Why Apple iOS beats Android

While the blog’o’sphere and related in your face discussions re: Smartphone Vanity are  focused on the release of *something new* from Apple, don’t miss the best reason of all to stick with iOS and avoid Android: Google’s dissing of “Disconnect Mobile” and the apps removal from the Android App store. Read all about it at Julie Bort’s BUSINESS INSIDER article.

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Back to School supplies? Don’t Forget “Privacy Protection”

Child identity theft is a big threat in the digital landscape and schools are the natural feeding ground for identity vultures. Worse, victims may not become aware of the crime for years until they apply for jobs, student loans, or anything requiring a social security number.  Privacy Protection won’t be found in stores, but its just as important for starting a school year as pens and paper. It’s up to parents to teach children the lessons they need to stay safe. Learning cyber hygiene is as important as “holding hands and looking both ways when crossing a street” – and just as easy to teach.

Here are three golden rules that will help keep your children’s personal information away from crooks, and help protect yours as well. It’s time to sit down with the kids and teach them that:

  1. Passwords are First Defense, make them easy to learn and hard to crack!
    Passwords are the first, best and sometime only line of defense. They don’t have to be hard to remember: gibberish like k6pP#cbr can be cracked by a hacker in a few days. The latest approach is “passphrases” – long but easy to remember. I-Love-Mathematics would take a 5-quadrillion years to crack according to How Secure is My Password. Use Microsoft’s Password Checker to find out more tips.

  2. Passwords are Private: Keep them that way! Children should learn to never, ever share a password for convenience or as a sign of affection, a trend that seems to grow more popular each Valentine’s Day. Only three people should know a child’s password – parents, guardians and the children themselves. They ought never be shared with classmates, or teachers or the school without parental permission and oversight.

  3. Protect that Phone, Tablet or Laptop! Mobile phones contain volumes of personal data – a huge risk in the wrong hands. A lost, unprotected smartphone is very likely to fall into those hands… Symantec dropped 50 phones in various places and tracked their destiny. The results? Awful. You can see on video in less time than a commercial break, watch how quickly a lost phone becomes a lost identity. These are randomly dropped phones in urban areas – the schoolyard and cafeteria are hot-target-zones for cyber thieves. Who is more likely to lose or misplace a phone, you… or your kids?

These are the top three lessons we teach executives, there are many more, like: Watch where you click; Free stuff always costs in the end; Don’t get hooked like a Phish.

Safety begins with awareness, and understanding these three simple tips will have immediate benefits for students and set a solid foundation on which to build later.

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How Would You Feel if the Government Released Nuclear Explosive Technology for Civilian Use?

How Would You Feel if the Government Released Nuclear Explosive Technology for Civilian Use?

It’s not hypothetical… Project Plowshare was the overall United States term for the development of techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes. Mining, for instance. Replacing “farmer’s friend” (dynamite for my more urban friends) with pony-nukes for clearing land. Yes, look it up, it was a rather mature plan in the post-war era. Why do I bring it up?

Because the Internet is ‘perxactly the same thing.

Internetworking Technology was first developed by RAND Corp and utilized by DARPA (defense advanced research project agency) as the tool to communicate in the face of a nuclear attack.

That’s why it’s decentralized, why its virtually incorruptible, why it was developed in the first place, because at the time, all communications was “hub and spoke” … You remember your Andy Griffith show? Picking up the phone and saying, Sarah, get me so and so?

Incredibly vulnerable to attack; hence, the development of a type of communication that could withstand nuclear attack: the DARPA-net. But, satellite communication and the defusing of the coldwar caused the Government (yes, Senator Gore had significant hand in it, just as his Dad, Sr. Sen. Gore had a hand in the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways bill – you did know, didn’t you, that the highways are the size they are to carry military Xport?) to release the Internet on an unsuspecting public.

With all the good its provided, I wonder if we were prepared for a ‘nuclear’ scale technology to be unleashed without at least a users manual. Would the country be nearly as polarized as it is today, without the ‘net? Would Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (as we call it in cyber-sec, FUD) be as pervasive?

Having lived through DARPAnet while working for TI, watched Robert Lucky lecture at UTD about the coming “Information Superhighway,” knowing the scale of the deep-web and just reading a guide to “HackTivism, DIY,” I really have to wonder if we shouldn’t have just given farmers the A-bomb and be done with civilization … it might be better than watching the decay of governance and civility and human compassion in slow motion. Okay, more pessimism than I should share, but  “O tempora o mores” – Cicero was right, hope we’re not the last to know it!

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