Oct 09 2014

Welcome to Alameda Tech

Published by under Editorial

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Alameda Tech, where I (Michael Hatamoto / tech journalist, blogger) will publish my personal thoughts.  I write some great stories with hopefully pithy and knowledgeable insight, but enjoy keeping it light hearted and fun.  I will link to outside resources and might have a few guest bloggers drop by and provide additional insight in the future.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment – or email me: michael.hatamoto (at) gmail.com

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Oct 23 2014

Quick Thoughts on the Satechi Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse

I wrote a story on TweakTown covering the announcement of Satechi’s Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse, a cheap $19.99 gaming mouse that runs on two AA batteries. This blog post was written to shed some light on the current gaming peripheral market, and to share additional details about Satechi.

This could end up being a neat little product from Satechi, as there aren’t a lot of affordable gaming mice available – and the Edge being wireless adds another layer of appeal to many users.

The full press release is available after the jump:  Continue Reading »

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Oct 22 2014

Study: 45 Percent of Americans Would Avoid Shopping at Retailers That Suffered Data Breach

Published by under News


U.S. consumers are becoming painfully aware of data breaches suffered by retailers, and customers are losing confidence, according to a study published by CreditCards.com. Specifically, the survey discovered 45 percent of Americans would “definitely” or “probably” not shop at a retailer during the 2014 Christmas shopping season if the store suffered a data breach.

Full story available after the jump:  Continue Reading »

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Oct 15 2014

UFC Broadcaster Breaks Cardinal Rule of Social Media: Don’t Feed The Trolls!

 

Twitter is a wonderful social media platform, allowing users to write and share messages in 140 characters or less.  Critics have wondered how impactful such a short message can be. Don’t be fooled: Twitter, and social media overall, provides us with great opportunities to interact with one another – but public figures and companies need to be extremely cautious with statements.

Sit down, breathe, and think about each Tweet that is being sent out representing your company or brand.

As recently highlighted by UFC commentator Mike Goldberg, who tried his hand at NFL broadcasting. Tasked with commentating the NFL Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings game, it was a mistake-riddled broadcast that upset many viewers.

NFL viewers took to Twitter to criticize Goldberg’s performance on the FOX broadcast, which is what fans will do regardless.

Things took a nasty turn when Goldberg began responding to the Tweets in an emotional lapse of judgment, with Tweets ranging from: “dude f**k you” to calling a user another word for a female hygiene product.

Yikes.

Following the incident, here is what Goldberg said:

“I just want to apologize to everyone at FOX and elsewhere for my momentary lapse of reason Sunday night. I let some mean-spirited folks on Twitter get to me and I should have had thicker skin instead of reacting so quickly and emotionally. I don’t want to be a distraction on the upcoming broadcast Sunday, so we mutually agreed that it would be best to sit this next one out. I’m not happy about it personally but, professionally, it’s the right thing to do after my mistake. Thank you to FOX and to others who have been so great to me and understanding.”

Good disaster recovery aside (both sides “mutually agreed” Goldberg wouldn’t appear for a second round of commentating?), it wasn’t a big shock to see Goldberg’s apology posted publicly. Using the very same forum that landed him in hot water.  FOX – and most major corporations – are adept to handle these types of incidents, but can temporarily cause them to have egg on their face.

At Goldberg’s expense, companies can learn a very valuable lesson: Address criticism when necessary, but ignore users just trying to stir up trouble.  We are all human, and mistakes will happen. Unfortunately, companies – or their employees – that respond to criticism in a personal, unprofessional manner tend to see their tweets, messages, and other forums of communication spread like wildfire.

(Thanks to Inquisitr for providing us with this image.)

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Oct 14 2014

7 Basic Tips to Help Prevent Identity Theft

Published by under Articles

Identity theft is a major threat that is receiving more media attention due to the large number of data breaches suffered by retailers. Target and Home Depot suffered data breaches that left millions of their customers at risk – but it’s not just those companies, as JPMorgan Chase also was targeted.

Identity theft affected more than 13 million U.S. residents in 2013 alone, and that number is only expected to grow in the future, according to security experts.

Unfortunately, it seems many consumers are blissfully unaware of the risk, even as banks continue to warn customers.

Want to keep your identity safer online? Here are seven basic tips to start with.

1. Don’t share your Social Security number or any personal information with unknown sources, including on the Internet

2. Look out for shoulder surfers when entering your PIN number at an ATM or at the checkout of a store. It sounds juvenile, but it’s a simple technique used by criminals to compromise victims.

3. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse

4. Shred all physical mail relating to banks or that contain your personal information, including bank statements, credit card offers, returned checks, etc.

5. Always protect your PIN number, and don’t write it down and keep it in a wallet or purse

6. Be proactive by monitoring your checking and credit card accounts – this can be done online and on your smartphone or tablet

7. Careful clicking links in emails! If in doubt, go directly to your bank’s website, rather than clicking potential phishing links

The tips provided are only seven techniques to help change your thought process, so you’re more aware of protecting your identity. Here is some additional reading material:

Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft information – LINK HERE
USA.gov – LINK HERE
Equifax – LINK HERE

(Image courtesy of Salem News)

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Oct 10 2014

The Forgotten Step: Following up With Customers via Social Media

Yesterday I wrote about how social media can play an integral role in assisting with streamlined, efficient customer support. Today’s entry is focused on another reason why SM can greatly benefit your company and your customers.

Since social media is a more human way to interact over customer support or email, hopefully customers are left satisfied when problems are resolved, opening the door to another valuable opportunity: following up in a polite, non-intrusive manner.

Following up with customers is often undervalued and can be difficult in other situations. However, using social media, regardless of which platform, gives companies the opportunity to again interact with a once-angry customer. After a problem has been resolved, companies can send a quick Tweet or message to customers to verify they are satisfied with no lingering issues.

I’d recommend sending a brief private message – it helps offer an additional layer of personal interaction directly to the customer. The proof is in the pudding when it comes to successful customer service in the long run, and there is no need to publicly grasp for attention.

Remember, not all customers want to be inconvenienced by a phone call, text message, or email – use the power of social media to assist you.

(Thanks to for Viral Blog providing us with this image.)

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Oct 09 2014

Using Social Media to Help Resolve Customer Problems


Social media is a powerful tool for brands and companies, but only when it is utilized correctly. Each company that has a social media account, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., must be ready to deal with an avalanche of different scenarios. This entry is focused on basic customer support utilizing social media.

There is a reason major corporations are extremely active on Twitter and Facebook. It’s not because they want to be seen as hip, trendy companies, or because they enjoy trying to compose messages in 140 characters or less. The most obvious reason: Customer support. Irate customers tend to draw attention, and can influence followers – and potentially other users – when they have problems with a service.

Full blog post available after the jump:  Continue Reading »

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Sep 27 2014

Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop Hit By Data Breach

Published by under Articles,News



Gourmet sandwich shop Jimmy John’s has been hit by a data breach and 216 stores were reportedly affected by the breach.

It seems a third-party point-of-sale (POS) vendor was compromised, opening the door for cybercriminals to steal customer information. Debit and credit card information of affected stores is at risk, including card numbers, cardholder names, card verification codes and expiration dates.

Here is what the company said in a press statement:

We apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have on our customers. Jimmy John’s values the privacy and security of its customers’ information, and is offering identity protection services to impacted customers, although Jimmy John’s does not collect its customers’ Social Security numbers. For more information, call (855) 398-6442. In addition, customers are encouraged to monitor their credit and debit card accounts, and notify their bank if they notice any suspicious activity.

These types of data breaches are becoming even more common place, and a growing number of companies have been caught up in the cybercriminal chaos.

Image courtesy of Jimmy John’s

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Jun 30 2014

Quick Tips For Those of You Publishing Content Online

Published by under Editorial


A few of you recently asked me some writing-related questions, and I wanted to answer them in a brief blog post.  I plan to write additional blog posts that dig into writing topics in-depth, but this should suffice for now.

Read some quick tips after the jump:  Continue Reading »

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Jun 28 2014

Frightening State of Organized Snooping Facing Users

Published by under Editorial

Internet users are under attack and we can’t expect privacy online. Very few of us have true privacy when accessing the Web, and we sometimes take extreme methods to get it.

In reality, we face threats not only from rogue hackers and organized hacker groups, but there is an ever present threat that is often overlooked: federal governments. Following mass surveillance programs unveiled by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we have been provided a rare glimpse of a rather complicated, and unnerving problem.

Security firm Kaspersky Lab recently unveiled some more frightening news about sanctioned hacking operations. A recent story I wrote for eTeknix highlights security risks Google Android and Apple iOS users face, courtesy of HackingTeam – a company with clients such as governments and law enforcement.

In the ongoing evolution of the hacker community over the past 10 years, the addition of state-sponsored threat actors has accelerated. Governments often rely on cybercriminals to either launch attacks to disrupt behaviors of political rivals, or to conduct cyberespionage.

When we think of state-sponsored hacking activity, most of the attention goes straight towards China and Russia, but let’s not forget Iran and the United States also take part.

Image courtesy of 

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