thoughts and links

Posts Tagged "computers"

Chinese hackers stole Dalai Lama e-mails, classified government documents


Check this story out from the New York Times:

In a report issued Monday night, the researchers, based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, provide a detailed account of how a spy operation it called the Shadow Network systematically hacked into personal computers in government offices on several continents.

The Toronto spy hunters not only learned what kinds of material had been stolen, but were able to see some of the documents, including classified assessments about security in several Indian states, and confidential embassy documents about India’s relationships in West Africa, Russia and the Middle East. The intruders breached the systems of independent analysts, taking reports on several Indian missile systems. They also obtained a year’s worth of the Dalai Lama’s personal e-mail messages.

The hackers were from China, which shows the significance of the theft of “A year’s worth of the Dalai Lama’s personal e-mail messages.”

It is incredible that a group of hackers can steal information on NATO troop movements in Afghanistan — but it obviously is, as they were found out. 

First reviews of iPad coming in

The New York Times tech writer David Pogue was among the first to get his hands on an iPad for review. He actually wrote two reviews in one — one for techies and one for non-techies.

This part, from the non-techie review, caught my eye:

And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.

Pogue also mentioned another way in which the iPad is not like a laptop; the keyboard is horrible. An external keyboard will be available, but why would you want to carry around two things instead of one?

The big question is if this will be a fundamental change in the portable computer market away from laptops and netbooks like the iPhone was a change in the phone market. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg, who likes the keyboard,  says it depends on how you use your laptop.

If you’re mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social-networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music—this could be for you. If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing email, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn’t going to cut it as your go-to device.

It will all depend on how people use their internet time. With young people writing less and less blogs and more and more tweets, maybe it will change the laptop industry as much as the iPhone changed the phone industry. 

With all the tablet computers coming out in the next year (and the inevitable Apple upgrade in 6 months to a year that will once again anger the early adopters), it will be something interesting to track.