FBI Director Makes Case for Encryption Backdoor

There have been many circumstances where the FBI has attempted to force a company to help reveal its clients’ data, but most of the time they fly under the radar.

This time around, Apple CEO Tim Cook has made public the FBI’s attempts to order Apple to create software that would create a backdoor to their privacy software.

The FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 2nd regarding the government’s power to gain limited access to the iPhone belonging to one of the shooters involved in the San Bernardino attack.

According to Comey, a middle path can be blazed between giving the FBI the power to “protect the American people” and the preservation of the constitutional rights of those American citizens. The FBI Director stated that all that was necessary was for the judicial system to create the proper mechanism.

tim cookThe Director went on to state that new electronic communications have transformed society and that the creation of strong encryption technology that protects public institutions, private businesses, and individual citizens against cybercriminals and anyone else that might make an effort to gain access to sensitive data.

However, he said, it’s important to note that this encryption technology has consistently been utilized by terrorists and other criminals to enable them to evade the government.

“We have always respected the fundamental right of people to engage in private communications, regardless of the medium or technology,” stated Comey. “Whether it is instant messages, texts or old-fashioned letters, citizens have the right to communicate with one another in private- without unauthorized government surveillance- not simply because the constitution demands it, but because the free flow of information is vital to a thriving democracy.”

“However, groups like the Islamic State have used social media to recruit and radicalize individuals to commit terrorist attacks,” warned Comey. “Law enforcement needs additional tools to gather evidence to prosecute cases and in some instances prevent the acts from occurring.”

According to Comey, what the FBI specifically wants from Apple is a software that would help it to open the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone in the following way: it wants the ability to bypass the encryption and spread out the time between individual attempts to guess a password. Then the FBI would attempt to break into the phone itself.

passcodeComey was asked repeatedly by the House Judiciary Committee about whether it had gone to private companies or agencies to try to use alternative methods for unlocking the phone. Comey’s response was to claim that he was not a technology expert and that the FBI and other government agencies had not been able to break into the phone themselves.

According to San Bernardino County spokesperson David Wert, the FBIO had asked for assistance in retrieving data from the iPhone last December, when the shootings occurred.

“The statements that have been made contending that resetting the Apple ID password is what made the backup impossible are incorrect. The fact that the phone was off and PIN locked is that made a cloutd backup impossible before the Apple ID password was reset,” he stated.

According to Wert, an iCloud backup requires a WiFi connection and an iPhone that’s turned off cannot link to WiFi until the phone is unlocked.

“At that point, the county said that the best that could be done was to check the cloud for any past data uploads, but we would need to reset the Apple ID password because no one knew it. The FBI asked the county if it would do that, and the county agreed, unlocking the cloud and providing the FBI with the data that was in the cloud.”


Twitter Takes Steps to Judge Tweet Speech

Political activity on Twitter, including political insurgence and even the recruiting of members for terrorists groups like ISIS, have prompted Twitter to announce on Tuesday the formation of a panel to advise the social media mogul on speech, abuse and safety issues as they take place via the site.

Twitter has been a battleground for all people from all walks of life and with a variety of opinions. The issue lately has been figuring out what Twitter’s role should be in tailoring which opinions get aired, as often the site can be used for calls for violence that are, tragically, responded to with real action.

trust snd sThe panel will be called the Trust & Safety Council and be made up of over 40 members. It’s all part of a  strategy that Twitter is using to make people feel more sage when they express themselves on the site.

“As we develop products, policies and programs, our Trust & Safety Council will help us tap into the expertise and input of organizations at the intersection of these issues more efficiently and quickly,” stated Patricia Cartes, Twitter’s head of global policy outreach.

The individuals and collaborative groups that will make up the council include safety advocates, scholars and researches focused on children, media literacy, digital citizenship and efforts that promote greater companion and empathy on the internet. The council will also be composed of grassroots advocacy groups that use Twitter to build movements and momentum and community organizations that work to prevent abuse, harassment and bullying, as well as those involved in mental health and suicide prevention.

“Twitter is trying got put al little mores structure and formal process around the work they’ve been doing, like a lot of other social media companies, in getting input from advocacy organizations and civil rights and civil liberties groups about what Twitter’s content policies are and how those policies affect their users,” stated Emma Llanso, who directs the Center for Democracy % Technology’s Free Expression Project. Llanos will be a member of the Trust & Safety Council.

“Instead of doing a lot of one-off conversations or ad hoc discussions when an issue reaches a boiling point, Twitter will have something a little bit more consistent and regular in place to consult about policies and ideas that they are considering or working on.”

twitThe effort is also part of a larger effort among multiple social media companies to make the free speech platforms that their websites create become more productive forums instead of festering arguments filled with hate-speech.

“These platforms introduce, like all human relationships, social problems and complexities, like feeling excluded or flaming or bullying or aggressive speech or hate speech,” stated Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor teaching at UC Berkeley. Keltner will also be a member of the council.

“This group that Twitter’s brought together are people devoted to figuring out how to use Twitter to promote more productive free speech.”

This isn’t Twitter’s only effort to change fundamental aspects of how their company works; in response to their lowest stock values in history, Twitter has bene proposing a myriad of changes including revised algorithms regarding which tweets surface in users’ timelines and even an end to its extremely characteristic 140-character limit.

Can Awareness Be Digitized?

23-year-old billionaire and Russian media mogul Dmitry Itskov is famous for his prediction that by 2045, human beings will be able to be backed up to the cloud. In other words, a human being’s consciousness will be able to be digitized, stored, and potentially uploaded onto a synthetic brain with a robotic host.

dmitry itzkovDmitry Itskov has certainly received a lot of flack for his idea; his intention to live forever as a hologram (known as the 2045 Initiative) seems more fitting for a crackpot science fiction character than a precocious industry tycoon. That said, his immortal aspirations are age-old, and his belief that technological advancements will hold the key to the fountain of youth is shared by more successful people than one would care to think.

Martine Rothblatt, for example, is the executive and founder of both Sirius XM and the biotech firm United Therapeutics. As a telecommunications lawyer, a transhumanist, and the founder of the Terasem Movement, Rothblatt believes that it’s time to consider the rights of cyber-iterations of human consciousness.

But what would the task of digitizing human consciousness entail? First off, we would need to develop the ability to map the human brain down to a tee; every neural structure and synapse would need to be understandable and capable of being stored. Electrical signals would need to be translated into code and hardware would need to be created that could then run this digitized version of you.

Itskov divides the process into four phases of what he calls the Avatar Project. Avatar A involves developing a robot that can be controlled by the human brain. Avatar B is the discovery of a process by which the human brain can be transplanted into this robot, which acts as a synthetic body. Avatar C involves finding a way to upload the contents of the biological brain into a synthetic brain (which presumably has a synthetic body). Avatar D is the process by which the biological body and brain are replaced with a hologram or other avatar that hosts the digital version of human consciousness.

randal koeneItskov has spent millions of dollars on this plan and has also funded other similar projects by transhumanists like Randal Koene. Koene is a neuroscientist and the founder of Carboncopies.org. He’s worked with similarly minded transhumanists for over a decade, attempting to frame the idea and process of whole-brain emulation. The steps they have narrowed down include mapping the structure of the brain, deciphering neural connections and their functions, and developing software and hardware that could host consciousness on a silicon computer chip.

Mapping the human brain has been an aspiration far before the transhumanist movement picked up steam. Similar to the Human Genome Project and Human Microbiome Project, the Human Connectome Project is an effort to make sense of the plethora of data surrounding human biology; in this case, the complex system of the brain’s neural pathways.

The process won’t be easy; the human brain contains an estimated 100 billion individual neurons, and each individual neuron is connected to as many as 10,000 other neurons to which messages are fired. This sequence of events is behind every aspect of each individual human, so to map this area would help us profoundly deepen our understanding of what it means to be human.

Calyx Founder Wins 11 Year Case Against Federal Government

Over 11 years ago, Nicholas Merrill sued to lift a nondisclosure order imposed on his company by an FBI National Security Letter. MErrill is the founder of Calyx, an internet service provider. Apparently over a decade ago, the FBI attempted to suppress any information leaks regarding an attachment it sent Calyx requesting a broad range of personal information regarding Calyx’s clientele.

The letter allegedly requested customers’ names and user names as well as their mailing, residential, business and email addresses. They even wanted the customers’ billing and payment information.

The FBI dealt with the case in such a way that it brought upon itself scathing statements from the court. Apparently it attempted to modify the letters it sent in an attempt to underplay the amount of information requested.

In terms of its distaste, the court did not hold back:

“Redactions that defy common sense- such as concealing a single letter at the end of a word- diminish the force of the government’s claim to ‘good reason’ to keep information under seal, and undermine its argument that disclosure of the currently-redacted information in the attachment can be linked to a substantial risk of enumerated harm.”

This came in response to the government’s attempt to modify a letter so that one of the words was changed from plural to singular, effectively changing the meaning of an important sentence.

Amanda Lynch of the Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic had this to say: “Mr. Merrill’s case shows that the FBI interprets its power to collect information about U.S. citizens without a warrant very broadly.”

national security lettersLynch explained that relevant precedent for this case came in the form of a prior U.S. Justice Department legal opinion, which claimed that NSLs (National Security Letters) could request only those categories of information parallel to subscriber information and toll billing records for ordinary telephone service.

Lynch, Merrill, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York were in agreement in regards to the information requested from Calyx being of a different standard of detail.

Despite the ruling made by the court, the gags on Calyx haven’t been immediately lifted. Lynch pointed out that the court “rejected the government’s argument that secrecy could be maintained indefinitely, based on potential harm to any future negotiations.” Instead, the court held that it was up to the government to establish a good reason that the disclosure of the requested information would effectively harm the investigation that prompted the request in the first place.

Yasha Heidari of the Heidari Power Law Group is among the worried spectators of the trial:

“The FBI is essentially using the  NSL to not only seek information but to also ensure that the parties responsible for providing the information were silenced… It’s almost unfathomable to think this sort of conduct would be permissible in the United States, as it shakes some of our core constitutional values.”

How Do Capacitive Touch Screens Work?

Gone are the days when touch screen technology was an exciting and futuristic technological advance. Now every device, from computer monitors to kindles to TV screens, absolutely must have a touch screen to stay current.  If you’re ever wondered how those things even work, here’s a quick run-down:

capacitanceCapacitive touch screens are constructed from materials like copper or indium tin oxide that store electrical changes in an electrostatic grid of tiny wires, each smaller than a human hair.

Touch-sensitive interfaces operate by detecting changes in capacitance in the screen area.

Capacitance is the ability of an object to store an electrical charge. It is the measure of the capacity of the electrical storage capability of the object. For example, a metal object has much more capacitance than a plastic object. This is expressed in physics as the dielectric constant of a material; the higher the constant, the more charge the object can hold.

Distance can also have an effect on capacitance; capacitance is almost always thought of as being between two adjacent objects, where the objects are separated by a non-metal substance like air or even just a vacuum. This is called mutual capacitance and is generally the normal conceptualization of capacitance, but if an object is floating in the middle of outer space with nothing around it, it will have a different (lower) capacitance than if it is on Earth among other objects.

Anyway, in the context of touch-sensitive interfaces, all you need to know is that when a user makes contact with a touch-screen, he or she alters the capacitance of that area in a way that’s detectable to the device with the positive lyand negatively charged atoms of which he or she is composed.

Quick and relevant vocabulary lesson:

Voltage: the difference in charge between two points (measured in volts). The volts measure the potential energy difference between two points that will impart one joule of energy per coulomb of charge that passes through it.

Charge: the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charges can be either positive or negative.

When you touch a surface touch screen, you don’t alter the voltage through the screen, but you do alter the charge.

capacitive touch screenFor surface capacitive touch screens, sensors located in the four corners of the screen locate where your finger is contacting the screen. It does this via a layer that stores electrical charge that is placed over the glass panel of the screen. When your finger touches the touch screen and co-opts a tiny electrical charge, the resulting drop in charge is understood by corner sensors, which calculate, from the relative differences in charge at each corner, exactly where the couch event took place. They then relay that information to the touch-screen driver software.

There are also projective capacitive touch screens  that have a grid of rows and columns with a separate chip for sensing where the screen is being touched.

Meet the Magic Leap

Rony Abovitz is the CEO of Magic Leap, a developing forerunner in the race to virtual reality, or in this case, augmented reality.

What intrigues tech lovers about the Magic Leap is its ability to map the virtual world onto the real, offering a distinctively different experience than that being pursued by the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and other VR developers. The Magic Leap instead offers an Augmented Reality, or AR.

magic leap glasses

The Magic Leap is a head-mounted virtual retinal display that almost looks like a set of safety glasses. It is able to create the illusion of the presence of 3D computer-generated images in the actual world of the wearer by projecting a digital light field into the user’s eye.

What exactly does that mean? According to Magic Leap, the illusions are projected onto your retinas, creating the same neurological effects as real life objects perceived around you. This is a distinctly different process than the developing VR technology that has hit/is soon to hit the market. With VR, generally the illusion of presence in a different world is created by placing a flat screen in front of the user’s eyes, splitting an image into two and magnifying it for a 3D, wrap-around effect.

In the Leap’s now viral demo video, viewers can see a strange robotic creature floating underneath the desk of a very real office. The creature notices that it is being watched with a bit of a start, then waves. During another scene, a cubicle sits beneath a giant solar system with planets actively orbiting the sun and moons actively orbiting the planets.

According to Abovitz, the Magic Leap possesses software that senses and maps elements of the environment. This allows for digital objects to be projected into feasible places in the real world.

Magic Leap is still developing their product, but they did raise an astounding $542 million last year with the help of Google, Qualcomm, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, and an array of other big-name investors.

The Magic Leap has been compared to the Microsoft HoloLens, a similar product that also projects CG images into the user’s actual surroundings. The HoloLens is better known and has released more information regarding their product, which has been running on Windows 10 since late April. It seems more bent on creating handy screens to be mounted on the user’s wall or which can follow the user around, which is spooky but admittedly handy, and would definitely save on monitors and E-waste.

microsoft hololens screens

That said, the Magic Leap may unlock potential previously unseen by Microsoft and the Hololens’ developers. The start-up remains in “stealth mode,” meaning it is purposefully keeping its potential breakthroughs quiet.

The Magic Leap does seem more committed to creating characters,  like CGI creatures that interact with the wearer directly and even react to eye contact. The HoloLens, on the other hand, seems to be devoted to more utilitarian needs. That said, surely the creators of either could do both.

It’s an exciting time to be alive, we’ll have to just wait and see what happens to reality next.

Distinctive Types of Computing Technologies being utilized as a part of cutting edge days

Computer Technology has made some amazing progress over a brief time of time. We’ll talk about here a rundown of the early phases of Computer and how it has created so far. The primary programmable computerized Computer was created in 1944 by an association in the middle of IBM and Harvard. This was not however an absolutely electronic Computer. It was built from switches, transfers, pivoting shafts, and grips. This machine measured 5 tons and utilized 500 miles of wires, stood eight feet tall and was fueled by a 5 hp electric engine. The machine ran ceaselessly for a long time.

Where We’ve Come from and Where We Are

The prior variants of printers, for example, Impact and Pen-based plotters have now either ended up out of date or are utilized as a part of some exceptionally uncommon applications just. In Impact printers like Typewriter-determined printers, Daisy wheel printers, and Teletypewriter-inferred printers, the ink is squeezed coercively on the paper like activity of. There are foreordained characters in such printers and for the most part these were monochrome printers that can be utilized as a part of a solitary typeface at once, and for bolding and underlining over-striking is finished. Spot Matrix printers are still utilized as an ease elective in different homes and organizations. In the past Pen based plotters were regularly utilized as a part of building and design lives up to expectations. There were mechanically run pens to make content and pictures.

With Technology advancing as quickly as it is at the present, it is a marvel we don’t have another mass-showcased device seeming at regular intervals. Computer, once anticipated to be possessed by an insignificant modest bunch of people, are all over these days. On the off chance that you are an understudy a Computer is for all intents and purposes a need. Going with the perpetually expanding fame of the Computer is a plenty of devices and innovative progressions. Despite the fact that it may not be like clockwork, it appears as if each couple of months we catch wind of a Computer with more storage room or another gadget that one can associate with their Computer.

A few gadgets that show up available are either totally unnecessary or not all that open to the aggregate of the populace, whether it is a result of their expense or their constrained supply. The excessive gadgets are saved to the individuals who can bear the cost of them, until some new device replaces them and the cost of these machines diminishes, much like any new Technology that shows up available. Those contraptions, which are pointless, are not excessively pragmatic and the business sector for these manifestations is embodied for the most part of those with a partiality for such gadgets. Developments like webcams, while they are positively amusing to play with, are basically pointless as they have no bearing on the genuine operation of the Computer and are utilized generally for relaxation Computer exercises.

Numerous Computer owners discover themselves longing for more space to store melodies or different documents and regularly longing that their Computer were faster. Despite the fact that numerous Computer delivered today have an unreasonable storage room, that is, it is about difficult to fill a Computer to limit, these sorts of headways license a much speedier and more productive working Computer.


The situation:

Imagine a situation when you come to realize that all the files that you saved and stored in the USB drive and the drive suddenly does not respond? This is the most sickening thing that could happen to a person after a long day at work and generating vast amount of data only to be lost at the end of the ordeal of the day. Many have faced this situation and it is not new to many of us who have been through it and this is such a heart wrenching place to be in and you would do anything to run away from the boss when this happens at the workplace. Many would feel as though they have been stuck through a heart attack kind of such situation. When this happens in an emergency moment, it is all the worst.

The solution:

Information technology was developed to find solutions for such issues that make our day hard and long. But the good news is that you need no longer suffer a situation such as this as there are means for flash drive data recovery and it is done in a very meticulous manner by the relevant software which can be downloaded free of cost from the internet. There are many new techniques which you can employ to recover the data from the flash drive or the pen drive as we call it commonly.

The process:

The data recovery from a flash drive is becoming easier these days than before as there are new and efficient ways and processes that will help you do the recovery process step by step. The steps have been explained and re user friendly. All you need to do is to follow the given steps in the order and then you will have all the precious data that you generated from the dead or corrupt flash drive. The process is very easy and can be done even the first time with ease.

The symptoms:

There are certain symptoms which you can look for if you feel there is something wrong with your flash drive. There are some situations which might cause the drive to lose data or if you feel that the data are deleted without your knowledge. If you have virus attack on the drive or you have done formatting of the pen drive by mistake, you have a power problem where you experience power fluctuation then it might be a sign that the flash drive might have become so vulnerable to the attack and thereby losing the data stored in it. The mishap can happen even from your own side by accidentally deleting the data from the flash drive.

It is versatile:

The software is effective in both the windows and the Mac operating systems which makes it quite versatile and built for any platform. This is possible for all types of flash drives such as SD cards, and other such devices which are optimum for data storage. The type of data is no constraint for the software as it can recover any type of file such as videos, photos and word documents. This can recover data from the SD cards in cameras as well for which it was originally developed.

The cost:

Though there are free software tools available on the internet, there are other software data recovery tools available for purchasing online as well. The cost is about thirty nine dollars which quite a reasonable price for the valuable service that is to be had from the software. The flash drive data recovery software is a reasonable addition to your tools.


It is indeed serious!

Granted the computer is an integral part of our lives. Be it a desk top or a lap top, or any other such device, the importance of the computer cannot be overemphasized. Whatever the data is that the hard drive is holding, it is important to the individual who has generated and carefully saved it for future use. The personal computer has become a faithful companion all through our lives that any small damage to the equipment is considered a wound on our own selves. Indeed this is serious and more so because of the preciousness of the data it has stored. As matter of fact, it is taken as an extension of oneself and demands the care and attention that a human being might need in its upkeep and preservation. The well maintained hard drive is worth the amount the owner puts on it. For some it would mean the world by virtue of what is holding in itself. The data lost is so precious that the years that were spent in generating and safeguarding goes in vain when the hard disk crashes.

The antidote!

Technology has developed so far that it is capable of reaching into the hard drive in order to detect the reasons for a hard drive failure and if the hard drive can actually be repaired. Here is where the help of the hard drive data recovery service provider comes handy and lifts you off the quandary situation.nit is true that the data saved inside the hard disk is what makes or breaks an individual’s career sometimes as it is as important as life itself and when a lifetime’s work is lost, the cost of beginning it all together is quite an onerous task and some of the data may be lost forever never o be had again which might put a career on risk.

The process:

The process of data recovery starts with the detection and examination of the computer hard disk which can be detached from the personal computer and taken to the service provider’s office where it is done diligently and carefully. The data recovery is done by using the best of software available for the same exact purpose. The data that is considered most important is retrieved first and the recovery can be carried out on any brand of hard disk such as the Mac, the Unix, DOS, windows, Linux and other platforms. This makes it a versatile system to work with. When it involves business data, the risk of losing such data has to be felt to be realized as it involves the very future of the business and every care and attention is paid to recover this valuable data from the hard disk.

It is expert work!

When it comes to data recovery, the job involves the right kind of talent and also to take a decision about what can actually be recovered from the hard drive. The expert also examines if it is possible to retrieve the data at all. The seriousness of the damage caused to the disk also can be found in this case. The percentage of data that can be retrieved, and if the disk is dead can be found if an expert is involved.

Safety measures:

As far as the hard disk of a computer is concerned, the prevention of damage is prudent than to go after recovering the data from a dead hard disk. Antivirus installation is essential in this case it is better than taking it to the hard drive data recovery services provider.


In all matters:

It is the least to say that technology has become our constant companion without which a human cannot think of doing any productive work and the companionship has definitely extended the reach of humans to quite a long distance and in many ways. When you have technology in your hands, it is a sign that you are going to be more than what you expected to achieve. While talking of the technology, that we are surrounded with these days, the tools that technology in the form of applications is also not to be underestimated. We cannot imagine our lives without taking the technology into our homes and our offices. The good news is that with every passing year, the developments in the field are also growing which makes us free and our lives are becoming easier than before.

This is mandatory:

There are a multitude of technological machinations that are available for us to use and take advantage of. The most important among these various equipments is the laptop which has become so much a part of our lives and our work. We cannot imagine even a very small work without the help of the all important laptop. Stating from school to higher studies and also in research, this plays a major role in our work and reduce the amount of hard work we ought to do. Owning a laptop is a mandatory aspect of knowledge work be it in education, and all walks of life.

The brands:

Thinking of the variety of laptop brands and the makes and models of these all essential machinery, we need no two opinions as to how we can make use of the same. Whereas our lives are becoming more and more complicated, technology is bringing some sort of sunshine into our lives by improving the quality of life. There are several brands available in the market. These are very competitive and are quite efficient in all work types starting to work as a work station and as a personal computer. Having understood the need for the equipment in our daily lives, many brands have sprung up to offer the most essential of the services through well made and smart built laptops which was unthinkable a few decades ago. The marketers want to take advantage of the prevailing situation and demand for the product and have come with more and more sophisticated products which look and perform better than the next one.

The advantages:

Among the many uses of the laptop, there are those advantages that we all benefit from such as making life easier and convenient, and apart from that, it saves a lot of time, it saves a lot of effort we put in reaching the target that is set before us. It is hard to imagine even the smallest word processing activity. Unlike the desktop, the laptop as we all know is portable and this is what makes it the most sought after among all the devices that are in use today. It is like having an assistant right beside you fulfilling your every command. This is light weight, portable, easy to carry, and very stylish and has become a style statement with the younger generation of our times.

The cost:        

The cost that we pay for all the work that we get out of the laptop is nothing compared to its advantages. The laptop has been developed and is still undergoing vast changes and developments and the evolution has never stopped ever since it was fabricated to provide a well rounded life and work culture.