Jan 11 2009

John McCain’s PDA sold to Journalist

Category: Mobile Computing,SecurityTeknovis @ 21:48

This is definitely going to be my last post about the US election in 2008! However, I am writing this because it highlights a serious security risk!

It appears that when the election campaign ended John McCain’s organisers sold everything associated with the campaign. I think that would be normal. Included in the sale was John McCain’s PDA. I do not really understand this, because I could not survive without my PDA! However, not everybody needs one! Significantly, this PDA was not wiped, reset, or formatted before it was sold! Luckily (or unluckily – depending on which way you look at it) the PDA was bought by a journalist! I guess that all of this gives new meaning to transparent politics :)

For more details about this see McCain campaign sells unwiped Blackberry for $20.

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Jan 01 2009

The Buzzwords of 2008

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 12:02

Happy New Year everybody!

I decided to begin 2009 with a humorous post about the buzzwords of 2008 according to The New York Times. The technology sector is normally busting with new buzzwords, so it is interesting to see what buzzwords have main it mainstream!

I think that my favourite buzzword is photobombing, and it means

Intentionally inserting oneself as an unwelcome subject in the background of someone else’s photograph.

Perhaps the most ridicules buzzword is longphoto, which means

A video of 90 seconds or less. Used by the photo-sharing Web site Flickr, which began permitting videos this year.

I do not understand what was wrong with short video!

It is interesting that most of the buzzwords are related to either the US election or the economy.

The full article with all of the buzzwords is The Buzzwords of 2008.

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Nov 28 2008

The Technology behind Barack Obama

Category: Internet,SecurityTeknovis @ 14:49

The Register describes some security vulnerabilities in two of Barack Obama’s websites in Congratulations, Barack – Now fix your websites. The most significant security issue that the article highlights is the fact that the administration pages load the Google Analytics JavaScrip file urchin.js. from the Google website. In theory, this means that Google can use this JavaScript file to do almost anything that they want with Barack’s websites. Not a good situation :(

Apparently, many readers did not share the author’s view on this security issue. So the author wrote a follow-up article that provides more details, and opinions of experts from OWASP, in Google Analytics – Yes, it is a security risk.

Independently, it seems that Barack is currently in negotiations in order to continue using his PDA! Apparently, communications devices are banned in the White House, and there are accountability and traceability issues associated with their use! That is an inconvenience! More details about this in Obama tries to stay connected.

Finally, I have heard that a considerable number of websites have appeared that are designed to help the Obama family choose what type of puppy they will get :) Gosh, it must be nice to have enough time to be able to create websites like this!

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Nov 27 2008

Sarah Palin’s Webmail Hacked

Category: SecurityTeknovis @ 21:11

Sarah Palin’s webmail account was hacked during the US election campaign, according to Palin webmail ‘hack’ trial delayed. The interesting thing about this is that the attacker correctly answered the “secret question” that is used when the user forgets his/her password. The attacker, who is a University of Tennessee student, successfully found the correct answer to Sarah Palin’s secret question using Google :)

I think that the conditions of the attackers bail are slight humorous:

The University of Tennessee student remains free on bail with restriction that prohibit his use of a computer except for the purposes of internet email and college coursework.

Should his use of Internet email not be restricted to his own email accounts?

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Nov 06 2008

US Election Website Traffic

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 18:26

I read three articles on TechCrunch today regarding Internet traffic on election day of the US election.

I do not expect that websites outside of the US experienced significant increases, because there is less interest in the US election, and the time differences made it a bit impractical!

Finally, Twitter also had an extremely busy night, as described in OMG, That Was A Big Day. It is a pity that this post does not give some more general statistics. For example, are any of these statistics new records?

I think that it is very impressive that all of the major websites that experienced heavy traffic were able to cope with it. I particularly like Twitter’s approach:

Our technical approach over the last several months has been to find the weakest point of the system, fix it so it’s no longer the weakest, move to the next weakest point, and so on.

I also notice that the new president is a Twitter user! It will be great if he can continue to find time to maintain his online presence!

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Nov 05 2008

Technology Behind the US Election 2008

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 05:37

I have stayed up very late to watch the US election, and it is now clear who the winner is! However, I do not want to get into politics in this blog!

From a technology point-of-view, I am amazed how much attention the mainstream media has given to the online election campaigns. In particular, I am sure that every viewer must now be aware of Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. Also, the winner thanked his supporters by email before making his first public appearance!

It will be very interesting to see some statistics from the main news web sites over the next few days regarding how busy their web servers were. I would expect some records!

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