It’s Alive! No Expert returns

It's alive! Frankenstein 1931

No promises. No guarantees. No Expert… returns.

After a very long break, several changes of jobs, two changes of location and an unpleasant reminder of British winters, the blog is back.

There’s a big backlog of posts on the way plus a re-load of old posts to bring us up to date.

Stand by. AJS

News: XP eXPires

Windows XP desktopWhile Microsoft has extended the end-of-life deadline Windows XP several times under consumer pressure, not least from Enterprise customers, we have reached that line in the sand. The party’s over.

Officially, Windows XP is now dead, but it’s not gone. Choose your stats carefuly; conservatively, between 20 and 27% of computers connected to the Internet still run Windows XP. Yet as of April 8th, we’re at the”end of support” – so what will happen to all those Windows XP systems now?

It will continue to run and activate, using the same activation process that checks with Microsoft to ensure you’re using “genuine” software and not a pirated version of Windows. The activation servers will continue to run for the foreseeable future. The only noticeable difference you’ll see is a monthly message that will appear to remind you that XP is now defunct. This message can be hidden, and will only appear on home computers, not on networked, managed business computers. Continue reading

And We’re Back

Dubai Water Taxi by Klaus F, Wikimedia Commons
We’re back… after a long Summer lay-off, filled with distractions. Such as old Windows PC’s not working, new Windows PC’s not working, tablets not working (that’s technology, not my medication), phones not working and motor cars not working.

Sense a recurring theme here?

There’s been a proper heat wave in Dubai (46 degrees) so the folks in Blighty can puff as much as they like – most of you still didn’t get a tan. Continue reading

News: MasterCard Display Card

Mastercard display cardI know this announcement originally came from a MasterCard press release in November 2012, but given the recent hack of ATM’s in New York and further credit card fraud, perhaps this ‘future of credit cards’ will be brought forward.

The problem with the current generation of credit cards are not well protected. Most of the time, you can get away with just the credit card number, the expiration date and the security code, all of which are shown on the card itself.

MasterCard, is moving on to additional verification to add a two-factor authentication to the card. The slightly clunky Mastercard Securecode demands  online purchasers use an extra partial pass phrase on sites that support SecureCode. Verified with Visa works in a similar way, as the merchants have to integrate the feature on their sites.

Now MasterCard Display Card harkens back to an old remote network login authentication that we used to use to access corporate networks in the 80’s and 90’s. Adopting the one-time session authentication token, MasterCard  plans to add an LCD display and numeric keypad to their credit card. Continue reading

News: The Digital Human Series 2

Aleks Krotoski portrait by Kevin Meredith lomokev.comAleks Krotoski returns with a new series of explorations of our digital world.

Episode 1: Diaspora – In the first in the new series Aleks looks at how different cultures are preserving their identity in the face of the homogenising effects of technology.

This insightful series combines popular science and technology with some social anthropology in an easily digestable set of themed episodes. You don’t have to be a tech-junkie (but it helps) or a sociologist (just as well) in order to appreciate these gentle drop-in sessions on the wired world.

We liked series one, so, evidently, did Radio 4, since it’s back for another run of seven shows. Continue reading