Last updateFri, 16 Feb 2018 7pm

Password conundrums & more

Regular readers of this column are well aware of my incessant reminders to use a cryptographically-strong password for your email account.  For years I have been urging, nay proselytizing, that everyone should use a password at least a dozen characters in length with a mix of upper and lower case, letters and numbers, with a few symbols thrown in.  Today is the day I am going to backtrack just a little bit on this recommendation because of an experience I recently had.

Knowing the difference between an INsecure site and a NONsecure site

Online security is a subject about which many more people are now aware even though most internet users lack much understanding in this area. That is not a criticism; after all, one does not have to understand computerized electronic fuel-injection systems in order to drive an automobile. There are a couple of changes coming to online security in 2015, and I hope that everyone reading this will benefit from a little more understanding of what these changes really mean.

Google blocks Spanish news in response to laws targeted at ‘aggregators’

Happy New Year 2015 is not starting out as such a Feliz Año Nuevo for many Spanish speakers around the world.  Two weeks ago Google announced the shutdown of news reporting in Spain due to a new law that went into into effect January 1 in the Iberian nation.  Google now omits news reports originating from Spanish publishers from appearing in more than 70 Google News international editions due to the new law requiring aggregators to pay if they link content.

Dropping laptops on the floor: bargain-basement vs. more costly products

The column appearing here a few weeks ago brought several email responses to my inbox.  I hesitate to refer to them as hostile, but it is clear to see that some readers of the Reporter do not agree with my assessment of the quality of computer hardware being sold today.  Obviously there are some people who are kidding themselves into believing they can pay as little as US$300 for a new laptop computer and that it will be equal in quality to one costing US$5,000.  In the real world that kind of wishful thinking only leads to disappointment.  Since one reader went so far as to question my sources I would like to take this opportunity to provide some specific attribution.

Making headlines in 2014: internet growth, streaming video & machines taking over

It has become an end-of-year tradition for me to devote this column to a look back at the year just past to recap some of the noteworthy happenings in the world of Information Technology.  2014 failed to record any seismic events equaling the magnitude of last year’s revelations of government eavesdropping, yet there were a few stories that made headlines on those tech news sites followed by so many techies like me in the IT industry.

Getting the most from your Mac keyboard

While more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers run on Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, Mac computers have more than doubled in popularity over the last decade.

Buying computers: Can you pay little and get a lot?

A quote often attributed to John Ruskin says, “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.  The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.”  It astounds me to realize this far-sighted 19th century English author, poet, art and social critic knew so much about the 21st century computer industry.