Sunday, September 29, 2013

OpenStack 09/29/2013 (p.m.)

  • This seems like a reasonable role for government. 

    Tags: smartphone, charger, E.U. law, E.U., standardized interfaces

    • The EU has been known to make a lot of odd decisions when it comes to tech, such as forcing Microsoft's hand at including a "browser wheel" with its Windows OS, but this latest decision is one I think most people will agree with. One thing that's frustrating about different smartphones is the occasional requirement to use a different charger. More frustrating is actually losing one of these chargers, and being unable to charge your phone even though you might have 8 of another charger readily available.
    • While this decision would cut down on this happening, the focus is to cut down on waste. On Thursday, the EU's internal market and consumer protection committee voted on forcing smartphone vendors to adopt a standard charger, which common sense would imply means micro USB, given it's already featured on the majority of smartphones out there. The major exception is Apple, which deploys a Lightning connector with its latest iPhones.

      Apple already offers Lightning to micro USB cables, but again, those are only useful if you happen to own one, making a sudden loss of a charger all-the-more frustrating. While Lightning might offer some slight benefits, Apple implementing a micro USB connector instead would make situations like those a lot easier to deal with (I am sure a lot of us have multiple micro USB cables lying around).

      Even though this law was a success in the initial voting, the government group must still bring the proposal to the Council which will then lead to another vote being made in the Parliament. If it does end up passing, I have a gut feeling that Apple will modify only its European models to adhere to the law, while its worldwide models will remain with the Lightning connector. Or, Apple might be able to circumvent the law if it offers to include the micro USB cable in the box, essentially shipping the phone with that connector.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

OpenStack 09/28/2013 (a.m.)

  • "The good: ......... The iPhone 5 adds everything we wanted in the iPhone 4S: 4G LTE, a longer, larger screen, free turn-by-turn navigation, and a faster A6 processor. Plus, its top-to-bottom redesign is sharp, slim, and feather-light. The bad: ............ Apple Maps feels unfinished and buggy; Sprint and Verizon models can't use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter. There's no NFC, and the screen size pales in comparison to jumbo Android models. The bottom line: .............. The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe."

    Tags: iPhone-5, Tech-Reviews, reviews, mobile-computing

  • "The new iPhone is here – but is Apple in danger of delivering too little with its latest upgrade? This is an excellent in depth review of the iPhone 5, By Gareth Beavis  September 27th 2012 ..... 8 COMMENTS Moatly the iPhone 5 is compared to the Smasung Galaxy 3, and the HTC One X. HTC wins the form factor and feel award. Samsung beats the iPhone in near everything else. Both the HTC and Samasung use Quad Core Processors. The iPhone 5, although greatly improved over the i4, uses a dual core processor. Some highlightes for the iPhone 5: ...... Photo stitching ....... Siri In most things the iPhone is "average". Where it really shines is an improvement to the iPhone 4 !!!!! Some serious drawbacks: ......... No Google Maps !!!! AAnd the new Apple Maps are a JOKE ......... The core Contact-Calling-Email system is native and quite outside of the Google Apps. No sync PAGE 1 OF 14 : Introduction and design The excitement of the rumor mill, the titillation of every leaked photo led to higher than ever levels of expectation for the iPhone 5, and while the announcement was greeted with some derision at the lack of perceived headline improvements, the record sales tell an entirely different story. Given the underwhelming changes to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 really needs to re-energize customers to prove Apple can repeat the game-changing trick it managed with the iPhone 4. So is the Apple iPhone 5 the greatest smartphone ever, one that will finally see Apple ascend to the top spot in our 20 best mobile phones chart? Or is it a case of too little, too late?"

    Tags: iPhone-5, Tech-Reviews, reviews, mobile-computing

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

OpenStack 09/27/2013 (p.m.)

  • Yee-haw! E.U. sanctuary and rewards for NSA whistle-blowers. Mandatory warnings for customers of U.S. cloud services that their data may be turned over to the NSA. Pouring more gasoline on the NSA diplomatic fire. 

    Tags: surveillance state, NSA, NSA-blowback, EU, cloud computing, whistle-blowers

    • All existing data sharing agreements between Europe and the US should be revoked, and US web site providers should prominently inform European citizens that their data may be subject to government surveillance, according to the recommendations of a briefing report for the European Parliament.

      The report was produced in response to revelations about the US National Security Agency (NSA) snooping on internet traffic, and aims to highlight the subsequent effect on European Union (EU) citizens' rights.

    • The report warns that EU data protection authorities have failed to understand the “structural shift of data sovereignty implied by cloud computing”, and the associated risks to the rights of EU citizens.

      It suggests “a full industrial policy for development of an autonomous European cloud computing capacity” should be set up to reduce exposure of EU data to NSA surveillance that is undertaken by the use of US legislation that forces US-based cloud providers to provide access to data they hold.

    • To put pressure on the US government, the report recommends that US websites should ask EU citizens for their consent before gathering data that could be used by the NSA.

      “Prominent notices should be displayed by every US web site offering services in the EU to inform consent to collect data from EU citizens. The users should be made aware that the data may be subject to surveillance by the US government for any purpose which furthers US foreign policy,” it said.

      “A consent requirement will raise EU citizen awareness and favour growth of services solely within EU jurisdiction. This will thus have economic impact on US business and increase pressure on the US government to reach a settlement.”

    • Other recommendations include the EU offering protection and rewards for whistleblowers, including “strong guarantees of immunity and asylum”. Such a move would be seen as a direct response to the plight of Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst who leaked documents that revealed the extent of the NSA’s global internet surveillance programmes.

      The report also says that, “Encryption is futile to defend against NSA accessing data processed by US clouds,” and that there is “no technical solution to the problem”. It calls for the EU to press for changes to US law.

    • “It seems that the only solution which can be trusted to resolve the Prism affair must involve changes to the law of the US, and this should be the strategic objective of the EU,” it said.

      The report was produced for the European Parliament committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, and comes before the latest hearing of an inquiry into electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens, due to take place in Brussels on 24 September.

  • Tags: surveillance state, NSA-blowback, John-McAfee

    • Anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee, who buried himself in the sand to hide from police in Belize, faked a heart attack in a Guatemalan detention center and admits playing the "crazy card," says he's now ready for his next adventure: a return to Silicon Valley.

      At age 67, McAfee is promising to launch a new cybersecurity company that will make the Internet safer for everyone.

      "My new technology is going to provide a new type of Internet, a decentralized, floating and moving Internet that is impossible to hack, impossible to penetrate and vastly superior in terms of its facility and neutrality. It solves all of our security concerns," McAfee said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OpenStack 09/26/2013 (a.m.)

  • Tags: youtube, google+

    • Laugh all you want, fuzzball, but Google is changing how YouTube uploaders manage comments on their videos. The new system, which began rolling out to a limited number of uploaders on Tuesday, favors relevancy over recency and introduces enhanced moderation tools.

      The new commenting system, which is powered by Google+ and was developed in collaboration between the YouTube and Google+ teams, provides several new tools for moderation, said Nundu Janakiram, product manager at YouTube. It will default to showing YouTube viewers the most relevant comments first, such as those by the video uploader or channel owner.

      "Currently, you see comments from the last random person to stop by," Janakiram said. "The new system tries to surface the most meaningful conversation to you. We're trying to shift from comments to meaningful conversations," he said.

    • He explained that three main factors determine which comments are more relevant: community engagement by the commenter, up-votes for a particular comment, and commenter reputation. If you've been flagged for spam or abuse, don't be surprised to find your comments buried, but that also means that celebrities who have strong Google+ reputations will be boosted above others.

      There's more to the system than just relevancy, though. Because the system is powered by Google+, comments made on posts with YouTube links in the social network will show up on YouTube itself. So, you'll see comments from people in your Google+ Circles higher up, too.

      Just because it's powered by Google+ doesn't mean that you'll lose your YouTube identity, though. "You are still allowed to use pseudonyms," said Janakiram, whether you're "a Syrian dissident or SoulPancake".

      Another feature, and one that speaks directly to YouTube's goal of fostering conversations, is that you'll be able to comment publicly or privately to people in your Circles. Replies will be threaded like Gmail.

      The hope is that new moderation tools will make it easier for video owners to guide the conversation, Janakiram explained. "There have been challenges in the past with certain comments and what's been shown there."

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

OpenStack 09/22/2013 (p.m.)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

OpenStack 09/20/2013 (p.m.)

  • Might be right. Might be wrong. Oh, the joy of having people around who feel entitled to read other people's data, whether it's shared or not. 

    Tags: surveillance state, NSA, encryption, security

    • In judging NSA capabilities, we need to keep in mind that they have a history of discouraging the US government from using systems that the NSA could break. If the NSA could break AES-CBC-128, then they would not be advising US government agencies to use it. Interestingly there is a history of the US and UK governments advising foreign governments to use cryptographic systems derived from Enigma, which the US and UK could break at the time.  But the NSA has (correctly) operated under the assumption that if they have found a way to break something, others will too.
    • It’s also reasonable to assume that the gap between the kinds of cryptanalytic techniques that the NSA has, and what the academic community has, is not as large as it was in the past. We did see evidence of the NSA (presumably) using a novel technique in Flame. We know that they are ahead, but as the number of people who publicly study cryptanalysis increases, the gap should narrow significantly. It certainly appears that their skills in designing presentation slides are more than a decade behind readily available and documented public techniques.

      From these I comfortably operate on the assumption that the actual building blocks (AES, etc) and the constructions (CBC) we use are not broken.

      Of course, one area where the NSA has clear, unmatched power is with computing resources. Our estimations of how long it would take a password cracker to guess a Master Password have been based on the kinds of tools that the public password cracking community has available.

    • There may be non-cryptographic flaws in cryptographic software, including 1Password, that the NSA is able to exploit, and that nobody else knows of. That is, they may know a way to break 1Password’s security without having to break the crypto. Naturally, we work  hard to keep 1Password free of such vulnerabilities, but that is no guarantee that there aren’t some which the NSA is aware of and that we are not.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

OpenStack 09/19/2013 (p.m.)

  • Undoubtedly, construction was under way well before the Edward Snowden leaked documents began to be published. But that did give the new BRICS Cable an excellent hook for the announcement. With 12.8 Tbps throughput, it looks like this may divert considerable traffic now routed through the UK. But it still connects with the U.S., in Miami. 

    Tags: security state, NSA, Internet-Balkanization, BRICS-net

    • The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff announces publicly the creation of a world internet system INDEPENDENT from US and Britain ( the “US-centric internet”).

      Not many understand that, while the immediate trigger for the decision (coupled with the cancellation of a summit with the US president) was the revelations on NSA spying, the reason why Rousseff can take such a historic step is that the alternative infrastructure: The BRICS cable from Vladivostock, Russia  to Shantou, China to Chennai, India  to Cape Town, South Africa  to Fortaleza, Brazil,  is being built and it’s, actually, in its final phase of implementation.

      No amount of provocation and attempted “Springs” destabilizations and Color Revolution in the Middle East, Russia or Brazil can stop this process.  The huge submerged part of the BRICS plan is not yet known by the broader public.

    • Nonetheless it is very real and extremely effective. So real that international investors are now jumping with both feet on this unprecedented real economy opportunity. The change… has already happened.

      Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington’s widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward politically fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.

      President Dilma Rousseff has ordered a series of measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security following revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians who entrusted their personal data to U.S. tech companies such as Facebook and Google.

      • BRICS Cable… a 34 000 km, 2 fibre pair, 12.8 Tbit/s capacity, fibre optic cable system

            • For any global investor, there is no crisis – there is plenty of growth. It’s just not in the old world
            • BRICS is ~45% of the world’s population and ~25% of the world’s GDP
            • BRICS together create an economy the size of Italy every year… that’s the 8th largest economy in the world
            • The BRICS presents profound opportunities in global geopolitics and commerce
        • Links Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil – the BRICS economies – and the United States.
        • Interconnect with regional and other continental cable systems in Asia, Africa and South America for improved global coverage
        • Immediate access to 21 African countries and give those African countries access to the BRICS economies.
        • Projected ready for service date is mid to second half of 2015.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

OpenStack 09/19/2013 (a.m.)

  • Excellent stuff from HubSpot "Visual content is in high demand. Just about every type of content we marketers create can be enhanced by some kind of visual element. And in social media? Visuals pretty much make or break your presence. In fact, photos on Facebook generate 53% more Likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more clickthroughs than the average post. And if you need more evidence to convince you visual content is essential to your marketing, just consider all these stats! But honestly ... who's got time for all that? And I don't know about you, but I don't exactly have a degree in graphic design. Or the budget to hire someone who does. So, what's a design-impaired marketer to do? Luckily, over the past several months, we've been on a mission to make visual content creation much less of an obstacle for the average marketer. How, you ask? Templates, my friends ... templates. And what's great about these templates is they're all for software you probably have loaded onto your computer already: PowerPoint. And PowerPoint is such an accessible piece of software for non-designer folks like you and me. In fact, we use it all the time at HubSpot when we don't have a designer handy.  I'm going to walk you through the visual content templates we have available for free download, and show you how we've used them ourselves to create awesome visuals right in PowerPoint."

    Tags: marketing, visual-marketing, Visual-Productivity, presentations

  • More good stuff from HubSpot! excerpt: "I'll admit it -- I'm a cheap-o when it comes to most things in my life. When going to the airport, I'll volunteer to schlep an extra hour on the MBTA with my suitcase over taking a cab. I will buy the generic over the name brand any day. And if I can find some free online tool to do something I'd otherwise have to pay for in my marketing ... you guessed it -- I do it.   In my quest to find alternatives to fancy computer programs, I've come across a lot of free tools that help take my marketing up a notch while also save my team's budget -- and I wanted to share them with you. Although there will be some occasions where you won't be able to avoid paying for the tools you need to rock your job, lots of times you can increase the quality of your visual content with just a free resource. But you have to know the free tool is out there in the first place.  So without any further ado, let's get to the meat of the post: the most important free tools you can use to create visual content. "

    Tags: HubSpot, marketing, visual-marketing, Visual-Productivity

Posted from Diigo. The rest of Open Web group favorite links are here.