Sunday, September 22, 2013

Apple's Touch ID is Vulnerable to "Sleephacking"

Apple worked hard to make the the Touch ID security system easy to use. So easy a 5s can be unlocked by a cat, your toe, or even your... member, if it's registered with your phone. The real issue, though, is that Touch ID has no way of telling if someone is passed out.

Frat dudes, heads up. You could wake up from a night of drinking to find your bros messaged all your exes and creatively re-wrote your Facebook profile. Yet the biggest threat is likely that of misuse by significant others.

It's common to hear the story of a suspicious girlfriend or boyfriend who went through their guy/girl's unlocked phone while he was asleep, found them flirting with someone else, and dumped them. Numeric passcodes would prevent this.

But Touch ID is vulnerable to "sleephacking".

As long as someone knows what finger[s] you've registered with Touch ID, they can pick your phone up off the nightstand, press it against your sleeping finger, and voilà, the phone unlocks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Syrian Rebels Use iPads and Smartphones to Aid Weaponry

In the absence of a military infrastructure, Syrian rebels have turned to smartphones, tablets and Google Earth to track, aim mortars at, and plot attacks against government troops loyal to President Assad, according to U.S. arms and defense experts.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wikileaks exposes surveillance industry trackers

Wikileaks exposes the companies that produce and sell the software governments use to violate your privacy.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What is the Microsoft Kinect?


"some sort of Orwellian, always listening surveillance device."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'

When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they're not worried. "I've got nothing to hide," they declare. "Only if you're doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don't deserve to keep it private."

The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." The legal scholar Geoffrey Stone refers to it as an "all-too-common refrain." In its most compelling form, it is an argument that the privacy interest is generally minimal, thus making the contest with security concerns a foreordained victory for security.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn declared, "Everyone is guilty of something or has something to conceal. All one has to do is look hard enough to find what it is." Likewise, in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella "Traps," which involves a seemingly innocent man put on trial by a group of retired lawyers in a mock-trial game, the man inquires what his crime shall be. "An altogether minor matter," replies the prosecutor. "A crime can always be found."

One can usually think of something that even the most open person would want to hide. As a commenter to my blog post noted, "If you have nothing to hide, then that quite literally means you are willing to let me photograph you naked? And I get full rights to that photograph—so I can show it to your neighbors?" The Canadian privacy expert David Flaherty expresses a similar idea when he argues: "There is no sentient human being in the Western world who has little or no regard for his or her personal privacy; those who would attempt such claims cannot withstand even a few minutes' questioning about intimate aspects of their lives without capitulating to the intrusiveness of certain subject matters."

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Exellent Android App For Audio Recording

Check out iRig Recorder. It is a powerful and yet very flexible free audio recording app for Android. It is a professional recording tool with intuitive and practical editing functions and lets you export your recordings according to your need.

Friday, July 26, 2013

How to Open Samsung Galaxy S4 Back Cover

A video demonstrating how you can easily remove the back cover from the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Privacy and facial recognition

As photos flood the Web and photo recognition technology becomes more widespread and precise, are we approaching an unsettling tipping point?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How much data is there in the world today?

Answer: Data is exploding, growing 10X every five years. In 2008, IDC projected that over 800 Exabytes (one million terabytes) of digital content existed in the world and that by 2020 that number is projected to grow over 35,000 Exabytes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4

This sums it up nicely:

Adding features to a smartphone is obviously not a bad thing. Trying to innovate is not a bad thing. Adding features that serve no real other purpose other than to allow you to say "look at this other thing our phone can do" is a bad thing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Samsung's Galaxy S4

Three years after mocking the 5-inch screen of the Dell Streak, Samsung's Galaxy S4 may make that display size commonplace everywhere.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

iOS 6.0 - 6.1 Jailbreak

evasi0n: Compatible with all iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 6.0 through 6.1.

Important: Always remember to backup your device using iTunes (or iCloud) before trying to jailbreak your device.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Danish Government postpones the data retention law evaluation

In the coming months, the Danish Parliament will conduct an evaluation and revision of the Danish data retention law which implements directive 2006/24/EC. The review process has been postponed twice on earlier occasions (2010 and 2012) and now the Danish government wants another postponement, officially in order to coordinate with any changes in the directive at the EU level.

The Danish law exceeds the requirements of the EU's data retention directive in several respects, especially as far as Internet logging is concerned. The Danish law contains a requirement for session logging which includes data about every Internet packet being transmitted.

Specifically, the following information must be retained:

  • source and destination IP address
  • source and destination port number
  • transmission protocol (like TCP and UDP)
  • timestamps

The contents of the Internet packets are not being logged, but the IP addresses will contain information about visits to websites of political parties (that is, in effect, registration of political preferences) and the online news services that the citizen reads. Last year in the Danish Parliament, there was considerable debate about the Danish over-implementation of the data retention directive, in particular Internet session logging.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

US Has Secret Tools to Force Internet on Dictators

The U.S. military has no shortage of devices that could restore connectivity to a restive populace cut off from the outside world by its rulers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Silent Circle: Easy encryption for mobile devices

Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments' feathers with a surveillance-proof smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. Now, the company is pushing things even further—with a groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button. (For now, it's just being released for iPhones and iPads, though Android versions should come soon.) That means photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it—sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to share files between mobile devices

Here's a video tutorial on how to share files from Android Phones or Tablets over a WiFi network using FrostWire:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Has Apple caused trouble for Microsoft with the mini?

Steve Jobs was not a fan of smaller-sized tablets, but it appears that his judgement was off in this regard. In domestic settings, the mini seems to work better.

Matt Baxter-Reynolds writes:

I had planned to keep both the iPad mini and my normal, full-sized iPad. In fact, I sold my full-sized iPad within a day of taking delivery of the mini. The mini just seemed to fit what I needed it for perfectly, whereas the full-sized iPad in comparison immediately felt faintly ridiculous.

It's telling that on the one hand a lot of products that seem to sell well in competition with the iPad are already on a "mini" scale:

  • Nexus 7 is a popular Android tablet with 7" screen.
  • The Kindle Fire tablets are each about that size.
  • Samsung has pre-announced an 8" Galaxy Note.

At the same time, it's also telling that smartphones not made by Apple tend to be getting bigger:

  • The Lumia 920, is a huge smartphone with a 4.5" screen.
  • The Galaxy S III has a 4.8" screen.
  • The Galaxy Note II has a 5.6" screen.

As ZDNet points out, there seems to be drift in screen sizes towards devices with screens that are -- for the sake of argument -- around 6" for a smartphone and around 8" for a tablet:

If the iPad mini is selling really well, it may have redefined the "natural" size of a domestic-use tablet as being a smaller device. Apple might have validated the previous decisions by Google to make the Nexus 7 small, and Amazon in making the Kindle Fire tablets small, even though I suspect those previous decisions had more to with the bill of materials than any sense as to the desires of the customer.

Microsoft may have a problem here. The smallest Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet that you can buy is "big tablet" sized and no one is making a small Windows 8 tablet. The problem with Microsoft's positioning of Windows in a post-PC world is its (understandable) obsession with Office and with keyboards. This makes life really difficult for an OEM trying to make a small tablet as you'd need to make a very small keyboard to go with it. You're then looking at something more like the now relatively ancient Toshiba Libretto, which might be a tough sell as today that looks an awful lot like a netbook.

Unless one of the OEMs does something amazingly bold, Windows tablets look like they're stuck in a 10" or greater world. That would mean that Microsoft has managed to accidentally entirely miss what seems like an obvious and logically-defensible market shift to smaller tablets in the domestic-use space.