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Tom Briant

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has another group of articles for your attention

Mac Pro shortage sets record as worst Mac production debacle
Four months into sales and the backlog's still 4 to 6 weeks

This Woman's MacBook Was Stolen, So She's Posting These Photos Of The Alleged Thief All Over The Web

Apple's iOS is playing catch up to Android

The next iPhone and especially Apple's (AAPL) next iOS operating system better be a huge leap forward if they want to catch up with where Samsung's Android products already are. I'll be doing a full article about this topic next week.

In the Battle for Best Smartphone, Apple Still Beats Samsung

I’ve been using the new Samsung for about three weeks, and while I do think it is the best Android phone you can buy, it sure isn’t the best phone on the market.

How to Switch From iPhone 5S to BlackBerry Z30 (and Why)

The company's flagship BlackBerry Z30, launched at the end of 2013, also comes with a host of features not found in the Apple iPhone: A large 5-inch touchscreen, an expansion slot for adding flash memory, native HDMI out, the capability to function as an external USB storage drive and 25 hours of battery life.

the Z30 impressed me so much that my iPhone 5S lost its appeal.

here are the nine steps you need to follow to make the switch to a BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

How Apple dodged the Heartbleed bullet

Apple and its Mac and iOS users weren't affected by Heartbleed, but just weeks before, the company had been hit by a similar vulnerability related to a flaw in Apple's own code, which just happened to also be related to SSL certificate based security.

The Heartbleed Bug Is Mostly Fixed, But There Are Still More Than 20,000 Websites Vulnerable

Does Heartbleed Disprove the Claim that 'Open Source is Safer'?

one take-away for FOSS is that all the eyes in the world cannot be counted on to catch basic design problems.

Heartbleed is forcing another look at one of FOSS' basic beliefs, but the reaction to it is proving FOSS' ability to respond in a crisis. In the short run, FOSS will face ridicule because of its failure to detect Heartbleed earlier. Yet, already, the challenge to FOSS' basic beliefs is proving the ability of its developers to learn from their mistakes and improve.

Reader Responses:

Which of the following two lapses is worse: Open source guy forgets to put in a length check on input. (Heartbleed) Closed source treats a string of all spaces as a valid password. (Microsoft) Both are security lapses. The former can be spotted by anyone who is looking. The only problem with the open source argument is that it needs to stop assuming that there are many eyeballs looking.

Proprietary software is far more dangerous, because it's considerably more difficult and expensive for researchers to obtain access to the code and discover problems like Heartbleed. While this is newsworthy because it surprised everyone, when compared to the mass of widespread, equally dangerous proprietary defects, it's a drop in a very large bucket.

Heartbleed: Security experts reality-check the 3 most hysterical fears

The hype: The entire Internet has been compromised and it's open season for hackers.
The reality: You're probably not a target.

The hype: You're at great risk of being hacked.
The reality: Your risk is minimal ** if ** you're taking basic security measures.

The hype: You must change all of your passwords
The reality: You should, but not yet -- it's pointless to change your password on a vulnerable site before it has confirmed that the service is patched.

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.

Pop Quiz: What fits in your pocket, annoys others not partaking, is addictive, and costs more every day?
If you answered cigarettes, you're right. But another correct answer is smartphones.

in a subtle yet very real way, wireless providers are taking market share. This was made brilliantly apparent by blogger Steve Cichon . In a post this past January, Mr. Cichon pointed out that almost everything found in a 1991 newspaper ad from Radio Shack had been absorbed into a modern smartphone and contemporary wireless service.

Answering machine. CB radio. Alarm clock. Video camcorder. Calculator. CD player. Personal computer. And, of course the land-line and "Mobile Cellular" phones themselves.

Amazing. The wireless industry isn't swapping much market share among its players, but overall, they're taking “dollar” share from other industries.

the "thing" about technology is our devices change, but our needs don't. We need to communicate, so it used to be smoke signals, the telegraph and CB radios. Now it's mobile phones.

So as investments, wireless service providers seem like a sweet deal: pricing power leading to plenty of cash flow and taking share from seemingly unrelated businesses. Oh, and customers displaying clear signs of addiction.

Here's a very intelligent discussion of how much privacy we give up to use our iPhones (or other smart phones).
Basically, we give up ALL of our privacy.

LinkedIn May Not Be The Coolest Social Network, But It's Only Becoming More Valuable To Businesses

How to spot credit-card skimmers
If wires are sticking out of the ATM, swipe elsewhere

IBM mainframe, tech's 'dinosaur,' turns 50
Big Blue still dominates high-end server market, but it's a shrinking space

Games That Make Players Feel Incompetent Lead To Aggression — Not Game Violence Itself

“Players have a psychological need to come out on top when playing,” said Dr. Andrew Przybylski

A St. Louis Fed Official Made A Presentation About Bitcoin That Bitcoin Fans Are Going To Love

Very educational.

Bitcoin basics: What you need to know

St. Louis Fed Vice President: Bitcoin Could Be A Good Threat To Central Banks

Regulators line up to crack down on bitcoin

Part of the problem is that few know which agency or agencies should regulate bitcoin. And many federal government agencies have taken a pass on proposing regulations, for one reason or another.

state regulators are moving forward faster than federal regulators

Why was bitcoin created?" Mark T. Williams (Boston University professor and critic of bitcoin) asked. "Number one was to get away from regulation, number two, to avoid bankers, and number three, to have the anonymous coin as a feature. Now if those three things are taken away, will bitcoin be adopted? Will the original believers in bitcoin say it's a sellout? So there's lots of uncertainty here."

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