So why are Apple and Google (and Microsoft) tracking us?

So what are Google and Apple doing with this location data? And Microsoft, now that it’s clear they’re gathering it too (but they claim they aren’t storing it anywhere on the phone).

They aren’t saying a lot, but they’ve said enough to take a pretty good guess. And no, I don’t think the intent is to be evil.
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iDo track your every move

The scandal of the day is the iPhone and the discovery that it tracks your every move. Will that be featured in the next Android commercial? iDo track you. DROID DOESN’T. Update: Probably not.

Of course, the pundits are all over the map on this one. Nobody thinks it’s a particularly good idea. Some think it’s bad but are willing to live with it since they trust Apple not to misuse it. Some think it’s no big deal as long as Apple stops with the next patch. Others have gotten paranoid.
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Be wary of unexpected e-mail attachments

Just an observation: I’ve received two unexpected e-mail attachments from people I don’t know in the past hour. I figured the first one was an honest mistake–for some reason I get e-mail intended for other people from time to time–but when I got a second one and it, too, was little more than a smiley and an attachment, I started to think something strange is going on.

Your antivirus software should catch anything floating around, but if it’s too new, you can still get bitten. It’s never a good idea to open unexpected attachments. Bad things can happen.

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Intel’s and Sandforce’s AES-128 encryption is useful, but not for what you think

I spent some time this week with a coworker looking into the AES-128 encryption in current Sandforce and upcoming Intel 320 SSDs, and we’ve concluded it’s no substitute for software full-drive encryption.

This is important, so we’ll talk about it further.

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SSDs and built-in encryption–and how to enable it

Update: This entry was based on preliminary information that turned out to be incorrect. Please see the following update.

One of the last knocks on SSD performance is that they don’t perform well with full-drive encryption. But on Sandforce 1200- and 2200-based drives, and the next-generation Intel 320 drives introduced today, that’s not an issue anymore. Encryption happens on the drive, in hardware, with no performance penalty.

The problem was that nobody talked about how it works. I found the details buried in Anandtech’s review of the Intel 320 drive. The takeaway is this: If you set your BIOS password, the drive will be unreadable if you remove it and put it in another system. Update: No it won’t. But you can add ATA password support, under some circumstances.
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How to check your downloaded files’ integrity

On some web pages offering programs to download, you may have seen something called an MD5 near the program link, consisting of a long, weird code like 6cbfd919baa7c9e03c8471ae4d8f8bb.

You can use that code to make sure the file you downloaded is what the author intended you to get and wasn’t corrupted during the download process or, worse yet, booby-trapped by someone else. Here’s how.

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The tyranny of consumerization is real

Computerworld cites the Ipad 2 and increasing demand by end users to use such consumer devices in corporate environments as “The tyranny of consumerization.”

This has happened before. And if history repeats itself, the future will be better than today, but the road there is going to involve some pain.
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How to audit your PC’s software for updates

Sometimes you like to use backdated software, perhaps to avoid bloatware. But perhaps you have some old software you’ve forgotten about. If you want to know, Secunia has a free product called PSI that will scan your system and alert you to any outdated software you may have. Then you can either update it, if it’s something you use and want to keep up to date, or uninstall it. Read more

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