A Lackluster Alexa Event, Syncing All Clocks and Unacceptable Password Manager Excuses.

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Nick Cotton Sep 28, 2018

Here’s the news we’re talking about around the Zbra Studios water cooler. We’ve provided key bullet points from each article for the speed readers out there.

Amazon’s blockbuster Alexa event made zero mention of privacy concerns — and that may say more about us than about them
By  Jason Del Rey from Recode
  • “…while Amazon seemingly discussed every conceivable way to embed its voice assistant more deeply into our daily lives, it did not utter a word about the potential privacy risks that these burgeoning human-robot relationships pose.”
  • “The Amazon event arrives at a time in the U.S. when big tech companies have come under intense scrutiny from politicians for how they handle customer data, following the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal that was exposed earlier this year.”
  • “If Amazon customers don’t push Amazon, we live in a world where you can’t expect the company to discuss the potential downsides itself. And that’s sad all around.”
Cloudflare and Google will help sync the internet’s clocks–and make you safer
By Lily Hay Newman from Wired
  • “Synced clocks in operating systems may make digital timekeeping look easy, but it takes a lot of work behind the scenes, and doesn’t always solve problems online.”
  • “ In a step toward addressing these inconsistencies, the internet infrastructure firm Cloudflare will now support a free timekeeping protocol known as Roughtime, which helps synchronize the internet’s clocks and validate timestamps.”
  • “Cloudflare’s Prince says that the company’s goal isn’t simply to bring Roughtime to its own customers, but to jumpstart Roughtime adoption around the world. He says that Cloudflare’s bigger aim is to make it feasible to reduce certificate expiry windows without more errors.”
There’s No Longer Any Excuse For Not Using a Password Manager
From Motherboard
  • “Password managers have worked great in desktop browsers for years, because most browsers support extensions that automatically fill usernames and passwords when you navigate to that page. But most of us use our phone just as much if not more than our computers, and autofill passwords that work with the most popular password managers have only just recently come to Android and iOS.”
  • “In March, however, Android introduced password manager autofill, and Apple’s iOS 12 introduced it last week. In using iOS 12 for about a week, this single feature is the biggest quality-of-life improvement I’ve seen in any iOS update for at least several years. It’s not going to have quite as much impact on overall security as something like Touch ID or Apple’s encryption-by-default on iOS and end-to-end encryption on iMessage, but it’s the type of move that’s ultra-convenient in the short term and in the long term is going to have a major, positive impact on the average person’s security.”

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