September 15, 2008
This week's buzzword is jailbreak.
In personal electronics, jailbreak is a synonym for hack. The purpose of a jailbreak to enable the use of 3rd party software on a proprietary device -- of course, once you jailbreak your cell phone or MP3 player or nintendo game, you void the manufacturer's warranty. The term gained popularity with the release of the first iPhone when determined users figured out how to unlock the phone from AT&T and use the phone with a SIM card from another carrier.
September 8, 2008
|This week's buzzword is Porn mode.|
Porn mode isn't real. It's just a buzzword that's used to describe browser privacy features that can be selected in preferences or options.
The features are intended to help people keep their surfing private on public computers by making sure that page visits, search queries and downloads are not logged. Additional features include disabling auto-fill and dropping cookies when a page is closed.
The rest of the blogosphere just calls it "porn mode."
September 2, 2008
|This week's buzzword is Chrome.|
Google's got a new browser for you to test drive. It's called Chrome. It's fast and sleek and it's got some very cool features, including homepage tabs. That's right. Now you can pick more than one Web page to be your home. All your homepage tabs will load together when you launch Chrome. Very handy.
It's not an accident that Chrome is being tested publicly at exactly the same time we're getting word that the first Android cell phones will be available in October. With a custom-built sleek web browser, Google is lined up perfectly to promote both mobile Internet surfing and web-based apps. Pretty smart.
To find out more about Chrome, read Alex Howard's in-depth review.
Or visit http://www.google.com/chrome to try out Chrome for yourself.
August 25, 2008
This week's buzzword is Mechanical Turk.
The Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is part of Amazon's crowdsourcing Web services effort. Essentially, the service outsources what it calls HITs (human intelligence tasks) to people who sign up to perform them. Requestors (typically corporations) pay for the service. Amazon just released a set of Web tools to make it easier for businesses to submit jobs, with the intention of making the service more attractive to the enterprise.
When MTurk was announced back in November 2005, Jeff Bezos called it "an artificial artificial intelligence program." The name comes from a chess-playing machine that toured Europe back in the 1700s, playing -- and beating -- Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin, among others. In fact, though, the gears and levers of the machine were operated by a talented human chess player in a hidden compartment.
Some people are calling the MTurk environment a virtual sweatshop: As it turns out, the humans in the machine are also paid 18th century-scale fees for their tasks. When site Director Margaret Rouse signed up, she made $3.20 for six hours work -- and that on a Saturday night. I think she's hanging onto her day job.
August 18, 2008
This week's buzzword is private cloud.
Just when everyone is starting to understand what cloud computing is all about, along comes a new variation -- private cloud. A private cloud seems to have two flavors right now, it can be a private cloud behind a corporate firewall or it can be a sectioned-off part of a bigger public cloud.
A private cloud behind a firewall is just another name for cluster computing. You own the cloud. It's behind your firewall. You manage it. You control it. Who knows -- you may already have your own private cloud. You're just calling it "shared services."
A private cloud that's a sectioned-off part of a bigger public cloud is a way large service providers like Amazon are going to pitch security. Your data is safe with us. Yes, we are big -- but your section of the cloud is exclusively yours. Only you can access it.
August 11, 2008
This week's buzzword is Wall of Sheep.
Thousands of network security professionals met in Las Vegas for the annual Black Hat Briefings network and Internet security issues conference, which was immediately followed by the DEFCON hacker convention.
Our sister site, SearchSecurity.com has rounded up all their Black Hat coverage in one handy spot. Take a moment and browse through the highlights. Be safe.