Security and Privacy

Power of Tech Shown by Egyptian Protests

Photo courtesy of the The International Business Times When all of Iran seemed to be exploding in the wake of “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s “victory” in the 2009 election, the news was noteworthy not just because a country struggling against authoritarian rule was trying to free itself, but also because of how the news got out:  Twitter.  Before cell phones integrated…


How Many Bloggers Does It Take to Screw in an Archerfish Solo?

“Installing Archerfish Solo is now as easy as screwing in a light bulb – literally.”  Okay, now we’re talking… a product tag line that promises something I can handle.  No drills, hammers, screwdrivers, or circular saws. The Archerfish Solo is advertised as “thinking camera” featuring “built-in Homeland Security technology” that allows it to interpret what it sees, so it only…


I Always Feel Like … My Apps Are Watching Me!

A few weeks back I ordered two things from different online vendors, one for my brother and the other for my parents. I used an email address I rarely use, an account on which I only get a few spam messages a week. Naturally within hours I had received a months’ worth of junk email! One vendor was sending me…


SplashID KeySafe Unlocks Your Cold, Security-Obsessed Heart

Well, now, what do we have here?  Generally a software company, SplashData has now taken one of their best known software products and merged it with a hardware product.  The SplashID Key Safe is a 2 GB USB drive made to fit on your keychain, but featuring a portable version of SplashData’s well-known password protection program, SplashID.  We’ve reviewed various…



The Frightening Power of the Social Internet

These days everything is “social.” CNN wants me to know how many people have “liked” an article, the New York Times has embraced Twitter, and you don’t even need to go on TV to get your 15 minutes of fame … now all you need to do is cause a controversy on the internet! Strike a metaphorical match, and voilà,…


Random Scary Stuff: Privacy vs. The Internet

We all know that being a so-called ‘netizen’ requires sacrificing a bit of privacy. The problem is knowing exactly where that line is between what you need to expose to get business done and what you should keep private even at the expense of being able to do something you want. Well … as the funny Venn diagram above shows,…


Video Review: ADT PULSE Interactive Security System

When the new ADT PULSE system became available in my area I immediate jumped at the chance to have it installed in my home.  PULSE not only allows for the ability to arm and disarm one’s home security system from anywhere in the world, it does much more.  The new ADT PULSE system is all about home automation.  It includes…


Gear Gadget Review: The Flipside x2

Last night I went to pay for something. I pulled out my wallet and the woman behind the counter looked at it and said, “Now that’s a nifty gadget!” “Thanks,” I said, “I like everything about it but the color; I wish it were black.” “NOOO! she said, that’s my favorite color. I love it!” As I walked away I…


Stop. Think. Connect: Reminding Kids to Stay Safe While Online

Parents with kids who are growing up in this internet age have undoubtedly got more to worry about than parents even five years ago. It is imperative that our younglings understand that anything posted on the internet (even if only briefly) can come back to haunt the poster (or the postee) forever. Vicious gossip, bullying, hurtful photos … these are…


Amazon’s New Pirated Book Policy

(image courtesy Houston News) Just last year there was a pretty serious controversy over how Amazon handled pirated books in the Kindle store. Since anyone can upload a book to Amazon, a version of 1984 was uploaded and sold without the copyright holder’s permission. Amazon took an unfortunate stance of removing all copies without warning, only to find a huge…


Facebook, Places and Privacy… a Few Thoughts

(via posterart.com) Facebook has entered into the next phase of its social network evolution with the addition of Facebook Places, a location-based social sharing feature. Facebook Places allows users to share with friends their current location, tag important places (“where I made my first text message”), and perhaps meet others who are near by. This feature leverages the current technology…


Welcome to the Land Where 21st Century Technology Meets 17th Century Morals

Sometimes it is hard to believe some of the stereotypes and discrimination that persist all over the world. From the soccer player who was fired for refusing to fast to … well, THIS story! I am not intending to say this in a ‘look at how everyone else is backwards’ sort of way, as I could easily drum up 1000…


Beware of this StarCraft II Phishing Scam!

Did you ever see a scam that looked so much like it was real that you feel lucky to have escaped? When I saw the email posted below from SiliconEra, I was floored and went back to my receipt from Blizzard to make sure it wasn’t a scam! Here is the malicious email: From: Hello, thank you for shopping at…


Use Your Cell Cam, Go to Jail

Photo courtesy of ABC News© We don’t talk much about politics here at Gear Diary.  It’s not our thing.  We’re geeks and nerds here, not PoliSci majors.  We like to talk about the positive side of tech. But every once in a while, tech news and politics do bleed into each other.  One of the classics is Net Neutrality, of…


Beware of Counterfeit Vibram Five Fingers!

Image courtesy Birthday Shoes It isn’t just ebook scammers you have to watch for on the internet! If you’ve been paying attention to Judie and Larry’s Couch to 5k Series, you may have caught that Judie runs in Vibram Five Finger Sprints. Recently I picked up a pair of Vibram Five Finger KSO’s at my local EMS, and I think…


Bust Bad Guys with IcePics (In Case of Emergency Pictures) for iPhone

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just point your mobile phone’s camera at something or someone, press a single button, and without any further action on your part a picture — complete with GPS coördinates — would be snapped and instantly emailed to yourself, your spouse, a parent, your best friend, or … well, you get the idea. I can…


ID Vault for iPhone/Touch/iPad App Review

One thing that has come to annoy me on the iPhone is logging into sites.  Whether it be a website for shopping or a forum, for some reason logging in seems to be a task I try to avoid.  Clicking on the small log in screen boxes is not always easy and sometimes formatting issues makes the experience not very…


1Password for Windows Beta Now Available

(Image courtesy of Agile Web Solutions) With more people creating a variety of online accounts and putting more information online and with the increase in the number of hacks trying to get into accounts, having a password manager is worth looking into. One of my favorite password managers, 1Password, has been available on the Mac platform for years and works…


Entrustet: Caring For Your Digital Assets When You’re Gone

Having a will is important.  A will is a device that lets you tell the world whom you want to get your assets. Die without one, and the state decides who gets what, without regard to your wishes or your heirs’ needs.  Wills generally cover your personal property, investments, cash and other assets.  But what happens to your digital assets…


PC Tools Spyware Doctor with Antivirus Review

I used a mac exclusively for many years, until I picked up my Toshiba netbook last summer. It was my first experience using a non-work issued PC since college, and while I knew to install a few free anti-virus and spyware utilities, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about security. Since then, I’ve started using my netbook far…