Inauguration Day, by the numbers [CNET News]
It was a banner day for broadband users who flocked to news, social media and video streaming web sites to watch and interact with others during President Obama's inauguration yesterday. While it wasn't the busiest day for the Internet, it was one of the busiest. At around noon Eastern time, content delivery network Akamai estimated that 5.4 million web visitors per minute were accessing online news outlets. CNN.com served up more than 18.8 live video streams, and allowed viewers to interact with Facebook friends through Facebook Connect (more on that later).
Twitter users tweeted at four times the normal rate during the inauguration and Facebook reported that 4,000 users were updating their status every minute during the ceremony.
It wasn't all good news for the Internet, though. CBSNews.com was deluged by traffic, causing problems with its video stream. According to NewTeeVee, ABC.com, C-SPAN and CNN's online video streams had trouble at some point during the ceremony. Online video streams were unreliable to the point that at least one NewTeeVee blogger was an OldTeeVee watcher for the day.
Card Processor Admits to Large Data Breach [Wired: Threat Level]
Nearly buried in the news of the presidential inauguration is the news that possibly 100 million credit card accounts have been compromised due to a malware attack at a large credit card processing company. Heartland Payment Systems handles credit and debit card transactions for 250,000 mostly small business. Back in October of last year the company was notified by Visa and MasterCard that they might have a breach in their system due to a series of questionable transactions that the credit card companies uncovered. It took until yesterday - three months later - for the company to disclose that their processing system had been hacked and malware installed that sniffed for unencrypted card account numbers.
According to this article, the company waited until December to hire forensic investigators to uncover the problem that had been reported to them at least a month earlier. Heartland Payment Systems has not identified any of the business that it processes card transactions for, so until consumers see suspicious transactions on their statements, they have no way of knowing whether their card has been compromised. If the number of stolen card numbers totals the estimate of 100 million, it will be the largest data breach ever of credit card numbers.
Facebook + CNN = Future of TV [NewTeeVee]
Facebook and CNN pioneered a new way to watch live events with President Obama's inauguration. Using Facebook Connect and a Flash application, CNN.com streamed the event live along with Facebook friend updates from friends watching the inauguration through the same page. The social television experiment allowed Facebook users to interact with one another while watching President Obama take the oath of office and deliver his address. Though this article indicates there were some latency issues with Facebook updates, the entire experience was a groundbreaking demonstration of the merger of streaming video and social media.
The HDTVs of CES 2009 [EngadgetHD]
Did you read or hear about some of the new HDTV's unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show but were having trouble finding information about them online? Engadget comes to the rescue with a comprehensive list and specs for all the new televisions that were previewed at CES. Though many of the televisions won't be appearing on store shelves for some time, if you're going to be purchasing a television in 2009, this listing is a good place to start exploring.