Despite some members the effort of some members of the tech press to claim that Apple is back on the path of innovation it would seem that many of the “new” features in the iPhone 5s are little more than refreshes of existing technology. One of the new features that everyone has been talking about is the new fingerprint scanner. Well it turns out that this too is just a slight improvement over existing technology. This comes out as the security has been broken by the Chaos Computer Club.
Personal computing has had its ups and downs of the last 10 years and these have not always been because of consumer reaction. In many cases the manufacturers have failed to meet the expectations of the people they are selling to. One of the biggest places where the market has failed the consumer is when they moved to “good enough” computing. We saw this as far back as the Pentium III when Intel pushed for onboard audio, networking, modem etc. These devices were not the greatest of components, but they were “good enough” in the eyes of the manufacturers. Now the situation is shifting (very slowly) as these components are no longer good enough in the consumer’s eyes. They are demanding more from their hardware. One place where this shift has been the most obvious is in the audio market. Today we have a product that is supposed to fall well outside the good enough range. This is the CMStorm Pulse-R gaming headset. Let’s take a look and see if it really can.
RSA Says Not To Use the Dual EC DRBG algorithm For Fear it Might Have an NSA Backdoor ** Correction**Friday, 20 September 2013 22:46
Corrected 9-26-2013 12:48PM EST to add information from RSA and correct the headline from "RSA Says Not To Use Their Toolkit For Fear it Might Have an NSA Backdoor" to what it currently is.
A couple of weeks ago we reported on a claim that the NSA worked with many security companies and standards groups to help develop encryption algorithms. On the surface this was to help develop stronger and more secure encryption methods to protect US interests and data. However, it turned out that the NSA was actually working to introduce flaws into the system so that they could get back in at a later date. Some of these flaws might have even been exploited by hackers attempting to penetrate systems. We know that in recent years more and more data breaches are happening and the data recovered is often decrypted and sold off. Still until very recently there has not been much to hold up the original claims.
So you all remember Windows Vista right? It seems that Microsoft and Steve Ballmer also remember that failed OS (despite current appearances with Windows 8). In fact Steve Ballmer is using Windows Vista as an excuse for their late entry and poor performance in the mobile market. This would seem an odd thing to do as Vista was not a well thought out OS and it was one that failed for Microsoft almost as bad as Windows 8 is right now. The key problem with Vista was that Ballmer and crew tried to make the entertainment industry happy with protections against unauthorized use of movies or copying of the same.
There is one thing that is certain in the consumer electronics world, if you can lock it … someone can unlock it. Now there is something of an extension to this that says that as soon as a product is launched someone will find a flaw in it. We have already seen that someone found a flaw in the control center that allows access to quite a bit of data. Now there are people out there that will do this as a hobby without payment so what do you think happens when someone offers money to this group of individuals?
It seems that Apple’s latest and greatest mobile operating system was shipped with a major flaw disguised as a feature. Shortly after the launch of iOS 7 there were the usual reports of bricked phones, problems reactivating the phone once it was installed etc. Most of these are common and more often than not can be traced to user software that is installed including many of the newer mobile device management applications that are in use. However when reports (and videos) started popping up showing how to bypass the lock screen without a password things were not so normal.
Ok, so we took some license with the comment from Mr. Cook, but he attempted jab at Microsoft and Nokia is something that he probably should not have said. According to Tim Cook Nokia failed because they could no longer innovate: “I think [Nokia] is a reminder to everyone in business that you have to keep innovating and that to not innovate is to die.” To some this comment is an indication that Apple is still in the game and working on new and exciting products, to others it is something of a joke.
A Federal Appeals court has ruled that the act of liking something on Facebook is protected under the First Amendment in the US Constitution. For anyone that might not be familiar with this amendment it is the one that guarantees free speech. The ruling stems from a law suit that was filed claiming wrongful termination. In this suit the plaintiff claimed that he was terminated because he like the page of a political rival of his boss (the city sheriff).
The smartwatch is the device that everyone wants to make and that many people are already planning to purchase. This is not surprising as there has been quite a bit of news about them in the recent past (despite this being an old concept). Samsung, Apple, and others are pushing out their smart watches as companion devices and, in the case of Samsung, in conjunction with new phones. However the big boys are not the only ones entering the market. Guidertech, a Taiwanese company, is planning to build a smartwatch aimed at the healthcare market.
Most people are aware of small bits that are used to identify and track your computer on the internet and no, I am not talking about the NSA. We are talking about cookies and there are no end users that I know of that like them. If you look around you will find that there are tons of utilities, applications and plug-ins that will help you avoid or delete cookies from your system. Yet these annoyances (in addition to being more than a little invasive) are still around after more than 15 years. However, there is some potentially good news about this as we hear that Google is looking to move away from the use of third party cookies for tracking your movement on the internet.