Bruce Schneier does a masterful job of succinctly cutting through the NSA’s nonsensical claim that when it collects data on millions of Americans that it isn’t really collecting data at all,
Indeed, ever since Snowden provided reporters with a trove of top secret documents, we’ve been subjected to all sorts of NSA word games. And the word “collect” has a very special definition, according to the Department of Defense (DoD). A 1982 procedures manual (pdf; page 15) says: “information shall be considered as ‘collected’ only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties.” And “data acquired by electronic means is ‘collected’ only when it has been processed into intelligible form.”
. . .
Back when Gmail was introduced, this was Google’s defense, too, about its context-sensitive advertising. Googles computers examine each individual email and insert an advertisement nearby, related to the contents of your email. But no person at Google reads any Gmail messages; only a computer does. In the words of one Google executive: “Worrying about a computer reading your email is like worrying about your dog seeing you naked.”
. . .
When a computer stores your data, there’s always a risk of exposure. There’s the risk of accidental exposure, when some hacker or criminal breaks in and steals the data. There’s the risk of purposeful exposure, when the organization that has your data uses it in some manner. And there’s the risk that another organization will demand access to the data. The FBI can serve a National Security Letter on Google, demanding details on your email and browsing habits. There isn’t a court order in the world that can get that information out of your dog.
These police must really take their corruption-fighting job seriously.
Police in India have failed to act on hundreds of corruption complaints over an eight-year period because they did not know a computer password, it seems.
Delhi officers could not operate a portal holding more than 600 complaints – a lapse that has gone undetected since 2006, the Indian Express Newspaper said. The complaints came from India’s anti-corruption agency, called the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
But two senior police officers have now been trained in the system, and can access the 667 cases that have piled up since the portal launched. One officer told the paper the oversight was “a technical problem”, and complaints are now being addressed.
Ultra-Act was a series of Ultraman figures manufactured by Tamashii Nations and sold by Bandai. Generally hard to find outside of Japan, this Ultra-Act action figure of the original Ultraman is going to be re-released for sale in the United States later this year.
Raptr is a video game social networking system that I use mainly to track the time I spend playing video games and achievements earned. Along with weekly reports, each year Raptr prepares an overview report of gaming activity for the previous year.
It looks like this year I spent all my time playing Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2, Sleeping Dogs, and Saints Row IV. All four of those games are 10/10 games in my book.
The one game that impressed me the most that I only spent a few hours playing was Little Inferno. What starts out as a bizarre pyromania simulation turns into a thoughtful meditation/critique on video games themselves.
Torchlight 2 has hands-down the best animation I’ve ever seen associated with deleting a character.
At some point I’m going to regret not buying these excellent Batman vehicles from The Batman Automobilia Collection. This is the 1960s Batman television show version of the Batcycle.
The BBC notes that Soviet-era dissident and poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya recently died.
Gorbanevskaya was one of eight dissidents arrested for a demonstration in Moscow’s Red Square protesting the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. She was subsequently held in a psychiatric hospital until 1972. In 1975 she was allowed to emigrate to France.
The sad thing is that even with the end of the Cold War, some things change in degree but not kind,
Earlier this year she and others held another protest in Red Square making the 45th anniversary of the invasion.
They were briefly detained by authorities for holding an unauthorised protest.