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[ | 15 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
Twitter adds HTTPS mode, but no HTTPS sign-in

Twitter is responding to mounting pressure after some high profile account compromises by allowing customers to opt-in to always-on secure HTTPS SSL mode.  Unfortunately, I doubt most people will go to the trouble of opting in by going to the security settings.  Since HTTPS is virtually cost-free to operate continuously for websites that already support HTTPS, Twitter should just default to an always on HTTPS setting without the need for opt-in security.  Facebook recently adopted a similar opt-in security strategy and the criticism applies to them as well.
The other big problem that …

CurrentHeader, Internet »

[ | 14 Mar 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
The insignificance of a 250 GB usage cap

Now that AT&T is following the footsteps of Comcast by instituting a 250 GB per month usage cap on their broadband service (150 GB for slower DSL customers), much of the outcry from the blogosphere aren’t justified by the facts.  These caps are large enough that they are irrelevant to 98% of the subscribers, and the average AT&T DSL subscriber transfers a mere 18 GBs per month.  For the few subscribers affected by the usage cap, overage charges will be waved the first two months a subscriber exceeds the usage …

Wireless »

[ | 11 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
A clear example of why broadband transparency is crucial

Clearwire Internet thought they could exaggerate their performance claims for their WiMAX wireless Internet services. The result is obvious customer anger and now a lawsuit.

Internet »

[ | 9 Mar 2011 | Comments Off on New speedtest.net lets users save test data | ]
New speedtest.net lets users save test data

Ookla, the company behind the popular speedtest.net broadband performance testing service, has released a new edition of the service this week with a few new features.  The already useful service is now even more useful with user accounts that allow users to save and share their test history data which is extremely useful for performance troubleshooting.  Being able to share the performance history with broadband technical support makes it easy to prove performance problems so that the issues can be dealt with.

Speedtest.net has always provided the most accurate broadband testing …

Digital Insight »

[ | 8 Mar 2011 | Comments Off on Google and AT&T agree on junking old phone system | ]
Google and AT&T agree on junking old phone system

Pigs have apparently begun to fly as Google and AT&T seem to agree on something.  Both companies expressed a desire to get rid of the legacy analog phone network so in December 2009, AT&T wrote a letter to the FCC advocating the abandonment of the old telephone system.
Google is adding a feature to their Google Voice software that allows direct calling over the Internet using the Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) standard.  More specifically, Google is adding a SIP URI identity to Google Voice customers.  A SIP URI is the Voice over IP (VoIP) equivalent …

Digital Insight »

[ | 7 Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Netflix streaming isn’t a substitute for subscription TV

Netflix doesn’t actually compete with subscription TV services from cable and Telco operators because their services are very different. Netflix is lobbying the Government to stop higher broadband prices when they’re also lobbying to have consumers subsidize the Netflix’s delivery costs.

Wireless »

[ | 4 Mar 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Finding spectrum for mobile

Larry Downes has a good piece on the hunt for 300-500 MHz of mobile Internet spectrum and how the FCC is working to complete an inventory check on spectrum allocation.  When it comes to mobile Internet, physics and practical engineering and usability requirements limits us to frequencies between 300 MHz and 3700 MHz.  Less than 300 MHz and the antennas needed are too big to carry, and even 300 MHz might be too big for a mobile phone and might only work in a tablet device or notebook computer.  Higher …

Privacy & Security »

[ | 3 Mar 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
Ashton Kutcher meets Firesheep, twitter hacked

It appears that Ashton Kutcher has become a high profile victim of Twitter’s negligence when someone at the TED conference hijacked Kutcher’s Twitter account using tools like Firesheep.  The Twitter PR account @TwitterGlobalPR twitted that Kutcher should have enabled SSL by typing HTTPS in front of twitter.com, but that deflects from the fact that it’s Twitter’s responsibility to keep their users safe.  I and other security experts have warned for years that online services need to enable HTTPS SSL security by default and without requiring the user to manually turn …

CurrentHeader, Wireless »

[ | 1 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
The misguided debate on cellphone safety

The same people protesting a 10 watt cell tower don’t seem to be as alarmed by TV towers broadcasting at over a million watt in the exact same VHF and UHF frequencies. By effectively paralyzing new cell tower construction, people are exposed to much higher cell phone transmit levels which are millions of times stronger than the cell tower due to close proximity.

Digital Insight, Privacy & Security »

[ | 28 Feb 2011 | 5 Comments | ]
Someone in DC cares about online security

I’ve been hammering popular online services like Facebook and Twitter for months for utterly weak efforts to protect consumers so I was pleased to hear that Senator Chuck Schumer has joined the fight. Some of the worst online services in my online security report card were served letters by Senator Schumer asking them to turn SSL security on by default.