There were balloons. There were streamers. There were brand new Ultrabooks, members of staff unfurling banners, and — once other customers started to arrive — there was even a vibe of genuine excitement for today’s official launch of Windows 8 in the UK. But whichever aisle I scanned, nowhere was to be found what I had come to buy: a Windows 8 disc for desktop upgraders. It was a faltering start, but it was also strangely symbolic of my mission — namely, to explore what Microsoft’s latest operating system can do for regular desktop folk. People who, in other words, aren’t yet looking to invest in touch-enabled monitors or laptops or all-in-ones; who rarely get the chance to lean back with a media-consumption tablet; and who simply want to upgrade their traditional tower PC before getting on with their lives. Read on past the break and you can begin this potentially short, hopefully sweet journey with me, starting with a quick rundown of my test rig (which also happens to be my mission critical work computer) and an anti-climactic revelation about whether, in the end, I ever found the software box I was looking for.
iOS device security has regularly been a concern of the government, but locking down one of Apple’s devices for the government is still fresh. Precise Biometrics hopes to have the problem licked through the Tactivo, a combo fingerprint and smart card reader for the iPhone 4 / 4S (and the iPad, in the summer). Either method keeps data inside an app away from prying eyes, and while they won’t tighten the security around the built-in apps, they do make sure a third-party app’s data meets US and international government privacy specs without having to use a BlackBerry. We’re not surprised that the Tactivo needs to engulf the iPhone in a full case to work its magic, although there’s a micro-USB port to keep it powered and synced up. It’s all a bit much if you’re just trying to make sure your list of high school crushes stays a secret, and the price reflects that — at $ 249 a pop, the Tactivo is really meant for agencies and companies for whom losing the data on an iPhone would cost a lot more. Still, if you’re running an outfit encouraging BYOD phone use or just really, really want your secret passions to stay private, both the iPhone case and a BioSecrets app are ready today.
Continue reading Precise Biometrics’ Tactivo for iPhone, iPad locks data by fingerprint and smart card, is overkill for your diary (video)
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