Thursday, March 13, 2014

Facebook Founder Zuckerberg Complains To President Obama On NSA Spying

US President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg together in 2011. Photo: Reuters

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Called Obama on NSA Frustration -- Bloomberg Businessweek

Facebook Inc. (FB:US) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said he called U.S. President Barack Obama to express his frustration over the government’s spying.

“The U.S. government should be the champion for the Internet, not a threat,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page today. “They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”

Zuckerberg’s comments follow reports that the National Security Agency has been disguising itself as Facebook to gain access to users’ computers for spying, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the online news site The Intercept. It was the latest in a string of revelations about government surveillance that led Facebook, along with Google Inc., Apple Inc. and others, to call on the U.S. to disclose more about government requests for user data.

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More News On Facebook Founder Complaining To President Obama On NSA Spying

Facebook's Zuckerberg: Obama's Government Is 'Damaging' Our Future -- Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg phoned Obama to complain about spying -- Reuters
‘Frustrated’ Mark Zuckerberg blasts Obama administration over privacy -- Washington Times
Mark Zuckerberg 'confused and frustrated' by US spying -- BBC
Mark Zuckerberg Is ‘Confused and Frustrated’ With President Obama Over Facebook Snooping -- New York Magazine
Zuckerberg phones Obama, ‘frustrated’ by NSA’s extensive spying -- FOX News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg phoned US President Barack Obama to complain about spying -- Sydney Morning Herald
Mark Zuckerberg: US government surveillance is a threat to the internet -- The Guardian
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Washington is ‘a threat’ to the Internet -- Washington Post
Facebook’s Zuckerberg lashes out at Obama over NSA spy program -- RT
Zuckerberg Says He Called Obama To Express 'Frustration' Over NSA Surveillance -- Forbes
Facebook's Zuckerberg Complains to Obama Over Government Spying -- New York Times
Mark Zuckerberg called Obama about the NSA. Let's not hang up the phone -- The Guardian
Mark Zuckerberg called President Obama to complain about NSA surveillance -- The Verge
Zuckerberg responds to 'frustrating' reports of NSA spoofing Facebook, while the agency denies them -- Endgadget

Newest NSA Revelation: NSA Has Posed As Facebook To Infect Computers With Malware

NSA Reportedly Posed As Facebook To Infect Computers With Malware -- Seattle Times/L.A. Times

The NSA has been using a program code-named Turbine to contaminate computers and networks with malware “implants” capable of spying on users, according to news website The Intercept.

The National Security Agency has reportedly used automated systems to infect user computers with malware since 2010, according to a Wednesday report. And at times the agency pretended to be Facebook to install its malware.

The NSA has been using a program code-named Turbine to contaminate computers and networks with malware “implants” capable of spying on users, according to news website The Intercept, which cited documents provided by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Between 85,000 and 100,000 of these implants have been deployed worldwide thus far, the report said.

To infect computers with malware, the NSA has relied on various tactics, including posing as Facebook.

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More News On The Latest NSA Revelation That The NSA Has Posed As Facebook To Infect Computers With Malware

How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware -- The Intercept
Snowden: NSA uses fake Facebook to hack into users’ computers -- Washington Times
NSA mimics criminals in bid to infect millions of computers, report says -- Christian Science Monitor
NSA's Malware Methods Outed in Latest Leak -- NBC
NSA 'hijacked' criminal botnets to install spyware -- Reuters
Snowden leak: NSA plans to infect ‘millions’ of computers -- RT
NSA's TURBINE robot can pump 'malware into MILLIONS of PCs' -- The Register
The NSA Has Impersonated Facebook To Spread Malware -- Gizmodo
The NSA Is Using Facebook to Hack Into Your Computer -- Nextgov
New Documents Show NSA Uses Fake Facebook Profiles To Spread Malware -- Opposing Views
NSA Has Been Hijacking the Botnets of Other Hackers -- Threat Level
NSA: We didn’t pose as Facebook -- The Hill
NSA says “indiscriminate” Facebook hacking allegations “are simply false” -- Ars Technica
The NSA Responds To Allegations It Impersonated Facebook And Infected PCs With Malware -- Tech Crunch
NSA denies mass Internet infection and website impersonation -- Slash Gear

Russia To Embrace Robot Senties To Protect Its Strategic Missile Facilities

Russian Military to Deploy Security Bots at Missile Bases. © RIA Novosti. Sergei Pyatakov

Russian Military To Deploy Security Bots At Missile Bases -- RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is planning to deploy mobile security robots in 2014 to protect its strategic missile facilities, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

“In March, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces [RVSN] began testing mobile robotic systems being developed to protect key RVSN installations,” spokesman Maj. Dmitry Andreyev said.

Andreyev said the security bots will be deployed at five ballistic missile launch sites around Russia as part of an upgrade to the existing automated security systems.

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My Comment: I am curious to know if the U.S. has such a set-up also.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Robots Will Be Smarter Than Us All By 2029

Photo: Google has spent billions of its £57bn fortune quietly buying up the world’s top robotics companies including Boston Dynamics, the company behind this robot

Robots Will Be Smarter Than Us All By 2029, Warns AI Expert Ray Kurzweil -- The Independent

World’s leading futurologist predicts computers will soon be able to flirt, learn from experience and even make jokes

By 2029, computers will be able to understand our language, learn from experience and outsmart even the most intelligent humans, according to Google’s director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.

One of the world’s leading futurologists and artificial intelligence (AI) developers, 66-year-old Kurzweil has previous form in making accurate predictions about the way technology is heading.

In 1990 he said a computer would be capable of beating a chess champion by 1998 – a feat managed by IBM’s Deep Blue, against Garry Kasparov, in 1997.

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Update: Computer robots will outsmart humans within 15 years, Google director claims (and a giant laboratory for artificial intelligence is already planned) -- Daily Mail

My Comment: This is an optimistic prediction .... but I will admit that Kurzweil has a better track record than I do.

How Can An Airliner Just Disappear?

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: How Can an Airliner Just Disappear? -- Popular Mechanics

Improvements suggested after similar midair disaster never made their way into this Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

The clock is ticking on the search for clues to what caused a Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines 777-200 to vanish suddenly from radar screens last weekend, forty minutes after leaving Kuala Lumpur. As leads and potential evidence surfaced and just as quickly fizzled, a flotilla of 40 ships from nine countries as well as two dozen aircraft scoured an area within a 50 nautical mile radius of Flight 370's last known position.

The mystery has seemed to deepen days after the event, and the possibility that the answers lay at the bottom of the sea in the plane's black boxes is ratcheting up the pressure. As anyone who has followed the course of similar mid-air catastrophes knows, these recorders emit a ping to guide rescuers that lasts about one month. Failure to find them before the battery dies means a lengthy and frustrating probe for the causes of the disaster.

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My Comment: It is clear that the aircraft had a catastrophic failure. The question that needs to be answered is .... what exactly happened.

How To Disappear From The Internet

The infographic, pictured, from London-based WhoIsHostingThis, details the nine steps needed to remove yourself from the web. It includes deactivating accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

How To DISAPPEAR From The Internet: Nine-Step Guide Helps People Vanish Without A Trace And Then Surf Anonymously -- Daily Mail

* Hosting firm created a graphic explaining how to disappear from the web
* The nine steps include deactivating accounts and setting up fake profiles
* For people who'd rather hide, the guide suggests anonymous searching
* The graphic gives step-by-step instructions on how to carry out each task
* It also recommends Google’s URL removal tool, and contacting websites

Could you give up the internet for Lent - or even for good?

Following various reports about companies stealing information and complaints about oversharing on social media, a web hosting firm has created a nine-step guide on how to disappear from the web completely.

It includes deactivating accounts, removing links from search results and how to remove yourself from various lists - and for people who'd rather just stay hidden than disappear, the guide also gives tips on how to use the internet anonymously.

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My Comment: It is a lot of work to disappear from the web .... but this is a good start.

Google Glass Copycats

Epson Moverio BT-200. Jonathon Kambouris

5 Glasses That Can Change How You See The World -- Popular Science

Google Glass might not have done much to move fashion forward, but it has inspired a bevy of copycats—many of which will be on the market before Glass. Some of them are subtle, some futuristic, and some seem plucked straight from 1950s B-movies. The common thread: All of them will transform how we interact with our surroundings. How we’ll look wearing them is another story entirely.

The Awkward Scale: Smart glasses come with sacrifices, such as looking awkward. So we ranked the current models on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being the least awkward. As a baseline, Glass rates a 3.

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My Comment: Epson Moverio BT-200 appears to be the winner (above pic).