nonprofiteer writes "Two years ago, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America cut off all funding to WikiLeaks. A group of free information advocates wants to prevent a similar financial blockade on information from happening again.
Daniel Ellsberg, John Perry Barlow, and EFF staffers are founding the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an org that will raise money and channel it to edgy media groups that might suffer from a WikiLeaks-style embargo. When donors give to the Foundation, they can choose to have their funding passed on to any media group under the Foundation’s umbrella (currently WikiLeaks, Muckrock, The National Security Archives and UpTake). That strategy aims to make it harder to cut funding to any of those organizations, or any added in the future. And because the site is encrypted, donors who worry about being identified as giving to any particularly controversial group can do so without being identified.
It's like Tor for charitable giving."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "This is a crazy story. An FBI agent put spyware on his kid's school-issued laptop in order to monitor his Internet use. Before returning the laptop to the school, he tried to wipe the program (SpectorSoft's eBlaster) by having FBI agents scrub the computer and by taking it to a computer repair shop to be re-imaged. It somehow survived and began sending him reports a week later about child porn searches. He winds up busting the school principal for child porn despite never getting a warrant, subpoena, etc. Gift-wrapped present thanks to spyware. A judge says the principal has no 4th Amendment protection because 1. FBI dad originally installed spyware as a private citizen not an officer and 2. he had no reasonable expectation of privacy on a computer he didn't own/obtained by fraud."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "Until very recently, if you searched the Apple iTunes app store for a series of explicit and sexual words, you got some very unexpected results. A search for "incest" resulted in the Disney app and kids' games. "Masturbation" gave you a bunch of news apps, including a Fox News channel. "Beastiality" led to kids' games involving animals. The Washington Post app showed up in a search for "vagina".
The developers for these apps surely weren't tagging them with these keywords. When Apple was asked about why this was happening, the problem was silently fixed. Any idea why this would happen, Slashdot?"Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "Last month, Nestlé-owned Kit Kat launched the “We’ll Find You” marketing campaign in the UK and Ireland. Over the next year, six lucky chocolate lovers will find a GPS-enabled device instead of a candy bar when they open their Kit Kat wrapper. A Nestle team will then hunt them down within 24 hours and hand over a check for £10,000 (12,000 Euros, $15,500 USD).
The bar's instructions say those under 18 need to get an adult to activate the device. They also warn: "Make sure that you’re ready to be found!"
Willy Wonka meets The Most Dangerous Game."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "SceneTap uses facial recognition technology to help bar-hoppers decide which night spot to go to based on how crowded a bar is and what the age and gender ratio is. San Francisco, one of the cities where the technology launched, freaked out over the idea of being “spied on” in bars — despite the fact that what the app does now is fairly innocuous. But what the app could do in the future, as described in a patent application filed in June, is pretty creepy.
The patent application describes much more detailed data collection, including bar goers' race, height, weight, attractiveness, hair color, clothing type, and the presence of facial hair or glasses, and includes other possibilities usually left to the realm of dystopic fiction, including putting microphones in the cameras that could detect what customers are saying, and using facial recognition technology to identify customers and then get information about them from social networking websites and databases to determine “relationship status, intelligence, education and income for the entire venue.”"Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "Andy Greenberg at Forbes has video of Toorcamp attendees getting RFID chips implanted in their hands. From the piece:
"And why volunteer to be injected with a chip that responds to radio signals with a unique identifier, a procedure typically reserved for tracking pets and livestock? “I thought it would be cool,” says Andrew, when we speak at a picnic table a few minutes after his injection. (The pain, he tells me, was only a short pinch, followed by a “weird feeling of a foreign body sliding into my hand.”)
The practical appeal of an RFID implant, in theory, is quick authentication that’s faster, cheaper and more reliable than other biometrics like thumbprints or facial scans. When the chip is hit with a radio frequency signal, it emits a unique identifier number that functions like a long, unguessable password. Implantees like Andrew imagine the ability to unclutter their pockets of keys and keycards and instead access their cars, computers, and homes with with a mere wave of the hand."
Really hope this isn't the third step should Google ever introduce Three-Factor Authentication."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "There's been talk in recent months of Facebook's "promoted posts" option. In beta testing, it cost about $5-10 dollars to get more of your friends/fans to see your posts in news feeds. Now that it's live, it's a bit more expensive, at least for those with big followings. On the Forbes Facebook page, the cost ranges from $200 to $500 to get from 50,000 to 250,000 people to see a given post. Another lame attempt at monetization, or will Facebook users actually pony up?"Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "Joyce Ehrlinger from Florida State University has researched this very phenomenon. and has led her to present a paper called "Polite But Not Honest: How an Absence of Negative Social Feedback Contributes to Overconfidence" at the American Psychological Association's annual conference in Orlando on Friday. Social norms, Ehrlinger says, are the reason that we are averse to giving negative feedback. Her research recreated everyday social situations in which we hold back from giving our own negative views."
colinneagle writes "When someone calls into support, we first verify his or her account information. On the phone, this can take seconds. On a chat feature it can take a minute or two because people type slower than they speak. I also find that when people type in a chat they try to make the process go quicker by abbreviating the conversation. This means they might not give me all the information they would have if we were talking on the phone. The more descriptive a customer is about a problem, the easier and faster it will be to solve their issue. But the nature of a chat feature means people will abbreviate their stories to be more efficient, without realizing this just makes it more difficult to solve the problem. I end up asking more questions, which takes longer for the full story to come out.
Explaining how to fix a problem can be difficult on the phone, but on a chat feature where I can’t see your screen and likely have less information to work with, it can make it impossible to tackle a complex issue. It would be much more efficient for both me and the customer to talk on the phone so I can walk the customer through the steps I am taking.
One of the arguments for offering chat support is that support techs can respond to more than one customer at a time by having multiple chat boxes open. This is incredibly inefficient. I prefer to give each customer my complete attention, as this is a much more effective way to solve a support problem. Plus, there’s always the possibility that the support tech will type a message into the wrong box, confusing matters."Link to Original Source
Zex_Suik writes "Japanese physicists have used one of Maxwell's thought experiments and the ability to turn information into energy to extract more energy from an entangled system than should be possible according to the laws of thermodynamics."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "Researchers presenting at Defcon next week have developed a psychopathy prediction model for Twitter. It analyzes linguistic tells to rate users' levels of narcissism, machiavellianism and other similarities to Patrick Bateman. “The FBI could use this to flag potential wrongdoers, but I think it’s much more compelling for psychologists to use to understand large communities of people,” says Chris Sumner of the Online Privacy Foundation
Some of the Twitter clues: Curse words. Angry responses to other people, including swearing and use of the word “hate.” Using the word “we.” Using periods. Using filler words such as “blah” and “I mean” and “um.”
So, um, yeah."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "Spokeo was one of the first public-facing person-profiling companies to attract the ire of those profiled. Taglined "not your grandmother's phonebook" it offers up profiles pulled from public records, social networking sites, etc, including your address, worth of your home, who's in your family, your estimated wealth, your hobbies and interests, etc. People freaked out when they first discovered it. Apparently, the company was selling reports to employers, but not following principles set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Federal Trade Commission is fining them $800,000. FTC also chastises them for writing fake positive reviews 'round the Web (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/06/spokeo.shtm)."Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "The Pentagon is increasingly transforming the military into an unmanned force, taking soldiers out of harm's way and replacing them with drones and robots. In 2011, it spent $6 billion on unmanned systems. The problem is that the unmanned systems don't work well together thanks to contractors building proprietary control systems (to lock government into exclusive relationships and to make extra money). A company called DreamHammer plans to have a solution to this — a universal remote control that could integrate all robots and drones into one control system. It would save money and allow anyone to build apps for drones. "DreamHammer CTO Chris Diebner compares it with a smartphone OS—on which drones and features for those drones can be run like apps. Of course, Ballista is doing something on a much larger scale. It means that it takes fewer people to fly more drones and that new features can be rolled out without the need to develop and build a new version of a Predator, for example."
Is this in the Terminator prequel?"Link to Original Source
nonprofiteer writes "What has been left out of the CISPA debate thus far is the FBI's long time workaround for information sharing with private industry: "In 1997, long-time FBI agent Dan Larkin helped set up a non-profit based in Pittsburgh that “functions as a conduit between private industry and law enforcement.” Its industry members, which include banks, ISPs, telcos, credit card companies, pharmaceutical companies, and others can hand over cyberthreat information to the non-profit, called the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), which has a legal agreement with the government that allows it to then hand over info to the FBI. Conveniently, the FBI has a unit, the Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit, stationed in the NCFTA’s office. Companies can share information with the 501(c)6 non-profit that they would be wary of (or prohibited from) sharing directly with the FBI.""Link to Original Source