Go to Account > Privacy Settings, click Customize Settings. Under "Things others share", set "Friends can check me in to Places" to Disabled. Otherwise, your less scrupulous friends can check you into potentially embarrassing locations.

Optionally, under "Things I share", adjust the "Include me in "People Here Now" after I check in" and "Places I check in to" settings accordingly.

Update: you should see my more complete guide to changing your Facebook Places settings.

Crossbeam has issued a press release about their expanded strategic partnership with my employer, Check Point Software Technologies. The key paragraph in that press release:

Customers can now purchase integrated solutions from Check Point, complete with maintenance and support delivered by Check Point’s award-winning global service organization. Check Point will provide support for both its software products and Crossbeam’s X-Series platform. This simplifies the ordering process and promotes closer product, sales and technical collaboration between Crossbeam and Check Point to support customer needs.

The kind of customers that will buy Crossbeam X-Series platforms are the kinds of customers who want what we used to call "first call, final resolution" back at Nokia. This is exactly what this provides: a single point of contact for purchasing and support of Check Point software on Crossbeam hardware. What's not to like?

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There's been a lot of discussion today about the "new iPhone" that was discovered because some git left it in a Redwood City, California bar. (Un)fortunately, it made it's way to the folks at Gizmodo and it's now a topic of discussion all over the Internet. Given how much Apple likes to control the information about their products, I can't see them intentionally "leaking" the device prior to the official announcement.

There is some benefit to this "leak" in that it cranks up the hype machine to 12. However, this allows a lot of potentially mis-information to be propagated--unchecked by Apple. In general, though, mobile phone manufacturers do not like their products leaked before they are ready for one simple reason: it gives the competition a head start in responding. At least that was the corporate line given to us at Nokia when I worked there :)

The one piece of information that nobody is mentioning in their coverage  is, I think, the most scary. According to the Gizmodo piece, Apple was reportedly able to kill the leaked prototype device remotely. While I can see why such a feature would be beneficial (and maybe Nokia will take the opportunity to copy that feature "with pride"), it raises all sorts of questions: Can Apple remotely kill any iDevice it chooses, not just prototypes? Is the data on the phone recoverable? How "hackable" is this mechanism (i.e. can someone discover this mechanism and hack it for their own purposes)?

As usual, enquiring minds want to know.

Update #1: Numerous people have pointed out both that Apple can remotely disable applications as well as the Remote Wipe functionality that can be activated when a device synchronizes through a Microsoft Exchange server. What I'm talking about is the possibility that Apple can, without a connection to an Exchange server, issue a remote wipe to a device. It's possible that with this prototype device, this did happen through ActiveSync. The thought that Apple could reach into my device and either disable applications or Remote Wipe the device without my knowledge or consent does not sit well with me.

Update #2: And yes, MobileMe does this remote wipe thing as well. So clearly Apple has the capability to do this. It still makes me nervous that a device I've purchased could be wiped at the touch of a button by the company who sold me the product.

A poem that needs no explanation to those who understand it.

This is my network. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My network is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My network, without me, is useless. Without my network, I am useless. I must send my packets true. I must block packets faster than my enemy who is trying to pwn me. I must pwn him before he pwns me. I will....

My network is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its clients, its servers, its switches, its routers and firewalls. I will keep my network clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...

Before God I swear this creed. My network and myself are the defenders of the world. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of our data. So be it, until there is no enemy, but Peace.

Amen.

One of the products I was most excited about finding out shortly after I joined Check Point was Abra. I'd be more excited if we were shipping the product--that is expected to happen at the end of March--but at least it's announced so I can talk about it a bit more freely :)

The product is pretty simple: you can walk up to any computer, plug your USB stick in, and access a secure virtual environment complete with connectivity to your corporate Intranet, access to applications installed on the host computer, hardware encryption, and simple, centralized management. Abra gives you all this and more!

The technologies that are being employed here are not entirely new. What is unique is how it is all tied together. SSL VPN products (including Check Point's own Connectra) have had the concept of a "Secure Workspace" for quite some time. When you connect to the SSL VPN gateway, you are allowed to run local applications and connect to remote resources. However, the apps operate in a kind of sandbox that restricts how you can get data into and out of the sandbox and what happens to the sandbox after the connection terminates (usually, it disappears).

Now, instead of writing the sandbox data on the local drive, move that onto a USB thumb drive that contains both hardware and software encryption. Add autorun capabilities so that when you insert the thumb drive, you are immediately prompted for authentication, taken into the secure workspace, and automatically connected to the corporate network. Meanwhile, the secure workspace and VPN settings are centrally managed using your existing Check Point Security Gateways.

I'm really excited about the future of this product! You can find out more on the Check Point Abra product pages.