technology

The day-to-day drudgery of state sponsored hacking

After a review of bids and testing the capabilities of some of the exploits offered, the team decided to build its own malware. “This is the only inexpensive way to get to the iPhone, except for the [Israeli] solution for 7 million and that’s only for WhatsApp,” explained one team member in a message. “We still need Viber, Skype, Gmail, and so on.” The same was true of the Android and Windows malware and the back-end tools used to manage the campaign. Rather than using zero-day exploits, the organization relied on a combination of physical access, spear-phishing, and other techniques to inject its espionage tools onto the targeted devices.

From Sean Gallagher in ArsTechnica on the details leaked from a state sponsored malware effort.

Who controls the menu?

When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask:

  • “what’s not on the menu?”
  • “why am I being given these options and not others?”
  • “do I know the menu provider’s goals?”
  • “is this menu empowering for my original need, or are the choices actually a distraction?” (e.g. an overwhelmingly array of toothpastes)

From Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology. It’s the first of ten magic tricks he pointed to that technology companies use to hijack users’ minds and emotions.

Apple’s 1997 Netbook

A post on thomas fitzgerald.net serves to remind us that Apple released their first netbook in 1997: the Apple eMate 300: …next time you see people ranting about an Apple netbook, remember that Apple had something similar long before anyone even uttered the phrase “netbook.” The device ran Netwon OS 2 with a 20-30 hour […] » about 100 words

[Insert Word Here] Is Hurting Your Network

Corporate networks are defenseless against the growing threat from instant messaging, and the government warns WiFi is insecure and easily sniffed.

Experts suggest we take precautions against the growing risk of p2p software that’s exposing sensitive documents and threatening national security.

Businesses blame security problems on their employees, their mobile devices, and other consumer technologies.

And now we have MySpace.

Who Owns The Network?

Note: this cross-posted item is my contribution to our Banned Books Week recognition. We’ve been pitting books against each other, hoping to illustrate that there are always (at least) two sides to every story. Most of the other books were more social or political, but I liked this pair. Wikinomics authors Don Tapscott and Anthony […] » about 300 words

Poke Your Tech Staff With Sticks, And Other Ideas

What a difference a year makes? Jessamyn was among those sharing her stories of how technology and tech staff were often mistreated in libraries, but there’s a lot of technology in this year’s ALA program (including three competing programs on Saturday: The Ultimate Debate: Do Libraries Innovate, Social Software Showcase, and Transforming Your Library With […] » about 600 words

It’s Not About Technology, Stupid

Inside Higher Ed asks Are College Students Techno Idiots? Slashdot summarized it this way: Are college students techno idiots? Despite the inflammatory headline, Inside Higher Ed asks an interesting question. The article refers to a recent study by ETS, which analyzed results from 6,300 students who took its ICT Literacy Assessment. The findings show that […] » about 300 words