The Security of Cellular Connections

This is excerpted from a New York Times article.

“That free Wi-Fi network may not be so free if it is unsecured and someone hijacks your data. Your phone’s cellular data connection offers more protection.

If you are unfamiliar with the available wireless network nearby and want to be as safe as possible, stick with the LTE data connection. If your data plan is limited or you need more speed than what the cellular network offers, use a virtual private network like F-Secure’s Freedome VPN or Private Internet Access to encrypt your Wi-Fi connection.”

How waterproof is your smartphone or other device?

This is excerpted from a New York Times article.

“For its recent Galaxy devices, Samsung touts “an international standard rating of IP68” and says the Galaxy S7 and later models are “deemed fit enough to withstand dust, dirt and sand, and are resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes” — which should protect it from the dreaded Toilet Drop.

As for those numbers, the first digit in the rating refers to the level of protection from solid substances and is measured on scale of 0 (no protection) to 6, with a 6 meaning no dust enters the device for two to eight hours of exposure. The second number refers to water and is measured on a scale of 0 to 9. A rating of 8 designates protection against water immersion under pressure for long periods, and a 9 rating means the object can also hold up against high-pressure water jets.”

Transforming the experience of deafness

A New York Times article with an amazing video: www.nytimes.com

“How does augmenting a sense fundamentally shift the human experience, particularly in deaf kids?

Our search for the answers became this film. We interviewed 14 of Dr. Madell’s former patients, those young enough to be born after cochlear implantation was viable yet old enough to have insight into the experience. They had navigated the frontiers of deafness, disability and the human experience. They spoke to us about identity, sexual intimacy and coming of age somewhere between sound and silence.

And they talked about the sometimes wrenching decision of whether to hear or not. That’s a choice most of us will never make.”


Google searches:

[cochlear implant], videos

[hearing aids]. videos

[deafness], videos

It’s about time

“A generation ago, computing usually took place in a single mainframe or personal computer. Now it is routinely spread across thousands of independent processors in machines that can be separated by a few feet or entire continents.

Chip designers have long struggled to maintain the precise timing needed to order mathematical operations inside individual computing chips. And synchronizing these vast ensembles of them has become the limiting factor in the speed and processing power of what Google describes as “planetary-scale” computers.”

Read the whole interesting article at www.nytimes.com.

Deceived by Design

“User-experience designers and marketers are well aware that many people are so eager to start using a new service or complete a task, or are so loath to lose a perceived deal, that they will often click one “Next” button after another as if on autopilot — without necessarily understanding the terms they have agreed to along the way.” — www.nytimes.com

The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet), a government agency that promotes and protects the rights of consumers, has published a report in English [pdf link] on how Facebook, Google and Windows 10 use dark patterns to manipulate users.” — www.metafilter.com

“In graphic and web design, a dark pattern is “a user interface that has been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.”[1][2][3] The neologism dark pattern was coined by Harry Brignull in August 2010 with the registration of darkpatterns.org, a “pattern library with the specific goal of naming and shaming deceptive user interfaces.” — wikipedia.org