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With more and more advancements in technology, faster and easier ways to store information, one chapter still falls behind, mainly security.
With the ever increasing capacity size and speed of Flash-based portable (pen) drives, they are in a continuous rise in demand, their USB port support making them one of the most useful gadgets of all time. However, protecting such data on the drives has often proven somewhat difficult.
Fortunately, there are solutions to helping us protect our data, some good, some bad, some complicated, some simple.
A simple solution would be using the “hide” option from Windows (or the Terminal in Mac OS), making these files or folders theoretically invisible. However, this technique is unfortunately doomed to fail, due to Windows’ “See hidden files and folder” option as well as the “ShowallFiles 1” command on Mac. As mentioned before, this uncomplicated method may well deter young snoopers, but anyone that is seriously looking to find something and has used a computer before will easily find such files.
Another relatively simple, but somewhat time consuming approach would be the reasonable creation of password-protected archives. The problems with this technique would be that the user would waste more time archiving and extracting these files, hindering progress. Moreover, anyone willing to break a RAR password can find plenty programs to do so.
Requiring slightly more computer perceptiveness, a good technique would be removing or changing the file’s extension. While this may sometimes pose risk to the file’s integrity, as well as requiring the user to allow the OS to show extensions in filenames (Windows hides extensions for known filetypes by default), changing “importantsheet.xlsx” to “239872wdjaa.dll” or any other extension will provide a strong security, as the intruder would have to distinguish which files are real or not, and what real extensions they had. Adding a converted .doc in a folder full of random .jpg’s will conceal it perfectly.
A less mind-boggling technique would be acquiring a security specialized flash drive. The special would cost a pretty penny, but it would restrict access to anyone missing its specialized dedicated software.
The most commonly used method, however, would be the one through free software, such as TrueCrypt. This program will secure a portion of the stick, effectively emulating a partition with the desired size.
Based on its 256 bits AES algorithm, this software’s encryption will ensure a practically dictionary-attack proof protection, thus keeping almost everyone interested in reaching personal or classified data.
However, regardless of the method we use to protect our drives, wouldn’t it be better to just keep it out of sight?
As new California-based Company Pandora grows and gains more and more support from large corporations, such as Apple, the classical means of media distribution is slowly dying.
While online radio stations have been around for quite some time, their main faults in the past have been rather restrictive playlists (based on individual genres or periods) as well as the multitude of ads. Slowly, however, things are beginning to change, as Last.fm as well as Pandora has adopted an interactive, self-updating and high quality radio experience. The more music you listen, the more your account information is enriched with your preferences, likes and dislikes, ensuring every listening experience is a unique one.
Unlike classical FM radio, whose average sound quality does not pass 64kbps, online radio sometimes clocks past 128kbps and even more, bringing a much greater sounding experience. Moreover, with classical FM stations, many times listeners have had to endure through countless adverts and mindless jingles.
Unfortunately, internet radio has one drawback as opposed to the traditional FM, and that would be the presence of a DJ. With last.fm and countless other providers, although they provide a high quality service, users will rather feel as though they are listening to a randomized playlist, rather than an interactive social experience.
While some may argue that podcasts can be downloaded and listened to, there is not yet an integrated service to include both, other than some classical FM radios stretching to the digital realm. Perhaps through the rise in popularity of Pandora as well as Last.fm, the future of radio will become a unique joining of the old radio stations with the new personalization and socializing aspects of the internet media.
The California-based startup company is planning to soon launch a new generation of cameras, one that allows for complete focus adjustment after the photo was taken.
The clever secret behind this creation is a new type of sensor that is able to collect much more information about all the light coming into the camera than all camera models found on the market, professional or otherwise. According to the Lytro website, the device is able to record the entire “light field”, made up of “all the light rays in a scene”, including color, intensity and direction of the rays of light.
Compiling such a vast amount of data, users will be able to fully adjust the focus of a picture after it has been captured, with the use of a computer and a dedicated software. With this brilliant redesigning of the camera, novices and professionals alike will be able to take photos without worrying about the focus, as well as capture action shots with much more ease.
The new technology also allows for capturing images in conditions with low levels of brightness, regardless of flash, as well as giving the possibility of taking 3D-like photographs with only one lens and no need for glasses.
While the technology has been around for quite a few years, Lytro will be the first to attempt bringing it to the general public. With a collective investment of 50.000.000 $ in the company, it is clear they are set to achieve this dream. After latest word, Lytro has announced that they will release a product by the end of this year, though a price around it has not yet been revealed.