Category Archives: News

What’s Happening?

What Does Apple’s New Privacy Policy Mean?

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has recently been touting the company’s new privacy policy. In a letter to customers, he said that while the company collected user data, that was not the basis of their business model. In an obvious swipe at Google, he claimed: Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple. More importantly, he went on to write: I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. In fact, Apple now claims the company is making it impossible for them to turn over data from most iPhones and iPads to police even with a warrant. They claim to have reworked encryption for iOS8 so that they no longer have the keys and thus cannot help authorities. In other words, only users have the passcodes to their accounts (which means if they forget them, they’re in real trouble). But is this truly as radical … Continue reading

Posted in News, Security, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cool Projects: September is Tech Fiesta Time

For a lot of people, September is “back to school” time. But it’s not just the little ones who can have their minds expanded with new ideas this year.  Since last year’s events proved to be so successful and well-received, the Albuquerque Technical Fiesta is back again to inspire and illuminate. Now called Tech Fiesta ABQ 2014, it features over a week of panels, presentations, and meetings by and with some of the brightest people in town from September 5-14. The schedule really kicks off with TEDxABQ on Saturday the 6th at Popejoy Hall at UNM. Now in it’s fifth year, TEDxABQ is an independently organized, officially-licensed TED event to showcase a full day of big local ideas and innovative thinkers who are making a difference. This year with the theme “Whispers and Roars”, there’s a roster of 18 dynamic speakers. Tickets are necessary and can be purchased at the site. The week following features various events at our own coworking space, Ideas and Coffee. On Wednesday, September 10 at 7pm, Quelab maker space hosts Ignite New Mexico. These are a free series of quick presentations on community chosen topics, designed to be fast, fun, and fascinating.  Then on Friday evening at 5:30pm at the City of Albuquerque Library Special Collections, there’s a talk by James S.A. Corey, sci-fi authors of the exciting The Expanse space opera series recently purchased by the SyFy Channel. The Tech Fiesta finishes up with … Continue reading

Posted in Interesting Items, News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dangers of Public WiFi

[Note: This is derived from articles originally published in the July and August editions of the SWCP Portal, our monthly newsletter. Due to the importance of the security information they contained, we're republishing them here for everyone.] Ars Technica tech news site recently warned that public WiFi hotspots can post a security risk to users. It’s not that the hotspots are themselves insecure. It’s the way most computers, tablets, and phones implement WiFi logins that poses a danger. AT&T and Comcast, among others, are promoting large networks of WiFi hotspots which are free for their customers to use. For example, AT&T’s free WiFi hotspots are available at McDonald’s and Starbucks. When you see the “attwifi” network at any of these places around the country you can log in with your AT&T login. The same goes for Comcast’s “xfinitywifi“. It’s as convenient as it is dangerous. The trick is that once you have logged in to one of these networks, your computer or tablet saves the login information so you can reconnect to these networks without entering a password the next time you are near one of their hotspots. This is the window that can let the bad guys in. What the criminal can do to the unsuspecting device owner is set up his own WiFi hotspot using the network name “attwifi” or “xfinitywifi“. But the crook’s hotspot has some tricks up its sleeve. First, it allows you to connect regardless … Continue reading

Posted in News, Security, Warnings | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment