Posts Tagged Smartphones


Posted by on Thursday, 5 December, 2013
Funny cartoon about teens and passwords



MISTER ScienceAintSoBad has many passwords. I keep a list. If it ever fell into the wrong hands, a stranger – maybe a scientologist or an astrologer  – could impersonate me. A fake MISTER ScienceAintSoBad could ruin  our relationship. I would hate that. So I work hard to protect my list of passwords.

You’re careful with your own passwords, right? But not everyone is as crazy meticulous as you. Most people do stuff like 123456 for their passwords. And use it over and over too.

Stupid? I guess. But people have other things on their minds. And they usually get away with it.

Sometimes they don’t.

Billions and billions of dollars are lost to account hacking. McCafee said it might be a trillion dollars worldwide. Maybe it’s not that bad. But it’s bad.

Supposedly, every single account should have its own login and password. And these should be changed often.

And crocodiles?

They have wings and a single horn in the middle of their snouts.

Most people aren’t ever going to manage their passwords right. They’re just not.  As long as we rely on people using passwords right, we’re pretty much screwed.

So Google has developed a device that can make passwords unnecessary. It has as much of a stake in getting rid of passwords as anyone.

Here’s its plan.

YubiKey Neo

Google wants people to own a thing.

Right now it’s called the Yubikey Neo. It will probably get a better name and a cute Google-like icon. The Yubikey Neo has  some impressive technology behind it and it’s already gaining support from other big players who don’t like passwords either.

Where did I find this?

It’s in an article by Amadou Diallo (Forbes Magazine) which describes the idea. Yubikey Neo plugs into the USB port of your computer. Or your tablet or your phone.  When it’s plugged in, security gets easy.  Once you log in, all you need is a simple four digit pin.  The real security is in Yubikey Neo.

The first version  is only for stuff with NFC (Near Field Communication chips) – mostly Android phones and tablets.  The “pilot project” has gone great. It shouldn’t be too too long til the wraps come off publicly and, by next year, it should be available for non-NFC stuff meaning pretty much everything.

MISTER ScienceAintSoBad likes this. PayPal, Mastercard, Lenovo, LG, and NXP are already lined up. That means it should have a good chance.

I hope so.

– – – – – – –

The cartoon is, as usual, mine


Why Are Phones Getting So Large?

Posted by on Friday, 25 November, 2011




” Zoey” asked about screen size for smartphones. They’re getting so big. Why?

I said:

Phones started out small.

Apple made a big thing about how dainty the IPhone was. But, as people have come to expect more from their phones, small has become less cute and more aggravating. How are you going to read a book, watch a movie, or edit a document? With a magnifying glass?

So  there’s been some “size drift”.

It’s true you can add a tablet to your electronics collection – something like the very nice IPad.  But some people don’t want to have a permanent forward lean like a school kid with a backpack full of gadgets. Maybe bigger phones will  take pressure off of your need for multiple electronics, multiple accounts, and multiple charging technologies .

Saves money too, right?

We don’t know what is the best size for a smartphone yet. This is an experiment. We’re figuring this out together.

I thought you should know.

Thanks to David Baldinger for the cartoon figure used in the above image. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Posted by on Sunday, 25 April, 2010

Don't Let This Happen To YOUR Earth!


The year is 2015.  Discarded cell phones cover everything.   The “layer”  varies in thickness from a few inches to as much as three feet. Mostly, it consists of iPhones, IPads, ITouches, and IPods.

Newer layers have Android stuff.

Apple cultists fight  against calling it the ICrap layer. Too disrespectful. Look what Apple’s DONE for the human race. Why not call it gCrap? What’s GOOGLE ever done?

Looking Out

People crunch around looking for edible plants which seem to thrive on the crumbled carcasses of  HTC products while a defeated looking MISTERScienceAintSoBad, stands, looking out at the ocean, and listening to the waves clank together.


Is this our destiny? Can we duck it?

A new web site, calling itself, Ifixit, says it’s bad to “landfill” our devices when they become unreliable. Devices are getting more and more capable. Toss our smartphones when they fail and what do you suppose THEY will do to US when THEY’RE in charge?

IFixit offers, humbly, to “fix the planet”. It wants to be THE place for free repair manuals as well as parts and info that can keep your devices out of the junk yard for longer.


Besides. The world’s gone nuts.

You gotta have two Phd’s to set yer alarm clock. Complexity INSIDE’S sposed to result in simplicity outside. Maybe that’ll happen eventually. But, for now, if you DO wanna set your alarm clock, you do need some good resources to turn to.

MISTERScienceAintSoBad wishes Ifixit all the luck in the world with its overarching ambitions. We hope it succeeds.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = 7 for Ifixit’s early efforts. Watch our rating needle climb as Ifixit proves itself. :)

attribution for the top photo:

A Phone App That Steals Your Soul?

Posted by on Thursday, 4 March, 2010

The End Of Anonymity?

Phone Apps: A Scary App That Matches Your ID To Your Photo


ShyGuy1 writes:

Mister ScienceAintSoBad: I am smart and I am nice. I bet I would be a great boyfriend.

If I had a girlfriend.

But I’ll probably die a male old maid because when I see a girl who has the “right look”, I freeze.

Instead of telling her how much I love her slobbering Doberman or giving her my “Get lucky with me” calling card (I still have every single one of them after 14 months), I respectfully lower my eyes and try not to be obvious. Which, apparently, works pretty well.

So, Mister SASB, my question is this. Is there some kind of technology that lets guys who just aren’t suave, bridge the introduction gap? Maybe a small robot that he could pull out of his valise which would stride confidently toward his future fiance and make the introductions?

Please answer because this is important to my future kids.

Funny you should ask, ShyGuy1, I’m just finishing up my Intro1 Robot which does exactly what you want.  I can offer it to you for $19.95. PLUS you will get this roof trimming attachment ABSOLUTELY free. BOTH products, a combined value of $39.95 for ONLY $19.95.

Except the shipping and handling charge is $43,000,012.85 .


if you’re looking for a more cost effective solution (no WONDER you never meet anyone you lousy CHEAPSKATE!), you may be interested in TAT’s new Recognizr app for Android phones.

With Recognizr loaded, you snap a picture of your future bride and then you let the app go figure out who she is from her online presence on sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and GetLostNerdyOne.

Recognizr’s intriguing integration of existing technologies to achieve a new result is a nice example of the “unexpected consequences” phenom .

It’s also a little troubling.

Is it really OK to snap someone’s photo and find his.her identity that way? Is it an invasion of privacy to use photo based matching?

TAT’s approach was to make sure the info can only get assembled for other users of Recognizr. Which seems fair enough to MISTER ScienceAintSoBad since, I guess, there’s a kinda “OK With Me” built into joining the club.

But it also limits the usefulness of the product unless Recognizr takes off. And, why does Mister ScienceAintSoBad think the women ShyGuy1’ll REALLY want to meet’ll be the last to join Recognizr?

Maybe we’ll be lucky though and terrorists will register with Recognizr.

ScienceAintSoBadRating = 6 (which is an average of 10 for a technological tour-de-force and 2 for software that won’t change any lives)