For well over a year now, more than 60 federal, state, regional, local, and municipal authorities have been working with the E-Sponder technology partnership to plan … Read more
What makes a social network work? Is it the design of the site? The advertising on it? The logo? It's none of these things, of course.
It's the people.
MySpace proves that you don't need pretty design, and Facebook shows that if you start by identifying an audience (college students) and give them a better way to do something they're already doing (getting to know each other), it is enough to get a social project off the ground.
A secret federal appeals court has ruled that federal agencies can be authorized to conduct warrantless e-mail and telephone surveillance without violating the U.S. Constitution.
In a 29-page redacted opinion (PDF) released Thursday, the court ruled that presidents do not need to obtain warrants to conduct "foreign intelligence for national-security purposes"--which is effectively at least a partial endorsement of President Bush's views on expansive executive powers.
The central question in this case was how the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on "unreasonable searches and seizures" applies to intelligence agencies wishing to compel AT&… Read more
NASA said Thursday it has performed a test of a prototype super pressure balloon that could carry as much as a ton of research equipment to heights of 110,000 feet or more for up to 100 days.
The balloon, which was launched on December 28, 2008, from McMurdo Station in Antarctica, is 7 million cubic feet and is said to be the largest single-cell, super-pressure, fully sealed balloon ever flown. When the project--which NASA is conducting in coordination with the National Science Foundation--is completed, the space agency should have a 22 million cubic foot balloon to work with.
NASA … Read more
Action spy dramas increasingly feature a computer geek character who accesses everything from satellite imagery to floor plans to convenience store security cameras, then feeds the data to his team, saving the day. This type of work, it turns out, is easier said than done.
Two agencies are trying to make it easier to access and blend Web-based snoop-scoop. The U.S. Joint Forces Command and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are sponsoring an annual demonstration called Empire Challenge, which "seeks to improve interoperability of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities" among end users.
Chinese networking vendor Huawei Technologies has slammed as "ludicrous and inaccurate" claims that it had links to the Chinese military and government that could cause security problems for the National Broadband Network.
The Australian newspaper reported on Thursday that security agencies would "closely examine" any Huawei involvement in Optus' bid to build the National Broadband Network due to international concerns about the company's links with Chinese authorities.
But in a statement released Thursday afternoon under the name of its vice director of public relations for the Asia-Pacific region, Thong Poh Wah, Huawei denied the claims. … Read more
Did your brother-in-law really send you a singing holiday card? Did a long-lost friend from college really include you on this year's list?
One inexpensive way to send holiday cheer may be to send e-cards, but security vendor AVG warned on Tuesday that online criminals are taking advantage of the fact most people don't know the difference between a legitimate e-card and one hosting malware.
Last week security vendors warned of a Trojan horse masquerading as holiday-themed e-cards from McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Hallmark.
Microsoft blogger Steve Clayton thinks he has the answer to the mystery of president-elect Barack Obama on a treadmill with--gasp--a Microsoft Zune instead of his usual iPod. Microsoft made a special-edition 4GB Zune for the Democratic National Convention. I can imagine Obama wanted to work out, realized he didn't have his iPod, and asked one of his many staffers to borrow their MP3 player.
The funniest part of this story isn't that Obama was using a Zune, but that everybody was so surprised to see one in public! Outside Microsoft, they're still relatively rare beasts.
(Tip courtesy … Read more
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users, is expected to argue in court on Tuesday that it's unconstitutional to prevent Americans from suing the telecom companies that allegedly helped the federal government unlawfully spy on them.
The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) gives telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for opening their networks to the National Security Agency. The telecoms can walk away from lawsuits as long as the government claims the request was "lawful" and authorized by the president. Before the law was passed, EFF had brought a lawsuit against AT&T that is before … Read more
National Amusements, a media and entertainment company controlled by Sumner Redstone, is expected to announce on Monday that it sold its majority stake in Midway Games, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Redstone reportedly sold the 87 percent stake to investor Mark Thomas, in exchange for $100,000 and the assumption of $70 million in secured and unsecured debt.
The transaction, while expected to result in a loss in excess of $800 million for Redstone, is expected to yield a substantial tax break for the media and entertainment investor, according to the Journal.
And for Redstone, that … Read more