Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Best All-in-One PCs

OK, all-in-one PCs may not be the most popular tech items out there today, but there is still a market, and there are some pretty nice product offerings too. This article and table of the best 10 (in the author's opinion) product offerings comes from today. Of interest to me is that he includes offerings from Apple under the umbrella term PCs.

"The all-in-one desktop PC is an interesting beast. It has gone from being the only game in town (think Commodore Pet/Apple III/TRS-80) to a tiny niche (the original Apple iMac) in a sea of tower PCs, to today, where the All-in-One PC is replacing the tower PC as the form factor you picture in your head when you hear the phrase "desktop computer.""

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GMail a little too open? Google says users should have no ‘expectation of privacy’

I found a link to this article today on The link below to protecting electronic communications has lots of detailed information on how to proceed if you want to do something about this, but it gets pretty technical very quickly.

"In a recent court filing, Google admitted what privacy researchers have warned for years: Users of the service have “no expectation of privacy,” likening itself to a secretary who screens a bosses snail mail. Here’s what you can do to change that.

As RT reported, the assertion was made in response to a class-action suit regarding how the company scans users’ emails for advertising purposes, such as offering up vacation destinations when it can tell you’ve got time off coming up.

But while the group that publicized the statement, Consumer Watchdog, claims that it’s a sign that Google does not respect users’ privacy, the problem goes deeper: The concept of third-party, private hosted email is almost fundamentally flawed, particularly now that it has come to light that court orders can secretly get access to corporate servers while preventing user notification.

Email was already deeply flawed since much of it is transmitted unencrypted between servers unless a user adds on an extra level of encryption such as PGP or GPG, and even then leaks of e-mail metadata are common.

Fortunately, Micah Lee of the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has put together a good, relatively comprehensive guide on protecting electronic communications, and the better news is that much of what you need to do is not that hard, and is getting easier. And that means that, no matter what GMail or any other corporation, government, or hacker wants, you have major control in keeping your privacy protected.

“But even with direct access to all the data traveling at the speed of light through the Internet’s backbone fiber-optic cables, even with cooperation of the major United States tech companies (which are extremely difficult for people to boycott), the largest, most powerful, and best funded surveillance apparatus that humanity has ever seen cannot defeat mathematics.”"


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No, your data isn't secure in the cloud


While online data storage services claim your data is encrypted, there are no guarantees. And with government surveillance programs crawling the web for metadata and email, there's little doubt online privacy can exist without strong safeguards.