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ExtraBITS for 16 August 2010

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Just two quick bits for you this week - a hearty congratulations to the inimitable Nitrozac and Snaggy for the 10th anniversary of their Joy of Tech comic and a link to an academic paper showing that smartphone passwords could be hacked by virtue of screen smudges.

Joy of Tech Comic Celebrates 10th Anniversary -- Congratulations to Nitrozac and Snaggy for 10 years of their technology-focused Joy of Tech comic, which has long been a regular stop for all of us here at TidBITS. If you're not reading it, you're missing out on one of the top sources of technology humor, often with a wry emphasis on the world of Apple.

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Smartphones Susceptible to Smudge Hacking (PDF) -- Don't get too paranoid about this, but security researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown than Android graphical passwords can be recovered by photographing the screen of a smartphone and analyzing the smudge patterns. There isn't much likelihood of this attack being used widely, because its utility requires either gaining control of the smartphone or the same password being used elsewhere, and the screen can easily be cleaned. But it's still interesting just where security vulnerabilities will be found.

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