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Chromebooks coming to new locations

This week, Google used poetic license to announce that Chromebook computers are to go on sale in 9 more countries around the world.

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“Chromebooks are coming to nine more nations; to improve computing for all generations,” said David Shapiro, Google marketing executive and ‘occasional versifier’, in his poetic blog.

Further verses announced the arrival of Chromebooks in Norway, Denmark, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

“When Chromebooks in these countries alight,” rhymed Shapiro, “We hope our new global friends find some computing delight.”

The new additions will bring the number of countries in which Chromebooks are sold, to 25.

Google launched the first Chromebook in 2010 to challenge the Microsoft Windows operating system. Chrome reverses the traditional model of running software on local hardware, instead the Chrome device connects to software hosted on Internet based servers.

Many new Chromebooks are powered by the latest generation of Intel chips that deliver improved performance and battery life, whilst prices are kept well below traditional PCs, due to the lower hardware requirements and software license costs.

Extract from my original article on visayanbizpost.com

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Categories: Hardware Tags: ,

It makes my Heart Bleed!

The Heartbleed bug exploit and a series of high profile hacking attacks over the last year or so, have highlighted the fact that the more we make use of internet based storage for our personal information, the greater the risk we take.

Heartbleed

Hackers are now making use of highly sophisticated techniques to bypass, steal or guess our passwords. Even without stealing passwords through exploits like Heartbleed, hackers can use powerful computers to launch brute force password attacks, which can break even strong passwords, in a relatively short space of time. These attacks throw millions of password combinations per second at the intended target, until they eventually guess the right one.

The fact is that we are now entering an age when passwords alone are not going to be sufficient to protect the increasing volumes of personal data we have stored in the cloud.

But what if we could make use of a device most of us carry with us everywhere to act as a secondary key? A key that could prevent someone from logging into your account with a stolen password, unless they also had physical access to this key? 

I refer to the humble mobile phone. 

Most of the main internet service providers – Google, Facebook, Dropbox, PayPal etc. all provide a little publicised, secondary key option, known as two-factor authentication. Using two-factor, a code number is sent by the service provider to a registered mobile phone number, or generated by an app, whenever a new device logs into a protected account. This way, even if a hacker had access to your password, they could not log into your account, without also being able to enter the code number displayed on your mobile phone.

There is some inconvenience trade off against security, of course. You won’t be able to access your account from a new device, unless you have your phone with you. If you lose your phone, you’ll only be able to access your account from a previously authorised device, before you can update the two-factor settings. However, for the extra security offered, I think the pros far outweigh the cons.

Although no system will ever be 100% secure, it’s a fact of life that we are all going to have to take additional precautions with our data security, if we are to avoid falling victim to the darker side of the internet.

See below for linked instructions to enable two-factor authentication on a number of popular cloud based services.

A very Siri mistake!

August 13, 2012 Leave a comment

According an article in last week’s ITPro, the battle for supremacy between Apple and Google is about to reach new heights, with the release of Google’s new iPhone app, which will feature enhancements to it’s voiced-based search technology.

  

The new app is being seen as a direct response to the success of Apple’s Siri technology, which is threatening to reduce the reliance on Google’s search services for iPhone users.

In celebration of the impending madness of even more smartphone users shouting random questions into their handsets (as if listening to their conversations wasn’t bad enough!) the remainder of my opinions in this post are dictated directly into Siri…

The platypus could not be used indoors…

I said, the play bus should not see rude encores…

…I’m sorry Andy, but I can only look for businesses in the United States, and when you’re using U.S. English.

…I can’t answer that. But I could search the web for it, if you like.

…I’m sorry Andy, but I don’t understand “You can go kiss my arts”

Categories: Technology Tags: , ,
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