GeekSpeak for 2012-02-18
Who needs privacy when you are selling something? Online Dating Websites keep your data, Target Inc. knows your daughter is pregnant, Cyber attacks of Nortel, SSL for Google Maps still leaks data, and more Geek News and in the second half Alex, Miles and Lyle answer technical questions from listeners.
“Thanks to the New York Times, we now know that Target has a system for figuring out which of its shoppers are knocked up. As Charles Duhigg, an expert in habit formation, makes clear, this is extremely valuable data as new parents tend to get hooked on certain brands and become loyal customers during the first few years of a child’s life — when they’re like the cookie monsters of kids’ goods.”
“Nevada has become the first state in the United States to approve self-driving cars, a necessary step for Google’s vision to become a reality.”
“It’s that time again when the Librarian of Congress is considering special exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-cicrumvention provisions. One of the key proposals, which we discussed earlier, was Public Knowledge’s request to allow people to rip DVDs for personal use — just as we are all currently able to rip CDs for personal use (such as for moving music to a portable device). The MPAA (along with the RIAA and others) have responded to the exemption requests (pdf) with all sorts of crazy claims, but let’s focus in on the DVD ripping question, because it’s there that the insanity of Hollywood logic becomes clear.”
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How to Clear Memory From a Canon Fax Machine
As if dating – and meeting potential mates online – weren’t tough enough, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports online dating sites come with big holes in security that compromise at least the privacy and possibly the financial security of their users.
Hackers based in China enjoyed widespread access to Nortel’s computer network for nearly a decade, according to a report.
In the last couple of years, Google and some other Web giants have moved to make many of their services accessible over SSL, and in many cases, made HTTPS connections the default. That’s designed to make eavesdropping on those connections more difficult, but as researchers have shown, it certainly doesn’t make traffic analysis of those connections impossible.
Besides having to remove our shoes, the volume limitations regarding liquids and gels in carry-on baggage has become a major hassle in the world of post 9-11 airport security. Hopefully, however, we may soon be able to once again bring our big bottles of water and tubes of toothpaste aboard airliners in our overnight bags. Britain’s Cobalt Light Systems has developed a scanner called the INSIGHT100, that uses laser light to assess the liquid contents of containers, even if those containers are opaque.