Articles by Lisa Vaas

About Lisa Vaas

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.

Skype can no longer be crashed with these eight characters

Skype issues fix for "http://:" bug that crashes (and recrashes!) app

Bad week for messaging apps, with Skype choking on http://: and iOS on... well, it hasn't been fixed, so let's just say "some characters!"

Obama signs USA Freedom Act into law, clipping NSA's powers

Obama signs USA Freedom Act into law, clipping NSA's powers

Patriot Act provisions snap back to life, but spying will be a tad more inconvenient for the NSA, and there'll be a bit more transparency.

Violent Facebook threats conviction thrown out by US Supreme Court

Violent Facebook threats conviction thrown out by US Supreme Court

It's not enough that ordinary people would find murderous rants threatening, the court said. Rather, courts have to consider frame of mind.

Ex-NBA All Star Chris Gatling accused of being ID theft kingpin

Ex-NBA All Star Chris Gatling accused of being ID theft kingpin

Talk about a slam dunk: they arrested him while he was meeting with his probation officer.

Facebook moves to encrypt the emails it sends users

Facebook moves to encrypt the emails it sends users

The new feature lets users add OpenPGP public encryption keys to their profiles that can be used to encrypt notifications Facebook sends to users' email accounts.

Russian billboard advertising contraband hides when it recognises cops

Russian billboard advertising contraband hides when it recognises cops

Ban on imported Italian food? No problem! Don Giulio Salumeria got an ad company to rig billboards with facial recognition that spots Russian police uniforms.

Thousands of sites block and redirect Congress to Patriot Act protest page

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#ifeelnaked, the protest page says, showing nude photos in protest of surveillance that feels like online strip search. The Senate on Sunday let three Patriot Act provisions expire.

20 students charged in school sexting scandal

20 students charged in New Jersey sexting scandal

Twenty US middle and high-school students in the US are facing charges of privacy invasion after numerous explicit photos of female students were swapped by text and social media.

17% of parents ignore privacy settings but still post hundreds of photos of kids online

Parents upload 973 photos of kids on social media before they hit 5

Parents upload an average of 973 photos of kids on social media before they hit 5 but 17% admit they don't check privacy settings, ever.

We don't cover stupid, says cyber insurer that's fighting a payout

We don't cover stupid, says cyber insurer that's fighting a payout

After 2 months of patient data exposed for anyone to see, Cottage Health System's insurance policy should have come as a relief. It didn't.

Parliamentary insiders clean up MPs' Wikipedia pages

Parliament sockpuppets sanitise MPs' Wikipedia pages

Gone are the sex scandals, excessive use of chauffeur driven cars, and lavish expenses used to spiff up MPs' homes.

Phones' accelerometers allow you to be tracked on the metro

Phones' accelerometers allow you to be tracked underground

No GPS or cell tower triangulation necessary. All it takes is learning the world's unique metro routes, then listening as phones jiggle along.

High schooler allegedly hired third party to DDoS his school district

High schooler allegedly hired third party to DDoS his school district

He might face state and federal charges. The attack crippled more than 50 schools, forcing some students to retake tests multiple times, among other miseries.

IC3 urges social media users to beware: scams and fraud are surging

Scams and fraud are surging on social media, says IC3 annual report

12% of the 269,422 complaints received in 2014 had a social media aspect, be it doxing, clickjacking or pharming. Here's how to stay safe.

How your next password could be your brain

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Researchers found that brains react to acronyms in a way that's unique to each individual.

Ready to slap some electrodes on your head?

Apple Watch lets nimble-fingered crooks use your Apple Pay

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Nimble-fingered crooks can exploit the one-second lag before Watch senses it's off a wrist and asks for a passcode.

South Korea mandates spyware on teens' phones

South Korea mandates spyware on teens' phones

Parents can't opt out, regardless of any privacy concerns. Let's hope they don't get hit by an mSpy-esque data breach.

Hello, Barack! Let's keep that @POTUS account secure!

Hello, Barack! Let's keep that @POTUS account secure!

Let's make sure that highly valuable account stays all you, all the time, without anyone else getting their mitts on it - at least, until somebody else becomes POTUS!