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Rich Tehrani
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Technology

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

November 20, 2014

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business.



Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so as to not get hit by hackers. However, it seems these air-gap networks named for their isolation from other computers are not as secure as we once thought. A hacker can get to these networks in the following manner. They design software which logs the keystrokes and subsequently transmits this information via FM radio signals generated by the graphics card - without changing the display so the user doesn't detect the attack.

Awesome Cyber-Monday Phone Battery Charger Deal

November 17, 2014


My family has had great experiences with the PowerSkin PoP'n Battery Charger as the device has suction cups and sticks to the back of your phone which means no additional cable is needed. Best of all, since it isn't a case, you don't have to worry about the difficulty of separating your phone from the case. The only drawback is the base can be a bit fragile under heavy stress situations as you might expect. Still, this is a great battery and I endorse it fully because of the case-less and cordless charging capability.

The company will soon be selling these chargers for 1 cent and $7.99 for shipping.


What Skype for Web Means for WebRTC

November 14, 2014

 


Skype has finally decided to bring its VoIP and video platform to the web in an effort to better compete with a new wave of companies leveraging browser-based WebRTC technology. Today, they announced Skype for Web (Beta) which works with Chrome, Firefox and IE 10 or above. Recently, I mentioned how Microsoft has really been making some smart moves lately which make the company more relevant and ORTC/WebRTC support is certainly one of the most important areas in the communications space. My colleague Doug Mohney agrees when he says this isn't your father's Microsoft.

The simple reality about this move is it may make it tougher to compete with Skype as a pure WebRTC video or audio play as Skype obviously has a bigger name and bundles its solution with other Microsoft products.






10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

November 11, 2014

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a changing tech landscape. It is apparent that Redmond has woken up to the threats that it faces in today’s world. Over the past decade they've been bleeding from a thousand cuts.

Why E-Mail Sucks and How to Make it Smarter

October 28, 2014


Many of us live in email. I get hundreds per day and I need almost every message. I am also a source of tremendous messaging pain here at TMC because part of what I think makes an effective team, is being in sync. To ensure the right people are in the know, I forward a tremendous amount of messages to various groups.

Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

October 24, 2014

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone need to be a laptop? I know what you’re thinking... Rich Tehrani flew to Colorado to do a story on legalized marijuana which includes sampling.

Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

October 17, 2014

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and oftentimes aren’t able to fully connect to such signals, meaning a phone’s broadband connection can be in limbo. Nothing can be more frustrating than having connectivity issues like this when your GPS software is trying to determine which route has the least traffic and you need to decide whether to go right or left at a busy intersection.

Poor service quality which can be caused by the arbitrary switching to an inferior network leads to churn and churn costs a carrier money. Quality issues don’t just center on data as quite often a challenge for carriers is providing voice service levels which are solid enough to keep a customer happy.

Microsoft CEO Raise Controversy: What's Not Being Discussed

October 11, 2014

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when asked how women should ask for a raise said they shouldn’t… Specifically he said:

It’s not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. And that, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that quite frankly women who don’t ask for a raise have, because that’s good karma. It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust, that’s the kind of person that I want to really want to give more responsibility to. And in the long term efficiency, things catch up.

Ethertronics Active Steering Boosts LTE Antenna Throughput 30%

October 10, 2014

One of the biggest challenges facing smartphone users is keeping the devices connected at all times. After all, the trend towards storing more data in the cloud means in order to access increasing amounts of information, you need a fast connection. Moreover, the trend in mobile gaming is to rely on network connections for things like advertising, multiplayer-functions and new scene downloads.

Mobile video consumption of course is nothing new and also requires tremendous bandwidth and connectivity.

In short, mobile devices users want devices regardless of location to be connected in order to take advantage of all the data and entertainment features available to them.

3M's Role in Improving Cell Phone base Stations

October 9, 2014

It’s quite common for people to look at the cellular industry as a bunch of phones from different companies competing on features and functions but the reality is the towers are often the glue that connects these devices when they aren’t near WiFi hotspots. Towers are rife with innovation and in order for consumers to get better service they need to be upgraded with better radio frequency equipment, antennas and backhaul bandwidth.

3M Communications Markets Division is one company which focuses on perfecting the base station by making them easier to work on while ensuring they need less ongoing maintenance. I spent a good deal of time with the company recently speaking with Omar Flores, Steve King and others at the company to learn about how they are applying many of their innovations directly to the towers and other equipment responsible for interconnecting our tablets and other devices.

This is more of a commercial on what this division of 3M does but it's still instructive



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