Five ways to keep your student’s digital life safe

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As students return to school, technology goes with them. That technology—and the data generated by it—is valuable not simply as a means for getting school work done, but also as entertainment for those brief hours between one assignment and the next. It’s for this reason that it pays to plan for disaster. With a single massive power burst, storage media that suddenly heads south, or interaction with a light-fingered ne’er-do-well, the technology your student depends on can vanish. Take these five tips to heart, however, and the loss of a device or data need not be catastrophic.

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What to expect from Apple’s September 9 event

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Roll them bones, strain the tea leaves, and consult your crystal balls. WithApple’s September 9 event now a matter of public record, the only sensible way to while away the hours over the next week and a half is to speculate about what precisely the company might have hidden up its sleeves strange temporary building.There are any number of rumors afoot about what Apple has in the works, but that doesn’t mean that every single theoretical device from Cupertino will pop up at September’s event. But there are certainly plenty of options to choose from, especially given Apple’s coy “wish we could say more” invitation.

 

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Gizmodo Comparison Chart of TV Streaming Devices

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Click on the Chart to ExpandGizmodo comparison Chart

Will Roku bring smart TVs into the cool crowd?

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Low-price Hisense and TCL sets with Roku’s brains built in may have the best shot yet at moving smart TVs from niche shopping consideration to popular norm.

Steve Balmer Leaves Microsoft Board

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Former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer quit his post as a company director after 14 years, giving new CEO Satya Nadella an even freer hand to reshape the company.

Mr. Ballmer, fresh off his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise, indicated that his duties as team owner, among other interests, wouldn’t leave enough time to stay on Microsoft’s board.

“I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off,” Mr. Ballmer said in a public letter to Mr. Nadella, who became CEO in February. “I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time.”

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Meet the new, reversible USB!

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USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced that it has finalised its redesign of the USB.

Called USB Type-C, the specification — which was announced last December — aims to solve several problems with current USB design; possibly the most exciting of which is the eradication of “right way up” with a reversible plug. Like Apple’s Lightning connector, it can be plugged into its port either way.

The new USB is also designed both to be small enough to fit mobile devices, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets.

“Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,” said USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders. “Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution.”

The USB is comparable in size with micro USB 2.0 Type-B connectors, with a port size of 8.4 by 2.6mm, yet will be compatible with SuperSpeed USB at 10Gbps (USB 3.1). It will also support USB Power Delivery up to 100W, with additional support for scalable power charging and future USB performance needs

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Finally A Good Use for Touch ID:1Password

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ZDNET

By Jason D. O’Grady for The Apple Core |

At WWDC14 Apple announced that it was opening up Touch ID to all developers.AgileBits, developer popular password vault 1Password, has demonstrated several promising new applications of the biometric fingerprint sensor built into the home button on the iPhone 5s.

In a blog post and accompanying video, AgileBits shows how Touch ID can be used to:

  1. unlock the 1Password app (replacing the master password)
  2. enter passwords in Safari (via the 1Password browser extension), and
  3. enter login credentials into third-party iOS apps (via the 1Password app extension)

Make no mistake about it, this is revolutionary. These three features alone make Touch ID a viable and powerful security technology, a generation ahead of the anemic unlock code and App Store purchases that Touch ID is limited to today.

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The billion dollar web site you paid for

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  for Between the Lines |

healthcare-620x388

Perhaps no news about HealthCare.gov, the Federal healthcare exchange website and supporting systems, is shocking anymore. We all know that it was an utter disaster at launch on October 1, 2013 and was completely unusable for some time thereafter. But eventually they got it to the point of being usable, so no harm no foul, right?

You may not think so after reading the recent GAO (Government Accountability Office) report HEALTHCARE.GOV — Ineffective Planning and Oversight Practices Underscore the Need for Improved Contract Management. The report is embedded at the bottom of this story.

Infrastructure as a Service providers make a very compelling argument for businesses to stop running their own data centers and simply purchase server capacity on-demand and scale up and down as needed. This is our deep dive on IaaS strategy and best practices

Not only was the project a technical disaster — development was originally supposed to be complete October 1, 2013, but the schedule is now for the end of 2014 — but it has cost far, far beyond what was budgeted and far further than what could be called reasonable for such a system.

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Bad USB

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 for Between the Lines |

It’s a common scene from TV: Our hero sneaks into the villain’s office, plugs in a USB stick and — flash! — all the secret plans to conquer Chicago are sucked down into the thumb-drive. The only fiction is how fast it takes to download data. In the real world, office data thieves walk out with stolen data everyday on their flash drives.

Skull-Crossbones-USB
USB memory sticks may prove far more dangerous for your company than you’d ever imagined.

It could be worse. USB sticks can also carry malware. Or, as SRLabs security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell propose to show at Black Hat, an ordinary USB pen drive can be turned into an automated hacking tool.

The base problem, according to the pair, is “USB has become so commonplace that we rarely worry about its security implications. USB sticks undergo the occasional virus scan, but we consider USB to be otherwise perfectly safe — until now.”

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Is Russia Poised to Retaliate Against Sanctions With Cyber Attacks?

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Richard Stiennon

Richard Stiennon

August 7, 2014 By Richard Stiennon

Way last April, a time when the world seemed a more peaceful place, Leon Panetta and Richard Clarke were quotedwarning of impending Russian cyber attacks in the wake of an escalating response from the West to Russia’s intransigence in the Ukraine.

While there have certainly been a spate of defacements that are two sided and confusing to sort out during this burgeoning conflict, there has been nothing as dramatic as the Estonia ’07, or Georgia ’08 attacks.

But things have changed. In the wake of the downing of passenger jet MH17 the European Union and United States have come together to impose combined economic sanctions against Russia. According to the New York Times thesanctions include “the closing of European capital markets to Russian state banks, an embargo on new weapons sales and the transfer of sophisticated oil drilling technology.”

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