“Severe” password manager attacks steal digital keys and data en masse

This is why I prefer to keep my passwords in an offline password manager, namely KeePassX. I think this discussion came up once before, and Scott Schmitt asked me why I thought KeePass was better than LastPass — I didn’t have an example to point to at the time, but this is why. The fewer … Read more

Probabilistic Models of Cognition

Excellent web-based e-book discussing modelling cognition probabilistically and generatively. With live code samples to mess around with to illustrate what they’re talking about. Extremely interesting stuff, and not too dense. If you’re interested in making or learning about intelligent software, this should keep you busy for a little while. In this book, we explore the … Read more

Don’t make the same mistake I did; back up your databases

Ok, listen, I’m not going to get into the details or whatever, but it was recently brought to my attention that I really, really should be backing up my MySQL databases on a daily basis at least.  So here’s the recipe.  Modify and use it for your own purposes, and don’t be as dumb as … Read more

Klout: A good idea. Too bad it’s complete bullshit.

Oh, Klout.  I want to love you, but you just won’t let me.

Let me begin this post by saying that Klout, the web site that claims to measure social media influence, isn’t a terrible idea.  There’s a really good reason to want a decent methodology for determining influence online.  After all, if you’re going to be spending time and effort to reach out to your audiences through social media, it makes sense to try to target the audience members who are most influential, and most likely to use their influence to talk up your product or service.

The idea is solid.  But Klout’s implementation is terrible, for one simple reason.  Their algorithm is ridiculously bad.

I’m not the first person to point this out.  But until today, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt; maybe it works, mostly, with little problems here and there.  But in fact, their ratings just don’t bear any resemblance to reality.

To demonstrate, have a look at the screen caps after the jump.  These were all taken today.

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Are the Yellow Pages more widely-used than Google? Short answer – No.

On a journalism mailing list to which I subscribe, the following claim was made recently: One more thing: the last time I checked, more people used the Yellow Pages as a reference tool than Google. Suffice it to say, I found this claim somewhat unbelievable, since I personally haven’t had a yellow pages book in … Read more

Web apps? Native apps? What’s the right strategy for mobile?

With the explosion of mobile internet access that has been building for the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from people lately asking about what sort of strategy they should take in approaching mobile for their news or information site.  Should I develop a mobile version of my web site?  Should I … Read more

Internet protest day.

Today is the day that much of the internet is going dark to protest the SOPA/PIPA acts in the United States. I wrote a little piece on it for Acceler8or, and I’ve blacked out my logo for the day. Please, take a moment to register your displeasure with legislators.  Don’t break the internet.

Android tablets — almost there.

I like tablet form factors, I really do.  I’d love to get one, but they don’t quite make my kind yet. I need, need, need for there to be a stylus.  I’m a doodler.  Handwriting recognition is also a must. I need it to be Android 3.1 or higher An 8″ screen is about optimal, … Read more

Securing your passwords, across machines, across platforms, in the cloud

Look, I’m a tech guy. I work on a lot of computers. I work on a lot of web sites. I try out new web services and products all the time. I pay my bills online, I bank online, and to a great extent, much of my life and work is preserved online. I have … Read more

The Web surpasses newspapers as source of news

ReadWriteWeb reports today on a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The takeaway? According to the survey, 46% of people now say they get their news online at least three times a week, surpassing newspapers (40%) for the first time. Only local television is more popular among Americans, with 50% indicating … Read more