Boot up: Mega's encryption, Jobs's thief jailed, open data catalogued, HTC's M7?, and more
(Guardian Web Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A quick burst of 9 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Moore's Law won't kill passwords >> Light Blue Touchpaper
Joseph Bonneau, at the Cambridge University computer security research lab:
In my thesis I charted 20 years of password cracking improvements and found an increase of about 1,000 in the number of guesses per second per unit cost that could be achieved, almost exactly a Moore's Law-style doubling every two years. The good news though is that password hash functions can (and should) co-evolve to get proportionately costlier to evaluate over time. This is a classic arms race and keeping pace simply requires regularly increasing the number of iterations in a password hash. We can even improve against password cracking over time using memory-bound functions, because memory speeds aren't increasing nearly as quickly and are harder to parallellise. The scrypt() key derivation function is a good implementation of a memory-bound password hash and every high security application should be using it or something similar.
Stephen Hawking's New PC >> Intel Free Press
Intel application engineer Travis Bonifield has been working closely with Hawking to communicate with the world for a decade. He's traveled from the United States to England every few years to hand-deliver Hawking a customized PC.
Here, Bonifield talks about the unique project, the technology that powers the customized system and how Intel co-founder Gordon Moore got Hawking to switch from AMD to Intel.
Hawking's speech has been Intel-powered for absolutely ages, but it's still fascinating to read about how it's done. (Thanks @mrbeardy for the link.)
Jobs' house burglar gets seven-year sentence >> Macworld UK
The man who broke into the Palo Alto, California, home of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and stole laptops, iPads and other possessions has been sentenced to seven years in a California state prison.
Kariem McFarlin, 35, was arrested in August last year by officers from the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team, a Silicon Valley-based high-tech crime unit formed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
REACT officers found McFarlin with help from Apple security, which tracked where the stolen devices were being used by matching their serial numbers with connections to Apple iTunes servers. The IP address in use matched a line in McFarlin's apartment in nearby Alameda that was also being used by an Apple device registered to a member of his family, according to a police report.
Is Kim Dotcom's new site, MEGA, really safer than MegaUpload >> Daily Dot
The new MEGA can provide better harbor to Internet pirates--provided they're careful.
MEGA, the new file locker service created in the wake of MegaUpload's shuttering and ongoing legal trials, differs from its predecessor in a single important way (besides the fact that it's not currently the subject of a massive, multinational trial): Users can encrypt their files.
While this won't change anything for those who would use the site to encourage broad piracy, people who just want to share pirated material with their friends are unlikely to be caught.
That's not readily apparent. Those who sign up for the service, which goes public Saturday, are greeted with terms of service that make it seem they're likely to get into trouble if they upload pirated content.
Gatecrashing Nintendo's girly gamer event, By a guy >> Gizmodo UK
There is a couple on the balcony kissing. At a games event.
I can't quite work out why making out with someone at a games event is so massively strange. Maybe it's a perceived violation of the heavily implied and painstakingly cultivated male homosocial space. Maybe it's because, as a breed, most games journos tend to look like they're at least two cups of coffee behind everyone else in the room. Maybe it's both.
Howitt wrote about Panasonic's Toughbook thingamajig. Nice nails.
Deputy CEO Tech City Investment Organisation to keynote Croydon TechCity launch >> The Croydon Citizen
Benjamin Southworth (Deputy CEO, Tech City Investment Organisation) has agreed to keynote Croydon Tech City's 2013 Launch Event on Thurs 24th January 7:30pm at Matthews Yard, Croydon.
Benjamin is a well-respected and long-standing member of East London's and Cambridge's startup ecosystems, and has coached, mentored, and launched a series of startups and startup events over the past few years. Last year, he was chosen to take up the Deputy CEO role at the Tech City Investment Organisation - where he works alongside Joanna Shields, previously Vice President and Managing Director at Facebook, EMEA.
Benjamin's acceptance to keynote our 2013 launch event is a great coup for the Croydon Tech City movement which - having only been birthed three months ago - is starting to make considerable strides.
Great news for Croydon. Apart from using "keynote" and "birth" as verbs, obviously.
Simply: "a comprehensive list of open data catalogs curated by experts from around the world." Worth a bookmark, perhaps.
New HTC M7 leaked photos show the device is pretty much just a DNA >> Android Authority
Stefan Constantinescu has had enough and he ain't gonna take it any more:
Depending on the type of person you are, product leaks are either the best thing in the world or they're the worst type of journalism. I happen to fall into the latter camp. Every new awesome smartphone is just around the corner. Why buy a smartphone today when X device is two months away, Y smartphone is three months away, and Z smartphone, the one you really want, is four months away Leaked images, renders, press shots, specs, screenshots, whatever you want to call them, they just confuse people, make the press speculate on things they don't really know about, and in the end we all lose.
Atari US operation files for bankruptcy >> LA Times
The US operations of iconic but long-troubled video game maker Atari have filed for bankruptcy in an effort to break free from their debt-laden French parent.
Atari Inc. and three of its affiliates filed petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in US Bankruptcy Court in New York late Sunday.
Its leaders hope to break the American business free from French parent Atari S.A. and in the next few months find a buyer to take the company private. They hope to grow a modest business focused on digital and mobile platforms, according to a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter privately.
Although the 31-year-old brand is still known worldwide for its pioneering role with video games such as "Pong" and "Asteroids," Atari has been mired in financial problems for decades. Since the early 2000s it has been closely tied to French company Infogrames, which changed its name to Atari S.A. in 2003 and in 2008 acquired all the gaming pioneer's American assets.
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