Microsoft Hint Skype Calls Can Be Intercepted & Handed to The NSA

Microsoft Hint Skype Calls Can Be Intercepted & Handed to The NSA
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 06:00 AM PDT
A recent statement by Microsoft on the National Security Agency (NSA), indirectly hints that any communication via Skype could be intercepted and given to the NSA.
In a blog post the company said it “[assumes] that all calls, whether over the Internet or by fixed line or mobile phone, will offer similar levels of privacy and security.”

In other words, Skype calls are no different to traditional phone calls made by a landline or cellphone. So the U.S goverment, through the PRISM program, can force Microsoft to hand over any Skype communication; something which they have always denied is technically possible.
Privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani says “They’re implying that until they can say more, all they’re going to say is ‘don’t assume Skype is different.’"
In a tweet, ACLU’s principal technologist and senior policy analyst Christopher Soghoian echoed Soltani’s thoughts: “Microsoft, a company with dozens of cryptographers, aims to offer same security and privacy for Internet calls as regular phones (aka none).”
In 2008, Skype was owned by eBay and claimed that due to “peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques,” it was impossible for them to comply with wiretap requests.
When Microsoft were asked to explain the sentence, a spokesperson said that when the company was last asked about that, it declined to comment and its position has not changed since.
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest that Microsoft has changed Skype’s architectuure making it possible to provide audio and video calls. In response to the allegations that they have actively helped the NSA and FBI, Microsoft released a long statement.
“To be clear, we do not provide any government with the ability to break the encryption, nor do we provide the government with the encryption keys,” Smith wrote. “When we are legally obligated to comply with demands, we pull the specified content from our servers where it sits in an unencrypted state, and then we provide it to the government agency.”
Microsoft has also sent a letter to the U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting that he get involved and allow them to reveal more details on how it responds to government requests. They have made requests to the Depatment of Justice, the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) but so far the court has not responded to Microsoft’s requests.
“We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information,” reads Smith’s blog post. “The United States has been a role model by guaranteeing a Constitutional right to free speech. We want to exercise that right. With U.S. Government lawyers stopping us from sharing more information with the public, we need the Attorney General to uphold the Constitution.”
Windows Phone 8 to Get Vine, Path & Flipboard
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 05:00 AM PDT
Windows users have a lot to look forward to these days. Not too long ago, Nokia unveiled its new high end phone the Lumia 1020, which has a ridiculously high resolution camera. While it probably won’t be the go-to phone of the average Windows Phone user, the device will certainly have its takers. Then there is the news of Surface RT price cuts. Those two things alone make it good times to be on the Windows side.
Windows Phone 8
For Windows Phone 8 users, there’s even more reason to smile: new apps – which have already proven to be popular on other platforms – are coming. And, unlike the Game of Thrones Starks’ house mantra about winter, the chances are that the wait for these apps are not going to be as tedious and tortuous. The user experience on a Windows Phone 8 might just be a totally different matter, though.
In any case, we are set to see Vine, Path, and Flipboard on Windows Phone 8 devices soon.
I say soon, although news aggregator Flipboard has not revealed any info as to when the app will be ready. We do know, however, that Flipboard has a huge following on iOS and Android.
As for Path, I used to hear about it more, and while it does have its fair share of users (not to mention funding), it does not seem to stand out as much. Still, they are more than alive, and they are working directly with Nokia to bring the app to Windows phones. In a blog post, the guys at Path highlighted their focus on the new supercamera Nokia phone, so this should be an interesting collaboration.
Last, we have Vine, the relatively new kid on the block. Again, details about its arrival on Windows Phone 8 are not out, but the fact has been confirmed.
In other news, Instagram is staying out of the fray, so perhaps, Vine will come out on top with this move.
Intel Involved in Making Better 3D Movies
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 04:00 AM PDT
The Intel Corporation is tapping a new business opportunity in South Korea and it is not anything to do with supplying more mobile chips to Samsung Electronics Co. It is actually helping to make better three-dimensional movies.
The Korean animation film market lacks the technological finesse of their Western counterparts, this explains why science fiction movies are not popular locally or form a part of the big, global Korean hits.  But the global chip maker is testing the market, by providing its high-end processor chips and cloud computing technology to Dexter Studios to make Mr. Go, a new Korean movie that features a 3-D gorilla character named Ling Ling.
intel 3D
While computer graphics are used in a variety of areas, the data storage capacity needed to make detailed computer graphics like those used in natural disaster movies or Sci-Fi movies are enormous, experts say.
"For the depiction of a realistic move of a big wave, each and every drop of water is drawn through detailed and complicated calculations of an equation," H.S. Lee, president of Intel Korea said during a news conference in Seoul recently. "The same goes for the movement of an animal’s fur."  Dexter Digital, the film studio's CG unit, says Mr. Go's Ling Ling comes with 2 million to 3 million strands of fur.  "Without the right hardware performance, it would have been impossible to make the movie," said Lee Yoon-suk, the planning and marketing director at Dexter Studios.  The company used supercomputers that ran on Intel's Xeon E5 processors to make the film.  The audience will get to decide for themselves now the movie has been released, if they find the baseball-playing, computer-generated gorilla endearing enough to make it a summer hit movie.  The movie will be available in other Asian countries later this month.  Intel Korea's Mr. Lee said the company plans to continue cooperating with Dexter Studios, noting that the CG business will develop into a key industry for South Korea in the future.
Xbox One & PS4 Pre-Orders Double Previous Generations
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 03:00 AM PDT
For all the fuss about which next-generation console is better, both Xbox One & PS4 are actually selling like hot cakes.
Last week Amazon ran out of launch bundles for both gaming systems and yesterday it was reported that pre-order numbers are already double those of previous generation consoles.
According to the CEO of games publisher Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, some retailers are reporting Xbox One and PlayStation 4 pre-order numbers that are double those of predecessors Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Guillemot did not name the retailers in question, but said they were all receiving more orders than before.
Next-Gen-Controllers-640x353
Both next-generation consoles are currently sold out at Best Buy and GameStop, while Amazon ran out of day-one editions last week.  Amazon announced that standard editions were still available for pre-order, but without a clear delivery date. It is yet unclear whether the stock for both consoles' launch editions will be replenished.
PS4 beating Xbox One?
But even if both consoles are selling so well, it seems PlayStation 4 still has the edge, at least according to Amazon's best sellers chart.
The PS4 Standard Edition was still in the top 5 best sold products in the video game category on Friday, while the same edition of the Xbox One is nowhere in sight in the top 20 category, although it is available for pre-order.
It remains to be seen if this ranking will hold for long, but what's certain is that the PlayStation 4 has been a more popular choice with gamers so far. Gaming industry analysts say the more affordable price tag, its technical specs and the overall more favorable publicity since launch have gone a long way to helping Sony's new console secure a solid lead.
Both Xbox One & PS4 will launch this holidays season. Microsoft will release the new console in 21 countries in November, for a retail price of $499 in North America. Sony has not officially revealed a launch date, but the new PlayStation will retail for $399.
Have you already pre-ordered you next-generation console? Which one did you get and why? Let us know in the comments below.
Facial Recognition Method Reads Vein Patterns
Posted: 19 Jul 2013 02:00 AM PDT
Facial recognition methods are generally regarded as a pretty reliable method of biometric identification, but if you've seen one too many Mission: Impossible episodes, you'll know that they are not by any means failproof.
However, a new facial recognition method developed by researchers with India's Jadavpur University brings a unique take on traditional facial ID system: it can identify someone based on their face's blood vessel patterns.
Facial Recognition Method Reads Vein Patterns
Apparently vein patterns are as unique as one's fingerprint, but a lot tougher to duplicate, so security specialists have begun looking at ways of using these patterns for identification systems for a while now. Many palm and fingerprint scanners on the market are already able to analyze vein patterns, even from a distance, with the help of infrared technology.
The same kind of technology was used by Indian scientists when developing their facial vein pattern identification system.
By using a thermal imaging camera, the system performs an infrared scan of a person's face. The resulting image is then processed and analyzed by a computer, being run through a special algorithm that can detect all the veins and arteries, down to the smallest capillaries.
The system has an impressive accuracy rate of 97% and according to scientists, it is virtually impossible to foil, unlike other biometric systems that are based on fingerprint or eye scanning.
Fabricating a realistic mask that can accurately simulate another person's facial pattern is almost impossible. Moreover, no matter how good the mask is, the infrared camera would still detect the imposter's own blood vessel patterns, researchers explained.
The impressive accuracy rate of this method makes it ideal for high-security systems. For the best results, scientists suggest using this method together with other forms of identification such as photo ID, PIN codes, security cards, etc.
What do you think of this method of identification based on facial vein patterns? Is it as reliable as it sounds?
Microsoft Hint Skype Calls Can Be Intercepted & Handed to The NSA Microsoft Hint Skype Calls Can Be Intercepted & Handed to The NSA Reviewed by Multi Level Marketing on 4:11 PM Rating: 5

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