After noting Ladar Levison’s new effort to build an NSA-proof email service that protects users from the prying eyes of the surveillance state, I wasn’t surprised to see a reader object. Its creators “might want to ask the public if they really want this service, a service which will undoubtedly make it much easier for radical anti-US elements anywhere in the world to much more easily plan and wreak their proverbial havoc against the American government,” she wrote. “I expect the rabid Tea Partiers will be dumping lots of dough into Kickstarter to help Levison pump up those who might be anxious to repeat 9/11, but this time with 4 planes aimed at the White House in order to rid them of their, the Teas, arch enemy. I for one do NOT want such a service, which will make it impossible for the government to do what it is supposed to do: protect the U.S. against all types of attacks.”
Remember when President Bush was in power and dissenters on the left were the ones accused of empowering the terrorists? But my purpose isn’t to dwell on the anti-Tea Party attacks. Instead I want to concede one point. My reader is right that, if the NSA can’t hoover up and analyze every piece of email sent in the world, they may miss some conversations between terrorists intent on doing us harm. Privacy prevents authorities from seeing all sorts of things, some of them bad.
Read more. [Image: Loren Kerns/Flickr]
Facebook is the biggest social network to ever come across this planet. So, analytics play a huge role in the overall user experience. From clicks to pages, Facebook monitors every single piece of user interaction with the site, in hopes to make it better - and of course - to be able to market advertiser dollars to their users more effectively.
Businesses have figured out how to track users on multiple devices, raising even more privacy concerns.
There is a motif, in fiction and in life, of people having wonderful things happen to them, but still ending up unhappy. We can adapt to anything, it seems—you can get your dream job, marry a wonderful human, finally get 1 million dollars or Twitter followers—eventually we acclimate and find new things to complain about.
If you want to look at it on a micro level, take an average day. You go to work; make some money; eat some food; interact with friends, family or co-workers; go home; and watch some TV. Nothing particularly bad happens, but you still can’t shake a feeling of stress, or worry, or inadequacy, or loneliness.
Read more. [Image: [perpetualplum/Flickr]
Disney develops way to ‘feel’ touchscreen images
8 October 2013 Last updated at 07:30 ET
"Disney researchers have found a way for people to "feel" the texture of objects seen on a flat touchscreen.
The technique involves sending tiny vibrations through the display that let people “feel” the shallow bumps, ridges and edges of an object.
The vibrations fooled fingers into believing they were touching a textured surface, said the Disney researchers…”
— click through for link to the BBC article —
In response to the recent news reports about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, President Barack Obama said today, “When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Instead, the government was just “sifting through this so-called metadata.” The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made a similar
Isn’t being stuck on the tarmac a drag? Not when you have the Philadelphia Orchestra on board with you. Read more at NPR’s The Two-Way.
Just in case you weren’t clear on this. Here’s why nothing will be done about it
The NSA got a FISA judge to order Verizon to turn over “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.” The records include “metadata,” meaning the records show the phone numbers, call length and possibly location the calls were made, among lots of other helpful identifying information…”