In a week of security news marred by the tragic shootings in Washington, DC, we try and change the subject, presenting you with stories on terrifying acts of nature, the future of passwords, and much more.
Google Security Executive: “Passwords Are Dead”
Password and security breaches have hit major providers and sites across tech sectors in the second half of 2013, Google not least among them. Now Heather Adkins, Google’s manager of information security, says “passwords are dead.” In a TechCrunch Disrupt panel called “Spies Like Us,” Adkins said that new startups that rely on simple passwords as the primary way to secure user data are bound to fail. Google is already in the process of doing away with the antiquated – and easily cracked – security tool, she elaborated, and that even two-factor security built around passwords isn’t enough to protect unwary users from theft. Apple appears to be in agreement, announcing that their newest iPhone model will unlock using biometrics instead of simple passwords.
Tennessee Security Camera Captures Lightning Strike
With the recent tragic flooding in Colorado, there doesn’t need to be much more reminder of the awesome power of Mother Nature. But in case you needed some extra convincing, this security camera footage out of Jackson, Tennessee shows a lighting strike, which seems more like a mortar explosion. Watch the video below and pray to Thor that it never happens to you even once:
Airports Are Tracking Your Smartphones Too
More bad news if you like to use your smartphone to access data through WiFi networks; just like the department stores that got heat in the media this summer for following smartphones’ WiFi port signal in an effort at better marketing, airports are turning to elicit monitoring of travelers’ smart phones. However, their goal is to get better at managing passenger and traveler flow in their airports, and tracking Bluetooth and WiFi signals is just part of their strategy, according to providers. Will passengers appreciate shorter wait times or balk at another seeming intrusion into their privacy in public?
Security Cameras Catch Negligent LAPD
The Los Angeles Police Department has a reputation for mistreatment. This time there’s footage, captured by cameras outside the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown; it shows 27-year-old Kim Nguyen, who claims she was handcuffed for public intoxication while awaiting the arrival of her designated driver. She appears in 3 a.m.-footage, falling out of a moving patrol car and then lying on the ground. She spent six days in a coma as a result, and is now suing the department for negligence.
Biologists Turn to Facial Recognition Software to Combat Coral Problem
Yes they are using technology developed to fight terrorism, but no, it’s not being used on humans. Ecologists in California are adapting facial recognition software to automatically extract information from underwater images of coral ecosystems in order to speed up the process of data collection. Producing this information in a span of hours instead of weeks or months of manual work by technicians gives preservation program managers far more data to adjust plans more effectively and frequently, increasing their ability to protect this vital ocean system.