Developers Sandy Pentland and Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye claim OpenPDS (PDF) disrupts
what NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden called the "architecture of oppression", by letting users see and control any third-party requests for their information – whether that's from the NSA or Google. Among other things, the Personal Data Store includes a mechanism for fine-grained management of permissions for sharing of data. Personally, I'm not convinced that what the NSA demands outright to be shared is as relevant as what they surreptitiously take without asking, but what do you think?
BrokenHalo writes: An interesting article in The Age gives us an interesting perspective from Daniel Ellsberg, who some of us old codgers might remember was responsible for leaking Pentagon papers that brought down Nixon just a few years ago.
In brief, "It was a less punitive kind of America when I disclosed the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s" and "What [Snowden] has given us is our best chance — if we respond to his information and his challenge — to rescue ourselves from out-of-control surveillance that shifts all practical power to the executive branch and its intelligence agencies: a United Stasi of America."
BrokenHalo writes: Google has revealed that it has 30 balloons floating over New Zealand in a project to bring free wi-fi to earthquake-stricken, rural or poor areas. Eventually, as the balloons move across the stratosphere, consumers in participating countries along the 40th parallel in the Southern Hemisphere could tap into the service. The technology will be trialled in Australia next year, possibly in Tasmania. If the latter happens to be true, then you'll probably hear the telcos' screams in New York.
BrokenHalo writes: A "saboteur" by the name of Eloi Cole, a young man wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world. He was found rummaging in the bins at the LHC facilitylooking for fuel for his 'time machine power unit', a device that resembled a kitchen blender. He claimed that the discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone — a communist chocolate hellhole. Apparently he was taken to a secure facility, from which he "disappeared".
A long-time Apple software developer from Sydney fears he may have to lay off most of his staff after draconian Apple legal threats and a rare personal email from Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs.
Mathew Peterson, 25, has been creating Mac software since he was 17 and one of his most popular products has been "iPodRip", which allows people to back up their music collections from their iPods on to their computers.
It was an instant hit and particularly useful in emergencies because, if a user's computer dies and they attempt to connect their iPod to their new machine, all music and videos on the device are usually wiped...
Peterson's Manly-based company, The Little App Factory, now employs eight staff members, makes two other Apple-related software tools and claims to have approximately 6 million customers. But iPodRip, which sells for $US19.95, pulls in the lion's share of revenue.
Despite iPodRip being available for the past six years, about 2 weeks ago, Peterson received a cease and desist letter from Apple's lawyers, Baker & McKenzie. It asked him to stop using "iPod" in his software's name, remove any Apple-related logos from his product and relinquish control of his domain name, ipodrip.com.