Monthly Archives: August 2012

Coldplay Xylobands light up Devon company’s profits

Jason Regler:

But with just three weeks from the time they were ordered by the band and the show, he had had no time to test them in an arena.

I really wished I had seen Coldplay tour this year and experienced the Xylobands first hand. It’s basically the Cigarette Lighter for the 21st Century!

Twitter Certified Products Program – Open for Business

@binder Seth Bindernagel

Today we are launching the Twitter Certified Products Program to bring some of the most innovative products and services from Twitter developers to businesses and organizations that need them most. Thanks to the Twitter ecosystem, brands, publishers, nonprofits, governments and others have products that help them engage with and understand their audience so they can flourish on Twitter.

Based on the words used and what I’ve highlighted in bold, is this another sign that Twitter is prioritising businesses (or “partners” using their buzzword of the day…) over users so that they can generate more cash? Yes they have to generate a money (to stay alive like any other adolescent) but if they continue to approach it like a teenager then it’s no surprise that negative commentary is stirring around the web and blogsphere. This scenario is just one step closer to being the next MySpace.  This isn’t going to happen in the near future but if users and developers get more bad news then you never know… have just starting to ride that wave…

Launch Center Pro 1.0.3 Released

An update to Launch Center Pro has added TextExpander capability as well as improved the responsiveness of the whole app significantly, especially on the iPhone 3GS which I own.

It was a pleasant surprise when David Barnard, founder of App Cubby, who develops Launch Center Pro contacted me via Twitter to let me know of the latest release. David had read my post related to Launch Center Pro and I highlighted that I was having some problems with it on my 3GS. He was nice enough to tweet the following and also follow up with an additional response where I was requesting more support from developers about URL Schemes!

Thanks to David for his personal service. It’s great to know that when provide direct feedback on products and services you use on a daily basis that you are head now and again.


Why passwords have never been weaker—and crackers have never been stronger

Dan Goodin, Ars Technica:

Adding a GPU card to a system undoubtedly helps, but not as much as many might imagine. An AMD Radeon 6970 still needs more than 10 days to brute force a seven-character passcode. And the wall barely budges even when significantly more powerful resources are brought to bear. Using an Amazon EC2 cloud system that combines the horsepower of more than 1,000 individual GPUs, it still takes about 10 days to brute-force an eight character password.

Passwords and security have always been in the news but recently I’ve noticed that a high profile story is published almost every week. You always say to yourself “It will never happen to me” but come they day, it will feel like when you didin’t purchase insurance your car, holiday, house or your health and the worst thing happens…

Password management tools like 1Password still haven’t broken into the mainstream set of consumers but you can see that they will become ever more important in everyday life. These tools won’t guarantee you full immunity from the horrible people that want to steal your important information but at the very least it’s an additional barrier for them to penetrate or a deterrent so that they can move onto the next person that might not be so fortunate. As I’ve said in previous posts, I decided to buy 1Password with a family license so that I can make sure that not only I have piece of mind by my wife does too. Instead of just having a single password for all my logins, I generate individual passwords from 1Password for each of my logins/applications and let the tool managed them centrally and securely. Yes it’s a bit of pain accessing them but I’d rather spend those extra 10 seconds knowing that if someone manage to hack their way into one of my applications, then my other applications are pretty safe.

Here is some good advice from the guys from Ars Technica on Password Housekeeping:

Use a program such as Password Safe or LastPass to generate and store all your passwords, and make sure they are protected by a master password that’s truly strong, unique, and memorable.

Use this password management app to randomly generate passcodes that are a minimum of 13 characters. If you won’t be typing the password into a smartphone or other device with a limited keyboard, make sure each password has symbols. Otherwise, a mix of lower-case letters, capital letters, and numbers will suffice.

Generate a unique password for every account that contains any personally identifying information about you.

Change your password at least once every six months, and more often for your most sensitive accounts or after you’ve used a network you don’t trust. Change your password immediately if you learn the site it’s used to access has been breached.

When signing in to websites, try to use a login URL that begins with “https.”

1Password users should wait a bit before trying Dropbox’s two-step verification

Jeff at AgileBits:

Now, suppose you are traveling and your phone gets stolen or damaged. If you don’t have access to a computer or device that is already linked to your Dropbox account, you won’t be able to reset two-step authentication. You won’t be able to access your 1Password data, which in turn means that you won’t be able to access many of the accounts and services you need. At least, you won’t be able to until you either get to the piece of paper where you wrote down your backup code or get to a computer or device that is already linked to your Dropbox account.

Talking about Dropbox, the guys at AgileBits suggest that you wait before trying out Dropbox’s two-step verification…

Where did the Tweetbot for Mac Alpha go?

Paul Haddad:

As some of you may have already noticed the download link for the Tweetbot for Mac alpha no longer works. Twitter’s latest API Changes means now we have a large but finite limit on the number of user tokens we can get for Tweetbot for Mac. We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with solution that was acceptable to them.

Twitter are sticking to their guns. This doesn’t mean that Tweetbot for Mac is dying a sudden death. Paul Haddad explains that they are stopping new users getting access the Alpha Release so that they can preserve the number of “Real” API Tokens used for people that actually buy the Public Release.

Dropbox enables two-step verification for added security

Dropbox Help Center:

Two-step verification is an optional but highly recommended security feature that adds an extra layer of protection to your Dropbox account. Once enabled, Dropbox will require a six-digit security code in addition to your password whenever you sign in to Dropbox or link a new computer, phone, or tablet.

With the recent wave of security breaches across a number of high profile Tech companies including yours truly… Dropbox have now introduced 2 factor authentication. This means that in order for you (or your hacker) to gain access to your security settings you (they) must have access to both your Email and Mobile Phone. Note: Currently this feature can only be accessed via Dropbox Beta using this link. This is a genuine link but if you don’t trust me then you should be able to enable it in your Settings under “Account sign in”.