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  • News & article

    Do you have a fear of spying?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 11/10/2017

    » So how safe do you feel in your home security-wise? I'm not thinking of malware but the ability for someone to snoop on you visually or through audio. There have been some concerns about devices like the Amazon Echo and similar being used to tap into what you are saying with everything recorded on servers that authorities could get from say Amazon.

  • News & article

    A quantum leap for computers

    Life, James Hein, Published on 22/02/2017

    » According to Prof Winfried Hensinger of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, he and his team have the first practical design for a quantum computer. Like millions of others, I have struggled to come to an understanding of quantum mechanics and how a quantum computer might work.

  • News & article

    Safe surfing with a VPN

    Life, James Hein, Published on 27/08/2014

    » So how safe is your surfing? Not the water, board and shark kind, but what you do on the web. Sitting in front of your computer you will either have your own internet protocol (IP) address or be assigned one as part of a pool that is doled out by your internet service provider (ISP). Somewhere between you and the rest of the internet will be a domain name server (DNS) that knows how to get a message from out there back to you and vice versa. Or to put it another way, they know where you are.

  • News & article

    Cloud tech is no castle in the sky

    Life, James Hein, Published on 06/06/2018

    » So, who has the best cloud? Gartner has been looking into that for you and the results are in. Amazon's Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the top two with a combination of maturity, ability to execute and a completeness of vision. As cloud technologies have evolved people are no longer looking for simply some rented space for data storage but are demanding more functionality. They also want stable availability, good security along with great performance. Of the eight vendors examined, IBM and Oracle finished at the bottom showing that just having a long history doesn't necessarily keep you near the top.

  • News & article

    Facing up to social media bias

    Life, James Hein, Published on 21/06/2017

    » An interesting thing is happening on the major sharing and information sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and others. In what is supposed to be an open and free environment, political editing bias is starting to creep in. The local phenomenon that started in the US has started to pervade the global system. This is not the direct political editing that occurs in places such as China but that of one group's opinions suppressing another side's. It is not an issue if the views being suppressed are demonstrably incorrect but in some cases the factual and data based views are those being suppressed in favour of the unsupportable "politically correct" ones of small but outspoken groups.

  • News & article

    Samsung looks to rebound

    Life, James Hein, Published on 12/04/2017

    » The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be in stores towards the end of April. Samsung had to get this one right after the Note 7 but they have ended up mostly doing an Apple. One obvious conclusion for the release of a 5.8 and 6.2-inch models so close together in screen size is because of the iPhone regular and S versions; it looks like Samsung thought they needed two models as well. There has been no upgrade in battery size nor camera capabilities between the S7 and S8. Then there are the prices, the most expensive Samsungs ever. Add all of this up and it detracts from what is still a rather nice phone.

  • News & article

    Protecting your privacy

    Life, James Hein, Published on 05/04/2017

    » Internet privacy is dead, at least in the US. This will trigger a rush to VPN's, the use of Tor browsers and advanced encryption, for some. In the US, new legislation allows your ISP to collect and store all of your browsing history. This will include length of time spent on sites and pages visited. The information will be at the mercy of the ISP to keep or use it to apply social engineering in terms of recommended sites and marketing. While the point seems to be to allow ISPs to make more money, the scary part for some will be that hackers seem to be able to regularly hack into ISPs and grab stored data.

  • News & article

    Your TV is watching you

    Life, James Hein, Published on 15/03/2017

    » Love them or hate them as I write this WikiLeaks has just dropped a large batch of new documents for all the world to see, this time CIA secret materials. The part that has caught most attention is the information on how to spy on people, using commonly found household items. Apple and Android devices, Samsung TV's (glad I recently changed to Sony), Macs and Windows devices can all be used to spy on people -- no one in the US of course -- and pass info back to the CIA. There are also different malware products that can be used to infect all manner of devices including a USB stick that can be used to jump that critical air-gap between your system and the outside world. For anyone living in the real world none of this will be of any surprise. All the leaks really do is confirm what everyone knows and every country does.

  • News & article

    Beware ransomware

    Life, James Hein, Published on 08/02/2017

    » Ransomware can hit anywhere. In the town of Cockrell Hill, Texas, with a population of just over 4,000 souls, the police force there was hit and lost over eight years of evidence. The attackers used a "cloned email address imitating a department issued email address" to deliver the ransomware and then requested four Bitcoins worth about US$3,600 (126,000 baht) to decrypt the files. Any good IT department would have decent backups but as it turned out this process had only backed up the encrypted files. After talking to the FBI they were told that there was no guarantee they would get their data back so they wiped their servers and restarted with eight years of data and videos destroyed.

  • News & article

    Praying to false idols

    Life, James Hein, Published on 18/01/2017

    » The "Apple didn't invent the iPhone" story you may have seen in the media recently, originating from the BBC, has been found to have a number flaws. Using the tried and true tactic -- if you repeat a lie enough times it becomes the truth -- they managed to convince media people everywhere that Apple didn't create the concept of the iPhone. Besides showing just how low and lazy many media people have sunk, the story is far from true.

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