Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Security Now Tip - Do you really know where your cookies are?

Did you know that some web sites use objects called Flash cookies to make sure information isn't lost when you clear your browser cookies cache?

Based on the Security Now information, I confirmed that a few banking institutions are using Flash cookies to keep track on my information.

The only way to determine what is being tracked is to use the Marcomedia web application. I will not detail it here, but another blog by Victor Laurie has some excellent instructions on both viewing and changing the Flash player settings. Victor also wrote a newer blog on the subject after listening to the Security Now podcast.

Opinion: This little known and not all that obvious use of "cookies" is very real and it needs to be exposed so that your information is not compromised.

Bug Labs new concept in mobile device

Bug Labs has recently come back into the news with the announcement of a 2007 Q4 availability for their snap together modular device concept called BUG.

As many have already written about this, it is revolutionary.

Okay, maybe.

Not really. This is a simple concept.

What is revolutionary is that they are making it work! Also, this concept could be taken to areas other than just the entertainment or GPS market. Depending on the plug-ability of hardware and software modules this could extend into the cellphone market; medical devices and the like. To be embraced by the additional markets, miniaturization will be required. However, this shouldn't be a big issue, no pun intended.

To find out more about the company, its members and the concept behind the BUG, checkout their About BUG Labs

To see the various real life modules, hop over to their Flickr photos of the modules.

Opinion: This concept could also help in similar ways to the OLPC program. One Laptop Per Child is attempting to provide low cost, reliable technology to everyone anywhere. The BUG concept lends itself to this as well. Think about a OLPC laptop with plug-able modules. The possibilities are limitless!

Verizon to embrace Android - whata change!

December 4, 2007

Yesterday BusinessWeek reported the following:

Verizon Embraces Google's Android
How Verizon Wireless learned to stop worrying and love open access. Step one: Realizing it's a way to add low-cost customers

This is significant! Very Significant!

Verizon isn't stupid.

IF you spot the 800 pound gorilla in the room, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on him.

IF said gorilla is about to pound your lame old ass, be sure to appear agreeable, friendly and willing to feed him.

Verizon isn't stupid!

Of course, Google's Android "play" won't destroy Verizon's market share nor will it cause thousand of new subscribers to avoid Verizon. What it does is setup up a reluctant symbiosis.

Verizon wins by getting a cheaper way to GAIN market share by both allowing the Android handsets AND perhaps even utilizing the Android OS on their own handsets.

Google isn't stupid either!

Google wins by getting more and more platforms to provide advertising, and surprise, then share some of the spoils with the other monster in the room.

Is this a win for consumers? Yes, although as consumers we must keep something in mind. Recalling the movie King Kong, when Mr. Kong protects our movie heroine from the T-Rex. Sure she isn't eaten by the T-Rex, but her situation does not improve much. We the mobile phone consumers are about to be protected by "King Google" and he isn't going to kill the V-Rex, merely calm him for now. It will be in both their best interest to play nice, for at least some period of time.

Just remember, as consumers, we still look pretty darn appetizing to both of them and I am confident in saying that they are looking out for their best interests first. How this will play out is anyone's guess, but for me I would love to see the following:

Google's Android standard succeeds (or a mutant of it)thus providing a common platform for providers to build upon.

Verizon truly embraces the standard, which in turn causes their profits to increase while supplying more and more service at an ever decreasing price.

{Remember your economics! You can sell one thing for $200,000 or you can sell hundreds of thousands of things for $10 each and make far more profit than you ever thought possible}

The flies in this ointment are greed and the ever popular "territorial pissing match". Working together using a standard and creating products consumers actually want rather than bludgeoning them with advertising until they succumb, the main players can thrive. If either of the flies buzz too loudly in their ear, they may lose track of what their real purpose is. What is their real purpose? To make money! But rather than monopolizing the market, they keep making us "golden gooses" happier and happier so we keep laying eggs for them... lots and lots of eggs!

Opinion: If a mobile OS standard is adopted, then many companies which are now on the brink of oblivion could actually get a piece of the action and survive. It is right in the Palm of their hand, they simply need to embrace it rather then attempt to choke it to death.

Nice move Verizon! Way to go Google!

Just remember, we are watching you!