According to secret documents released by Edward Snowden, certain cellphone apps–including the popular game “Angry Birds”– are “leaky,” allowing the NSA to tap into your smartphone and its treasure trove of information about you. [Read more…]
If you have a newish car, you can already integrate it with your smartphone, answering your cell with a button on your steering wheel and carrying on cellphone conversations through your car’s speakers. You can even buy “apps” for your car. But when your car is your phone and your computer, outside entities are getting their hooks into you. The price of getting information from the web is that the web is getting information on you.
Now Google has announced new initiatives with auto manufacturers, turning cars into Android devices. This will allow Google–along with its client companies and its government snoopers–to collect all kinds of personal information about the drivers. Google will be able to place ads– tailor made just for you and your buying weaknesses–right into your car.
Won’t that be a great advance in automotive technology? [Read more…]
The big thing out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas? Biometrics. Eye-tracking devices to see what ads you pay attention to. Mood-sensing ear buds. Pupil dilation sensors to see how much you are “aroused.” And, what I’m trying to get my mind around, bras that analyze brain waves.
After the jump, read all about it. But then I have some serious questions I want to raise. [Read more…]
The manufacture of traditional incandescent light bulbs will be illegal, as of January 1. Compact flourescent bulbs (those with the corkscrew shape) and Light Emitting Diodes, which look something like the old bulbs invented by Thomas Edison, will have to replace them. You can still buy the old bulbs and stores can still sell them until they run out of stock, but it will be against the law to manufacture or import them. The new bulbs use less energy and last longer, but they are more expensive.
If the new lighting technology saves so much money in the long run, shouldn’t the free market take care of this? As opposed to a legal prohibition? Or is this a case in which the free market doesn’t meet a social good, in this case, saving energy? [Read more…]
Along the lines of the amplituhedron, above, what would you say was the top scientific discovery or technological breakthrough of 2013?
The FBI has some new crime-fighting technology in its collective utility belt. FBI-employed hackers can now infect suspects’ computers with malware that will allow investigators to download whatever they might find.
This process, which still requires a court order, takes wiretapping to a new level. [Read more…]