News & Commentary

Password salting: make your passwords smarter, stronger and simpler

Password “salting” can make your logins easier and more secure Your average computer scientist isn’t a fan of passwords. They’re easy to hack, and easy to guess. Compared to more modern security techniques, they have more cons than pros. But there’s a simple trick anyone can use to make passwords more secure-…

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Health IT Standards Gaining Traction

A primary goal of Health IT software is to improve the overall quality, safety, and effective delivery of healthcare. However, despite widespread implementation and use of health IT
software, these safety and quality benefits have not been fully realized, as software vendors and users must balance innovation with the ability to mitigate risk…

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The Quantum Encryption Race Has Begun

The never-ending technological arms race between companies seeking an edge has turned to physics for inspiration. Quantum computing is the latest frontier to be explored not only by giants like Google, IBM, and Alibaba, but also researchers and startups. Each party is trying to become the first to develop a computer whose…

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U.K. Proposes More Taxes on Tech – Will the World Follow?

Few could imagine a functional life without Google, Amazon, or Facebook. But the overwhelming surge of influence and clout has brought with it a series of complicated questions. Key among them is an issue governments worldwide continue to grapple with: how do you properly tax companies whose economic activity is primarily generated…

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Amazon, Apple, Bloomberg, and…Chinese Spies?

The story feels like something out of a novel or a movie. In October, Bloomberg Businessweek published a lengthypiecedetailing how Chinese spies had, during the manufacturing process, installed chips in servers purchased by major tech companies—creating “a stealth doorway” into their respective networks. The report alleged that two of the companies were…

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Code is Tricky, Part 4: What Code Says Is Different Than What It Does

Computer languages have an interesting quality not shared by many human languages: syntax is far more important than semantics. For example, in English, the sentence, “The colored clarifications eat sharply” is syntactically correct, but semantically meaningless. Computer programs care obsessively about syntax; the right syntax based on the rules of the specific…

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Code is Tricky, part 3: compiled vs. interpreted

In the 1987 movie Moonstruck, Vincent Gardenia explains why expensive copper pipes are the best solution to a couple’s plumbing problem. He admits, “copper costs money” but concludes his speech with a pearl of wisdom. This same concept applies to important technologies regularly used in software development: programming languages that need compiling…

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Google the Latest to Feel Heat from Lawmakers

The biggest names in tech have increasingly found themselves in lawmakers’ crosshairs at home and abroad. Facebook and Twitter have borne the brunt of the scrutiny domestically, whether for data misuse, failure to prevent harmful actions or hate speech, accusations of inaction with regard to foreign election tampering, and more. Google had…

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The U.S. Justice Department vs. California on Net Neutrality

As expected, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s comprehensive net neutrality bill into law on September 30. His signature opened the door for the expected flurry of lawsuits from opponents, including one filed the same day in the District Court for the Eastern District of California by one of the state’s…

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