Thursday, August 29, 2013

Communicating via Brain Wave Over the Internet

Scientists at University of Washington have connected the brains of two subjects over the Internet. Subject one sees the screen of a video game, subject two, in a different building, has the video game controller. The two wore caps that sent signals to each other over the Internet and were able to play the game successfully.

I love that this story comes in the same week as major news outlets and Twitter are unavailable because the Syrian Electronic Army has hijacked their domains. Seems like directly connecting your brain to the Internet is a pretty bad idea...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/uw-scientists-claim-interface-is-first-to-directly-transmit-signals-between-human-brains/2013/08/28/0bcbb94e-0feb-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

Scientists at the University of Washington claim that they have transmitted a second impulse over the Internet from one researcher to another, allowing one to remotely stimulate the other’s hand simply by thinking. The university’s announcement Monday described a pilot study in which Rajesh Rao imagined moving his finger, sending an electrical signal across campus to his colleague Andrea Stocco, whose own finger moved in response.

image: http://tech.gaeatimes.com/index.php/archive/scientist-tweets-using-only-his-mind/

How Hackers Hijacked the NY Times

Decent article on Washington Post describing "Domain Name System Attacks" - commonly referred to as domain name hijacking, in this case. Hackers target the domain name registrar, and redirect any request for "nytimes.com" to a different IP address.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/how-the-syrian-electronic-army-and-other-hacker-groups-are-attacking-news-web-sites/2013/08/28/bda8f464-1032-11e3-8cdd-bcdc09410972_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

The attackers were able to disrupt the Web site by accessing the records of an Australian firm, Melbourne IT, which registers domain names, such as nytimes.com, and stores the directory records for those Web sites.
The hackers then altered the information on these records, which allowed them to prevent users from seeing the Times’ Web site. In some cases, users were also redirected to a page that had the Syrian Electronic Army’s logo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MLK and Free Speech

The Washington Post has a great article on the reaction to Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech, an example of the importance of free speech and privacy. The FBI set out to investigate and then neutralize the civil rights leader.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mlks-speech-attracted-fbis-intense-attention/2013/08/27/31c8ebd4-0f60-11e3-8cdd-bcdc09410972_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

After Martin Luther King’s 1963 speech, FBI began spying on civil rights leader
Initially approved in October 1963 by then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the FBI’s wiretap and clandestine microphone campaign against King lasted until his assassination in April 1968. It was initially justified to probe King’s suspected, unproven links to the Communist Party, morphing into a crusade to “neutralize” and discredit the civil rights leader.

image: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html