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From: Don Green7/26/2017 12:05:28 PM
1 Recommendation   of 19128
 
Privacy 101: Why You Need a VPN

Back in March, the Republican-led Congress voted to repeal FCC rules that blocked ISPs from selling your data to third parties without permission. The vote largely fell along party lines and President Trump signed the bill into law in early April.

The new rules will allow ISPs (your Comcasts, Charters, and AT&Ts) to "harvest" their customers' online data and sell it to third-party marketers. Monetized online behavior isn't new. If you Google "cold remedies," for example, don't be surprised to later encounter web ads for decongestants and tissues. What magical marketing fairies enabled this seamless synergy, you ask? Big Data!



Just about all your online data is automatically scraped, organized, and sold to advertisers so they can micro-tailor their sales pitches. This very profitable business model is how Google and Facebook have amassed astounding fortunes despite the fact that they give their products away for free.

Your data isn't necessarily used maliciously (as long as you don't consider capitalism to be inherently malicious), but it's unsettling to know your private data is just out there and up for sale in some virtual marketplace. Now your ISP can get in the Big Data game as well.

New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the move reverses "privacy regulations designed to benefit one group of favored companies over another group of disfavored companies." The subtext of the chairman's comment being that he believes the previous administration crafted rules to support Democratic-friendly Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google, while blocking less favored corporations like home cable/internet providers ( blech). However, that comparison doesn't exactly pan out.

While it is true that companies like Google and Facebook make money off your behavior, you are not forced to use these services. If you suddenly decided to stop using Facebook, you might miss out on cute pet pics and political rants from your friends and family, but you could still live a thoroughly modern existence. You could even choose to avoid the Google-o-sphere entirely by using Bing or DuckDuckGo for your web searches, Dropbox instead of Google Drive, or iOS instead of the Google-maintained Android.

You don't have this choice when it comes to your ISP—your home's gateway to the entirety of the internet. While there are alternatives to Google and Facebook, most Americans have limited home ISP alternatives. Some areas have only one provider. So this bill gives a green light to unescapable corporate data mining. You and your data are captives—unless you take proactive action to protect it.



"ISPs are in a position to see a lot of what you do online. They kind of have to be, since they have to carry all of your traffic," explains Electronic Frontier Foundation ( EFF) senior staff technologist Jeremy Gillula. "Unfortunately, this means that preventing ISP tracking online is a lot harder than preventing other third-party tracking—you can't just install [the EFF's privacy-minded browser add-on] Privacy Badger or browse in incognito or private mode."

VPN to the Rescue?One of the best ways to secure your data is to use a virtual private network (VPN), which provides greater control of how you're identified online. Simply put, a VPN creates a virtual encrypted "tunnel" between you and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All external internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, so your ISP can't see your data. If the site you're heading to uses HTTPS, your data stays encrypted, too. Best of all, your computer appears to have the IP address of the VPN server, masking your identity.

pcmag.com

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From: Don Green7/28/2017 12:34:45 PM
   of 19128
 
Windows 10: Five reasons to avoid Microsoft's flagship OS


With Microsoft's sometimes capricious and occasionally obnoxious treatment of Windows users,
here's why you might want to give Windows 10 a miss.




http://www.techrepublic.com/article/windows-10-five-reasons-to-avoid-microsofts-flagship-os/

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From: Don Green8/9/2017 11:46:52 AM
3 Recommendations   of 19128
 
The Man Who Wrote Those Password Rules Has a New Tip: N3v$r M1^d!Bill Burr’s 2003 report recommended using numbers, obscure characters and capital letters and updating regularly—he regrets the error



Advice on passwords is changing.


By
Robert McMillan

Aug. 7, 2017 12:41 p.m. ET
225 COMMENTS


The man who wrote the book on password management has a confession to make: He blew it.

Back in 2003, as a midlevel manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Bill Burr was the author of “NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A.” The 8-page primer advised people to protect their accounts by inventing awkward new words rife with obscure characters, capital letters and numbers—and to change them regularly.



The document became a sort of Hammurabi Code of passwords, the go-to guide for federal agencies, universities and large companies looking for a set of password-setting rules to follow.




The problem is the advice ended up largely incorrect, Mr. Burr says. Change your password every 90 days? Most people make minor changes that are easy to guess, he laments. Changing Pa55word!1 to Pa55word!2 doesn’t keep the hackers at bay.



Also off the mark: demanding a letter, number, uppercase letter and special character such as an exclamation point or question mark—a finger-twisting requirement.

“Much of what I did I now regret,” said Mr. Burr, 72 years old, who is now retired.

In June, Special Publication 800-63 got a thorough rewrite, jettisoning the worst of these password commandments. Paul Grassi, an NIST standards-and-technology adviser who led the two-year-long do-over, said the group thought at the outset the document would require only a light edit.

“We ended up starting from scratch,” Mr. Grassi said.

The new guidelines, which are already filtering through to the wider world, drop the password-expiration advice and the requirement for special characters, Mr. Grassi said. Those rules did little for security—they “actually had a negative impact on usability,” he said.





Passwords have evolved. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG


Long, easy-to-remember phrases now get the nod over crazy characters, and users should be forced to change passwords only if there is a sign they may have been stolen, says NIST, the federal agency that helps set industrial standards in the U.S.

Amy LaMere had long suspected she was wasting her time with the hour a month it takes to keep track of the hundreds of passwords she has to juggle for her job as a client-resources manager with a trade-show-display company in Minneapolis. “The rules make it harder for you to remember what your password is,” she said. “Then you have to reset it and it just makes it take longer.”

When informed that password advice is changing, however, she wasn’t outraged. Instead, she said it just made her feel better. “I’m right,” she said of the previous rules. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

Academics who have studied passwords say using a series of four words can be harder for hackers to crack than a shorter hodgepodge of strange characters—since having a large number of letters makes things harder than a smaller number of letters, characters and numbers.

In a widely circulated piece, cartoonist Randall Munroe calculated it would take 550 years to crack the password “correct horse battery staple,” all written as one word. The password Tr0ub4dor&3—a typical example of a password using Mr. Burr’s old rules—could be cracked in three days, according to Mr. Munroe’s calculations, which have been verified by computer-security specialists.

How to See If Hackers Stole Your Password

Nobody is 100% hack proof, but you don’t have to make it easy to become a victim either. WSJ’s Nathan Olivarez-Giles explains how to see if your personal info has been taken in a hack, and what you can do to be safer. Photo/Video: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal (Originally published July 15, 2016)


Mr. Burr, who once programmed Army mainframe computers during the Vietnam War, had wanted to base his advice on real-world password data. But back in 2003, there just wasn’t much to find, and he said he was under pressure to publish guidance quickly.

He asked the computer administrators at NIST if they would let him have a look at the actual passwords on their network. They refused to share them, he said, citing privacy concerns.

“They were appalled I even asked,” Mr. Burr said.

With no empirical data on computer-password security to be found, Mr. Burr leaned heavily on a white paper written in the mid-1980s—long before consumers bought DVDs and cat food online.

The published guidelines were the best he could do.

“In the end, it was probably too complicated for a lot of folks to understand very well, and the truth is, it was barking up the wrong tree,” said Mr. Burr.

Nevertheless, NIST’s password advice became widely influential, not just within the federal government but on corporate networks, websites and mobile devices.

Collectively, humans spend the equivalent of more than 1,300 years each day typing passwords, according to Cormac Herley, a principal researcher at Microsoft Corp. His company once followed the Burr code for passwords, but no more.


The biggest argument against Mr. Burr’s prescriptions: they haven’t worked well. “It just drives people bananas and they don’t pick good passwords no matter what you do,” Mr. Burr said.

The past decade has seen a data-breach boom. Hackers have stolen and posted online hundreds of millions of passwords from companies such as MySpace, LinkedIn and Gawker Media.


Those postings have given researchers the data they need to take a hard look at how people’s passwords fare against the tools hackers used to break them. Their conclusion? While we may think our passwords are clever, they aren’t. We tend to gravitate toward the same old combinations over and over.

Back in 2003, Mr. Burr didn’t have the data to understand this phenomenon. Today, it is obvious to people like Lorrie Faith Cranor. After years of studying terrible concoctions, she put 500 of the most commonly used passwords on a blue and purple shift dress she made and wore to a 2015 White House cybersecurity summit at Stanford University.

Adorned with the world’s most common passwords—princess, monkey, iloveyou and others that are unprintable here—the dress has prompted careful study, and embarrassment.

“I’ve had people look at it and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’d better go change my passwords,’ ” said Ms. Cranor, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

The NIST rules were supposed to give us randomness. Instead they spawned a generation of widely used and goofy looking passwords such as Pa$$w0rd or Monkey1! “It’s not really random if you and 10,000 other people are doing it,” said Mr. Herley, the Microsoft researcher.

Mr. Grassi, who rewrote NIST’s new password guidelines, thinks his former colleague Mr. Burr is being a little bit hard on himself over his 2003 advice.

“He wrote a security document that held up for 10 to 15 years,” Mr. Grassi said. “I only hope to be able to have a document hold up that long.”

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To: Don Green who wrote (19111)8/9/2017 1:04:12 PM
From: Jurgis Bekepuris
   of 19128
 
Just get a password vault program (something like KeePass keepass.info ) and generate truly random 20 char+ passwords.

Pass phrase is fine for your password vault. Pass phrases won't help with 50-100 passwords you need to have across different websites and accounts. How many "whopping galloping galaxy stable" phrases user can remember and associate with correct account?

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To: Jurgis Bekepuris who wrote (19112)8/9/2017 1:24:09 PM
From: Don Green
1 Recommendation   of 19128
 

Jurgis


I agree I have used Dashlane for 3-4 years and works and syncs with multiple computers and phone and table.

Don

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From: hollyhunter8/17/2017 8:24:38 AM
   of 19128
 
Bullish crossover in MACD and Stochastic oscillator.On watch for clear above 74.42.

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From: Glenn Petersen8/30/2017 6:19:16 AM
   of 19128
 
An unusual partnership between Amazon and Microsoft:

‘Cortana, Open Alexa,’ Amazon Says. And Microsoft Agrees.


nytimes.com





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From: JakeStraw9/1/2017 12:07:05 PM
   of 19128
 
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will launch on October 17
techcrunch.com

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From: hollyhunter9/8/2017 8:44:20 AM
   of 19128
 
Bullish crossover in MACD and Stochastic oscillators.On watch for clear above 74.96.



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From: Don Green9/26/2017 2:47:15 PM
   of 19128
 
Microsoft Has The Best Competitive Advantage In Cloud
Sep. 26, 2017 2:38 PM ET

Summary
Microsoft possesses an incredibly strong competitive advantage.

Microsoft's Office 365, a predecessor of Office, are the de-facto tools for productivity.

This allows Microsoft to seamlessly approach potential customers as Microsoft's product already is a big part of their lives.

Microsoft will dominate the IaaS cloud space through its SaaS offering.

Thesis
Microsoft ( MSFT) will dominate the IaaS cloud space because it has one unbreakable competitive advantage called Office 365. Its predecessor Office, and now Office 365 – a more enterprise tailored version of Office – are the de-facto tools used for productivity. As such, selling Azure from within an already established infrastructure is only natural. Most importantly, no other IaaS has this advantage. As such, I predict that Azure will become the de-facto IaaS used by enterprises.

Note: Not every cloud is the same. For example, Microsoft Office 365 is a SaaS (Software as a Service) while Azure is IaaS (infrastructure as a Service) and there are other forms of cloud such as PaaS (Platform as a Service).

Introduction
Microsoft has a tremendous competitive advantage in attempting to cement Azure as the go-to enterprise workload infrastructure. It’s so obvious and simple that you’d almost ignore it. It’s called Microsoft Office which is now transitioning to Microsoft Office 365. This article was first typed on Microsoft Office. Now, if I were an enterprise, I would take considerable measure in making sure that all my devices are protected. In an enterprise, this is called enterprise management.

Microsoft can specifically target these enterprises to sell them Azure. If we look at the numbers, they seem to be doing so and doing so successfully. An impressive 90% of Fortune 500 companies run at least one Microsoft cloud. A further 60% use at least three clouds from Microsoft. That is absolutely incredible. If we approach Microsoft’s cloud endeavors from this angle, it becomes very clear how Azure managed to report a staggering 92% growth rate ($98 adjusted for currency).

There is no company that has access to almost every enterprise in such a very natural way. SoftMaker FreeOffice, LibreOffice, WPS Office, iWork, Google Docs. What do almost all of these have in common? The fact that you probably didn’t know these were alternatives to Microsoft Office.

I would bet good money with every eight of 10 persons I meet that these alternatives are completely unknown, except for Google Docs and iWorks and iWorks is probably not even known but rather recognized to be owned by Apple because of the “I.” As for Google Docs, Microsoft has answered with Office Online.

There is no doubt in my mind that Microsoft is best positioned to penetrate enterprise infrastructure due to the fact that Microsoft is being used in almost every enterprise. It is also the de-facto suite used in smaller companies. This is an incredible competitive advantage that is unmatched by any other company. I predict that Azure will quickly become the industry IaaS leader.

Here’s how Rajesh Jha, executive vice president, explains the natural advantage and flow of Office 365:

“Dynamics and Office 365 we have integration whether it be on our web launch area, how we integrate, or whether it be an outlook. And if you were trying to extend a business process in Dynamics you would use power apps and flow, that's exactly what you would use to extend Office 365. You can go into Share Point and you can create a business process workflow front-end, good power apps that writes data back to Dynamics. And these are not things that we are contriving, these are things that our customers are naturally asking for as they start to use Office 365 that pulls in EMS. As they start using Dynamics 365 they want better integration with Office. So we do you think and the reason that 60% of Fortune 500 customers use at least three clouds from Microsoft because there's a natural synergy.”
Incredibly hard to beat
Even if another company created a much better version of Azure, they would still have to compete with the fact that Microsoft already is integrated into almost any enterprise that said company wishes to sell its product to. For any company, switching its entire enterprise infrastructure is not something taken lightly and would only be done if the benefits far out way the hassle. For example, often times, a lower price is not enough if it means that certain benefits – like an integrated platform – are lost.

This “natural synergy” as the executive vice president calls it, is definitely worth the additional cost and is something that is going to be very hard to replace. That is exactly the reason why it is such a good base from which the company can upsell Azure. It doesn’t appear like a sell, rather it appears like a natural upgrade.

Conclusion
Azure’s is still young and I expect its growth rate to last for at least the next two years. Quite frankly, as IaaS, there seems to be no competitor for Microsoft’s Azure. Of course, it will be a long way before Azure becomes a substantial part of Microsoft’s revenue but the path seems to be open with no competitor in sight for Azure.

from Seeking Alpha

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