Browsed by
Month: February 2016



I ran across a story in Sophos’ excellent Naked Security blog about Follower.  This is a social network art project where you can apply to be followed for a day by giving the project your phone’s location data for the day.  At the end of your day being followed you get a surveillance photo as a souvenir.  I imagine the reasons why people would want to be followed are as varied as people.  The techniques for accomplishing it, however, are simple to the point of boring.

I have many questions about this, but let’s start with those about how the location data sharing is protected from eavesdropping or theft.  The artist who created this keeps saying that it’s “HTTPS”.  This apparently means the same thing that “Anti-Virus” meant in the ’90s: security is covered, nothing to see here, move along.  I sincerely hope there’s more to Follower’s security posture than an SSL certificate.  But in the long run, what difference does it make?

One of the points of this project — I hope — is to open a discussion of how open our digital selves are to being surveilled or interfered-with, due our technology’s non-stop spewing of the data it accumulates in our pockets, on our desks and nightstands, in our cars.  We need to become more mindful of this and a project like Follower is possibly an ice-breaker to that.



Is your Wearable Comfortable?

Is your Wearable Comfortable?


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown
–Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2

Uneasy rests the wrist fitted with a Fitbit

This is not just about the trouble users are having getting detailed body-performance data out of BodyMedia, which announced last month it’s shutting down customer access to their data as a result of their acquisition by JawBone.  But there’s only one way that users could have such trouble now, and it’s because all that data is in the hands of the hardware maker in the first place.  Trusting the company that sold you a fitness monitor never to change its business model, never to be sold, never to fail… does this sound insane to you yet?

So OK, BodyMedia was a relatively small player, but don’t think bigger is better.  Know what the BIGGEST MERGER EVER was as of the end of the twentieth century?


Electronic Death

Electronic Death

Do you have a will? Of course you do. Good.

Does it cover all your online accounts?  Social media?  Financial?  Servers and hosting and domain registration?

I didn’t think so.

Make an electronic will, and make sure you keep it up to date.  Don’t make your death harder on your loved ones than it will already be.

via BoingBoing