Stalking Made Easy

iFind

If you’re an MIT student and like to track down people, you’ll want to take a gander here. A group developed a Java application that allows you to locate your friends on the campus. It does this by measuring the strength of nearby wireless access points and using that information, it can calculate your position. This is made possible in part due to the really dense network of hotspots that MIT has (apparently around 2 800). It should be accurate to within a few meters. Neat!

Obviously, this program’s only available for MIT students since it is programmed exclusively to their wireless network, but the idea could be easily ported for other areas I’d imagine. (Think about the possibilities in some of those metropolitans getting covered by mesh networks…)

Skype Lie-Detector

This one’s quite the doozy. Skype’s going to be offering a lie-detector add-on to their popular service. Here’s what Paul Amery, director of Skype developer programme had to say about the add-on:

This is a really neat application, and the kind of thing we want to see more of. The Kishkishâ„¢ team has managed perfectly to integrate this unique application to meet the needs of our clients. Lie Detector is the latest in a variety of products in our premium add-on program (Extras for Skype) which greatly enhance the Skypeâ„¢ communication experience. Extras are all about helping end users Do More with Skype, and this will certainly encourage it

Well, I’m not quite sure that’s exactly what I was thinking. If anything something like this will only serve to raise suspicion and increase paranoia in our already fragile environment. And it’s not like it’s fool-proof. Just read about how it works from the Kishkish website:

The KishKish â„¢ Lie Detector is an innovative and unique software product which analyses audio streams over a Skypeâ„¢ call in real time and illustrates the stress levels of the other person during the conversation

Well, that doesn’t sound so much like a lie-detector. Sure stress is one part of telling a lie, but basing it on that alone? Maybe talking to the other person gets me stressed… I only hope people don’t actually take this seriously. Lots of relations are going to be broken I’d imagine. 😉

Cellphone Mic Tapping

The FBI’s at it again. Now, they can tap a cellphone’s microphone to transmit audio to them by installing a small piece of software on your phone. (Obviously without your knowledge; that would defeating the purpose now wouldn’t it?) It was apparently used against some New York mafia members. Of note, Nextel, Samsung and Motorola RAZRs (yeah the whole 50 million lot of you) are especially vulnerable to these software downloads and your phone doesn’t even have to be turned on. I personally don’t care if they have the time to tap into my phone to hear me complaining about university, but you have to wonder: does it use my minutes?

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