News regarding Carrier IQ, a third-party service loaded on certain smartphones that's capable of tracking users and even recording keystrokes, has been spreading rapidly in the past few days, though the original discovery happened back in March. The world is still learning more about what the service specifically does, but the latest news is that references to Carrier IQ were found in Apple's iOS, the operating system used by the iPhone and iPad. Here's what you need to know.
Hunting the world's most wanted man for school credit
By Paul Kvinta and Madhumita VenkataramanaPosted 09.04.2011 at 2:58 pm 0 Comments
In 2008, students in Tom Gillespie's geography class at the University of California at Los Angeles were floating ideas for class projects. One student wanted to calculate changes in the size of refugee camps in Sudan. Another figured he could gauge the effectiveness of the military surge in Iraq by looking at aerial images of Baghdad at night. To execute these projects, the students planned to employ the methodologies and systems Gillespie had been teaching them about, primarily geographic information systems (GIS), remote-sensing and GPS.
Following the violent kidnapping of former Mexican presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallos last year, some Mexicans are now having themselves implanted with RFID tracking chips similar to the one that was supposedly cut from Fernandez’s arm by his abductors, the Washington Post reports. Companies selling these chips to scared citizens are promising that they will help rescuers track them down in the event of a kidnapping.
Someday your car will give you recommendations on where to eat, suggest more efficient routes between home and work, and even monitor your health. But for now it's just keeping tabs on your driving habits, recording your behavior in case it needs to be reconstructed after an accident.
Federal officials are poised to announce next month that all cars must contain a black box, similar to that installed on airplanes, to give authorities a glimpse of your activities in the event of a car wreck. The devices could help pin down what happened in the moments before a crash, helping authorities determine who is at fault for what, and eliminating uncertainty from human witnesses.
Having a target painted on one’s back just took on a whole new literal meaning. The Air Force wants a new kind of tracking tech in which a tiny drone surreptitiously “paints” an individual with some kind of signal-emitting powder or liquid that allows the military to keep tabs on him or her. Or perhaps upload their coordinates to a hellfire missile.
Unless you explicitly give permission to use your location, interested parties (like, say, advertisers) can only track you with geolocation to within a radius of about 200 kilometers. But researchers in China and the U.S. have figured out a way to get closer--much closer. With a three-stage system using Google Maps, these researchers can, according to New Scientist, get as close as a few hundred meters.
The Predator tracking software, as any good predator should be, is an incredibly keen hunter. Once shown any object, such as a face or a car, the camera learns to recognize and follow the object with frightening accuracy.
By Jennie WaltersPosted 03.30.2011 at 4:25 pm 7 Comments
A team of engineers at Ohio State University have packed a nanoparticle full of fluorescent blinking quantum dots. When the particle is attached to a single molecule, it functions as a gaudily glowing beacon.
With their bright, continuous fluorescent glow that transitions between red, green and yellow, the nanoparticle is a better way to tag molecules, both in its function and in its good looks.
By Paul KvintaPosted 03.23.2011 at 10:17 am 3 Comments
"The animals are telling us things," said Martin Wikelski, hopping out of the cockpit of his Cessna. He had just spent a chilly January morning chasing blackbirds in southern France. "Maybe they're saying, 'the next earthquake will happen this week,' or 'listen, we're telling you where this ebola outbreak is headed. Pay attention.'" The blackbirds hadn't been quite so explicit today, but by tracking data from radio tags temporarily glued to their backs, he had learned their heart rates and how fast they flap their wings.