Opera Next 16 hints at new features

Norwegian browser developer Opera Software has confirmed the switch of its browser development to a rapid release cycle with the launch of Opera Next 16. The new version number comes less than a month after Opera 15 FINAL was released, which saw Opera switch from its own proprietary Presto web engine to the Blink engine used by Google Chrome.

As with all rapid release cycle updates, there are no major overhauls to be found in Opera Next 16, although a number of interesting new features have been showcased as the next iteration starts its journey towards final release.

Opera 16 — which is based on Chromium 29, the engine that powers Chrome 29 (currently in beta) — comes with support for the W3C Geolocation API, a form auto-filler tool and opera:flags, a shortcut to settings that allows adventurous users to play with experimental features.

Users will also find a new setting under Browser > Start Page called “Preload Discover contents”, which allows users to switch this feature off.

Platform-specific updates include support for Jump Lists in Windows 7 and 8, plus the addition of Presentation mode to the Mac platform.

In addition to these existing features, Opera has revealed the next set of features it’s working on, with the promise that early versions of these will be rolled out into the Opera Next build over the next few weeks. These include proper bookmarks support, synchronization via Opera Link, improved tab handling and themes.

Opera Next 16 is considered “alpha” software, which is why — like Firefox Aurora — it’s designed to run alongside an existing stable build of Opera, allowing users to experiment with new features without affecting their day-to-day browsing. Updates are frequent as bugs are discovered and fixed, but users should not attempt to rely on Opera Next as their primary browser, hence the separate installation.

Yahoo!’s Earnings and the Future of Display Ads

Investors were upset that Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) quarterly results showed a sharp drop in display advertising revenue. And, based on its forecasts, that will not get any better soon. The Yahoo! trouble is not an isolated case. Display rates have started to collapse across the industry, making a chance for Internet advertising to expand as fast as it has over the past decade impossible. That represents trouble for tens of thousands of businesses.

Yahoo!’s revenue fell 7% in the second quarter compared to last year, drifting down to $1.22 billion. Wall St. focused mostly on one comment:

Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

GAAP display revenue was $472 million for the second quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared to $535 million for the second quarter of 2012.

At the same time, there was no evidence that Yahoo!’s audience fell, so the yield from the average display ad fell considerably.

Yahoo! holds a special place among America’s Internet companies. In the United States, according to research firm comScore, it had a monthly audience of unique visitor that was above 192.9 million in May. That put it a very close second to Google Inc.’s (GOOG), which was 193.5 million. Because of its huge size, the trends set by Yahoo! almost certainly represent those of most of the balance of the industry.

States That Drink the Most Beer

The bane of display advertising today is that so many Web properties have decided to stake their futures on content delivered on small devices, which include, primarily, smartphones. All of the evidence indicates that advertisers will pay less for messages they post on these smaller screens. Actually, the amount marketers will pay for this content environment is much, much less than for traditional display ads that appear on personal computers (PCs). In an attempt to chase the online content audience as it migrates away from PCs, Internet companies have badly damaged future revenue prospects. The trouble is that people will watch content on smaller screens whether online content sites like it or not.

Most experts hope that falling display ad rates can be offset by the increase in video content on the Internet. Advertisers will pay a great deal more for video ads than display ads. So, there is a rush to create this sort of programming. But the likelihood that video can balance the drop in display rates appears unlikely.

Beyond Google’s YouTube, the amount of video posted on the Internet by large content companies is relatively small. In May, Google sites had 154.4 million unique video viewers, driven almost exclusively by YouTube. These visitors spent an average of 437 minutes on Google sites in May. After that, video viewership at other sites drops very sharply. For example, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sites had 45.2 million unique video viewers in May. The average time these viewers spent watching video on Microsoft sites was only 36.9 minutes, barely more than a half-hour TV show.

Internet advertising may remain at current levels in terms of volume, but the monetary yield from these ads likely will never return.

Amcom Software Supports HIPAA-Compliant Smartphone Texting at Emory University and Emory Healthcare

Amcom Software, Inc. today announced that Emory University is leading a large strategic effort to expand the use of its HIPAA-compliant smartphone texting app, Mobile Connect, Powered by Amcom™. The organization plans to have thousands of Emory staff in both the academic and hospital settings using the solution to facilitate their secure critical messaging. Emory wants to ensure that sensitive information such as identifiable patient data remains protected, that staff can easily locate the people they need to contact, and that messages requiring immediate attention are acknowledged and responded to quickly.

Emory uses Mobile Connect because it integrates easily with their Amcom hospital call center solutions, including their staff directory, on-call scheduling and emergency notification systems. “Currently we are focused on educating our staff about the benefits of Mobile Connect, including the security and ease of communicating,” said Jay Flanagan, Senior Manager, UTS Messaging at Emory University. “This is particularly important for those who send or receive critical communications, including physicians and nurses, administrators, IT staff, and Infection Control. The healthcare staff is our primary focus, but faculty and staff in the university sectors are also included.”

“When staff see how Mobile Connect simplifies their work and makes them more productive, they get excited,” said Jason Stanaland, Mobile Messaging Applications Engineer at Emory University. “Our early adopters enticed their coworkers to use it. They all recognize its many benefits and are helping to spread the word.”

“Mobile Connect is transforming how Emory’s staff is able to communicate, particularly in its fast-paced clinical setting,” said Colin Balmforth, President, Amcom Software. “It’s exciting to see customers like Emory making full use of their Amcom solutions to improve their communication workflows and patient care.”

About Emory’s Office of Information Technology
Emory University’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for maintaining and coordinating centralized computing services on campus and supporting academic, administrative, research, and healthcare departments in the effective and efficient use of these technologies. The Office of Information Technology coordinates its efforts and initiatives with other central and local information technology units. Some of the larger systems and service provided by OIT include electronic medical records, voice and data services, enterprise-wide human resources, student administration, financial systems, high-performance computing, and academic course-management software.

About Amcom Software
Amcom Software, a subsidiary of USA Mobility, Inc. (USMO), connects people to each other and to the data they need. This helps organizations save lives with communications that are faster, more accurate, and more efficient. Thousands of organizations worldwide rely on Amcom solutions for critical smartphone communications, contact center optimization, emergency management, and clinical workflow improvement. The company’s products are used by leading organizations in healthcare, hospitality, education, business, and government.

Zulu Creative Launches Redesigned Website For MAX’s Wine Dive

Zulu Creative is proud to announce the launch of a new website for MAX’s Wine Dive, the award-winning, rockin’ restaurant concept from Houston-based Lasco Enterprises that combines gourmet comfort food with retail wine sales and features unlikely pairings such as fried chicken and champagne. The new website is mobile-friendly for diners on-the-go and contains unique content for five MAX’s locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, plus corporate-specific content. The MAX’s website is the second of three that Zulu Creative is designing for Lasco. A new website for Boiler House, Lasco’s Texas grill and wine garden concept located at the historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, was completed in fall 2012. A complete redesign of The Tasting Room site is forthcoming.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130723/MN51688)

Taking its design cue from current branding, the new MAX’s site features a black and white color palette with red accents and bold typographical elements. Zulu Creative recommended key website enhancements to better convey MAX’s funky, eclectic brand vibe online. The website reflects each location’s unique ambience and personality through witty slogans on each page, graphical jukebox-inspired elements that evoke the restaurant’s dive-bar feel, and location-specific featured images.

Site visitors can easily make online reservations and access key information such as each location’s address, hours, contact information and menus. In addition, visitors can view each location’s calendar of events, read chef and wine manager bios, see private event/catering options, purchase gift cards online, sign up for MAX’s newsletter and easily connect with MAX’s through their social media channels. Press+Awards pages tout each location’s accolades, while a corporate Employment page lists all job openings by location and serves as a useful recruiting tool.

Designed and built on a content management system (CMS) platform with multisite functionality, the website is scalable, making it easy to manage multiple websites through a single interface and add new sites as Lasco opens new MAX’s locations.

“We are extremely excited about the new website for MAX’s Wine Dive created by the talented team at Zulu Creative,” said Jonathan Horowitz, Chief Brand Officer of Lasco Enterprises. “Throughout the entire creative process, the Zulu team exercised intense attention to detail and introduced a new site that is easy for our guests to navigate, as well as met our goal to produce a product which mimics the energy, look and feel of the MAX’s Wine Dive concept.”

“Designing sites for three award-winning Lasco brands is an exciting opportunity and huge honor,” says Tina Zulu, Founder and Creative Chieftess of Zulu Creative. “Our experience creating websites for other successful restaurants and bars made the Boiler House, MAX’s Wine Dive and The Tasting Room projects a perfect fit for us, and our teams work extremely well together. We couldn’t be more thrilled and congratulate Lasco on their continued success and growth. Cheers!”

About Zulu Creative
Fun! And smart! Zulu Creative is a boutique agency in Midtown Houston, Texas, specializing in marketing and brand development for lifestyle businesses that serve consumer niche markets. The Zulu crew is a dynamic team of intelligent professionals who are energetic, innovative, passionate and reliable. Clients who choose Zulu Creative get a big bang for their buck, benefit from a diverse team of experience and talent, and enjoy a smashing, cutting-edge image in the Houston community, nationally and globally. Whether a brand needs a kick-start, upgrade or extreme makeover, Zulu Creative is known for creating memorable experiences and making an impact. It’s all about positioning brands at the top of the target audience’s mind. Zulu Creative accomplishes it through innovative, integrated marketing. For more information, visit www.zulucreative.com

About Lasco Enterprises
Established by Jerry and Laura Lasco in Houston in 2003, Lasco Enterprises, LLC is the parent company for MAX’s Wine Dive (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Ft. Worth), The Tasting Room Wine Cafés, Lasco Events & Catering, Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden (San Antonio), and The Black Door online wine community, and now has more than 500 employees in five cities. In 2010, Inc. 5000 named Lasco Enterprises one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. In 2011 and 2012, Lasco was named as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Texas” by the Best Companies Group. The Houston Business Journal named Lasco Enterprises to its Fast 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in Houston in 2009, 2010, 2011 and in 2012. In 2009 and in 2012, the publication awarded Lasco the Houston Business Journal’s “Enterprise Champion” award for the company’s commitment to its employees, the communities in which it operates, and for its contributions to its industry. For more information, visitwww.lascoenterprises.com

Review: First 8-inch Windows tablet is a device that shouldn’t exist

My dissatisfaction with PC OEMs is something I have documented in the past. They offer a confusing array of products and tend to cut corners in the worst ways imaginable. The OEM response to Windows 8 has been to produce a wide range of machines sporting novel form factors to fit all sorts of niches, both real and imagined.

One niche that the OEMs haven’t tried to fill, however, has been sub-10-inch tablets. That’s not altogether surprising. Microsoft designed Windows 8 for screens of 10 inches or more, and initially the operating system’s hardware requirements had a similar constraint.

That decision looked a little short-sighted after the success of tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. Accordingly, Microsoft changed the rules in March, opening the door to a range of smaller Windows tablets.

The Acer Iconia W3 is the first—and currently the only—8-inch Windows tablet. That attribute alone makes it in some sense noteworthy. Sadly, it’s about the only thing that does.

Spec-wise, this is another Intel Clover Trail tablet, and its internals are basically the same as the devices that launched last year (such as its bigger brother, the Acer Iconia W510). This means 1.8 GHz, dual core, four thread Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB flash storage (which with Acer’s default partitioning leaves a little over 29 GB usable), front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n (no 5 GHz support). There’s a micro-HDMI and micro-USB port for external connectivity (a separate cable converts the micro USB port into a full-size one), along with an SD card slot. The tablet has a speaker adequate for notification sounds but little more.

As a result, performance and battery life are similar to what we’ve seen before. The Iconia W3 comes equipped with full-blown Windows 8, unlike ARM tablets, so it can run any 32-bit Windows application—should you really want to. Clover Trail’s GPU performance is such that games and other graphics-intensive programs won’t run well, however.

Eight inches of horror

The new bits on this tablet are really the screen and the size.

Screens are important. We spend essentially all our time interacting with devices looking at screens. Cost-cutting on screens is unforgivable, as a bad screen will damage every single interaction you have with the device. This goes doubly so for tablets, where the screen works not only as an output device but also as the primary input device.

The Acer Iconia W3’s screen is a standout—because it is worst-in-class. I hated every moment I used the Iconia W3, and I hated it because I hated the screen. Its color accuracy and viewing angles are both miserable (whites aren’t white—they’re weirdly colorful and speckled). The screen has a peculiar grainy appearance that makes it look permanently greasy. You can polish as much as you like; it will never go away. The whole effect is reminiscent in some ways of old resistive screens.

It’s hard to overstate just how poor this screen is. At any reasonable tablet viewing distance, the color of the screen is uneven. The viewing angle is so narrow that at typical hand-held distances, the colors change across the width of the screen. At full arm’s length the screen does finally look even, but the device is obviously unusable that way.

Acer has clearly skimped on the screen. I’m sure the panel in the W3 was quite cheap, and that may be somewhat reflected in the unit’s retail price ($379 for a 32GB unit, $429 for this 64GB one—putting it at the same price as the 32GB iPad mini, which has a comparable amount of available disk space), but who cares? It doesn’t matter how cheap something is if you don’t want to use it at all.

This poor screen quality isn’t a question of resolution, either. 1280×800 is not a tremendously high resolution, but text looks crisp enough. At 186 pixels per inch, 1280×800 feels more or less OK for this size of device.

The low resolution does, however, have one significant drawback: it disables Windows 8’s side-by-side Metro multitasking, which requires a resolution of at least 1366×768. The W3’s screen is 86 pixels too narrow, so the Metro environment is strictly one application at a time.

This is an unfortunate decision. The side-by-side multitasking is one of the Metro environment’s most compelling features. Keeping Twitter or Messenger snapped to the side makes a lot of sense and works well. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a device that didn’t support side-by-side Metro multitasking before, and I don’t ever want to again.

Size-wise, the W3 may be small for a Windows tablet, but it’s not exactly small. It’s fat. The W3 is 11.4 mm thick. The iPad mini, in comparison, is 7.2 mm thick. The Iconia W3 is also heavy at 500 g; the iPad mini, in comparison, is 308 g. That makes the W3 more than 50 percent thicker and more than 50 percent heavier.

The thickness makes the lack of a full-sized USB port on the device more than a little confusing. There’s certainly room for a full USB port, and a full port would be more convenient than the dongle. But for whatever reason, Acer didn’t give us one.

The device itself feels solid enough, albeit plasticky. It doesn’t exude quality, but it’s a step or two up from the bargain basement.

Keyboard non-dock

The W3 also has a keyboard accessory. As is common for this kind of thing, the keyboard has no electrical connection to the tablet. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It has a groove along the top that can hold the tablet in both landscape and portrait orientations and a clip on the back that lets you use the keyboard as a kind of screen protector.

The keyboard has to be manually paired to the tablet. It’s more or less full-size, with a reasonable key layout. It’s a typical mediocre keyboard. The feel is a little on the squishy side, lacking the crispness of, for example Microsoft’s Type Cover for its Surface tablets. It’s better than any on-screen keyboard, and to that extent it does its job. But it’s a long way from being an actually good keyboard.

The groove does hold the tablet up, and on a level surface the unit doesn’t topple over, but it’s not as satisfactory as some of the hinged keyboard/docks we’ve seen on other devices. Tilt the base while carrying it or using it on your lap and the tablet is liable to fall out.

UBT and U. Learning Solutions for System Development Education

JAKARTA – The education gap that occurred in Indonesia led to many obstacles in the implementation of teaching activities, especially for remote areas far from urban centers.
Lack of infrastructure facilities and educators make the achievement of quality education in Indonesia less than the maximum. Supposedly the Communications Director of PT Surya Inti Word Tonny A. . Era in which the IT department, this issue should not have terjadi0.
To meet the challenges of globalization in the era of fast-paced communication and transparency as today, required education system effective and efficient. One of these systems Ubiquitous Base Test (UBT) & Ubiquitos-Learning (U-Learning) Platform.
Word is said Tonny A. UBT and U-Learning is introduced by the company North Star Developer’s Village (NSDevil) from Korea, is one of the solutions for the accelerated development of the education system is effective and efficient.
According to him, with the innovation of new technologies such NSDevil, various limitations and problems in the teaching process can be overcome.
“The application is not only Internet-based, but also expanded and facilitated by the ability beraplikasi using 3G wireless communication technology, or the network and mobile devices (smartphones) are already widely used in parts of the country people,” he said after signing the MoU between NSDevil cooperation with PT Solar Core Communications.
The MoU was signed by CEO NSDevil Un Joo Lee, and Commissioner of PT Surya Inti Communications Honye Fauzia Aurelia.
Tonny said that in the era of the IT department, Indonesia would not want to immediately implement a system of effective and efficient education. “This new system is the development of E-Learning has begun to be applied. E-Learning is limited to the Internet network. U-Learning while utilizing communication network of the vendor, without stuck on a PC or laptop, “he said.
He explained that his company is considering cooperation with a number of educational institutions started elementary school, junior high, high school, and college. Education training centers, can also take advantage of this technology.
“This technology is also appreciated by the Ministry of Education and Culture, which was considered to help bring about equality of education in Indonesia,” he said.
Fauzia Honye Aurelia, Commissioner of PT Surya Inti Communications, adding the development in Indonesia since November 2012, has collaborated with the University NSDevil Pasundan Bandung, as a pilot project in penerapakan UBT and U-Learning.
“From the evaluation of the first phase in June 2013, he said, showed significant results for students and faculty who have tested penerapakannya in the lecture, to semester exams,” said Honye.
UBT Technology & U-Learning also applied in South Africa, Russia, Japan, and the Philippines. While in Korea has been applied since two years ago.

Google Chromecast Announced, Change Ordinary So Smart TV

In addition to announcing second-generation Nexus 7 and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google today also announced the existence of which is a smart Chromecast shaped dongle instead Nexus Q. Chromecast shaped stick that utilizes an HDMI port on the television to run Chrome OS version is simple and will integrate several Google services such as YouTube, Google Play Music, Play Video, and Google Chrome both applications in mobile, tablet or laptop.
Chromecast works like a second screen. If someone such as looking at a YouTube video on your phone, laptop, or tablet and then touch the button Chromecast available in the Chrome browser, it is a television that has been installed sticks Chromecast will play the video as it is displayed on the phone screen. In addition Chromecast can also accept input from a variety of devices that will be played simultaneously turns, for example, from cell phones and play video from laptop playing a movie. Besides Google Play Music and Video, Netflix app (in the U.S.) are also supported by this Chromecast.
Chromecast control can be done from the phone, for example, adjust the volume or change the video played. Chromecast also allows playback of video ‘removed’ from the phone to the tablet and will be passed from the last time the video is played.
Google Chromecast also able to play music like a DJ. This service can access Google Play Music and Pandora. In addition it can also display tabs Chromecast Chrome on television to view photos or videos on Google+ or Vimeo for example. Chromecast also create opportunities through Google Cast application development SDK for Android, iOS and Chrome. To run Chromecast, the television must have an HDMI port plugs plus a blank as a resource for Chromecast mealui microUSB.
Chromecast can be purchased at a price of just USD 35 and is now becoming available in the United States. In addition Chromecast can also be purchased from the Play Store, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. Currently no information when this gadget will be available in Indonesia.

Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

Mozilla Labs has outlined an experiment it’s conducting in improving the personalisation web publishers can offer readers who browse their sites using Firefox.

The outfit says it’s been working on the idea since last year, when it “conducted a series of experiments in which a user’s browsing history could be matched with interests in categories like technology, sports and cooking.”

In return for opting in to the trial, lab rats were offered “insight into how they spend time online.”

Mozilla Labs is now wondering “what if these interests were also available for the user to share with the websites they visit to get a better, more personalized browsing experience” so that “content creators and consumers could benefit from Web-based interests”?

Here’s one scenario the outfit has imagined as resulting from this line of thinking:

“For example, let’s say Firefox recognizes within the browser client, without any browsing history leaving my computer, that I’m interested in gadgets, comedy films, hockey and cooking. As I browse around the Web, I could choose when to share those interests with specific websites for a personalized experience. Those websites could then prioritize articles on the latest gadgets and make hockey scores more visible.”

Some publishers have already pressed the API for this kind of thing into service, according to the Mozilla Blog, but the code is not in the wild and is being tested – technically and conceptually – as Mozilla figures out how people will react to websites that dynamically change content based on readers’ past behaviours.

One example of successful personalisation mentioned in the posts announcing the initiative is The Guardian’s offer to ensure its readers see no news about the birth of George Alexander Louis Windsor. That’s a service many will doubtless enjoy. Whether such personalisation can result in readers choosing only to encounter lines of inquiry and opinions they already agree with, and therefore deciding to consume media that re-enforces their feelings rather than offering broader perspectives, is a wider debate for another day. Or the comments.

Facebook Hashtags Not Catching on With Consumers

While using hashtags in Facebook posts might be a fun tactic for brands trying to engage consumers, it doesn’t appear to be paying off, a new study finds.
Research from social media analytics firm Simply Measured revealed that while 20 percent of Facebook posts among top brands now include hashtags (which give users a way to group messages of similar content), there is no evidence that hashtags are influencing engagement.

The study shows that posts with hashtags —a new feature added with in the last several months — perform as well as those without, suggesting that people are not yet discovering brand posts by their tags.

Overall, the study shows nearly all of the companies in the Interbrand 100 — which ranks businesses based on financial status — now have a Facebook fan page, with 60 percent posting something at least once a day.

[No, Really, Facebook Makes Employees More Productive]

The research revealed that visual content is by far the primary driver for engagement on Facebook. Photos posted by top brands average more than 9,400 engagements, which includes likes, comments and shares, per post, while video posts average more than 2,500.

When it comes to text posts, brands must walk a fine line. Analysis of more than 500 status updates from the top brands shows that the longer a status update is, the less engagement it typically receives. However, if a status update is too short — less than 50 characters — it may not be long enough to capture viewers’ attention or provide the necessary context to drive the number of likes, shares and comments a brand would like.

“For most brands, Facebook is no longer just a network; it has become the hub of their social marketing efforts and one of the most effective ways to engage with fans,” said Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured. “This latest research once again proves that knowing your audience, understanding your content assets and measuring your efforts are extremely important to develop the social strategies that will work best for you.”

Businesses that limit Facebook fans from writing on their page might want to reconsider their strategy. The research shows that nearly 30 percent of top brands do not allow users to post on their wall. For those brands, user engagement on their page is limited to likes, comments and shares, resulting in 15 percent less engagement than brands that do allow user posts.

When it comes to drawing the most Facebook fans, no one does it better than Facebook itself. The social media giant claims the top spot with 93 million fans, followed by Coca-Cola and MTV.

Hackers use Dropbox, WordPress to spread malware

The Chinese cyberspies behind the widely publicized espionage campaign against The New York Times have added Dropbox and WordPress to their bag of spear-phishing tricks.

The gang, known in security circles as the DNSCalc gang, has been using the Dropbox file-sharing service for roughly the last 12 months as a mechanism for spreading malware, said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer for Cyber Squared. While the tactic is not unique, it remains under the radar of most companies.

“I wouldn’t say it’s new,” Barger said on Thursday. “It’s just something that folks aren’t really looking at or paying attention to.”

The gang is among 20 Chinese groups identified this year by security firm Mandiant thatlaunch cyberattacks against specific targets to steal information. In this case, the DNSCalc gang was going after intelligence on individuals or governments connected to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN is a non-governmental group that represents the economic interests of ten Southeast Asian countries.

The attackers did not exploit any vulnerabilities in Dropbox or WordPress. Instead, they opened up accounts and used the services as their infrastructure.

The gang uploaded on Dropbox a .ZIP file disguised as belonging to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Messages were then sent to people or agencies that would be interested in the draft of a Council policy paper. The paper, contained in the file, was legitimate, Barger said.

When a recipient unzipped the file, they saw another one that read, “2013 US-ASEAN Business Council Statement of Priorities in the US-ASEAN Commercial Relationship Policy Paper.scr.” Clicking on the file would launch a PDF of the document, while the malware opened a backdoor to the host computer in the background.

Once the door was open, the malware would reach out to a WordPress blog created by the attackers. The blog contained the IP address and port number of a command and control server that the malware would contact to download additional software.

Dropbox is a desirable launchpad for attacks because employees of many companies use the service. “People trust Dropbox,” Barger said.

For companies that have the service on its whitelist, malware moving from Dropbox won’t be detected by a company’s intrusion prevention systems. Also, communications to a WordPress blog would likely go undetected, since it would not be unusual behavior for any employee with access to the Internet.

In general, no single technology can prevent such an attack. “There’s no silver bullet here,” Barger said.

The best prevention is for security pros to share information when their companies are targeted, so others can draw up their own defense, he said.

In The New York Times attack, the hackers penetrated the newspaper’s systems in September 2012 and worked undercover for four months before they were detected.

The attack coincided with an investigative piece the newspaper published on business dealings that reaped several billion dollars for the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister.