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LanceList - Issue #126

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The Worst Passwords; Alexa Security; Facebook Photo Mess; In Memoriam
 

LanceList

December 17 · Issue #126 · View online
Tech stories that matter, Gadget Quests, nerd pursuits, and other things you ought to know.

The Worst Passwords; Alexa Security; Facebook Photo Mess; In Memoriam

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Password reality check. It’s another year of terrible passwords like “12345” and, yes, “Donald.” They were discovered by SplashData, which just released its annual worst passwords list. Easy-to-guess passwords are not just embarrassing, they’re a huge security risk. However, I like NakedSecurity’s take. It’s pointing fingers not just at the users who created the lame passwords, but at the systems that let them be created and have failed to provide their users with better security options. You see, digital security should really be a team sport.
Worst passwords list is out, but this time we’re not scolding users – Naked Security
Alexa, lock up. Amazon just introduced a new way for third-party home security systems – think ADP – to plug into its Alexa voice assistant. No more punching in a code to disarm when you can just use your voice.
Amazon brings Alexa to home security systems via Security Panel Controller API | ZDNet
Made in California. Everyone knows Apple designs its cutting-edge products in the U.S. and then, like everyone else, manufacturers them in California. However, it wasn’t always that way. For a brief period, Apple tried building Macs in Silicon Valley. It didn’t go so well. This walk down memory lane is particularly instructive as Apple and others try to bring more manufacturing back to the U.S.
Apple Computers Used to Be Built in the U.S. It Was a Mess. - The New York Times
Another oops. Facebook’s troubles are far from over. Even as it tried to reassure users that it has their best interest at heart with a lame, one-time privacy pop-up kiosk in New York’s Bryant Park, we learned that a bug has exposed millions of private photos to third-party Facebook app developers. Now it’s not clear if the developers noticed or took advantage of the images that were meant to stay private, but it’s another black eye for the social media platform. I’m sure Facebook cannot wait for 2018 to be over.
Facebook 'sorry' for exposing millions of users' private photos - CNN
Colin Kroll. Creating one viral tech hit is rare. Creating two is like spotting a unicorn riding a unicycle. It just doesn’t happen. Except that’s what Colin Kroll did. First, he co-built one of my favorite apps, Vine. The six-second-video creators platform was a true sensation and helped launch the careers of many artists, comedians, and musicians, including Shawn Mendes. Despite its popularity, Vine proved almost impossible to monetize and was shuttered by parent company Twitter. Kroll followed that by co-creating the insanely popular HQ Trivia, the first real-time live trivia game show app. Over the weekend, the 34-year-old maverick tech entrepreneur was found dead of a possible overdose. It’s a sad coda to what had already proved to be a remarkable life.
The career of Colin Kroll, cofounder of Vine and HQ Trivia who has died at age 34
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Podcast Update: 33 Million Miles to Mars is on hiatus. Let me know if you want to help me revive it! You can listen to past episodes here.
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