Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications

Ask Slashdot: Are Smart Meters Safe? 684

An anonymous reader writes "There is a lot of controversy and a big hullabaloo about Southern California Edison and various other utilities around the country installing smart meters at residential homes. Various action groups claim that these smart meters transmit an unsafe amount of RF and that they are an invasion of privacy. The information out there seems rather spotty and inconsistent — what do you engineers out there think? Are these things potentially harmful? Are they an invasion of privacy?"
Government

Expect Mandatory 'Big Brother' Black Boxes In All New Cars From 2015 628

New submitter Kraftwerk writes "A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards. Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for 'Mandatory Event Data Recorders' to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so. 'Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,' states the bill."
Privacy

Company Designs "Big Brother Chip" 166

Taco Cowboy writes "Here comes a chip that can pinpoint you in-door and out, it can even tell others on which floor of a building you are located. It's the Broadcom 4752 chip. It takes signals from global navigation satellites, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hot spots, coupled with input from gyroscopes, accelerometers, step counters, and altimeters The company calls abilities like this 'ubiquitous navigation,' and the idea is that it will enable a new kind of e-commerce predicated on the fact that shopkeepers will know the moment you walk by their front door, or when you are looking at a particular product, and can offer you coupons at that instant."
The Military

Predator Drone 'Virus' Could Be Military's Own Monitoring 99

jjp9999 writes "The virus that hit Predator and Reaper UAVs could be an internal monitoring system employed by the military. According to security researcher Miles Fidelman, there are vendors that sell security monitoring packages to the Defense Department which are 'essentially rootkits that do, among other things, key logging.' The virus is a keylogger that was found at pilot stations, and could be keeping tabs on keystrokes used by pilots to control the UAVs, found Wired's Danger Room blog. Fidelman adds, 'I kind of wonder if the virus that folks are fighting is something that some other part of DoD deployed intentionally.'"
Education

Solution For College's Bad Network Policy? 699

DAMN MY LIFE writes "I'm going to Central Michigan University in the fall. Upon examination of their poorly organized network usage policies, I'm worried that using their internet service will expose my web browsing habits, emails, and most importantly, passwords. Another concern I have is the 'Client Security Agent' that students are required to install and leave on their systems to use the network. Through this application, the IT department scans everyone's computer for what they claim are network security purposes. Of course, scanning a person's hard drive can turn up all kinds of things that are personal. Do all colleges have such extreme measures in place? Is there any way that I can avoid this? There are no wireless broadband providers available in the area, I already checked."
Privacy

Using Tire Pressure Sensors To Spy On Cars 203

AngryDad writes "Beginning last September, all vehicles sold in the US have been required to have Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) installed. An article up at HexView enumerates privacy issues introduced by TPMS, and some of them look pretty scary. Did you know that traffic sensors on highways can be adopted to read TPMS data and track individual vehicles? How about an explosive device that sets itself off when the right vehicle passes nearby? TPMS has been discussed in the past, but I haven't seen its privacy implications analyzed before. Fortunately the problem is easy to fix: encrypt TPMS data the way keyless entry systems do."
Privacy

Dragonfly-Sized Insect Spies Spotted, Denied 433

SRA8 sends in a Washington Post piece about work at various academic, government, and military labs on insect-sized flying spies. A number of people reported what appeared to be flying mechanical insects, larger than dragonflies, over an antiwar rally in Washington DC last month. The reporter got mostly no-comments from the agencies he called trying to pin down what it was they saw. Only the FBI said through a spokesman: "We don't have anything like that." The article describes work on insect cyborgs as well as purely mechanical flying spies, but quotes vice admiral Joe Dyer, former commander of the Naval Air Systems Command now at iRobot in Burlington, Mass., as follows: "I'll be seriously dead before that program deploys." The article also mentions an International Symposium on Flying Insects and Robots, held in Switzerland in August, at which Japanese researchers demonstrated radio-controlled fliers with four-inch wingspans that resemble hawk moths.

Slashdot Top Deals

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

Working...