N.S.A Gets Go-Ahead to Collect Phone Records

The US Senate blocked legislation that limits the collection of phone records in large quantities, which occurs more than a year after Edward Snowden exposed the size of the monitoring programs of the US Government

The US Senate has blocked a bill that would stop the NSA surveillance program of phones. The promoters of the withdrawal of the initiative argue that the device is now more important than ever, given the advancement of terrorism in the Middle East and fears that attacks occur in the US, reports’ The Washington Times ‘ 

There were 58 votes for the bill and 42 votes against. President Obama had already established limits for the National Security Agency, but Congress stated its strong support for the legislation.

“It’s the worst time for us to try to tie our hands” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican Party. “The threat of Islamic State is real. It’s different from what we’ve seen before. And if we are to overcome it, if our goal is to degrade and destroy the EI, as the President has said, then this will require sound policies and strong determination ” . 

The Senate decision is a defeat for advocates of respect for private life, which earlier this year received overwhelming support in approving a bill that restricted drastically monitoring National Security Agency. Now the defenders of national security have fought using the pretext of deteriorating security in the Middle East and the recent violent attacks registered in the US and Canada, which have rekindled fears that radical Islamists are established in these countries.

We already have to be worried about the NSA watching over us even while we’re doing online shopping on Qnet, but now they will have access to our phone lines as well. The issue is sensitive given the current concerns with the Islamic State, but at what point do we retain our rights?

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Posted on November 19, 2014
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Bullets Invented To Fit Printed Guns

Gun control supporters are taking note of a recent ammunition invention. A gunsmith by the name of Michael Crumling has crafted a type of bullet that is made specifically for the 3-D printed guns that have been featured in the news over the last year. The movement for creating 3-D printed guns has disturbed many by the ease of which creating untraceable guns can occur.

The designs for most printed guns is available for free on the internet, widely distributed by gun rights activists and their lobbyists as lawmakers have considered banning the inventions due to their ability to create guns whose origins and ownership cannot be traced by law enforcement agencies. My friend Jared showed me several documentaries, which are available online, that show the 3-D printed guns can be made to function as shooting a single bullet at at time, a three bullet burst fire, as semiautomatic or as a fully authomatic weapon, depending on which design the printer chooses to pursue. However, it has proven problematic to get reliable ammunition due to the guns being made of plastic and succumbing to the heat and explosive nature of the bullets leaving the barrel.

It is unclear what the next step will be for lawmakers. At the present time it is not illegal to possess or discharge a printed weapon, but it is difficult to enforce any laws made about them. Perhaps regulations on the ammunition will be the focus.

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Posted on November 6, 2014
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Russian Steve Jobs Monument Taken Down

We all knew there would be controversy about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s latest announcement, and it looks like Russia is the place to find it. Last week Tim Cook made the announcement that he is gay, and Russia immediately responded in a disapproving way. Despite the fact that Amazon still can’t keep Apple products in stock, a monument in the shape of an oversized iPhone that was located in St. Petersburg was removed almost immediately after the news had broke. The monument had originally been dedicated to Steve Jobs, but they felt that the decision was too much to ignore and the propaganda of homosexuality would not be tolerated, no matter their relationship with Jobs. The Western European Financial Union made the statement that it was removed to protect children and minors from information that contradicts traditional Russian family values. There is even a federal law that was signed by President Putin banning nontraditional sexual relations to minors, but he insists that the law is not intended to discriminate but just to keep children safe from predators. Not only did they remove the statue because of Tim Cook’s announcement, but because of Apple’s spying activities that were revealed through Edward Snowden. Owners and users of Apple products in Russia have been strongly encouraged to replace their devices with another brand so that they will not expose themselves to any sort of suspected spyware. Cook has been banned from traveling to Russia in the mean time.

Gmail Drafts Allow Hackers To Update Malware

Technology experts have recently uncovered a devious new tactic employed by cyber criminals. Highly skilled computer hackers are using a method of infiltration known as “control and command” on the computers of their victims. However, what has been most surprising to Lee G. Lovett and others paying close attention to this new deceptive practice is that it is extremely hard to detect that there is anything wrong with the computer at all, even if traditional virus scanners are used.

The basic breakdown of how the hackers are attacking is that they are using anonymous Gmail accounts to access the computers via internet through opening a session of Internet Explorer that does not appear on the computer screen. It is possible on computers that use the Windows operating system to access internet pages without showing themselves because Windows gives permissions to various applications to search and populate themselves with updates via the owner’s online connection.

While online security companies hurriedly make new fixes for this new breach, the hackers likely gained inspiration by tactics personally employed by the former CIA director. General David Petraeus, the ousted CIA director who left the agency in 2012, used a shared Gmail account with his mistress to communicate using messages saved in the drafts folder. Because the emails were never sent, it was much harder to track. Due to the stealthy nature of this tactic, experts are unsure how many people are affected.

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Posted on November 1, 2014
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Multicore Fiber Transfers Data At 255Tbps

A joint research project between universities in the United States via the University of Central Florida and the Netherlands via Eindhoven University of Technology have developed a multicore cable capable of transmitting data at 255 Terabytes per second.

The cable uses seven channels for transmitting information through the stuffed data conduit’s interior. Each channel cable or ‘core’ within the multicore cable was able to transmit 5.1 Tbps at the same time, allowing for a massive passage of information.

Multicore technology has been used in the past, but managing such a feat with multiple cores has difficult technical barricades in the way. High data rates are difficult to maintain, with issues such as overheating, cable sensitivity and signal generation that can damage current commercial equipment.

The team is directed by Chigo Okonkwo, an assistant professor of electro-optical communications in the Netherlands and Rodrigo Amezcua Correa, research assistant professor of micro-structured fibers in the United States.

To explain the process of sending such high amounts of information, the researchers compared it to sending three cars driving on top of each other in the same lane. Multiply those cars by three lanes and you have a lot of information being shipped one way at high speeds. Hopefully this technology makes its way to our cities so we can stream movies even faster on AT&T and FreedomPop LTE. At least that’s what I’ll be doing.

Although the process is a one-way data transmission, the potentially for international data transfer is great. Mutual speeds can be achieved by either sending another multicore cable in the opposite direction or halving the speed and sending traffic in two directions.

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Posted on October 30, 2014
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Rovio Releases “Flappy Bird” Inspired “Retry” App

Flappy Bird was massive when it came out. Although none of us really understood the app’s extreme popularity, it became extremely popular nonetheless. This sparked Rovio to try and hone in on that type of success, and they’ve done just that with Retry.

This game is awesome, Susan McGalla was telling me about it earlier, and I just had to download it to my iPhone 6 Plus.

You literally just tap the screen to control the gas on the tiny airplane that you help guide through levels. The longer you hold, the more gas until the plane performs a loop the loop.

However, that’s where the difficulty comes in, You have to navigate complicated levels, the entire time carefully controlling the throttle, so that you can climb or descend quickly, accordingly.

Considering it’s totally free, there’s almost no reason to not give Retry a shot.

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Posted on October 27, 2014
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Old Fraud Gains New Traction With Today’s Technology

Something that most people and businesses take for granted is their phone provider. The user dials a number, speaks with another person on the other end, and when he or she presses the button to end the conversation, normally a person can trust that the connection was actually ended. However, computer hackers are taking advantage of many businesses susceptibility to use “Voice Over Internet Protocol” for their phone services, and the businesses are having to pay huge sums of money due to fraudulent calls made by the hackers.

The scheme is pretty simple. Typically the attacks occur on weekends or overnight periods when there aren’t employees around to note strange behavior concerning the company’s telecommunications. Hackers can gain access to the phone system after tracing the number to figure out what company is providing the voice services.

After learning that bit of knowledge, the hackers then have a good idea of where to begin infiltrating a particular company’s phone lines. Hackers will use all of the phone lines to start dialing foreign premium phone numbers. We asked security analyst Igor Cornelsen about these. Cornelsen believes these premium numbers are usually for phone sex or psychic hotlines, which can quickly rack up the charge to an exorbitant amount.

Some of the hacking groups are connected with terrorism operations overseas, making solving these crimes a high priority for both consumers and law enforcement. However, it has proven to be difficult to catch these criminals, as they constantly switch numbers, target different businesses in different states simultaneously, and rarely attack the same business twice. For businesses to protect themselves, it is advised that phone lines are secured as competently as other web-enabled devices like computers.

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Posted on October 24, 2014
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3 Apps To Lessen The Burden On Your Wallet

The best innovation that the iPhone and associated apps have brought us, are the ways that they can infinitely improve your quality of life. There are apps for everything, from time management, to expanding the abilities of your brain, and even helping you lose weight. But there are even applications that can help you save money as well, and Jared Haftel helps me outline 3 that will be perfect for just that:

  1. Poshmark

Sort of like a great eBay app, where you can sell old shoes, clothes, and jewelry items that you just never wear, or that you were gifted, that you just aren’t a fan of.

  1. Key Ring

Helps you store and keep track of all discount cards that you receive from grocery stores, and any other major outlet. We all know how annoying that can be.

  1. GasBuddy

Actively tracks gas prices in your area, so that the app can point you to the cheapest location. While, you’re probably only talking about saving a few bucks per trip, over the course of an entire year you’re saving hundreds, or maybe even a grand. That’s not nothing.

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Posted on October 23, 2014
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Apple Wants All Apps To Make The Jump To 64-bit Code By February

Apple rolled out the ability for applications to use 64-bit code over a year ago, but now they will be requiring all new applications to utilize this format. They will also be enforcing updates to all current apps, so that they fall in line with the new specifications.

Apple will not directly kick out apps like FreedomPop if they aren’t able to update in time . But all future updates, and applications will have to be compatible with 64-bit code.

The whole point being a more streamlined experience on phones and tablets from the technology giant. 64-bit code as a requirement will mean faster performance from games, applications, and even videos on Apple products. So the move will have massive implications for the future of these devices.

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Posted on October 22, 2014
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Google Glass Addiction: The Latest Disorder?

Mental health experts disagree on whether or not internet addiction or social media addiction are actual disorders. A recent case suggests that Google Glass may be addictive. A patient who had been using Google Glass for as long as 18 hours per day was forced to enter an addiction program for his condition.

This is simply one example of a fairly pervasive issue, says Khaled Shaheen on Vimeo. Many people claim to be addicted to computer games, Facebook or the internet in general. Internet Addiction Disorder is not yet officially recognized by the mental health community as a disorder – it’s not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This, however, is something that is likely to change in the near future.

Google Glass and similar devices have the potential to be even more addictive than computers or phones. When a person can actually wear a device, he or she can theoretically wear it all day long. Can safeguards be built into such devices to prevent against this type of problem? The makers of wearable technology such as Google Glass could, for example, place limitations on how long someone could wear the device at a time. Or an alarm of some type could be placed within the device, similar to the way some modern automobiles can detect if the driver is intoxicated.

The issue of internet addiction is still being studied and debated. As technology advances, there will be an increasing need to address this side effect of ever more sophisticated gadgets.

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Posted on October 20, 2014
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