#397 Jan 20 2015 – Verizon’s Zombie Cookies

This week’s headline story: Verizon’s Zombie Cookies

zombie-cookiesJonathan Mayer, a computer scientist and lawyer at Stanford, is calling it the “Turn-Verizon Zombie Cookie” – user-tracking cookies that never die. Verizon’s UIDH tracking header that is attached to all web requests sent from Verizon phones, is being utilized by the tracking company Turn to track users online activities across devices and apps. Turn is sharing that information with dozens of major Web sites and ad networks to form a Web of non-consensual online tracking, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, a senior staff technologist at EFF, called it a “spectacular violation of Verizon users’ privacy” that’s made worse by Verizon’s failure to enable users to opt-out. He says it’s already having far-reaching consequences.

in other tech news…

  • Prominent Scientists Sign Letter of Warning About AI Risks [io9]The Future of Life Institute, a group that includes top tier scientists and tech industry giants has signed an open letter pushing for responsible oversight of artificial intelligence research in order to mitigate risks and ensure the “societal benefit” of the technology. The signatories of the open letter are not calling for a ban on AI research and development. Rather, they’re calling for responsible oversight to ensure that it works with humanity’s best interests in mind.
  • Car Being 3D-Printed at Detroit Auto Show [NewsFactor]The company Local Motors, which unveiled the Strati – the first 3D printed car last year, took it a step further and actually printed a new and improved version of the Strati live at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The hot-off-the-press Strati was being driven on the test track at the end of the week. “To our knowledge, it’s the first time cars have been made on the show floor here,” commented Local Motors CEO John Rogers.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Microsoft Fuming at Google Over Zero-Day Disclosure [NewsFactor]Microsoft is furious with Google over its revealing a major security hole in Windows, just days before Microsoft released a patch. “I think Google’s security engineers are being irresponsible in releasing proof-of-concept code — especially when they knew Microsoft was just a couple of days away from releasing the patch,” Graham Cluley, an independent security research analyst, said. “I cannot see how what Google did helps people stay safer online.”
  • ISIS Hacker Group Targets U.S. Military Command Accounts [NewsFactor]ISIS hackers took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. military’s Central Command and used the accounts to post pro ISIS propaganda.
  • Has Lizard Squad Been Caught? [NewsFactor]U.K. police believe that they have caught the hacker responsible for taking down both the Xbox and Playstation networks on Christmas day. An 18-year-old man living in northwest England has been arrested and several electronic and digital devices were seized. The hacker collective known as Lizard Squad took responsibility for both attacks.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Translate App Gets an Upgrade [NYTimes]Google Offering Real-Time Translation [NewsFactor]

    The Google Translate App is getting an upgrade. The app can now translate conversations on the fly, switching back and forth between languages depending on who is speaking. So, for example, a person could use the app as an interpreter in a French restaurant, translating your English dinner request into French for the waiter to understand, and the waiter’s French response back into English for you to understand. Not only that, but you can focus your phone’s camera on the French menu, and the phone display will show the menu in English.

  • Google Begins Test Roll Out for Project Ara Modular Phones [NewsFactor]Google is preparing to release its Ara Modular Phones to the public and the first country to get the phones will be Puerto Rico. The modular design of Ara phones is ideal for developing countries since it allows users to add phone features incrementally.
  • Google Sees Driverless Cars in Two to Five Years [NewsFactor]The head of self-driving cars for Google expects real people to be using them on public roads in two to five years. Chris Urmson says the cars would still be test vehicles, and Google would collect data on how they interact with other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Google Kisses Its Glass Goodbye — for Now [NewsFactor]Google is halting the sale of Google Glass, and moving the project from its Google X experimental labs to a division headed by Tony Fadell, founder of the smart thermostat company Nest. The future of Google’s augmented reality glasses will likely focus on professional applications. In it’s blog post, Google stated that it still has some work to do, “but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.”

and finally…

  • Firefox Update Includes Built-In Video Calling [NewsFactor]The new version of Firefox is bound to surprise users. It includes an integrated system for voice and video calling named Firefox Hello. According to Mozilla, Firefox Hello is “the first global communications system built directly into a browser.”

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