TEH 035: Unnecessary, Mean-Spirited, and Harmful

In This Episode: Using Dropbox for backups. Is two-factor authentication too weak to use? (No!) Scores of Android apps had malware — but it’s not a problem because…. New exploit in WPA2. SpaceX launch. Google sucking up to China. And Apple blowing off affiliates.

This Week’s Hosts

  • Randy Cassingham, founder of the Internet’s oldest entertainment newsletter, This is True.
  • Leo Notenboom, “Chief Question Answerer” at tech education site Ask Leo!
  • Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Kevin noted he attended the recent Vintage Computer Festival West. We’ll spare you what Leo is doing, but let’s hope his trash is picked up soon! We also talked a little about using Dropbox to back up photos (Leo has a terabyte worth!), and why you should check your security there if you haven’t recently, even if you just have a free account.
  • Leo talked about a hack on Reddit (via The Guardian), which illustrates that SMS-based two-factor authentication is crackable. But we all agree that it’s far better than not having any 2FA at all.
  • Randy talked about a downright humorous security problem: scores of Android apps had malware — a Windows keylogger that can’t do a thing to an Android device. It’s fairly funny how it got in there: Bleeping Computer has the story.
  • A new exploit has been found for in WPA2 security for WiFi networks — which amusingly was discovered by a researcher trying to discover exploits in the new WPA3 security. Again at Bleeping Computer.
  • Randy was gleeful that there is a SpaceX launch tonight, the first re-use of the “Block 5” Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket successfully lifted off right at the start of the launch window, and the first stage landed successfully on the drone ship so it can be used yet again. You should be able to watch the replay on Youtube. For an article on the launch, see Ars Technica.
  • The guy talk about their mixed feelings about the U.S. Congress getting huffy with Google after reports came out that they’re developing a censored search engine for China — and we wonder …why? The conclusion: we think it sucks, and talk about why. We were alerted to it by article from Gizmodo.
  • How-to Geek ran an article about the Windows Defender’s “Secret Crapware Blocker” — but Leo doesn’t think it’s ready for Prime Time.
  • Kevin agrees with Tidbits that Apple’s cutting off “affiliates” — such as review sites (such as Touch Arcade) that tell you which apps are good — is “Unnecessary, Mean-Spirited, and Harmful”. (Randy notes that Tidbits is actually older than his own This is True newsletter, which is why he says True is the “oldest entertainment newsletter on the Internet”).

2 Comments on “TEH 035: Unnecessary, Mean-Spirited, and Harmful

  1. Randy, I liked how when you commented on SpaceX’s BFR even your voice put quotes around the Falcon in Big “Falcon” Rocket. While that may be the public name anybody who has been following this knows that BFR really stands for Big (another word that begins with F) Rocket….


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