Google Gets Defensive About Google Glass Myths

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Google’s got its PR panties in a bunch again about its fancy $1,500 face computer. You know, the one that spawned the word Glasshole and for more than a few good reasons.So apparently the Biggest Brother in tech isn’t too busy NSA-proofing your Gmail to reassure the world one more time that no, Glassholes aren’t rich, dorky, privacy-thrashing creeps. They’re just everyday people, like me and you. Normal with a capital N.Right. What Google said.Related: 10 Reasons Why Google Glass Is DoomedThe Glass team has published a prickly post titled “10 Google Glass Myths” on its Google+ page to combat (more like froth at the mouth about) those nasty misconceptions going around about the controversial wearable tech.Here’s a look at the myths Google officially doesn’t want circulating about its often mocked and hated on baby, plus what we think about them.  “Myth 1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world”This is where Google ever so gently reminds us that Glass comes in mighty handy during “Big moments in life,” like “concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view.”These precious moments, Google says, “shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on.” Just think, rocking Glass saves you the pain in the neck of having to stare down at your “computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you.” And, hey, don’t forget that “Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be.” Not when Google or the NSA want it to be.  Yes, nostalgic Glass peeps, you can count on trusty Glass to capture life’s super special memorable moments, like when you’re injecting Botox into a patient’s forehead crinkles or when your future Glasshole crowns during childbirth.“Myth 2 — Glass is always on and recording everything”Just stop already, you silly paranoid people. Google Glass isn’t that much of an Orwellian overachiever. It obviously can’t be on all the time. Not with such a weak battery.  Again, “Just like your cell phone, the Glass screen is off by default,” Google reminds us like the forgetful children that we are. Sure, Glass records for short, 10-second blips by default, but Glassholes can and often do record for longer, for up to 45 minutes, actually, until the battery peters out.Oh, and please don’t bug Glass Explorers to ask if they’re recording you. It really ruffles Google’s feathers.“So next time you’re tempted to ask an Explorer if he’s recording you, ask yourself if you’d be doing the same with your phone,” Google implores us. “Chances are your answers will be the same.” Yeah, shame on you, pesky person who cherishes their privacy. Keep your nosy questions to yourself.Related: 6 Ways Google Glass Can Supercharge Your Work Flow“Myth 3 – Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks”Nope. They’re not actually an elite #ifihadglass army of nerdy Explorers that Google cherry-picked. Ok, fine, 8,000 technically are, reportedly including no names like Newt Gingrich, Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Smith and Soulja Boy.Google seems to want us to believe that Glass wearers are everyday average people. People from “all walks of life,” like “parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors.”And “because of Glass they use technology less, because they’re using it more efficiently.” We’re not sure how wearing a computer on your mug qualifies as using tech less, but okay.“Myth 4 – Glass is ready for prime time”Indeed Google Glass is merely a “prototype,” one that Google admits in the post has required nine software patches and three hardware updates throughout the last 11 months.  “Myth 5 — Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things)“Nope. That’s not true,” Google asserts. We’ll give them that facial recognition isn’t in Glass’s foray. Not yet, at least.But “dodgy things,” and plenty of them, are. Ahem, stalking people you think are hot. Watching porn (and making your own). Let’s just stop there.Related: The NYPD Is Testing Google Glass for Patrol Purposes Myth 6 — Glass covers your eye(s)Does a sneaker cover your foot? Certainly not! Google completely lost us on this “myth” slasher, snapping “Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it?” Ah, the old don’t-knock-it-until-you-try-it number. Most original.Seriously, though, Google wants to be crystal clear on this, arguing sniveling semantics, like so: “The Glass screen is deliberately above the right eye, not in front or over it.” Why? So Glassholes can still actively make eye contact with others and engage with the world around them. Of course.Wait. What’s eye contact, again?Myth 7 – Glass is the perfect surveillance deviceExactly. Everyone knows that tracking devices that you can insert directly in the eye or have people swallow are better.Besides, Google says “If someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button.”See? It’s kind of your fault if you don’t notice someone — or someone’s spyware — creeping on you with Glass. Jeez, you really should pay better attention.Myth 8 – Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford itSure, at $1500 a pop, Google, which just awarded a $3.5 million bonus to its chief business officer, knows Glass is “out of of the range of many people,” especially during these lean economic times.Just because they’re a little expensive, though, “doesn’t mean that people who have it [Google Glass] are wealthy and entitled.” Especially not the entitled part.Not every Glasshole has had to cough up the cash for theirs either, Google says. Glass is so pricey that some have had to pony up the money for them on “Kickstarter and Indiegogo.”Other lucky eyeborgs received their Glass as a “gift.” Um, from who? Psssst. We’ll take a pair, if you’re giving them away (not that we didn’t just spoil our chances with this post or anything).Related: Google Issues Some Pretty Darn Hilarious Do’s and Don’tsMyth 9 – Glass is banned… EVERYWHEREThis is the part where Google pulled out the big guns, the screaming and shouting of the internet — ALL CAPS!Stop stressing that whole privacy thing and leave it to the people to decide where and when it’s appropriate to use Glass seems to be the dead horse Google’s beating here. “Since cell phones came onto the scene, folks have been pretty good at creating etiquette and the requisite (and often necessary) bans around where someone can record (locker rooms, casino floors, etc.).” Yeah, and at the urinals at Google conferences, too.Team Google goes on to sternly wrist slap “would-be banners,” warning that Glass “can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.”Now you don’t want Glassholes tripping and falling at your fine establishment, now do you, business owners? After all, they just might record their whoopsy-daisy and use it as evidence when suing the pants off of you.  Clearly Google’s not messing around. Throwing up the safety red flag is no joke, one its all-star legal team probably doesn’t want you taking lightly.Myth 10 – Glass marks the end of privacy     Don’t panic! Calm down already! Google Glass is not the demise of your right to privacy. Cameras, cell phones and YouTube are. Privacy schmivacy.Google invites you to travel back in time with it for a moment and recall the time when “cameras first hit the consumer market in the late 19th century,” when “people declared an end to privacy.” People overreacted and banned the scary, newfangled machines “in parks, at national monuments and on beaches.”Bottom line: Like it or not, Google Glass or not, cameras are here to stay and they’ll capture and share the good (“everyday human miracles”), the bad (“our favorite cat videos”) and the ugly (“environmental destruction”), and there really isn’t much you can do about it. 8 min readcenter_img March 24, 2014 Register Now »last_img read more

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Researchers design AnonPrint for safer QRcode mobile payment ACSC 2018 Conference

first_imgLast month, researchers from USA, China, and Hong Kong published a paper in collaboration, titled as ‘Beware of Your Screen: Anonymous Fingerprinting of Device Screens for Off-line Protection’. This paper, presented at The 34th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, highlights a new technique to enhance the security protection of QR-based payment, without undermining the payer’s privacy. The technique used by the researchers takes advantage of the unique luminance unevenness of a payer’s screen that is introduced by the imperfect manufacture process. The paper also presents a way to ensure that even when the payer’s digital wallet has compromised, an unauthorized payment cannot succeed. Besides this, the paper also takes into consideration the privacy issues that may arise if the screen’s features were naively deployed to authenticate the payer; as it could be misused by the vendors to link one’s different purchases together. To tackle this, the researchers have presented ‘AnonPrint’ that obfuscates the phone screen during each payment transaction. QR-code mobile payment systems are used by almost everyone today, including banks, service providers, and other commercial organizations. These payment systems are deployed solely using software without any hardware support. The paper highlights that in the absence of hardware support, a users wallet ‘can be vulnerable to an Os-level adversary’ which could be misused to generate a user’s payment tokens. To overcome this adversary, the researchers have demonstrated a method as a second factor authentication mechanism in the form of the physical features of a mobile’s screen. The research takes advantage of the taried luminance levels of the pixels on the screen (which occurs due to the flaws in the manufacturing process) and can be used to uniquely characterize the screen. An advantage of this method is that, since the adversary cannot observe the physical features of the screen the physical fingerprint cannot be stolen even when the OS is fully compromised. Also, this second-factor authentication is fool-proof even when the secret key for generating QR codes is stolen or when a user’s phone has been fully compromised by the adversary. How is Anonymous screen Fingerprinting carried out? In order to enable service providers to utilize the screen to enhance security protection as well as preserve users privacy, the researchers have designed a new technique called ‘AnonPrint’. AnonPrint randomly generates visual one- time masks which is a pixel pattern with dots set to various brightness levels to obfuscate the distinguishable features of a user’s screen. The technique randomly creates a smooth textured pattern for each transaction (this pattern is also known to the provider), and displays a pattern as the background of QR code to disarrange the brightness of a screen, in line with the screen’s real-world physical properties i.e. the neighboring dots are correlated and the levels of brightness change smoothly. This will hide the physical properties of a screen, and the party that knows the mask, like the payment service provider, can verify whether the features collected from the protected screen are related to the authorized device or not. Here is an overview of how the system works: First, the user needs to submit the original screen fingerprint of their device to the payment provider when they open an account. The wallet app is modified to synchronize a secret random seed with the provider. This seed could be achieved through hashing the time for the payment together with a shared secret using a cryptographic hash function (e.g., SHA-256). This duo then bootstraps a pseudo random number generator (PRNG) each time when the wallet app needs to provide each party a sequence of random numbers for mask generation. The mask is displayed as the background for displaying the QR payment token, from which the POS scanner extracts the obfuscated screen fingerprint in addition to decoding the QR code, finally passing the information to the payment provider. The provider retrieves the shared secret and the original screen fingerprint using the claimed ID. Next, the same mask used by the payer is re-constructed and used with the with the original ngerprint as inputs for synthesizing a new obfuscated fingerprint. This is compared with the fingerprint  from the payer’s screen and the transaction can be approved the similarity of these two prints is above a certain threshold and other security checks are completed. How does AnonPrint obfuscate the screen? AnonPrint creates a ‘mask’, to hide the screen’s hardware fingerprint for every payment transaction. Such a mask is automatically generated by a digital wallet app, seeding a PRNG with a random number synchronized with the payment service provider. To obfuscate this hardware fingerprint and to maintain a screen’s realistic look, the researchers performed the following steps: (1) They first performed a ‘Random zone selection’, in which they produced a 180*108 pure white (with all pixels set to 255) image as the background and randomly selected from the image 20 mutually disjoint zones, each of size 16*16. (2) Next, came the ‘Dot darkening’ step.  From each zone, they randomly chose 3 pixels and set their pixel value to a random number between 0 to 100. (3) The team then performed Smoothing in which for every zone, AnonPrint blurs it using Gaussian Smoothing that , “smoothes out” the dark color of the selected pixels to its neighboring pixels. (4) Finally, they performed ‘Resizing’ where the mask image is resized and scaled to a 1800*1080 matrix whose values range from 220 to 255. The size of this image is iden- tical to the original fingerprint. Each user needs to register to the payment provider with an image of their unprotected screen when all pixels are set to the maximum gray-scale. During the payment, an image of a masked screen is used to authenticate the payer done on the payment service provider’s side by reconstructing the mask using the shared secret, and then obfuscate the fingerprint for comparing with the image from the vendor. Results and Discussion The researchers conducted various experiments in which they collected 100 smartphones- including iPhone, Samsung and many others.  All 100 phones were used to understand the effectiveness of the screen fingerprint in identifying the device. 50 phones were used to evaluate the anonymity protection and the effectiveness of AnonPrint separately.  iPhone 6s was used to capture images for screen fingerprinting. They implemented an Android application to display QR code and obfuscate a screen using masks derived from given random numbers for anonymous payment. To collect the fingerprints from each device, they displayed a QR code without obfuscation, and then continue to show 5 different masks on the screen with the same code. Each time, they took a picture from the screen and used the image to extract fingerprints. Their experiment concluded that for 88.75% of transactions, the vendors can accurately identify other transactions from the same customer, by simply looking at the features of their screens. Their experiment also proved that Anon Print indeed breaks vendors’ capability of linking screen fingerprint and that the overhead introduced by AnonPrint (only 50ms) is small for the offline payment. Fingerprint verification takes 2.4 seconds on average to be completed. You can head over to the paper for a detailed explanation on every experiment conducted to check fingerprint accuracy, anonymity protection, fingerprint verification and much more. The research results look promising and it will be interesting to see some potential implementation in the QR-payment systems of today. Head over to the paper for more insights on this news. Read Next NeurIPS 2018 paper: DeepMind researchers explore autoregressive discrete autoencoders (ADAs) to model music in raw audio at scale Cyber security researcher withdraws public talk on hacking Apple’s Face ID from Black Hat Conference 2019: Reuters report Stanford researchers introduce DeepSolar, a deep learning framework that mapped every solar panel in the USlast_img read more

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Article 13 back on Track France and Germany join hands to save

first_imgLast month, The EU Copyright directive had been put on hold since the European Council (with representatives from all the member states) couldn’t establish a level ground for Article 13. 11 member nations voted against the law causing the final “trilogue” meeting (at which the law was supposed to be finalized) to be called off. According to the member states, Article 13 is ‘insufficiently protective of users’ rights.’ While most of the state governments remained in favor of Article 13, there was a certain disagreement about the details of this law. France and Germany couldn’t agree on which internet platforms should install upload filters to censor their users’ posts. The disagreement has been resolved, and the process of enacting the law is back in motion. This time- making the law even worse, says the EEF. This is because, after a lot of back and forth, Germany and France have come to an agreement that will possibly affect tons of smaller sites as well as the larger ones, with hardly any protection to sites that host user-generated content. Julia Reeda, a German politician and Member of the European Parliament, uploaded the Franco-German deal [PDF], that was leaked today and which shows that Upload filters must be installed by everyone except those services which fit all three of the following “extremely narrow criteria”: Available to the public for less than 3 years Annual turnover below €10 million Fewer than 5 million unique monthly visitors BoingBoing.net summarises the above saying, every single online platform where the public can communicate and that has been in operation for three years or more must immediately buy filters. The size of the company does not matter. Once a platform makes €5,000,000 in a year, it will be obligated to implement “copyright filters as well. And finally, every site must demonstrate that it has taken ‘best efforts’ to license anything that their users might conceivably upload. This means that any time a rightsholder offers the site a license for content that their users might use, they are obliged to buy it from them, at whatever price they name. The next step for this draft is that the national negotiators for EU member states approve the deal, and then a final vote in the European Parliament. If the law is finalised, there would be an enormous investment of money needed. Copyright filters will cost hundreds of millions of euros to develop and maintain. Besides the monetary aspect, the law may also block legitimate speech that probably uses copyrighted works to get a point across and is incorrectly identified as containing copyrighted works. The petition opposing this law is now the largest petition in European history. You can head over to Techdirt for more insights on this news. Read Next Lawmakers introduce new Consumer privacy bill and Malicious Deep Fake Prohibition Act to support consumer privacy and battle deepfakes Facebook hires top EEF lawyer and Facebook critic as Whatsapp privacy policy manager Russia opens civil cases against Facebook and Twitter over local data lawslast_img read more

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Air Transat stages an intervention aims to give away vacations to those

center_img MONTREAL — According to a recent Ipsos poll, 33% of Canadians haven’t taken a vacation in the past two years. The situation has become so dire, in fact, that Air Transat is now stepping in to stage a “vacation intervention” for those who need it most.As part of its brand promise to “brighten the everyday with the joy of vacations”, the airline has released a new video starring one of its representatives who ‘infiltrated’ a select group of companies in a covert mission. Masquerading as a “performance optimization specialist”, Jacob Moore pretended to evaluate the performance of several hard-working employees, giving them high scores in all key areas except one: vacation performance.Noting how all of the employees had failed to take a vacation in years, Moore then surprised them with a free vacation at the end of each meeting. Cue the stunned faces and joyful tears!In that same spirit, Air Transat has launched a ‘Vacation Intervention’ contest in which Canadians are invited to nominate a deserving friend, family member or co-worker who hasn’t been on a holiday in a long time. Entries are being accepted until Feb. 4 via one of the participating radio stations or the Air Transat contests page. There are 19 all-inclusive Sun destinations packages to be won.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsFor more information go to airtransat.com/en-CA/contests/vacation-intervention. Share Tuesday, January 23, 2018 last_img read more

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