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Google

Google Maps Used To Find Tax Cheats 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the novel-use-of-resources dept.
phantomfive writes "Some countries are worried about the privacy implications of Google Maps, but Lithuania is using them to find tax cheats. 'After Google's car-borne cameras were driven through the Vilnius area last year, the tax men in this small Baltic nation got busy. They have spent months combing through footage looking for unreported taxable wealth. ... Two recent cases netted $130,000 in taxes and penalties after investigators found houses photographed by Google that weren't on official maps. ... "We were very impressed," said Modestas Kaseliauskas, head of the State Tax Authority. "We realized that we could do more with less and in shorter time."' The people of Lithuania don't seem to mind. 'Authorities have been aided by the local populace. "We received even more support than we expected," said Mr. Kaseliauskas.'"
Android

DARPA Unveils an Android-Based Ground Sensor Device 28

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-detecting-time dept.
DeviceGuru writes "DARPA announced a sensor reference system device based on a new Android-based sensor processing core called the ADAPTable Sensor System (a.k.a. ADAPT). The initial ADAPT reference device, called UGS (unattended ground sensor), is designed as the basis for a series of lower-cost, more upgradable sensor devices for military applications. The ADAPT program is part of larger effort by the U.S. military to reduce the costs and speed production schedules for military equipment, using an ODM process similar to that of the commercial smartphone industry. Potential applications for the technology include swarms of hive-mind UAVs or robots, or perimeter security sensors hidden at a deployed airfield or underground, all networked together and capable of transmitting video."
Government

FBI Wants To "Advance the Science of Interrogation" 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the tell-me-everything dept.
coondoggie writes "From deep in the Department of Creepy today I give this item: The FBI this week put out a call for new research 'to advance the science and practice of intelligence interviewing and interrogation.' The part of the FBI that is requesting the new research isn't out in the public light very often: the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which according to the FBI was chartered in 2009 by the National Security Council and includes members of the CIA and Department of Defense, to 'deploy the nation's best available interrogation resources against detainees identified as having information regarding terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.'"
Encryption

Anonymous, Decentralized and Uncensored File-Sharing Is Booming 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-stop-the-signal dept.
PatPending writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "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."
United Kingdom

Kilogram Gets Controversial; Why Not Split the Difference? 520

Posted by timothy
from the try-a-different-scale dept.
gbrumfiel writes "As Slashdot has noted, the kilogram has a problem. The SI unit is officially defined as the weight of a 130-year-old platinum-iridium cylinder in France. But the physical object appears to be getting lighter. Scientists want to replace the cylinder with a new standard based on Planck's constant, but two experiments designed to facilitate the switch keep coming up with different results. Now one researcher is proposing a solution: just average the two diverging experiments and use that value as the official definition. Not everyone thinks that averaging the two amounts to sound research: 'Deciding to just average these two results would be perfectly proper mathematics, but it would not be science,' says Michael Hart, a physicist at the University of Manchester, UK."
Government

UK Authorities Accused of Inciting Illegal Protest 371

Posted by samzenpus
from the stirring-the-pot dept.
jarran writes "Questions are being asked about the tactics being employed by UK authorities to monitor and control protest groups. Schnews reports on evidence that government IP addresses are posting messages to sites like indymedia, attempting to provoke activists into taking illegal direct action. Evidence has emerged recently that the police consider sex to be a legitimate tool for extracting information from targets, and senior police have been accused of lying to parliament about the deployment of undercover agents at protests."
United States

Patriot Act Up For Renewal, Nobody Notices 463

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-how-long-we'll-put-up-with-it dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "When the Patriot Act was first signed in 2001, it was billed as a temporary measure required because of the extreme circumstances created by the terrorist threat. The fear from its opponents was that executive power, once given, is seldom relinquished. Now the Examiner reports that on January 5th, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) introduced a bill to add yet another year to the soon-to-be-expiring Patriot Act, extending it until February, 2012, with passage likely to happen after little debate or contention. If passed, this would be the second time the Obama administration has punted on campaign promises to roll back excessive surveillance measures allowed under the act. Last year's extension passed under the heading of the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act. 'Given the very limited number of days Congress has in session before the current deadline, and the fact that the bill's Republican sponsor is only seeking another year, I think it's safe to read this as signaling an agreement across the aisle to put the issue off yet again,' writes Julian Sanchez."
Google

Google Maps Adds Drone Imagery 141

Posted by timothy
from the hook-'em-horns-but-closer dept.
joshuadugie writes "Slashdot carried a story a while ago that Google had purchased drones for unknown purposes. Google Maps has now added new non-satellite imagery (at UT Austin, for example) when you zoom in close enough. Mystery solved!" I'd like to think that there really are (or were) drones over Austin, but would also like to see Google's explanation for the close-up images.
Encryption

British Teen Jailed Over Encryption Password 1155

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-good-luck-with-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool has been convicted of 'failing to disclose an encryption key,' which is an offense under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and as a result has been jailed for 16 weeks. Police seized his computer but could not get past the 50-character encrypted password that he refused to give up. And just to get it out of the way, obligatory XKCD."

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