Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss a WiFi network called “remote detonator,” Colgate’s smart toothbrush, Amazon’s car deliveries, self-destructing email and more for Gmail users, and more.
Kerry in Los Altos, California listens on Desi 1170 AM KLOK and asked: “I would like to encrypt the data on my hard drive and I see that Bitlocker is available through Windows 10. Do you guys have any comments on how good or bad that is and how secure that is?”
Kerry, Bitlocker is by all accounts good at what it does, it requires something called a TPM chip, the TPM chip can actually detect changes in hardware and lock the system into a restricted mode to protect your data.
Bitlocker can encrypt the whole drive in an effortless way and without taking a big hit on resources, but there’s a big reason why some people are completely against it.
Bitlocker is closed source software, it’s a little counter-intuitive but when you want software to hide your data, you want to be able to know how it works in detail.
Open-source encryption software means that anyone who is so inclined can look at the code and see what encryption protocols are being implemented, but most importantly, they can check to see that there’s no secret backdoor into the system.
These days we know that the government presses companies for access to encrypted data, and we know that corporations cannot really be trusted with our data, so knowing that there’s no secret way to get into the data users consider secure is a big deal.
What it ultimately boils down to is this: If you’re not extremely privacy conscious, Bitlocker is probably a fine choice. But if you want to be even more sure that you’re encrypted data is yours alone, consider one of the open source options available, even if you’re not personally checking to make sure the code doesn’t include a backdoor, you can bet someone is.
Steven in Detroit, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW “The Information Station” and asked: “My Internet access is limited. Is it possible to download content from YouTube to play at a later date? Second question: Can I take notes on a Chromebook?”
Steven, yes, you can download YouTube content to play offline later, but to do it legally you have to pay Google.
YouTube launched a service called YouTube Red that allows subscribers, amongst other things to download videos to watch offline. The subscription service costs $10/month and will include other features, for example it’ll let you keep playing audio when you close the app while playing a video.
If that’s too much for you, there are not-so-legal ways to download YouTube videos, but we won’t go into those, for obvious reasons.
As for Chromebooks and notes, assuming you mean handwritten notes, the answer is “it depends.” Some Chromebooks have touchscreens and others don’t. Generally speaking, the cheap ones probably won’t. Even the ones that will probably won’t have very high quality, very accurate screens.
You may actually be better off with a tablet, if all you want to do is take handwritten notes, some like the new iPad have very competent screens with solid styluses.
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