Message encryption coming to Office 365 in early 2014

While there is still a lot of concern over the NSA having access to data from large technology companies, one of the best tools for end users to protect their privacy would be proper encryption. Offering message encryption on Office 365 is a good step in that direction.

Microsoft Bringing Message Encryption To Office 365 In Early 2014

In the age of pervasive data abduction by government agency, keeping your private stuff private is an increasingly important issue. The addition of message encryption to Office 365 is therefore on point, and potentially very useful.

The system is neat: Once administrators turn it on, emails that are sent are encrypted before they are fired out, meaning that they only leave the house after they put a jacket on. The recipient receives an email that has an encrypted attachment. That’s the message.

Nokia begins its long road to recovery

With much of it sold to Microsoft, Nokia will probably never be the same again. The next chapter in the Finnish company’s history will depend on how well it can reinvent itself.

Nokia, Once The World’s Biggest Mobile-Phone Maker, Is Planning The Next Bounceback

Nokia is also keen to talk up its other two businesses. The larger is HERE, its highly regarded maps division, which has most of the market for navigation systems built into cars. The smaller, Advanced Technologies, will have the job of licensing Nokia’s thousands of patents and coming up with more bright ideas. Risto Siilasmaa, the chairman and acting chief executive, calls it “our innovation engine”. Most of the uncertainty about Nokia’s future has to do with how well this engine fires.

Twitter boosts security with forward secrecy

The battle for privacy continues.

Forward Secrecy at Twitter

On top of the usual confidentiality and integrity properties of HTTPS, forward secrecy adds a new property. If an adversary is currently recording all Twitter users’ encrypted traffic, and they later crack or steal Twitter’s private keys, they should not be able to use those keys to decrypt the recorded traffic.

Sir Richard Branson believes in Bitcoin

Many people are still skeptical about Bitcoin at this point, but the recent high of $900 has certainly increased interest in the cryptocurrency. Now Bitcoin has a new supporter, none other than the maverick Sir Richard Branson himself.

Whether you’re planning to invest in it; mine it; or ignore it, it’s probably a good idea to find out more about it.

In his own words:

Bitcoins in space

I have invested in some bitcoins myself, and find it fascinating how a whole new global currency has been created. For people who can afford to invest a little in bitcoins, it’s worth looking into.

Your typing pattern can be used to identify you

SC Magazine reports that researchers have developed a way to identify users based on the way they type.

A series of 90 minute typing tests carried out on 2000 people at Iowa State University found users could be identified with a half percent margin of error based on the way they hit keys.

The work has been spun into an application that could continuously authenticate users and lock accounts if another person jumped on the computer resulting in irregularities being detected.

New Twitter app features on iPhone and Android

The Business Insider reports on the hidden features in the new Twitter iPhone and Android apps.

TV trends:

The basis of the TV trends section is that you can chat about your favorite show with other fans but that seems to be about it.

Timeline sort by prominence:

This element of the app is timeline that displays the most prominent trends of the day. Filters factor into this again since it scans your surrounding area and provides insight into nearby events and conversations.

More details in compose page:

When composing a message, it asks for a location to add more depth to searching for local content.

Software patent reform stopped by IBM and Microsoft

The Washington Post reports on how IBM and Microsoft lobbied to stop software patent reform.

But large software companies had other ideas. A September letter signed by IBM, Microsoft and several dozen other firms made the case against expanding the program. The proposal, they wrote, “could harm U.S. innovators by unnecessarily undermining the rights of patent holders. Subjecting data processing patents to the CBM program would create uncertainty and risk that discourage investment in any number of fields where we should be trying to spur continued innovation.”

Of course, advocates of the program disagree. They point out that software patents are disproportionately responsible for the recent rise of patent litigation. The fact that technology startups almost inevitably face patent threats is itself a significant disincentive for innovation. So it’s far from clear that subjecting software patents to greater scrutiny would be bad for innovation.

Other notable companies involved include 3M, Adobe, Dolby, DuPont, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm and Xerox. View the letter and list of companies opposing CBM expansion.

Google’s Project Link

Google unveils Project Link and writes about how the company is bringing fast, reliable internet access to Uganda

The project builds fibre-optic networks to places where internet infrastructure access is inadequate or non-existent.

Project Link goes beyond basic access; it enables local providers to offer new mobile data plans or high-speed Internet for office buildings and universities, and support newer technologies as they come to market.

This along with Google’s Project Loon is part of the company’s aim to increase internet access around the world.

Microsoft launches anti-Google merchandise line

Microsoft launches its “Scroogled” merchandise line.

This anti-Google smear campaign does more to make Microsoft look bad than it does to mock Google.

Check out the full range of products.

Instagram’s differences across mobile platforms

The differences between Instagram on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Windows Phone has positioned itself as a unique mobile OS with a strikingly different look and navigation features compared to other major platforms. Most apps on Windows Phone look and behave significantly differently than on iOS or Android, and Instagram is no exception.

The experience seems more disjointed on Windows Phone but I will have to try it myself before I comment more. Still, this is the first release on Windows Phone and it can only get better with future versions.