We all know the importance, in business, to have a social media team. However, that the Syrian rebels have a social media team in Turkey, set up to meet United States CIA arming requirements may come as a surprise to some.
Scientists in India and France have successfully transmitted a brain-to-brain thought, or communication, over the Internet. Using a non-invasive procedure, scientists in India wired a man’s head to capture and decode his brain impulses, had the man think the words “Hola” and “Ciao”, and then transmitted the impulses over the Internet to recipients that colleagues in France had wired similarly, who received the transmission as flashes of light, from which they were able to interpret the “Hola” and “Ciao”. The scientsts involved were Carles Grau, Romuald Ginhoux, Alejandro Riera, Thanh Lam Nguyen, Hubert Chauvat, Michel Berg, Julià L. Amengual, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, and Giulio Ruffini.
UK agencies have once again been surprised, or, at least, shown a stunning lack of clue about human nature, as many choose the unavoidable choice of disabling the porn filter on their Internet connection. This according to the UK’s Ofcom, who are the independent regulator for Britain’s communications industries. Yes, it turns out that broadband users want their porn and other inappropriate (or at least non-child-friendly) content.
Almost immediately after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on Thursday, July 17, messages appeared on the Twitter and VK social media site accounts of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk Republic(DNR) group, claiming responsibility. But the messages, attributed to DNR commander Igor Strelkov, claimed responsibility for downing an An-26 Ukrainian military plane. The messages were then hastily deleted as it became clear that the plane that was shot down was in fact a civilian commercial airliner.
Last week a BBC staffer testing their breaking news app alert system disappointed countless Game of Thrones fans when they sent a test alert stating “BREAKING NEWS No nudity in latest episode of Game of Thrones!!!”
The “One Ring” and “Missed Call” cell phone scam is becoming more common. According to both the FTC and the FCC, the way this works is that you will get a call from a number that you don’t recognize, starting with what seems to be a U.S.-based area code, such as 809, 876, 649, 268, 473, or 284. The scam is that when you call back to see who it is trying to reach you, you are actually connected to an international “pay per minute” or “pay per call” line, that will run up your phone charges.
Did you know that as much as 96 percent of all oil produced in the United States by fracking is condensate – a so-called “light oil” or “ultralight oil” which U.S. refineries are incapable of processing? Let’s say that again: as much as 96% of all fracking product is unusable in the U.S. So why the big push for fracking? Here’s what the United States, and the oil producers in the U.S. want to do with it: they want to export it! That’s right, they are taking it out of your back yard, and selling it on the global market.
You’re going on a trip and you’ve arranged for a pet sitter, but what about your poor, lonely plants? Now you can not only water them from anywhere in the world, but you can FaceTime with your plants, too! That is part of the idea behind a new app and indoor “microfarming” plant care system, Sprouts.io
Yesterday we told you about how Microsoft is one of several companies who are encrypting their services and hardening their systems against the prying of nosy agencies like the NSA. Now Microsoft is fighting a Federal court order that they turn over the data for a user’s email account whose email data resides on a server outside of the U.S. (in Ireland, to be specific).
Coincident with the Reset the Net effort, in which they are taking part, Google and Yahoo, along with Microsoft and Facebook, and others, are moving at speed to block the NSA’s snooping, and to tighten up their systems to make it more difficult for the NSA, and others, to eavesdrop on their data.
The FBI and Department of Justice have jointly announced that over 90 people around the world have been arrested in a gigantic global takedown of those responsible for the Blackshades RAT (Remote Acccess Tool) malware – also known as “creepware”. In addition to arresting the Blackshades creator Alex Yucel (“Yücel” in his native Sweden), Yücel’s employees, including his marketing person, were arrested, as were customers who had purchased Blackshades and then used it against their own victims. Yücel’s partner and Blackshade co-creator Michael Hogue was arrested in a sting known as “Operation Cardshop” in 2012; Hogue’s arrest lead to the arrest of Yücel.
China and the United States have been hacking each other for years. But the U.S. distinguishes between military espionage and “economic espionage”, the official U.S. position being that military espionage (which the U.S. does) is acceptable, while economic espionage (which China does along with military espionage) is not acceptable. Now the U.S. has indicted 5 Chinese military officials – members of the People’s Liberation Army elusive “Unit 61398” – with economic espionage for hacking into Westinghouse, Alcoa, U.S. Steel, SolarWorld, United Steel Workers Union, and Allegheny Technologies. (Full text of first 20 pages of indictment below.)
This week the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that individuals have a “right to be forgotten” by search engines. While it was a Google listing which complainant M of Spain sought to have removed, and on which the EU Court of Justice ruling turned, the holding applies across a broad spectrum of search engines and other aggregators of personal data about individuals.