Oct 062008


I received a tip from my new buddy Henk today who resides in the Netherlands. It’s regarding a couple of topics most of us are probably all familiar with: Kevin Mitnick & Privacy.

Mitnick was in the news again recently for an interesting detaining at the Atlanta airport – you gotta read what happened, talk about a bad day gone worse. Sheesh! 

Anyway, it can be understood that based on Mitnick’s past, he is probably anal about his privacy, with that in mind, here’s the message from Hank:

Yesterday I was visiting TWIT LIVE (leo Laporte) and 20 mins before episode #163 started, he had to call an AT&T service to setup a interview with Kevin Mitnick.

I and 2500 other twitters noticed that the AT&T call was setup by an automatic message, saying, ‘We are calling now (Number of Mitnick)’.  Laporte tried to mute it, but too late. He apologized to Mitnick and proposed him to pay the costs for a new number.

Five minutes earlier the Skype-nick of Veronica Belmont was revealed by accident, also nothing earth shaking, but it made me think about a basis for a small story. More and more tech guru’s use twitter, stickam etc.  and can be followed for hours each day.

Which jeopardizes their privacy and those they interview.

Thanks for the mail Henk. I wonder if Kevin shrugged it off, figuring give it a couple of days and if the phone isn’t ringing off the hook then it’s all just water under the bridge. Also, someone as scrutinized as he is probably isn’t as fazed by his number being revealed to thousands of listeners/fans/hackers.

I gave out my mobile number in a public forum once that is frequented by my customers; co-workers thought I was crazy but only one person took advantage of it to contact me for some free technical support while I was at home. I was amazed it wasn’t abused and learned that most geeks respect each other’s privacy and will probably not abuse it.

If I put my mobile number on the Geeknews sidebar, do you think it would get abused? Robert Scoble did it for quite a while and I don’t recall him being hassled via his phone #.

 Posted by at 8:50 pm
Oct 062008

Noone likes losing files from their computer, especially those favorite MP3’s we love to listen to, those hard to replace family photos, or perhaps special emails; all akin to virtual treasures we would solemnly mourn if lost suddenly. Thus enters the wonderful world of backup programs.

I have to tell you – I’m not a huge fan of backup programs. In fact, most times, the restore function on my Vista Ultimate X64 is usually turned off. However, after being approached by our friend Flavius Saracut from Neobyte Solutions, I was compelled to give Titan Backup a try. I managed to acquire the software with a quick download, and a clean install that only took a few minutes via a broadband connection.  The interface is user friendly and clearly shows the functions available to the user.

Titan Backup 2.3  

The features of Titan Backup include:

  • Wizard driven tasks
  • Backup to almost any storage device type
  • Sync Tasks
  • Free plugins to support your favorite applications
  • Version Control
  • Encryption 

Backup options include 256-bit AES encryption, the ability to run other programs before and after the backup, and username/password entry for backing up to protected network locations.  You can backup to a public folder, hard disk, flash stick, CD/DVD, or via FTP. Additional features include notification emails, folder sync, a scheduler, cmd line execution and some well written help files. 

I ran the backup wizard first. Like most backup programs, you have the option to select files, registry and profile related items. I chose a few files and some settings from my profile. What was interesting about my profile section was it allowing you to select program specific items that it had detected, like my photos associated with the Microsoft Office Picture Manager.  Next you select your backup options. Normal and differential increment options were there. You could also encrypt using AES as well. Alternatively you could use Zip compression and create a self extracting archive.  The destination choices are flexible, with options to backup to disk, network share, removable device, CD/DVD and remote FTP server. It covers all possible bases.  The final stage, for scheduling, is also just as flexible. The entire process was done in just a few moments. You can also have a shortcut placed on the desktop that allows you to initiate the task at any time.

Titan Backup 2.3a

After the backup was complete, I erased some of the files I archived, and ran the Restore feature.  I selected the “individual files” option, as I only needed a few files, and not the entire backup.  A few more clicks and I was as good as new, with the erased files replaced, like they had never been gone.

In all, my experience with Titan Backup has given me pause in whether I should continue my non-archive practice up to now.  Neobyte has created a easily used, friendly software that enables you to ensure you can keep your treasures safe, and within reach at a moments notice.  Thumbs up, I say!

Flavius tells me that for a limited time you can get 30% OFF with this discount purchase link.  Pretty snazzy deal!