Google rolls out their own DNS service

Normally one’s ISP would handle the Domain Name System (DNS) resolution of turning the domain name into the associated IP address but ISP’s DNS servers are typically pretty slow. Lifehacker reports that Google yesterday launched a new, free DNS service — called Google Public DNS and having just amended my DNS settings I think I’m noticing an improvement over OpenDNS which I’d been using previously.

More electronic books are coming to mobile phones. Google and Amazon are making it happen.

New York Times: Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones

In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.

I welcome this move but I personally think that the future for books on phones will be audiobooks as I think that it’s a much more natural fit. I already listen to audiobooks on my mobile and as the amount of storage available increases and the data rates improve I think that people will increasingly buy and download audiobooks straight to their phones.

Homicide: The real life on the streets

Using Google maps The Baltimore Sun have plotted all the murders that were committed in 2007 and so far in 2008. As well as switching between the year that the murders took place in the results can be filtered by age, gender and race and it can be seen that a disproportionate number of them are young black men.

That last statistic won’t surprise viewers of The Wire though.

Vulnerability in Google’s handling of SSL and session IDs

Wired’s Threat Level blog covers the vulnerability in Google’s handling of SSL and session IDs.

One of the big stories at DefCon last year was a security researcher’s demonstration of wirelessly sniffing users’ session cookies while they accessed their e-mail accounts or conducted e-commerce transactions via wireless networks. The attack allowed a hacker access to the victim’s Gmail or Hotmail account without needing to decipher the user’s password.

Now the security researcher who presented that info has found that even using SSL HTTPS to access your Gmail account — which was touted at the time as a surefire way to protect Gmail users against such an attack — is vulnerable to this hack.

Additional coverage at The Register.