Posted
02.02.2016

* 22 more experts have fled horrific leadership at Consumer Reports

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Last July, I broke the news that Consumer Reports had gutted its editorial staff by inducing 16 of its most experienced editors to leave. (Disclosure: I’m one of those 16.) Now I’m reporting for the first time that 22 experts have also left, bringing Consumer Reports’ total loss to 38. That’s a staggering 500 person-years’ […]


Posted
01.12.2016

* Consumer be damned: These ads ram themselves down your throat!

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Are you thrilled that you can skip over TV ads with your DVR and squelch online ads with an ad-blocker? Don’t get too cocky! As you read this, advertisers are striking back all over the place with in-your-face ads that you literally can’t avoid because—as they boast on Madison Avenue—you’re captive. That’s right: Outside your […]


Posted
11.23.2015

* Do you suffer from MAP? Ask your doctor about MORTIFY™

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Do you get an occasional headache? Does your back or shoulder act up now and then? Like millions of Americans, you have probably suffered for years from a previously unnamed condition known as MAP (minor aches and pains). Yes, finally, there’s not only a disease name for this dread condition, but a treatment for it: […]


Posted
10.26.2015

* Is Consumer Reports getting rid of its older workers?

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As I documented in a recent report, Exposed: Behind the Brain Drain at Consumer Reports, 16 experienced editors were induced to leave Consumer Reports during the past three years. All, it turns out, were aged 50 or older. Since I wrote that report in July, several more key staffers in that age range, both editors and non-editors, […]


Posted
10.09.2015

* The Post Office’s credit card readers still can’t read new, high-security cards

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US Post Offices are supposed to help lead the way to widespread adoption of the new, more secure chip-enabled credit and debit cards most us of use. • Good news: Most post office have installed the new card readers chip-enabled cards require. • Bad news: Those new readers can’t yet read the high-security chips because they lack the […]


Posted
08.09.2015

* Websites can now identify you by the way you type: Is that good or bad?

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Every new technology can be used for good or ill. Such is the case with the newly developing field of behavioral biometrics, a technology that’s not the same as the “biometrics” many of us know well. The chart below (provided by security expert Per Thorsheim) differentiates the two categories.   As you can see, behavioral biometrics uniquely identifies you by your actions […]


Posted
08.07.2015

* Don’t let your smartphone’s fingerprint reader give you a false sense of security

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Don’t get me wrong. A fingerprint reader on a phone or tablet is a godsend to anyone who hates having to type a code or swipe a lock pattern every time they use their device. True, experts have hacked the iPhone 6’s Touch ID and the Samsung Galaxy S5’s reader. But the chances are slim that […]


Posted
08.05.2015

* How to avoid the surprising risks of password security questions

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Your favorite pet’s name can be hazardous to your online security. That’s the message security expert Jim Fenton delivered in a talk today at PasswordsCon. What makes a question like What is your favorite sports team a security risk? Isn’t answering it supposed to enhance your security? Actually, says Fenton, such questions aren’t intended primarily to enhance […]


Posted

* PasswordsCon: Live from the conference that’s all about passwords

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It’s 99 degrees at about 9:30 pm here in Vegas, as I complete my first day at PasswordsCon, which is technically a “track” at a larger two-day hacker conference called BSides Las Vegas. (The mother of all hacker conferences, DEFCON 23, begins on Thursday and I’ll be sweltering at that, too.) My interest in passwords and […]


Posted
07.24.2015

* Exposed: Behind the Brain Drain at Consumer Reports

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With the departure of its respected Managing Editor, how many professional journalists are still left at Consumer Reports? Virtually all of the major editors who produced the iconic magazine, as well as some of its best and most experienced reporters, have left CR in the past couple of years. (Disclosure: I am one of the editors who chose to leave, […]


Posted
03.09.2015

* How to get a free Quicken upgrade–before your old version gets the ax

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If you’re a Quicken user, you probably know that unless you upgrade at least every three years, you’ll be cut off from all online services such as bill paying, and downloading banking or credit card transactions, by April 30 of the third year. If you didn’t already know, welcome to the club. Quicken calls this […]