True Video Lies

This is a longer version of a piece I recorded for the BBC World Service. The other day my wife lost her phone out shopping. We narrowed it down to either the supermarket or the taxi. So we took her shopping receipt to the supermarket and asked to see their CCTV to confirm she still …

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Journalists’ Responsibility Is To The Truth, Not The Cops

But why the hell not? Shafer argues that this puts the next reporter in a
risky position: Will sources trust him or see him an an agent of the law? I
think the reporter who does not follow Eichenwald’s lead is in a
riskier position: of allowing and thus even abetting crimes to be
committed. And what does that tell the public about our role in our
communities? What kind of citizens are we then? Now to the third,
inevitable illustration. I wish that On the Media had asked Eichenwald
about Judy Miller and related cases, for the parallels are clear. She knew
a crime had been committed and she went

The Tilted Software Piracy Debate

Software piracy is a tricky topic, that requires some skepticism on the part of the reporter, though the media rarely show signs of that in their coverage. Here’s another example from last week’s Microsoft press conference in Indonesia, one of the prime culprits when it comes to counterfeit software: JAKARTA (AFP) – Software piracy is …

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Indian Slumdwellers Protest Biometric Scanning of Impersonators. I Think

Who says that privacy is only an issue in the First World? According to The Times of India residents of Palsora and Lal Bahadur Shastri colonies have demonstrated against “alleged irregularities in the biometric test, which is being carried out in the slum areas to check “impersonation at any level.” The problem, it seems, is that people …

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The Big Credit Card Theft

Trying to make sense of the massive theft of credit card numbers at CardSystems, ‘a leading provider of end-to-end payment processing solutions focused exclusively on meeting the needs of small to mid-sized merchants’, in which information on more than 40 million credit cards may have been stolen. CardSystems itself has issued only a brief statement …

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ZabaSearch, A New People Search Engine

Here’s a new — and perhaps scary — way to find out about people in the U.S.: ZabaSearch.com . It throws up details of most folk in the U.S., often including their birthdate, along with links to premium services, such as background checks. The search engine plows through nearly 30,000 free databases.

Blink, Diallo And The Serpico Blog

I re-watched the excellent Serpico recently: A classic movie that should be watched back-to-back with The Corporation. Hunting the web for more on Serpico the man I found he has his own blog: the Official Frank Serpico Blog. I find that a pretty amazing example of how the Internet, and in particular blogging, has changed …

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Fingerprint Readers And Baths

Something I’ve noticed about biometric fingerprint readers. They don’t work well after a bath. Why is that? Are our fingers different after a bath? I mean, they look different — all wrinkly, for one thing — but why does that mess up the fingerprint reader? I do my best thinking in the bath, and it’s …

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How Secure Is Bluetooth?

Could people use Bluetooth to access your phone and steal confidential data? Apparently, yes. A company specialising in security and encryption, London-based A.L. Digital Ltd, says it has discovered “serious flaws” in the way that some Bluetooth gadgets authenticate connect to other Bluetooth gadgets and share information. In two separate flaws, the company says: The SNARF …

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Update: Congressman Wrestle Spammers to the Ground

Here’s more on my earlier posting about congress, spam and a new survey. Here’s the survey link. “In general our study suggests that consumers want government to provide greater protection against spammers,” commented Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Ponemon Institute. “We hope our joint study provides insight on consumers’ concerns about the growing …

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