top FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret
PIA's generally discuss the technology or system in terms of how it would be used by the agency. For the FBI, this would likely include different operational scenarios, and certainly how drone data would be used in investigations. I can understand that such information would reveal strategies and tactics. As long as is has oversight by
somebody (a point of discussion, I know) I'm fine with it being marked For Official Use Only (FOUO).
top Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data
They actually already do "postal zone dumps" in the United States, in that the front of every single piece of mail sent through the Post Office is imaged and put in a database for law enforcement. They've been doing it for some time.
I had no idea
this was being done.
top Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
I've been running FTA receiver setups in the US for about a decade, so my data comes from that. My own setup uses 3 dishes (one with multiple satellites), and I operate two others at different locations. I have relatives in Europe who've been doing this for longer, and it's very easy and common over there. It's pretty rare in the US. I started because some family members wanted to receive ethnic programming in their own languages and I love to experiment. It requires some practice to set up and aim, but is very doable and doesn't have to be expensive. You can get started under $300US. Take a look at
Sadoun in Texas. He also has a lot of information for beginners.
You'll need a dish (typically 90cm), somewhere with a view of your selected satellites to plant it, an LNB to go on the dish (Low Noise Block Amplifier, the actual "antenna"; the dish is just a reflector), a bunch of RG6 cable leading to your TV, and a receiver.
Before buying all this, take a look at the various satellites and channels available to you, and pick a starting satellite. You'll need to be sure that you have a clear line of sight to the "bird". A great site for this is
lyngsat. In the US I suggest starting with Galaxy 19, which has several hundred channels on it.
Summarizing the rest, plant the dish, aim, and scan with your receiver to program the channels. You can get all sorts of things regularly, and occasional "wild feeds" that aren't intended for public consumption. There's also encrypted video, which is either pay TV, private company channels (like Ford, etc.) or network backhauls.
Later on you can get into multiple satellites, either with multiple LNB's on one dish, multiple dishes and a switch, or a motorized (!) dish. They're all fun.
It's a lot of fun, and can be a great intro for kids to electronics, radio reception, satellites, orbital mechanics, space, etc.
top Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism
top Should the US Really Limit Chinese-Government Influenced IT Systems?
Yeah, 40 years of that worked REAL well for India.
top Did Steve Jobs Pick the Wrong Tablet Size?
Steve Jobs is FAMOUS for deriding products/features not currently delivered by his company, followed by releasing exactly those features some time later when the market is ready for HIM. (iPod with video, for example.) His strength of personality (and strong products) let him get away with it repeatedly, and few observers ever held him to task for it.
The problem with the iPad Mini is that he wasn't around to push it through with his charisma. Clearly it was in the works before he died, and I doubt anything "in the works" would not be known to Jobs.
about a year and a half ago
top Iran Says It Sent Monkey Into Space and Back
It might be accessible to some women, but it's not accessible to anyone who is Christian, Jewish or Bahai. Bahai's can't own property or businesses, and are imprisoned if caught with a high-school textbook.
about a year and a half ago
top Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Mail Mark Zuckerberg
I love it, go for it Zuck! This is clearly a preview of a roll-out to the general user base, where anyone, including advertisers, has to pay a user to send them messages (unless they're already accepted as a friend). This is great! Monetize advertisers (FB takes a transaction fee), and incentivise users to accept advertising an their own terms. I bet the next version of this will include topic and interest filters, so you can discount the fees on things you might actually like to hear about, and raise them on the noise. I'd only charge $0.50 to hear about a tech item, but $100 to hear about a Justin Beiber concert. Works for me, where do I sign up?
about a year and a half ago
top The Secret To Iranian Drone Technology? Just Add Photoshop
The SAVAK were a lot of fun for the population. And they had help from the CIA. The educated and wealthy classes liked the Shah, as their life was good under him (at least until the country ran out of jobs for them). The poorer, less educated citizens mainly got the boot, if they interacted with the regime at all. Since the US and Britain put the Shah on the throne, those countries weren't loved by the rebellion. And yes, I think Khomeini made a mistake letting the student rebels put the embassy hostages between him and the West. Iran has been on the short end of that stick ever since.
top EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere
top How Doctors Die
Eventually the effective dose exceeds the lethal dose
Except that in only a few countries are you able to go that far. Most places require you to stop short of the lethal dose and live in excruciating agony for as long a your systems (and technology) will support you. Have a nice day.
top UK Police Buy Covert Cellphone Surveillance System
Another facet of this is that the devices can be tracked, whether or not the user is using it or making a call. As long as it is on and available to receive a call (communicating with the base) it can be identified and a coarse location determined. If it were me in the law-enforcement role, the way I would use this is to identify devices in an area of interest (the protest locations) and record the identifiers over a series of days/nights. Eliminating devices which did not appear during a majority of the observed days lets you focus on the core group of people present at the events. (This will include media, people who live/work in the area, police and civil support themselves, etc.) Some careful trimming of the data by time of day will help reduce the "noise". Then you have a subset to focus investigations on. If I were on the other side, I'd make good use of WiFi (fixed and hotspots), VoIP, and "burners" (prepaid phones bought with cash and no ID - don't know if that's possible in all countries). Those are easy protections. Defense can get more technical and fiddle with the device IDs, but that likely crosses a line - and I'd want to be pure as the driven snow if I was at high risk of being arrested at some point.
top Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?
First off, Congratulations! Including files related to my 4 year old, I've got about 100GB of media. I recommend the 3-2-1 Backup method: 3 copies of the data, on 2 different drives/media, 1 of them off-site. I do this by having a "primary" copy of the data on a machine at home, which I copy to a backup drive periodically. The primary also gets rsync'd nightly to a cheap eeePC with a 1 TB USB drive in a closet at my parents place. All this is running Linux, but you can manage with other OS's. Bonus #1: They get local access to the media via an SMB read-only share. Bonus #2: I gave them a writable share for THEIR data, which is rsync'd nightly to our place as a backup. You can do this with friends, etc. Being on the same ISP helps as the sync traffic can stay in the provider cloud. I've also used Amazon S3 (~US$13/month for 100GB of non-redundant storage) and I still use
rsync.net for more limited critical documents (encrypted), though their price doesn't scale well for large, static data sets (they don't charge for bandwidth so relatively small but dynamic data is a good fit).
top SignalGuru Helps Drivers Avoid Red Lights
No, s/he's talking about the ECU dropping the injector dwell to zero because the accessories can be run from the inertia of the car. Engine revs come from the wheels/transmission, not combustion, actually a lot like a hybrid's regenerative brakes. You can actually watch this happen in reverse when you get close to stopping because the revs are too low to sustain drive and the ECU starts fuel flow again, causing a slight blip in RPM as it transitions to idle. (This is also when the transmission disengages.)
top Will Graphene Revolutionize the 21st Century?
Wait a minute, I think I've seen this before...
"The future could see smartphone's containing as much processing power as your current desktop."
"So I'll have to wait 5 minutes before my smartphone has finally booted?"
Yup. Same as it ever was. Next up: Implant boot times.
top Why IT Needs To Change for Gen Z
Some provide a choice: company laptop with maintenance or your own device but you do the maintenance.
I can't wait for this, and the ensuing lawsuits. Am I lawsuit happy? Perhaps, but the first time client PII or similar data is lost through this practice, there will be a lawsuit faster than you can say "failure to perform due diligence".
That said I believe there are "right" ways to do this. Virtual machines, remote desktops, mobile apps, sandboxes, etc. My company has no problem buying an employee a Mac or Linux machine or iPad when the work really requires it. With apologies to MasterCard, for everything else there's VirtualBox.
top Asia Runs Out of IPv4 Addresses
I say we fix this oversight from 30 YEARS AGO by developing a new addressing scheme, compatible to an extent with the original, that can be overlaid on the network and distributed more evenly around the world. Oh, and make it bigger, too, so we don't revisit this problem for a while. Who's in?
top Ford Building Cars That Talk To Other Cars
IntelliDrive program has been working on this for a while, and the OEMs are starting to test this on the road. You can look at some concept videos.
The RF band is around 5.4GHz, allocated specifically for short-range transportation communication.
top Making Airport Scanners Less Objectionable
I don't like the backscatter machines OR the pat-downs, but I saw this and it raised some questions. Now I'm a Schneier fan-boy, and we even work in the same field, but let's take the NY 9/11 attack as a comparison (2819 according to
So for the scanner to be deadlier than just that attack, it would have to kill 16 extra people a year for a bit over 176 years. Am I missing something?
For further comparison there's an 9/11-equivalent loss of life on US road every 27 days (using 2008 numbers from the
'pedia.) Maybe it's me, but I don't see it being more deadly than terrorists. That said, I'm not going in them - radiation is cumulative. RF (the MM-wave scanners) is not.
top Japan's Latest Rockstar Is a 3D Hologram
"Eve Tokimatsuri" from Megazone 23 came out in March of 1985. Note this is an Anime OVA, and I suspect influenced the desires of the folks working on Hatsune Miku. My only remaining questions are when the aliens attack our Dyson Sphere-like satellite city, and where to get my Garland prototype.
Isao has no journal entries.