Friday , 23 June 2017

Op / Ed

White, Grey, Black – The Different Hats Of Hackers


HACKER is a strangely broad term these days.  It used to be thought that a hacker was a bad actor – someone who was looking to break into computers and steal data, cause viruses, and manipulate data from afar.  However the term hacker is becoming more and more encompassing of those who are on the “good” side.  The terms white …

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Secrets Are Getting Harder And Harder To Keep


It’s probably no surprise to most people reading this website that information, computing power, and the ability to hack into “secure” systems is growing exponentially.  This is leading to the increasing difficulty of keeping secrets, even for top levels of government intelligence.  It has been dubbed the declining half life of secrets by Peter Swire, a professor at the Georgia …

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States Propose Bans On Encrypted Phones


A new bill proposed in California by Democratic Senator Jim Cooper would require that no cell phones sold after January 1, 2017 have “unbreakable” encryption.  This would be a big change and would force Apple to either comply or not be able to sell iPhones (or could other companies sell Android phones) on its own home turf. The new bill …

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Fight Against ISIS Moves To The Cyber-Front


In an interesting twist the latest fight against terrorism and ISIS now must include critical updates of cyber-defense. ISIS has threatened to attack countries through their network infrastructure. Imagine an attack on a utilities grid causing widespread power outages, water loss, or public services such as transportation and even aviation communication. It’s not just a war in the traditional sense …

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Surface Pro 4 First Thoughts


Recently Microsoft launched their new Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.  As a person that is on the go fairly frequently I jumped at the chance to get a more portable alternative to my much-loved Lenovo ThinkPad.  I’ve been a Lenovo user for almost 10 years.  I really liked their machines.  However the new tablet style designs were getting more …

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Choosing a Tech-Friendly House


Moving to a new place? When you’re hunting for a house, make sure that you take into account the space that you’ll need for the family computers. In many cases, a house is staged without items like desktop computers, printers, and other necessary items. The realtor or staging company wants to create the illusion of ample space, so if a …

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Browser Battles: Edge, Firefox, and Chrome


For users who dislike Internet Explorer, a common alternative is Mozilla’s Firefox, a streamlined and speedy browser that offers a user-friendly interface among other advantages. However, with the entrance of Microsoft’s stunning new browser, Edge, the lifespan of the fiery orange fox may have been significantly shortened. The Open Letter The CEO of Mozilla, Chris Beard, apparently sees Edge as …

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Does Google’s Dominance Threaten Users’ Privacy?


Privacy issues continue to come up in conversations about Google’s data collection practices, with users concerned about what data is being mined and how that data is later used. While data is necessary for Google or other search engines to function, Google’s dominance as a search engine allows it to, essentially, dictate what users see and how they see it. …

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The Argument Goes On: Which is Better, PCs or Macs?


Aficionados of both Macs and PCs are adamant in their adoration of one or the other. However, the reality is that many opinions are based more on rumors or misconceptions rather than real differences between the two platforms. That does not mean there aren’t advantages to owning one over the other. There are a few arguments presented by owners to …

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iPhone Thefts Down Due To Kill Feature


The “kill switch” feature that Apple added to its iPhones starting in September of 2013 has reduced theft of the device by up to 50 percent in some locations.  The feature requires the Apple ID and password of the previous user to allow someone else to use the phone.  If not provided the phone is rendered useless.   This has prevented …

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