giandujakiss: (Default)
And I don't understand the things you crazy kids are into ... but basically, Pokemon GO is a giant, worldwide scavenger hunt? I mean, yeah, more tech sophisticated etc etc, but... an old idea, new technology?

There is nothing new under the sun.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Video Shows Mid-Air Passenger Brawl Aboard LAX Bound Spirit Airlines Flight

In an earlier time, we'd have had to rely on bland textual descriptions of the melee.

(My favorite part is how this cellphone video shows that there were a billion other cellphones recording at the same time. And not for nothing, but do that many people really know how to use the video function on their phones? I can barely get mine to take a still photo.)
giandujakiss: (poi)
New York City to Replace Pay Phones With Free Wi-Fi
The lowly pay phone is getting a high-tech makeover, a change that aims to challenge the speeds and high prices charged by wireless carriers.

New York City will begin this month replacing thousands of pay phones with free Wi-Fi hot spots. The city expects to have 500 hot spots installed by July, and eventually about 7,500 units will be replaced.

The hot spots will sit atop a 9.5-foot tall box with electronic screens on each side to display advertising. Sandwiched between the sidewalk ads will be an Android tablet that can be used to place free phone calls and surf the Web.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Someday, we'll watch old TV shows with password-cracking plot points and laugh
Companies Move Beyond Passwords With Human Behavior Algorithms

The greatest threat to every corporate network remains the typical employee, a creature known to use the same password across multiple websites and occasionally click on links found in suspicious emails. But now companies like Google Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Aetna Inc. are starting to look at employee behavior differently—not as a threat, but as the possible key towards building a more secure enterprise.

They are researching or starting to implement behavioral biometrics, a field of study that seeks to identify unique patterns in the way people perform various activities, such as the way a person types or swipes the screen, or even how she walks while she holds her smartphone. The goal is to take those patterns, collected by sensors and other technology, and create a unique digital persona that can be used to identify and continuously verify trusted users in the network. Security experts say that how people behave is very difficult to copy, especially when several metrics are combined.

On the commercial banking side where customers are wiring big dollar amounts, Wells Fargo has installed technology that can compare a user’s normal pattern of behavior to what’s currently happening on a real-time basis. The technology tracks how a customer typically clicks through a Wells Fargo application, where they went within the application,and how fast they clicked, said Mr. Ellis. If the behavior doesn’t match, Wells Fargo quarantines the transaction and takes other steps to verify the customer such as calling them.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has run two research programs with a number of universities, research labs and companies looking at behavioral biometrics. A number of those research projects have looked at so-called continuous behavioral authentication, where computers or mobile devices constantly look at multiple types of behaviors to continually identify and authenticate a user. Research that company BehavioSec conducted as part of DARPA’s Active Authentication program shows that cybercriminals trying to hijack employee accounts can be caught quickly. The 2013 study observed user keystrokes, mouse movement and application usage and found that the correct user can work through a regular workday without being falsely rejected while an incorrect user would be detected within 18 seconds using a keyboard or 2.4 minutes using a mouse.
giandujakiss: (fandom)
Including hunting through the ringtones for message notifications that sound as close to my old phone's notifications as possible, and becoming resentful when they don't match exactly and I have to learn a whole new set of beeps and rings.

(I'm too lazy and uncreative to bother downloading notifications from the internet; I just use what's preloaded on the phone, and I have different ones for different email accounts, for reminders, etc - so it's always painful when I have to switch and the new phone doesn't have the same set as the old phone)

And then there was the 2-hour long ritual of re-tagging all of the fanfic ebooks I had saved on the old phone, because the tags didn't transfer over with the files. Consider that my gesture toward fanfic appreciation day - nothing says devotion like 2 hours of tagging poi/merlin/avengers/s&h/spn/holmes/xmen/hl!
giandujakiss: (Default)
Navy pays millions to keep using Windows XP
The Navy will pay more than $9 million to keep using Windows XP under a contract signed this month, Computerworld reported Tuesday.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) will pay Microsoft $9,149,000 through the contract, which was approved earlier this month. It could eventually grow to be as large as $30,842,980 by 2017.

The funds will pay for Microsoft to provide custom security support to up to 100,000 Windows XP machines used by the Navy. Microsoft has abandoned supporting the system for users who don’t pay for the custom services. The contract will also provide support for other older Microsoft products, including Office 2003.
I still use a computer running XP and Office 2003, and I deeply resent the newer systems I have to use for work computers, my tablet, etc. Sooner or later my old computer's going to give out, and that's when the darkness wins.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Gmail develops an "undo send" feature. You can set emails to delay sending by a few seconds, so that you can use the extra time to make a mad leap for the keyboard and divert misdirected messages.
giandujakiss: (Default)
The Power Grab at Airports Has a New Headache
Anyone who has ever been desperate to charge a mobile device at an airport knows the feeling of frustration that can arise from trying to find something that’s been around for more than 100 years: an electric outlet.

So it is not especially funny to spot one in the terminal and get down on hands and knees to plug in your charger, only to find that it is a trick, and that you are poking futilely at a real-looking sticker of an outlet pasted on a baseboard.

“Apply to the wall at the airport, stand back and record all the miseries you cause,” says one online ad offering such stickers, $5.75 for a sheet of four.

It is unclear what dark force would impel a prankster to do this, but the stickers are turning up in airport terminals where passengers often have to compete for any outlet available to charge the mobile devices that most business travelers carry. The reaction to being fooled this way is fairly clear, though.

“This is Satan’s handiwork,” says a comment on Reddit about the trick stickers from a traveler who was duped at the Denver airport.
I recently had to do a lot of traveling for work, and let me tell you, the difference between airports that have outlets at every chair, and airports that don't, is vast.

And if you can land yourself on a plane that has outlets associated with the seats? You've found nirvana.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Is they don't have a "Play all" option.

You mean you want me to interrupt what I'm doing to pick up the remote and select the next episode, and then wait to select "play"? Are we barbarians?
giandujakiss: (festivids)
So, as you may or may not know, this year we've got brand new technical challenges.

Viddler is no longer offering free accounts, and YouTube and Vimeo are both now vigorously taking down vids if they don't like the music selection. This is a serious challenge to the FV model, because we need a streaming site that can host vids anonymously for the thing to work. Technically, people can just submit vids as download links - upload them to Dropbox or whatever - but in practice, when people come to view vids during the anon period, they don't like downloading things, so download-only vids don't tend to get a lot of views or comments.

So! [personal profile] lithiumdoll offered to redesign the Festivids website so that we can host vids at the site itself.

It's been a tremendous amount of work for her, and of course, there have been lots of technical issues - both the site redesign itself, and then lots of back and forth with the company that hosts the website because of bugs on that end. But it's basically saving Festivids - I don't think we could feasibly do it without the site hosting.

LJ is now offering video hosting - and yesterday we considered that as a backup - but the problem there is, the vids won't crosspost (so you couldn't watch them on Dreamwidth) and more importantly, any single account can't host more than 2 GB, which isn't enough for Festivids. But we'll keep that in our pocket if things get desperate.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Here Are 2014's Most Popular Passwords, And... Oof

See, here's the thing about online passwords. Every company I do business with online wants me to set up an account with a password. And when my account includes, say, my home address and credit card number, that makes sense. But I also have to set up an account with a password to read free articles, or to make appointments with my hair dresser. And I don't care if someone wants to break into my salon account and make me an appointment without my authorization. Frankly, if you care that much about how my hair looks, I'm grateful for the concern.

And since for the love of god I can't keep track of those things, I use easily cracked passwords that I can remember.

(Of course, some of these companies would let me log in with my Facebook account, but then I'd have to wonder if FB is blasting to everyone I know that I'm dyeing out the gray roots on Saturday, or that I read an online article about BDSM accuracy in 50 Shades, and it's just not worth keeping up with what privacy they've decided to take away today, so I don't bother)

For things I do actually care about, well. .. I tend to have only a small handful of passwords that I reuse (as most people do), but I vary them to match the requirements of the site (some sites require letters and numerals, 6 characters or 8 characters, etc). A lot of the time I have trouble logging into an account because I can't remember which variation on my basic passwords I used for that site. I wish instead of making me change my password to get back in, they'd just remind me what their password requirements are. I can figure it out from there.

And tbh, even if someone cracks those, I don't care very much because the most they'd get is my credit card info, and credit card companies eat fraudulent charges. For actually serious stuff - my bank, things with my social security number etc - that's when I break out the unique passwords.
giandujakiss: (Default)
I Still Use an AOL Email Account

(the only reason Dreamwidth has a gmail account attached is that Dreamwidth notifications stopped working on AOL. Everything else - LJ, tumblr, etc - is keyed to AOL).
giandujakiss: (Default)
So I was pretty much loving everything until this morning, when it suddenly crashed and refused to restart. I'm traveling, and no Surface=no computer, which sent me into a panic for an hour or so because I need the computer both for work, and because it's my only source of entertainment on planes.

So I'm frantically trying to figure out if I can get to a repair place while traveling, and googling Microsoft customer support on my phone, when I finally think to use my phone to google about Surface crashing/not restarting. Turns out there's a super special hold-two-buttons-down method for restarting it, and that worked!

So, back in business, but very wary of a computer that crashes apparently for no reason, a week out of the box.
giandujakiss: (Default)
The endless amount of travel I have to do right now, coupled with the endless amount of work, made it necessary to finally obtain a teeny tiny computer that would enable me to work on documents while in transit, even if people in front of me lean their seats back.

So, we'll see how this goes.

I cannot for the life of me figure out the purpose of the pen.

Oh dear

Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:56 pm
giandujakiss: (Catwoman)
What the Internet Can See From Your Cat Pictures
Using cat pictures — that essential building block of the Internet — and a supercomputer, a Florida State University professor has built a site that shows the locations of the cats (at least at some point in time, given their nature) and, presumably, of their owners.

Owen Mundy, an assistant professor of art who studies the relationship between data and the public, created “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” as a way of demonstrating “the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all,” Mr. Mundy wrote in a post about the site.

Using images of cats uploaded to photosharing services, including Flickr, Twitpic and Instagram, Mr. Mundy extracted latitude and longitude coordinates that many modern cameras, especially those in smartphones, attach to each image.
I didn't even know that photos had this data!
giandujakiss: (Default)
The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google
Google Plus, the company’s social network, is like a ghost town. Want to see your old roommate’s baby or post your vacation status? Chances are, you’ll use Facebook instead.

But Google isn’t worried. Google Plus may not be much of a competitor to Facebook as a social network, but it is central to Google’s future — a lens that allows the company to peer more broadly into people’s digital life, and to gather an ever-richer trove of the personal information that advertisers covet. Some analysts even say that Google understands more about people’s social activity than Facebook does.

The reason is that once you sign up for Plus, it becomes your account for all Google products, from Gmail to YouTube to maps, so Google sees who you are and what you do across its services, even if you never once return to the social network itself.
I recently discovered that one of my pseudonymous gmail accounts was attaching my real-life name - I'm not even sure how it figured out my name, because I didn't enter it in - it might have gotten it through my phone, where I have more than one account set up. Thankfully, it's not an account I use very much, so I don't think it reached a wider audience, but it completely freaked me out and made me that much more hesitant to use gmail.
giandujakiss: (Default)
So ... these are, like, just an early form of Star Trek replicators, right?

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