Archive for August, 2013

http://www.today.com/tech/how-youre-tracked-digitally-all-day-what-you-can-do-6C10810402
Safety or behavior pattern recognition? 

Our daily habits — when we wake up, how we get to work, what we like to watch when we get home — are being tracked by dozens of interconnected systems, from cell carriers to traffic cameras. Together, they could form a picture of your day in disturbingly high fidelity.

It’s not just high-priority targets and would-be terrorists that leave a digital trail as they go about their business — millions of Americans each produce gigabytes of data associated with themselves just by walking down the street, browsing the Internet, and using their mobile phone. PRISM and XKeyscore may be in the news, but we’ve been tracked by other means for a long time.

As a demonstration, TODAY followed NBC News producer Robin Oelkers during a normal weekday, noting the many times when his ordinary actions placed him on the grid.

It began as soon as he woke up, checking emails and Facebook on his phone or laptop while getting ready for work — any number of servers took note that his account began a session between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

By logging in with his home Internet connection, Robin’s IP address and its location are also automatically recorded at any site he uses.

NBC producer Robin Oelkers walks his dog while on his iPhone, which, said our expert, is "basically a tracking device."

TODAY
NBC producer Robin Oelkers walks his dog while on his iPhone, which, said our expert, is “basically a tracking device.”

Meanwhile, in order to have a signal, his phone must be in contact with at least one cell tower, but may be monitored by several in case as he begins to move. These towers can be used to calculate his position to within a city block or two.

“Your mobile phone is basically a tracking device,” said Nick Thompson, editor of NewYorker.com, in an interview that aired Thursday. “(It’s) taking information about where you are, and sending it to lots and lots of companies.”

When it comes to tracking, you don’t have to log in via a Web browser or set up your phone a certain way to tell the world to start following your trail. Recently, Apple was caught keeping records of every wireless network iPhones encountered. And several phone makers were found in 2012 to be including a secret back door on their phones capable of reporting every touch, every byte, and every conversation to anyone with the right software.

Leaving the house, Robin enters the view of the public, and therefore the view of any number of traffic and security cameras. Many of these cameras will passively record his license plate, using special software to convert the image into numbers and letters. The make, model, and color of his car is also recorded in some situations.

Oelker's GPS tracks his position constantly.

TODAY
Robin’s GPS tracks his position constantly.

Other cameras capture his face and appearance, associating him with locations and routes. Such tools are invaluable to police tracking down a fugitive, but in the meantime Robin’s face and license may be stored for days, years, or even indefinitely, depending on local laws or business practices.

Of course, all this indirect surveillance is redundant when Robin’s car has been tracking his position constantly with its GPS system. Depending on how new the car is, that route information might be backed up to the cloud for easy retrieval, or even collated (anonymously) with other cars’ paths to help analyze traffic patterns….

Has the world gone mad?

By Kate Kelland | Reuters

A corner of west London will see culinary and scientific history made on Monday when scientists cook and serve up the world’s first lab-grown beef burger.

The in-vitro burger, cultured from cattle stem cells, the first example of what its creator says could provide an answer to global food shortages and help combat climate change, will be fried in a pan and tasted by two volunteers.


The world’s first lab-grown burger was created from cow stem cells in the lab of Dutch scientist Mark Post at a cost of $330,000.

The burger is the result of years of research by Dutch scientist Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, who is working to show how meat grown in petri dishes might one day be a true alternative to meat from livestock.

The meat in the burger has been made by knitting together around 20,000 strands of protein that has been cultured from cattle stem cells in Post’s lab.

The tissue is grown by placing the cells in a ring, like a donut, around a hub of nutrient gel, Post explained.

To prepare the burger, scientists combined the cultured beef with other ingredients normally used in burgers, such as salt, breadcrumbs and egg powder. Red beet juice and saffron have been added to bring out its natural colors.

“Our burger is made from muscle cells taken from a cow. We haven’t altered them in any way,” Post said in a statement on Friday. “For it to succeed it has to look, feel and hopefully taste like the real thing.”

VIABLE ALTERNATIVE?

Success, in Post’s view, would mean not just a tasty burger, but also the prospect of finding a sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to meat production.

According to a 2006 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), industrialized agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to climate change, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation and biodiversity decline.

The report, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow, said the meat industry contributes about 18 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions and this proportion is expected to grow as consumers in fast-developing countries such as China and India eat more meat.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), annual meat production is projected to rise to 376 million metric tons by 2030 from 218 million metric tons in 1997-1999, and demand from a growing world population is expected to rise beyond that.

Post cites FAO figures suggesting demand for meat is expected to increase by more than two-thirds by 2050.

Animal welfare campaigners applauded the arrival of cultured meat and predicted a great future for it.

“In vitro technology will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign group said in a statement. “It will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water and make the food supply safer.”

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21345730
Question: Whose signed a contract with the private company giving your dog the microchip?

Hypothesis: Change the word dog for human and we have surveillance state at it’s best (or worst). By getting people used to RFID chips in their pets will make them think less about putting in their children or themselves. It will either be sold so that your children don’t go wondering off or immigration, or the whole ‘terrorism’ hype and we need to make sure your not a terrorist for when G4S scans you!