GeekSpeak for 2013-07-20

Prism's Spellchecking Pen Not a Patch on DEF-CON's Headphones

EFF is awesome, your data is being read, Wifi Art, spell check censorship, ringtone help, and more GeekNews and calls from listeners.

FBI Ban at DEF-CON


NSA Director Gen. Keith B. Alexander giving the keynote at DEF CON 2012 (Credit: Wired)

EFF sues feds on behalf of rights groups in attempt to halt electronic surveillance by National Security Agency

EFF files a lawsuit on behalf of rights activists, church leaders and drug and gun rights advocates in an attempt to protect Americans’ phone records.

Google experiments with encryption on it’s drive cloud storage service

Google transmits the files securely, but they are stored unencrypted on the server. It is debatable whether server encryption will help much if the NSA wants your info, but it could help if other malicious parties are trying to access your files.

One possible solution that might help protect your data from government spying is for a cloud storage vendor to use forward security, an obscure feature of the SSL and TLS protocols. Instead of using a key exchange based on the RSA algorithm — as is the case with both secure socket layer and transport layer security, forward security uses the Diffie-Hellman key exchange or a variant, the Elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman.
RSA’s weakness is that it lets anyone with access to a copy of the server’s private key decrypt everything. DHE generates session keys in such a way that only the two parties involved in the communication can obtain them. After a session is complete, both parties destroy the session keys, and the only way to decrypt the communication is to break the session keys for it.
ECDH is supported by all major modern browsers.

Tech News also covered Google Encryption

Microsoft down $32 billion

Saw this one on Google+ – thanks to Mike Elgan – love the picture of Balmer:

How to Make Your Own Ringtone

Create a ringtone with iTunes.

Twitter founder - Advice for Facebook

Charge to hide Ads!

Biz Stone, Facebook ideator.
(Credit: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

Students, Start-Up Team To Create Android 'Master Key' Patch App

A vulnerability exists in the Android code base that would allow a hacker to modify a legitimate, digitally signed Android application package file (APK) and not break the app’s cryptographic signature.

Duo Security announced the availability of an Android utility dubbed “ReKey” on Tuesday. The tool allows Droid users to patch the so-called “Master Key” vulnerability on Android devices, even in the absence of a security update from Android handset makers (OEMs) and carriers who distribute the phones

Confirmed: F-1 Rocket Engine Salvaged By Amazon's Bezos Is From Apollo 11

The folks at Bezos Expeditions have confirmed that faintly visible serial numbers on one of the large engine components they lifted from three miles below the ocean’s surface match the serial number of F-1 engine F-6044, which flew in the center position on Saturn V number SA-506 — Apollo 11. With the 44th anniversary of the first lunar landing today, the confirmation comes at an auspicious time.

The Lernstift Smartpen that checks your spelling as you write.

There are two functions. The calligraphy mode which helps you correct individual letters, and the orthography mode which vibrates when a word is misspelled.

It contains an AAA battery-powered Linux computer, and instruments to calculate the pen’s 3-D movements: gyroscope (for measuring orientation), accelerometer (for calculating propulsion) and magnetometer (a device that measures the strength and direction of magnetic fields).
You can even use WiFi to connect it to your other devices.

Cell Phone Powered By Urine

Scientists report that microbial fuel cells using human urine can directly power a cell phone battery. However, the devices are not conveniently portable yet. One consists of six, 4-inch-long ceramic cylinders; the other is a network of 25 smaller fuel cells borrowed from the team’s waste-fueled EcoBot.
After 24 hours of charging, a Samsung phone stayed alive for 25 minutes—enough to send several texts and make a 6-minute, 20-second call.