TEH 039: Going to the Dogs

In This Episode: If Google is “fooled” by insecure network-based security, can any of us be fully confident in such devices? Digitizing museums: Can you back up history? (Yes! And we should.) Sony’s new Aibo robot dog: cool, or crazy? And a working Apple I is going on auction.

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!
  • Gary Rosenzweig host and producer of MacMost, and mobile game developer at Clever Media.
  • Kevin Savetz, web site publisher and Computer Historian at Atari Podcast.
  • Longer Bios on the Hosts page.

Show Notes

  • In the warmup, Randy is looking at the window at the first snow in the Colorado mountains, Gary tried a Lime scooter, Kevin tried the postal Informed Delivery service (but Randy grumbled it doesn’t work with PO Boxes in his town, even though the service is otherwise available there), Kevin has been playing Infocom’s “Cutthroats” (and talking about it on another podcast), and Leo has been playing with lighting and green screen effects on his videos.
  • For the Breach of the Week, Randy talked about a Google (network?) engineer who discovered a vulnerability in the company’s security — the keycard-controlled doors. Due to a design shortcut in the encryption, he could control any door he wanted, or even lock valid keycards out. It brings a lesson: if Google could be “fooled” by an insecure online device, we all can. (Gizmodo)
  • Leo brought up an example of how more and more fascinating data is being made available online. The example at hand: Centuries-Old Plant Collection Now Online — A Treasure Trove For Researchers (WUNC) — which lead he got from ResearchBuzz, a fantastic resource for more information relating to research, search, and online data from our mutual friend Tara Calishain.
  • That led to a discussion about museums in general: Brazil’s National Museum burned to the ground this weekend, so what portion of that collection is “backed up” — digitized — so history wasn’t lost? (Leo and Randy talked about this very thing in Randy’s podcast when Hewlett-Packard’s archive was destroyed by fire.)
  • Gary is very enthusiastic about the new Aibo robot dog from Sony. This is a reboot of the Aibo, which came out in 1999 and was discontinued in 2006. The new robot is very advanced compared to the original and the hosts discussed the possibilities of a small mobile connected household robot dog. (TechCrunch & CNet)
  • Only a handful of Apple I computers exist. One is expected to fetch $300,000 at auction. Kevin contends that if you’re in the market, it’s actually a really good time to buy an Apple I. (Seattle Times)

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