How to Configure Google’s Two-Step Authentication (factories in china)

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Wired writer Mat Honan fell victim to a brutal hack over the weekend. Through misplaced ingenuity and a smidgen of social engineering, hackers gained access to his iCloud account and wiped his iPhone, iPad, and Mac drives clean. The actual attack involved breaking into Honans Amazon account, and then using information found there to break into his iCloud account. Things only got worse from there.

Amazon and Apple clearly need to institute security policy changes to better protect their users. And Honan made mistakes of his own, most notably not backing up his Mac regularly. But the hackers initial entry point into Honans digital life was through, of all things, the forgot password functionality offered by Gmail. When they first plunked Honans email address into that form, Gmail displayed a redacted version of Honans MobileMe account: Honan has plenty of if only’s on his mind, but one biggieto quote Honans story for Wired, is this: If he had used two-factor authentication for Gmail, everything would have stopped here.

(Note: Google calls it two-step authentication, but two-factor authentication is just as common a name. Well use them interchangeably.)

Understand two-step authentication

First, lets clarify what two-step authentication actually means . In Googles case, it works this way: If you enable two-factor authentication, when you next log in to your Gmail account, youll first proceed as you always doby providing your username and password. But before you get to your inbox, Google will next demand a separate code.

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Inside the i-mate Intelegent, the audacious phone that runs Windows 8

Two months ago, everything about i-mates Intelegent Windows 8 phone screamed vaporware.Today,the handset is back, with specs that suggest it’s very much real. Shoot,PCWorld has even seen videos of it in action.

YesWindows 8 on a phone

It’s no wonder the Intelegent made waves when it was announced earlier this year. In addition to the phone itselfwhich, to be clear, runs the full-blown Windows 8 operating system, notthe Windows Phone OSi-mate promised a docking station that would turn the Intelegent into a desktop workstation. It was all the Windows 8 you could need, all in one place.

However, i-mate wasnt actually demonstrating the device in public.

An exclusive story by Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times showed only product renderings, and claimed that the Intelegent would be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Press materials were prepared by i-mate for the show, but the company didnt release them publicly.) On i-mates website, a short message promised More information coming soon. And that message remains on the site today .

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Back Up and Manage Your Android Device Locally With Moborobo

Moborobo Home tab screenshot
Moborobo’s Home tab shows a beautiful thumbnail of your device, as well as its storage state.

Android smartphones have always been easy to manage “over the air”: You can install apps using Google Play with any desktop browser, and manage your contacts using Gmail’s contact manager. If you use Gmail, this means there is no need to back up your email, either, and apps like Titanium Backup can back up everything else and even sync it online. With such strong cloud sync abilities, is there a real need for a dedicated desktop client for managing your phone? If you ask Moborobo, the answer is “yes”; I say the answer is “not for most Android users.”

Moborobo’s client sports a non-Windows look, with a muted gray background and a large monochrome icon for each of its seven tabs. When you run it, it pops up a UAC elevation prompt asking for Administrator privileges. Then, it lets you connect to your Android device using a USB cable or over Wi-Fi, as long as the device and your computer are connected to the same network. Moborobo marks the USB connection as Recommended, and after trying both connection modes, I agree. For Wi-Fi connectivity to work, you must install a separate Android app, Mobo Daemon, which requires root access. And even then, the wireless connection was flaky and dropped out several times while I was working with Moborobo.

Moborobo Apps tab screenshot
The Apps tab lets you browse your existing apps and install new ones.

USB connection had no such problems, and was stable, if not always fast. Once you connect your phone, the Home tab transforms to display a beautiful image of your phone model (autodetected) along with whatever is currently shown on-screen, so it’s like a miniature of your phone right on your desktop. You can’t interact with it, though, and the screenshot is static by default. You can switch on auto-refresh so that new screenshots are constantly downloaded. Even so, the refresh rate is slower than that of Ashot, my favorite Android screen capture tool for Windows. Also, Moborobo doesn’t let you resize the diminutive device thumbnail, while Ashot does.

The Home tab also shows basic statistics about your phone’s storage space, contacts, messages, apps, images, and more. The Data tab lets you browse the contacts on your phone, as well as your text messages and call log. Next comes the Apps tab, which lets you install apps onto your device. When you pick an app to install, Moborobo downloads it and then sends it to your phone for installation.

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