Category Archives: Technology

Microsoft gains ground disrupting online banking hackers

Computer software giant Microsoft, with the help of the Feds and the RICO Act, or Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, was successful late last week in thwarting part of a network of cyber criminals using botnets to steal from online banking networks.

A USA Today report said Microsoft was aided in its efforts by U.S. Marshals and two financial services industry trade groups.

Who’s reading your business e-mails?

emailThe next time you dash off an e-mail to a business executive, you might want to consider:

There’s a good chance the CEO, CFO or C-whatever will never see it. According to a 2009 survey conducted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and the ePolicy Institute, there’s a 59 percent chance your message will be intercepted by an administrative assistant.
Those electronic gatekeepers are often asked to screen, delete and ghostwrite the boss’s e-mail.

And it’s on the increase.

Of the 614 administrative professionals surveyed, 59 percent said they ghostwrite responses, up from 43 percent in a 2002 survey.

Fifty-two percent said they read or screen executives’ incoming e-mail, twice the number reported seven years ago. Thirty-eight percent delete messages addressed to executives, up from 29 percent in 2002. Another 55 percent are authorized to use executives’ electronic signatures.

Nancy Flynn, executive director of  ePolicy Institute, said 72 percent know that an electronic signature is “as legally binding as a hand-written signature.”

Is wearable tech in our future?

TED (it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) shows off some of the most amazing and entertaining scientific advances around, and one of the newest is simply astounding.

What it is: Pattie Maes of MIT shows off  a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment.

What’s your opinion: The coolest thing you’ve ever seen or something to scary to ponder?

KTEC’s not giving up

Over the past couple of weeks, Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. has been making a big push to keep itself intact, despite a budget recommendation by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to move parts of the agency into the Kansas Department of Commerce and completely do away with other functions.

Officials from the private-public agency charged with helping high-tech startups get off the ground and grow has been on an e-mail petition campaign to enlist support from Kansans.

Despite some media reports suggesting that KTEC will remain intact because of actions in the Kansas House, KTEC apparently isn’t convinced that its survival is guaranteed.

Click here to see the petition.

Password He**

I’m sick of passwords.

More specifically, I’m sick of having to change them every three months.

I’ve got passwords for the ATM, for online banking, for my voice mail and a gazillion other things at work and home.

The experts say that you should never write them down. That’s to protect you, they say, from bad guys gaining access to your private stuff.

I say it’s to protect them from any liability they would have from you when their systems get hacked, and your information stolen.

Problem is, there are so many cotton-pickin’ passwords that you have to remember, and in variations that require digits, upper-case and lower-case letters and x number of characters, that you can’t use just one password for all the things that you need a password for.

This particular exercise in futility is supposedly meant to make things more efficient and productive by doing everything on the computer.

But on this particular morning, there is nothing efficient nor productive about this. My ability to get the work done that I should be doing isn’t happening because I’ve got so many passwords to manage I’ve been locked out of a Web site.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a phone call to get a new password.

Headline O’ the Day: ‘Safe Text’

From the marketers of SpinVox, a voice-to-text service, in my Inbox today:

SpinVox Offers New Guidelines to Help Users Practice ‘Safe Text’

That just cracked me up. But I don’t get out much.

iPhone has 3G speed, but Wichita doesn’t

A reader of a blog called the Consumerist wrote in to ask an interesting question: Should AT&T be advertising the iPhone 3G as “twice as fast” in Wichita when the 3G network is not available in Wichita?

The person pointed out that an ad that ran in The Eagle touted the iPhone’s speed but didn’t mention that the network isn’t available here:

It may not seem like a big deal to some of us that are aware that the 3g coverage of ATT is limited and know to check the coverage first, but there is no guarantee that the good folks at the ATT store will let potential customers in on this, and (again) nowhere on the advertisement does it say that ATT’s 3g coverage is quite limited and not available anywhere near the newspaper’s reader’s area.

I have to admit, I love a good gadget and might have considered buying an iPhone if I weren’t still in the first year of my two-year Verizon contract. And I don’t know if I would have researched the iPhone enough to know the network isn’t available here.

I’d be interested to know if anyone bought one without knowing and regrets it. Maybe it’s not that big of a deal, and I imagine the 3G network will be here soon enough.