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Read minds? We can!

novembre 21, 2012 Technology 3 Commenti

A group of researchers has discovered that our confidentiality may be put at risk by the development of devices for reading of thought. “On the Feasibility of Side-Channel Attacks with Brain-Computer Interfaces” is the title of the research conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Geneva, Berkeley and Oxford, which aims the use of a new type of interface based on the principle electroencephalography (EEG).

In fact, some controllers are already on the market at a reasonable price (from 200 to $ 300) and allow you to interact with the computer programs, video games and other devices using only the mind. Examples would be the P300 Emotiv Epoc, the MindWave of Neurosky or the new Muse. These technologies use the electrodes to read the onset of P300 waves, ie ERP waves (event-related potential), that our brain emits in front to particular stimuli. These devices are enriched with downloadable programs and, as with the normal app developers, the developers in exchange for their service, open a window on the activities of the users, in this case directly on the brain of someone who uses these devices.

So these devices can be used for a real hacking of the brain of someone who employs them. As absurd it may become relatively easy to “read the mind” of the user through this system that measures the reactions of the subjects to the stimuli produced by the same program. From the studies performed on Epoc, disturbing data emerge, already from now that the technology is in the experimental stage, the scientists were able to pick up useful information to reconstruct details as the month of birth, the residence area, the knowledge of other people, passwords and the name of the reference banks.
All information that could increase the sphere of illegality. Of course, judges and law enforcement will take advantage: in addition to the powerful tools of investigation, as bugs and GPS locators, they could use these kinds of “lie detector”, maybe in interrogations.

In the near future when the devices and programs will become much more accurate, it might be possible the reading from a distance of several data contained in the minds of users. Already a step forward has been taken with “Muse” which reduced the size of the Epoc helmet to that of a band around to half of the skull. Muse is not yet a mature product, but its creators have however shown interesting potential. The device is able to interact with iPhone, iPad, Android apps and computer with Linux operating system, all obviously leaving that the machine reads the electrical activity of the brain through an EEG and translate signals into commands to electronic devices through wireless signals.


In theory, these findings may represent valid solutions even if the risks to health aren’t to underestimate: it’s always to maintain for hours on a transmitting machinery to a few millimeters from the brain.

The ideal phone for spies? The Blackberry

novembre 16, 2012 Technology 3 Commenti

The Federal Information Processing Standard has stated that “The system of the Canadian company is the safest and the most suitable to be used for the exchange and the sharing of confidential material between the Americans agents”. There is no story, at least in this field, for the product of Cupertino.

Big success so for Rim (Research In Motion), the Canadian telecommunications company that has recently developed the platform BlackBerry 10. With this valid system, for example, within the memory card, the new data are written above the deleted ones so as to eliminate them altogether.

The new Rim platform will arrive in early 2013. Android, iOS and Windows Phone aren’t result up to receive the go ahead for the protocol FIPS 140-2, which ensures that the data stored on devices are adequately protected and encrypted. That is what guarantee the encrypted devices themselves. The protocol, conferred by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is mandatory for mobile devices used to convey confidential and sensitive information.
According to the system in force in the United Kingdom and the United States, the BlackBerry 10 can be used to send and receive documents classified as “limited” level and following. It isn’t suitable for the information cataloged with canons of secrecy of any level. The British government has yet to ratify the BlackBerry 10 safety certification, the previous OS Blackberry 7 has already been approved.

On the other hand transform the Blackberry into a real spy isn’t difficult. It would be enough to install a software provided by leading companies in the field of espionage and surveillance as Endoacustica Europe. Installing this program, the smartphone would be able to listen phone calls and read messages in and out of the cell that you want to put under control. And there’s more. With the spy software Endoacustica you can also hear what is happening around the phone “controlled”. A real monitoring system for professionals and passionates.

USA: sms while driving cause of death of 11 young people per day

novembre 8, 2012 Technology 2 Commenti

The data collected by the National Safety Council, denounced the deaths of 11 American teenagers per day due to the sending of text messages while driving. The careless use of mobile phones would be the distraction that cause 25% of accidents per year in America. Situation very alarming if you consider that in many U.S. states to drive while talking or fiddling on the phone is perfectly legal. Obviously the problem is not only of young people but also of adults who during several polls have admitted to use usually their cell phone while they are driving.

U.S. telephone companies have tried to remedy this trend with various awareness campaigns that have seen also one of the protagonists much loved by the teenager, Justin Bieber. Actually, there are already apps that allow you to send text messages by voice command, but it seems that these have brought few results in terms of safety. It’s strange that in the immensity of the apps that are churned out every day isn’t still available an effective solution to the use of mobile phone safely. For now, we shall resort to parental-control, that is entrusted to the parents the control of the phone while driving his son. Planting a spy software in the mobile phone of the boy, for example, you can control what it does with the phone in real time and know when and how it is using the device. Furthermore, the same tool allows you to listen to what is happening around him, and so it’s easy to understand if the person is in the car or not.

Another research conducted by the Automobile Club of Italy estimated that between 15 and 40% of major incidents can be attributed to sleep or tiredness, most often associated with contributing factors such as alcohol, drugs, hearty meal. Just a moment. The eyes close, the head go down against the handlebar while the hands that hold it are always softer.
Falling asleep suddnley is therefore responsible for about one incident in twenty. Tiredness is one of the most important factors with regard to the safety, in fact you should not drive for more than two consecutive hours and should be done after each period of driving, at least 10 minute break and rest. Sleep little leads to drive more nervous and fast. And so the speed may be another consequence of the bad habit.
The coffee, the radio on, a person beside or a little break often aren’t enough. Endoacustica has tested an antisleep device, which is positioned comfortably over the ear and, in the case in which the head is inclined by more than 30 degrees, it starts to produce a loud sound that brings the driver quickly to reality. The product can be purchased online from the site www.endoacustica.com, the “Self Defense“.

Patent fever: here the most bizarre

novembre 6, 2012 Technology 4 Commenti

The patent fever runs wild and the protagonists are all the major manufacturers of technological tools in the world. These ideas are preserved in the data bank of the American Authority “USPTO” and probably will one day find real application. Let’s see some of the most bizarre patents.

To avoid the tragic fall to the ground of the smartphone, Amazon has filed a patent in 2011 that would see the opening of some airbags before the phone hits the ground. It’s of Motorola home, the invention of “spanking” of the rude phone that rings at inopportune moments. It seems that hitting the back of the device, it will be silent. The visionary Apple has thought to the “eternal” tablet , whose charge will last for several months. Of the same parent company, but also of LG, is the idea of collapsible materials that would see the implementation of flexible tools. Nokia is determined not to miss even a phone call with the glasses that light up when arrives the call, the tattoo that moves when the phone rings and the phone that comes close when you call.

Someone has even thought to the personal defense for owners of iPhone 5. A cover with spray irritant, to be used in case of aggression. It would seem in truth impractical when compared to the most advanced spray cans. Always of the Cupertino’s home is the idea of transforming the device into a remote control or insert into that an anti-theft system. With a series of hidden sensors, in fact, you can detect whether a stranger is using our phone or tablet. iPhone or iPad will compare a series of personal parameters: heart rate, voice and various features of physical appearance. Questionable invention if we consider the ease with which these systems can be fooled. In any case absolutely nothing to do with the micro security systems capable of operating without being seen.

The giants of the industry, in reality, are more involved in lawsuits than in the squeeze of brains to bring out brilliant ideas that could find a useful application in everyday life. We’ll see what we can use to really effective in the coming years.

From lithium to sugar: unveiled the future of batteries

ottobre 30, 2012 Technology 5 Commenti

The study is gripping scientists from different years, replace the lithium batteries present in smartphones, laptops, tablets, and numerous electronic devices with sugar batteries. Just like that, it seems that the exposure to very high temperatures generates sugar anodes capable of storing energy for batteries. This would have the 20% more than electric storage capacity of the lithium ion. So there would be more duration and considerably lower costs. In addition, the lithium is a non-renewable mineral presents on Earth in very scarce quantity and therefore destined to finish in time. The lack of presence makes it expensive even though it’s harmful to both humans and the environment.

Together with the sugar, sodium may also be a viable alternative at a cost of advantage. To this is added the unlimited availability of the mineral.

In reality, the story of the sugar batteries is a kind of laboratory curiosity that, in recent years, it has enjoyed some fleeting moment of glory. Other hand never before have been achieved so promising results as those obtained by the Japanese giant, Sony, given that the prototypes of this kind previously made were able to produce an amount of energy too small to find a practical use.

If this is true, in a short everyday electronic devices could be powered by batteries economic and completely biodegradable and with environmental impact extremely content.

The researchers think to immetter this technology on the market within 5 years. In a perspective of technological innovation, which in recent times has seen the implementation in everyday life of advanced systems such as biometric access control or GPS tracking systems, batteries sugar could remedy to the increasingly frequent alarms of gradual exhaustion of fossil fuels and add an important element to the incessant search for alternative sources and renewable energy.

The electronics could be biodegradable?

ottobre 25, 2012 Biotechnology, Technology 1 Commento

There is who thinks to save data for millions of years, who instead want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

To be precise, they’re hi-tech components very durable and completely biodegradable. The research conducted by the American University of Illinois and published in “Science” aims to solve the problem of disposing of electronic devices. The raw material of the project is the silk. This ancient material, completely revised in a technological key and made very strong, would be to cover the traditional electronics devices, however, composed of silicon and magnesium. The researchers would be able to precisely control the structure of the casing of silk that covers them so calculating the expiration date of the components.

This new mix also promises great performance, preserving the environment. The advantages of “transient electronics”, so named by the researchers, would be many, in addition to the disposal of many components, we can think to the mobile phones, it could have important applications in the biomedical field, would be feasible for example prosthesis perfectly absorbed by the body without having to be surgically removed. The life may vary from a few minutes to several years and they simply dissolve in water or organic liquids.

In the market there are already “hard drive destoyer” such as the secure deletion of data on electronic devices. HD-Eraser for example, is a device that uses the technique of demagnetization to ensure the protection of privacy with regard to private, public or financial institutions. Once this is done, it would be best to dispose of the equipment.

Thinking about the environment and the huge amount of electronic waste abandoned in landfills for years, the benefits that electronic biodegradable could make would be very important: products may dissolve themselves with no damage, once they have completed their work.

Samsung patents a “Life Diary”

ottobre 17, 2012 Technology No Commenti

Songs, images, video, texts, movements and everything of personal that can be on our smartphone, captured and shown in a diary self-writing.

It’s that the idea behind the patent filed by the Korean giant, Samsung and for which it’s already working. A new app in short, evolution and integration of other existing software, able to recreate in virtual form our day. A kind of personnel black box, that implemented to the operating systems for smartphones or tablets, will draw up a detailed report of the activities carried out by a person and of the time dedicated to each of them.

As if we were surrounded by a large number of bugs, the system could make known what we are doing, what we’re looking at, where we’re going to and write it for us and for potentially thousands of users connected to the network.

And it’s this last aspect which could be problematic: the information could be made available to third parties, perhaps people with bad intentions. In this regard it’s working to make effective the data filtering system.

We have to wait a few more months to see if Samsung will give us a real choice of filtering or if users will have to be willing to barter their privacy for an app of questionable utility.

Save data for millions of years

ottobre 9, 2012 Technology No Commenti

The Japanese company Hitachi in collaboration with the laboratory Kiyotaka Miura of Kyoto University is working on a project that will allow substantial development in the field of saving and preservation of digital data. At the base of this new idea, squares of quartz.

The data will be sculpted with a laser on the highly stable and resistant glass that has been tested and subjected to a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius for a couple of hours and still remain functional. It’s result also resistant to water and to radio waves and in case of breakage, the data were recoverable. So, according to the company, it could be capable of storing data for millions of years. If we think that the actual media store for a maximum of 100 years, the new technology could be a revolution in the field. Furthermore, the advantage would occur even in less waste of materials: they don’t deteriorate and so they don’t need to be replaced, reducing the physical parts and the wastes.

The quartz glass slides used are about the size of 2 cm for side and 2 mm thick, and the language used for writing is the binary code. The storage capacity is approximately 40 MB per square inch, higher than a CD, but still much lower compared to a modern hard disk able to store up to one terabit per square inch. The burning takes place as for CDs and DVDs with a laser, while it’s necessary an optical microscope to reading.

Hitachi’s new technology will not be on the market before 2015, and the costs will tend to be high. Essentially, the aim of this project is to store data of great importance that need to be passed on to posterity, such as the artistic and cultural information.

To date, there is often problem to recover lost data from PC or mobile phone. There are advanced systems for storing and retrieving these type of data on which we can rely, but paradoxically most of the historical sources of which we can still enjoy are ancient manuscripts on paper and etchings on stones. In the future, archaeologists might find the data of our civilization without problem through slides of quartz.

Place Raider, malware-spy on the smartphone

ottobre 3, 2012 Technology 1 Commento

It would seem an application created by expert thieves, but it has been studied at Indiana University and developed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center for scientific purposes. It’s a Trojans, PlaceRaider, which, hiding in photo apps similar to Instagram and Hipstamatic, is able to enter in smartphones, take pictures and create 3D models of environments in which the unfortunate live in or visit, with a precision that allows to observe in detail the objects. In addition, PlaceRaider would be able to listen live what is happening around, transforming the mobile phone into a real spyphone. So a prying eye might creep into our homes.

At the basis of the project there are the technologies that allow you to rotate images shown on the displays of smartphones. Some additional options would allow to the hackers to take and receive photos only when they are interested, to understand if smartphone is upside down or in the owner’s pocket, to automatically mute the sounds of shooting and to cover preview images of the photos just taken.
Collected data and images, the hacker, he will be able to create a 3D model of the environment in which the owner of the phone moved, calmly observe the objects and obtain valuable informations. For the moment, we can rest assured: this technology is guarded in the laboratory, but soon hackers engaged in industrial espionage or national security or common apartment thieves, could get hold and so it will be necessary take countermeasures.
In the domestic environment, have already been tested systems for bug sweeping that allow you to find microcameras, bugs and transmitters. Meanwhile, there is no danger for smartphones equipped with iOS and Windows Phone systems bacause at the moment the virus works only on Android.

Deads alive…in the memory with the QR code

settembre 26, 2012 Technology 1 Commento

Companion of every moment of daily life, the technology doesn’t abandon us even after the death.

The idea comes from England by Stephen Nimmo, director of the funeral home “Chester Pearce” di Poole, that he thought to enclose the memory of the dead in QR Code (Quick Responses Code).
Invented in 1994 in Japan and circulated with ever-increasing frequency since 2005 with various uses and purposes, the QR Code are a special two-dimensional bar codes that contain within them information intended to be read through the use of a smartphone or other device able to interact with the modules of the square.

The code, place on the gravestone, when is scanned, connect the phone to a web page containing the biography, the pictures and even videos of the deceased.
Friends and close relatives, with passwords, can insert themselves contents and comments, making the memory of the their beloved, interactive and very social.
Those who subscribe the service can create a simple website, with few essential informations, or make it rich and meaningful.
In future, it may become a useful help to try to reconstruct own family tree.

The new system is designed to make known to those who visit the cemetery not only the name, the age and the date of death of who are buried, but a large quantity of informations. QR Codes are engraved on a small plate of granite or metal and then embedded or glued on the gravestones, monuments and commemorative plaques placed on the benches.

The service can cost up to £ 300, in addition to £ 95 for the creation and the hosting (unlimited) of the personal website.

The contents can really be infinite: movies of farewell or greeting, links to Facebook profile, writings and wills. In a not too distant future, it’s thought to a version in augmented reality, “live” thanks to an hologram of the deceased.

Technology doesn’t know more limits: see through the walls, open locks with our eyes and make revive the loved deceased, until not so long ago, were possibilities related only to the science fiction. It’s in any case essential use properly the new inventions that can help us, especially in the fields of surveillance and security.

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