There�s no end in sight for Telecom email users. While the company�s move to require the use of SSL for email access (Really, all those email passwords were transmitted in the clear over those WiFi access points around the world up until now?) is a Good Move�, the fact they got the SSL certificate with the wrong server name is troubling.
Apparently this certificate was issued to pop3r.xtra.co.nz instead of pop3.xtra.co.nz. People are accepting this certificate just so they can get to their emails. This is bad because I�ve seen comments such as �just accept it I need to get to my emails�.
@freitasm That would explain a lot. Had to add an exception for the cert when my Mum started shouting at Thunderbird.� Indy (@Indy_Griffiths) March 17, 2014
March 17, 2014
Not everyone is seeing this error, which points to multiple servers having a good certificate and at least one of them having a bad certificate.
What happens next time these users see a certificate error? They will repeat the �just accept it� routine, thinking it�s just another small problem? Do these people actually know the implication of accepting SSL certs left, right and centre? Probably not. And here is the problem.
Windows XP was released mid-2001. It was a different world then. Things changed a lot in terms of security, safety and privacy online over these 13 years and the OS needs updating to front the new, more evolved risks as well as the avalanche of data we now receive.
I was surprised someone on Twitter posted �This Windows XP update exists solely to tell you that it is Windows XP and Microsoft wants you to pay more money to upgrade.�
Interesting way of putting it. Apple launched OS X 10.0 around the same time of Windows XP and they have been launching new versions of OS X over the years, and every few versions software need to be updated or it won�t run properly. But I never read anyone saying �they�re doing it to get people to pay more�.
A big difference here is that software that run on Windows XP will most likely continue to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8, with few exceptions including drivers (if you have devices that old they are probably reaching the end of their lives anyway).
For users of Microsoft�s platform this is good and bad. It�s good because reduces the cost of going to newer OS versions. It�s bad because (some argue) newer OS versions need to keep supporting these older software and APIs, keeping the OS rather large and the maintenance costs (in both time and number of developers) adding over time.
It�s also bad because adding security safeguards to old OS versions is not always possible, due to limits in the original implementation.
For consumers who still haven�t received the message about security, safety and privacy Windows XP still seems a pretty good OS. Most of the current software still run on this old OS, it doesn�t need big hardware and it�s pretty easy to use. The end result? From January 2014 � March 2014 around 29% of Internet-connected computers were still running Windows XP (down from 39% the year before). This shift is not moving fast enough.
The next Windows Update for Windows XP will add a message that will be presented to users to let them know this OS is no longer supported.
Still, many people using pirated copies of Windows don�t get updates anyway (security or otherwise) and most likely don�t care. And I guess most will just click the box �Don�t show this message again� and be done with it.
Microsoft has extended support for its anti-malware software until July 2015. For enterprise customers, this applies to System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. For consumers, this applies to Microsoft Security Essentials.
Also note this end of support doesn�t apply only to Windows XP but Windows Server 2003 as well.
Someone commented that the malware developers need only reverse engineer the first few security updates released for Windows 7/8 but not for Windows XP to create new tools to attack and control those unprotected machines. Let�s see what happens in June 2014.
Yahoo! has acquired Vizify� And it proceed to do what it�s done with 30 startups it previously bought: close the service down. According to people following the tech industry this means the company has closed 31 out of 38 startups it acquired since Marissa Mayer took the helm. But this doesn�t happen on Yahoo! only. All other large tech companies acquire technology to incorporate into their own products and differentiate themselves in the market. If this works out well for consumers or not is another story.
But that�s not what I am thinking about here. I am thinking about your online security. Every now and then I take ten minutes to go through the Twitter authorised apps list and remove some of them:
I also do this on Facebook and LinkedIn. My reasoning? Who knows what is going to happen with those tokens granting account access that are stored in these databases? How do I know the new owners can be trusted?
Sure, you�d say �It�s Yahoo!, they won�t go around spamming your followers from your account�.
My original �contract� was not with the new owners and I have no idea of their plans. The best thing, the safe thing, to do when a service is acquired is to revoke those tokens. Go through your Twitter Apps list (Twitter | Settings | Apps) and look through it. See the number of apps you gave permission to access your information, impersonate yourself to post in your stream, read your friends/followers lists, etc?
Some of those you only used once. Some of those you don�t even remember what they are.
Go on, clean up the mess and you will be safer.
Yesterday I was invited down to Queen St for a special promotion for Monteiths. As well as an impressive outdoor hunting ground they�d setup opposite Britomart, we were given four different sample meals to taste made by well-known chef Sean Connolly (the chef behind The Grill at Sky City).
Monteith�s is trying to promote its beers and ciders, and especially with the ciders, show how a cider can be paired with a meat (in this case, the venison sausage).
From a more relevant technology viewpoint, they are launching a mobile app, which�
�uses augmented reality to give punters the opportunity to �hunt� duck, stag, lamb and beef, everywhere from their local bar to their office. By hunting a full meat pack you go into the draw to win one of hundreds of premium Gourmet Direct meat packs for the BBQ.
The app is available now and free to download via the App Store for I-phone or Google Play for Android. All you'll need to get started is a smartphone, a steady hand and a good appetite.�
It�s quite a fun game to play, and will get you some strange looks, as from a distance it appears like you�re frantically taking photos and spinning around in a circle. On the iPhone the flash goes off, Android users are thankfully spared this.
In a complete coincidence, this app was also developed by Rush Media, the clever guys behind the longest tennis court in the world (see the post below).