I was interviewed about my iPhone video which showed rats crawling around the Fairway Market Olives. All in all, an amusing piece from Channel 7 ABC in NYC. Now, if only the rat could get his or her royalties…
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- Every Wi-Fi User in US May … by glennherman
Google’s secret Wi-Fi sniffing has prompted a class-action lawsuit that could force the company to pay up to $10,000 for each time it snatched data from unprotected hotspots, court documents show.
The lawsuit, which was filed by an Oregon woman and a Washington man in a Portland, Ore., federal court on Monday, accused Google of violating federal privacy and data acquisition laws.
“When Google created its data collection systems on its GSV [Google Street View] vehicles, it included wireless packet sniffers that, in addition to collecting the user’s unique or chosen Wi-Fi network name (SSID information), the unique number given to the user’s hardware used to broadcast a user’s Wi-Fi signal (MAC address, the GSV data collection systems also collected data consisting of all or part of any documents, e-mails, video, audio, and VoIP information being sent over the network by the user [payload data],” the lawsuit stated.
On Tuesday, the same plaintiffs filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Google from deleting the data, a move the company has said it would make “as soon possible.” Oral arguments on the restraining order are scheduled for Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Janice Stewart.
- Steve Wozniak Cracked Up Wh… by glennherman
Got $7? Then you, too, can own the “ultimate iRonic gift”: iCups.
iCups is “the apex of high fashion and high technology. No screen, no buttons, no apps. Just simple, pure communication,” its maker says.
This iCups is not to be confused with the “iCups Technician,” which is what Apple calls its in-house baristas who make coffee concoctions for Apple staffers.
This iCups is the brainchild of comic Mike Mukhametshin, creator of ADA Sports, a competition for animators on YouTube in which people vote for the funniest cartoon.
- Apple will no longer unlock… by glennherman
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.
- Food of the Future…SO… by glennherman
What if you never had to worry about food again?
For many people, on many occasions, food is a hassle, especially when trying to eat well. Suppose we had a default meal that was the nutritional equivalent of water: cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous. Soylent will be personalized for different body types and customizable based on individual goals. It allows one to enjoy the health benefits of a well balanced diet with less effort and cost.
For anyone who struggles with allergies, heartburn, acid reflux or digestion, has trouble controlling weight or cholesterol, or simply doesn’t have the means to eat well, soylent is for you.
Soylent frees you from the time and money spent shopping, cooking and cleaning, puts you in excellent health, and vastly reduces your environmental impact by eliminating much of the waste and harm coming from agriculture, livestock, and food-related trash.
There are problems with the current state of food
50% of the food produced globally is wasted, and food makes for the largest component of municipal garbage. If not for this waste there would be plenty of food to adequately nourish everyone alive. 2 million people are killed annually by smoke inhalation from indoor cooking stoves alone. 70% of americans are overweight or obese. 1 in 7 people globally are malnourished, and 1 in 3 in the developing world suffer from deficiency. Countless others are living hand-to-mouth, subsistence farming, hindering economic development. Even in the developed world, agriculture is the most dangerous industry to work in by occupational injuries and illnesses, and obesity is on the rise.
By taking years to spoil, dramatically reducing cost, and easing transportation and storage, soylent could have a dramatic effect on hunger and malnutrition. Proceeds from the purchase of soylent enable us to work with aid partners and reduce hunger and environmental impact both in the United States and the developing world.
Think about what the future of food looks like. Imagine everyone having a customized, efficient, nutritious default diet and the freedom to eat for leisure as desired. It is a bright, healthy future indeed.
- If you think the sky is fal… by glennherman
Forty years is roughly the length of a working lifetime—and long enough for history to have taken some unexpected turns. And to have proved that long-term forecasts based on extrapolations of existing trends usually end up wide of the mark.
The list of failed prophecies from the 1970s is rather long. The conventional wisdom of the time was more than usually unreliable.
Example: the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth report in 1972, predicting that the world was running out of oil and other natural resources. For a while that seemed right, as the 1973 and 1979 OPEC oil price hikes led to gas lines in the United States.
But in the longer run, as the Club came to recognize, engineers and entrepreneurs found more oil and other natural resources and figured out how to get them to market. Capitalism works, and in ways planners don’t expect.
Another common assumption in the early 1970s was that Britain was a fusty, antiquated country that had to join the modern, up-to-date Common Market (now the European Union). Europe’s war-devastated economies had actually grown faster than Britain’s in the quarter-century after World War II.
Fast forward to today. It is Europe that looks out of date, with zero economic growth and economies smothered by sclerotic regulation, overlarge welfare states and the poorly conceived euro.
Britain got rid of much of that under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. And thanks to Gordon Brown, it wisely avoided the euro. Now it’s growing solidly while the continent lags.
A third bit of conventional wisdom from the 1970s is that Asia generally and China in particular could never grow because of the burden of overpopulation.
But Asia’s state-led capitalism and Deng Xiaoping’s adoption of that model in 1978 has made Asia the growth capital of the world. Hundreds of millions have risen from poverty.
- NSA can control your iPhone… by glennherman
According to Der Spiegel’s website:
“The NSA’s ANT division develops implants for mobile phones and SIM cards. One of these is a spyware implant called “DROPOUTJEEP” — designed for the first generation of iPhones — which was still in development in 2008, shortly after the iPhone’s launch. This spyware was to make it possible to remotely download or upload files to a mobile phone. It would also, according to the catalog, allow the NSA to divert text messages, browse the user’s address book, intercept voicemails, activate the phone’s microphone and camera at will, determine the current cell site and the user’s current location, “etc.” ANT’s technicians also develop modified mobile phones, for use in special cases that look like normal, standard devices, but transmit various pieces of information to the NSA — that can be swapped undetected with a target’s own mobile phone or passed to informants and agents. In 2008, ANT had models from Eastcom and Samsung on offer, and it has likely developed additional models since.”
- “Charlie Brown Christ… by glennherman
December 2013: For the first time in almost 50 years, the legendary jazz drummer behind Charlie Brown’s Christmas special played the music that has moved generations.
Jerry Granelli played drums in the Vince Guaraldi Trio for the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. He didn’t play it again until this weekend.
On Sunday, the Halifax man took to the stage for a reprise. He’s the last surviving member of the trio that created the music.
“I haven’t done it in 48 years. There are so many memories. All my friends who were on it are dead,” he reflected in true Charlie Brown style.
He also played it Saturday as part of the Ottawa Children’s Festival.
Granelli was 24 when he performed the track the first time. He had just landed the gig with Guaraldi, who was riding a major hit. “A lot of people wanted that job, but I got it,” he told the audience at Halifax’s Spatz Theatre.
The trio hadn’t seen the show and it hadn’t been narrated, so they composed and played on their own. “We were just trying to play good music,” he said.
They wrote the soundtrack, but “nobody wanted it.”
Critics said the show was too religious and the jazz music too cutting edge. But 15 million Americans tuned in to the first CBS airing — almost half of all possible viewers. It became an instant classic and has aired every Christmas since.
- Phony copyright claims expl… by glennherman
Ecuador, having bargained away virtually all its oil production to China in return for low-interest loans to finance President Rafael Correa’s spendthrift populism, is in dire need of a new export. And the president seems to have found one: tyrannical censorship of his critics.
Correa’s increasingly novel inventions for suppressing free speech in his own country are doubtless the subject of much envious chatter whenever Iran, North Korea and the rest of the fellows get together for meetings of Despots R Us. His latest wrinkle: a proposed law that would criminalize wisecracks on Facebook, enforced by placing video cameras in every cybercafe in Ecuador.
But now Correa has gone international. He’s using phony copyright claims to force American companies such as YouTube and Google to remove videos and documents that criticize his government.
Last month, more than 140 videos posted by Chevron abruptly vanished from YouTube, replaced by notices that said they were yanked due to copyright-infringement claims by a Spanish video-distribution company called Filmin.
- Our Government Has Weaponiz… by glennherman
Photo: Andreas H / Flickr
The internet backbone — the infrastructure of networks upon which internet traffic travels — went from being a passive infrastructure for communication to an active weapon for attacks.
According to revelations about the QUANTUM program, the NSA can “shoot” (their words) an exploit at any target it desires as his or her traffic passes across the backbone. It appears that the NSA and GCHQ were the first to turn the internet backbone into a weapon; absent Snowdens of their own, other countries may do the same and then say, “It wasn’t us. And even if it was, you started it.”
If the NSA can hack Petrobras, the Russians can justify attacking Exxon/Mobil. If GCHQ can hack Belgacom to enable covert wiretaps, France can do the same to AT&T. If the Canadians target the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Chinese can target the U.S. Department of the Interior. We now live in a world where, if we are lucky, our attackers may be every country our traffic passes through except our own.
Which means the rest of us — and especially any company or individual whose operations are economically or politically significant — are now targets. All cleartext traffic is not just information being sent from sender to receiver, but is a possible attack vector.
Here’s how it works.
- Meet the “Dark Mail Allianc… by glennherman
Email might be on the verge of a radical makeover. And the NSA is not going to like it.
On Wednesday, two American companies with a track record of offering encrypted private communications are set to join forces in an unprecedented bid to counter dragnet Internet spying. Some of the world’s top cryptographers are behind the secure communications provider Silent Circle, and they’ve teamed up with the founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by Edward Snowden, which recently shut down in a bid to resist surveillance. They’re calling it the “Dark Mail Alliance.” For months, the team has been quietly working on rebuilding email as we know it—and they claim to have had a breakthrough.
The newly developed technology has been designed to look just like ordinary email, with an interface that includes all the usual folders—inbox, sent mail, and drafts. But where it differs is that it will automatically deploy peer-to-peer encryption, so that users of the Dark Mail technology will be able to communicate securely. The encryption, based on a Silent Circle instant messaging protocol called SCIMP, will apply to both content and metadata of the message and attachments. And the secret keys generated to encrypt the communications will be ephemeral, meaning they are deleted after each exchange of messages.