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Silent Circle's latest app democratizes encryption. Governments won't be happy

Silent Circle's latest app democratizes encryption. Governments won't be happy
Courtesy of Silent Circle For the past few months, some of the world’s leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention. Today, they’ve decided it’s time to tell all. Ryan Gallagher is a journalist who reports on surveillance, security, and civil liberties. Follow Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments’ feathers with a “surveillance-proof” smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. “This has never been done before,” boasts Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s CEO. True, he’s a businessman with a product to sell—but I think he is right. The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. By design, Silent Circle’s server infrastructure stores minimal information about its users. The cryptographers behind this innovation may be the only ones who could have pulled it off. Related:  Net Privacy and AnonymityCommunicationComputer Applications astonishing

Hide Secret Messages in Facebook Photos With This Chrome Extension It's no secret that Facebook isn't the best place for keeping secrets. Owen Campbell-Moore, a computer science student at Oxford University, designed a method to encrypt secret messages inside photos on the social networking site. It's called Secretbook — essentially, it's a Google Chrome extension that uses JPEG Steganography to encode data into photos by making virtually imperceptible changes to the image. Campbell-Moore shared the news in a blog post Monday morning. "Steganography is essentially hiding messages in innocent cover, such as data and photos," he told Mashable. To use the app, you and your intended recipient can download the extension, then hit "Control-Alt-A" on Facebook to activate it. Once you enter your message, you'll need to enter a password, which your recipient should know. Already, Campbell-Moore said, more than 7,000 people have downloaded the app from his website. Would you use this extension? Image via iStockphoto, cgalde

Touchable Holograms To Our Faithful Users: Current's run has ended after eight exciting years on air and online. The Current TV staff has appreciated your interest, support, participation and unflagging loyalty over the years. Your contributions helped make a vibrant place for discussing thousands of interesting stories, and your continued viewership motivated us to keep innovating and find new ways to reflect the voice of the people. We now welcome the on-air and digital presence of Al Jazeera America, a new news network committed to reporting on and investigating real stories affecting the lives of everyday Americans in every corner of the country. You can keep up with what's new on Al Jazeera America and see this new brand of journalism for yourself at Thank you for inspiring and challenging us. – The Current TV Staff

Quantum Network Experiment Could Change The Way We Communicate : Tech Apr 09, 2013 02:07 PM EDT The theory that entangled particles, once separated, are still capable of reflecting each other instantly is a phenomenon even Albert Einstein seemed unsettled by, famously calling it, when done at a distance, "spooky." Decades after the great scientist's death, however, researchers are ready to put it into action at a distance that's never been seen before - 250 miles. As explained in a proposal published by the Institute of Physics and the New Physics Journal, researchers explain how, with only a few small changes to the International Space Station (ISS), they would be able to test the theory of quantum entanglement over a distance nearly three times that done so far. Already equipped on the ISS is the NghtPod - a Nikon camera with a 400 mm lens pointed at earth through a window in the Cupola Module. The second would consist of using the ISS as a relay point in order to send a secret encryption key far above the planet's surface.

Spike puts laser measurement hardware on the back of a smartphone Through the Spike smartphone app, users are able to capture, measure, 3D model and share any object up to 200 yards (183 m) away with what the company says is laser accuracy Image Gallery (10 images) Traditionally, the technology that goes into laser hardware for surveying and 3D modeling has been the plaything of architects, surveyors and engineers. But now, with a view to expanding into the consumer market, Virginia-based IkeGPS wants to bring this functionality to the mainstream. And what better way to do it than sticking it on the back of a smartphone? View all Spike builds on the company's established GIS (geographic information systems) tools, which were used by the UN in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Users take a photo of the object they wish to measure through the Spike companion app on their smartphone (the team has nearly completed an Android app and has an iOS app in development). Source: ikeGPS About the Author

FreedomBox Foundation The Solar Batteries Rechargeable Batteries with Solar CellsProject by Knut Karlsen At home i always have some batteries lying around, either rechargeable or normal ones. Usually they are empty, but i'd like them to be always fully charged. I could use a normal charger and there is a lot of solar devices that charge rechargeable batteries. I had some older NiMH rechargeable batteries that i glued the flexible Photo Voltaic (PV) cells onto. Half glued you can see the really shiny polymer substrate backside of the PV cell. Using a conductive silver pen and some flat wires from a broken canon lens I made an ok connection to the PV cell. This setup is infact a (quite weak) trickle charger. The sun did not shine today, infact it was snowing.

The wireless network with a mile-wide range that the “internet of things” could be built on - Quartz Robotics engineer Taylor Alexander needed to lift a nuclear cooling tower off its foundation using 19 high-strength steel cables, and the Android app that was supposed to accomplish it, for which he’d just paid a developer $20,000, was essentially worthless. Undaunted and on deadline—the tower needed a new foundation, and delays meant millions of dollars in losses—he re-wrote the app himself. That’s when he discovered just how hard it is to connect to sensors via the standard long-distance industrial wireless protocol, known as Zigbee. It took him months of hacking just to create a system that could send him a single number—which represented the strain on each of the cables—from the sensors he was using. Surely, he thought, there must be a better way. The result is an in-the-works project called Flutter. Flutter’s range is 3,200 feet in open air, but multiple Flutters can also cover even larger areas in a “mesh” network.

PetMatch on the App Store Tor traffic disguised as Skype video calls to fool repressive governments Computer scientists have released a tool that disguises communications sent through the Tor anonymity service as Skype video calls, a cloak that's intended to prevent repressive governments from blocking the anonymous traffic. SkypeMorph, as the application is called, is designed to remedy a fundamental limitation of Tor: While the communications are cryptographically secured, unique characteristics of their individual data packets make them easy to identify as they travel over the networks. In the past, for example, the cryptographic key exchange was different in Tor transactions and the certificates used were typically valid for only a matter of hours, compared with as long as a year or two for certificates used by most Web servers. Tor developers have remedied those shortcomings, but other unique signatures still exist. A censorship arms race "It's not enough just to send encrypted packets to a particular port, Goldberg explained. Modular obfuscation plugins

Cutting-Edge Innovations - Solar Industry Wireless world record: Researchers transfer data at 100Gbps through the air One of the major obstacles for delivering faster Internet to the home is the sheer amount of work and money it takes to lay the cable. Now, researchers are coming up with a workaround that transmits the data wirelessly. The latest effort, from researchers at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has set a new world record for wireless data transmission. They've managed to hit 100 gigabits per second while transmitting data over 20 meters, using a frequency of 237.5 GHz. “For rural areas in particular, this technology represents an inexpensive and flexible alternative to optical fiber networks, whose extension can often not be justified from an economic point of view,” Professor Ingmar Kallfass said, according to TGDaily. TGDaily also notes that the researchers hit 100 Gbps using a single data stream. As exciting as it sounds, don't expect a big bump in home Internet speeds anytime soon.

Sproutling smart baby monitor learns and predicts baby behavior Babies don't come with instruction manuals, so the saying goes. But technology is promising to lend new parents a helping hand in the form of Sproutling, a smart baby monitor that keeps parents abreast of baby’s physical status, conditions in the baby’s room, and learns from baby's past behavior to provide specialized suggestions to sleep-deprived parents. View all The Sproutling system consists of three components; a breathable, washable band made from medical-grade, hypoallergenic silicone that the baby wears around his or her ankle; a dish that wirelessly recharges the wearable band and also monitors the room’s environmental conditions; and the Sproutling app, which collates all the data into useable observations and push notifications. All three are brought together via a home Wi-Fi network. The Sproutling team stresses that the system is not a thermometer, heart monitor, or a medical device, and thus does not need FDA approval at this time. Source: Sproutling Share