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Passwords Are Not Broken, but How We Choose Them Sure Is

By Bruce Schneier, author of recent book, Carry On: Sound Advice from Schneier on Security

I’ve been reading a lot about how passwords are no longer good security. The reality is more complicated. Passwords are still secure enough for many applications, but you have to choose a good one. And that’s hard. The best way to explain how to choose a good password is to describe how they’re broken. The most serious attack is called offline password guessing. There are commercial programs that do this, sold primarily to police departments. There are also hacker tools that do the same thing.

As computers have become faster, the guessers have got better, sometimes being able to test hundreds of thousands of passwords per second. These guessers might run for months on many machines simultaneously.

Review: Dark Energy’s Reservoir – 8000 mAh Portable Charger

Reservoir portable USB chargerAnother portable charger you say? But wait, you’ll want to read about this one. The $129 Reservoir from Dark Energy is an 8000 mAh monster that can do double duty charging either 2 phones at once or 1 phone and 1 tablet.

I love the design – the all black, rubberized look with the pattern of indented circles immediately reminded me of the monolith slab from the book/movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It does also come in white, and it would be nice to see other colors in the future. Unfortunately, the first photograph doesn’t do it justice. Take a look at the one below.

I was really surprised and happy about the weight. I completely expected it to be a great deal heavier given its capacity. I have another portable charger that could recharge my 2300mAh phone about 1.5 times that is at least as heavy as the Reservoir. Obviously, material choices make quite a difference.

Review: Doxie One portable scanner

Doxie One scanning a photoI love the Doxie One. Paperless nirvana, here I come. I’ve dreamed of a paperless and more importantly, an electronic document repository, for a long time, but that has been mostly a dream as I’ve dreaded having to haul my papers over to my clunky all-in-one printer-scanner, then scan papers 1 or a few at a time.

I’ve used the Doxie One for the past 4 weeks and with a few exceptions that I’ll talk about, I love it. If your goal is to go paperless and stay that way, I can highly recommend the Doxie One as an essential component of your paperless toolbox.

Your Detailed Guide to Safe Online Shopping

From 2002 to 2011, online e-commerce sales have quadrupled to $256B, and an estimated 47% of consumers purchased their holiday items online in 2011. These numbers have been trending upward for over a decade and you are probably one of those online shoppers if you’re reading this article. This howto explains how you can be a safe online shopper.

My Top Must-Have Tech Products that I Use Daily

Here’s my list of favorite, must-have, daily use Web and tech products (mainly software) inspired by Michael Arrington and his annual list over at Techcrunch. For some reason, this year, he hasn’t published a list (yet?). [Here’s his list from Jan 1, 2010.]

There are 19 products on this list most of which I feel are the best web services available today. And while I absolutely use many more times that number of online web services and other software on a regular basis, I took a cue from Mr. Arrington’s list, and this is the top must-have services and products that I couldn’t live without and that I use practically every day, and in most cases in both my personal and work life.

star trek pizza cutter

7 Kitchen Gadgets Geeks Will Love

Calling all cooking geeks! The time has come to put those handheld devices and laptops aside and get cooking. Even if you’ve never cooked a meal in your life it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun trying with these 7 unique kitchen gadgets inspired by all the things geeks love.

star trek pizza cutter

Star Trek Enterprise NCC-1701 Pizza Cutter

What geek doesn’t love a slice of pizza every now and then? With its authentic Star Trek Enterprise design and chrome plated finish, this pizza cutter will help geeks everywhere slice it up in style. Serve it up Scotty!

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Races Ahead of Google, Apple with Digital Locker Called Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud just rolled out a number of related products revolving around storing your music, movies, photos or whatever in the cloud, Amazon’s cloud to be specific. Amazon just got a huge jump on Google, Apple, Microsoft and anyone else that wanted to get into this ‘digital locker’ game. And I use the word ‘game’ facetiously, because this is big business. Just ask Apple (re: iTunes).

First an overview. Cloud Drive is the linchpin in this whole deal. It’s where you store your well… anything. It can be music and everyone seems to be fixated on that, but it can be photos, videos, documents – so your own personal hard drive, but stored on Amazon’s S3 servers.

My 12 Favorite Apps for the iPad that Rock!

Zinio iPad app best ipad apps ipad best apps best apps for ipad ipad favorite apps favorite apps for ipad top ipad apps top apps for ipad Every few days I am asked what are the best apps for the iPad and what my iPad favorite apps are. In fact, last May, I wrote about My 12 Favorite iPad Apps where I called out 12 of the best apps for iPad so I thought I’d revisit the list to see if my favorites have changed. As expected, my top apps for iPad have evolved over time. For example, only three of the twelve iPad apps have remained on my list for best apps for iPad including Kindle, Zinio and Mail.

Read on to see what my best apps for the iPad list include for January 2011.

ION iPROFILE Turntable with Direct-to-iPod Transfer

Review: ION iPROFILE Turntable

ION iPROFILE Turntable with Direct-to-iPod Transfer

After I purchased my first CD player and started listening to CDs in the early eighties, my vinyl records were gradually eased out of play. CDs were the hottest item at the time so naturally I did not bother to replace the turntable stylus when it became worn, and the turntable was relegated to the attic.

I was spoiled by the ease of listening to music, and became too lazy to operate a turntable, which involved cleaning the record, playing one side, turning over the record, etc, etc. and of course, purchasing a new stylus (the cost of which would have set me back a few CDs). Contrary to promises made at the time, many of the older albums were never digitized, so that my old LPs were practically lost.

So of course I jumped at the chance to review the ION iProfile turntable which would allow me to convert my precious vinyl records into a more durable electronic format. I would only need to play my old records one more time, and then be able to play them forever after via iTunes (or other media player), into which, I happily learnt, they are imported automatically during the audio signal transfer process.

Gmail's Priority Inbox

Will Gmail’s Priority Inbox Work?

Google has a new Gmail feature to help those of us suffering from e-mail overload – Priority Inbox.

The idea is relatively simple. The Priority Inbox component watches your e-mail, what you read and reply to, what you delete and other signals and tries to ‘learn’ what you consider important. It then separates your Inbox into 3 sections: Important (at the top naturally), the Starred items, and Everything Else.

Requisite cute video:

So will it work?

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