Heartbleed Bug – What to Do

I’ve been advising people to use 1Password for years now. Turns out that continues to be good advise. 1Password is immune to the latest security problem that’s affecting some 70% of all Internet sites.

Password Advise

While your data is safe within 1Password itself, there is a good chance websites you used were vulnerable and did not protect your username and password.

The knee jerk reaction to this news is to change all your passwords immediately. While I will be recommending you change your passwords, not all websites have been updated yet to protect against this vulnerability.

The best advice I can give you is to change your most important website passwords immediately, including your email, bank accounts, and other high value targets. This will provide your best defense against previous attacks.

After a few weeks, websites will have been upgraded with new SSL certificates, and you will be able to trust SSL again. At this point you should change all of your passwords again.

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Is WiFi Dangerous to Your Health? Live on America Now With Andy Dean at 8:35

I’ll be on America Now at 8:35 tonight talking about WiFi and other wireless safety. Looks like as many as 4% of the population may be sensitive to the radio waves emitted by our cell phones, WiFi, Smart Meters and even our cars.

‘I used to be sick all the time’: Dozens of Americans who claim to be allergic to electromagnetic signals settle in small West Virginia town where WiFi is banned

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2576848/I-used-sick-time-Dozens-Americans-claim-allergic-electromagnetic-signals-settle-small-West-Virginia-town-WiFi-banned.html


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Apple’s Ability to Innovate is On The Way Out – Insider

Yukari Iwatani Kane has published so many Apple (AAPL) scoops in the Wall Street Journal, including the 2009 story about Steve Jobs‘ secret liver transplant, that her new book due March 18th is likely to carry some serious clout.  And she’s not reporting much good news this time, either.

She’s written a book about Apple’s prospects without Jobs at the helm. When she started, she thought that if any company had a chance to survive the death of its powerful co-founder, Apple did. She doesn’t think that anymore, as her piece in the current New Yorker illustrates:

When Jobs was ousted in 1985, the impact of his absence on Apple’s business was not immediately obvious. After a slow start, Macintosh sales began rising. Two years after Jobs left, Apple’s annual sales had almost doubled compared to three years earlier, and its gross profit margin was an astonishing fifty-one per cent. Outside appearances suggested that Apple hadn’t missed a beat.

Inside Apple, employees knew differently. Something had changed. “I was let down when Steve left,” Steve Scheier, a marketing manager at Apple from 1982 to 1991, recalled. “The middle managers, the directors, and the vice presidents kept the spirit alive for a long time without his infusion, but eventually you start hiring people you shouldn’t hire. You start making mistakes you shouldn’t have made.” Scheier told me that he eventually grew tired and left. The company had “become more of a business and less of a crusade.”…

So what about now? Apple’s supporters point to the company’s billions of dollars in quarterly profit and its tens of billions in revenue as proof that it continues to thrive. But Apple’s employees again know differently, despite the executive team’s best efforts to preserve Jobs’s legacy. People who shouldn’t be hired are being hired (like Apple’s former retail chief, John Browett, who tried to incorporate big-box-retailer sensibilities into Apple’s refined store experience). People who shouldn’t leave are leaving, or, in the case of the mobile-software executive Scott Forstall, being fired.

Mistakes, in turn, are being made: Apple Maps was a fiasco, and ads, like the company’s short-lived Genius ads and last summer’s self-absorbed manifesto ad, have been mediocre. Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws. As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive. Although the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, insists otherwise, Apple seems more eager to talk about the past than about the future. Even when it refers to the future, it is more intent on showing consumers how it hasn’t changed rather than how it is evolving. The thirtieth anniversary of the Macintosh—and the “1984″ ad—is not just commemorative. It is a reminder of what Apple has stopped being.

Pretty devastating piece. We’ll see how things go.  With a new CEO at Microsoft’s helm and an un-battle tested CEO at Apple’s helm we’re in for another showdown.

Yukari Iwatani Kane’s book is titled Haunted Empire: Apple after Steve Jobs and is due March 18.  It’s available by pre-order from Amazon and Apple’s iBookstore (irony?)


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Automobile Drivers in For Another Federal Regulation that May Kill Them

Aston Martin DB9U.S. regulators are crafting a rule that would require all new vehicles to be able to “talk” to one another using wireless technology, which the Department of Transportation said would significantly reduce accidents on U.S. roads and alleviate traffic congestion. It is also likely to introduce serious problems, as hackers and terrorists now have another target — cars with passengers driving 80 MPH down the highway.

A proposed rule mandating so-called vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology should be put in place before President Barack Obama leaves office in early 2017, DOT officials said on Monday.

“When these technologies are adapted across the fleet, the results could be nothing short of revolutionary for roadway safety,” said David Friedman, acting administrator of the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What David seems to be ignoring is the very real possibility of malicious hackers doing precisely what they’re doing right now with our computers. Malicious hackers install Ransom-ware on computers, encrypting their contents, and then charging the computer’s owner if they want everything back. What about taking over a car driving down the highway and demanding thousands of dollars of its occupants to not crash the car?  We’re not far away from that scenario.

Our cars already have multiple networks of computers in them that are used to do everything from regulate fuel consumption through actually steering, accelerating and braking. What will happen when these computer networks are exposed to other vehicles driving down the highway?  Don’t think it can happen:

  1. Car hacking code released at Defcon
  2. Hackers find weaknesses in car computer systems
  3. How hackers and car makers are battling for control of your car

Airbags Are a Great Analog

Airbags research and deployment had started in the 1970′s.  The US Federal Government ultimately decided that every vehicle had to have a supplemental restraint system, and many manufacturers opted for installing airbags into all of their fleets.

In 1990, the first automotive fatality attributed to an airbag was reported. TRW produced the first gas-inflated airbag in 1994, with sensors and low-inflation-force bags becoming common soon afterwards. Dual-depth (also known as dual-stage) airbags appeared on passenger cars in 1998. By 2005, deaths related to airbags had declined, with no adult deaths and two child deaths attributed to airbags that year. Injuries remain fairly common in accidents with an airbag deployment.

Serious injuries are less common, but severe or fatal injuries can occur to vehicle occupants very near an airbag or in direct contact when it deploys. Such injuries may be sustained by unconscious drivers slumped over the steering wheel, unrestrained or improperly restrained occupants who slide forward in the seat during pre-crash braking, and properly belted drivers sitting very close to the steering wheel. A good reason for the driver not to cross hands on the steering wheel, a rule taught to most learner drivers but quickly forgotten by most, is that an airbag deployment while negotiating a turn may result in the driver’s hand(s) being driven forcefully into his or her face, exacerbating any injuries from the airbag alone.

It took more than three decades before improvements in sensing and gas generator technology have allowed the development of third generation airbag systems that can adjust their deployment parameters to size, weight, position and restraint status of the occupant. These improvements have demonstrated a reduced injury risk factor for small adults and children who had an increased risk of injury with first generation airbag systems.

How many decades will it take before the Federal Government’s regulations regarding mesh-connected cars will catch up to the technology’s ability? If airbags are any example, there will be far too many deaths that would otherwise have been avoided.

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