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Mastodon

It could be an extinct beast like an elephant . A rock band . However, in the weeks following Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter , it is known for being a Twitter-like social network. Twitter follows in the line of social media companies run by billionaires. Meta , the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is the plaything of Mark Zuckerberg. It has billions of users. By comparison, Twitter is the small network with just 300 million. Elon Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter. What has followed has been chaos. Highly individual CEOs often leads to eccentric decision making. Some would say decisive decision making.  Some users have Twitter have decided that looking for an alternative social experience is now required. One option is the social network called Mastodon . If you sign up, you get a similar experience to Twitter. Without the advertisements. Signing up may be the first complexity.  With most traditional social accounts, you are signing up to a single entity. Mastodo

Double Figures

There used to be some certainty in the PC market. Microsoft and Windows would have a share of the market north of 90% and the rest would struggle at low single figure digits.  That was the rule. Columnists would rank the Mac below that of PCs because of sales. Everyone had a PC. Everyone used Windows. Macs were too expensive, too incompatible, too niche.  The world went mobile. The device in your pocket was your PC. Consumers gravitated to Google and Apple's mobile environment. The PC became one of the minority citizens in the consumer world. Microsoft withdrew from much of the consumer market to concentrate on enterprise products.  Apart from the pandemic years PC sales have had a steady decline. Retail has reduced the space in electronics stores for the PC. Several traditional electronics stores have gone out of business. Meanwhile Apple have upped their retail offering. Apple Stores and sales points within stores have made the Apple buying experience superior to the lines of dif

Everything

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Elon Musk , the new CEO of Twitter , isn't short of ambition. He wants his new purchase to be an everything app. Right now, it is a something app. It's a microblog with 280 characters for a posting. Each posting is referred to as a tweet. Each post is supposed to be answering one question - what is happening? Musk isn't thinking of something new. The Chinese app WeChat , created by the megacorp Tencent , is exactly that for the Chinese market.  WeChat started with Instant Messaging. It then evolved. Now it's also a bank, online shopping, personal payment system, food delivery service and more. It is an essential daily app for most Chinese citizens. Can Musk bring the concept to the west via Twitter? He seems to want to. Twitter's current selling point is that it is a place for news, brands, journalism, and speech. It would take a lot to increase usage to a tipping point where it becomes an everything app for every consumer. Most consumers are happier with different

Twitter 2.0

 Elon Musk , the new owner of Twitter , has declared that his version of the social media platform will be Twitter 2.0 .  Commentators are unsure of what this means or whether Elon Musk even has a plan for Twitter,  We do know he spent $44 billion on Twitter. Several analysts say that Twitter may have been worth about $25 billion. We also know that Musk tried to backtrack on his offer, only court action to enforce the legal terms of the purchase seems to have forced Musk to go ahead. It is reported that $13 billion of the money he paid for the company was in loans that have now been put on the Twitter balance sheet. Loan repayments are expected to be $1 billion per year.  Twitter has only made profits in two of the last ten years. Paying $1 billion a year on loans will be challenging. Most of Twitter's income, like most of the "free internet", comes from advertising.  Musk says that he wants half of Twitter's income from subscriptions rather than advertising. He has a

Twitter

 My Twitter profile says I joined in 2008. A platform that emulated text messaging on a phone and informed the world of what's happening.  You could just tell people about your day or what you are doing now. The 140-character limit was based on the limits of text messaging. Over time this became 280 characters. People created threads of linked messages. People added links to news sources and the use of hashtags made subject specific tweets easy to find.  Those on Twitter numbered three hundred million by 2022. By social network standards this is small.  Much lower than the two billion Facebook users. Meta, the owner of Facebook, could also add the membership of Whatsapp and Instagram , which it also owns.  Whatever the social benefits of social media the business of financing it is troublesome. The founders of Instagram and Whatsapp simply sold up to corporation with a lot of money. Meta is estimated to earn more than 90% of its revenue from advertising. Its users are the product

Identity as the new security boundary

 Not so long ago a PC was safe behind a firewall. The idea was that the physical infrastructure of a network would be enough. Anti-virus and anti-malware products sat on PCs to protect users. Then hybrid working came along. Digital nomads who could connect to networks from anywhere. New startups had users connecting to web based applications. People were bringing their own devices, tablets, phones, projectors and so on into the workplace. Security has now started looking at people. Microsoft call this zero-trust. You don’t just trust someone because they can login. You have systems that secure identity itself. There are three steps to identity security.  1.The credentials that give you authorisation. For most people this is an account identity and password. Often the identity is an email address or some public identity. This leaves the account secured by password. The strength and complexity of the password protecting authentication. 2. Authorization is the next step. What you can a

My Microsoft Account goes Passwordless

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I suddenly realised it's been a while since I typed in my password to access my Microsoft account. This is partly because my browser caches information but also because the security model of Microsoft Accounts has changed. Microsoft send you a notification or can send you an SMS rather than ask you for a password.  My current Windows laptop has an infra-red sensor so that it can do face identification using Windows Hello. If that fails, I can use a pin.  If you want to go passwordless then you will depend on these biometric devices. Your face, fingerprint, or a pin. It has been an aim of the leading technology firms to ditch passwords for some time. The process is reaching a point to which tech is doing it across devices.  At the centre of this is FIDO. The Federation of Identity Online (FIDO) is a decade old group that has promoted a new way of securely authenticating people on online services. It has onboard Apple, Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Meta, Amazon and more. They don't