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Nov 22, 15

This isn't a good thing, at all. I don't think it's just teens either. Advertising has become so prevalent on the web, and so embedded, that the difference between actual "news" and an ad is pretty blurred. That means that savvy marketers could influence public opinion with stories that seem to be news, but truly aren't.

I mean really, people already like and share things on social media that aren't remotely true, how much of a stretch is it to think they would see an ad and assume it's journalism?

Nov 18, 15

"The 19,000 hashes have been "given to five global internet companies [Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo], who had volunteered to conduct a robust test on the list through their systems during the implementation period."

The hashes, created during the implementation stage, were sourced from images forensically captured on the Home Office Child Abuse Image Database, which in turn was sourced from police investigations.

Crucially, with the use of the hash list project, child sexual abuse images will be prevented from being uploaded in the first place, thus giving internet companies the power to stop people from repeatedly sharing the images on their services, said IWF."

This is a great use of this technology. I know there are hash lists in use by law enforcement, and I also know why their distribution has been limited, but it's great to see technology companies cooperating to test the hash lists and take what is essentially a pretty easy step to eliminate the images from their service. It won't eliminate all child abuse images, but the more people found sharing known images, the more likely we can find the people who are sharing the ones we don't already know about.

Nov 14, 15

"Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person's online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers.

The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can't be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product."

This really goes to show how much data about you is valuable to advertising companies, and to what lengths they will go to gather that data.

Nov 12, 15

"Following the installation of the November 10 2015 updates, users may have problems with Outlook crashing when they view HTML messages. Windows 7 64-bit is definitely affected; other versions of Windows may be affected as well. "

Haven't tried the fix yet, but I am definitely seeing Outlook crash since the updates installed last night on my work laptop. If you are too, thought I'd pass this on!

Nov 09, 15

"IT ALWAYS seemed improbable that Marriott was the only one. Last year the hotel chain paid $600,000 to America's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle a complaint that it had blocked customers' personal wireless modems and hotspots at "at least one" of its hotels, forcing customers to sign up for expensive in-house internet access instead. Now Hilton has found itself in hot water over the same charge."

They just can't help themselves, but they really need to.

Nov 08, 15

Weird that while every other service is moving to add space to existing accounts, Microsoft goes the other way. I don't see how that is going to help encourage Office 365 use if I can use Google apps and get more storage space for the results.

Oct 18, 15

"Such concerns didn’t strike me as farfetched, but I was reluctant to air them in mixed company. I knew that many of my fellow citizens took comfort in their own banality: You live a boring life and feel you have nothing to fear from those on high. But how could you anticipate the ways in which insights bred of spying might prove handy to some future regime? New tools have a way of breeding new abuses. Detailed logs of behaviors that I found tame—my Amazon purchases, my online comments, and even my meanderings through the physical world, collected by biometric scanners, say, or license-plate readers on police cars—might someday be read in a hundred different ways by powers whose purposes I couldn’t fathom now. They say you can quote the Bible to support almost any conceivable proposition, and I could only imagine the range of charges that selective looks at my data might render plausible."

I don't necessarily recommend becoming paranoid, but it'd be silly to continue walking around without recognizing how much of our behavior, especially online, is being monitored, recorded, and interpreted out of context. Right now it's more likely that Apple, Google, Facebook et al, are using the information to push ads to you, but don't discount how much government agencies are doing the same tracking, and potentially making decisions about you based solely on that information.

The article is a long read, but worth the time. Unless you want to continue living in blissful ignorance.

Oct 17, 15

So many things to try....ACK! I don't know where to begin!

Any of you using some of the things on this list? Anything you would add?

Oct 14, 15

Yet another reason you should not, repeat NOT, just plug in a USB drive that you find laying around! Only use ones that you, or someone you trust, has used to store data.

Also, ones that your instructor gives you at training classes I teach should be safe too. I plug those into my laptop in order to copy the class files first, so if there's a massive problem, it'll hit me! ;-)

Sep 22, 15

Aside from passing off your location from somewhere else to get around blocks, get yourself some sort of VPN to use when you're on public wifi networks. One that's a browser plugin sounds like an easy to use one. Anyone installed these browser extensions yet?

What do you use to protect your data when browsing on a public network?

Sep 15, 15

As a blogger, I'm very much looking forward to the ability to have an article open with the Wordpress app next to you instead of constantly going back and forth between apps or Safari tabs on my iPad. It's closer to what I would normally do when writing on a laptop or at my desk with multiple monitors.

It might not be as cool as multiple monitors, but that solution doesn't travel well. ;-)

Also, better battery life and efficient use of storage on my 16GB iPhone is something else I'm looking forward to as well, assuming it works out that way.

Are you looking forward to iOS9?

Sep 04, 15

I haven't yet panicked, but this occurred during a time when I was traveling, and spending time in airports and various other places where finding something on Twitter on the iPad and wanting to save it for later would be incredibly useful. That's what Pocket is for, that's why I use it.

Unfortunately, those same services that we find very, very useful, and come to rely upon, can create quite a bit of havoc when they are not working, as we see in this article! Think about it, how would you react if you couldn't see your notes in Evernote, or couldn't bring up your itinerary in the Tripit app? What's the backup strategy for your important information? Do you keep it in two different services? Do you print it?

How do you avoid getting burned when a service is unavailable?

Aug 29, 15

It's coming, the tipping point where running a for-profit website based on advertising revenue is unsustainable, and I agree, publishers have only themselves to blame. The advertising, click-bait, crap that passes for news today is beyond annoying.

But what will be left? A few big players and a bunch of folks who do it for the love of writing, sharing, connecting, etc. That might be about it.

Aug 27, 15

Some of these aren't that simple to be honest. On the other hand, if we could tech people to properly backup their stuff, protect themselves from malware, and keep their information private, we'd go a long way towards making using a computer less painful.

So, take a look and see which of these tips could save you some day.

For the techie folks out there, what would your top ten list look like?

Aug 27, 15

Generally speaking, I like the idea. Where it falls flat for me is when someone sends me their travel itinerary so that I know their coming and goings, and Google adds the trip to my calendar.

If they can get a filter for that sort of thing, that would be great. Are you listening Google?

Aug 20, 15

The exposure to being hacked raises a lot of questions about the so-called Internet of Things. If everything is connected to the Net, then everything is tracking you. That information is valuable in and of itself to hackers looking to embarrass or blackmail people.

But, as bad as that is, what is worse is the ability of hackers to actually take control of those devices, especially when talking about medical devices, or transportation. Given the number of hacks that have already been reported, and the severity of them, I have little faith that anyone can truly protect our information or devices.

Maybe I'm just a pessimist. What do you think?

Aug 08, 15

Can we really be surprised? This is why I've written before that while using mobile technology to replace banks for many people impossible, the security has to get better!

Jul 19, 15

This is actually really cool for me. Let me tell you why. As much as I travel for work, and spend so much time on airplanes, in cabs, on public transport, on shuttles between Corvallis and the Portland Airport, and so on, you'd think I'd get a lot of reading done. But I don't. I'm very susceptible to motion sickness when I try and read. Basically, the motion of what I'm traveling in can cause my to get very, very dizzy if I'm trying to focus my eyes on what I'm reading at the same time. Now sometimes, it's not an issue. If a flight is smooth and lacks much turbulence, I might be fine. If it's turbulent, I really can't read anything, and cars/buses/trains are just right out. So, while I use Pocket to save things that I come across that I want to read, or want to think about blogging about, etc. often times I can't catch up on it while traveling the way others might. If I can close my eyes and have Pocket read them to me though, that opens up some real possibilities. I'm looking forward to that on my next trip!

Jul 19, 15

This is cool if you have no other choice. Personally, I hook up Outlook to sync with gmail and export everything to a PST as my backup, which is a whole lot easier to deal with than having a single text file for every email, but if you don't have anything else to create an email archive with, I guess this is one way to make sure you save a copy of your messages in case Gmail ever goes away, or deactivates your account. Which we know does happen!

Jul 17, 15

Malwarebytes has been one of my go-to resources for years when helping people clean up infected machines. Interesting to see them dip into a tool for Macs, which obviously can, and do, get malware as well!

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