Getting information about a person just by staring

There is a new app that would give anyone access to  facial recognition software.  Use Google Glasses to look at someone, whereupon you will then tap into that person’s online profiles, social media networks, relationship status, arrest records, and whatever else is online.  Right now, Google is not allowing this app for use on its glasses, but the potential is there and the software can potentially be used on other devices.

This is being called “The End of Privacy.”  The app seems to have been written for guys in bars trying to pick up women.

Again, I ask, if it would be wrong for the government to violate people’s privacy like this, why is it OK for corporate America or individuals wearing geeky-looking glasses to violate people’s privacy?

[Read more...]

What NSA can learn from your “Angry Birds” app

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...]

Google invading your car

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 sensorization of consumer tech

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...]

Outlawing light bulbs

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...]

Scientific discovery or technological breakthrough of the year?

Along the lines of the amplituhedron, above, what would you say was the top scientific discovery or technological breakthrough of 2013?


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