What’s new in tech
Ancestry and 23andMe in spit-kit spat
“Genealogy products—tests that tell people where their ancestors hailed from and match them with distant family members—have captured the consumer imagination,” said Megan Molteni in Wired.com. The number of people who have submitted a saliva sample and had their DNA analyzed doubled last year to more than 15 million. But Ancestry.com, the industry’s biggest player, is being taken to court by rival 23andMe, accused of infringing on a “patented method for identifying relatives from tidbits of DNA.” 23andMe also accused its competition of “false advertising” and asked the court to nullify the trademarked “Ancestry” name. “The outcome of this lawsuit has the potential to reshape the genetic genealogy testing industry right as it’s beginning to boom.”
The myth of incognito mode
Chrome’s incognito mode “isn’t nearly as private as you think,” said Dylan Curran in The Guardian. The Google browser’s private option, which prevents Chrome from saving your browsing activities, has long offered users a sense of cover to peruse more “odious” corners of the web, believing their searches would vanish “into the ether of the internet.” Problem is, such surfing “doesn’t really disappear.” By Google’s own admission, incognito mode allows you to “browse privately,” in that others using your device can’t see your browsing history. But that’s not to say no one can see your searches. Your history remains visible to the websites you visit, your employer if you are at work, or your internet service provider. And if you’re logged into your Google account, all of your account history is archived, including the incognito searches.
The benefit of a password manager
“Many of the added conveniences we’ve grown accustomed to come with their own annoyance: another password to remember,” said Katherine Bindley in The Wall Street Journal. For most of us, memorizing dozens of multicharacter passwords simply isn’t realistic. Neither is reusing a small number of passwords, which most experts agree is “a terrible idea” from a security standpoint. One increasingly popular solution: password managers. Essentially a vault that stores your passwords in one place, password managers use a master password to operate as a key unlocking access to all other passwords. After importing the log-ins you already use, it can “generate new—and most likely stronger—passwords for you,” and also fill in log-ins for preselected websites and apps.