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ID Guardian concept tackles electronic pickpocketing

(Tech News) ID Guardian launches a wallet slash phone case that blocks RFID to safeguard users from electronic pickpocketing, an increasingly common problem.

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ID Guardian gets serious about theft

We all know we are supposed to shred our bank statements, protect our social security numbers, and guard our personal information like it was in a safe, but now, you may think twice before you open your wallet. Did you know your information can be stolen while it is still in your wallet? If you carry a credit, debit, or identification card holding an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip inside, you are vulnerable.

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They are also found in subway, healthcare, drivers’ licenses, and bus cards. RFID is the technology that lets you wave your card or passport in front of a nearby scanner instead sliding the magnetic strip through the machine. Because of this criminals have created ways to use their own RFID readers to copy your information without ever touching your wallet. They simply walk near you and the reader will pick up the information.

How do you know if your card has a RFID chip inside? There is usually a logo on the card that looks like this: rfid and can be found on the front or back of the card. Some cards that have a chip do not have this logo though; if there is any doubt, contact your card provider. All US passports issued since October 2006, have a RFID chip in place.

New product blocks RFID

ID Guardian has created a line of RFID blocking wallets, phone cases, purses, handbags, iPad cases and more. Currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, ID Guardian’s co-founder, Matt Bolock states: “After personally falling victim to electronic pick pocketing, I realized the serious and growing threat it poses to consumers every single day. ID Guardian provides a convenient way to protect your identification and financial information with premium, yet affordable products.”

Bolock added, “We are very excited about our introductory line of phone case wallets and look forward to expanding our identity protection technology to additional products.”

The smartphone wallet is particularly attractive: one side of the wallet holds two credit cards and your ID, while the other harbors a magnet to safely hold your phone in place, allowing you to easily insert and remove you phone, while still holding it securely.

At the conclusion of their crowdfunding campaign, they hope to expand manufacturing efforts to make more high-quality, affordable, cases to safe guard your information. Currently, phone cases are only available for Samsung Galaxy and iPhone 5 and 5s; hopefully they will expand at the end of their campaign.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Wizzard

    January 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks Jennifer for this article, RFID blocking or shielding (which has been around for years) can have varying levels of effectiveness & often when a criminal dials up the power on their RFID reader and boosts the antenna signal strength many of these ‘passive’ blocking or shielding devices can still be penetrated or at the most may limit the distance you can be skimmed from.

    We at Armourcard have developed and patented (pending) the first ‘Active’ solution. Armourcard is a similar size to a regular credit card & sits in any wallet or travel wallet, when a criminal tries to interrogate your credit cards or ePassports, Armourcard instantly powers up and jams the frequency which these devices transmit over (13.56Mhz) If you want to find out more just google Armourcard.

    Happy to answer any questions

    Tyler
    Co-Founder | Director

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Tech News

Daily Coding Problem keeps you sharp for coding interviews

(CAREER) Coding interviews can be pretty intimidating, no matter your skill level, so stay sharp with daily practice leading up to your big day.

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Whether you’re in the market for a new coding job or just want to stay sharp in the one you have, it’s always important to do a skills check-up on the proficiencies you need for your job. Enter Daily Coding Problem, a mailing list service that sends you one coding problem per day (hence the name) to keep your analytical skills in top form.

One of the founders of the service, Lawrence Wu, stated that the email list service started “as a simple mailing list between me and my friends while we were prepping for coding interviews [because] just doing a couple problems every day was the best way to practice.”

Now the service offers this help for others who are practicing for interviews or for individuals needing to just stay fresh in what they do. The problems are written by individuals who are not just experts, but also who aced their interviews with giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

So how much would a service like this cost you? Free, but with further tiers of features for additional money. Like with all tech startups, the first level offers the basic features such as a single problem every day with some tricks and hints, as well as a public blog with additional support for interviewees. However, if you want the actual answer to the problem, and not just the announcement that you incorrectly answered it, you’ll need to pony up $15 per month.

The $15 level also comes with some neat features such as mock interview opportunities, no ads, and a 30 day money back guarantee. For those who may be on the job market longer, or who just want the practice for their current job, the $250 level offers unlimited mock interviews, as well as personal guidance by the founders of the company themselves.

Daily Coding Problem enters a field with some big players with a firm grasp on the market. Other services, like InterviewCake, LeetCode, and InterviewBit, offer similar opportunities to practice mock interview questions. InterviewCake offers the ability to sort questions by the company who typically asks them for that individual with their sights targeted on a specific company. InterviewBit offers referrals and mentorship opportunities, while LeetCode allows users to submit their own questions to the question pool.

If you’ve really got your eye on the prize of receiving that coveted job opportunity, Daily Coding Problem is a great way to add another tool in your tool box to ace that interview.

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Making Slack actionable makes you productive

(TECHNOLOGY) Slack is an amazing productivity tool, but of course can add more to your plate – this feature puts you back on track.

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You know when you’re using Slack and you’re having a conversation with your teammate about whether or not you should grab lunch or go to Soul Cycle, but before you can answer, your editor Slacks you about deadlines and your design partner messages you proofs and suddenly you snap back to reality and remember that you’ve been working on a blog post for an hour and your concentration is completely shattered? You know, the exact moment when your productivity is officially derailed?

Well, Slack now offers Actions to help make sure that doesn’t happen. Your day may get busy, but at least nothing will slip through the cracks, work-wise.

Integrated with project management tools like Asana, Zendesk, and Jira, Actions allows users to create and comment on tasks, tickets or issues within conversations. That means no clicking through tabs or apps until you can no longer remember why you started clicking in the first place. More importantly, Actions keeps track of the work you need to do and when you need to do it.

So, how do Actions work?

1. Need to create a deadline or set up an appointment? Anything you see in Slack that needs a follow-up can be turned into an action when you click the ••• icon and choose an “action.”

2. When you’ve completed an action, a message appears in your Slack channel and lets your team know you’ve flagged it for follow-up.

3. Whichever app you’ve integrated with will alert Slack at which point you and your team can determine the next steps.

Bottom-line, Actions help keep your workflow moving. While it may not stop the onslaught of Slack messages from breaking your concentration, at least you’ll know what you should to be concentrating on.

If you’re curious to know more about Actions, the company has ample info on their API pages for your perusal.

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Freezetab streamlines how you save tabs in Chrome

(TECH NEWS) Freezetab is the newest chrome extension that allows you to organize saved tabs in a myriad of ways.

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Internet made easier

With the browser becoming more and more of a workspace than merely an application, the built in bookmarks tool may leave you a bit hungry for more.

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Chrome users who need better tools to organize and manage bookmarks may find the power they need in Freezetab.

Bookmark’s cooler, hotter younger brother

Freezetab seeks to answer the questions of “what if I could organize my bookmarks by website” or “I only want to save all but two of these tabs on zen office designs.” It seeks to give you more options beyond the “one or all” choices in chrome. Here is the lowdown:

  • The calendar feature remembers WHEN you saved a tab – so if you can’t remember the title you can just go back to the day.
  • Chrome either lets you save one or all tabs. Freezetab expands those options to include: all, current, everything but current, right of, left of, or pick and choose.
  • If you are sharing a collection of tabs with a workgroup or a partner, it exports as a nice textbox that is easy to share in integrated messaging, IM, or email. Or even social media!
  • Sorting is robust, and there is a solid search feature that searches as you type.
  • That quick save feature saves all the tabs and closes them – and you can adjust that quick save feature to meet your needs.
  • There is a handy little star feature to note important bookmarks (i.e. recipes and excel techniques).
  • Enhances your close tab capability to close everything to the left and specific tabs – this great if you work in chrome and have 75 tabs open that have one letter names.
  • It is easier to sort tabs after you save them – you can search for them and then sort into folders you create rather manually organizing them into folders.
  • As a bonus: for those who don’t want to have to sort bookmarks – unlike Chrome which requires you to pick a folder or risk turning your bookmarks to an unorganized mess, the extension automatically organizes it for you.

Freezetab findings

After spending a few moments with Freezetab, it does fit in nicely with a workflow. Solidly reviewed, the developer did solve an issue with “pinned” tabs in the 1.2 update. – so it doesn’t remove or add them. The features are nice and easy to use, and it doesn’t require more than five minutes of playing around.

One complaint – if you choose to the right or left of the current tab to close, it did close the active tab as well – which was a little funky. But once you get comfortable with the nuances, it’s easy to use.
The interface is function over form, but you won’t have any problem using or customizing this extension. Now Bookmark smart y’all!

#FreezeTab

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