30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for June 25, 2012
====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 22:24:28 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: It's as Easy as 123!@S Message-ID: <email@example.com> It's as Easy as 123!@S By JACOB BERNSTEIN June 22, 2012 WITH numbers. Without. One capital letter. None. More than eight characters. Fewer than 16. "It's a nightmare," the comedian Tracey Ullman said. "These passwords just keep getting longer and longer. I try to think of a startling emotional thing that jogs my memory or something that's frightening, or my grandmother's name with 666 at the end. But I really don't know what to do." Neither, it would seem, does the actress Parker Posey, who said she writes them down "on tiny pieces of paper, like little secrets, because yes, someone could find them." But then, Ms. Posey added, she forgets which Web sites the codes are for. The writer Paul Rudnick finds himself equally bewildered. Simply tracking down the password for his Time Warner Cable modem was like "a 'Bourne Identity' moment," Mr. Rudnick recalled. Just a decade ago, an Internet user rarely had to do more than enter a simple, easy-to-remember e-mail password, recycling it for every online account. But as our dependency on the Internet has grown, so has the complexity of its restrictions. The end result: a mind-boggling array of personal codes squirreled away in computer files, scribbled on Post-it notes or simply lost in the ether. Virtually any online user without a computer science degree now seems to be one failed login attempt away from a nervous breakdown. Worse, are the dreaded security questions, which began simply enough ("In what city were you born?") but have increasingly "moved from the purely factual to things that would require you to have a judgment," lamented Jeffrey Leeds, the president of Leeds Equity and a fixture on the New York social scene. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/fashion/computer-passwords-grow-ever-more-complicated.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** As with most things related to computers, what you think of as a personal itch has probably already annoyed someone else - and Open Source software, which is free-as-in-speech, showcases a great example of how this itch has already been scratched. It's called Password Safe, and it lets you remember one password that gives you access to all the other ones, stored safely with military-grade encryption. You can download it, no strings attached, at http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net/ . Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 22:21:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: To Settle Lawsuit, Facebook Alters Policy for Its Like Button Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> To Settle Lawsuit, Facebook Alters Policy for Its Like Button By SOMINI SENGUPTA June 21, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO - Complicating its efforts to accelerate advertising revenue, Facebook has agreed to make it clear to users that when they click to like a product on Facebook, their names and photos can be used to plug the product. They will also be given a chance to decline the opportunity to be unpaid endorsers. The changes are part of a settlement for a class-action lawsuit against Facebook in Federal District Court in California. The agreement compels the company to change one of its most effective advertising tools, known as Sponsored Stories. According to the agreement, filed Wednesday with the court in San Jose, Facebook users will be able to control and see which of their actions on Facebook are used to generate advertisements seen by their Facebook friends. For Facebook users under 18, there is an additional requirement: the company must give parents the opportunity to keep their children out of advertisements. The settlement does not inhibit the company from using Sponsored Stories, which Facebook executives have repeatedly described as the most effective form of advertising in part because they do not seem like traditional advertisements. Both on the Web and on a mobile device, a Sponsored Story features the name and picture of a Facebook friend who has clicked on the like button for a product or organization. This is exactly why Sponsored Stories can be bewildering, or off-putting, to some users. Until now, Facebook users were unaware when and how they were exploited for advertising, and they may not have realized that a click on something as vague as a like button could be used to enrich Facebook, the company. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/technology/to-settle-suit-facebook-alters-policies-for-like-button.html
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2012 22:21:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: U.S. Military Hunts for Safe Smartphones for Soldiers Message-ID: <email@example.com> U.S. Military Hunts for Safe Smartphones for Soldiers By SOMINI SENGUPTA JUNE 22, 2012 The military has long needed computers that are tough enough on the outside to withstand the rough and tumble of the battlefield. Now, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the hands of soldiers, those devices also have to be strong on the inside. They are loaded with contacts, location information and all kinds of military-grade applications, so it can be deadly for a soldier to lose a mobile device or have its data leak out unwittingly. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, has now assigned Invincea, a company based in Fairfax, Va., to fortify Android-based phones and tablets so they are safe in soldiers' hands. The $21 million grant to the company is a window into how pervasive networked technologies have become in the military - and the market that has opened up to secure them. Part of the problem, said Anup Ghosh, a professor at George Mason University and the founder of Invincea, is that soldiers often want to use their mobile devices to communicate with families back home, and to entertain themselves when they can. And so military applications sit side by side with games, social networking apps and other distractions. The risks can be unexpected. Soldiers playing games on an Army base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, can easily and unknowingly transmit the names of their friends. A piece of malware can penetrate the operating system and suck out location information. At the same time, mobile devices are beginning to change the work and lives of soldiers as they have for everyone else, as the Department of Defense acknowledged in a strategy paper earlier this month. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/22/u-s-military-hunts-for-safe-smartphones-for-soldiers/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** Maybe it's just me, but when I read this, I think "Wikileaks". Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2012 21:08:27 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Bankrupt LightSquared's Drama Drags On -- And Markets Move On Message-ID: <20120625010827.GA2553@telecom.csail.mit.edu> The specter of spectrum. Last time we checked in with LightSquared, its sad saga suggested why crony capitalism might be here to stay. Philip Falcone, I remarked, sounded like some of the less sympathetic Occupy protestors who have complained that even though they went through the motions prescribed by the system, the system failed them. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamespoulos/2012/06/08/bankrupt-lightsquareds-drama-drags-on-and-markets-move-on/ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
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