With Michael Smyth


For online listeners; here’s my MP3 ABC Radio Segment Collection

***Apologies for delayed posting. A Council Election keeps getting in the way 🙂

flower1Twitter Digits and Passwords

One constant introduced in this new online world in the 90’s… is passwords.

For most people who create a password, you tend to then use the same one over and over. That is, until you hit the wall of a service or company who insists on a monthly unique update or something even crazier. It’s all in the name of keeping your information safe.

Richard Pascoe, Adelaide Tech Guy states “Most people are instructed to come up with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. However, an 8 digit password can be broken by a computer in under 13 minutes.”

Read more:

We all know it can take a lot longer to crack the one you created yourself if your mind has a blank. Seriously!

We rely on services such as “forgot your password” for resetting and generating new ones… all the time. Of course, this then leads to the hassles of updating all the devices we use that service on (PC, laptop, work computer, mobile phone, iPad, etc).

A colleague commented that “social media heads” are in tune and can remember hundreds of passwords. They apparently have a flair for it. This concept needs more research as to it’s validity, however if we think about the number we do carry in our head, it would be a sizeable phone book, so there is no need to disprove this theory yet! There’s a good bet this is true.

But everyone fatigues of remembering passwords. We are all a tad over it.

It heartened me therefore to read about the launch of Twitter Digits.

Digits is a simple, safe way of using your phone number to sign into your favorite app. They are targeting developers to create apps for users, to stop the need to remember complex passwords or usernames. Digits uses your mobile phone number and a SMS process for you to gain controlled access to accounts.

A little like a banking application will work on your mobile phone; you just need the passcode to enter once it’s set up and then it remembers you.

This is huge progress for online development. And as we all know in the online world everyone copies everyone, the importance of this step is the philosophy that life is getting simpler and more in tune with the easing of our frustrations. We’ve been heard. I’m sure we’ll collectively look forward to the developments.

Hat tip to Twitter.

Facebook Safety Check

Facebook knows where you are. In this case, it’s not a big brother watching situation.

It’s a question of safety.

You list your location on your profile as “current city” and hopefully this information is accurate. And, it really is best to keep your location accurate.

The reason? Facebook now has a notification mechanism called Safety Check that will send a message to your profile to check if you are OK in the time of a major occurrence – as in a natural disaster.

All you then need to do, considering you ARE OK, is reply via a button “I’m safe”. It will notify your friends.

This is an excellent development in terms of the community service approach it brings to our world. It was recognised that people already use Facebook during these times to check on friends, get news and generally huddle as a community. The logical conclusion was a notification system to match human behaviour. It’s a win win for everyone and hat tip to Facebook for watching this and implementing.

I just hope we don’t have any natural disasters soon for me to test Safety Check.” ~Charlie

Read more via the Facebook newsroom article:

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