Today the World Changes

Today Apple announces its new creation. And the world changes. It is such an amazing concept you can't even imagine its reach, its importance. First of all the name, it is going to be called "Leibniz", it is the logical follow up to the the Newton. The purpose of these launch is to end all launches. The reason it is hyper hyped is that they want to disappoint us in such a way that they won't have to do this anymore. You see, without Steve Jobs Apple can't do this announcements, it is better to make this transition while he is still the boss. So, here is my predictions: They are going to announce that there will be a iPhone OS 4.0 at some point, they are going to announce a new iPhone that is exactly like the old one, except it is CDMA and it is sell through Verizon only. Then they are going to announce the Leibniz, which is going to be some kind of lame Book/magazine reader with some media hook ups and a ridiculous price. As the people gasp in disappointment, Jobs is going to say his usual "One more thing", and he is going to announce that this stupid launches are over forever...

Specialization is for insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Security, Facebook, Email, and Chat

There is an area in which security has actually been decreasing. A lot of email conversations and Chats have moved to Facebook. Either directly through Facebook Chat or through the Facebook Messaging system. At first look it seems this is safer. After all, these messages do not travel to different places in the Internet, they go from your computer to Facebook servers to the computer of whoever you are talking to. In an Email conversation copies of your email are stored in at least two places (your mail server, and the recipient mail server) and potentially a lot more. In a Chat conversation there is a copy in the conversation for sure in the service provider (AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc). The situation had been improving, for example, Google a few days ago made secure connection the default in Gmail. What that means is that if you send email from Gmail to another gmail account, it is certain that only the google servers have the email if both you and the recipient delete their local copy (if it exist at all). If both use Gmail in a browser then there is no other copy around. With Chat it had improved too, some clients where providing encrypted chats (AOL and Google Talk, at least). But Facebook changed all that and Facebook, doesn't use SSL. They don't encrypt the connection, only the login. You can put encryption, by putting https instead of http, but you have to do it in every link and Chat doesn't seem to work. So, with people using Facebook instead of email and Chat programs, our overall security has decreased. Do you care? I do... That's why everything I do in Facebook I consider public and open.

The Problem with Security Today and the Droid lock screen.

This article is an example of what is wrong with security today. Is exactly what I tried to described previously. You see, the lock in phones, with the exception of Blackberries, is not to avoid a thief that stole your phone to get to the data, is just small protection against a casual attacker or an accidental unlocking. Shoulder surfing in the Droid lock screen is so easy it is a joke. The protection against a thief is different: Don't let someone steal your phone. If iPhone users believe their information is protected against an intelligent thief they are wrong. It is easy to get to the data. Only the Blackberry have a sort of adequate level of encryption and a remote wipe that makes sense. Even after you wipe an iPhone or a Droid it is possible to get to the info, not easy, but possible. Security is not a product or a feature, it is a process.

Wikileaks and the 7000 emails from the Venezuelan Government

Stefan Mey sent me an email pointing to an interesting follow up to a 2008 story I wrote about Wikileaks getting a hold up and attempting to auction 7000 emails from the Hugo Chavez government. In an interview with Julian Assange, spokesperson for Wikileaks, the fear Wikileaks had was that if they just published the emails nobody would write about them, so they thought of auctioning them. But it was so complicated, people wanted to see them first, etc, that it turn out to be impossible to do. So they just published them and, guess what? Nobody wrote about them! some thoughts about them. First, where are the emails? I try to look for them, if you search Google for Wikileaks Venezuela Government emails my story is the top link, and Wikileaks doesn't appear at all, at least for me. So, that's a problem. Going to the front page of Wikileaks just asks for money... The same goes if you try any of the links that Google presents if you search for Wikileaks. In other words: Wikileaks do not work and doesn't have a good Google presence. I was planing to lambaste the Venezuelan Opposition for failing to attack the government with this info. But I ended up lambasting Wikileaks. (Thanks Stefan)

The errors of the Millenium (Trilogy)

With the New Year I started reading the so called Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson. I've read them fast, a sign that I have the time and I'm enjoying the story, and after finishing the the first one, I immediately bought the second one and started reading it. So, yes, I've enjoyed them, but there is something that is driving me crazy: The errors. The author describes a hacking attempt through the internet as if it were a telephone line. In "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" the protagonist, the girl with photographic memory, which is useless, eidetic memory is what you want, the incredible hacker, desires a 17' G4 Aluminium Powerbook with an impossible memory configuration that could have never existed. No only that by the second book, "The Girl Who Played with Fire", the machine has transformed into a 17' Titanium machine that also didn't exist. The errors made me suspect everything the author said, so when he talked of a Kawasaki 125 motorcycle I had to check if such a motorcycle existed, it does, several, actually. But the main thing that has been bothering me is the question: Why does the author felt the need to give such detailed description, but not the need to be precise and research a little? Did he do it on purpose or was it just carelessness on his part? If he did it on purpose he actually made his novels worse, in my opinion.

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