Effective Email: It Starts With a Good Subject
Does Free Security Software Really Offer Peace of Mind?
Who?s Looking Out for Your Business?
How to Drastically Cut the Spam From Your Inbox
New App Helps Balance Your Life
For the last few weeks, I’ve been playing with a new iOS app called Balanced – Get more out of life. Balanced is good for reminding you to perform recurring tasks, but it is not a traditional “todo” list. You would not, for instance, put a reminder to “buy milk,” or do something that is time-sensitive into Balanced ? it’s for recurring tasks that you want to accomplish. Balanced seeks to help you keep your life in balance, and rewards you for doing so with some motivational feedback. Continue reading “New App Helps Balance Your Life”
Let Me Fix Your Computer, Without Accessing Your Stuff
Normally, I’m not what I would call an “idea guy.” I’m not someone who sees all sorts of innovative new things and shares his creations with the world – it’s just not the way my brain works. I’m a problem solver. I see a problem, I come up with a fix, workaround, or solution – that’s what I do. Every now and then, however, there’s an overlap between problem solving and innovation. This may be one of those.
I want a way for a custodian of a system (think “computer technician”) working on a system, to be able to do everything needed to set up, maintain, and troubleshoot said system, without requiring any credentials from the owner. This is tricky because if I want, for instance, to set up your email for you, without requiring any interaction from you, I need to have your password. Sure, I could set up everything except the password and then have you fill it in later, but this road sometimes leads to frustration on the part of the end user, as they don’t have a “completely” working system that they asked for.
Encrypting the owner’s data does not meet this goal, as it needs to be decrypted for the custodian to do their job. Two-factor authentication doesn’t solve this because the password would still need to be placed in the hands of the custodian, along with the second factor, at least temporarily. Combining these two, along with a forced password change, go a long way to securing your data from your custodian’s prying eyes, but don’t ultimately solve the problem.
Do you have a fix for this? Does anyone? Drop me a line and let me know.
Is Anyone Doing This yet? Pre-order My Favorite Drink On Arrival
Since moving to the Boston area, I’ve had the pleasure of actually using cool technologies a lot sooner than I used to in rural Vermont. For instance, Starbucks’ mobile app, allowing me to order and pay for my drinks with my iPhone, or Stop & Shop’s “Scan It!” app that lets you itemize what you’re buying as you go through the store, saving time at checkout because you’ve already accounted for everything and don’t need to itemize them all again. Granted, I’ve never gotten it to work completely for me, so I question how much time Scan It! has saved me, if any, but I digress.
I’ve mentioned an idea in the past on the Pocket Sized Podcast, with respect to Starbucks and their mobile app for iOS, but I don’t know if I went into details. The Starbucks app allows me to save my favorite drink, in Starbucks lingo, so instead of trying to order a “small latte with caramel syrup, the sugar free kind, two shots,” and getting confused as to whether I meant espresso shots or syrup shots, etc., I can whip out the app, refer to my favorites list, and say “Short 2-pump Sugar Free Caramel Nonfat Caffe Latte, please.” Theoretically this will save time.
But… why can’t I, upon entering the shop and connecting to Starbucks’ (arguably the slowest) free wifi (network on the planet), tap on my favorite drink, and go straight to the pickup line? You already know who I am. You already have my credit card on file. Now you know what drink I want. Granted, I might miss some thrilling conversation with the person at the counter, but that’s not usually so noteworthy as to be missed.
It doesn’t have to be Starbucks! Someone, please, make this happen. If it’s already being done, please drop me a line and let me know where.
On April 5, after six months of preparation, I took, and passed, the CISSP exam. Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way.
Continue reading “CISSP”
Review: Genius LuxePad 9100 Bluetooth Keyboard
Genius LuxePad 9100 Bluetooth Keyboard
I was recently sent a LuxePad 9100 Bluetooth Keyboard by Genius to review. In a nutshell, if you’re going to use a physical keyboard with your iOS (or other) device, this is a decent unit. However, there are shortcomings, not necessarily of the hardware, that you should be aware of. Continue reading “Review: Genius LuxePad 9100 Bluetooth Keyboard”