Ira Wilsker's archive

About a year ago, I wrote about my then new favorite real-time smart phone road routing program Waze. At the time, Google had recently purchased Waze from its Israeli developer for over a billion dollars, a princely sum that the developer generously shared with his handful of employees.

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Wilsker

Listening to the news can often be disturbing, especially when we hear stories about massive password thefts. Recently, there were widely broadcast reports 5 million Gmail passwords were stolen, and available online to anyone wishing to use them for nefarious purposes (money.cnn.com/2014/09/10/technology/security/gmail-hack/index.html).

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I often see people walking along a street, in a parking lot, or other location, who are busily using their smart phones, often oblivious to their surroundings. In law enforcement and the military, it is emphasized that individuals need to have “situational awareness” and be fully cognizant about what is going on around them, especially potential threats, at all times. Pedestrians who have their noses deeply buried in their phones are typically unaware of what is going on around them, making them easy targets for those miscreants who may wish to do them harm.

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Now that many of us are in back-to-school mode, it might be noteworthy to introduce a new, free product from Google for students and teachers, Google Classroom. Officially launched on Aug. 12, more than 100,000 educators from more than 45 countries had previously signed up for a functional preview starting last May. While Google is well understood to generate revenue through various forms of advertising, all of the components of Google Classroom (including Gmail) will not contain any advertising, but will still remain free for student and teacher use.

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I hope that you have not encountered the devious CryptoLocker malware, but sadly, I know as a fact that many of you have been victimized by it. For those of you who are not familiar with CryptoLocker, it is a vile form of sophisticated malware, “ransom ware,” where the malware encrypts data on the hard drive (and possibly USB drives and other external media), and then charges the user a sizeable fee to get the decryption key.

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