Nothing’s driving the acquisition of data faster than, well, driving. As new technology makes its way into vehicles, so does the apparent desire to harvest information about the vehicle itself. Between the outside harvesting (automatic plate readers that gather plate/location data, as well as photos of vehicle occupants) and the “inside” transmissions, there’s very little any number of unknown entities won’t know about a person’s driving habits. And that’s not even including what’s transmitted and collected by drivers’ omnipresent smartphones and their installed apps.
Sen. Edward Markey has expressed some alarm at the amount of data being collected (and distributed) by vehicle manufacturers. His office has produced a report [pdf link] showing that while many manufacturers are involved in collecting data, very few of them seem concerned about the attendant risks. Even worse, many respondents to his office’s questionnaire seem to show very little understanding of the underlying technology and most have not made an effort to fully inform customers as to how much is being collected or how it’s being distributed.
Drivers of today’s connected cars aren’t going to like the report’s findings.
Nearly 100% of cars on the market include wireless technologies that could pose vulnerabilities to hacking or privacy intrusions.
While some basic security measures have been implemented, the fact remains that transmitting data always poses a risk. Three of the 14 manufacturers that responded to Markey’s questions had actually let their security measures stagnate or decrease from 2013 to 2014, even as the amount of data transmitted rose. Worse, many of the respondents deployed security measures in a “haphazard and inconsistent” fashion, and nearly all respondents seemed unable to fully process the questions posed by Markey’s office.
Category Archives: Technology
Cars Are Delivering Tons Of Driving Data To Manufacturers With Minimal Security And Even Less Transparency
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai said President Barack Obama is about to succeed in his attempt to take “alarmingly unprecedented direct involvement” into the FCC’s plan to regulate the internet, which he explained will mean “billions of dollars in new taxes,” slower broadband speeds and “less competition.”
Discussing the plan that the FCC has refused to let the public see Pai said, “Unfortunately it looks like the cake has been baked. President Obama gave his direction to the FCC in back in early November and lo and behold, the FCC majority has put together President Obama’s plan for Internet regulation. And it looks to be posed pass it on a 3-to-2 vote.”
When asked if the president’s move was an “alarmingly unprecedented direct involvement,” into FCC, Pai agreed, explaining the FCC has been an independent agency since 1934, he said, “When you have a politician shortly after the midterm election deciding to direct the agency to do x, y, z and telling us he wants us to use a particular legal theory to do it you’re in uncharted territory, at least in my experience. I think compromising the independence of the agency is bad enough, but especially when it involves the government control the Internet. That is just a dangerous road for us to travel on.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) explained in November the Treasury Inspector General reported that it had recovered almost 80,000 missing emails from the seized IRS disaster recovery tapes. Upon investigation it was found approximately 80 percent are duplicates, which leaves roughly 16,000 recovered, unique Lois Lerner emails.
The Wisconsin senator promised “a number of committees,” working together will spend the next couple of month “sorting through” the emails to “piece together this plot.”
Johnson said, “This administration has been completely opaque. But that’s one question. Who was communicating with Lois Lerner? What emails were exchanged with the White House or Treasury department? That’s what we are trying to get to the bottom of.”
He added, “I smell a rat. I smell a number of rats, and that’s what we are going to get to the bottom of.”
Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.
During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet.
Noting the 32,000 public comments that came into the FEC in advance of the hearing, Democratic Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, “75 percent thought that we need to do more about money in politics, particularly in the area of disclosure. And I think that’s something that we can’t ignore.”
But a former Republican FEC chairman said in his testimony that if the agency moves to regulate the Internet, including news voices like the Drudge Report as GOP commissioners have warned, many thousands more comments will flood in in opposition of regulation.
“If you produce a rule that says we are going to start regulating this stuff, including the internet and so on, I think you will see a lot more than 32,000 comments come in and I don’t think staff will analyze them and find that 75 percent are favorable to more regulation,” said Bradley Smith, now with the Center for Competitive Politics.
Why did Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler decide to embrace the idea of regulating the Internet like a utility?
He says it’s because he saw that the wireless industry had thrived under similar regulation. But as a report in today’s Wall Street Journal makes abundantly clear, it was really a response to pressure from the White House, which effectively ran a shadow FCC.
As the folks at TechFreedom point out, Wheeler has now reversed himself on a number of issues related to net neutrality in order to align with the preferred position of the White House.
Technically, the FCC is an independent agency charged with making its own decisions on such matters. But the Journal‘s report, and Wheeler’s multiple reversals, suggest that in practice, it is instead acting as a direct extension of the White House, proposing policy changes that the agency’s chairman would not have supported without unusual and aggressive prodding from the administration.
The parameters of digital addiction are not defined, but digital addictions are similar to behavioral addictions like compulsive gambling.
Kuss says there’s evidence that Internet addiction can alter brain chemistry.
When the brain experiences something pleasant — for example, winning a video game — the good feelings come from a rush of dopamine, she said. When someone becomes addicted to the activity, neural receptors in the brain become flooded with dopamine and essentially turn off, leading the addict to seek out those feelings aggressively.
When the activity is cut off, it takes time for the receptors to wake up, resulting in depression, mood swings or sleep deprivation. Doan says science needs to classify different kinds of media based on what he calls “digital potency.”
“You don’t see people getting addicted to PowerPoint,” Doan said. “Our challenge is to figure out how potent something like Facebook is compared to something like gaming.”
When the new Congress shows up on Tuesday, it’s going to have lots to worry about, but there’s one serious problem at risk of being overlooked. And that really can’t be allowed to happen; it’s much too important:
In 2015, the Obama administration plans to hand over control of ICANN — the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — to international governance. ICANN oversees the superstructure of the Internet, and the American Department of Commerce oversees ICANN. The plan for handing our authority to the global community would mean oversight by censors and despots in China, Russia, and Iran.
Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is steeped in naïveté. He’s done irreparable damage in Cuba, where the Castros were on their last legs. He’s done irreparable damage in the Middle East, where defeat was snatched from the jaws of Iraqi victory, and where lifting sanctions saved Iran’s foundering economy. He’s done irreparable damage in East Asia by genuflecting to Beijing’s dictators. He’s done irreparable damage in Europe by scrapping the Czech–Polish missile-defense system and gift-wrapping the Crimea. This fait-accompli phone-and-pen nonsense is incredibly serious.
But this time, Congress has advance warning. And it knows what’s at stake. If it does nothing, it will have done irreparable damage to the freedom of everyone who uses or is affected by the Internet. Which is to say, everyone. It will be Congress’s fault.
Williams estimated that the number of people who regularly use the Internet in North Korea was probably somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people, and since Monday’s attack took place in the evening hours local time, the number of people who noticed would be far less.
Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis for Internet performance management company Dyn Research, told ABC News that the country’s virtual footprint is “inordinately small.”
All told, there are said to be 1,000 IP addresses in the country, Madory said, compared to about 981 million in the United States and about 107 million in South Korea.
Another way to measure a country’s digital footprint is by the number of BGP routes, which Madory described as the way anyone on the Internet would send traffic out of North Korea.
The United States has 150,000 BGP routes, which is the most in the world. South Korea has 17,000 BGP routes, and North Korea has four.
Madory noted that there are countries that have fewer routes than North Korea, though they are mostly small South Pacific island nations where the population is a fraction of that of North Korea’s.
“It is a microscopic-sized Internet, especially for a country of millions of people,” Madory said.
To put it in perspective, North Korea has fewer IP addresses than a New York City block…
Learning to text on a smartphone is nowhere near as difficult as learning to play the violin, but the two may have a few similarities.
Brain researchers have found that smartphone use shapes the parts of our brains that govern our finger movement in much the same way as learning to play an instrument, such as the violin.
Every region of the body — from our toes to our fingers — has a particular processing area in the part of our brains called the somatosensory cortex. These areas are “plastic,” meaning they can change and grow throughout our lifetimes.
“Smartphones offer us an opportunity to understand how normal life shapes the brains of ordinary people,” Ghosh explained in a statement.
His team and a team from the University of Fribourg used EEGs (electroencephalography) to measure the brain activity in 37 people, 26 of whom were touchscreen smartphone users; the rest used old-style cellphones.
They found that the cortical activity in smartphone users was quite different from those using traditional cellphones.
The more the smartphone users had used their phones in the previous 10 days, the greater the signal observed in the somatosensory cortex. And this link was strongest in the brain areas that controlled the thumbs.
Baugh isn’t the first person to control robotic limbs with his mind. Some researchers are already working on giving amputee patients back their sense of touch. But the technique is new enough that dual-control has never been tried before.
In order to prepare his body for the devices, Baugh underwent a surgery called targeted muscle reinnervation. The procedure redirected nerves that once controlled his limbs to interact with the prosthetics.
Next, he trained on a computer, working with virtual models as pattern recognition software learned to apply signals from his brain to his intended movements. Then, Johns Hopkins researchers fitted him with a personalized socket to hold the prostheses to his body and translate his mental controls.
When they attached the robotic limbs, he performed a variety of two-handed tasks—becoming the first person to ever manipulate two independent arms with his mind at the same time.
In the future, according to John Hopkins, he’ll be able to take them home and use them in his day-to-day life.