A solution for safely remembering your password

PasswordCard is a customizable solution for picking and remembering passwords similar to the charts banks have been using for online banking login. Here is how it works:

  1. The Web site uses a reference key to generate a PasswordCard. In this example it is 3139514585bbbd70. You can safely write your key down and store it somewhere. If someone gets hold of it, they cannot guess your passwords.
  2. The PasswordCard features a grid of random code divided in columns of symbols and lines of different colours:

    You can download that PasswordCard and print it on paper to carry with you.
  3. When you need a password, just remember the symbol and the colour that determin where your password begins. To make it even harder to crack, you could be reading the random code in other ways than from top left to bottom right. You could for example read it in diagonal or in Zig zag. The point is to pick a pattern for each password that you can easily remember.
    For example an 8 character password, from clover column and pink line, from top left to bottom right reads:
    MWqvp9YF

Should your PasswordCard get lost or stolen, the person who gets their hands on it will still be missing four informations to read the password:

  • password length
  • symbol column
  • colour line
  • reading direction

With your key code, you can go on the Web site any time and extract the same key to print again.

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Digital privacy
Encryption
Security

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A new audio format that brings nothing new

In an article titled Is The World Ready For The Successor of the MP3? Wired.com reports about MusicDNA, a format developed by german firm BACH Technology. From the title it sounded like the article would be talking about a new audio file format. Disappointingly, the successor of 19 year-old MP3 turns out to be… MP3, with extended upgradeable tags.

The sales pitch is that MusicDNA would be reverse-compatible with current MP3 players, and the format would include upgradeable additional info like lyrics, album cover and newsfeed.

What’s worse, since MusicDNA gets information downstream from the labels, what tells us that the labels are not able to collect information upstream? That would be a good way for them to monitor the end users, whom I am sure would be thrilled to use anything that has a backdoor.

A lot of music library management applications now have the option to fetch song, album and artist info as soon as a file is played, not to mention scrobbling. Why not work along those lines and instead improve the performance of data compression? MP3 is by far one of the worst destructive compression formats.

Labels should make it easier for users to purchase digital music online. I am writing from one of the most economically dynamic countries on the European continent, and yet options are still limited from here. This is why I am still getting my music through purchasing second-hand CD’s on Amazon and ripping them… in OGG Vorbis.

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DRM
Digital privacy
Economic sustainability
Internet
Multimedia
Social networking

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Pidgin features a Facebook chat plugin

For those of you who want to access their Facebook chat without a browser, Pidgin now features a plugin for that.

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Cross-platform
Economic sustainability
Internet
Linux
Social networking
Windows

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Le Mozilla to handle email on 130,000 French government computers

OSOR.eu has details about a decision by the French Directorate General of Public Finance to migrate the mail client towards Mozilla on 130,000 computers. The Directorate General of Taxes had been using IBM Lotus Notes; while the Directorate General of Public Accountancy used Microsoft Outlook. The decision to merge the two departments led to an assessment of different solutions to make both entities software compatible. The economical weight of licenses eventually led to adopt the Mozilla suit.

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Cross-platform
Economic sustainability
Internet
Messaging
Migration
Open

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Will Android be the homerun OS of the year 2010?

It took time for phone builders to realize that they would made big saving by adopting Android instead of reinventing the wheel with their own OS. Android has been around for a couple of years now, but it is finally gaining momentum: a dozen device are expected within the next 6 months, so the OS ever-broad user base might create enough momentum to convince developpers to embrace it.

As for Microsoft, Windows Mobile has recently been released, and I read that it still requires a stylus. I rest my case.

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Android
Economic sustainability
Google
Mobile computing
Multimedia
Windows

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