- Mobile app protects personal data on phones
Bruce Schneier linked to AppFence, a technology including a working prototype that blocks sharing personal data or replaces it with innocuous random info. It is only available on Android at present. Schneier points to the likely barrier to this becoming widely used, that not all OS providers are likely to receive it well, in particular Apple. It is another good argument for keeping jail breaking legal and supporting more open distribution systems for software on mobile devices.
- Learning programming in a post-BASIC world
Slashdot linked to a thoughtful Computer World article considering the effect that passing of BASIC has had on the experience of learning programming. The point isn’t necessarily that we lack languages suitable for beginners but that there is no longer a common center of gravity. That is actually a pretty profound argument, that the sort of knowledge sharing, especially in the form of hard won recipes and tricks, that used to be universally enabled on PCs by the inclusion of BASIC has gone away, replaced by a rather fragmented landscape where diffusion across different languages is well beyond the reach of those just starting out.
- Lawsuit in wake of Sony PSN breach reveals alleged details of weak security
Sony has been notoriously tight lipped about the first big breach in what has turned into a lengthy series over the past couple of months. This sort of information embargo is sadly the default in the wake of such breaches. A lawsuit trying to press negligence has brought to light some possible reasons for the scope of the hack, namely that Sony laid off staff responsible for security just prior and that they are provably lax on measures intended to secure PS3’s from the sort of exploits already theorized as part of the attack.
- More on Creative Commons’ new book, “The Power of Open”, and its launch events, Creative Commons
- Infographic covering the 40 years of email, The Atlantic
- Mobile apps for recording police, increasing accountability, The Atlantic via BoingBoing