Monday, August 23, 2010

“We can, therefore we must.” That's the theme of most of the security breaches and unethical uses of technology I comment on in this blog. But then, that has always been the way consumers use technology.

National Park Service Says Tech Is Enabling Stupidity

Posted by samzenpus on Monday August 23, @07:57AM

"The National Park Service is finding technology to be a double-edged sword. While new technologies can and do save lives, the NPS is also finding that unseasoned hikers and campers are now boldly going where they never would have gone before, counting on cellphones, GPS, and SPOT devices to bail them out if they get into trouble. Last fall, a group of hikers in the Grand Canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers complained that their water supply tasted salty. 'Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,' said a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park. 'Every once in a while we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get down and they want someone to personally escort them. The answer is that you are up there for the night.'"

I can't wait until this starts showing up at union contract negotiations. Think this has any change of passing?

Germany To Grant Privacy At the Workplace

Posted by samzenpus on Monday August 23, @01:02AM

"The German government is proposing a bill deciding employees have an expectation of privacy at the workplace (translated article). Among other provisions, the bill would ban employers from surveilling their employees by cameras or logging and reading their emails. Also, potential employers would not be allowed to view an applicant's profile at Facebook or any other social network that hasn't actually been made for this purpose."

No professional would ever rely on “Prevention” alone. No election machine I'm aware of has provided any “Detection” tools or any viable way to audit the votes. The slashdot commenters seems to feel the same way.

Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested In India

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday August 22, @04:41PM

"Hari Prasad, a security researcher in India who had demonstrated the vulnerability of electronic voting machines used in all elections in India, was arrested by the police on charges of stealing an electronic voting machine. The election commission of India has maintained that EVM are non-hackable. The election commission had previously provided access to the device to the security researchers for a day and asked for a hack in only that time."


Electronic Voting Researcher Arrested Over Anonymous Source

Your customers are geeks. How can you really irritate them? Also, are they trying to create a middle ground between real property and a software license?

Tensions Rise Between Gamers and Game Companies Over DRM

Posted by Soulskill on Sunday August 22, @10:43PM

Tootech recommends an article at the Technology Review about the intensifying struggle between gamers and publishers over intrusive DRM methods, a topic brought once more to the forefront by Ubisoft's decision not to use their controversial always-connected DRM for upcoming RTS RUSE, opting instead for Steamworks. Quoting:

"Ultimately, Schober says, companies are moving toward a model where hackers wouldn't just have to break through protections on a game, they'd also have to crack company servers. [Or point the game to my own server... Bob] The unfortunate consequence, he says, is that it's getting more difficult for legitimate gamers to use and keep the products they buy. But there are alternatives to DRM in the works as well. The IEEE Standards Association, which develops industry standards for a variety of technologies, is working to define 'digital personal property.' The goal, says Paul Sweazey, who heads the organization's working group, is to restore some of the qualities of physical property — making it possible to lend or resell digital property. Sweazey stresses that the group just started meeting, but he explains that the idea is to sell games and other pieces of software in two parts — an encrypted file and a 'play key' that allows it to be used. The play key could be stored in an online bank run by any organization, and could be accessed through a URL. To share the product, the player would simply share the URL."

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