Truly Secure Messaging, Data Encryption, and Twitter Faux Pas – Episode 24

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Data Security: If you're not paying for the product, you are the product. The Digital Dive Podcast

In the wake of continual major data security breaches, Edward Snowden’s NSA leak, and countless new startups in the Privacy/Security sector, all eyes have been on the growing concern of protecting information in the digital world.

This week, The Digital Dive Podcast examines data encryption. From the early days of walkie talkies to TETRA, standard public-key cryptography, and end-to-end encryption (E2EE), the promise of a secure transfer of information is often murky.
Also, did you know that the Facebook Like counter button on blogs and articles counts more than just Likes? Shares and Comments are included. (Thanks Mari Smith.)

I. Heml.is

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde et al.’s crowdfunded, in-development app Hemlis (Swedish for “secret”) endeavors to offer a more secure communication channel than texting, email, and apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. Hemlis promises to surpass these channels by using end-to-end encryption (like iMessage and Facetime) which makes the content of users’ messages unretrievable even by Hemlis employees. Coming soonish for iPhone and Android. DDP asks, “Could secure messaging apps like Hemlis change mobile industry standards for communication or become just another attempt to capitalize on growing public paranoia?”

Hemlis video referenced in the episode:

II. Thanks, But No Thanks: a Twitter PSA

Co-host Melanie Touchstone makes a plea to Twitter users to stop tweeting and DMing “Thanks for the Follow” messages. Also, again: death to auto-DMs.

Tips on Tap:

1.iPhone screenshot how to respond to incoming calls with a message or reminder (Update: this tip applies to iOS 6:) iPhone shortcut for responding to calls: If you receive a call when you’re busy, but you want to respond with a text or call back later, you can with the phone icon on the bottom right (to the right of Decline and Answer). Slide it up while the call is coming in and choose from the available options: Select Reply With Message to send a default message to the caller (adjustable in Settings). Choose Remind Me Later to set up a reminder for a certain time or place.

2. iPhone typing shortcut: (update: still works on iOS 7) Quickly switch between alphabetical and numerical keyboards. Especially useful for inserting the @ symbol in an email address or adding punctuation marks and currency symbols. While typing on the alphabetical keyboard, hold down the 123 on bottom left and drag your finger up to the character you wish to insert. Then release and the phone automatically switches you back to the alphabetical keyboard. This will save you at least two keystrokes for every character. Howcast video: How to Type Faster on Your iPhone

3. Grid app – Great new free spreadsheet app for iOS. This beautiful “spreadsheet on steroids” lets you incorporate images, graphs, to-do lists, and links. Think Pinterest + MS Excel + infographic. Grid was created by an ex-Excel developer and is highly visual.

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CYBER ATTACK! – Episode 18

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Cyber Attack - The Digital Dive Podcast

Almost daily, news reports of major corporations falling victim to cyber attacks flood the media. What does this mean for us as individuals? As consumers? As a society? How serious a threat are we facing, and how much of it is media hype?

I. Boston Marathon Bombing media coverage: Twitter’s integral role. From helping runners notify their loved ones amid the chaos, to hospitals communicating occupancy info, to the Boston Police Department announcing the capture of the suspect — Twitter played an important role in the devastating event. Emily and Melanie discuss. To find out ways to help the victims, click here.

II. Spamhaus and other recent/notable cyber attacks. The list of companies that have fallen victim to cyber attacks reads like a Fortune 50 list — Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, Sony, and even government entities such as the US Federal Reserve, South Korea, North Korea, etc. have reported major security breaches linked to hackers. Recently, the infamous Spamhaus attack caused a global Internet slow-down by what some experts are calling the biggest cyber attack in history. Click here to see the Cyberbunker building image referenced.

III. Portrait of a Hacker. So, who are the men and women behind cyber attacks? Melanie and Emily discuss hacking history, a common type of attack (denial-of-service attack, or DDoS), and three types of hackers: ethical hackers, hacktavists, and organized cyber crime groups. Is there a such thing as a good hacker?

DDOS

IV. What we’re doing about it. Governments and corporate executives are beginning to realize the severity of a potential cyber attack. Emily and Melanie discuss the ways the EU, U.S., and others are taking protective initiatives.

Tips on Tap

I. FireMe! App – New app which tracks certain negative phrases about bosses and jobs in social media and rates how likely they are to get the poster fired.

II. Vine – Emily’s love/hate relationship with Vine, a sometimes bagbiter new Twitter-owned social media platform that allows users to create six-second .gif-like looping video mash-ups. Less than three months after its January 2013 release, the popular video-sharing service topped the U.S. App Store’s list of free iPhone apps. Emily quoted John Constine’s 4/20/13 techcrunch article about Vine (and this is just poignant in general about how we use smartphones to memorialize moments):

It’s when Vines disintegrate that I get truly angry, though. It’s blatant violation of the implicit value exchange between a human and an app. Rather than live a moment, I recorded it. When I ended up with nothing to show for it, I feel cheated.

III. Shopping for Flights Online: When to Buy – Melanie offers tips on how and when to get the best deal on airfare online.

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You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and/or leave us a review!

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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in

Xbox Music, Microsoft Surface, and Avoiding Death-by-Cubicle – Episode 6

The Digital Dive Podcast - Melanie Touchstone - Emily Binder - Atlanta skyline
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This week we dive into Pinterest’s new privacy features, Xbox Music and Windows 8, Microsoft Surface, and LinkedIn Endorsements.

I. Mobile Payments– After another Atlanta festival, we follow up on Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments (Ep. 3)– Adventures in trying to pay with mobile while ducking under a funnel cake vendor’s oil vat to reach a power strip

II. Pinterest ups their privacy settings; stalkers wince

III. Microsoft launches Xbox Music, Windows 8, and announces the Microsoft Surface tablet: game changer or another “me too gadget”?

IV. M is crushing on Spotify–but will an upgrade to a Premium account put an end to the honeymoon? (stay tuned)

V. LinkedIn Endorsements – How it works (and why we don’t like it)

 

Tips on Tap:Mother In Law's Tongue plant

1. Dolphin browser for mobile: A fun alternative to your smartphone or tablet’s native browser. Based heavily on gestures. An excellent free app for iOS and Android.

2. Standing desks, dimming your monitor, and other ways to not slowly kill yourself in an office environment. Ergonomics.

3. Emily tells you how to literally clear the air with your Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue…yes you read that correctly. (The best low maintenance, worker-friendly office plant that removes pollutants.)

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

 

Show Notes – Links

1. Pinterest Blog – Announcing Blocking & More Controls 10/17/12

2. Microsoft launches Xbox Music: What you need to know – PC World, 10/14/12

3. More Time Spent Sitting Linked to Higher Risk of Death; Risk Found to Be Independent of Physical Activity Level. Science Daily, 7/23/10

The Microsoft Logo Infographic mentioned in Ep. 6:


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The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in