The Secret-Recording Edition Saturday, September 3, 2016

How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything On A Smartphone, by Nicole Perlroth, New York Times

Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. You can spy on more people if you would like — just check out the company’s price list.

The NSO Group is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.

People, Please Don’t Store Private Data In Your Address Book, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

People should not be using contact lists to store sensitive data. Ever. It is a seriously bad idea. Don’t do it! Information in address books is stored in plaintext, meaning it doesn’t have any protections. It could be obtained by a hacker in countless ways.

Tweet Different

The Invisible @Apple Tweet, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The only way Apple can have a tweet floating out in the ether on Twitter without somehow attaching it to its main timeline is a specifically scoped ad buy. They can buy a tweet that exists as an island, basically.

Mapping Business

Do Those Travel Search Results Look Fishy? Here’s Why, by Seth Kugel, New York Times

As travelers, we’re ever more dependent on apps and online services that show us what to eat or where to sleep. Yet we (or at least I) often forget those sites are not public utilities that exist to make us happy but for-profit businesses trying to make a buck.


OpenOffice, After Years Of Neglect, Could Shut Down, by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

OpenOffice, once the premier open source alternative to Microsoft Office, could be shut down because there aren't enough developers to update the office suite. Project leaders are particularly worried about their ability to fix security problems.

Bluk Is A Beautiful Physics-Based Platformer Where Skill Matters, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice

I’m still early on in the game, but Bluk is proving to be a fun and challenging game that is not like anything I’ve played on mobile before. The graphics are gorgeous due to the clean aesthetics and colors, the music is tranquil, and the one-touch controls are intuitive. The gameplay itself is distinctive and the difficulty amps up at a nice, gradual pace.


Why Smartphones Still Blow Up, by Brian Barrett, Wired

The vast majority of the time, that process goes off without complications. But when complications do happen, it can get very bad, very quickly.

Microsoft Gets Support In Gag Order Lawsuit From U.S. Companies, by Dustin Volz, Reuters

Technology, media, pharmaceutical and other companies, along with major corporate lobbying groups, filed legal briefs on Friday in support of a Microsoft Corp lawsuit that aims to strike down a law preventing companies from telling customers the government is seeking their data.

Bottom of the Page

I am thinking of doing little little projects -- something i can focus only on weekends and maybe half-an-hour during the weekdays. Maybe coding... maybe something else.

The most important part is to get me to stop thinking about work.


Thanks for reading.