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Telecommunications

CreepyDOL system can destroy your privacy for about US$500

Brendan O'Connor is an unabashed hacker who has worked for DARPA and taught at the US military's cybersecurity school. CreepyDOL (Creepy Distributed Object Locator), his new personal tracking system, allows a user to track, locate, and break into an individual's smartphone. "For a few hundred dollars," he says, "I can track your every movement, activity, and interaction, until I find whatever it takes to blackmail you." Read More

Twitter finally gets tougher on death and rape threats

It's been an exceedingly ugly fortnight on Twitter. Following a successful campaign orchestrated by journalist and feminist Caroline Criado-Perez to have a woman reinstated on Bank of England banknotes, she has been subjected to a relentless campaign of harassment, with rape and death threats being received by Criado-Perez at a rate of nearly one per minute on July 24, the day it was confirmed that her campaign had been a success. After being the platform for sustained threats and abuse for almost two weeks, Twitter has finally begun to act.Read More

Opinion: Please, sir, may I have some porn? On David Cameron's proposed porn blocker

On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a sweeping censorship plan that would block internet users in the United Kingdom from accessing online pornography unless they specifically request otherwise. British ISPs will be obliged to contact each of their customers to ask whether they want their content filtered, and if no answer is forthcoming, the filter will be applied by default. Speaking of how "online pornography is corroding childhood," Cameron also proposed that search engines stop showing returns for child pornography – and in doing so demonstrated a lack of understanding of the medium.Read More

Plug pulled on the world's last commercial electric telegraph system

After linking the world for 167 years, the commercial electric telegraph is no more. The speed with which electromagnetic telegraph systems took over both short- and long-distance communication in the mid 19th century set the pattern which telephones and the internet would follow, spawning the connected world we now live in. The closing down of India's state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam, Ltd. (BSNL) network on Monday sparked a last-minute rush of people looking to send a souvenir telegram to mark the historic event before the electric telegraph was relegated to the history books. Read More

Google floats balloon-powered internet network with Project Loon

Almost two-thirds of the world still does not have access to high-speed internet, but Google is determined to change that. Unfortunately, setting up an affordable infrastructure in remote areas is beyond even a huge multinational corporation's capabilities, which is why the company had to devise a completely out-of-the-box solution called Project Loon. As part of the project, Google recently launched a series of internet-enabled balloons into the stratosphere over New Zealand to provide broadband connectivity to rural areas. Read More

Big Brother is here, and his name is PRISM

If there was any doubt that George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was a prophetic piece of fiction, you can pretty much put that to rest. The more skeptical among us have claimed for years that, in the age of the internet, nobody has real privacy. During the last 24 hours, those fears emerged from the shadows. Details leaked of the secret US National Security Agency (NSA) program called PRISM, which may as well have been called Big Brother.Read More

Sports broadcasts could soon feature Matrix-style replays

Along with its nihilistic cyberpunk style, the film The Matrix is famous for popularizing what’s known as “bullet time” photography. You know the shots where someone would run and jump, then they’d freeze and the camera would appear to track around them as they were frozen in mid-air? That’s bullet-time. Now, that same technology may be coming to live televised sporting events. Read More

Record 40 Gbit/s wireless data transmission rate matches it with optical fiber

If you thought 5G wireless was fast at one Gbit/s, how does 40 Gbit/s sound? That's the new wireless data transmission record set by a team of engineers in Germany using integrated solid state mm-wave transceivers. This data transmission rate was demonstrated over a distance of 1 km (0.6 miles) and it is hoped that such links could be used to close gaps between optical networks in rural areas at a fraction of the cost of installing optical fiber.Read More

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