BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – Is the new iPhone fingerprint technology a legitimate security concern? Will air passengers be able to use mobile devices on planes? And, what’s the deal with Ctrl-Alt-Delete?!
Tech Tuesday’s David Powell has it all in this week’s segment.
The following is David’s discussion on these topics:
Tech Tuesday: Tech Highlights
Technology used to be a topic that didn’t bleed over into the mainstream much. Now, however, technology has become such an important part of our lives that we really can’t escape it and has crossed into the mainstream. Here are some topics that everyone is talking about:
* We talked about this a few months ago, but now it is about to happen—the FAA is going to change their rules regarding tech? Yes. As we mentioned a few months ago, the FAA had commissioned a group to study the usage of technology in a “gate to gate” format. They have now made their recommendation that people should be able to use their devices during takeoffs and landings. While this would be great for those wanting to watch movies and read books, downloading information and using the phone will still be prohibited. So, the easy way to think about this would be “airplane mode” will be okay from gate to gate. For the record, I don’t ever want them to allow voice calls, can you imagine sitting next to someone on the phone? Ugh.
* What about this fingerprint thing on the new 5S? The new 5S has a cool feature, you can unlock it with your fingerprint instead of entering a password. Some security people are concerned about this. There is even one group that “hacked” it. I don’t think this is a really legitimate concern. The group that did it lifted a fingerprint, exposed it to some really specific electrical stuff, then put it through this sophisticated process to burn off the metal and leave the fingerprint. Basically, stuff like they do on CSI. Not something your common person will be able to do. So, while there is some reason for mild concern, there is definitely a security benefit. Many people don’t lock their phones or use passwords like 1-2-3-4. The fingerprint is a convenient and easy way to secure your device. So, a discussion about security is appropriate, but I don’t think the consumers have much to worry about. (Nor do the leading tech bloggers by the way. Nor does the group that actually “hacked” it!)
* I guess the best way to end this segment is talking about CTRL ALT DELETE? Yes, that would be appropriate. All of us that have grown up using Windows have used CTRL ALT DELETE to bring up the login screen or to kill applications that aren’t responding. You, like me, probably wondered “why did we have to press three buttons, why couldn’t it have been one?” Bill Gates recently gave a long interview at Harvard and admitted that CTRL ALT DELETE was a mistake. He said they specifically asked to have a single key that would do that, but the IBM keyboard designer didn’t want to give them one. He said they should have pressed harder for a single key, but they didn’t, so the IBM designer won and several generations ended up pressing CTRL ALT DELETE for years and years. Kind of funny really, that one simple decision changed the way billions of users interacted with their computers.
That is interesting and now it is time to CTRL ALT DELETE Tech Tuesday for this week!