Unlimited Mobile Cell Phone News and Reviews


  • NYT: NSA moniters, graphs some US Citizens' social activity with collected metadata

    Just how does the NSA piece together all that metadata it collects? Thanks to “newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials,” the New York Times today shed light on how the agency plots out the social activity and connections of those it’s spying on. Up until 2010, the NSA only traced and analyzed the metadata of emails and phone calls from foreigners, but anything from US Citizens in the chains would create stopgaps. Snowden-provided documents note the policy shifted around late in that year to allow for the inclusion of Americans’ metadata in analysis. An NSA representative explained to the Times that, “all data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.”

    During “large-scale graph analysis,” collected metadata is cross-referenced with commercial, public and “enrichment data” (some examples included GPS locations, social media accounts and banking info) to create a contact chain tied to any foreigner under review and scope out its activity. One of the of the main set of ingestion tools goes by the name Mainway. The Times also highlights a secret report, dubbed “Better Person Centric Analysis” as well, that bunches the data into 164 searchable “relationship types” and 94 “entity types” (email and IP addresses, along with phone numbers). Other documents highlight that during 2011 it took in over 700 million phone records daily on its own, along with an “unnamed American service provider ” that began funneling in an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records that August. In addition to that, Snowden’s leak of the NSA’s classified 2013 budget cites it as hoping to capture “20 billion ‘record events’ daily” that would be available for review by the agency’s analysts in an hour’s time. As you might expect, the number US Citizens’ that’ve had their info been bunched up into all of this currently remains a secret — national security, of course. Extended details are available at the source links.

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    Via: The Verge

    Source: New York Times

  • The FTC wants your thoughts on proposed patent troll investigation

    The FTC wants your thoughts on its proposed patent troll investigation

    Here’s a question. Forced to decide, would you rather have a patent troll breathing down your neck, or cuddle up with an entity just as ghoulish that’s living under a bridge? The FTC wants your thoughts on the matter, even if its description isn’t quite so… colorful. The agency is putting out a call for public commentary on its proposed investigation of patent assertion entities, which have come under federal scrutiny as of late. Key to the proposal, the FTC would request information from 25 patent trolls to learn non-public information such as their corporate structure, patent holdings, means of acquiring patents, the cost of enforcing them and the earnings that the trolls generate. Accordingly, the agency hopes to “develop a better understanding of how they impact innovation and competition.”

    For comparison sake, the FTC also proposes an information request from approximately 15 companies in the wireless communication sector, which would include manufacturers and other licensing entities. You’re more than welcome to answer the bridge question in the comments, but if you want to contact the FTC directly, you’ll find everything you need after the break.

    [Image credit: Tristan Schmurr / Flickr]

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    Source: FTC

  • Palo Alto to require wiring for fast EV chargers in new homes

    Palo Alto to require wiring for EV fast chargers in new homes

    Palo Alto is an ideal place for electric vehicles when it’s full of wealthy, tech-savvy executives. It only makes sense, then, that the city council has voted in favor of a proposal requiring that new homes include wiring for speedy Level 2 EV chargers. The mandate should add less than $200 to a home’s price, and could represent a bargain for future residents — they’d have to pay four times more for a retrofit, Mayor Greg Scharff says. Established locals may also catch a break, as the council wants to simplify the process of getting an EV charger permit. The moves aren’t very bold — many in the area could buy a Model S with spare change — but they may start a trend that spreads to less affluent regions.

    [Image credit: Steve Jurvetson, Flickr]

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    Via: VentureBeat

    Source: San Jose Mercury News

  • Steam Controller in use: game developers sound off on the beta version's highs and lows, how it feels

    Steam Controller in use game developers sound off on the beta version's highs and lows, how it feels

    We’ve only known about the Steam Controller for 24 hours, but it turns out a variety of developers already got a chance to put the controller to use ahead of the lucky 300 beta participants later this year. The devs we spoke with didn’t use the final format of the controller, but the non-touchscreen beta form seen above: four large buttons stand out in place of the clickable touchscreen panel (planned for the final version of Steam Controller). It’s the version that will ship to those aforementioned 300 beta participants later this year, and it’s the version that Valve is showing game developers ahead of anyone else. Follow us beyond the break and find out what they had to say.%Gallery-slideshow99391%

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