It is 1995 and the latest computers boast the latest computer chips or processors from the big manufacturers of such things like Intel, ARM, AMD and others.
Two decades later the millions of computers using these chips are now suddenly found to have a flaw, in fact two, named Meltdown and Spectre, rather ominous names.
What does it mean to me and you, only that some hacker has found a way to access the entire memory of a vulnerable computer, i.e. your password, log-ins and files cached by various applications you are using, and other sensitive data could be read by the hacker.
So much has happened this year that to make an intelligent guess at what we might encounter in 2018 and beyond has become increasingly difficult.
Technology develops very fast, some would say that it is destroying the most important asset in our lives, and that is Time.
Because our time is limited, although some might argue that the more time we have the more opportunities we have to enjoy life and fulfilment. Yet what matters is not how much time we have, but how we spend it, the quality of our experiences depends not on how many hours are in the day, rather on how we used those hours.
With the new iPhone X [pronounced: ‘Ten’] Apple has brought us into a new age of digital security. Up to now we have seen movies where people enter secure areas by having the iris of their eyes scanned or hand prints examined, and of course the fingerprint has been there for a good many years. But now we are into the Face ID era.
It won’t be long now before we see the latest update to Windows 10, the Autumn version, also known as 1709.
That will then be the fourth update in just over the 2 years that Windows 10 has been around, and you can expect future updates at roughly the same rate in the past.
This new update when released can be expected to have loads of changes both for the users and the developers.
So, what can we look forward to? The crystal ball points to elements of Microsoft’s new ‘Fluent Design’ being added, which should add performance and user improvements, including easier resizing for the varying devices on which you use Windows 10 as your operating system, i.e. whether you use a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, and smoother transitions.
Here at Kapiti SeniorNet we spend quite a bit of time exhorting our members to be computer security minded for the very good reasons that failing to do that can be an expensive lesson. We even run a workshop on dealing with spam showing you what can happen and how easy it is to be hoodwinked.
Computer security is a bit of a misnomer because computers can never be 100% secure. In 2016 alone cyber thieves stole US$81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh, and data breaches were still rife even after several of the high profile cases such as SONY and Yahoo. In the latter case Yahoo was in the middle of being taken over by the telecoms company Verizon in a US$4.8 billion deal that was nearly derailed as a result.
Then there was the Russian hackers interference with the US elections, and closer to us the black market in computerized extortions.