Wise Guys on WHO Radio - June 4, 2016
Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.
In the news this week
Australian government confuses "CC:" for "BCC:"
In telling thousands of women who had applied for consideration in government appointments that they would need to follow a different procedure to apply, someone in the government used the "CC:" field to address the list. The problem, obviously, is that the field is open to everyone on the list -- and while email addresses aren't strictly private things, revealing thousands of addresses tied to a specific program definitely isn't a savvy way to manage anyone's IT.
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter agree to a European code of conduct
They promise to take down hate speech within 24 hours. It's a complex issue: On one hand, sunlight is usually the best disinfectant -- so revealing the identities of people with awful things to say and subjecting them to public shame and scorn would likely be more productive than scrubbing their comments...but anonymity is so easy to achieve online that it's probably not plausible to do so. On the other hand, when hateful speech takes up space in the public square (as the Internet now serves), people may begin to see it as normal rather than deviant. It's not a conscious or deliberate act to accept anti-social behavior as normal; it's just a natural consequence of familiarity.
Microsoft doesn't like your password
If it's one of the most common passwords, the company isn't going to allow users to employ it. They're going to "dynamically ban common passwords", based on the lists they can automatically generate of the most over-used passwords. That means "123456" is out, and so are a lot of others like it. Microsoft will use the new dynamic banning policy on Microsoft accounts like Hotmail, Outlook, Xbox, and OneDrive. Unsurprisingly, they're also pushing users to activate two-factor authentication, too. Interestingly, Microsoft's research finds that it's actually counterproductive to force people to change passwords regularly because it leads to the use of more predictable passwords. And people are already dangerously predictable.
Street-smart social media
And if you have a legacy account there, you should seriously consider resetting your password or pulling the plug on the account altogether
Dispatches from the flying-car future
Elon Musk says Tesla 3 owners will have to pay for their own charges
The fancier, higher-end cars (Models S and X) come with free charging at the company's Supercharger sites, but Tesla wants people to charge their cars at the home and office. There's one Supercharger site in Iowa. The advantage to using the Tesla chargers is that they are so much faster than regular charging.
Politics of technology
Twitter suspends parody account mocking Putin
Was there concern that "@darthputinkgb" would somehow be confused for the real person? Hardly. The parody tweets were original and unmistakably mocking. One of the highest roles to be played by free speech is in permitting people to mock their political leaders.
Money and technology
Saudi Arabian government fund to invest $3.5 billion in Uber
Uber is supposedly pushing hard to expand in the Middle East, and the investment satisfies Uber's hunger for cash investment and the Saudi government's need to put oil profits to use in industries other than petroleum. Having a great endowment of any natural resource (like oil) can subject an economy to a perverse natural-resources curse. Whether investments like one in Uber are the right ticket out isn't a certainty, but it's likely a step in the right direction.
Do you know if Android system updates have caused connection issues? My phone (Nexus 6) has trouble with Bluetooth syncing and 4/3G connectivity problems with some of the recent updates. Is it my phone or the system updates?
Brian, Is there any good at home intro to the PC Course I could take? Also what do you think of the Professor Teaches dvd course?
Listen again on-demand
- Podcast of this episode - segment 1 (Microsoft password control)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 2 (Blind carbon copies)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 3 (European code of conduct for online services)
- Podcast of this episode - segment 4 (Charging electric cars)