Activate Me!!!!

With recent and ongoing research and statistics showing that activation locks on phones and tablets has in many cases reduced the theft of the devices, is it time to consider this same technology for other devices?

I would argue that whilst technically it is ready and suitable for use in the wild, and there are certainly technologies out there that do similar things it is time this technology became installed on other devices. I mean think about it, just about all modern devices have a computer in it of some sort, everything from the brand new smart TV, to the washing machine. With the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) these devices are also becoming connected to the wider world, in fact many of the “smart” gadgets such as TV’s, BluRay players and PVR’s already have internet accessibility. It is on these devices that I would advocate we should start installing activation lock technology, as not only are these the main target of the thieves but with their inherent desire to be connected to the internet it would allow you to put it into a lost/stolen mode and when it connects it locks out. Obviously you would want this to display a message and some basic information. So it can be returned to the owners.

Further to this having an independent clearing house for this, so all your devices and use it under a single log-in would be ideal as you can then lock one or more devices with one control interaction rather than having to go to each manufacturers or partner groups page to block devices. As time goes on this could then of course be rolled out to more and more devices, thereby making it harder and harder for thieves to steal anything with electronics in it and the activation tech.

Further to this thing such as device encryption could then be placed in using this tech again similar to what is already available on phones and tablets this would allow devices that store data (almost all of them these days in some form or another) to be securely erased (wipe the encryption key, wipe access to the data) to prevent identity theft and other malicious use of private data (you do have an ENCRYPTED backup though right)

This definitly will not happen overnight, if at all due to the competing methodologies, standards and the companies unwillingness to work together to make a standard. I can dream though can’t I

Today’s Rant

Just going through some paperwork here, as you do, and currently I am digitising all mine so there is another thing and I realise, half the paperwork I have is magazine articles or alike. Now there are many services these days offering digital magazine subscriptions such as those offered by Zinio and HP’s MagCloud to allow organisations, be it small enthusiast clubs such as the SubCommittee or large publishing houses to provide digital subscriptions to their magazines, and that’s not to mention the countless others such as Backyard Aquaponics and TaskForce 72 that send their magazines out via email or other means as a PDF file. On top of this yet others have made part, or all of their back editions available such as has been done with Earth Garden, but they do not offer their new magazines as a digital subscription

Now here is what gets me, I am all for paying for things I consume, after all it is only fair and it is only through making something commercially viable can we hope to keep these publications (or anything else for that matter) going. What gets me is the resistance and/or reluctance of some groups, and publishers to use these digital subscription services. In some respects I can understand it, its so remarkably different to anything else in the past, the only thing that is even remotely comparable (IMHO) to the current “Online/Digital Revolution” is the invention of the printing press, and whilst a remarkable achievement in itself it pales in comparison to the new online content delivery paradigm, to do be fair it would have to be frightening to the bean counters and senior management at the publishers, BUT, and yes that is a BIG BUT it does not win any friends or loyalty from me for not publishing digitally, in fact if anything it reduces the likelihood that I am going get the magazine.

Now don’t get me wrong Zinio is not perfect, especially when they print out huge bloody watermarks over a page I want to print, especially when it makes it bloody hard to read words that have major relevance to the article, well that and the fact of the limited download, but still I simply print the pages I want to PDF, that allows me to keep the most important pages available. Even with all its shortcomings I still prefer the Zinio format over the printed medium, and I prefer the PDF most of all, small file size and I can print it out as many times as I need (I often print out a page put it on my desk and use it, once its done I will toss it, knowing that if I need it I can print it again) and I can move it to any device I want, I can back it up and it will work normally, no issues.

Long live the PDF Magazine distribution

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