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Archive for March, 2010

A Comfortable and Secure Login Method

As most Internet users know, it is often hard to remember or keep apart all the passwords and login names for one’s different online accounts. Dr. Bernd Borchert, together with students at the Computer Science Department of Tübingen University, has tackled this issue. They developed a new method that saves the users not only the trouble of memorizing the passwords […]

A Portable Security Risk

More and more employees are bringing personal mobile devices, such as media players, flash drives and smart phones, to work for entertainment, communications and other purposes. Equally, many employers issue their staff with such devices to allow them to be more mobile and to run business applications as part of their job. This explosion of personal devices with built in […]

What If All Software Was Open Source? A Code to Unlock the Desktop

What if all software was open source? Anybody would then be able to add custom features to Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Apple iTunes or any other program. A University of Washington project may make this possible. “Microsoft and Apple aren’t going to open up all their stuff. But they all create programs that put pixels on the screen. And if […]

Soft Spots in Hardened Software

Over the past decade, Microsoft, the target of choice for many online attackers, has hardened its operating system, adopting technologies designed to make it harder for attackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities. Apple and many other software makers have followed suit, introducing similar additional security measures to their operating systems. Yet last week, during the “Pwn2Own contest” at CanSecWest, a […]

Free Software: Phase Two

Free software is ubiquitous. It runs everywhere on (almost) everything. The question that dominated most of the discussions at the Libre Planet Conference in Boston about a week ago is what now? How can the community capitalize on its achievements to make the movement more inclusive and reconceive the relationship between free software and privacy? Most attendees seem to agree […]

Governments May Fake SSL Certificates

Governments May Fake SSL Certificates

Today two computer security researchers, Christopher Soghoian and Sid Stamm, released a draft of a forthcoming research paper in which they present evidence that certificate authorities (CAs) may be cooperating with government agencies to help them spy undetected on “secure” encrypted communications. (EFF sometimes advises Soghoian on responsible disclosure issues, including for this paper.) More details and reporting are available […]

All Your Browsing History Are Belong to Us

For several years, it has been a poorly kept secret that any Web site you went to could secretly search your browser’s history file to see what sites you had previously visited.  All the site owner had to do was ask.  And while browser history “sniffing” has been around for a long time, companies are finally starting to actively take […]

Scientist Invents a Digital Security Tool Good Enough for the CIA — And for You

A British computer hacker equipped with a “Dummies” guide recently tapped into the Pentagon. As hackers get smarter, computers get more powerful and national security is put at risk. The same goes for your own personal and financial information transmitted by phone, on the Internet or through bank machines. Now a new invention developed by Dr. Jacob Scheuer of Tel […]

Why I Am Against Software Patents

The surprise to most people isn’t that I do not believe that software should be patentable. Given my long term interest in and coverage of free and open source software, I’m supposed to be at least mildly anti-establishment. It is also statistically unlikely that I would be in favor of patents, because industry sentiment is overwhelmingly against them at the […]

Who does that server really serve?

Who does that server really serve?

On the Internet, proprietary software isn’t the only way to lose your freedom. Software as a Service is another way to let someone else have power over your computing. Background: How Proprietary Software Takes Away Your Freedom Digital technology can give you freedom; it can also take your freedom away. The first threat to our control over our computing came […]

Web 2.0 versus Control 2.0

The fight for free access to information is being played out to an ever greater extent on the Internet. The emerging general trend is that a growing number of countries are attemptimg to tighten their control of the Net, but at the same time, increasingly inventive netizens demonstrate mutual solidarity by mobilizing when necessary. The Internet: a space for information-sharing […]

Is Microsoft About to Declare Patent War on Linux?

Microsoft’s comments on happenings outside its immediate product portfolio are rare, and all the more valuable when they do appear. Here’s one from Horacio Gutierrez, “Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel”, entitled “Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.” By now, all the alarm bells should be going off: this is from […]

Net Neutrality: Opening the Doors of Opportunity

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn made a direct appeal to the civil rights community to support Net Neutrality rules during an appearance at a forum hosted by the Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies in Washington earlier this month. They argued that Network Neutrality offers the unique opportunity for people […]

Privacy Isn’t Dead – It’s Not Even Sleeping

It’s become something of a predictable phenomenon: an article, op-ed, or blog post will surface with an incendiary quote indicating that privacy is dead, or that Internet users have given up privacy with abandon. A slew of data is thrown around – often reporting on teenagers’ online habits – and a eulogy for privacy is trumpeted. Last week, the process […]

An Express-Lane for the Internet

The Internet is expected to be inundated in the future with billions of gigabytes (or exabytes) of data as high-definition video and other bandwidth-busting downloads become the norm. The cost of upgrading the Internet for this so-called “exaflood” could make Web connections too expensive for most consumers. Internet service providers may be able to keep prices down by opening up […]

Looking Into the Future of Data-Routing With IRIS

The Internet is on the verge of overheating, as big network routers are forced to sort through more and more data packets. One solution is to install photonic routers that leave data in the form of light, thereby avoiding unnecessary electronic processing. Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and LGS Innovations, both in New Jersey, have built an operational photonic router […]

Fluendo Launches the Ultimate Media Center for Linux Operative Systems

Fluendo Launches the Ultimate Media Center for Linux Operative Systems

Fluendo has announced the release of its Media Center, a software application developed by the Spanish company. Fluendo Media Center’s versatility was evident from the off when it was used for reproducing a whole manner of multimedia in a variety of devices using completely different platforms. Whether on Windows, Linux or Open Solaris; on netbooks, mobile internet devices (MIDs), notebooks […]

EFF Asks Illinois Appellate Court to Block Unmasking of Anonymous Online Critic

EFF Asks Illinois Appellate Court to Block Unmasking of Anonymous Online Critic

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Media Freedom and Information Access Practicum (MFIA) at Yale Law School filed a friend-of-the-court brief today urging the Illinois Court of Appeals to block the unmasking of an anonymous online critic of a local political candidate. The critic, commenting on a story on the website of a suburban Chicago newspaper called the Daily […]

New System Makes Household Communication Networks More Versatile

Household network communications is developing so quickly that it is necessary to adapt and change in order to take advantage of the new services and meet the broadband needs that they require. With this objective, a group of UC3M researchers have presented a new proposal for architecture for Residential Gateway or RGW, which is a device that connects a residential […]

Turbocharge OpenOffice.org Writer with AuthorSupportTool

Turbocharge OpenOffice.org Writer with AuthorSupportTool

Although OpenOffice.org is a competent productivity suite, you can add some nifty features to it using extensions. There are hundreds of nifty extensions available in the official extension repository. Some of them add a feature or two, while others take OpenOffice.org to a whole new level. The AuthorSupportTool (AST) extension belongs to the latter category. AST not just adds some […]