Developer Week in Review: Would your passcode pass muster?

Bad passcodes persist, more legal shenanigans, MySpace finds a home

A riddle for all of you Week in Review fans out there. How come I can buy an iPhone, the pinnacle of technological achievement (hush, you Android folks …), with billions of transistors and marvels of engineering like solid state gyroscopes and accelerometers for under $500, but a freaking mattress made out of bent steel and fabric is going to cost me nearly two grand? Someone get Steve Jobs on the line, we need the iSleep.

Dark Helmet would be pleased

Really bad passcodeIt turns out that President Skroob and King Roland aren’t the only people who like to pick predictable passcodes. A recent analysis of anonymized iPhone passcodes shows that if you started by entering 1 and 2 for the first two digits of a four-digit passcode, you’d be right a good percentage of the time. Worse, 10 distinct four-digit passcodes represented 15% of all passcodes entered, including such favorites as 1234 and 0000.

How are we going to have any hope of educating the public about strong passwords, digital certificates and phishing, if we can’t even get them to choose a non-trivially guessable passcode?

This week, (name of big company) (legal action) (name of other big company), claiming that they had (intellectual property violation) their (intellectual property).

Into this template, you can place the following values: Oracle, had many of their claims dismissed by the USPTO against, Google, violated, Java Patents.

Samsung, asked the International Trade Commission to ban imports into the US from, Apple, violated, patents.

Apple, lost ground in their bid to prevent, Amazon, from using the term, App Store.

Ok, now you give it a try. Maybe next week, we’ll do an emerging language Madlib!

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In MySpace, no one can hear you take a capital loss

MySpaceOnce upon a time, there were two sisters. Both were popular and all the young boys and girls loved to play with them. One of them went on to fame, fortune, and have a movie made about her. The other found herself left at home cleaning up the fireplace, with not a fairy godmother to be seen.

Poor MySpace. While sister Facebook has claimed the glory and prestige, MySpace has faded from social networking giant to bargain basement status. News Corp may have spent upwards of half a billion dollars to acquire the company, but this week they let MySpace pass out of their hands for a paltry$ 35 million. For those keeping score, that’s a 90% loss on the original investment.

Google PlusMySpace was purchased by a company called Specific Media. Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of them? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Evidently, they are some big power in online advertising and digital media. What they plan to do with the shell that was once MySpace is anyone’s guess.

Meanwhile, Google has finally sent a shot across Facebook’s bow with the launch of Google+, which integrates social networking into the Google experience. There’s an Android client for it out already, and an iOS version is promised any time now.

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