03/29/2014

printwise the campaign to print the same but with less ink

One federal initiative that focuses on minimizing ink-usage is called "Printwise." Organized by the General Services Administration, it teaches government offices how to default their computer settings to Times New Roman, Garamond and Century Gothic to minimize printing waste. According to GSA's press secretary Dan Cruz, they hope this type of initiative could save the federal government up to $30 million annually.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/27/living/student-money-sa...

Garamond was already used by the US federal governmental default inktmimizing campaign inktwise

https://strategicsourcing.gov/print-wise

https://interact.gsa.gov/group/gsa-printwise-print-management-federal-strategic-sourcing-initiative

 

 

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03/20/2014

the king of Belgium receives the traffic infractions from all Belgians in France (not a joke)

The numberplates of a Belgian car start with 1.

The numberplate of our king is only '1'  (he is the number 1:))

But each time the computer that controls automatically the cars that are speeding or wrongly parked in France have a glitch they only remember the first number - which is 1

So he is the real king of the number of Belgian traffic infractions in France.

"It is good to be the king"

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03/09/2014

how do robots stop from hitting people and walls when they are on the streets ?

source http://asia.nikkei.com/Tech-Science/Tech/Hitachi-robot-avoids-unpleasant-run-ins-with-pedestrians

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02/26/2014

unlocking your phone is a right - now also in the US

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow you to legally "unlock" your cellphone so that it can be used with any carrier.

The vote was 295-114, with 95 Democrats joining 200 Republicans in favor of the measure. The bill now goes to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain.

The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act would repeal a rule put in place in 2012 that stopped consumers from unlocking their cellphones to use on other carriers. The bill would also allow consumers to seek help from others to unlock phones without breaking the law.

According to the sponsors, the bill was the result of an online petition submitted to the White House in 2013 that asked that consumers be able to legally unlock their phones.
http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/house-passes-bill-a...

In Belgium Mobistar was told that the Iphone had to be unlocked from their lockedin deal, the Iphone should be able to use it on any network, period.

I can watch any channel with my tv (as long as I pay for it)

also good to see that some online petitions actually have some concrete legal results

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02/25/2014

the giant traffic robocop.... in Kinshasa

source http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/24/tech/robot-cops-rule-kinshasa/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

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12/02/2013

IPADS for schools are hardly so positively received as techarticles or the 1 minute news make us believe

this is from an article about the LA IPAD for every pupil program

"There were a lot of unanswered questions about the deal, but at least one thing was crystal clear: outfitting nearly a million people with top-of-the-line tablets was going to be insanely expensive. And that’s why just about everyone that wasn’t directly cashing in on LA’s “tablets was all” scheme was baffled and outraged by it. Parents and teachers couldn’t understand how LAUSD’s top brass could blow so much money on an expensive toy at time when the district was laying off teachers and cutting physical education, art and music programs. Pointy headed academics scratched their chins at the news because there is no scientific evidence that shows tablets help kids learn or boost academic performance in any way. And others wondered why LAUSD planned to pay for iPads using bond money that was approved by voters solely for use in upgrading physical school infrastructure, especially when schools routinely lack the funds to make critical repairs.
http://pando.com/2013/11/29/ihave-a-dream-the-unanswered-...

I don't believe that smartboards make better teachers (especially if there is no money for books or educational explorations)

I don't believe that powerpoint presentations are the same as text presentations (because the accent is on the style and not necessarily the content)

I don't believe that wikimedia is the same as an encyclopedia (because they use the internet before they have learned about the value of different kinds of resources)

Learning is about learning to study, write, count, speak and think. With or without an IPAD or Laptop or Internet. But the first things have to come first and stay the most the important thing and all the rest is secondary.

Strange from me as techlover but education is too important to leave it to techies or to follow their hypes and bubbles all the time without critical thinking

the only exception I make is for education that uses technology as a channel to distribute its content or make it possible to work and study together and learn from each other

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11/22/2013

US navy moves from netwerkcentric to datacentric infrastructure and innovates in battlesupport informationdistribution

Some of the many technologies used during Agile Bloodhound include:
. A serverless chat system that allows person-to-person and group communications even for those not connected to the infrastructure network and servers

. A knowledge discovery program that uses smartphones and tablets to streamline ISR data collection and exploitation, as well as create a unified picture of the battlefield through geographically identified imagery and automated force tracking

. ActiveWiki software that allows collaboration for social-networking graphs and real-time updates of pictures and maps to produce unique views and overlays of the battlespace

The Navy and Marine Corps continue to move from a net-centric to a data-centric strategy to enable development of more interoperable and cost-effective solutions. Agile Bloodhound supports the Marine Corps' Information Enterprise Strategy to develop a "knowledge-based force" that uses seamless communications to improve decision-making and mission execution. http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=77809

and more interesting stuff in this article

the most interesting stuff is that all the hype and writings about networkcentric warfare (the static philosophy) is being abandoned for the datacentric philosophy (who needs which data when and how) which is also happening too slowly in security (secure the data, not only the network which is different from only securing the data (for example no big firewalls anymore) because you can't secure the data if you didn't secure your network as you should.)

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11/18/2013

Germany is rerouting internet traffic to keep it from going to the US

Just as European and American negotiators resumed work on a groundbreaking trade accord meant to tie their two continents closer together, René Obermann, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom, the German telecommunications giant, told a cybersecurity conference in Germany on Monday that his company was working to keep electronic message traffic from “unnecessarily” crossing the Atlantic, where it could fall into the hands of the National Security Agency.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/spying-scandal-al...

before internet traffic from for example Paris to Brussels could go to London or New York using the fastest cables and routes

now we know that it is being intercepted during that route - and encrypting everything is not possible - keeping it from doing those 'rounds' is one way of making interception even more difficult

this could naturally be sponsered by the EC by building more intra-European networks and secure highspeed connections (starting between the capitals and economic decisioncenters)

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if Android now could now start securing its apps and throw the garbage out, it would totally beat Apple

iPad shipments dipped sharply in the first calendar quarter of the year, resulting in a year-over-year drop in iPad sales by about 2.5 million tablets — a challenging feat, one might think, in a rising market. That continued, to a degree, in the second calendar quarter of the year, with Android reaching 60 percent tablet market share. And we saw it again in the third quarter, as Samsung doubled tablet shipments while Apple grew an anemic .6 percent, with bargain-basement whitebox tablet vendors selling more than Cupertino.
http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/15/android-tablet-revenue-...

Ipad is too expensive, point final and the Apple services are too expensive, point final and upgrades are too expensive, point final and there are no cheaper alternatives if you want to give smaller or cheaper tablets or phablets to the kids and the wife

the only problem for the moment with Android is that it needs to secure its apps and throw all the garbage out of hte stores and have a real securityteam that does only security and security awareness

if Microsoft could turn around the situation, so can Android because the procedures and the techniques are already done before by Microsoft ten years ago (with a lot of lessons learnt)

and than you don't have to go to the expensive golden prison of Apple to get some security and worry less if you follow the instructions and have your Android secured automatically in the backoffice, no configuration asked if you choose for the secure installation

oh yes and security has to be free and included and activated so if you turn it oiut yourself, you have made a choice and have taken the risk at your own peril

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11/12/2013

Office 365 free for students at universities with this program

Starting on December 1st, Universities that license Office Education for their faculty and staff can offer students Office 365 ProPlus for free thanks to a new program called Student Advantage. For students at these institutions, that means free access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, Access, Publisher, and Lync. While many cheaper alternatives to Office have sprung up, many students still rely on Redmond’s good ol’ productivity tools.

Office 365 University typically costs $80 for a 4-year subscription for students, which is already a heavy discount over the usual $99 per year subscription to Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft has been moving from selling Office as a one-time deal to a subscription service through Office 365.
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/students-can-get-microsoft-o...

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the best US proposed bill yet against patent trolls

  • Heightened Pleading: The bill requires patent holders to provide basic details (such as which patents and claims are at issue, as well as what products allegedly infringe and how) when it files a lawsuit.

  • Fee shifting: The bill allows for a court to require the loser in a patent case to pay the winning side's fees and costs. This makes it harder for trolls to use the extraordinary expense of patent litigation to force a settlement.
  • Transparency: The bill includes strong language requiring patent trolls to reveal the parties that would actually benefit from the litigation (called the real party in interest). Also, if the plaintiff is a shell-company patent troll, the defendant could require the real party in interest to join the litigation, forcing them to pay up if the patent troll can’t or won't pay.
  • Staying customer suits: The bill requires courts to stay patent litigation against customers (such as a café using an off-the-shelf router to provide Wi-Fi) when there is parallel litigation against the manufacturer.
  • Discovery reform: The bill shuts down expensive and often harassing discovery until the court has interpreted the patent, making it easier for defendants to dispose of frivolous cases early before the legal fees and court costs really add up.
  • Post-grant review: The bill expands an important avenue to challenge a patent's validity at the Patent Office (known as the transitional program for covered business method patents).


https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action3/common/public...

and US patents are very important for the EU tech industry because there hasn't been enough investment in patents over here so EU firms have far too few patents to be able to negotiate deals or to be worth some billions more only because of the patents you have or may have

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11/03/2013

area51 was about UFO technology but not aliens new documents show

thousands of pages of new documents about the experiments with new technologies and aircraft have been released by the US

it wouldn't be too hard to mistake this experimental plane for an UFO when flying high by night with only a few lights on

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB443/

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one picture to show the basic revenue problems of wireless carriers

http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/164674-t-mobiles-wacky-plan-to-trash-the-wireless-business-model

read the article

and this very interesting new advantage for US customers of T-Mobil

In October, after a public event with the singer Shakira, now a T-Mobile “collaborator,” Legere returned to Bloomberg TV, this time with a black leather jacket over a black T-Mobile tee, to explain the company’s new plan to make data free for U.S. customers in 100 cities abroad. The industry-standard roaming charges for international data, he said, were “an outrageous push-on of artificially high prices.”

 

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10/03/2013

IT security risk vs business risk

Risk management is a well known concept in most of the companies today. And it works, partly. The problem is that we do not talk the same lingo, and by we I mean the business people and the information security/IT people. Which is totally acceptable since  we have a different task to achieve in the company. However we've come to a point that we loose an immense number of opportunities, in either business deals or security improvement.

Both are in today's interconnected world and harsh competition equally important. I've been researching since a few a months on this topic and unfortunately I cannot draw a simple conclusion. If there is one overal conclusion it is that there is no top-down approach. Boards and management do not care, they don't bother to understand technology and these IT and security whizzkids do not bother to understand the business they support.
A survey done by tripwire showed that around 60% of the respondents believe think that risk based security management helps align security with business objectives. But around 45% of the same respondents feel that there is little involvement from their organisation in aligning risk based security with business objectives.
It seems that there is will but no support, from top management side we could speak about the knowing-doing gap. These people, and this counts for government too, know that they need to do something about but for some reason they don't. They prefer to sit in the dark and wait, they hope the drifting ship is coming back on course by itself.

It will not, if you do not steer your government or your company you're left hopelessy insecure.

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09/27/2013

best picture of the different OSI layers of datatransport

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09/26/2013

imagine you can roll up your screen of your tablet of smartphone (next)

this is what is now possible

it is clear where we are heading for

screens you can roll up or roll out

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/508951/20130925/samsung-galaxy-f-first-curved-screen-smartphone.htm

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09/18/2013

Strong encryption weakened

Since weeks the scandals around the NSA and their surveillance programme keep flowing in. It seems endless and that some techniques applied were 2 months ago science fiction are now become real. Not only such behaviour of an all controlling body undermines our society it also brings inherently additional danger for all of us or at least most of us.

Putting in a covert channel in an encryption standard is pure madness, companies and people rely on those and have considered them secure. Now we have learned that an organisation can in certain cases easily read our precious and private data. It is only a matter of time that the enemies of that particular organisation discover and exploit the weakness. I wonder what happens next?

Even worse is the fact that some constructors/vendors actively participated in the set up of those covert channels. Organisations buy these products and rely on them, first for the security aspects delivered by these products and secondly because they are confident to have bought a product that has been seriously and conciously designed to protect and safeguard their digital assets. After years of trust it seems they have been betrayed and it leaves a bitter taste. If I were leading a company today, I would review my entire product portfolio and perhaps try to think how to get rid of them in the near future. Why not going for open-source, integrated products maintained by a smaller player who has his business near you and is far away from any political influence?

If you run a  big fiber connections, perhaps it is time for you to get a fiber encryption solution and perhaps investigate in a quantum cryptography solution instead of using encryption with pure math.

Snowden opened a pandora's box and I'm pretty sure there is a big nasty boomerang ready to hit back.

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09/05/2013

Security failures part 2

Change, some like it some hate it. People in the security field are open minded when it comes down to change. We're used to it, but we should question it just like we question many other things in our personal and professional life. I wonder why we still need to change hardware every 3 to 5 years not taking into account the overpriced support contracts.

Many companies apply this policy and even worse, when time has come they even think it is a good idea to change vendor for replacing their important firewalls. Imagine you apply that strategy on your file servers?
You've been running Windows as your favourite OS to provide the fileservers in your company, after 3 years you decide to replace the hardware but at the same time you think it would be wise to shift to a samba solution because your service partner says it has extra features and lower cost. And you tell you're admins well guys from next week on you'll be migrating our data to these new servers and you keep up with the management of it.
I wonder how your staff will reflect and react on that!

For some odd reason it happens all the time in perimeter security field. I've been involved in numerous projects where we think it would be wise to replace a Cisco firewall (change vendor by the one you most like) with a Checkpoint(change vendor by the one you least like) one or vice versa. And if those admins are lucky they get a training course to explain them the basics. For me it sounds like suicide, for management it sounds like a plan.
The security risks in this approach are important but neglected, never seen them in an audit report either.

Some car manufacturers provide 7 years of warranty, it seems something impossible for the IT sector at present. Of course exceptions exist, some firewalls/routers/appliance run continuously under heavy duty but a lot of them are not.

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08/29/2013

flickr.com from yahoo gives ONE TERRA FREE PHOTOHOSTING (Picasa's Google 600 dollars)

I have to read it again to believe it

but there I went to control it and it was true

it is just another name for unlimited hosting

and a publicity for never go anywhere else, stop looking

not only is it one of the biggest collections and communities of photofanatics and collectors

it also has a web2.0 interface and functions

tip : before uploading make your new sets in the interface for sets not for uploads otherwise it won't work

so yahoo is getting more traffic again than Google

well their mail is more private than the contextual analyzing of the content of your mails in Google

their flickr environnement and hosting is now much better than picasa which can cost you a lot of money if you would like more than they offer for free

and in news, it is just news as we are used to it, filtered, selected, packaged and presented with just the most interesting things (not the most original or important things) above and that goes for the whole line of news - whatever the subject

so for the moment, Yahoo seems to have three winning products, news, mail and pics

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08/21/2013

why tv advertising is here to stay (and for the years to come)

"Eyeballs are important but they are not the only thing in advertising," said Clark Fredricksen, a vice president at eMarketer. "The receptiveness of the TV audience is ultimately the reason why its such a huge ad medium."

 

"Sitting and watching the screen is different than clicking and operating on an agenda," he said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/13/facebook-users-...

even if the internetguru's come up with staggering numbers of users and the time people spent on the computer and so on

I don't think I have clicked on more than 5 banners since the 1990's and don't ask me to remember an internetad while I could recall more than a few tvads I am bombarded with (even now cutting into the film without prewarnings)

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