Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Security Tip: 5 Easy Ways to Remember Your Strong Password

Wednesday, 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/

The AeroLife Newtrition Challenge

Wednesday, 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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Go Big With The Wideboy 3D Printer

Monday, December 9th, 2013

This post brought to you by Makism. All opinions are 100% mine.

The more I build things with my Arduino and Raspberry Pi, the more I fantasize about getting a 3D printer to build product housings and prototypes.  The cost has been a factor, but I've also worried about the limitations of what I could print.  I was speaking about this at the office just a couple days ago and then I learned about the Makism 3D Printers, specifically the Wideboy.

 photo 352ec763-c67e-463c-8019-45b1ab230afb_zps29167f75.jpg

Benefits Of Going Wide

The amazing thing about 3D printers is that there are so many out there to choose from these days.  The problem is that many are still expensive and don't improve on the print volume you have to work with.  3D Printers can range from $199 to over $24,000 and offer a smaller print volume than the Wideboy's 297mm x 210mm x 150mm.  When I go to maker and tech events, I always see these things printing out keychains and trinkets, but I want something that can print real product-sized products.

No Assembly Required

While the obvious selling point of this 3D printer is identified in its name, another benefit of the Wideboy is the lack of assembly required.  There are printers that are cheaper that you have to put together before you can use them, but the Wideboy is ready to print right out of the box.  It seems like putting one together would be a fun project (especially for someone like me), but I'd be a little heartbroken if I messed it up or had to order a missing part and wait another week or more to get printing.  With the Wideboy, you can dive right in on your larger projects the day it arrives at your door.

What's Bigger Than A Wideboy?

For my needs, the Wideboy is probably going to be plenty and at $1,500, it's about the average price for a 3D printer.  If you have bigger needs and a little room in your budget, the company also makes a Wideboy Pro and a Wideboy Mega, so check out Makism 3D Corp's site for yourself and look through the of Makism 3D Products to find one that might suit your needs.

What Would You Print?

A couple years ago, I thought 3D printers were cool, but couldn't imagine what I would print that would make a 3D printer a practical purchase.  Today, I cound use it to print cases for prototype boards, the frames for the homebrew Google Glass I'm building, prototypes for invention ideas, and the list goes on.  If you had a Wideboy, what would you print with it?  Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

 

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