Insecure Androids in Space

The geeks cover the week in geek news, and take your calls.

Petraeus case shows FBI's authority to read email

The downfall of CIA Director David Petraeus demonstrates how easy it is for federal law enforcement agents to examine emails and computer records if they believe a crime was committed. With subpoenas and warrants, the FBI and other investigating agencies routinely gain access to electronic inboxes and information about email accounts offered by Google, Yahoo and other Internet providers.

Nasa to encrypt data after its latest laptop loss

US space agency Nasa has ordered that the data on all its laptops must be encrypted, after losing another one of its portable computers. Until the process is complete, it has forbidden staff from removing Nasa-issued laptops containing sensitive information from its facilities. The order follows the loss of a device containing “sensitive personally identifiable information”. There have been several similar incidents over recent years.

GeekBit: 100,000 Stars

Using Chrome’s WebGL, CSS3D, and Web Audio support, you can zoom in and out to explore the layout of the stars, set against a dreamy soundtrack. You can click on each name to learn more about it and see a digital rendition, and zoom all the way out to get a little context for where l’il ol’ us sits in the grand scheme of things.

Feature phones dwindle as Android powers ahead in third quarter

Feature phone sales are in decline, new figures for the third quarter of 2012 from Gartner show – but the smartphone business is booming, with shipments rising by 47% year-on-year, and Android is behind a huge amount of that growth.

Google targets Android fragmentation with updated terms for SDK

Google has expanded its legal agreement with developers working on Android applications to specifically prohibit them from taking any action that could lead to a fragmentation of the operating system. The prohibition was added to the terms and conditions for Google’s Android SDK (software development kit), which developers must accept before using the software to build Android apps.

PSA: Transition to

We at CM are very trusting of our members, showed by both respect and permissions granted to those people we consider part of the team. Last month, this trust was violated in a substantial way. In the spirit of openness, here is what happened.

NASA's Kepler Completes Prime Mission, Begins Extended Mission

NASA is marking two milestones in the search for planets like Earth; the successful completion of the Kepler Space Telescope’s 3 1/2- year prime mission and the beginning of an extended mission that could last as long as four years.

GeekBit: Songza

This is a great music app that Ben loves.

GeekBit: Kittens for Coding

This is a webcam stream of kittens that Ben likes to leave up on his second monitor. Perfect company for coders who are allergic to kittens.

This link is valid as of November 17, 2012.

If it forms like a star but looks like a planet...

“The body in question awkwardly straddles the border between near-stars called brown dwarfs and giant super-Jupiter class planets, and its features suggest it may have formed through a process identical to one that creates stars.”