Cybersecurity has been in the news a lot lately, even more so after the Chinese military was pinpointed as being behind some of the attacks on major U.S. companies.
There are several good websites that can keep you abreast of cybersecurity issues and news. Two of them are wired.com/threatlevel and the Zero Day blog at zdnet.com/blog/security.
A third is schneier.com/crypto-gram.html. There, subscribe to security expert Bruce Schenier's Crypto-Gram Newsletter, sent monthly for free to your inbox. It is packed full of security news and links.
The Russian meteorite strike keeps spinning off weird factoids.
We learned there are so many videos of the explosion on YouTube because many Russians have dashboard cameras in their cars for legal reasons.
Now Ars Technica, a reputable tech site, reports that people in Germany were blocked from seeing some of those videos.
The reason: Germany's primary performance copyright organization, GEMA, wanted YouTube to pay a fee for any video on which you could hear music on the Russian car's radio. It seems YouTube didn't have the rights to rebroadcast that music and so had to block the videos.
In an example of how digital rights management can quickly become absurd, more than 60 percent of the top 1,000 YouTube videos are unavailable in Germany because Google assumes the music rights might be owned by GEMA.
The White House is adopting a policy that would make nearly all of the science papers produced through federal funding accessible to the public within a year of their publication.
The rule would apply to any agency that has a research budget of more than $100 million, and it would include measures for preserving any digital data associated with the research.
Why not make them public? China is just going to steal them anyway.
Mozilla announced this week it will launch handsets running its new Firefox mobile operating system, pitting itself directly against Apple and Google.
The nonprofit company says it is partnering with 18 network operators and four manufacturers to launch handsets running its open-source mobile operating system.
The marketing slogan will be: "Unleash the fox."
TechMan hopes this new OS isn't a dog. After all, "unleash the fox" is usually followed by "release the hounds."
Speaking of phones, the fortunes of Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry, took a hit last week when analysts said the long-awaited Z-10 phones running the new BB-10 operating system were not selling as well as predicted, according to The Guardian newspaper.
The long slide at BlackBerry also wasn't helped by the revelation that Jim Balsillie, former co-head of the company, had dumped his shares. (You might remember his name from his bid to buy the Penguins in 2006).
SMS code of the week: "Young people have theirs, now seniors have their own texting codes," wrote a reader. Among my favorites on the list that the reader sent: BFF -- best friend's funeral; BYOT -- bring your own teeth; LOL -- living on Lipitor; CUATSC -- see you at the senior center; FWIW -- forgot where I was.
Let me add one of my own: WDICITR -- why did I come into this room?
Geek term of the week: Geek whistle -- a jump drive, thumb drive or USB drive.
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