Posts Tagged ‘access’
Worried Who’s Watching Your Web Browsing? Adafruit’s Onion Pi Tor Proxy Project Creates A Private, Portable Wi-Fi Access Point
Adafruit Industries has put together a weekend project for people worried the NSA is watching how many reruns of Seinfeld they watch on their tablet. The Onion Pi Tor Proxy is a weekend project that uses the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, along with a USB WiFi adapter and Ethernet cable to create “a small, low-power and portable privacy Pi” for using with portable or other computing devices (e.g. your work laptop) that can’t otherwise run the anonymising Tor network.
In the Onion Pi configuration, the Pi creates a secure access point which automatically routes any web browsing through Tor’s distributed network of relays. The Tor network is designed to disrupt web surveillance by preventing web snoopers from learning which sites you visit, and also the sites you visit from learning your physical location. It does this by ensuring every Internet packet goes through three layers of relays before going on to its intended destination. Hence Tor’s many layered onion motif.
Adafruit says the Onion Pi is good for those who…
…want to browse anonymously on a netbook, tablet, phone, or other mobile or console device that cannot run Tor and does not have an Ethernet connection. If you do not want to or cannot install Tor on your work laptop or loan computer. If you have a guest or friend who wants to use Tor but doesn’t have the ability or time to run Tor on their computer, this gift will make the first step much easier.
Getting the Onion Pi access point up and running means plugging the Ethernet cable into any Internet access point and powering up the Pi via its micro USB cable plugged into your laptop/the wall adapter. The Pi will then create the Onion Pi access point. Connect to that for a less NSA-friendly browsing session.
That said, Adafruit’s Onion Pi page does contain caveats regarding exactly how anonymous this set-up is — noting: “We can’t guarantee that it is 100% anonymous and secure! Be smart & paranoid about your TOR usage.”
Other Adafruit tips for keeping your web browsing on the down-low include:
- deleting and blocking your browser cache, history & cookies — and/or using a browser that offers anonymous sessions
- avoiding logging into existing accounts with personally identifying information
- using SSL to end-to-end encrypt communications — NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also said encryption works
After showing off its USB OTG accessories and NFC flash drive, PQI decided to tease us with its unannounced Power Drive that was sat quietly in a corner at Computex. Much like the Air Pen launched last November, this upcoming device acts as a portable wireless access point with storage expansion, meaning you can share an RJ45 network connection and your files over WiFi. But what’s new is that not only is the RJ45 port collapsible to reduce device thickness, there’s now also a standard SD card slot in addition to the old microSD slot. Better yet, as the name suggests, the Power Drive can also be used as a USB power bank to charge up other devices, making this PQI’s most versatile WiFi product yet. Alas, details are light on the specs, so stay tuned for its announcement at some point in Q4 this year.
Yesterday a series of leaked PowerPoint slides in the Washington Post revealed a program codenamed PRISM that allowed government investigators access to data from a number of top internet companies. That leak has been followed up in the last 24 hours by a series of blanket denials as tech companies (and their CEOs, including Google’s Larry Page and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) claimed they do not give “backdoor access,” only generally acknowledging that they do respond to individual court orders. Meanwhile government officials including President Obama responded to the claims mostly by claiming whatever is going on — including the bulk collection of call logs by the NSA — is legal and has been “repeatedly authorized by Congress.”
Tonight, a New York Times article may be able to explain the difference between the statements, citing information from people briefed on the program and lawyers that handle the requests. Their report is that the companies discussed ways to “efficiently and securely” share data about foreign users in response to requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In contrast to the initial reports of direct server access, this report claims when a government request is made under an individual FISA request, it’s reviewed by company lawyers and then sent over, sometimes electronically using company servers. That can include an investigation into a specific person, logs of certain search terms, and in some cases “real-time transmission of data.” One specific instance cited involved an NSA agent going on-site at a company’s HQ, installing government software on its server and remaining there for several weeks to offload data to a laptop.
So why the quick denials about something the companies listed (including AOL, parent company of Engadget) may actually have ties to? Because FISA requests are by their nature secret, the report claims employees that deal with the requests can’t discuss the details, even with their fellow employees. Notably, although companies must by law respond to the requests, they’re not legally obligated to make it easy, and the article points out Twitter as a company that has declined to participate. Because of that, even if PRISM is more a streamlining of bureaucratic processes than a government backdoor into your Candy Crush Saga level, the semantic differences of company denials may not sit well with users, much less citizens voting for the officials who oversee the programs.
Source: New York Times
A lesson in how to say something without really saying anything at all.
Via: Jeff Chiu / AP
Read all the tech giants’ denials regarding the NSA's PRISM program and you'll start to notice a pattern:
Google CEO Larry Page:
We have not joined any program that would give the US government—or any other government—direct access to our servers.
Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers.
BlueStacks is hoping to take the clear early consumer interest in a home gaming console built with mobile technologies and make that into big business, and today it’s announcing what could become a huge advantage for its GamePop console over other similar offerings. GamePop will support iPhone and iPad apps at launch, in addition to Android titles, making the first such device to tap into Apple’s rich app ecosystem.
As part of this expansion, GamePop is also announcing its first partner on the iOS side today: Subatomic Studios. Subatomic is the studio behind Fieldrunners, the tower defense game that was one of the iPhone’s first true defining hits. Fieldrunners has since expanded to a number of different platforms, including the PlayStation Store, Android and more, but BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma explained in an interview that in the case where a title is available on both Android and iOS, GamePop will offer the version which is considered the flagship for the title.
And while Subatomic is just the first announced partner bringing iOS software to the GamePop, there are many more partnerships in the works And all of the iOS titles will be included free with the cost of the $ 6.99 per month subscription, alongside Android titles, to make up the 500 titles BlueStacks is aiming to provide to subscribers as part of their package. Like with Android titles, BlueStacks will be looking to procure high-quality iOS games, and Sharma points to Fieldrunners as a perfect example, since it’s a $ 2.99 game at regular price when purchased through the App Store. Any iOS titles will also be able to bring in-app purchases to the GamePop, though they’ll be handled through one of leading third-party in-app purchase API providers on Android rather than through Apple.
To get iOS games running on the GamePop, the use a new proprietary technology pioneered by BlueStacks called “Looking Glass,” which is somewhat similar to the type of virtualization that the company does when bringing Android titles to Windows 8, for instance, but with some crucial differences.. But Rosen also notes that this isn’t something that’s using Apple APIs or is in any way in danger of running afoul of that company’s rules regarding iOS software.
“From a technology perspective, it uses virtualitzation, but it’s a different kind of virtualization than what we use for example for our PC products,” he said. “This is more API-level virtualization. We don’t use any of Apple’s bits – the developer just gives us the app and we make sure that it’ll run on GamePop.”
Nor does GamePop’s method of bringing mobile software designed for Apple devices result in any kind of sacrifices when it comes to performance or quality of experience. Since the virtualization happens at a very basic level, the GamePop is essentially doing the same heavy lifting as the iPhone or iPad hardware, but doesn’t need to do any additional work, the way it would if it were virtualizing in the same way that Parallels does with Windows on an OS X computer, for instance.
“In iOS the app makes a call and says, for example, ‘draw a menu for me,’ and in GamePop the app would make the same call and we’d be drawing the menu for them,” he said. “At this point, iOS and Android are so similar from an API perspective that it’s feasible to do this. So there’s no difference in terms of performance, and in fact developers on iOS follow such good guidelines that getting them on GamePop is relatively straightforward.”
The change to GamePop not only gives it access to a broader library of software from which to choose its core group of titles, but it also means that GamePop isn’t just another Android-based home gaming console in the tradition of OUYA and GameStick. Now, it’s a different beast entirely, and one with a crucial competitive advantage over and above its subscription-based revenue model. GamePop is currently on sale for the introductory price of ‘free’ through June, with the $ 6.99 per month subscription, and will retail for $ 129 after that.
Samsung has officially confirmed the Galaxy S4 Mini, following a brief leak earlier this month. The new handset takes the name of its current flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, but couples it with more mid-range specs to extend the reach of the flagship brand to a larger pool of consumers. It’s a strategy Samsung also deployed with its prior flagship, the Galaxy S3, taking the wraps off a Galaxy S3 Mini last year.
Indeed, Samsung’s overall smartphone strategy is about producing scores of iterations at various price points and screen sizes in order to saturate the market with as much of its hardware as possible. A strategy that, coupled with its massive marketing budget, continues to be extremely successful for the Korean electronics giant, making it far harder for other Android OEMs such as HTC to compete with their far more modest device portfolios.
As with the majority of Samsung’s devices, design wise you’d be hard pressed to distinguish the Galaxy S4 Mini from any other recent Samsung device. Its smaller size being the most distinguishing feature vs the flagship S4. The Mini has a 4.3″ qHD Super AMOLED display vs the 5″ pane on the flagship S4. At 4.3″ the Mini is not actually that small, certainly not compared to some of Samsung’s budget devices, but the target here is users who might not be comfortable with the phablet-sized screen of Samsung’s current flagship but still want something flashy enough to look like a flagship.
Under the hood, the S4 Mini has a 1.7 GHz dual-core chip, rather than the quad-/octa-core of its big brother. There’s 8GB of internal memory and 1.5GB of RAM. The rear camera is 8MP and the front-facing lens is 1.9MP. Samsung says it will be offering a 4G version of the device, as well as a 3G and dual-SIM version — based on what makes sense for each market.
Features wise, Samsung says the S4 Mini supports “many” of the same features as found on the flagship S4 — including Sound&Shot, Panorama Shot and Story Album, on the camera software side. Other confirmed apps include Group Play, ChatON, S Translator and WatchON. The Mini clearly lacks the full gamut of software services poured onto Samsung’s flagship but most smartphone buyers aren’t going to be fussed about a few lacking apps, especially as the Mini’s price-tag should also be a bit more modest.
There’s no official word on pricing or a full list of confirmed market availability — but expect the S4 Mini to land wherever the S4 has, and certainly to head to the U.S. and the U.K.
EA’s Online Pass program has been in the news a bit of late, but that’ll soon change. The voucher’s now set to be phased out completely — earlier this month the company shared that it won’t be including the certificates with new games, but now Game Informer reports that this will apply to existing titles as well. Soon, EA Sports games will no longer prompt users for a code, while numbers for other titles will be made available for free online. The rollout should wrap up over the next few weeks.
Filed under: Gaming
Source: Game Informer
Munich-based startup and TechCrunch Disrupt NY Battlefield contestant KISI Systems is launching its Indiegogo campaign today. KISI and KISIBox together comprise a keyless entry solution that lets users provide timed, revokable access to their own apartments on an as-needed basis. It’s the perfect complement to collaborative consumption services like Airbnb and TaskRabbit and in general a very useful addition to any household.
KISI takes its cues from enterprise-grade tools that allow businesses to control who can and can’t gain access to a facility – co-founder Bernhard Mehl explained that he and his co-founders decided it was an idea that would make perfect sense when applied to a consumer setting, too.
The KISI system is a combination of hardware and software, with a set price of $ 479 up front when it hits retail. Initially, backers can get it for $ 249 for the first Indiegogo supporters, and the best part is that the service is included with the hardware purchase, so this isn’t something that you end up necessarily paying for on a continual basis. There is a SaaS model planned as well, for people who’d like access to premium features, but Mehl says that in general, they aren’t interested in making homeowners feel like they’re renting the locks on their doors.
“We stripped an enterprise product down to a consumer-friendly version, and provide very easy-to-use key-management tools, so we have a web app and you can manage or see who accessed your apartment, or who currently has access on their smartphones,” Mehl says. “It’s a more decentralized or democratized access, so that it’s not the house owner who controls all the keys, but the resident themselves.”
KISI is designed for apartment tenants primarily, and can be made to integrated with your intercom system to provide complete building access from a web-based dashboard. Mehl says that where in the past this has been accomplished through sharing of hardware keys, that’s a dramatically outdated prospect, since it involves granting a type of access you can’t easily revoke, at least not without changing your locks. The platform is why KISI isn’t just another Lockitron, providing things like integration with an intercom system, and a record of when keyholders have accessed your apartment, and for how long.
The big opportunity for KISI is to take advantage of the rise of services like Airbnb, Exec and TaskRabbit, and collaborate with those companies to help provide temporary access to service pros who might only need it for a few minutes, a week or an afternoon.
“All the hardware parts are installed in your apartment, and you can open even the front door of the house with your smartphone, and yet nothing changes for anyone else who has physical key access” he said. “Up to now, you had to change the whole system to get automated access, but the cool thing is that we’ve managed to accomplish that without requiring a complete overhaul.”
KISI has already impressed enough to win an entrepreneurial startup grant from the German government, and they’ve won various prizes, including from the NYCEDC, which provided them with $ 25,000 for the “Next Idea” award.
KISI will launch in New York City and Munich first, and will then expand to other markets after that. It doesn’t replace existing standards like Z-Wave, but works with them, and can also be used in combination with existing devices like Lockitron, so there’s opportunity for it to grow into existing home automation systems.
Daft Punk’s fourth studio cd will be out on May 21st, and thanks to a teaser video revealed at Coachella, we now know that the French electronic group duo be joined by a minimum of nine other artists. According to the teaser, Random Gain access to Memories collaborators include The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Pet Collective’s Panda Bear, Paul Williams, Giorgio Moroder, DJ Falcon, Chilly Gonzales, Todd Edwards, Pharrell Williams, and Nile Rodgers. The clip is available in just under 2 mins and gives a prolonged sneak peek of “Get Lucky,” with Pharrell singing lead vocals and Rodgers on guitar– each putting on Daft Punk’s advanced glitter.
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