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22 Dec 2015

The Internet of Hackable Things

There is a smartphone that you can buy for twenty dollars now. You wouldn’t want to buy it — as a phone, it fails horribly in terms of usability and ergonomics — but it embodies the idea of a smartphone in every way. It has a touchscreen, a camera, a

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15 Dec 2015

Bah, Humbug: Just Don’t Open That E-Card

‘Tis the season: e-cards are now beginning to tumble into our boxes and soon will become an avalanche.  Christians have Christmas, Jews have Hanukkah, African Americans have Kwanzaa,  and other groups have other seasonal holidays, and just about all of them seem to trigger an impulse to send friends and

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08 Dec 2015

The Explosion in Hotel Credit Card Breaches: Know How to Protect Yourself

Hilton, Starwood. Marriott. Mandarin Oriental. Hard Rock. Trump. The list of hotels that have acknowledged breaches of their credit card systems goes on and on. This has real meaning for you, particularly so in the holiday season when hundreds of millions of us are traveling and staying in hotels. Your

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01 Dec 2015

The World’s Governments Cannot End Terror Attacks with Mass Surveillance

It doesn’t matter where you live, or what time in history you happen to have lived. Whenever something bad happens to your country, your government will react — overreact — in a way that is ultimately counterproductive. Here’s an example:  in 1798, less than ten years after the US constitution

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24 Nov 2015

The Woeful State of State Cybersecurity: Be Very Afraid

The report out of the Pell Center for International Relations and Foreign Policy is almost enough to make you crawl under the covers and turn off the lights. In its review of cybersecurity practices of United States’ states it found that there is plenty to worry about.  Your personal data

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17 Nov 2015

Blocking Ad-Blockers on Websites Has Backfired Predictably

The internet, as many lawmakers, entrepreneurs, and lawyers have discovered to their sorrow, is not a place that is easily governed by rules. Shutting down a service you don’t like only means that within days, a dozen competing entities will grow up to fill the gap. Remember how shutting down

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