PatPending writes "FTFA: Google has made it clear that people who send or receive email via Gmail should not expect their messages to remain private.
In a 39-page motion filed in June to have a class-action data-mining lawsuit dismissed, the Web giant cites Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 Supreme Court decision that upheld the collection of electronic communications without a warrant.
"Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.'"" Link to Original Source top
PatPending writes "Anytime, anywhere: co-workers, strangers, and others are using their smart phones to secretly take your photograph, record your conversations, and record videos to potentially be used against you. What can one do to protect one's right to privacy in the face of technology? (Aside from never leaving your mom's basement.)" Link to Original Source top
How repurposed military tracking technology is remaking the NBA
The technology was originally developed to track missiles. Now, SportVU systems hang from the catwalks of 10 NBA arenas, tiny webcams that silently track each player as they shoot, pass, and run across the court, recording each and every move.
Their system captures the X/Y coordinates of all the players and refs--along with the X/Y/Z (3-D) coordinates of the ball--25 times every second (or 72,000 times a game). Algorithms take into account all sorts of variables to keep the system accurate, from the lines on the court to the reflections of flashing billboards. Another layer of software at a central server puts this raw data together into something meaningful. Information as specific as player ball touches and dribbles can be calculated within 60 seconds of being spotted by SportVU cams. Stats can generate these values in simple, automated reports.
On one hand, deeper data seems inevitable--and no one is disagreeing that SportVU has incredible potential with deep data--on the other, with no teams all that interested in sharing how they’re potentially innovating with that data, it’s making his job no easier. “I know for a fact some of those teams are using it quite a bit. They don’t tell me exactly what they’re doing with it. Some teams are fairly open and they ask for our help. Others are very secretive,” Kopp says. “Because, for a while, it is all about how you’re using it. Once they figure out something they think is meaningful, they don’t want anyone to get a whiff of it.”" Link to Original Source top
Hacked companies fight back with controversial steps
Frustrated by their inability to stop sophisticated hacking attacks or use the law to punish their assailants, an increasing number of U.S. companies are taking retaliatory action.
Known in the cyber security industry as "active defense" or "strike-back" technology, the reprisals range from modest steps to distract and delay a hacker to more controversial measures. Security experts say they even know of some cases where companies have taken action that could violate laws in the United States or other countries, such as hiring contractors to hack the assailant's own systems.
Other security experts say a more aggressive posture is unlikely to have a significant impact in the near term in the overall fight against cybercriminals and Internet espionage. Veteran government and private officials warn that much of the activity is too risky to make sense, citing the chances for escalation and collateral damage." Link to Original Source top
Google accused of invading privacy with pictures of house numbers
PatPending writes "FTA: "Internet users are being asked to read random property numbers snapped by Google's Street View cameras, as part of new security checks.
The tests weed out "bots" by ensuring that users are human. But Google has been accused of exploiting the data submitted in by the public for commercial gain — by adding the information to its own mapping system.
Campaign groups said that the use of pictures of real house numbers presents “serious” security issues, and accused the internet company of being “underhand and crude”."" Link to Original Source top
PatPending writes "Summary: Adobe just released a critical Flash Player security update. Good news: it includes a new automatic updater for Windows. Bad news: Adobe’s download page pushes a misleading “system optimizer” designed to scare users into paying for unneeded repairs.
A video of the entire process (approximately 10 minutes) is here.
This year alone, three Flash Player security updates have been issued by Adobe: one on February 15, one on March 5, and one on March 28." Link to Original Source top
Judge: BitTorrent Downloads Are Protected Anonymous Speech
PatPending writes "Oh, no: please disregard my prior submission due to this UPDATE: "Update: Shortly after this article was published we learned that the order in question has been vacated.
It turns out that the order was drafted by a defense attorney and Judge Schumacher apparently signed it by mistake, assuming all parties agreed on it. This is bad news for the defendants and means that the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits in Florida state courts are very much alive for now."" Link to Original Source top
Judge: BitTorrent Downloads Are Protected Anonymous Speech
PatPending writes "FTA: "Miami Judge Marc Schumacher has issued a landmark order in which he protects accused BitTorrent downloaders from mass-lawsuits filed by copyright holders. One of the main arguments of the judge is that these “fishing expeditions” violate BitTorrent users’ right to anonymous speech, which is protected by the constitution. The order effectively kills all BitTorrent lawsuits in Florida state courts."" Link to Original Source top
Apple's new iPad can max out your data plan in 10 minutes
PatPending writes "From the article: "Combine the realities of multimedia file size and a blazing fast connection that allows transfer of said files at unprecedented speeds, and you have a recipe for potentially expensive disaster. One careless download of a 1080p high-definition movie from the iTunes Store over 4G could eat up your entire monthly plan and then some. In fact, if you could achieve download speeds at the theoretical maximum 72Mbps of LTE, you could blow through a 5GB plan in just under 10 minutes, and Verizon's largest 10GB tier in about 20. Real-world speeds of course are actually going to be somewhat lower, but we're still talking about the potential to obliterate your entire expensive monthly data plan in much less than a single day."" Link to Original Source top
Anonymous, Decentralized and Uncensored File-Sharing is Booming
PatPending writes "FTA: "The RetroShare network allows people to create a private and encrypted file-sharing network. Users add friends by exchanging PGP certificates with people they trust. All the communication is encrypted using OpenSSL and files that are downloaded from strangers always go through a trusted friend.
In other words, it’s a true Darknet and virtually impossible to monitor by outsiders.
RetroShare founder DrBob told us that while the software has been around since 2006, all of a sudden there’s been a surge in downloads. “The interest in RetroShare has massively shot up over the last two months,” he said."" Link to Original Source top
PatPending writes "LYON, France — Interpol has arrested 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hackers group in a swoop covering more than a dozen cities in Europe and Latin America, the global police body said Tuesday." Link to Original Source top
Despite a fresh request from regulators to postpone the March 1 adoption of the new policy, the US search company gave no sign of backing down on Tuesday and reiterated its defense of its new approach to handling user data." Link to Original Source top
Smithsonian Aims to Make All Objects In Museum Collection 3-D-Printable
PatPending writes "A new effort under way at the world's largest museum and research institution could eventually mean more of its 137 million objects will be publicly available, even if just via 3D digital models. The only problem? They need more companies that, like RedEye On Demand, have the resources to help bring the efforts to fruition." Link to Original Source top
Google offers $1 million reward to hackers who exploit Chrome
PatPending writes "This year at the CanSecWest security conference, Google will once again sponsor rewards for Google Chrome exploits. This complements and extends their Chromium Security Rewards program by recognizing that developing a fully functional exploit is significantly more work than finding and reporting a potential security bug." Link to Original Source top
Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year's End
PatPending writes "The Google X offices are working on a wearable computing device that is Android-based and will include a display positioned a few inches from the wearer's eyes. It will include 3G or 4G connection, motion sensor, GPS, and a relatively low-resolution camera.
"According to several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named, the glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year. These people said they are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones,” or $250 to $600."" Link to Original Source top
PatPending writes "Manufacturers of smart phones shipped more devices than manufacturers of personal computers (sans tablet PCs) in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to research, making mobile devices as the computing platform of choice earlier than many industry-watchers had expected.
The growth in smart phones will continue to surge, analysts said, as the high-end models improve and the middle tier gets more affordable." Link to Original Source top
Hackers have repeatedly penetrated the computer network of the company that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past year, and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter.
The exchange's trading platform—the part of the system that executes trades—wasn't compromised, these people said. However, it couldn't be determined which other parts of Nasdaq's computer network were accessed.
Investigators are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange.
PatPending writes "In a prior Slashdot story, Honeywell To Sell Miami-Dade Police a Surveillance Drone, and this summary of Drones on The Home Front, drones are now used by the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado; the Miami-Dade County, Florida, Police Department; and the Department of Homeland Security. But what about privacy concerns? "Drones raise the prospect of much more pervasive surveillance," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. "We are not against them, absolutely. They can be a valuable tool in certain kinds of operations. But what we don't want to see is their pervasive use to watch over the American people."" Link to Original Source top
PatPending writes "German firm X-pire is poised to launch software the third week of this month allowing users to have photos uploaded to websites erased automatically after a certain time, said Michael Backes, founder of X-pire. The software will cost two euros per month.
Their software assigns an electronic key to each photo; the key is valid for a limited time period. Thereafter the web server checks whether the photo has expired and blocks it from being displayed if its time is up.
Internet surfers already have the power to delete photos from social networking websites like Facebook, but "experience shows that they don't get round to it," Backes said. "Most Facebook users, for example, are passive users. They go on, they put on a lot of private information and almost never come back on or they forget their password," he said.
"The software is not designed for people who understand how to protect their data but rather for the huge mass of people who want to solve the problem at its core and not to have to think about it any more," added Backes.
However, it will not protect cautious users against third parties downloading their pictures and saving them. "When people put photos on line, it's so they can be seen... our software is not a panacea, not absolute protection," he said." Link to Original Source top
Using LED ceiling lights for digital communication
PatPending writes "A Minnesota start-up company, LVX, is developing products under several patents and about a dozen pending applications, e.g., "Building illumination apparatus with integrated communications, security and energy management", that puts clusters of LEDs in a standard-sized ceiling light fixture. The LEDs are in optical communication with special modems attached to office computers. The first generation of the LVX system will transmit data at speeds of about three megabits per second, roughly as fast as a residential DSL line. LVX Chief Executive Officer John Pederson said a second-generation system that will roll out in about a year will permit speeds on par with commercial Wi-Fi networks. It will also permit lights that can be programmed to change intensity and color. Pederson said the next generation of the system should get even more efficient as fixtures become "smart" so the lights would dim when bright sunlight is coming through a window or when a conference room or hallway is empty. Hurdles: speed and installation costs. No word on the reliability and security of this system." Link to Original Source