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ExtraBITS for 9 January 2012

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We have lots of great additional reading for you this week, with an in-depth article from James Fallows about what it was like to have his wife’s Gmail account hijacked, Amazon’s “Best of 2011” lists, a Web site that relives the startup sequences of vintage computers, and the EFF’s guide to defending your privacy at the U.S. border, plus Adam’s podcast appearance on the Tech Night Owl Live.

What It’s Like to Experience Email Account Hijacking -- In the November issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows shares the story of how his wife’s Gmail account was hijacked and what they went through to recover years of stored messages. It’s a compelling tale that will hopefully bring home the need for secure passwords and offline backups of cloud-based data.

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Amazon’s Best of 2011 Lists -- It’s always interesting to calibrate one’s view of the world against the aggregate behavior of others, and Amazon’s recently released “Best of 2011” lists offer just this sort of insight. They compile Amazon’s best-selling, most wished for, most gifted, and most positively reviewed products of 2011, and it’s particularly fascinating to see which products appear multiple times. No Apple products make the cut, unless you count Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” biography.

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Relive Vintage Startup Sequences with The Restart Page -- Do you long for the days when your Mac would start with a smiling Mac logo and a row of INITs along the bottom of the screen? Or perhaps you miss watching a NeXT machine perform its initial memory scan? Pine no more for the past, because The Restart Page will transport you there. Choose from 17 Restart dialogs belonging to vintage versions of the Mac OS, Windows, NeXT’s OPENSTEP, ProDOS (on the Apple IIgs), a developer build of Rhapsody, and others. Some sequences even include the old startup chimes.

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Adam Discusses SOPA and Santa on the Tech Night Owl -- In his latest Tech Night Owl podcast appearance, Adam and host Gene Steinberg ended up discussing how to be a Freecycle Santa, issues surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act, the continuing story of Quicken, and some of the top 10 TidBITS stories of 2011.

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EFF Guide to Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border -- When you cross the U.S. border, government officials can confiscate your electronic devices, search them, and keep them for a while for additional scrutiny, even when there’s no suspicion of wrongdoing. If you travel out of or into the United States, do yourself a favor and read the EFF’s comprehensive guide to what can happen, and what you can do about it.

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