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Security Tip: 5 Easy Ways to Remember Your Strong Password

Posted in Computers,Guest Posts,Security,web by Susan Jones on the March 5th, 2014

With all the information we keep on our computers, our USB drives, our email accounts, and all other kinds of digital systems, it’s not rare to easily collect half-a-dozen passwords, or even more, that one needs to remember. Strong passwords are important, of course. And many times you simply can’t have the same password for multiple applications; what one system demands for a password might not be the same as another. While multiple passwords will certainly make it harder for prying eyes to get a hold of your data, it can also be counterproductive. Keep reading for 5 easy ways that you can remember your strong password.

Password memory

Use a Password Manager

Alright, this might be cheating, as you won’t technically have to remember much. But a password manager is a welcomed solution to the problem of having countless passwords to remember. With a password manager, you just remember one, and it will handle all the rest. Unfortunately, though, password manager only work on computers that they’re installed on.

Use Random Words You Love

The most secure passwords are the ones that are long and full of random characters. This makes them almost impossible to guess. It also defeats the vast majority of hacking attempts that try to break in through the sheer brute force of constantly entering option after option.

Unfortunately, random characters can be very difficult to remember. Random words, on the other hand, are much easier to commit to memory. Best of all, they have proven to be almost as secure when it comes to protecting your data. Try your first pet’s name, the street you grew up on, and the day of the month you were born on. Or have it be your favorite animal, your dream car, and your mother’s maiden name. Though opinions may vary about this, you can probably afford to write down a reminder—somewhere safe, perhaps in your cell phone—that simply says, “favorite baseball player, sister’s birthday, dream vacation.” That makes for an easy reminder that practically no one should be able to figure out.

Use Mnemonic Devices

Because random characters are such a strong password, there’s a very good argument to choose them. “I always get my password on the first try”, for example, can be changed to “Iagmpot1t.” This is an extremely strong password that’s easy to remember.

Write Down Your Passwords and Keep Them Safe

If you’re particularly concerned about forgetting all your passwords, it’s ok to write them down. However, it’s then of the utmost importance that you store them somewhere safe. They should be nowhere near the computer you use them for. So, if your passwords are for an office computer, keep them locked away at home. If you have a home office, consider writing them down in the back of a favorite book kept on a shelf in another room.

Rotate Passwords

Most systems that require passwords also require you to change them regularly. When possible, simply rotate your passwords through systems. This helps keep you from making countless passwords that you’ll have a hard time remembering. So long as none of your systems have been compromised, there’s no point in wasting a strong password.

Source:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2014040/how-to-remember-passwords-and-which-ones-you-should.html

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/tips-to-help-users-remember-their-password/

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The AeroLife Newtrition Challenge

Posted in Computers by Joe Colburn on the January 29th, 2014

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of AeroLife™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a fan of technology and innovation, I love seeing products that break out of the norm and do things different.  I think about these things when I watch science fiction movies set far into the future and the lead character gets his whole dinner in a pill while running off to save the day.  While I enjoy food far too much to advocate that, vitamins and energy boosts are prime candidates to be made more convenient.

Dr. David Edwards, a Harvard professor and founder of ArtScience Labs in Paris, France, agrees with me.  From his design and science work came AeroLife, powder energy, sleep, and immunity products that you draw into your mouth and swallow.  Sounds pretty sci-fi, right?  Of course, I just had to try it for myself and see what our future holds so they sent me a box of samples.

AeroLife

In the box was a combination of Energy, Sleep, and Immunity products as well as their travel pack which has one of each.

AeroLife Sleep was the first one I opted to try out.  I rarely have any problem falling asleep quickly, so it's hard to discern a difference there, but I did feel refreshed in the morning as expected and didn't quite feel the urge for my morning coffee just yet.  AeroLife Sleep delivers results by way of Melatonin, 5HTP and Magnesium citrate, packaged with a vanilla flavor.

Next up was Energy.  Of the Watermelon, Raspberry, and Mint flavors in the box, I tried Mint first.  The Mint flavor was not what I expected.  It didn't taste much like mint, and left a bit of an aftertaste.  Feeling optimistic, I tried Watermelon the next morning with better results.  The flavor was tasty for an energy powder, so I just won't be buying any Energy AeroLife in the Mint flavor.  So far, Watermelon is the favorite.  The science behind the Energy powder provides the equivelant of a large cup of coffee.  More specifically, 100mg of Caffeine as well as 2mg and 6mcg respectively of Vitamins B6 and B12 and 20mg of Niacin (B3).  Comparable to some of the energy drinks I've tried, it gave me a decent boost of energy.  Looking at AeroLife.com, the most expensive option to purchase AeroLife Energy puts it at about $2.50 per cartridge with 3-5 draws each, so it should be a lot cheaper than most energy drinks, too.

At the time of this writing, I've just tried AeroLife Immunity and haven't noticed any specific difference in how I feel over my normal regimen of gummy multi-vitamins, but I can tell you how it sizes up on paper.  My normal vitamins conatin a near-alphabet of vitamins.  For comparison, the ones included in AeroLife Immunity are Vitamin C (twice as much as my vitamin) and Vitamin D (75% as much as my vitamin).  My regular vitamin also contains 200% Daily Value of Vitamins B6 and B12, missing from the AeroLife product.  This is made up for by adding Selenium and Zinc 50% and 25% of their respective Daily Values.  All of these are good for metabolism, so it's a bit of a trade-off.

Using AeroLife products, the results were good, but the real story is the delivery.  You draw the particles into your mouth and then swallow them rather than taking a pill or gulping down an energy drink.

Because of its unique means of delivery, AeroLife is tiny and super portable.  I would love to have a handful of these in my backpack on a week-long hike or even keep a coulple in my desk drawer for quick use.  They've even got a refillable system in the works that should save waste and probably money soon.

Start your free trial now if you want to give it a shot yourself.  One thing the directions do not show is that the delivery system design allows for a little of the powder to spill out of the mouth end of the cartridge, so when your trial arrives, just keep that end up a little.

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The Magical FlutterBye Fairy Reviewed

Posted in reviews,Toys by Joe Colburn on the December 17th, 2013

At one of the local shopping malls last week, I saw some incredible – and very large – fairy displays the mall had commissioned for the holidays. I imagined this was because the holidays are a magical time and fairies are pretty magical in their own right. Last night, I spent some time with a fairy of my own, FlutterBye.

FlutterBye Fairy

What Is FlutterBye?

My first thought when I saw this toy was, “Another remote control toy… Cool!” But There’s no remote control here, at least not how you’re thinking. The fairy flies in the same way a helicopter or quad-copter might, with a kind of propeller except that she is the propeller. For the most part, she will fly on her own and without guidance she will eventually crash down. The control comes from your use of sensors on underneath FlutterBye that can tell how close your hand is. She will attempt to hover inches above your hand, but will wander off horizontally. Check out the review video below for a demo and a better idea of how she works.

The Magic

When I get toys in the mail to review, I joke with friends about how horrible it is that I have to go play with all these toys. In this case, I wasn’t dreading it, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d enjoy FlutterBye. After some initial doubt (see below), I found myself having a lot of fun with it and forgetting I was reviewing it.

I also found the battery life to be pretty amazing. With a remote controlled helicopter, I often get about six to eight minutes of flying time on a charge. Here, I was well into about 15 minutes with no sign of slowing. And while I’m comparing her to a helicopter, she turned out to be tougher as well. Crashing her a lot of times before getting the flying down, I left no sign of damage anywhere on her. She’s one tough fairy.

Some Cautions

Something that wasn’t immediately apparent to me was the risk of long hair and propellers. Though I hadn’t thought of it, it’s worth mentioning although the use of a pony tail and and not headbanging to FlutterBye are probably sufficient precautions. Having that fast propeller hit your hand is another story, though, so you’ll want to heed the advice in the user guide and grab FlutterBye close to the ankles when recovering her mid-flight.

Control eluded me at first, but it wasn’t like with R/C aerials that require practice. This was more about learning. Once I learned how to control her height and became more comfortable with when to grab her feet to regain control, all was well.

Final Thoughts

Retailing for about $28, she’s priced well to fit under nearly any tree this Christmas and well worth the cost, which is probably why it made the Amazon Hot Holiday List, among other things. While the box indicates FlutterBye is a toy suited for children aged five and up, I would think this would be a great toy for girls seven to twelve or so.

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