Interview with an asteroid miner – Yeah, I did say mining of asteroids and it’s coming from the private sector

Check out this video Profits in Space! Entrepreneurs Are Scanning the Cosmos for Big Money. Glenn Reynolds interviews Chris Lewicki, CEO and Chief Asteroid Miner at Planetary Resources.

A few highlights: Continue reading “Interview with an asteroid miner – Yeah, I did say mining of asteroids and it’s coming from the private sector”

Surveillance society, or, there is no privacy on the ‘net

Privacy on the Internet is gone. It’s toast.

That is the point of Bruce Schneier’s post, Our Internet Surveillance State.

We leave crumbs of data spread around every time we use our computer or smart phone. With the cost of storing data essentially zero, every provider keeps a record of everything you do. And why not? The cost is zero to record your last Internet search or which cell tower has connection to your phone this moment.

Our privacy is shot when you put huge numbers of crumbs together.

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Lots of drones for lots of individuals and lots of governments

Drones are becoming quite popular for individuals and governments. I haven’t spent enough time talking about drones – their popularity is growing rapidly.

Cheap drones for individuals

For a few hundred dollars you can buy an easy-to-fly drone that can stream HD feed to your smart phone. That according to the video at Spying eyes or a bit of fun, drones fly off the shelves at Sydney Morning Herald.

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Creative uses for technology, or, the cheater’s phone

CPAs read about fraud schemes so we can learn what they look like. The concept is that if we see a fraud during an audit, we will be able to recognize it as such.

When doing that sort of reading, I’ll often thing “wow, I never woulda’ though of that!”

I have that reaction to the very sophisticated scam pulled by Olympus. Also have that reaction to a large bank setting up a department in Asia to remove all indications from wire transfers that the money belongs to someone in Iran so that the wire will successfully clear the U.S. banking system and thus launder dollars for your customers who can’t do business in the U.S.

I would never come up with those ideas. Who sits around thinking up these things?

Likewise with using the privacy settings on a phone to hide from one girlfriend that you are deeply involved with a few other ladies. Never would have crossed my mind. I would have never thought of hiding the existence of messages and caller info on my phone as a tool to conceal infidelity.

Continue reading “Creative uses for technology, or, the cheater’s phone”

Your smartphone could be a hostile spy in your office

There are a few downsides of the astounding technology we have today.

A team from a Navy research office has announced a malware application that can use your phone to create a 3-D image of your office. Such a program could you be used to steal information from your office. For example, bank account numbers visible on checks, info on broker statements, info on your computer screens or calendars. Could also be used to figure out what nice stuff is in your den or living room. 

This isn’t a concept paper or theoretical discussion.  It is software that is in existence today and has been successfully tested.

Continue reading “Your smartphone could be a hostile spy in your office”

Drones doing acrobatics?

Yeah. Today they can.

As Alex Tabarrok says at Marginal Revolution, Acrobatic Quadrocopters, image a micro-drone, specifically a quadrocopter, that can balance a pole, toss it in the air, and have another micro-drone catch the pole in the air.

Check out this video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pp89tTDxXuI#t=17s]

link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pp89tTDxXuI#t=17s

The catching ‘copter recalculates the exact position to make the catch 50 times a second. It positions itself at the exact point so the pole will balance and right itself.

Here’s the question – how long do you think it will be until you can go to your local hobby story and buy one of these for under $200?

An illustration why you should gain control over your name on the ‘net, both through buying domain names and reserving your name at social media sights

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Check out the web address www.senatorfeinstein.com. The address goes to a blog.

You would think it is related to the senator from California, right?

Not so fast.

Continue reading “An illustration why you should gain control over your name on the ‘net, both through buying domain names and reserving your name at social media sights”

What if we laid off 70% of all workers? Wouldn’t we go back to the Stone Age and stay there forever?

That’s the lead question in an article by Kevin Kelly at Wired, Better than Human.

He asks:

Imagine that 7 out of 10 working Americans got fired tomorrow. What would they all do?

Well, we’ve been there, done that.  And thrived.

Continue reading “What if we laid off 70% of all workers? Wouldn’t we go back to the Stone Age and stay there forever?”

Downside to cameras everywhere and the near-zero cost to record data

We are being recorded and logged and photographed everywhere we go. We need to be aware.

I’m not sure we have all caught on to the extent that we are tracked.  Andy Kessler ponders where we are in his Wall Street Journal article, In the Privacy Wares, It’s iSpy vs. gSpy – Big Brother is watching us. But we are watching back.

Boundaries of monitoring

He reminds us there is a log and probably a photo from every time you interact with a toll booth, cell tower, ATM, or commercial security cameras, of which there may be as many as 30M around the country. 

As cheap as storage is, those records will be retained for years, if not decades.

Ponder the new boundaries of the monitoring:

Continue reading “Downside to cameras everywhere and the near-zero cost to record data”

Who inherits your digital music, books, and movies? Who controls your social media after you die?

Can you give your digital books or movies to your heirs? Can your family gain access to your social media sites after your death to preserve your memories and content?

Our legal system hasn’t quite dealt with those questions. At the moment, the answers to those questions are probably no.

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Can your cloud provider do *anything* they want with your data?

If you read the terms of service for one particular provider, it looks like the answer is yes.

Check out these terms of use from Prezi, which provides a cloud-based presentation tool:

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Manage the risks of your technology

The tools available today are incredibly amazing and powerful.  You can do astounding things.

I can publish several blogs at minimal out-of-pocket cost which are available world-wide. Very cool.

There are dangers, but that’s okay. We need to know the risks and then manage them.

I have two posts at my other blog, Nonprofit Update, that discuss some dangers and how to minimize them.

They are:

Continue reading “Manage the risks of your technology”

“Feudal Security”

That’s the title used by Bruce Schneier in a post that draws an analogy of the ways we use our data to a feudal society.

My very short description is that our system of allowing Apple or Google or Microsoft to store our data on their servers and provide hardware platforms with reduced opportunity to manage our own security is a change from the previous model of having our own servers and maintaining our own security and backup.

That is similar to a feudal society in which the peasants work for a lord who provides all their security.

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Want your own tricorder? They are under development but not available. Yet.

A full-blown tricorder like McCoy or Spock used is still a ways off.  Development is in progress.

That’s the story from The dream of the tricorder in The Economist.

Smart phones will be the platform for the day we do have functioning tricorders.

In the meantime, we are seeing single-function devices that have a special app and plug-in device.

Continue reading “Want your own tricorder? They are under development but not available. Yet.”

Battle of the 4 big tech giants

Wow. If you want to keep up with the rapid change around us, you really need to keep an eye on The Economist.  I’ll have 2 posts and a comment in another post based on ideas in this week’s edition.

Magazine cover has four deep-sea monster squids fighting each other. Nearby is a bathysphere with two little people watching the battle.  Labels identify the giants of the deep as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.

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