Sunday, March 29, 2015

A bit of a language problem, but you get the idea.
the CEO of ESD America, Les Goldsmith told that the interceptors exist and it was not until now that the company has claimed to launch a real-time Overwatch service that will locate such spy towers.
The company has developed towers called IMSI catchers, short for International Mobile Subscriber Identity, an identity associated with all the mobiles. These towers are used as simulators for the original ones and they reroute cell phone transmissions that take place near them.
However, Goldsmith said that there are only a few interceptors with domestic U.S configurations. He also said that considering the sophistication of many of the towers located, it is likely that they are not domestically engineered.
They more likely to be laptop devices as most of the interceptors use OpenBTS which implies that the towers are more likely to be used by laptop hobbyists. Moreover, most of the towers were of commercial-grade and non-domestic.

Is there anyone who didn't think Google could make itself heard if it chose to?
Google admits it has huge influence in Washington as it tries to deny having influence
It's no secret that Google has been a major influencer in US politics for years now — the company just doesn't want you to know it. But today, it admitted in a roundabout way just how deep its ties into the government go as it defended itself against claims it tampered with an FTC investigation back in 2012.
Last week, a Wall Street Journal report suggested Google tampered with an FTC investigation that was looking to see if the search giant was engaging in anti-competitive practices. While the FTC ultimately decided not to bring a lawsuit against Google, reports published by the WSJ indicated the commission was deeply divided on whether it should sue — and another report exposed the close ties that Google has with the Obama administration. The implication was that Google used its influence in the White House to ultimately sway the FTC's decision in its favor — something that Google is now vigorously denying in an unusual post today on its public policy blog.
… Google says that it wasn't visiting to discuss the anti-trust investigation — it was there to discuss a huge host of other concerns, including "patent reform, STEM education, self-driving cars, mental health, advertising, Internet censorship," and a host of others. Ironically, Google's attempt at claiming it doesn't have influence in the government goes a long way towards showing just how much of a seat at the table the company really has.

Because we've been tracking satellites for some years, we know their resolution is at least an order of magnitude better than any images they release.
What Elephants and Whales Look Like From Space

Strategy is as strategy does. Clearly we lost the opportunity to lead China into the future we desire. Do we have any idea where they will lead others?
New Chinese Bank Becomes Major Headache For U.S.
… Russia is the latest in a string of countries, including many of the United States' closest allies in Europe and Asia, to announce plans to join the bank ahead of a March 31 deadline to become a charter member.
In recent days, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and South Korea have all said they intend to join the $50 billion bank, which would be used to fund infrastructure improvements, like new roads and rail lines, in Asia.
On its face, a country's decision to join a global development bank wouldn't normally make headlines, but this time around membership is seen as a clear rebuke to the wishes of Washington. The United States has reportedly spent weeks quietly trying to convince friends around the world to decline or at least delay joining the bank.
… The U.S. concern, Biswas says, "is that the new development institution could potentially compete with existing institutions, such as the World Bank." While China participates in those organizations, its limited influence there is no longer commensurate with its growing economic strength, and efforts to reform the IMF to give China a greater role have languished in the U.S. Congress.
News agencies, especially in China, have had a field day with the U.S. position, as countries seemingly fall over themselves to join the new bank. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua says the United States looks "petulant" and "cynical" and has called Washington's apparent lack of support "sour grapes."

More stuff to inflict on my students.
Dozens of Alternatives to YouTube
Over the last few years I've seen more schools opening up access to YouTube, at least to teachers, than I had in the past. YouTube for Schools has partially contributed to that trend. Tools like ViewPure and Watchkin have made using YouTube videos in schools a little less scary too. All that said, there are still lots of schools that block access to YouTube. That's why a few years ago I started to maintain a list of alternatives to YouTube.
This week I updated my list of alternatives to YouTube. I removed some options that have disappeared and edited information about sites that have changed. The updated list and video search engine can be found here.

For my Math students. PhotoMath is now available for Android.
PhotoMath is a free camera calculator phone app now available on Android as well as iOS and Windows. To use point the camera towards a printed mathematical expression and the app gives the solution, step-by-step solutions are also available. The problem types are limited to those shown below (also see the examples here)

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