In Memoriam of Aaron Swartz and his dream to make the world a better place
11/8/1986 – 01/11/2013
The federal government has been fighting hard for years hide details about its use of so-called stingray surveillance technology from the public.
The surveillance devices simulate cell phone towers in order to trick nearby mobile phones into connecting to them and revealing the phones’ locations.
Now newly released documents confirm long-held suspicions that the controversial devices are also capable of recording numbers for a mobile phone’s incoming and outgoing calls, as well as intercepting the content of voice and text communications. The documents also discuss the possibility of flashing a phone’s firmware “so that you can intercept conversations using a suspect’s cell phone as a bug.”
The information appears in a 2008 guideline prepared by the Justice Department to advise law enforcement agents on when and how the equipment can be legally used.
The Department of Justice ironically acknowledges in the documents that the use of the surveillance technology to locate cellular phones ‘is an issue of some controversy.’
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California obtained the documents (.pdf) after a protracted legal battle involving a two-year-old public records request. The documents include not only policy guidelines, but also templates for submitting requests to courts to obtain permission to use the technology.
Apple Inc could be facing up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury on Tuesday found the iPhone maker used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its most popular devices.
The jury in Madison, Wisconsin also said the patent, which improves processor efficiency, was valid. The trial will now move on to determine how much Apple owes in damages.
Representatives for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.
WARF sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of its 1998 patent for improving chip efficiency.
The jury was considering whether Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violate the patent.
Published on Mar 10, 2014
Edward Snowden speaks about privacy and technology with the ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian at SXSW Interactive. -Links are below-
https://www.aclu.org/time-rein-survei… – Main “Time to Rein in the Surveillance State
https://www.aclu.org/time-rein-survei… – Patriot Act Info
https://www.aclu.org/time-rein-survei… – FISA Amendments
https://www.aclu.org/time-rein-survei… – FISA Court Info
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden speaks remotely to the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, superimposed over an image of the Constitution. (Spencer Bakalar / Los Angeles Times / March 10, 2014)
AUSTIN, Texas — Edward Snowden brought no bombshells when he arrived to an excited round of applause Monday, his stubbled face relaxed as it was beamed in from across the continents for a “virtual conversation” about the vulnerability of personal data. His presence was event enough.
Public appearances by the former National Security Agency contractor and U.S. exile are rare, and this one was beamed in from an undisclosed location in Russia via several online proxies for his own security, a bit of technological cloak-and-dagger that could only add to his mystique for the three roomfuls of international tech specialists struggling to hear his words in video that was choppy and often inaudible.
His message still got through: Personal information is vulnerable not only to government prying but to growing numbers of outside infiltrators because companies have failed to adequately protect the data of their customers. His own exile after leaking to reporters secret information he had gathered while an NSA consultant has made him a central figure in that conversation, and he says he has no regrets.
“Would I do it again? Absolutely,” Snowden said into the camera, in response to one of several questions submitted to him via Twitter (#AskSnowden) and screened backstage at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. And I saw the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.”
He warned, “If we allow the NSA to continue unrestrained, every other government will accept that as a green light to do the same.”
The chosen Twitter questions were notably nonconfrontational for a figure often the subject of heated debate even among supporters. One asked whether the mass surveillance was driven by privatization. Another wondered about the potential for society to “reap benefits” from the “big data.” None asked about his life in Russia, or what further revelations might be coming.
The first question came from Timothy John Berners-Lee, a British scientist known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, who asked Snowden how he would create an accountability system for governance.
• Whistleblower patches in to Texas conference from Russia
• Snowden insists leaks have strengthened national security
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it all again despite the personal sacrifices he had endured.
In remarks to the SXSW culture and technology conference in Texas, delivered by video link from his exile in Russia, Snowden took issue with claims by senior officials that he had placed the US in danger. He also rejected as demonstrably false the suggestions by some members of Congress that his files had found their way into the hands of the intelligence agencies of China or Russia.
Snowden spoke against the backdrop of an image of the US constitution, which he said he had taken an oath to protect but had seen “violated on a mass scale” while working for the US government. He accepted praise from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, accorded the first question via Twitter, who described him as “acting profoundly in the public interest”.
The session provided a rare and extensive glimpse into the thoughts of Snowden, granted temporary asylum by Russia after the US revoked his passport. He struck back strongly against claims made again last week by the NSA director, General Keith Alexander, that his release of secret documents to the Guardian and other outlets last year had weakened American cyber-defences.
“These things are improving national security, these are improving the communications not just of Americans, but everyone in the world,” Snowden said. “Because we rely on the same standard, we rely on the ability to trust our communications, and without that, we don’t have anything.”
He added later that thanks to the more secure communication activity that had been encouraged by his disclosures, “the public has benefited, the government has benefited, and every society in the world has benefited”.
Published on Feb 5, 2014
Thom Hartmann shares how the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee has created its own high speed internet service.
Google will buy London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind. The Information reports that the acquisition price was more than $500 million, and that Facebook was also in talks to buy the startup late last year. We’ve emailed Google and DeepMind for comment. The acquisition was originally confirmed by Google to Re/code.
Google’s hiring of DeepMind will help it compete against other major tech companies as they all try to gain business advantages by focusing on deep learning. For example, Facebook recently hired NYU professor Yann LeCunn to lead its new artificial intelligence lab, IBM’s Watson supercomputer is now working on deep learning, and Yahoo recently acquired photo analysis startup LookFlow to lead its new deep learning group.
DeepMind was founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former child prodigy in chess, Skype and Kazaa developer Jaan Tallin, and researcher Shane Legg.
This is the latest move by Google to fill out its roster of artificial intelligence experts and, according to Re/code, the acquisition was reportedly led by Google CEO Larry Page. If all three of DeepMind’s founders work for Google, they will join inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was hired in 2012 as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.
Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that has been acquiring, on average, more than one company per week since 2010. The table below is an incomplete list of acquisitions, with each acquisition listed being for the respective company in its entirety, unless otherwise specified. The acquisition date listed is the date of the agreement between Google and the acquisition subject. The price of each acquisition is listed in US dollars because Google is headquartered in the United States. If the price of an acquisition is unlisted, then it is undisclosed. If the Google service that is derived from the acquired company is known, then it is also listed here.
Google has acquired over 100 companies, with its largest acquisition being the purchase of Motorola Mobility, a mobile device manufacturing company, for $12.5 billion. Most of the firms acquired by Google are based in the United States, and, in turn, most of these are based in or around the San Francisco Bay Area. To date, Google has divested itself of three  business units: Frommers, which was sold back to Arthur Frommer in April 2012; SketchUp, which was sold to Trimble in April 2012; and Google Radio Automation, which was sold to WideOrbit in 2009.
Many Google products originated as services provided by companies that Google has since acquired. For example, Google’s first acquisition was the Usenet company Deja News, and its services became Google Groups. Similarly, Google acquired Dodgeball, a social networking service company, and eventually replaced it with Google Latitude. Other acquisitions include web application company JotSpot, which became Google Sites; Voice over IP company GrandCentral, which became Google Voice; and video hosting service company Next New Networks, which became YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group.
Following the acquisition of Israel-based startup Waze in June 2013, Google submitted a “10-Q” filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that revealed that the corporation spent US$1.3 billion on acquisitions during the first half of 2013, with US$966 million of that total going to Waze.
|100||August 1, 2011||Dealmap||One deal a day service||USA||—||Google Offers|||
|101||August 15, 2011||Motorola Mobility||Mobile device manufacturer||USA||$12,500,000,000||Android, Google TV, Patent portfolio|||
|102||September 7, 2011||Zave Networks||Digital coupons||USA||—||Google Offers|||
|103||September 8, 2011||Zagat||Restaurant reviews||USA||$151,000,000||Google Places, Google Maps|||
|104||September 19, 2011||DailyDeal||One deal a day service||GER||$114,000,000||Google Offers|||
|105||October 11, 2011||SocialGrapple||Social media analytics service||CAN||—||Google+|||
|106||November 10, 2011||Apture||Instantaneous search||USA||—||Google Search|||
|107||November 14, 2011||Katango||Social circle organization||USA||—||Google+|||
|108||December 9, 2011||RightsFlow||Music rights management||USA||—||YouTube|||
|109||December 13, 2011||Clever Sense||Mobile apps||USA||—||Android|||
|110||March 16, 2012||Milk, Inc||Social networking service||USA||—||Google+|||
|111||April 2, 2012||TxVia||Online Payment||USA||—||Google Wallet|||
|112||June 4, 2012||Meebo||Instant Messaging||USA||$100,000,000||Google Hangouts|||
|113||June 5, 2012||Quickoffice||Productivity Suite||USA||—||Google Docs|||
|114||July 20, 2012||Sparrow||Mobile apps||FRA||$25,000,000||Gmail|||
|115||2012||WIMM Labs||Android powered smartwatches||USA||—||Android|||
|116||August 1, 2012||Wildfire Interactive||Social media marketing||USA||$450,000,000||Google, Google+|||
|117||September 7, 2012||VirusTotal.com||Security||ESP||—|||
|118||September 17, 2012||Nik Software, Inc.||Photography||USA||—||Google, Android|||
|119||October 1, 2012||Viewdle||Facial recognition||UKR||$45,000,000||Android|||
|120||November 28, 2012||Incentive Targeting Inc.||Digital coupons||USA||—||Google Offers|||
|121||November 30, 2012||BufferBox||Package delivery||CAN||$17,000,000||Google Shopping, Android|||
|122||February 6, 2013||Channel Intelligence||Product ecommerce||USA||$125,000,000||Google Shopping|
|123||March 12, 2013||DNNresearch Inc.||Deep Neural Networks||CAN||—||Google, Google X|||
|124||March 15, 2013||Talaria Technologies||Cloud computing||USA||—||Google Cloud|||
|125||April 12, 2013||Behavio||Social Prediction||USA||—||Google Now|||
|126||April 23, 2013||Wavii||Natural Language Processing||USA||$30,000,000||Google Knowledge Graph|||
|127||May 23, 2013||Makani Power||Airborne wind turbines||USA||—||Google X|||
|128||June 11, 2013||Waze||GPS navigation software||ISR||$966,000,000||Google Maps|||
|129||September 16, 2013||Bump||Mobile software||USA||—||Android|||
|130||October 2, 2013||Flutter||Gesture recognition technology||USA||$40,000,000||Google, Android, Google X|||
|131||October 22, 2013||FlexyCore||DroidBooster App for Android||FRA||$23,000,000||Android|||
|132||December 2, 2013||Schaft.inc||Humanoid robots||JPN||Google X|||
|133||December 3, 2013||Industrial Perception||Computer Vision||USA||Google X|||
|134||December 4, 2013||Redwood Robotics||Robotic Arms||USA||Google X|||
|135||December 5, 2013||Meka Robotics||Robots||USA||Google X|||
|136||December 6, 2013||Holomni||Robotic wheels||USA||Google X|||
|137||December 7, 2013||Bot & Dolly||Robotic cameras||USA||Google X|||
|138||December 8, 2013||Autofuss||Ads and Design||USA||Google X|||
|139||December 10, 2013||Boston Dynamics||Robotics||USA||Google X|||
|140||January 4, 2014||Bitspin||Timely App for Android||CHE||Android|||
|141||January 13, 2014||Nest||Home automation||USA||$3,200,000,000|||
|142||January 15, 2014||Impermium||Internet security||USA||Google+|||
|143||January 26, 2014||DeepMind Technologies||Artificial Intelligence||UK||$400,000,000|||
Google is buying London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies, according to reports.
Technology news website Re/code, which first reported the deal, said the price was $400 million (£242m), which would make it Google’s largest European acquisition so far. Other reports suggest the acquisition price was closer to $500 million.
Google declined to confirm the figure, while privately-held DeepMind was not immediately available for comment.
DeepMind was founded by 37-year-old neuroscientist and former teenage chess prodigy Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.
Published on Dec 15, 2013
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=8428
As governments and corporations around the world move to make their actions and products ever more opaque, a counter-movement is rallying around the opposite of flag of openness and transparency. Borrowing its metaphor from the programming creed of “open source,” this movement is moving beyond the world of bits and bytes to find innovative, collaborative and open solutions to a whole host of problems confronting our everyday lives. Find out more about the open source solution in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder.
Think those embarrassing images you sent over Snapchat are safe? Think again.
An app that lets you save and re-open Snapchat messages, without the sender ever knowing, has now been launched.
Snapchat is a picture-sharing app that lets you send photos, text, messages and drawings to your friends.
SnapHack, a $0.99 (62p) app, lets you look at old images sent through the Snapchat app at anytime
Snapchat is a picture-sharing app that lets you send photos, text, messages and drawings to your friends.
You can choose how long you want the picture to be viewable, up to ten seconds, before the app ‘deletes’ it.
To use it, open the app and create your message.
Special effects and even text can also be added.
Choose a recipient from a list of friends.
Specify how long you want the picture or video to last, up to 10 seconds, then send.
In theory a user can choose how long they want the picture to be viewable – up to ten seconds – before the app deletes it.
But now SnapHack, a $0.99 (62p) app, lets you look at old images sent through the Snapchat app at anytime.