Archive for October, 2009

BOL Episode 1096

October 31, 2009

 Judge rules that email is not protected by 4th amendment rights.  Basically, this is information that one already knew in the work place.  However, this deals with emails from home.  Once you email from your home that email goes to an ISP server.  Therefore the judge says that if the ISP owner can see it, the email is no longer private.  Should there be a law enforcement’s request to see the emails, there is no constitutional requirement of notice to the owner of the email.  Once you email and send it, it is no longer in your physical home and therefore not protected by 4th amendment rights.

Encryption was discussed as a way of “privatizing” the email but even that has draw backs because 1)once the email is sent it is not in your home, 2) ISP server can see it and 3) one would think there is a reasonable expectation of security .   There is no security with emailAccording to the this blog there should be “A NEW LAW” pertaining to email medium.  Currently the only law referred to in this blog is DMCA which states you cannot break encryption. In addition, more and more people are using IM and Twitter due to the fact email is fundamentally insecure.  This is breaking news for email users.

BOL 10/23/09

October 24, 2009

In the podcast for Friday October 23, 2009 to issues were talked about, the new Microsoft windows 7 and also how the French have passed a three strikes law that will disconnect the Internet if accused three times of piracy. Windows 7 seems to truly be good for Microsoft.  Microsoft is reportedly making 3.5 billion in revenue at this point. But, Microsoft is continuing to make other electronic devices because if they stuck with just operating systems they would loose revenue because the money people pay for operating systems is going to die out. Also discussed was how the European commission has not yet approved the conversion of Microsoft 7.

Next France has a constitution council that discusses the three strikes policy. The first time they tried to pass this law, the politicians decided you can’t cut off someone’s internet. Amendment 138 allowed people to have privacy on the internet but now it has been ditched in committee. Europeans are upset that the government would pass this.  Most Europeans think that this law will really not affect people. Some use the example its like trying to fight terrorism with military force, it will not work. Another issue about this topic is how the council can prove pirating with wifi these days. Some people are not at there computer! Plus it’s so much work to have to send out letters and prosecute people!! Most Europeans do not think that this law will be effective. Cutting off someone’s internet is not an appropriate punishment for a person pirating. Some feel like the government is using this to make an example out of people. All that would happen to the person, is a letter would be sent out for the first time to address the issue of pirating, and then he/she would stop. Time will tell if this law will ever be enforced

BOL Episode 1083

October 15, 2009

T-Mobile customers are outraged because there has been an outage on the T-Mobile sidekick for over a week now. T-Mobile uses “cloud services” and user’s data is hosted on a server. Some customers discovered personal information and contacts missing and when they tried to restart their phone or take the battery out and reset it, which usually fixes the issue, they still could not recover their data. Once T-Mobile discovered this, they urged customers not to turn off their phones and not to take the batteries out. T-Mobile originally offered customers a free month of data service to make up for customers outrage and now they are offering a $100 “customer appreciation award” if you cannot recover your data. Microsoft is not concerned with taking any of the blame even though they own Danger, which is the company that hosts the data for the Sidekick. Microsoft only bought out Danger for project Pink, and the loss of Sidekick customers’ data could be potentially harmful to Microsoft’s Pink if customers find out Microsoft owns Danger. After the T-Mobile incident who would trust Microsoft to host data for their phones? T-Mobile has now suspended sales of the Sidekick online and in retail outlets as Microsoft and Danger work to resolve the issue. I can see why T-Mobile customers are outraged. The loss of contacts and other personal information has impacted customers business and personal lives. However, this could happen with any company that uses a similar data hosting service. Customers should not depend solely on companies like Microsoft to host their data as a backup. Customers should use remote storage devices to also back up their data.

Another issue discussed was the use of Lossless audio files vs. Mp3 files. Some artists are now beginning to offer their albums in a regular version and a Lossless version. Lossless compression does not sacrifice any signal fidelity and all the quality of the original music/ audio signal is retained. Mp3 is only supposed to be taking out the things you cannot hear. There is a perceived difference of quality in Lossless and only audio freaks will care about it or be able to notice it. The Lossless versions cost more than other versions. I know that I would not be able to tell the difference therefore I would be unwilling to pay the extra money for Lossless. I am satisfied with the quality of Mp3s.

Buzz Outloud episode 1081

October 10, 2009

Discussed several topics concerning e-book readers, Mac’s Snow Leopard, iPhone by AT&T, Computer memory glitches, Microsoft Office 2010 pricing, Two issues were discussed on  security issues.  The first issue discusses Comcast and the ability to monitor your PC for malware and Bots that may be affecting your computer.  Comcast will send you a message stating you have the potential for an infection. The service is called Comcast Constant Guard,the “Service Notice” will include a link to a Comcast security Web site where customers can follow a set of instructions to remove the malware from their computer, according to Elinor Mills from Insecurity Complex. There is a certain amount of trust factor that goes with this according to Blog commentary.  How much does Comcast watch my PC?  Is this some kind of PC Profiling that is going on also?  These were other questions discussed during the Blog.  However, after reading the information from Mills in the Insecurity Complex, I would agree with the fact this is a great service being provided by an ISP that will help residential computer users in preventing these infections.  In addition, this is paving the way for a new niche for Comcast in the business/IT world.

The second issue discussed included Pressure sensitive keyboards.  This type of biometrics can help in providing additional security when keying in your password information.  The keyboard would measure your keystroke pressure to prevent others from using your password to get into your computer.  The concept is great, however, do we always use the same pressure each time to key in our password.  What happens when your hands are full and you use just one hand to key in?  The question remains will it keep even you out of your own computer.  Biometrics will play a key role in security applications in the future, but further development is still needed.

Buzz Outloud 9/30/09

October 2, 2009

During this podcast the Apple Tablet and then internet were the main topics of discussion. The Apple Tablet is making consumers wonder if it is hype worthy. Apple plans on introducing this tablet in Jan 2010. One thing to keep in mind is that if it is an Apple product it will be expensive. Also, since nobody has seen the product it can only be compared to the Kendal DX. The Kendal DX is another tablet product that has been used in a top school such as Harvard but failed. The Apple Tablet will let consumers be able to look at magazines with pictures and also let them take notes in the margin. If this product does come into production then it will inevitably upset the textbook business for college students. Why would students need to buy high priced textbooks when they could download them on iTunes? If Apple does produce the Apple Tablet it will be very useful in today’s society. Another major topic was about the internet and how the government has relaxed their control over it. It makes users wonder if it was a good or bad decision. The government says that the internet could function in a free state. But, some people wonder about protection and other major factors that involve the internet.

Next, there was a discussion about how the internet is the biggest advertiser in the UK, taking over TV. Some express the reasoning for this is because the internet is cheaper and newer. But the question is raised about whether it is fair to compare internet advertising to television advertising. The reason for this is because the internet has so many other outlets which include: email, video, classifieds and much more.