According to this unsourced report, the Belarusian mobile operators have cooperated with the country's secret police to provide a list of everyone who was in the vicinity of an anti-government demonstration; the spooks are now calling in everyone on the list to interview them about their involvement in political dissidence. I'd love to see a better-sourced version of this article, but it's technically possible for the operators to have logged every phone near a given tower at a given time.
This is one area where I really agree with Evgeny Morozov, who has written extensively about the risks that technology use poses to demonstrators: at present, mobile phones are not fit for purpose. Mobiles are too closed, the mobile operators too vulnerable to be considered safe enough for use against powerful hostile states. Unless your mobile-driven protest ends with the collapse of the state, it's all too likely that you and your friends will face dire reprisals.
It's one of the reasons I'm so anxious to see more free/open phone operating systems, which open up possibilities for IMEI spoofing, anonymizing tunnels through proxies, etc. But until there's widespread adoption of open handsets, your phone is eminently capable of finking you out.
Mobile operators rat out all demonstrators
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]