Chalk this one up to accelerating change.
Engadget reports that the owner of a super-thin Macbook Air
laptop was held up by disbelieving TSA inspectors for
such a long time that he wound up missing his flight.
Certainly the Air is a cool, nearly mind-blowing product, but
don’t you think these folks should’ve grabbed another computer,
hopped on the Mac site and confirmed that yes, this impossible
consumer technology is actually real? That would’ve taken all of
what, 3 minutes?
I’m already starting to feel bad for the airport screeners of 5
years from now. Imagine the new products and micro-technologies
they’ll be required to identify and guard against. No longer will
$8/hour (even if it is mostly for show nowadays) for an airport
screener suffice, unless of course the scanning devices they employ
improve very quickly.
The world faces an estimated 70 percent chance of a nuclear,
biological or chemical attack in the next decade, according to
national security analysts surveyed for a recent Senate Foreign
Relations Committee study.
More than half of the 85 analysts contacted believed one or two
new countries would acquire nuclear weapons within five years, and
five more will obtain them in ten. They counted technology sharing
between terrorist groups among activities that posed the greatest
dangers, and attacks by terrorists as more likely than those posed
by rogue states.
Committee Chair Senator Richard Lugar said that though the U.S.
may be successful in building new democracies, we are not safe from
small, fanatical terrorist cells that could possibly get their
hands on nuclear materials.
How great is this risk? During the Cold War, the possibility of
a nuclear war that could kill every American made it imperative to
do anything possible to avoid conflict. Today, the consequence of
even a single nuclear weapon exploding in a U.S. city is almost
Terrorist’s armed with one nuclear bomb could murder a million
people – killing in one day nearly twice as many Americans as died
in both twentieth century World Wars combined.
A WMD attack on the U.S. would have
catastrophic consequences for other countries too. Researchers at
RAND, a government think tank, estimated
that a nuclear explosion at the Port of Long Beach in California
would cause immediate indirect costs worldwide of more than $3
trillion and, the shutting down of U.S. ports would cut world trade
by 10 percent. (cont.)
At first they were simply embedded in passports, containing
personal ID data. Second Generation ID Data chips were designed to
have uploading capabilities and contained even more data, including
criminal and medical records. Third generation ID Chips had an
option to be inserted under your skin and gave access into your ID
data base in any government institution, which made forgetting or
losing your license or social security details a thing of the
For military personnel it was compulsory to have it inserted.
Unauthorized access to military installations was simply
non-existent from that moment on. Generation Four chip nicknamed
“Quattro Access” became an instant hit with the younger generation.
It allowed access to personal finance as well as personal storage
space to share music, files and photos. (cont.)
If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard about this case involving stolen credit and debit card information. Identity theft usually doesn’t call for much attention, but the sheer scope of the theft has left the world reeling. Only eleven men have been indicted in the theft of over 40 million credit card numbers from US stores.
“The indictments, which alleged that at least nine major U.S. retailers were hacked, were unsealed Tuesday in Boston, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California, prosecutors said.”
The information was stolen with “sniffer” programs in the retail software, designed to record credit card numbers, passwords and account information.
The size of this theft is amazing, but it makes one think about technology and where it’s headed. Just how much damage could a hacker accomplish in the near future? With the internet consistently taking the place of personal hard drives (Google Documents, Flickr, Facebook), we’re relying more and more on the Internet for our personal data. In the future we’ll see fingerprints, facial recognition software and retinal scans added into the mix for added security – but how safe will this all be?
The thing about data is that it can always be hacked. Even the most encrypted software on Earth can be disassembled, rewritten and pirated. In order to recognize your voice, your eyes or your fingerprints a computer has to store this information somewhere. So what happens if a hacker gets a hold of this information?
In its effort to catalog and effectively share the world’s
information, Google continues to improve its dynamic representation
of earth and has now extended its reach to cities and towns.
The first time I experienced Google Earth, I was pretty
impressed. Accessing satellite information, I was able to navigate
most any location on the planet that I was interested in, from a
bird’s eye view. Of course the first thing I did was check out my
street, the homes of my past, and landmarks around my town.
Next I was introduced to Street View, a
visualization composed of photos taken from automobiles that allows
full 3D street navigation. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when
Street View was at last integrated with Google Maps, that I could
travel down my street take a glance at my house and my car parked
neatly on the curb. That was really cool to me. I found myself
wondering where I was the time the photos was taken, and being
thankful they hadn’t caught me outside my
house in an early morning stupor.
After some light research I found that Google isn’t just
concerned with satisfying my curiosity. It has found ways to make
money with this technology while expanding its functionality for
important, decision-making parties.
Google introducing advanced versions of the platform with
Pro ($400/year), a collaborative tool for commercial and
professional use and Google Earth
Plus ($20/year) for everyday map enthusiasts. It also provides
non-profit organizations with Earth Outreach, a
program that allows organizations to map their projects to help
In March 2008, Google Earth introduced Cities in 3D which is
unsurprisingly a complete 3D visualization of numerous cities. To
contribute to this effort, users can submit and share renditions of
structures and buildings using Google’s SketchUp. The program
primarily relies on city governments to submit their 3D information
electronically (for free) and invites them to review the
The benefits for local governments seem rather extensive. They
include: engaging the public in planning, fostering economic
development, boosting tourism, simplifying navigation analysis,
enhancing facilities management, supporting security and crime
prevention, and facilitating emergency management.
President Barack Obama's video/web overture to the Iranian people marks not only a strategic shift in U.S. policy toward the country, but also a fundamental change in tactics better-suited for an increasingly connected world.
Now let's see how Iranian leaders Mahmoud Ahmanadinejad and the Ayotollah respond.
The question asked in last week’s community poll was, “How many
planets will a child born in the year 2000 visit in his or her
lifetime?” Nearly 43% of those who responded answered either 1, 2,
or 3. However, the number one answer was 9 or more, with 54.05% of