Weekly – be productive – LastPass

Passwords are a pain.

  • Almost every web page has its own registry mechanism where you have to use another password
  • The amount of passwords needed lead to password reuse
  • Nowadays, if you have someones facebook account name, you could look up at studivz, xing, gmail, yahoo, battle.net, steam, etc.
  • Result: Passwords are not that safe
    If one account gets compromised, many other accounts will get compromised too

For the last year I used Keepass. All my passwords were stored in an encrypted databank and this was synced via DropBox so that on each PC I was using, I had the same passwords. As DropBox is free for 2GB storage, this is a totally free solution.

However, there are some downfalls:

  • Passwords are mostly used inside the browser and you had to switch between programs to insert the credentials into the forms
  • Keepass does not have really good browser integration
  • Mobile devices like iPad, Android mobile phone, etc. makes this not very usable

My new solution: LastPass.com

  • Lets you store your passwords online in the cloud
  • Integrates extremly well into Chrome, Firefox and other browsers
    Example: when I go to facebook.com, the plugin checks if I am logged in. If not, it automatically logs in. Simple, isn’t it?
  • Useable on mobile devices, too. Like on the iPad, iPhone, android, blackberry, etc.
  • Normally, its free. But if you need more functionality, it costs 12$ anually, which is quite affordable.

The only thing that I thought about way, whats the downfall? Hm, maybe, that someone else stores my passwords? Yes, that is a problem. So, how does this company do to avoid maluse of their data:

Encryption and decryption of the passwords takes place on the local machine using JavaScript or a C++ AES algorithm. http://lastpass.com/whylastpass_technology.php

The best iPad apps to be productive (and one for fun)

These are the current iPad apps I use excessivly to do my work:

1. Dropbox: Used to access my dropbox files from the ipad
2. iThoughtsHD: Used to draw Mindmaps with an easy user interface. Can access Dropbox itself.
3. iAnnotate: Used to read PDF files and annotate it. Dropbox App can export PDF to iAnnotate

Why does the trio so well?
– Good Integration
– Shared Storage on Dropbox
– Intuitive handling
– Leveraging the size and mobility of the iPad

UseCases:
1. Organize your thoughts of your Master Thesis or other project with iThoughtsHD
2. Correct papers that were sent to you or are stored in your dropbox
3. Read and work through eBooks (e.g. from Manning like JUnit in Action)

For fun, i can only recommend Monkey Island 2 on the iPad.