“Remember that day you were in the backyard playing with your kids, and a butterfly landed on little Susie’s finger? Remember how cute you thought it was and that you just HAD to put a photo up on the web for the world to see? Remember how you thought nobody would know where you or little Susie lived? Sorry Susie, that photo was geotagged, and now the whole world knows where your back yard is and where you sleep at night.”
Did you know that whenever you take a photo, your iPhone will read the internal GPS circuitry, encode the coordinates and write them into the “EXIF” data within the picture file? Programs such as Google’s Picasa will decode these coordinates and display the location from which a photo was taken on a map.
Since GPS circuitry is embedded into most new cell phones, this feature may be working on more than the iPhone. Consult your owners’ manual to determine the procedure for disabling it.
You can’t hide – redux
If you thought that Google Street View violated your privacy, wait until you’ve got one of these hovering over you.
A German business magazine reported that Microdrones, a company in Siegen, Germany, sold at least one of its flying surveillance robots to Google for testing. Microdrones’ chief executive said the radio-controlled device – four rotor helicopters about a meter across – could be helpful in Google’s mapping projects and thinks there’s a good chance Google will buy more of the airborne bots.
However, a Google spokesperson said that Google hasn’t purchased and is not testing any Microdrones: “This was a purchase by a Google executive with an interest in robotics for personal use.”
In Saudi, they really can’t hide!
A Saudi – Blackberry deal averted a ban on telecommunications in Saudi Arabia.
Research in Motion agreed to allow Saudis to monitor private conversations and messages within their country. The alternative would have totally shut down usage of the Blackberry Smartphone within the country where the Saudi government wants to monitor the service for religious protection and/or criminal activity.
Can the Pentagon stanch WikiLeaks?
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he won’t be intimidated by the United States into stopping more leaks from being released about our country’s war in the Middle East. Al Qaeda and Hamas are combing through some 77,000 already dumped documents, looking for names of informants who aided coalition forces in Iraq. Thanks a bunch, J.A.
Accused U.S. Army leaker Bradley Manning claims he gave Julian Assange of WikiLeaks a log of Iraq war events containing 500,000 entries from 2004 through 2009 and a database of 260,000 State Department cables to and from diplomatic posts around the globe. The recent release, or “leak” of the documents have endangered Afghan informants who helped coalition forces find the bad guys.
“The United States has the cyber capabilities to prevent WikiLeaks from disseminating those materials,” wrote Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen. “Will President Obama order the military to deploy those capabilities? … If Assange remains free and the documents he possesses are released, Obama will have no one to blame but himself.”
Does the U.S. government have the legal or cyber capabilities to stop further leaking of the sensitive documents?
Will you pay more for 3D movie streaming features?
Some consumer advocates have slammed a proposal that would exempt wireless services from net neutrality, saying it could result in the creation of private, closed broadband networks akin to cable TV systems, as opposed to today’s open Internet in which anyone can create a website or online service.
How will this impact you? It could allow broadband companies to charge you more for “additional, differentiated online services,” such as 3D movie streaming or gaming.
7 come 11!
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to legalize online gambling – with federal government oversight, of course.
His bill, HR 2267, would establish federal oversight of any online gambling, with the potential of providing a huge revenue stream for the feds. The Congressional Joint Committee of Taxations estimated that regulated online gambling could generate $42 billion in revenue over the first 10 years of implementation.
The bill passed in committee and now moves on to the House floor, where it’s expected to be voted on before the end of the 2010 congressional session.
Coffee with a splash
Starbucks began offering free, unlimited Internet access last month at all 6,800 of its U.S. company-operated stores. Customers logging on to the free Wi-Fi will soon find themselves landing on a custom designed splash page for each Starbuck location.
Starbucks is teamed with Yahoo Inc. to create the websites which will include content provided by The New York Times, USA Today, Yahoo, Zagat, publisher Rodale, Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. Boost and online charity DonorsChoose.org. The website is expected to go live this fall.
Tell the world what’s on your mind! One man traveled across 30 states, a total of 12,238 miles, to write this message that can only be viewed using Google Earth. What did he write? What would YOU tell the world?
It’s official! Twitter has rolled out its own “Tweet” button.
Project Gutenberg is on a quest to digitize a billion books. Do the math – that’s a lot of words! The online publisher leads the field, offering more than 33,000 out-of-copyright books as free downloads, which can be read on a computer, loaded onto a Kindle or found on Apple’s iBookstore for the iPad.
The best of the blogosphere
Looking over my shoulder
Conservative bloggers have selected the 25 worst figures in American History.
Looking out the rearview mirror
Now Playing at the Princess in Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers Robert L. Ingram, USAF; B.D. Maxwell; Jim Wheeler, Albay, Mo.; and R. Dobbyn, who were among the first to correctly guess actor Robin Wright Penn in her portrayal of Theresa Osborne in the 1999 film“Message in a Bottle.”
The movie also featured Paul Newman and Kevin Costner in the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, in which a woman discovers a tragic love letter in a bottle on a beach and is determined to track down its author. View the trailer.
The quote was: Robin Wright (as Theresa Osborne ): “And you’ll just forget about me, right?”
Kevin Costner (as Garret Blake): “Every day.”
This week’s movie trivia quote: “God created us all, Shelly. He doesn’t make mistakes.”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!