How to be a Password Ninja on a Mac, Windows or Linux

You’ve heard about it, read about it but very few manage to have complex passwords for all your services – Email, Facebook, Twitter, et al. The consensus to have a safer online experience and hopefully, prevent hackers, crackers and script kiddies from gaining access to your accounts is to have a complex password – UPPERCASE + lowercase + numbers + special characters – and a unique different one for each of your accounts.

Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task at all. Nonetheless, there are solutions that can help you become a Password Ninja with few, easy to remember steps. I’ve had multiple passwords – complex ones at that for quite sometime – and I don’t need to remember any of them.

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Jobs to Gates, Royce and McNealy: A Historical Look at if Apple Will Survive

Steve Jobs has left Apple. I have expected to see stock prices crumble, Apple Geniuses to go rogue and iPhones to fall out of the sky; but despite the near-panic of nearly every Internet news station — its really not that big a deal, we will be fine (unless you own large amounts of Apple stock, in which case it is time to panic).

If history has taught us anything, and it hasn’t, its that changes in leadership are rarely as dramatic as we fear — just look at Obama.

Looking at this issue historically may give the issue more perspective, as many large tech innovators have changed leadership in the past: Microsoft with Bill Gates, Intel and Robert Noyce, Sun and Scott McNealy.

Bill Gates

Microsoft and Billy Gates

The best historical comparison we can use for enigmatic Steve Jobs, is enigmatic Bill Gates. In terms of company size, they are both high-value firms with Apple’s current valuation at $349 billion and when Billy left Steve Balmer in charge of Microsoft it was valued at $600 billion. Microsoft is currently valued at just $201 billion. And I think Gate’s valuation dropped the same amount (after he gave a huge chunk of his fortune to the Gates Foundation).

The succession of Jobs is similar to the story of Gates, as he will stay on the board of directors, however; it is unlikely that Jobs will hold Tim Cook’s hand for a decade like Gates did for Balmer.

Perhaps we do have reason to worry with the massive devaluation of the other high-profile regime change. Or perhaps this will simply be Microsoft’s year to bounce back and reclaim its throne as Supreme-Ruler-of-the-Tech-Monpoly.

On a personal note maybe we will see the creation of the Jobs Foundation — providing starving children everywhere with iPads.

Robert Noyce

Intel and Robbie Noyce

Unlike Microsoft, Intel’s tale of change is more positive. When Robert Noyce passed the reigns to engineering-superstar Gordon Moore, the company’s 43-year success story continued. When Moore gave way to cut-throat businessman Andy Grove, they thrived. The succession to Craig Barratt and Paul Otellini only continued the strong leadership patterns. Intel also has a long-standing tradition of moving their CEOs to board leader positions so perhaps Apple’s story will mimic Intel’s.

Take into consideration of course that none of them were the strong face-of-the-company or sexy-poster-child and cancer-survivor like Steve. Nonetheless Intel did fine. It is currently valued at $115 billion.

Scott McNealy

Sun and Scott McNealy

Spoiler: this one is worse than the Microsoft example. In 2006 Scott McNealy gave up his 22-year carer steering Sun Microsystems to success when he passed the helm to Jonathan Schwartz. Schwartz then ran the ship aground. Schwartz never had much of a chance with his two years of executive management experience, despite his decade-long commitment to the company. Schwartz lasted only three years as leader before the financial crisis of 2008 dry-docked the ship forever, and they were taken over by Oracle.

Think for Yourself

Despite the rampant rumors about the future of Apple, think for yourself. Who knows whether Apple will go the route of Intel, Sun or Microsoft — but does it really matter (other than for large-scale Apple stockholders)?

But — just in case you are a true Mac-head — stock up on your Apple gear now.

(Image Credit: Wikipedia, All Things Digital)

Windows’ biggest challengers – Mac OSX & Linux

According to Gartner‘s new released data – One of the toughest challenges that Microsoft windows has to face is, the new growing market for Mac OSX and Linux OS. Statistically, the revenues from global operating systems was estimated to be $30.4 billion in 2010 out of which Microsoft asserts their first position with a 78.6 percent market share.

While the tremendous increase in the growth of Linux and Macs in the server and client operating system segments was worthy of note, the rate of growth of the Apple’s platform Mac OS increased at the rate of 15.8% while that of Microsoft’s Windows grew by only 9.2% as reported by Gartner.

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The Future of Mobile Advertising — 3 Strategies

Like it or not Mobile Advertising is here to stay. You will see advertisements on your phone — in increasing quantities — and in different ways.

With smartphone market penetration at over 30% the smart mobile devices have already strengthened mobile advertising and will continue to solidify mobile strategies as market penetration increases from users replace their aging handsets.

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Microsoft: “Oops we did it again” 6 More Critical Security Vulnerabilities

The newest patch from Microsoft appears to b a Mac vs. PC commercial in the making. Don’t be surprised if the next mocking ad from Mac addresses the 900 million people affected by Microsoft’s most recent security patch. The name of the release, Patch “Tuesday” which sounds more like an Irish celebration than a critical software patch, but then again maybe Microsoft was trying to lighten the mood.

The new patch release deals with 22 issues — 6 of them deemed critical (the higher security issue ranking Microsoft has). Another 9 were ranked as ‘Important’ (details).

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Bring your Web App Home – Get Fluid

Recently I have been writing a lot of reviews of web applications and the trend today reflects people’s preferences. Everyone is moving their favorite desktop applications online. The cloud is my home, not the desktop! Web applications like Gmail, Facebook, Campfire, WorkFlowy, Freshbooks and Pandora are becoming more and more like desktop applications every day. However running each of these web apps in an individual tab in your browser can be a real pain. I have twenty five open tabs at any given time in my browser window and while that is not over the top, apps that are AJAX or Flash driven consume too much memory for my browser’s liking.

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A new email client for Mac – Sparrow

Sparrow Mail

Screenshot from Sparrow Mail

SparrowThe new simple mail app for Mac.

Email has been by far the most used of all the internet technologies. Hotmail changed the way we looked at internet communication. Gmail altered it to perfection with conversational view, integrated chat, video, sms and now phone calls. Microsoft Exchange has held a strong hold at large businesses in the way they communicate internally.

If you’re a Mac user, you would have sure had a chance to test the default Mail app. If you ever took a deep dive in finding ‘the best’ email client, I am sure you would have come across many more. Microsoft’s very own email client for mac, Entourage stands close to the Outlook’s feature set.

Earlier this week, I came across a new, slick, amateur email client for Mac — Sparrow. I wanted to give it a spin for a couple of days before writing about it.

It’s been a mixed feeling of good and bad with the app. It’s currently in beta and supports only Gmail for now. If you’re a fan of Tweetie for Mac, you would love this app. The interface is pretty close to Tweetie, as in the vertical arrangement of accounts and emails, ability to set the right drawer come out and sneak back, rounded corners on avatars and minimalistic design and functionality.

Gmail has always flaunted it’s threaded view functionality. The same is an integrated feature within Sparrow. Flicking through the threads is seamless. Integration with Growl allows notifications, as and when needed.

While the app allows you to view the a message in a slider that snips out as a right window pane, a double click shall let you open in it a new window, altogether. There is a slick and easy drop-down button on the top right of all messages to reply, reply all, delete, forward, mark as unread and print. On the bottom of all messages, there is a reply and a forward button.

My experience with the app has been good in terms of the simplicity and the user interface. It makes your job of reading and replying to emails, simple. Just that! However, there are times when the email message you would click on the window shall refrain from opening in the right pane. It may also go into an infinite loop of loading a message!

This was typically expected off an app that’s still a beta release. Coming up next, in the future release, it shall support other IMAP email providers and add labels for Gmail into the app.

If you’re a Mac user, I would suggest you to give it a spin and keep an eye on the next release. You may want to check out their blog or follow @sparrowmailapp.

Happy emailing!