Entries by Alan Zeichick

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Just say No to Flash, CNN

CNN didn’t get the memo. After all the progress that’s been made to eliminate the requirement for using Adobe’s Flash player by so many streaming-media websites, CNNgo still requires the problematic plug-in, as you can see by the screen I saw just a few minutes ago. Have you not heard of HTML5, oh, CNN programmers? Perhaps […]

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Varjo offers a new type of high-def VR/AR display tuned to the user’s eye motions

The folks at Varjo think they’re made a breakthrough in how goggles for virtual reality and augmented reality work. They are onto something. Most VR/AR goggles have two displays, one for each eye, and they strive to drive those displays at the highest resolution possible. Their hardware and software takes into account that as the goggles […]

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Lordy, I hope there are tapes

I received this awesome tech spam message today from LaserVault. (It’s spam because it went to my company’s info@ address). There’s only one thought: “Lordy, I hope there are backup tapes.” Free White Paper: Is A Tape-Related Data Disaster In Your Future? Is a tape-related data disaster in your future? It may be if you […]

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Running old software? It’s dangerous. Update or replace!

The WannaCry (WannaCrypt) malware attack spread through unpatched old software. Old software is the bane of the tech industry. Software vendors hate old software for many reasons. One, of course, is that the old software has vulnerabilities that must be patched. Another is that the support costs for older software keeps going and growing. Plus, […]

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Business advice for chief information security officers (CISOs)

An organization’s Chief Information Security Officer’s job isn’t ones and zeros. It’s not about unmasking cybercriminals. It’s about reducing risk for the organization, for enabling executives and line-of-business managers to innovate and compete safely and  securely. While the CISO is often seen as the person who loves to say “No,” in reality, the CISO wants […]

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Streamlining the cybersecurity insurance application process

Have you ever suffered through the application process for cybersecurity insurance? You know that “suffered” is the right word because of a triple whammy. First, the general risk factors involved in cybersecurity are constantly changing. Consider the rapid rise in ransomware, for example. Second, it is extremely labor-intensive for businesses to document how “safe” they […]

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Dragonfly, butterfly, bee

Everyone loves bugs — at least, everyone loves beautiful bugs. Right? Here are a few photographed in Phoenix over the past couple of days. The desert here is full of life, from insects to birds to reptiles to plants. Sure, the temperatures may be hot. The forecast is for 117° F next week (47° C) but never […]

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A phone that takes pictures? Smartphone cameras turn 20 years old

Twenty years ago, my friend Philippe Kahn introduced the first camera-phone. You may know Philippe as the founder of Borland, and as an entrepreneur who has started many companies, and who has accomplished many things. He’s also a sailor, jazz musician, and, well, a fun guy to hang out with. About camera phones: At first, […]

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It’s suddenly harder to do tech business in China

Doing business in China is always a rollercoaster. For Internet businesses, the ride just became more thrilling. The Chinese government has rolled out new cybersecurity laws, which begin affecting foreign companies today, June 1, 2017. The new rules give the Chinese government more control over Internet companies. The government says that the rules are designed […]

Stop contacting the other lying spammers!

A little reverse psychology, eh? Don’t worry, trying to get this faux fortune will only cost you $450 from the spammers… or maybe more. Interesting that the name of the contact, Mr.James Richard, has the same spacing throughout, which is a telltale sign of either a bad copy/paste or a machine-generated form letter. Delete messages […]

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How to design software that gracefully handles poor Internet connectivity

“Someone is waiting just for you / Spinnin’ wheel, spinnin’ true.” Those lyrics to a 1969 song by Blood, Sweat & Tears could also describe 2017 enterprise apps that time-out or fail because of dropped or poor connectivity. Wheels spin. Data is lost. Applications crash. Users are frustrated. Devices are thrown. Screens are smashed. It doesn’t have to be […]

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Malware in movie subtitles are coming to a mobile near you

Movie subtitles — those are the latest attack vector for malware. According to Check Point Software, by crafting malicious subtitle files, which are then downloaded by a victim’s media player, attackers can take complete control over any type of device via vulnerabilities found in many popular streaming platforms. Those media players include VLC, Kodi (XBMC), Popcorn-Time […]

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My article on digital watermarks cited in a U.S. government paper

March 2003: The U.S. International Trade Commission released a 32-page paper called, “Protecting U.S. Intellectual Property Rights and the Challenge of Digital Piracy.” The authors, Christopher Johnson and Daniel J. Walworth, cited an article I wrote for the Red Herring in 1999. Here’s the abstract of the ITC’s paper: ABSTRACT: According to U.S. industry and […]

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Female entrepreneurs are treated differently than male entrepreneurs

According to a depressing story in Harvard Business Review, venture capitalists consider female entrepreneurs to be quite different than males. The perceived difference is not good. According to the May 17, 2017, story, “We Recorded VCs’ Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs”: Aside from a few exceptions, the financiers rhetorically produce […]

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Proposed laptop travel ban is not good news

From eWeek’s story, “Proposed Laptop Travel Ban Would Wreak Havoc on Business Travelers,” by Wayne Rash: A current proposal from the Department of Homeland Security to mandate that large electronic devices be relegated to checked luggage is facing stiff resistance from airlines and business travelers. Under the proposal, travelers with electronic devices larger than a […]

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Ransomworm golpea a más de 150 Países

Los informes llegaron rápidamente el viernes por la mañana, 12 de mayo – la primera vez que leí una alerta, referenciaba a docenas de hospitales en Inglaterra que fueron afectados por ransomware (sin darse cuenta que era ransomworm), negando a los médicos el acceso a los registros médicos de sus pacientes, causando demoras en cirujías […]

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Open up the network, that’s how you enable innovation

I have a new research paper in Elsevier’s technical journal, Network Security. Here’s the abstract: Lock it down! Button it up tight! That’s the default reaction of many computer security professionals to anything and everything that’s perceived as introducing risk. Given the rapid growth of cybercrime such as ransomware and the non-stop media coverage of data […]