Jun 082012
Linkedin passwords were stolen today.
This is a good time to mention password security & password length.
Even if you don’t have a Linkedin account, this applies to all passwords.

If you use a short password your password is in danger of being hacked. With fast computers, cracking passwords has become very easy and quick.

Here are some facts:

A six-letter password takes a little over seven seconds to crack.
A seven-letter password would takes 13 hours.
An eight characters pushes the time up to 57 days.
A nine-character password takes up to 15 years.

For better security make your passwords 12 to 16 letters with a mix of upper/lower case numbers and even ASCII characters.

Like my dad used to say…

If yours is short, it is useless…

(I’m not sure he was talking about passwords tho)

Jan 082012

I’ve watched the tech industry for many years.
I became part of the tech revolution back in my college days in the 1970′s.
I learned Fortran (computer programming language) back in the early 70′s.
My first PC was a Radio Shack Model 1.

The progress in the tech arena has been at times:
frustrating  -  slow  -  or too fast to keep up with.

I recently told a colleague that the new tablet craze is very similar to the beginnings of the PC industry.  At first, there were few full-featured software packages.  The biggest thing in the beginning was ‘Shareware’.  Which was small apps written by individuals to fill needs of themselves or clients.  These are very similar to the current state of the smartphone / tablet market.  Small apps, free or inexpensive to do small tasks or play games.

The PC was at first very limited.
My Model 1 only had 64K of ram.
This lack of ram and processing power was a big barrier.

In 1978 I spent several months writing software and database for a point of sale inventory system.   I loaded the data only to find the system was not capable of handling the large database.

I was very frustrated about that. 
The result was I put the Model 1 into a closet and left it for a few years because
“It was not ready for prime-time in a business environment”.

After a few years, the industry leaders developed many full-featured software packages and office suites that filled the need but at the cost of larger hard drives, more ram and faster processors. (If you can call 286 processors fast).

I remember my first laptop.  I think it was a CompuAdd 286 SX with a huge 20 mb hard drive.  I remember telling my partner, I will NEVER fill that drive up.

Of course, I filled it up within 6 months and had to soon upgrade the laptop to the latest ‘cutting-edge’ laptop. (386 processor)

I’m writing all of this to make the point that from small, very limited resources, the PC and tech industry developed into a fast moving, very efficient software / hardware industry.  PC’s soon developed into systems that could do ‘everything’ in one package.

I see similar things happening with the current state of the Smartphone / Tablet industry.

From a very limited, slow processors and software the Smartphone / Tablet industry is quickly upgrading software and hardware almost on a monthly basis.  Next week, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas will announce many new items, many of them will be Smartphones or Tablets.  Each company is racing to be the first to market with the newest, fastest, kewlest items.

The trend in this industry, as in the early PC industry is to create a device that will be ‘Everything to Everyone’.  Each new improvement creates a device that desires to replace many of the other tech devices each of us own.

I think we will soon discover, (or maybe we already have during the last Christmas season) that Smartphones and Tablets are replacing many tech items.

For example, last time I rented a car.  I was asked if I wanted to pay extra for a GPS in the car.  Of course I said No.  I have GPS on my smartphone.  Why would I pay for an extra device?

Or why would I buy a digital camera?  Most Smartphones have an 8mp camera built-in.  It is always with me if I need to take a video or snapshot and I can share it with the world in minutes from the phone.

Why do I need a special game console when I can play the same or similar games on my phone or tablet?  Why would I buy a Blue Ray player when I can see 3D movies on my smartphone or tablet?

I don’t think the phone/tablet industry will completely eliminate these devices.  But I think soon. Very soon, they will significantly affect the revenue figures of these devices because everyone wants it ALL with them ALL the Time.