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ExtraBITS for 29 April 2013

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Three quick bits for you this week: news of yet another massive data breach, a chance to hear the voice of Alexander Graham Bell, and the results of a study that proclaims the 13-inch MacBook Pro to be the most reliable PC laptop.

50 Million Impacted in LivingSocial Data Breach -- Kara Swisher of AllThingsD.com reports that LivingSocial, a daily deals site owned in part by Amazon, has suffered a massive data breach involving the names, email addresses, birth dates, and encrypted passwords of 50 million customers. No credit card or financial information was lost, luckily, but this is just another example of why it’s essential to create a different strong password for every Web site and Internet service. Read Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Your Passwords” for a complete password strategy.

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Alexander Graham Bell Speaks from Wax Recording -- When we think of old communications technology, many of us picture 10Base-2 coax connectors or maybe 2400 baud modems. But what about wax-covered cardboard discs? The Smithsonian discovered and digitized such a disc containing the voice of Alexander Graham Bell saying, “Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” Now you can hear what the inventor of the telephone sounded like on 15 April 1885.

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The Most Reliable PC? A MacBook -- The most reliable Windows laptop is… the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro running Boot Camp, according to a report by PC management firm Soluto. Over the course of a three-month study, the MacBook Pro bested models from Acer, Dell, and others thanks to its superior construction and lack of the commonly preinstalled Windows “crapware” (to quote the report). It is the second most expensive machine in the top 10, cheaper only than the 15” MacBook Pro with Retina display that ranked 6th in reliability.

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