At least once in your life, you must have lain down on a wall or a lawn or in a prison exercise yard, looked up, and wondered where an overhead plane was going.
Is it off to Japan? Might it be wafting to Zambia? Could it even be Larry Page, floating off somewhere for an important meeting with aliens?
British Airways understands these feelings of fascination. So it's created quite remarkable digital billboards that help you learn about the planes you see in the sky.
As a plane flies over, a child points to it and reveals its precise … Read more
A new slide culled from the trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden shows where the NSA placed malware on more than 50,000 computer networks worldwide, according to Dutch media outlet NRC.
The NSA management presentation slide from 2012 shows a world map spiderwebbed with "Computer Network Exploitation" access points.
Like all the NSA slides we've seen so far, this one is unlikely to win a Powerpoint beauty pageant anytime soon.
Not that this should distract anyone from the profoundly disturbing implications of this US government malware map that's being reported by a Dutch news … Read more
Surveillance is for our own good.
By having everything that we are doing monitored, we can be sure that we (who have nothing to hide) will be safe.
At least, that's the logic many authorities offer us, as they spy, pry, and vilify anyone who might feel suspicious.
What happens, though, when you suspect the authorities of behaving suspiciously? Is it all right to spy on them?
Miami Gardens, Fla., convenience store owner Alex Saleh decided he'd try. He'd become vexed at what he saw as police harassment of his employees and even his customers.
So he installed surveillance cameras, with the specific intention of watching the detectives.… Read more
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt apparently believes it's possible for censorship as we know it to end within a decade.
Speaking at Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday, Schmidt said that in countries such as China and North Korea -- where the Internet is restricted and free speech can result in severe punishment -- the better use of encryption and tech innovations could eventually lead to connecting everyone and preventing spying, whether the powers that be like it or not. According to Schmidt:
First they try to block you; second, they try to infiltrate you; and third, you win. I … Read more
Spying on your friends is one thing, but spying on your BFFs is quite another. Or maybe not.
The Guardian's latest Snowden-document story suggests that mutual nonspying agreements between the countries in the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance -- the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand -- could be less binding than some thought.
The newspaper reports that the US National Security Agency prepared, in 2005, a secret draft directive saying the NSA could conduct surveillance on the citizens of its Five Eyes allies without informing those countries. It's not clear, The Guardian said, if the … Read more
Never again are you going to get a Google Web site whose security certificate is protected with comparatively weak 1,024-bit encryption.
The Net giant has secured all its certificates with 2,048-bit RSA encryption keys or better, Google security engineer Dan Dulay said in a blog post Monday. Certificates are used to set up encrypted communications between a Web server and Web browser.
That means two things. First, traffic will be harder to decrypt since 1,024-bit keys aren't in use at Google anymore. Second, retiring the 1,024-bit keys means the computing industry can retire the technology … Read more
The Obama administration released a trove of newly declassified documents related to the National Security Agency's surveillance activities on Monday, including what appears to be the original secret court ruling authorizing the massive data collection program.
The ruling by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was among hundreds of documents released by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. The documents also reveal the NSA's violations of court-ordered limits of the program.
The 87-page opinion, signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, then the chief judge on the secret surveillance … Read more
There are so many people in Apple stores these days that it's hard to hear conversations or even think straight.
That, perhaps, is one of the small reasons that the company is reported to be implementing its iBeacon system, which is designed to make your shopping experience even more experiential.
iBeacon was slipped onto iOS 7 as a surprise, something that portended the future.
And, as my colleague Roger Cheng experienced, it's already being experimented with by Major League Baseball at the New York Mets' Citi Field. There's certainly the need for a better experience there.
I have come to terms with the notion that we will all soon be wearing glasses in order to surf the Web, check messages, and pretend we work at Google.
Some, though, are still concerned that the glasses offer too much opportunity to photograph or film people surreptitiously.
Defenders of the Google faith point out that no, no, you can tell when the glasses are in use. There's a light that beams to the world.
A twisted few find this unfortunate. They want to be cleverer than thou and more creepy than thou.
May I present, therefore, the very … Read more