Airport Inspectors Can't Believe MacBook Air is a Real Computer, Acceleration at Work

March 11 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 10

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.

Terrorist WMD attack likely within decade, say analysts

April 11 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: General   Rating: 8 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

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 beyond imagination.

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.)

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RFID for Identity Documents May Not Fly in the Future

February 11 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 6 Hot

White/Grey-hat hacker Chris Paget demonstrates a $250 mobile device that can read and clone RFID tags embedded in United States passport cards and enhanced drivers' licenses.

As I often remind readers, accelerating technology cuts both ways and forces us to bolster our info-immune system.

(via The Register)

Chronicles of Extreme Future Part 3: The ID Card

April 18 2008 / by Fictionthis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 4 Hot

Cross-posted from the blog of new fiction-focused startup fictionthis.com.

National ID cards were introduced in 2011.

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 past.

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.)

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Personal Data: The New Gold Rush

August 07 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Security   Year: General   Rating: 4

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?

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The Growing Impact of Towns and Cities in Google Earth

July 28 2008 / by justinelee / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Environment   Year: General   Rating: 3

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 Google Earth 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 engage users.

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 benefits.

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.

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President Obama Kicks Off a New Era of Video Diplomacy

March 20 2009 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: 2009   Rating: 3 Hot

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.

Poll: How much will people know about YOU in 2020?

March 11 2008 / by Marisa Vitols / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Issues   Year: 2020   Rating: 1

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 the vote.

Due to the Future Blogger piece The Inevitability of Transparency and Future Scanner scan The Myth of a Transparent Society , today’s poll is about transparency and privacy. The question is: How much will people know about YOU in 2020?

Assumptions:
- You’re still alive.
- You live in a developed country.
- “people” does not include the government or CIA-equivalent.

We welcome you to explain your reasoning in the comment thread below!

How much will people know about YOU in 2020?

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