by admin

On June 9th, 2010, Goatse Security released a list of 114,000 Apple accounts associated with the iPad.  They thoughtfully included the security ID that authorized each user to use AT&T’s 3G network.

The Leak

Much like the famous internet anarchist group Anonymous, Goatse Security is a loose affiliation of dubious security “experts” who decided to demonstrate just how insecure AT&T’s 3G network is.  In the process, the group exposed a list of early adopters that included everything from military generals to the CEO of the New York Times and the mayor of New York.  It also showed that DARPA had taken an interest in the devices.

The leak was not Apple’s fault; the problem lay with a script on AT&T’s website that should not have been accessible by the public.  It provided access to the ICC IDs that AT&T uses to identify 3G data users.  All Goatse Security needed to do was create a batch script that accessed the script many times to build a database of email addresses associated with their ICC ID.

The Response

Needless to say, the FBI took immediate interest.  Less than a day later the organization announced that it had opened an investigation on the event.  Two people were arrested for the leak before the investigation was wrapped up.

Ryan Tate of Gawker Media, who Goatse Security leaked the information to, claimed that it was Apple’s “worst security breach.”  He felt that, in the best case scenario, Apple loses credibility and AT&T, already much maligned, gets cast in an even worse light.  In the wost case scenario, however, he fears that the ICC IDs could be used to clone a device.  That would essentially let anyone with a minimum of hardware and the list of IDs could create a device that thinks it belongs to a military general.

Many experts, however, felt that the leak wasn’t too serious.  John Paczkowski of All Things Digital felt that, while the email addresses could be sold to spammers, the ICC IDs were of no real worry.  Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune agreed, and reminded his readers that losing a list of email addresses doesn’t compare to losing a list of credit card details or social security numbers, leaks that other companies have suffered.

The Repercussions

While the hole that let the emails leak has since been patched, the whole debacle demonstrates the issue with tying all your information to one account.  Mobile operating systems tend to identify their users by their email address, tying all your information to a single point of failure.  Facebook offers a similar feature, with many popular sites letting you create an account from your Facebook information.  If that one account is compromised, every site you have authorized from within Facebook is now accessible.  And while most of those sites contain little that could hurt you, every scrap helps an identity thief get your identity.

Connecting all our accounts to one email or user name makes it very easy to manage our online life, but it also means that anyone who has access to that account has access to your entire life..  And as the iPad debacle shows, it doesn’t matter if the company with all that information has the best security in the world if one of their partners doesn’t.

by admin

If you are looking for a reasonably priced pocket camcorder that delivers more than past pocket camcorders, it may worth your time to take a look at the new Kodak Zi8 which has recently undergone some core improvements.  The Kodak Zi8 has also gone through a serious hardware redesign which makes it more pleasant to carry with you than the previous models when you are on the go or traveling on vacation.

So exactly what improvements have been made in the Zi8?

New and Improved Sleek Design

Instead of its bulky predecessor, the Kodak Zi8 boasts a sleek new design that feels more modern and high tech with a slimmer body and stylish appearance.  It is also more portable in size than the Zi6 with an improved lithium-ion battery that replaces the old AA batteries and lasts for more than one hour.  Kodak_Zi8

The new design includes a screen that is much sharper than previous Kodak cams with an HDMI output that works rapidly and with a lot of ease.  The exterior of the device also hosts a brand new USB port that is rubberized and flexible and replaces the previous inconvenient flip out plug on older models of the Kodak cam.  This makes using the unit a lot easier when you do not have a lot of clearance available to plug into the USB port.

Enhanced Video Features

The mainstay feature of the Zi8 is the upgraded 30fps 1080p quality video recording with a brand new option that provides for 5-megapixel photos.  This is an upgrade from the 720p of the Zi6 and although it is somewhat difficult to tell the difference once you display the video on a high definition screen.  However, it is still a step forward from previous Kodak cams.

This is also not an indication that the video quality is poor because it is quite far from being inferior quality.  Actually the video quality is a step up from the Zi6 and noticeably higher in quality thanks to the implementation of a new sensor that is larger and helps to improve the quality of the resolution.

Another reason the video quality on the Kodak Zi8 is better is the new image stabilization feature which reduces problems you usually experience with other portable camcorders that produce a rippling effect as a result of moving the camcorder too much during recording.  In addition to image stabilization, another contributor to enhanced video is the return of macro mode which provides you with more flexibility of movement than the Zi6 with its upgraded improvements.

Settings and Modes

The settings and controls are operated primarily via a red button that functions similar to a joystick and requires a little bit of practice to get used to it.  Once you press the settings button you have a variety of options to choose from which include adjusting the sound quality and LCD brightness, activating the image stabilization feature, using the video out setting, modifying the face detection feature, using the camera for photos, and formatting the memory card.

There are four different video modes and then one mode for shooting still photos which are included on the Kodak Zi8.  The 1080p mode allows you to record high definition videos with a resolution of 1920×1080 at 30fps.  The 720p/60fps provides you with recording capabilities at a 1280×720 resolution with a 60 fps frame rate and another 720p mode that allows you to record videos with a 1280×720 resolution at 30 fps.  The fourth video recording mode is WVGA with a resolution of 848×480 at 30 fps.

For the still image camera mode, this feature offers 5.3 megapixel interpolated still images.  This provides photos that are acceptable quality once you master the red button which tends to be on the stiff side and can cause the camera to move when you are shooting photos.  However, once you master this aspect the device takes quality photos considering it is a portable device.

As far as storage is concerned the Kodak Zi8 is equipped with a SD card slot however there is no SD card included with the camcorder and the unit is void of built-in memory.

Conclusion

Overall the Kodak Zi8 has a lot to offer for an affordable price and you will find yourself relying on it more than past models such as the Zi6 without the worry about the subjects you are recording being well-lit or other concerns such as keeping a steady hand, noisy surroundings, or poor quality videos and images after you have invested the time to create them.  It is a reality that the Kodak Zi8 will not replace a full blown camcorder however it is good enough to serve your needs at a reasonable price.  There is more to like about the Kodak Zi8 than there is to complain about and it is worth your time to investigate it further by clicking here.

by admin

If you are looking for a portable device specifically for reading it can be a challenging decision to determine whether you should choose a dedicated reader or a reader that has additional capabilities.  This is commonly what consumers face when they weigh the Kindle DX against the Apple iPad.  Which one is better?  The answer to this lies in your preferences as well as your individual needs.  Let’s take a look at both to help you make an informed decision as to which device will be appropriate for you.

Kindle DX

To provide you with a clear overview of the Kindle DX, here we will examine some of the advantages and disadvantages.

kindle dx

Advantages

  • Dedicated Reading Device: The Kindle DX is specifically made for the purpose of reading which means it is built to allow you to focus on reading without suffering from eyestrain and other distractions.  For many people, reading on an LCD screen can be strenuous on the eyes and the Kindle DX provides a reader-friendly eLink screen that provides 50 percent better contrast and is capable of standing up to sunlight.

  • Free Store Browsing with Internet Access: The Kindle DX provides free Internet access with store shopping that provides access to book downloads in more than 150 countries.
  • Extended Battery Life: The Kindle DX contains a high end battery that can last up to 2 weeks if you are not using wireless and up to one week if you are using the included wireless service.

  • Special Apps and Services: The platform for the Kindle DX provides sync services that allow you to keep notes across multiple devices and sync the last page read which acts as a bookmark.  It is also capable of accommodating apps that are designed for multiple mobile devices including iPhone, iPad, and Blackberry.

  • Less Expensive Books: Since Kindle DX is a product of Amazon the book prices are cheaper than Apple with prices starting at around $10 with Amazon as opposed to $15 for books from Apple.
  • Less Weight: The Kindle DX provides for comfortable single-handed reading due to its light weight of less than 19 ounces compared to iPad’s 1.5 pounds.

  • Exceptional Text to Speech: When compared to the iPad the Text to Speech feature on the Kindle DX wins hands down.

Disadvantages

  • Language Support: When compared to iPad the Kindle DX lacks some of the language support features that are included in the iPad such as support for hyphenation, STANZA, and other apps that support language features.
  • Lack of Touch Screen: The Kindle DX is equipped with a Qwerty keyboard with numbers included but does not have the easy function touchscreen of the iPad.
  • No Added Functionality: Because it is a dedicated reader the Kindle DX does not have the added functions of the iPad such as the ability to check email and other tasks that you can perform online with a mobile PC device.

Apple iPad

Now let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the iPad as an eReader.

apple ipad 2

Advantages

  • More Functionality: The iPad has the functionality of an eReader in addition to other capabilities such as the ability to perform regular tasks that you usually do with a PC or other mobile device online.

  • Larger Memory Capacity: The iPad has a memory capacity of 16GB for the base model and then the memory increases according to the model grade.  This is significantly more memory than the Kindle DX which has a memory capacity of 4GB.
  • Large Selection of Apps: The iPad offers more than 5000 apps with some apps that contain page numbers and animated page turns when you are reading.

  • Convenient Touchscreen: The touchscreen makes it easier to accomplish ebook store browsing and perform other functions as opposed to the Kindle DX which utilizes a Qwerty keyboard.

  • Better Quality Browser: The iPad provides a better quality browser with more functionality where the Kindle DX just provides a basic browser for finding books.

  • High Quality Screen: The iPad has a high quality screen with backlighting to adjust the brightness of the screen.  It is not designed for extended reading sessions but it is still high end nonetheless.

  • Store Access: The iPad provides access to the Apple store, Kindle store, Barnes and Noble, and other stores from the same device.

Disadvantages

  • Text to Speech: The iPad offers Text to Speech apps however they are not as high quality as the Text to Speech feature in the Kindle DX.

  • Shorter Battery Life: Due to the added functionality and device size the iPad has a significantly shorter battery life than the Kindle DX.

  • Diversions: If you are easily distracted you may find it difficult to focus on a book due to the added functionality that the iPad offers.  You may find yourself diverted to games, checking email, and other functions that can be a distraction.

Conclusion

If you want a device that is designed specifically for reading the Kindle DX is the way to go.  If you prefer to have more functionality then the iPad may be the better option for you.  In terms of budget the Kindle DX is the cheaper option as the iPad is significantly higher in price and requires you to purchase WiFi.