running IE 8 and Windows 8 with IE 10.  Windows 8.1 is so far safe from the attack. If you can upgrade your version of Internet Explorer to 11, now is the time.

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Flash runs on all three major browsers and while there are  not current reports of Firefox or Chrome being affected, that doesn’t mean that attackers aren’t working on them right now.

NASA Releases Largest Hubble Picture Ever

Now for something really cool.  NASA has released a high-definition panoramic view of the Andromeda Galaxy taken fro the Hubble Space Telescope. Below is a much small representation of the amazing image.

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 There are over 100 million stars visible in the panorama.

Click here to get larger versions of the image and for downloadable and printable versions.

~ Cynthia