The New Media Institute (NMI) is a research and fact finding organization whose mission is to improve public understanding of issues surrounding the Internet and other forms new media communications. NMI works directly with the news media, researchers, academics, government and industry professionals and serves as a primary resource of facts, statistics and analysis.

Cocktails and Alcohol in the Digital Ages

winter cocktails.jpgWe are finally past the heat of summer and while the northeast has had mild weather, we still can’t wait for fall to arrive. Frankly, I am looking forward to all of what fall promises including the social whirl and other activities that follow during the holidays. What that means to me is indoor entertaining and the wonderful warmth of friends and families. An integral component is often alcoholic beverages for the adults.

Obviously this column is not a piece from the Food Network, HGTV or the Travel Channel. Rather, the focus is on how the digital era has changed (and maybe even improved) one aspect of entertaining: bartending. There are many products out there in pricing ranging from $24.98 to over $5000. Naturally, their capabilities and ensuing results vary tremendously.

RATs in Your Computer

mouse_rat_keyboard_climb_rodent revisedN.jpgRemote Access Trojans have been around a long time. They have been a serious problem since the 1990s and were one of the first Trojans developed to penetrate, invade, and take over your computer. RATs give the hacker complete physical control over your computer, including everything from the keyboard, mouse and monitor to the DVD drives and other external ports. They hide in the background and can be difficult to detect. And to the hacker’s advantage, they allow someone else to masquerade as you, to send email, use your files, browse the internet, and access other accounts as if they were you.

Emoji as Language, Code, Communication: No Longer a Cute Embellishment

Over time a myriad of communication methodologies or “languages” have developed. There was an assortment of glyph symbols from many ancient cultures around the world. Then written languages with various alphabets were developed. Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian languages began as pictographs. Arabic, Persian (or Farsee), etc. evolved from the earlier Semitic languages of the Middle East (too numerous to list). Of course there were Greek and Latin which served as roots for many of today’s modern languages, and of course there are many other languages I haven’t mentioned.

Podcast Consumption on The Rise

One in three podcast listeners expect to increase their podcast consumption over the next six months, following a similar increase in their behavior in the past six months. The results were revealed as part of comScore’s first-of-its-kind study dedicated to podcasting, commissioned by audio on-demand network Wondery. Nearly one in five Americans aged 18-49 report listening to podcasts at least once a month, while nearly one in three men 18-34 do so. Compared to the average consumer, podcast listeners are more likely to have a college or higher education, $100k+ household income, and to be early adopters in multiple categories including movies, electronics and CPG.

New Study Uncovers Consumer Behaviors Realted to Mobile Applications

To better understand the consumer mobile experience and its implications for marketers, Millward Brown Digital examined the drivers of mobile app and browser preference in media consumption and shopping behavior within the travel, financial services, telecom, and consumer electronics categories.

Layered Security for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Small businesses have become some of the most attractive targets today for enterprising cyber thieves. They are among the easiest targets for cybercriminals looking to exploit unprotected customer information, intellectual property, unprotected credit card and social security numbers or simply computing power. The sophistication and technical expertise of “hackers” to recursively scan the internet for unsecured small-business computers to take over and pillage has grown exponentially.

1st Amendment Rights Win Over Fear

The Interview, Sony Picture’s incredibly controversial comedy film has been released! Sony has made deals with independent movie theaters, Google Play, YouTube, and other online sites . The film will begin showing in theaters on Christmas day and be available for online renting or buying Christmas Eve day. It will cost $5.99 for rentals and $14.99 for purchase. It will also be available on

Ransomware - Cyber Security Threat

Cryptolocker and a variety of other versions of what is now termed “ransomware” are endemic on the web. Basically, these are viruses that lock your computer files until a ransom payment is made. This is occurring more often than you think. The process has been named “cryptoviral extortion,” and usually propagates like a Trojan, opportunistically infecting computers. The threat is designed to extort money in return for “releasing” your computer. The fact is that money can be paid and your computer is still not released. Never pay ransomware extortion!

Assorted Buzz Topics and Tidbits in the 2014 Digital Arena

We all know that the digital age is evolving at a dizzying pace. Now that it’s the end of 2014, it’s probably time to take a step back and scan the multitudes of issues, events, happenings and new information out in cyber land. So, I’ve decided to choose a few tidbits and buzz issues that represent what’s going on. Please remember that these are but a few out of thousands of note-worthy topics, and if I’ve left out one you think is important, please let me know.

New Media Awards Is a Growing Global Phenomenon

The New Media Institute, Inc. (NMI) was founded to educate and inform the general public about new media communications and the Internet. It serves as a resource for the press, the industry, academia, foundations, and corporations, as well as individuals. A prime goal of NMI is to find and acknowledge the very best standards and practices of all sectors of the internet and new media communications.

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