Rep. Lofgren asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn't forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it's extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.
Ironic: Even though the contents of top-secret, unpublished documents was discussed, the meeting was held in a regular conference room, because Bruce didn't have the necessary security clearance to enter a secure government facility." Link to Original Source
saccade.com (771661) writes "Ever wonder how Google packed all of the Google Glass functionality into a slender eyeglass frame? Find out by checking out this teardown by Scott Torborg and Star Simpson. Goodies found inside include proximity, light and inertial sensors, sound transducers, a TI OMAP CPU, flash, RAM, camera and tiny projection display." top
saccade.com writes "Telehack.com has meticulously re-created the Internet as it appeared to a command line user over a quarter century ago. Drawing on material from Jason Scott'sTextFiles.com, the text-only world of the 1980's appears right in your browser.
If you want to show somebody what the Arpanet looked like (you didn't call it the "Internet" until the late '80s) this is it.
Using the "finger" command and seeing familiar names from decades ago (some, sadly, ghosts now) sends a chill down your spine." Link to Original Source top
saccade.com writes "The Register and several other outlets are reporting that the missing tapes of the first manned lunar landing may have been found at a storage facility in Perth, Australia. If found, these could have much clearer pictures than the recordings we currently have that were downsampled for TV broadcast. We don't have pictures yet, though: 'Whether the world will finally enjoy high-quality pics of Aldrin and Armstrong strolling the Moon's surface remains to be seen. When NASA coughed to having lost the original tapes, John Sarkissian of the Parkes Observatory noted that even if a machine could be found to replay them, they would be "so old and fragile, it's not certain they could even be played.'" Link to Original Source top
Taking Electronic Prototypes Through TSA Security?
saccade.com writes "I've recently built a prototype electronic gadget, and I'd like to show it to my folks when I fly to visit them over the July 4th holiday. After the Star Simpson fiasco, I'm a little concerned about getting a prototype with exposed batteries and wires through the TSA, or having it confiscated from my checked luggage. Only a moron would confuse my prototype with an explosive device, but, well, we are dealing with the TSA.
I'd like to hear your experiences taking handmade electronic gadgets through airport security. No big deal, or major hassle?" top
A new class of innovators, they're
going beyond merely copying western designs to producing electronic "mash-ups" to create new products. Bootstrapped on small amounts of capitol, they range from
shops of just a few people to a few hundred. They rapidly create new products, and use
an "open source" style design community where design ideas and component lists are shared." Link to Original Source top
saccade.com writes "Electronics retailer Circuit City is unable to find a buyer, and is shutting down it's remaining 567 US retail stores. The 30,000 employees will lose there jobs.
The chain was trying to find a buyer, but with credit markets tight they were unable to secure a deal. Certain stores will begin
close-out sales as early as Saturday." Link to Original Source top
saccade.com writes "TechCrunch is reporting
that Verizon's "Open
Network" is not really so open. Reporter Erick Schonfeld
"...asked Verizon whether any of the new apps developed for
the bring-your-own devices would also be available to its existing
customers who bought their phones through Verizon. The answer
for now is, 'No.' Although a spokesperson tells me that they are
looking into it. Unless it figures that out, Verizon is not really
building an open network. It is building a two-tiered network:
One for its preferred customers who play by its rules (i.e., its
current 64 million subscribers), and one for the rabble not satisfied
with its choice of phones and apps.
...If there is no crossover capability on the apps, then the
"open" part of Verizon's network will be barren.
The appeal of developing an open app for Verizon would be to gain
access to those 64 million subscribers. Nobody is going to go
through the trouble of creating apps just for the handful of people
who want a CDMA phone that Verizon does not already sell. Making
the whole open network even less appealing will be the fact that
these phones are not likely to be subsidized by Verizon, and thus
far more expensive."" Link to Original Source top
DARPA is implanting computer chips in moths while still in
the pupa stage. The moth grows around the the chip and its nervous
system can be controlled by a remote control.
The project is called the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical
Systems (HI-MEMS) and it also includes outfitting other insects
with miniscule sensors and a wireless transmitter which could
send data from places inaccessible to humans.
Ultimately, the moth will
be able to land in enemy camps in remote location unobserved,
beaming video and other information back via what its developers
refer to as a reliable tissue-machine interface."
...whatever standard you choose, you should be willing to
be held to it, and in this case the blogging platform used by
tens of millions of people falls flat on its face. Personally,
I would be stone ashamed to ship something in this state. That
Google, with what amounts to unlimited funds in our talent-constrained
industry, plus the putatively smartest and certainly most smug
technical staff, contents themselves with this is perhaps an
indication that before expounding on issues of good and evil,
one should first address the more mundane matter of competence.
The dealership claimed that the fingerprinting was for my
protection. To make sure I'm really who I say I am, and
haven't just stolen someone's social security number.
But I don't get it. How does that work? No one's
checking to make sure the fingerprint I leave matches the one
on file with the DMV. There's no forensics expert on staff.
And I don't have data on this but I feel pretty certain
that any car thief worth his salt probably already has more than
one set of prints on file. ...
Dollar Rent-A-Car tried fingerprinting their customers for a
gave up after realizing that it had no effect on fraud or theft.
Simply, treating your customers like felons is bad for business.
saccade.com writes "During my last hotel stay, I thought it was a pretty strange that
it took two browser re-directs before the hotel's Wi-Fi would
show me the web page I browsed to. Picasa
developer Michael Herf
noticed the same the thing and dug a little deeper. He discovered:
"...their page does some tracking of each new page you visit
in your browser, outside what a normal proxy (which would have
access to all your cookies and other information it shouldn't
have, anyway) would do. This "adlog" hit appears to
also track a "hotel ID" and some other data that identifies
you more directly. Notably, I've observed these guys tracking
HTTPS URLs, and of course you can't track those through a proxy.".
Herf notes the WiFi service provider, SuperClick, advertises
that it "allows hoteliers and conference center managers
to leverage the investment they have made in their IP infrastructure
to create advertising revenue, deliver targeted marketing and
brand messages to guests and users on their network..."" top
Code search is a great resource for web developers and programmers,
but like the making available of all previously unsearched bodies
of information, it's given lots of flashlights to people interested
in exploring dark corners.
saccade.com writes | more than 9 years ago
I think Intel under a processor architecture curse. Perhaps it was cast by Federico Faggin (one of the designers) when he left Intel in the 70s.
The curse goes like this:
Any processor design that is not a descendant of the original 4004 will fail.
Intel did try to make a few other mainstream CPUs along the way. In the 1980's, the i432 - Flop. In the 1990's, the i860 - Thud. And now the Itanium (nicknamed the "Itanic") looks like another silicon smoking crater. Design partner HP recently announced they're pulling out. In order to get a marketable 64 bit design, Intel had to copy, yes, copy, AMD's x86-64 design. And it's yet another remote descendant of the 4004.
This isn't to say the art of processor architecture is dead. IBM/Apple's Power, ARM, MIPS, etc. all seem to be doing well in their various markets. It's just Intel seems like it will forever bound to that first design.