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Category: Commentary

CYOD, BYOD

In the CYOD world, users are given a choice between several, purposefully selected Operating Systems. Depending on the environment, iOS and Android are offered with a wide variety of third OS choices (Blackberry, Windows, or maybe WebOS). If users have a device that fits into one of these categories, they are welcome to connect it. The reason for this is […]

Update on Apache OpenOffice

Update on Apache OpenOffice

Not too long ago, many, yours truly included, thought that OpenOffice was dead. That opinion was informed by the decision the major Linux distributions made to replace OpenOffice.org, as it was known at that time, with LibreOffice, the new office suite forked from OpenOffice.org by its former contributors. If this is all news to you, here is a brief recap […]

He can steal your smart phone’s and tablet’s encryption keys

If you think that the encryption keys that your smart phone or tablet computer uses to protect data you want to keep others from accessing is secure, well … think again. Crypto researchers have demonstrated that those encryption keys can be stolen using techniques that are not that difficult to assemble. Because I am very security conscious and like to […]

Why Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix will be a tough sell

Why Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix will be a tough sell

Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is an edition of Ubuntu Desktop tweaked for use by institutional or business users. It was announced by Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, in this blog post. The first release is based on Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop Live CD. So what is the difference between it and the end-user desktop Live CD edition? According to Mark, […]

Anti SOPA/PIPA Protest: How it happened and what you can do

The protest against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) has come and gone, but the fight is just getting started. Proponents of SOPA, a legislative proposal thought to be dead by those opposing it, have promised to make another pass at making it the law of the land, and PIPA is due for a test […]

Ubuntu TV: Can it gain a foothold in the market place?

Ubuntu TV: Can it gain a foothold in the market place?

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the popular Linux distribution for desktops and servers, just announced Ubuntu TV, a version of the distribution targeted at OEMs and ODMs for use in connected TVs. This is the company’s first step outside its core business segment, into one where several other connected TV platforms are jockeying for dominance. On the hardware side, Ubuntu […]

webOS: The latest open source, Linux distribution

Elation does not come close to describing what I am feeling right now. Euphoria does not even do it justice. Every cell in my being is in a state of extreme, joyful excitement as I speak (or write). The source or cause of the joy is none other than the announcement from HP that webOS will be, in their own […]

Is the Wuala cloud storage service truly private?

Is the Wuala cloud storage service truly private?

Wuala is a cloud storage service by LaCie, a computer storage and display outfit. Like all cloud storage services, Wuala makes it easy for you to backup, sync, share and retrieve your data from any location. How does it differentiate itself from the rest of the pack? Well, LaCie claims that Wuala is different because “All files get encrypted and […]

How does your package manager handle orphaned packages?

How does your package manager handle orphaned packages?

The last time I followed a distribution’s suggestion to remove some packages that were no longer needed, I completely hosed the system. Could not use it afterwards. Though the machine was a test machine, the experience thought me to always let sleeping dogs lie. If what those orphaned packages, as they are called, are doing is just using up a […]

Does disk encryption really protect your data from unauthorized access?

Does disk encryption really protect your data from unauthorized access?

Disk encryption is one of several physical security measures that could be used to protect data on your computer from unauthorized physical access. And it is best configured during installation, not after. But once configured, how effective is it? First, let’s see how it is implemented in some popular Linux distributions. In Fedora, for example, all you need to encrypt […]

Using OwnCloud and PageKite could get you in trouble with Verizon

These days, everybody is talking about cloud computing, and many people use it in one form or the other. But popular cloud computing services are provided by a third party, which means that you store you data on a server somewhere, so that you can access it any time, from anywhere. But there are cloud applications that any person can […]

Clear evidence that cell phone use increases the incidence of head cancers

We believe that urgent action is needed to protect our children and young people from a epidemic of brain and other tumours in 10 to 30 years time. The majority of malignant gliomas (the most common type that has been associated with mobile phone use) are fatal within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis, even with treatment. If a large […]

Android Open Accessories

Android’s USB port has in the past been curiously inaccessible to programmers. Last week at Google I/O we announced the Android Open Accessory APIs for Android. These APIs allow USB accessories to connect to Android devices running Android 3.1 or Android 2.3.4 without special licensing or fees. The new “accessory mode” does not require the Android device to support USB […]

Android Vulnerability: Use Precaution on Public WiFi

Yesterday, researchers from Germany’s University of Ulm reported that some Android applications transmit sensitive authentication data without properly securing it, making people vulnerable to having their private data (e.g. Calendar Contacts, Pictures) accessed by an attacker. When a vulnerable device transmits its authentication data, an attacker can eavesdrop and view transmitted data if you are connected to a public WiFi […]

Top 10 upcoming Android tablets

Contrary to popular belief, the iPad 2 isn’t the only tablet computer in the world. Yes, it is rather wonderful, and the game support is staggering, but there are still some niggling issues that take the shine off the supremely shiny device. Consider the bizarre lack of Flash support, which creates a distinctly web 1.0 browsing experience, or the upscaled […]

10 Reasons for Developers to Love HP webOS

There comes a time in a Linux-loving geek’s life when he or she needs a new challenge. Making desktop apps isn’t hacking it anymore and building yet-another-website seems passe. If you want to jump into the world of mobile, here are a few reasons why HP webOS is the platform for you. 1: It’s free – There’s no cost to […]

Why security standards are Critical for the Cloud

Everyone loves standards, right? When is the last time you heard a vendor proudly say that their product or service was closed and proprietary? However, it also seems that every time a new IT architecture sweeps through the market, this time one based on cloud models, the lessons of the critical value of standards needs to be relearned. While it […]

Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement

If you sometimes find yourself needing an open wireless network in order to check your email from a car, a street corner, or a park, you may have noticed that they’re getting harder to find. Stories like the one over the weekend about a bunch of police breaking down an innocent man’s door because he happened to leave his network […]

Copyright Is Like QWERTY: Locked-In and Retrospective

The term ‘path dependence’ is generally used to describe the development of technological standards and how they ‘lock in’ a given technical solution. The QWERTY keyboard is often given as an example of path dependence – the fact that the costs of changing the keyboard to a better, more efficient solution, hinders change. The same can be said about much […]

No, iPhone location tracking isn’t harmless and here’s why

It didn’t take long for the blogosphere to respond to research presented on Wednesday that detailed a file in Apple iPhones and iPads unknown to the vast majority of its users that stored a long list of their time-stamped locations, sometimes with alarming detail. On Thursday, a forensics expert who sells software to law enforcement agencies gave a first-hand account […]