Weekend tech reading: Is password security inadequate today?

By on November 18, 2012, 1:53 PM

Kill the passwordwhy a string of characters can’t protect us anymore You have a secret that can ruin your life. It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters -- maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious -- that can reveal everything about you. Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. Wired

How one law student is making Facebook get serious about privacy The world’s largest legal battle against Facebook began with a class assignment. Student Max Schrems still hasn’t turned in his university paper on the topic, due well over a year ago, but he has already accomplished something bigger: forcing Facebook to alter its approach to user privacy. Now, Schrems wants cash -- hundreds of thousands of euros -- to launch the next phase of his campaign, a multi-year legal battle that might significantly redefine how Facebook controls the personal data on over one billion people worldwide. Ars Technica

Making cents I'm sure each generation of musicians feels they've lived through a time of tremendous change, but the shifts I've witnessed in my relatively short music career -- from morphing formats to dissolving business models -- do seem extraordinary. The first album I made was originally released on LP only, in 1988 -- and my next will likely only be pressed on LP again. But in between, the music industry seems to have done everything it could to screw up that simple model of exchange; today it is no longer possible for most of us to earn even a modest wage through our recordings. Pitchfork

What's the shelf life of a techie? Just 15 years If you have seen Skyfall, you will doubtless remember the 20-something Q. It's the first time ever in a James Bond film that Q or the Quartermaster - MI6's resident tinkerer who creates all the wonderful spy gadgets that Bond uses - is younger than Bond himself, much younger. So when Bond meets Q in Skyfall, he scoffs, "You still have spots (pimples)," to which Q replies, "Age is no guarantee of efficiency." In the world of technology, that's almost a truism today. The Economic Times

An audience with Syndicate I'd finished my interview with Tom Cassell, and it had gone fairly well. Although, something did feel like it was missing. "Would you mind if I walked with you for a bit?" I asked. "So I can see it happen?" Tom was enthusiastic - he is about most things. So we took to the floor of the Eurogamer Expo. It happened as soon as we stopped walking. Phones started to come out and take photos. Small children nervously stood behind him with Expo tickets for him to sign. Teenagers came up to shake his hand. Eurogamer

DARPA looks to Android to control wearable, battlefield Predator Vision system Smartphones and tablets have been taking the military by storm. In short order they have proven that they can do a better job in many areas than special purpose systems, some of which have been under development for fifteen or more years. Now DARPA has issued a public proposal for the development of an Android-based system that can integrate multiple camera streams and send the processed data to helmet- or rifle-mounted displays... ExtremeTech

iOS 6.0 causes CDN overages We received a report from the folks at This American Life of extremely high bills from their CDN for the month of October. It is our belief after researching the problem that this is caused by bugs in the iOS 6 Audio Playback frameworks resulting in files being downloaded multiple times – this could result in dramatic overage charges for both content distributers and data plan customers. PRX Labs

Verizon to choke pirates' browsing speeds Verizon has said it will first warn repeat offenders by email and voicemail. Then it will restrict or "throttle" their internet connection speeds. Time Warner Cable, another US internet service provider (ISP) pledging to tackle piracy, says it will use pop-up warnings to deter repeat offenders. After that it will restrict subscribers' web browsing activities by redirecting them to a landing page. BBC

Case smithing: go with the flow - installing a new case fan mount We start our journey into modding with a fairly straight forward case mod, installing a new fan. Not only is installing fans in unintended manufacturer locations easy, it serves a purpose - airflow. Whether your case is failing in the airflow department or if you want an extra 120mm radiator in your loop, adding case fans can alleviate most heating problems. TweakTown

Windows 8 architecture warspart 1: Clover Trail vs. ARM Folks, we’re standing on the edge of a cliff. Behind us is the comfortable confines of the PC world of old, desktops and laptops in all their familiar guises. But ahead, we see the blue sky and uncertainty of an amazing range of Windows PC and device types, with varying architectures and capabilities. It’s a future of amazing possibility, but it’s also confusing. WinSuperSite

Donkey Kong vs. the world: Nintendo bets big on Wii U The key word was stubborn. In 1981, a young Shigeru Miyamoto was looking for a name for his new, revolutionary videogame character. It was a gorilla, and he had decided that it would be an unusually stubborn ape. So he turned to the Japanese word for “stubborn” in a translation dictionary and picked out one of the English equivalents. Donkey Kong was born. Wired

Drop in Apple stock blamed on anticipated capital gains tax hike As noted by Reuters, AAPL stock has lost a quarter of its value, underperforming the S&P 500 average which saw a 7 percent decline over the same period. Since its mid-September high of $705.07, the stock dropped precipitously and closed Friday at $527.68, losing some $170 billion in market capitalization. AppleInsider




Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.