Category Archives : Tech

TrueCrypt Shuts Down

See on TrueCrypt Shuts Down

Support for decade-old crypto program pulled, touching off Internet firestorm.


“WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues,” text in red at the top of TrueCrypt page on SourceForge states. The page continues: “This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt. The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP. Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. Such integrated support is also available on other platforms (click here for more information). You should migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks or virtual disk images supported on your platform.”

Ryan Seifert‘s insight:

One of the most popular and trusted file encryption systems was closed today; there is a huge amount of controversy over the event. What is even stranger is the suggestion to migrate to Bitlocker, Microsoft’s integrated encryption offering.


TrueCrypt was the common answer for easy and provable secure encryption; due to its open source nature and multi-platform support. Being open source allowed everyone (including security auditors) to review the code and point out any potential weaknesses or problems. The multi-platform support allowed the same encrypted partition to be accessed from Windows, Mac, or Linux.


The controversy is stemming around the the reason given for shutting down TrueCrypt (the sunset of Windows XP) and the suggestion to migrate to BitLocker. TrueCrypt supported up to Windows 8.1 (Current version) and everything between down to XP; it also supported many versions of Mac’s OSX as well as various flavors of Linux. The amount of development work required to support so many different platforms securely is immense; this disputes the shutdown reason stated pretty directly. Many proponents of TrueCrypt are very outspoken on closed source implementations of security applications (such as BitLocker).


Overall it is a strong blow to computer security and privacy in general to see such a strong and loved open source encryption system be closed.

EVERY eBay Account Holder Hacked

EVERY eBay Account Holder Hacked

Hackers obtain name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address and password of 233 million people

Ryan Seifert‘s insight:

It seems like we can’t go 6 months without hearing about a high-profile hack; with significant numbers of accounts being compromised. This one hit close to home; I have many family and friends who are avid eBay users. My phone sounded like a PBS pledge drive after I sent out texts letting them know it was time to change their passwords. After the bewilderment passed the most common question was; how do I avoid this again.

I went with my normal tactic of introducing them to LastPass; but came up short when they asked for a free alternative for their phones (various versions of iOS and Android). A couple minutes of searching provided a decent answer; if a bit difficult to setup. KeePass can use Dropbox to sync the encrypted passwords between devices.  Took some tinkering but looks to work pretty well.

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Microsoft Open Sources C# Compiler

See on Microsoft Open Sources C# Compiler

The .NET Compiler Platform (“Roslyn”) provides open-source C# and Visual Basic compilers with rich code analysis APIs. You can build code analysis tools with the same APIs that Microsoft is using to implement Visual Studio!




Ryan Seifert‘s insight:

Microsoft is on a roll with interesting updates! They just released their C# compiler as open source! This is fantastic news for Mono and Xamarin (Xamarin has been great for mobile device development). I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in all of the surrounding open source products as they leverage this new viability into the C# compiler.

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Oculus Joins Facebook

See on Oculus Joins Facebook

We started Oculus with a vision of delivering incredible, affordable, and ubiquitous consumer virtual reality to the world. We’ve come a long way in the last 18 months: from foam core prototypes built in a garage to an incredible community of active and talented developers with more than 75,000 development kits ordered. In the process, we’ve defined what consumer virtual reality needs to be and what it’s going to require to deliver it. A few months ago, Mark, Chris, and Cory from the Facebook…

Ryan Seifert‘s insight:

Big news from the Oculus team!


When I initially heard the news I had a negative gut reaction, but as I stopped to think a bit deeper into it the reaction changed to pensiveness. I think the Facebook team is going to focus on bring around Stephenson’s ‘Snow Crash’ metaverse vision. I believe the team will grow to include a group focused on polishing the user input and preparing the device for larger acceptance. If this is the first step towards a connected world wide VR plane I am all for it.

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