Posts tagged Google
Google Employees Speak Out About Government Spying. Fear NSA induced hit to business
I recently wrote that I thought all the NSA spying and “partnering” with US tech companies could impact the economy negatively. If businesses which buy from US tech companies can’t count on confidentiality many times those businesses simply won’t do business. With all the big US tech firms tied in with the NSA in one way or another why would any foreign companies ever choose to use an American operating system, or tablet, or PC, or whatever?
For example the German government has warned that it feels Windows 8 from Microsoft may have NSA friendly “back doors” built into the software. If this is the case who in their right mind would buy the system?
This is bad news. Tech is the driver of the US real economy. It’s not finance, insurance, or real estate, it’s a real industry which makes things, and right now we lead the world. But if the 4th Amendment no longer applies in this country (it still does) and the government can burrow its way into everything built from code, we have got more than a government overreach problem. People are going to lose jobs.
Google agrees and thankfully is saying something.
(From The New York Times)
The backlash against government Internet surveillance could hurt the United States economy, partly because businesses and consumers could abandon United States cloud companies, said Richard Salgado, the director for law enforcement and information security at Google, in testimony before the Senate judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law.
He cited studies like one from Forrester that predicted the cloud computing industry could lose $180 billion, 25 percent of its revenue, by 2016.
Already, countries like Brazil are considering so-called data localization laws, which would require that all data related to Brazilian companies and citizens be stored in Brazil. This movement “has gained considerable traction since the revelation of the Prism program,” Mr. Salgado said, and added that companies like Google “could be barred from doing business in one of the world’s most significant markets.”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
Google patents lie-detecting, mobile-connected throat tattoo
Although Google calls its idea a way for communication to be “reasonably … improved and even enhanced,” many people are sharing their skepticism and creeped-out concerns online — some tongue-in-cheek.
Move Over, Google Wants to Drive Your Car
Nissan Motor Co is focused on becoming the first manufacturer to offer self-driving cars (SDC) to customers by 2020.
Within two vehicle generations and sold at “realistic prices”, consumers can purchase a car that drives itself.
Andy Palmer, executive vice president at Nissan said: “Nissan Motor Co. pledges that we will be ready to bring multiple affordable, energy efficient, fully autonomous-driving vehicles to the market by 2020.”
The SDC version of the Nissan Leaf was presented at a former US military base in Irvine, California.
Technology that has advanced car manufacturers toward SDCs is:
• Adaptive cruise control
• Electronic steering and throttle controls
• Road monitoring capabilities
Nissan has joined forces with Google to endeavor on a marketing campaign to make the new SDC Leaf more attractive to the general public.
Palmer said: “I don’t preclude the possibility of working with Google, or anyone else for that matter.”
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, predicted that by 2017 SDCs would be available to the general public.
Using artificial intelligence, provided by Google and other features such as around view cameras and actuators, Nissan believes that these cars will give ease to complexity in real-world situations.
The auto industry is convinced that SDCs will take over conventional driving. The idea is that these autonomous cars could replace possible human error when operating a vehicle and reduce the amount of accidents and injuries that now occur.
Nissan is also collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Tokyo (UoT) to test and perfect autonomous driving technology.
To create the autonomous car for Google, a Stanford University team invented Stanley . This SDC won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and the $2 million prize from the Department of Defense (DoD).
Just a few years ago, the State of Nevada approved the use of SDCs on the road after Google lobbied for new robotic car laws.
In 2012, Florida joined Nevada by allowing autonomous cars to be tested on public roads.
Following Florida, California legalized SDCs. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law at Google’s headquarters.
Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com
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Google Silencing Washington Times?
From a recent security scan and alert I received while performing the scan, Google has placed the Washington Times web site (www.washingtontimes.com) on the list of offenders added to Google’s Safe Browsing List.
[Updated to include security scan screen capture below, 1 example of 22 such results.]
The results seemed mixed as the mobile site loads without a problem or warning screen but the screen capture below is what loaded when viewing in my machine browser.
When scanning posts on ChrisInMaryville.net I had 22 posts that contained a link to information posted on Washingtimes.com’s web site, dating back to at least June of 2011 at quick glance. When going to Google’s diagnostic page regarding their Safe Browsing list here is the information displayed…
Funny, Google has been monitoring the site and has seen 20 issues in the last 90 days but late this afternoon the site is now listed on the evil roster of sites that could cause potential harm to all that visit, calling the site an “Attack Page”. Did all those issues manifest late this afternoon?
Is the Google notice based on fact or fiction, presented for safety or censorship? You be the judge, just passing along the information. Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comments below and let us see what the general consensus is.
Google Chrome security flaw allows access to users’ passwords
A software developer has discovered a critical security flaw in the highly popular Google Chrome browser that could put the privacy of potentially millions of users at risk.
Chrome is among the most widely used browsers on the Web, but security researchers are now warning that it’s far from safe. Developer Elliot Kember from New Zealand discovered that anyone with physical access to a computer running Chrome can see any password stored in the browser without having to bypass a single security barrier.
When Chrome users type in a password — say, when checking their email or logging onto Twitter — the browser provides an option where that keyphrase can be remembered for future use. That master list of log-ins isn’t protected itself, however, meaning anyone with access to someone else’s computer can quickly pull up a list of plain-text passwords and essentially have unfettered access to an array of accounts.
To try it yourself, navigate to chrome://settings/passwords in Google’s browser and see if a password is needed to see what’s stored (hint: it’s not).
On his blog, Kember says Chrone is employing an “insane password security strategy.” Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, tweeted that the exploit allows anyone “to get all you big sister’s passwords.”
Of course, any security feature should be considered compromised once a computer is physically handed off to someone else. Given Google’s incessant touting of its seemingly secure browser, though, Kember said he’d expect the company to offer something a bit better.
“In a world where Google promotes its browser on YouTube, in cinema pre-rolls, and on billboards, the clear audience is not developers. It’s the mass market – the users. The overwhelming majority. They don’t know it works like this. They don’t expect it to be it’s this easy to see their passwords. Every day, millions of normal, every-day users are saving their passwords in Chrome. This is not okay,” Kember says.
What’s more, though, is that one of Google’s developers has since weighed in on the exploit and said there are no plans to roll out a solution in the next Chrome release.
Google’s Sergey Brin is the Money Behind Test-Tube Synthetic Burgers
While I share Sergey Brin’s concerns about meat production and the completely cruel way in which we treat our animals, I can’t say I’m looking forward to biting into a test tube hamburger any time soon. This story has received a lot of press in the past few days following the synthetic meat’s taste testing in London yesterday. I have to admit, I’d take the entire thing a lot more seriously if Sergey wasn’t wearing those creepy and idiotic Google Glasses while discussing it (watch video):
From The Guardian:
The man who has bankrolled the production of the world’s first lab-grown hamburger has been revealed as Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The internet entrepreneur has backed the project to the tune of €250,000 (£215,000), allowing scientists to grow enough meat in the lab to create a burger – as a proof of concept – that will be cooked and eaten in London on Monday.
“It’s really just proof of concept right now, we’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger,” said Brin in a film to mark the tasting event in London. “From there I’m optimistic that we can really scale by leaps and bounds.”
Brin said that he was moved to invest in the technology for animal welfare reasons. People had an erroneous image of modern meat production, he said, imagining “pristine farms” with just a few animals in them. “When you see how these cows are treated, it’s certainly something I’m not comfortable with.”
Brin’s money was used by a team led by physiologist Dr Mark Post at Maastricht University to grow 20,000 muscle fibres from cow stem cells over the course of three months. These fibers were extracted from individual culture wells and then painstakingly pressed together to form the hamburger that will be eaten in London on Monday. The objective is to create meat that is biologically identical to beef but grown in a lab rather than in a field as part of a cow.
Here’s one version of the future I don’t want to see: People running around wearing Google Glass and eating Google lab meat.
Full article here.
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So the video mentions that in the future consumers will have a choice of two labeled products to choose from. Yup, just like all the “Contains GMO” labels we currently see? Nice try on that part. Good post by Mike, as always, just pointing out an issue mentioned in the video.
$300,000 Stem Cell Burger
LONDON –Two volunteers Monday participated in the first public frying and eating of hamburger grown in a lab made from beef stem cells. The two volunteers reported that it had the texture of meat but was short of flavor because of the lack of fat.
Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, appeared on a video shown at the event and announced that he funded the 250,000-euro ($330,000) project because of his concern for animal welfare.
Brin expressed high hopes for the technology stating “We’re trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger. From there I’m optimistic we can really scale by leaps and bounds,” Experts say new ways of producing meat are needed to satisfy growing carnivorous appetites without exhausting resources.
By 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization predicts global meat consumption will double as more people in developing countries can afford it. Raising animals destined for the dinner table takes up about 70 percent of all agricultural land.
Posted by Judy Morris
Police raid New York blogger’s home after she did Google searches for pressure cookers
The New York woman says her family’s interest in the purchase of pressure cookers and backpacks led to a home visit by six police investigators demanding information about her job, her husband’s ancestry and the preparation of quinoa.
Michele Catalano, who lives in Long Island, New York, said her web searches for pressure cookers, her husband’s hunt for backpacks, and her “news junkie” son’s craving for information on the Boston bombings had combined somewhere in the internet ether to create a “perfect storm of terrorism profiling”.
Members of what she described as a “joint terrorism task force” descended on Catalano’s home on Wednesday. A spokesman for the FBI told to the Guardian on Thursday that its investigators were not involved in the visit, but that “she was visited by Nassau County police department … They were working in conjunction with Suffolk County police department.”
The Guardian has contacted the Suffolk County and Nassau County police departments for comment.
Catalano was at work, but her husband was sitting in the living room as the police arrived. She retold the experience in a post on Medium.com on Thursday. She attributed the raid largely to her ongoing hunt for a pressure cooker, an item used devastatingly by the two Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, but also used by millions across the country to prepare vegetables while retaining most of their nutrients.
Read the rest at The Raw Story, here.
By Michael Krieger on 7/29/2013
Google Engineer Wins Award from the NSA and then Slams it
In accepting the award I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance. Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organisation like the NSA in its current form.
- Dr. Joseph Bonneau
In case you weren’t aware, Dr. Joseph Bonneau, a google engineer, received an award for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper of 2012 from the National Security Agency’s first annual “Science of Security Competition” on July 19th. He experienced such mixed emotions upon its receipt that he felt the need to express them publicly in a blog post. We should all be thankful he had the courage to do so.
While his post may at first seem like no big deal, it represents another example of the extraordinarily positive impact Edward Snowden’s leaks are having throughout American culture. When a person who wins an award from the NSA immediately expresses his revulsion of its practices as a result of what he learned from Snowden’s act of civil disobedience, we can rest assured the cultural grounds underneath our feet are shifting for the better. Let’s not forget that the latest version of Congress’ internet spy bill, CISPA, has been placed on the back burner as a result, and instead Congress is being forced to vote on positive things, such as the Amash Amendment. Dr. Bonneau’s statement simply would not have been written if it weren’t for Mr. Snowden’s whistle-blowing. His key points are:
Yesterday I received the NSA award for the Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper of 2012 for my IEEE Oakland paper “The science of guessing.” I’m honored to have been recognised by the distinguished academic panel assembled by the NSA.
On a personal note, I’d be remiss not to mention my conflicted feelings about winning the award given what we know about the NSA’s widespread collection of private communications and what remains unknown about oversight over the agency’s operations. Like many in the community of cryptographers and security engineers, I’m sad that we haven’t better informed the public about the inherent dangers and questionable utility of mass surveillance. And like many American citizens I’m ashamed we’ve let our politicians sneak the country down this path.
In accepting the award I don’t condone the NSA’s surveillance. Simply put, I don’t think a free society is compatible with an organization like the NSA in its current form.
Image added to original post.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Googleplexwelcomesign.jpg
Aaron Swartz – The Network Transformation
Published by Steal ThisFilm
From the video “About”:
San Francisco, April 2007 // Categories: networks, search
Here Swartz describes the nature of the shift from centralized one-to-many systems, such as broadcast television, to the decentralized many-to-many topography of network communication. The end of scarcity in transmission capacity poses the question of how to finance information production and how people can find their way through the abundance; search engines and collaborative filtering mechanisms have become both essential tools and points of control. These systems paradoxically exercise a renewed centralizing influence due to the social entrenchment of the ‘hit’ phenomenon. Can technical design help to counteract this tendency?