Swooped Up By Mars

Maybe I’m under the influence of the Mars Rover Curiosity and maybe those still in love with political sparring will arrest me for not paying attention to ethnic, religious, and geopolitical battles that never seem to change. Whatever! There is discovery happening on Mars and I don’t understand why the news is not jumbo cast on Times Square size screens in metropolis and back alleys alike all across earth. In the same way, I don’t understand how the 2000 movie, “Mission to Mars” did not become the hype that Star Wars was and still is.

Maybe I’m lacking some cinema critic’s degree or maybe I’m tired of Earth, but “Mission to Mars” is sriptilating and if that’s not a word, then let me explain.

The martian storm that takes lives and is the seed of the rescue mission was not the typically bizarre and violent extra-terrestrial we’ve come to expect and at the same time, it was not all E.T. peace and love. It was a communication attempt with “other” and when NASA’s signal did not make sense, the martian defended itself with a massive and destructive vacuum.

It took M&M’s sprawled on the spaceship floor to set one the astronaut’s minds in a new direction. M&M’s make friends after all! And so the signal was reconfigured and the Martian understood the second attempt and invited its earthly descendants inside. Yes, earthly descendants.

That is all I will say in case you have never seen the movie. And how does this relate to Cookeyah and passwords? The movie illustrates the difference between speaker recognition (who is speaking) and speech recognition (what is being said). The Astronauts use both. They log into systems using their voice and then communicate with the system through that same voice. One recognizes patterns and the other takes it one step further; it deciphers language.

There was a time when radio seemed like a dream. Exciting days are upon us, earthly problems not withstanding.

…authenticate with your own voice


Bridging The Gap Between Art and Science

The distance between Engineering and English buildings on most university campuses
is often quite far and to some, it serves as legitimate exercise to walk between the two. Discussions within each respective building may appear different on the surface, but in many ways they are inextricably linked.

Take a poet strolling along a fishing pier to enjoy one of his favorites muses…..the jumping of seasonal fish in and out of the water. The poet relies on the engineer who constructed the pier.

Federico Bryans has successfully merged these complimentary elements. Bryans is Cookeyah’s chief graphic designer.

“I created a floating composition,” he explains, “Rather than a linear or schematic portrayal of evolution.”

The result is a wonderful illustration of Cookeyah’s practical effect; that is….enabling users to navigate freely in a mobile world without suffering from the clutter of too many passwords.

…authenticate with your own voice

A Peek Into The Mobile Device Future

If your daily commute is filled with “walkie-talkies,” you’re not alone. According to the International Telecommunication Union, there were 6 billion mobile subscribers at the close of 2011. That amounts to a whopping 87 percent of the world population and marks a significant increase from 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.7 in 2009.

Human beings crave convenience and our inclination seems to expand with every new device. What begins as a luxury item quickly becomes a necessity. And to think there was a time when “great distance” equated to a portage of animal furs from Montreal to Green Bay by canoe. Nowadays, we drive to shopping malls to take a walk.

“Mobile devices are like any other gadgets. They create dependency,” says Cookeyah’s chief software designer, Nicholas Yachtiovich.

Self-reliance does seem to be an endangered concept in the face of so much convenience and  according to Nick, “There is no turning back.”

In less than 20 years, we’ve witnessed the tossing of file cabinets into the dustbin of history. A study in the journal, Science, calculated that in 2007 the amount of data stored in 60 different technologies had reached 295 exabytes or in lay man’s terms,

“If we were able to take all that information and store it in books, we could cover the entire area of the USA or China with 13 layers of books,” says Dr. Martin Hilbert of the University of Southern California.

But convenient storage was only the beginning. The internet threw us into an entirely new dimension with instant information rivaling a library’s holdings not to mention online shopping which reached 150 billion dollars in the United States (2010) and according to Magenta Open eSource Commerce, the forecast is 250 billion by 2014.

There is no turning back indeed, but according to Nick, there will be some very familiar changes.

“Computers were initially used to play games,” he explains, “Before slowly transitioning into more useful applications in business and medicine.”

Mobile devices will apparently do the same as users shift from the thrill of new gadgetry into applications geared more towards the completion of daily tasks.

“New applications will be built that integrate well with mobile phones,” Nick says.
“….Practical applications like network monitoring to check the status of any home devices connected to a network like thermostats and perhaps, solar panel positioning.”

It’s for this very reason that Cookeyah was designed using a modular approach. The software’s functionality already includes storage of passwords and will soon provide the same for loyalty cards as well as secure online payment. A modular approach is likened to a train with boxcars not welded together. The different components can then be re-configured and/or upgraded.

“If we can think it,” Nick says, “We can make it happen.”

…authenticate with your own voice

To Encrypt or Not To Encrypt

In nature as well as technology, there is a constant jockeying for position between rival factions. The moon follows the sun and hackers lurk in the shadows of innovation.

The seesaw battle between technology and security breaches is as old as cave communities protecting information over the whereabouts of a saber-tooth tiger. The arrival of the printed word jump started this chess match to a new level and with emails, document sharing , and public clouds, the game has become a daily highlight reel.

Earlier this summer the professional social networking site LinkedIn suffered a security breach compromising an estimated 6 million of its user’s passwords. The New York Times Technology writer Nicole Perlroth hinted that the passwords of LinkedIn users were only “lightly encrypted.”

Cookeyah designers were well aware of the importance of encryption. The innovative technology company complimented voice biometric authentication with three of the industry’s most well-respected encryption families.

Encryption is a highly effective tool to protect data. It involves the transfer of information like text into an unreadable format. The transfer is performed by algorithms and the data remains encrypted or unreadable until a key is granted. Continue reading

Rearranging the Technological Furniture

The long, hot summer blends well with outdoor music festivals, swimming in public pools, and upgrading your vintage Pontiac Thunderbird with a more powerful motor because no summer is complete without some tinkering to a modular structure.

Modular Designs are used in buildings, automobiles, and computer hardware. They  separate mechanisms into smaller and independent components enabling upgrades and/or maintenance to be completed without disrupting the overall system. This proves to be cost-effective and beneficial when for example you’re preparing for a drag race by the lake and need some more vrooooom in your engine.

Cookeyah was also designed with a modular approach in order to facilitate ongoing innovation. Modular approaches become critically important in a technology industry that rolls out the red carpet for new devices on a seasonal basis. A modular approach is the equivalent of boxcars being linked by hitches that can be easily removed or upgraded rather than permanently welded together. Continue reading

The Voice Biometric Solution

**This is part 3 of a three-part series on passwords

As we discussed in the first segment of this series-The Password Puzzle-password theft is a growing concern, not just for industry experts, but individuals who make online purchases and perform various banking functions.

The convenience in performing so many tasks online in an ever-increasing mobile world is a force gaining momentum with every passing day. We’ve witnessed the emergance of the PC, Laptop, and more recently, widespread mobile device usage. The path towards even greater convenience shows no signs of letting up. Google’s next generation computer goggles bring mobility to an entirely new level. Password security can no longer be seen as a luxury or something to put off until tomorrow. It should be an immediate necessity. Continue reading

Authentication as in “authenticate”

* This is part two of a three-part series on passwords

A closer look at the word “authentication” hints at a new and more logical solution to the password puzzle. Authentication comes from the word authenticate or the process of determining whether someone truly is who they say they are. It comes from the Greek word authentikos–original, genuine, principal. Continue reading