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Privacy


— Mobile Technology

Your phone may soon know where you're going before you do

By - July 12, 2012 2 Pictures
Phones obviously already know where we are and where we have been, thanks to GPS and other clever positioning technologies. Now, thanks to an algorithm developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham, your smartphone may soon be able to make accurate educated guesses as to where you’re going to be in 24 hours time. And here’s the dirty trick responsible for the algorithm’s future-telling powers: it spies on your friends and connects the dots where necessary. Read More

Watered-down U.K. "cookie law" comes into effect, internet barely notices

A new law came into effect in the U.K. this past weekend which requires U.K.-based websites to receive consent from visitors before using cookies to store tracking information about them. Though the law originally called for visitors to explicitly opt-in with the use of a checkbox or similar method, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent privacy watchdog, backpedaled just 48 hours before the law was to come into force and watered down the legislation to allow "implied consent" - in other words, websites can assume users have already consented to the use of cookies. Read More

Surveillance system searches million of faces per second, looking for a match

Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance system that can automatically detect a face in either a provided photo or video footage, then search for that same face in other video provided by networked cameras. While such facial recognition systems have been seen before, this one is able to compare the target face against others at an astounding rate of 36 million faces per second. Read More

Privacy Pop bed tent provides some seclusion in shared boudoirs

Although we’re social creatures, everyone needs a bit of privacy every now and then. This is particularly true in the bedroom, but whether it’s sharing with siblings growing up or co-habitation with roommates at college, unfortunately not all have us can enjoy the luxury of our own sleeping space. While not quite in the same league as your own four walls, the Privacy Pop will provide some protection from prying eyes - but you’ll still want to keep the noise down - you know, when reading. Read More
— Science

Perfectly secure cloud computing possible thanks to quantum physics

By - January 29, 2012
As numerous companies continue their push to get us to entrust our data to the cloud, there are many still justifiably concerned about the security of cloud computing-based services. Now an international team of scientists have demonstrated that perfectly secure cloud computing is possible by combining the power of quantum computing with the security of quantum cryptography. They carried out what they claim is the first demonstration of “blind quantum computing,” in which a quantum computation was carried out with the input, computation, and output all remaining unknown to the computer, and therefore, also any eavesdroppers. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Norte Photoblocker keeps your face out of embarrassing club photos

By - December 11, 2011 2 Pictures
How many times have you been going about your usual business of cheating on your spouse, being an idiot around your boss, or drunkenly harassing fellow party-goers when some wildly irresponsible person tags you in a photo and posts it online? What's that? "Never," you say? Well congratulations on being an alright human being then. You can feel good about the fact that you don't need the Norte Photoblocker to ruin any potentially damaging photos of your night out as they're being taken. Read More
— Spy Gear

DARPA's Shredder Challenge is solved ahead of schedule

By - December 5, 2011
At the end of October, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) launched its Shredder Challenge contest. The objective: create a system for reconstructing shredded papers, then demonstrate it by piecing together five documents, the shredded remains of which were posted on the contest’s website. Although the contest had a December 4th deadline, the “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” team correctly reassembled all five documents with two days to spare. Read More
— Science

Prototype device detects drug use via fingerprints

By - November 10, 2011
Fingerprints have been used to confirm or determine peoples' identities for over one hundred years now, but new technology is allowing them to be put to another use - drug testing. Intelligent Fingerprinting (a spin-off company affiliated with the UK's University of East Anglia) has just unveiled a prototype portable device that can detect the presence of illicit drugs or other substances in a person's system by analyzing the sweat in their fingerprints. Read More
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