Author Archives: Doug Stewart

Senate Committee Vote In Favor Of Automotive “Black Box” Privacy

by Categorized: cars, Government Date:

Your car collects data all the time. Speed, braking, seat belt use are only part of the information recorded and stored in the event of an accident. Who owns that data and what it can be used for is a question that experts have debated.

1X00099_9The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation on Wednesday which would limit access to data to the vehicle owner or lessee, unless there is a court order. (Laws in Connecticut protect the data.)

From The Detroit News: “There is no limitation on what additional personal information could be tracked or recorded, an individual’s location or travel habits without consent. The proposal raised widespread questions and concerns regarding the ownership of the data,” the senators said in a statement unveiling the bill in October.

Data can still be retrieved without owner consent if authorized by a court of law or the information is retrieved pursuant to a NHTSA recall and all personally identifiable information is not disclosed. The information could also be used without consent for determining the need for emergency medical response following a motor vehicle crash (used in vehicles equipped with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification systems).

According to the story, the bill has the support of several automobile manufacturers, and the American Automobile Association among others.

Andriod Apps Scanned For Malware

by Categorized: Apps Date:

Google announced Thursday that it will be scanning apps on users Android devices to check for malware and other problems.

Mashable reports:

Previously, when the Verify Apps service was enabled, only apps from third-party app stores were scanned, and only upon installation. Now Verify Apps will check every app before it is installed — and will regularly check that all of a user’s installed apps are “behaving in a safe manner.”

Apple has scanned apps since starting it’s app store.

 

“Heartbleed” Security Flaw: What Passwords Should You Change?

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

Mashable has a list of sites and services and actions you should take in the wake of the security flaw called Heartbleed. Here’s a good explanation of the problem in the New Yorker.

An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.

SiriusXM To Launch LGBT Sports Show

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

SiriusXM announced a new sports programs focused on gays and lesbian in sports.

The show, called The Outfield, will air on SiriusXM OutQ a channel with programming focuses on the LGBT community. The company said in a statement, “The live call-in show will be hosted by sports broadcaster Eddie Robinson and will feature interviews with LGBT athletes and LGBT allies as they discuss sports, fitness, and the advancement of openly gay athletes competing in sports at all levels.”

the show will premiere April 13, and air weekly at 11:00 am ET.

UPDATE: Wisconsin Owner Sues Tesla, Saying His Car Is A Lemon

by Categorized: cars, Uncategorized Date:

UPDATE: Tesla says there are some things that aren’t quite right with the claims.

A Milwaukee man is suing electric car maker Tesla after a series of problems his lawyer said make the car a lemon under the law.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

Robert Montgomery paid more than $95,000 to have his white Tesla S delivered to his home from Palo Alto, Calif., in March 2013, but according to his lawsuit, the car has had major troubles — like not starting. He had it towed to service centers in Chicago four times. In all, in was out of service 66 days in the first year.

No shrinking flower, Montgomery’s lawyer, lemon law expert Vince Megna, uploaded a video highlighting some of the problems with the car.

A provision in the sales agreement requires any disputes to be settled by an arbitrator.  Megna said that Wisconsin law makes that provision moot by voiding any waiver of rights by a car buyer.

According to the article, problems with the car include, “not starting, not going into drive, recessed door handles that do not emerge when touched, faulty battery coolant pumps, faulty steering wheel controls and several electrical problems.

 

State Invests In Non Petroleum Based Fragrances

by Categorized: Connecticut, Entrepreneur, Government, Uncategorized Date:

The state of Connecticut wants what you smell to be from renewable sources, and to that end has invested in a company which is creating ways to produce scents from biomass sources.

Last week, Connecticut Innovations announced a $500,000 investment in P2 Science Inc. of New Haven. The investment was made through its Eli Whitney Equity Fund and Elm Street Ventures.

Biomass consists of wood chips, unwanted grain products and similar materials which has been used for heat or creating energy.

A worker displays biomass fuel at the Diageo Roseisle distillery in Scotland

A worker displays biomass fuel at the Diageo Roseisle distillery in Scotland March 20, 2014. (REUTERS)

Connecticut Innovations said the company will use a proprietary process to create aldehydes for use in fragrances, polymers, lubricants and cosmetics.

P2 Science is a specialty chemical company dedicated to producing high-value, high-margin consumer and industrial product ingredients from biomass. In addition to new proprietary ingredients, the company’s products will include vegetable-based equivalents of chemical ingredients previously only available from petrochemical sources and will be suitable for direct substitution for such ingredients in customer products. Because they will be derived from soy, canola, palm and other oils, as well as wood, grass and other plant-based feedstocks, P2 Science’s products will meet the growing demand for renewable alternatives.

 

HBO Go Fails With Demand For Game Of Thrones

by Categorized: Social Media Date:

TV-THRONESOnce again, viewer demand for the drama “Game Of Thrones has crippled the servers on HBO Go, the network’s streaming service.

 

 

 

It took the network several hours to restore service, with this tweet coming early Monday morning.

 

— HBO GO (@HBOGO) April 7, 2014

A similar problem happened last month with the finale of “True Detective.” At the time, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said they would invest in the service to prevent a repeat according to Variety. 

 

Photo Courtesy of HBO

Windows XP? Your Days Numbered

by Categorized: Microsoft Date:

One week left. In seven days Microsoft will end support for it’s Windows XP operating system that dates back to 2002.

Do you have XP on your computer? You can download Microsoft’s upgrade assistant here. It will tell you if you computer can handle an upgrade to Windows 8.1. If it can’t, you can either keep going with your current system and it will be vulnerable to virus and malware attacks as Microsoft stops supporting the operating system, or you could buy a new computer with a current operating system.

While 28% of the world’s computers are running Windows XP according to NetMarketShare, that number is down 11% since last year. Microsoft has been telling customers for years that this date is coming. Among those customers are banks and their Automatic Teller Machines, of which 95% use XP according to Bloomberg.

YouTube Dominates Smartphone Entertainment Apps

by Categorized: Apps, mobile phones Date:

Half of the entertainment content viewed on a smartphone is through YouTube according to a study by a mobile analytics firm as reported on Re/code.

Flurry says that the video arm ofYouTube Google dominates the moblie market alond with Facebook and it’s properties.

The typical U.S. consumer devotes 2 hours and 42 minutes a day to their smartphones or tablets, up 4 minutes from March 2013. Apps have eclipsed the mobile web, accounting for 86 percent of the average mobile consumer’s time.

That’s a pretty good return on Google’s 2006 purchase of the video site.

Connecticut Launches New Data Website

by Categorized: Connecticut, Government Date:

X00232_9To increase transparency in state government, Connecticut unveiled Data.ct.gov as a central location for government produced data.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement, “We launched this website to as part of our goal to make the data collected by state government more open and easily accessible to its owners – the taxpayers of Connecticut. Data.ct.gov will make vast amounts of data – data that was previously hard to find – easily accessible to individuals, researchers, entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and other state agencies, and spur a new level of innovation and collaboration in our state.”

The site features data in eight categories: Business, Government, Education, Public Safety, Transportation, Health, Environment, Housing and Development. The data is collected by executive branch agencies and an executive order signed by Malloy last year instructs the state agencies to identify and upload the data to the site.

The site has some data already, including traffic counts for the state, leased and owned state buildings, and information about the state’s First Five Program. Sections for Health and Public Safety were empty as of Monday at noon.