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Washington DC police thought they had a good idea when they attached a global-positioning-system (GPS) device on the car of a suspected drug dealer in order to more effectively tail him and find his "safe house" stash. The police did, in fact, nail DC nightclub owner Antoine Jones. But the Supreme Court this week sided with the Appeals court that over-turned Jones's conviction on the grounds that police need to first obtain a search warrant before attaching such a device. The decision by the high court was unanimous, a relative rarity for this court that is usually politically divided. But the decision also opens up questions, legal scholars and some of the justices believe, about whether law enforcement will be allowed to track suspects by homing in on their cellphone with or without a warrant. View Gallery: GPS Tracking Devices
A group of researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have built a prototype of a small-caliber bullet capable of steering itself towards a laser-marked target located approximately 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) away. The dart-like design has passed the initial testing stage, which included computer simulations as well as field-testing prototypes built from commercially available parts. The four-inch (10 cm) long projectile is to be used with smoothbore arms, meaning ones with non-rifled barrels. Rifling involves cutting helical grooves in the barrel to give the bullet a spin that, thanks to the gyroscopic effect, improves its aerodynamic stability and accuracy.
Abstract How the human auditory system extracts perceptually relevant acoustic features of speech is unknown. To address this question, we used intracranial recordings from nonprimary auditory cortex in the human superior temporal gyrus to determine what acoustic information in speech sounds can be reconstructed from population neural activity. We found that slow and intermediate temporal fluctuations, such as those corresponding to syllable rate, were accurately reconstructed using a linear model based on the auditory spectrogram. However, reconstruction of fast temporal fluctuations, such as syllable onsets and offsets, required a nonlinear sound representation based on temporal modulation energy. Reconstruction accuracy was highest within the range of spectro-temporal fluctuations that have been found to be critical for speech intelligibility.
If it wasn't enough that scientists could read your memories , they can now listen in on them, too. In a new study, neuroscientists connected a network of electrodes to the hearing centers of 15 patients' brains (image above) and recorded the brain activity while they listened to words like "jazz" or "Waldo." They saw that each word generated its own unique pattern in the brain. So they developed two different computer programs that could reconstruct the words a patient heard just by analyzing his or her brain activity.
We all have an increasing number of sites and online services we’re members of, and sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming. At times, we just need to delete our memberships to some sites, either in an effort to simplify our lives or just because we’ve grown tired of a particular site or service. What we often don’t realize when signing up for all these accounts, though, is how difficult it can be to permanently delete our accounts when we’ve had enough. Some require complicated, multi-step processes that can stretch over the course of days (or weeks).
Cryptome , a whistleblower site that regularly leaks sensitive documents from governments and corporations, is in hot water again: this time, for publishing Microsoft’s “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook,” a comprehensive, 22-page guide running down the surveillance services Microsoft will perform for law enforcement agencies on its various online platforms, which includes detailed instructions for IP address extraction. You can find the guide here (warning: PDF). not anymore . Microsoft has demanded that Cryptome take down the guide — on the grounds that it constitutes a “copyrighted [work] published by Microsoft.” Yesterday, at 5pm, Cryptome editor John Young received a notice from his site’s host, Network Solutions , bearing a stiff ultimatum: citing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), Network Solutions told him that unless he takes the “copyrighted material” down, they will “disable [his] website” on Thursday, February 25, 2010.
Clements-Jeffrey v. City of Springfield, Ohio, 2011 WL 3678397 (S.D. Ohio August 22, 2011) [ PDF copy of opinion ]
July 26, 2011, 12:43 PM — There's no need to panic, or start shopping for aluminum-foil headwear, but the super-secret National Security Agency has apparently been thinking frequently enough about whether the NSA is allowed to intercept location data from cell phones to track U.S. citizens that the agency's chief lawyer was able to speak intelligently about it off the cuff while interviewing for a different job. "There are certain circumstances where that authority may exist," even if the NSA has no warrant to investigate a the person whose privacy it is invading or global permission to eavesdrop on everyone, according to Matthew Olsen, the NSA's general counsel. He didn't come to talk about that particularly; he said it yesterday in response to a question from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which was considering whether he'd be a good choice to run the National Counterterrorism Center .
In a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak , the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief , the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail. EFF filed a similar amicus brief with the 6th Circuit in 2006 in a civil suit brought by criminal defendant Warshak against the government for its warrantless seizure of his emails.
A new service aims to be the Google search of underground Web sites, connecting buyers to a vast sea of shops that offer an array of dodgy goods and services, from stolen credit card numbers to identity information and anonymity tools. MegaSearch results for BIN #423953 A glut of data breaches and stolen card numbers has spawned dozens of stores that sell the information. The trouble is that each shop requires users to create accounts and sign in before they can search for cards.
New York Police Department Gun-scan technology will use infrared mapping to identify hidden firearms. For years, detectives trying to distinguish gun-carrying New Yorkers from others have had to rely on observations, street smarts and luck. A man with a gun on his hip might grab the front of his sport coat to keep it from flapping open and revealing the pistol. Someone getting out of a cab might hold tight to his side, to keep a weapon secure. But science is now promising to assist such human efforts.
Please note that by playing this video YouTube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. The woman who made this video is a Texas activist who received two FBI agents at her door. The agents inquired about her lawful protest activity. Watch how she handles the interview. Apparently the FBI keeps getting YouTube to remove the video, on the grounds that it infringes upon the privacy rights of the FBI agents involved.
And congrats on being one step closer to joining the "free IT" revolution. Your download should start automatically. If nothing is happening, you can start the download here . Scratching your head about how the app works?
Operator Operator YAPO is a new incarnation of an award-winning portable Opera package. You can run Operator on any computer you want (company, library, your friend's computer) and without administration privileges as long as it's a Windows PC.
On June 13th, a fifty-four-year-old former government employee named Thomas Drake is scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Baltimore, where he will face some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen. A former senior executive at the National Security Agency, the government’s electronic-espionage service, he is accused, in essence, of being an enemy of the state. According to a ten-count indictment delivered against him in April, 2010, Drake violated the Espionage Act—the 1917 statute that was used to convict Aldrich Ames, the C.I.A. officer who, in the eighties and nineties, sold U.S. intelligence to the K.G.B., enabling the Kremlin to assassinate informants. In 2007, the indictment says, Drake willfully retained top-secret defense documents that he had sworn an oath to protect, sneaking them out of the intelligence agency’s headquarters, at Fort Meade, Maryland, and taking them home, for the purpose of “unauthorized disclosure.”
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