Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Security and resilience
February 11th, 2015
5:34
 

There are few who live in the developed world who don’t have a list as long as their arm of the many passwords they use at work and home to conduct their daily business and routines.  That may all change – sooner that you think…  A groundswell of support is underway for BIOMETRIC PASSWORDS!  (You can learn more about biometrics by clicking the link.)

Biometrics

photo credit: images.techhive.com

Here are a few articles that have recently hit the news in which you find supporting arguments and possible pitfalls of adopting this type of system to identify the user of a particular app or piece of equipment – - -

From the US Military: DARPA wants behavior-based biometrics to replace passwords

From the UK:  Young people ‘ready to ditch passwords for biometric security’

From PCWorld Magazine: Intel and McAfee plan to kill PC passwords with new biometric authentication

And an alternate view from ComputerWorld: Will we embrace biometrics to replace passwords?

One interesting comment from the ComputerWorld opinion piece “Privacy policies constantly change . . . and usually the user loses out. Whoever stores our biometrics had better secure it well as surely the NSA would love to hoover it all up and store it for eternity.”

Data security is changing daily; maybe any future aliens who land on our planet will no longer be seeking the person in charge or leader, but instead will be stating, “Take me to your READER”.  Of course, their retinal scan would have to be pre-programmed into the system to gain access…hmmmmm, sci-fi, anyone??

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February 3rd, 2015
6:14
 

There is a sweeping change set to affect credit card payment security.  Although the US lags behind other developed nations in adopting this technology, it could mark a radical shift in how consumers view the safety of their transactions – whether in store or online.  The steps to begin adoption of this technology were brought about through an executive order signed by President Obama in October 2014 to speed the adoption of EMV-standard cards in the US.  Target date for nationwide deployment is October 2015.  This is good news for the beleaguered companies that were hit by hackers over the past few months across the American continent!

US prepares for transition to EMV cards

AMEX

An American Express card with an EMV chip

 

Here’s what EMV is all about… EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. (Click the link for a detailed explanation from Wikipedia)

And here’s an FAQ developed by the Smart Card Alliance to answer questions about EMV.   How is this new technology ‘different’ from the current standard?  The biggest benefit of EMV is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. EMV also provides interoperability with the global payments infrastructure – consumers with EMV chip payment cards can use their card on any EMV-compatible payment terminal. EMV technology supports enhanced cardholder verification methods and, unlike magnetic stripe cards, EMV payment cards can also be used to secure online payment transactions.

Cyber-security is a burgeoning field as more and more of our daily activities go ‘online’.  What part will you play in keeping data safe?

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December 23rd, 2014
4:17
 

Cooperative Science – that’s what’s at the heart of a Green Tech collaboration in Latvia.  From ideas in their infancy, it is anticipated that the Incubator will grow projects with the potential to become globe changing technologies.

As posted by the EAI (European Alliance for Innovation): “The Latvian Technological Center (LTC) is an innovation and technology-oriented business support structure – business acceleration centre, which stimulates establishment and growth of knowledge-based SMEs by creating relationships between research and industry as well as encouraging SMEs for trans-national cooperation”.

Latvian Tech Ctr logoLearn more here:  Green Technology Incubator launched in Riga, Latvia

 

And check out the Call for Proposal whose deadline is Jan 2015… As a basic rule, your organisation must be registered in one of the beneficiary countries (a listing of which may be found here: http://eeagrants.org.ez.07.no/content/view/full/4991)

While the bulk of their website is in Latvian (not English) it’s worth visiting to see the relationships that they have established – check out their ‘Friends and partners’ page…companies for whom you might want to work?  http://innovation.lv/en/innovation/innovation-in-business/

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New ideas keep surfacing for capturing and storing energy available right now for future use.  Because we must continue to find ways that plan ahead for sustainable life on earth, this is a really hot topic.

Batteries can store electricity generated by solar and wind power when conditions are favorable, so it can be used when they are not. Electricity storage is the second part of the renewable energy solution. By investing in new battery systems, Germany is continuing down the path it started on to shift away from nuclear power.

 

30 MW Storage Battery

 

To Be Built In Germany

 

 

There are a batch of links in the article to other stories relating to the savvy Germans and the strides they are making.  Jobs in energy – renewable, non-carbon based, solar, wind, etc., are plentiful.  What are you going to do with your future?  (Remember to bring a flashlight – efficiently powered of course!)

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November 20th, 2014
12:22
 

The FlyKly Smart Wheel fits practically any bicycle or lifestyle. And turns any bike into an electric bicycle and any commuter into a joyrider in no time. Just start pedaling and Smart Wheel delivers a boost up to 20 mph and a 30 mile range on a single charge – more than enough to power your every day. And it can be recharged in just 2-3 hours.

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In combination with a smart phone app, this technology encompasses all aspects of bike riding: setting your top speed, locking the bike, GPS tracking if the bike should happen be stolen and saving and sharing your favorite routes. There are plans to manufacture a glow-in-the-dark version in the near future.

While the cost of the FlyKly Smart Wheel isn’t inexpensive, it looks like a great product for cycling enthusiasts.

FlyKly products are exclusively available online. They ship orders on a first come, first served basis. Your credit card will be charged when your order goes into production; FlyKly will confirm with you before the charge.

This looks like just the incentive I need to get out my old bike and go for a ride!

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