Monday, July 28, 2008

Secure Gmail

Glad to see that Google is taking steps to protect gmail from sidejacking...

I got my gmail settings to "Always use https", how about you?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Schneier on Security and the iPhone

Bruce Schneier has recently written a very good article on the issue of "security" and the new iPhone. I highly suggest you click on that link and give it at least a brief read.

Technology these days seems to be making great leaps and surges, and I admit that I am mightily impressed by the sheer computing power of the iPhone. The features it offers just puts to shame the old Ericsson plastic brick I first had back in '96 when Digital Tu-Ka Hokkaido (I believe they are J-Phone now) first opened their Ericsson TDMA network. But for all the glitz and glam, there is no way I want someone to be able to track me to within a few meters using GPS. As it is, someone could use triangulation and locate me within a city block or two right now with my DoCoMo FOMA mobile.

Privacy is something that seems to be taken for granted, more and more. It is given away when consumers blindly accept technology that appears to make their lives more fun. Privacy is a privilege that comes from having freedom, and freedom is something you have to work for on an everyday basis. Shouldn't we be more vigilant?

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

ISS: International Space Ship???

Interesting article, again linked from ./. It's about giving the International Space Station a new, real purpose by sending it to the moon.

I have more than a simple curiosity in this, since I am developing a (small) video-processing application for use on the Japan Kibo module on the ISS. One upcoming feature is to stream video data back to earth via a relay satellite, which poses the interesting problem of having only 45 minutes of satellite line-of-sight out of every 90. Transmission interruptions, interference, missing bits due to atmospheric phenomenon... wow, better have good error-correction built in!

Can you imagine what it would be like if the ISS were not parked in low earth orbit, but actually spinning around the moon? That would present some very interesting challenges, I'm sure.

But first, there are of course the logistics of moving 1,040,000 pounds of ISS the distance of roughly 250,000 miles from the earth to the moon. Just strap on some ion engines and slap together a steering module?