Breakfast Briefing: Google’s ARM-based Chromebook, weird Wi-Fi names, government spies
Good morning. Today’s top technology stories include Google’s first ARM-based Chromebook, the not-so-hidden messages hidden in people’s Wi-Fi router SSIDs, the government recruits a young batch of cyberspies and Dutch plans to invade the world’s computers.
Oh, and some silliness from Mark Shuttleworth.
Google unveils ARM-based Chromebook
Google has unveiled a new Samsung Chromebook, running an ARM processor for the first time. The new Chromebook features an 11.6in, 1,366 x 768 display, is 0.8in thick and Google promises 6.5 hours of battery life.
Samsung has traded in the Intel Atom processor for an ARM-designed, 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor. It also features dual-band Wi-Fi, and a 16GB SSD backed up by 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage.
The Chromebook costs £200 in the UK, and in the US it will sell for $249; it goes on sale next week.
Passive aggressive Wi-Fi names
“Stop Mooching Our Internet”, “We can hear you having sex”, and “Shut The Barking Dog Up No 7” – they’re all Wi-Fi router names noted in an amusing piece by the BBC, noting the use of the publicly viewable SSIDs as a passive-aggressive way to communicate with your neighbours.
The top issues seem to be “stealing” Wi-Fi signal and noisy neighbours, but we’re fans of the goofier selections, especially “Wi Believe I Can Fi”.
Bletchley Park handed funding as government recruits spies
The government has awarded £480,000 in funding to Bletchley Park, taking it to a total £2.4m that it needed to unlock a further £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The announcement was made by Foreign Secretary William Hague, as he unveiled a new cyberspy apprenticeship scheme, offering 100 spots to tech-savvy students as an alternative to university.
Ubuntu alliteration just getting silly now
Mark Shuttleworth has seemingly had a right royal time announcing the codename of the next version of Ubuntu. In a post titled “Not the Runty Raccoon, the Rufflered Rhino or (even) the Randall Ross“, Shuttleworth takes us on a journey through words beginning with ‘r’, before revealing Ubuntu 13.04 will be known as Raring Ringtail. He clarifies, “this ringtail is no laconic lemur, it’s a ringtail raccoon. However, for the sake of sanity, it’s not a raring ringtail raccoon, just a raring ringtail.”
The man needs to get out more.
Dutch authorities want to spy on foreign PCs
Security and privacy campaigners are in a lather over the Dutch government plans to pass laws allowing the country’s law enforcers to snoop on computers in other countries. Bits of Freedom reveals the proposals, which would allow Dutch authorities to install spyware that allows police to search data on the computer, including computers located in other countries, and destroy that data.
As Bits of Freedom points out: “If the Dutch government gets the power to break into foreign computers, this gives other governments the basis to break into Dutch computers which infringe the laws of their country. The end result could be less security for all computer users, instead of more.”
Engineers ponder SSL changes to fight CRIME
The Internet Engineering Task Force, which helps oversee web standards, has proposed changes to web practices to confound a recently discovered security threat called CRIME, which can reveal login details even if they are encrypted.
Ars Technica reveals that the attacks, which saw white hats breach Dropbox and Github accounts by circumventing the secure socket layer and transport layer security protocols, could be thwarted by updates disabling compression during transmission.
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