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Stories by Paul McNamara

  • Why business cards still beat 'the bump'

    Marketing consultant Mark Schaefer recently published a blog post headlined: "The best digital business idea that just never worked." It's about being at the SXSW conference recently and noticing that even that collection of digerati remains stubbornly dependent upon paper: paper programs, paper posters, paper flyers and paper name tags.

  • Some data-breach victims can't be helped

    From the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Department: Security experts trying to tell a Pennsylvania hospital that a pile of its sensitive data belonging to staff -- and possibly patients -- was sitting exposed on the Internet were stymied for five days recently by the fact that no one at the medical facility would respond to their repeated warnings.

  • Phishing concerns cause double trouble

    Episode 1: Last week the administrators of 7,000 university websites were being called upon to change their .edu domain account passwords after a server security breach. Trouble was that the breach had been reported to the admins by Educause -- the non-profit higher-education IT group that runs .edu -- via an email that some recipients complained bore the familiar markings of a phishing attempt.

  • Falling for a phony iPhone cup holder

    An iPhone case that doubles as a cup holder? Looks positively ... well, ludicrous, doesn't it? Yet that detail didn't dissuade a fair number of journalists from covering the contraption's funding appeal on Indiegogo in an entirely too serious manner.

  • BlackBerry blacklists the 'Pooh' gang

    A report surfaced recently contending that BlackBerry OS 10 will include a list of 106 prohibited passwords designed to prevent the clueless from choosing the likes of 123456, blackberry, or the ever-popular "password" as their password.

  • Readers scoff at Verizon's fee explanation

    Last month I wrote about Verizon's claim that IT-related costs justify its charging customers, including me, $5 a month to keep a telephone number unlisted. Assuming that explanation to be hogwash, I invited readers to offer their own assessments ... and many did.

  • Yes, Carl Sagan once sued Apple for libel

    One of my favorite parts of Reddit is a section called "Today I Learned," where readers submit stories and facts that maybe not everybody knows. Last week while browsing there, I learned that the famous astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996, sued Apple for libel two years earlier. The details of the matter are highly amusing, as they apply to Apple, and at least slightly disappointing as they apply to Sagan.