Friday links: tiny spy drones, facial recognition software, monkey ransom

It’s Friday. It’s August. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer. If you’re south of the equator, it’s a school day. Sorry about that. In any case, here are some links to entertain and frighten you.

Yes, everybody’s spying on you, Part I:

A Homemade Drone Snoops on Wireless Networks.

It flies. It spies. It is the color of sunshine, and it has googly eyes.

Meet WASP, the Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform, one of the star attractions of this year’s Black Hat conference for computer security professionals in Las Vegas.

It’s a remote-controlled plane with a computer in its belly that can fly up to 400 feet above the ground, snoop quietly on wireless networks below and attack one if it wants to. It can also pretend to be a GSM cellphone tower, eavesdropping on calls and text messages that pass through.

Yes, everybody’s spying on you, Part II:

Your face — and the Web — can tell everything about you.

Imagine being able to sit down in a bar, snap a few photos of people and quickly learn who they are, who their friends are, where they live, what kind of music they like … even predict their Social Security number.

Such technology is so creepy that it was developed, and withheld, by Google — the one initiative that Google deemed too dangerous to release to the world, according to former CEO Eric Schmidt.

Too late.

You see? You see? This is why I am digging newer, deeper rooms in the writing bunker. Rooms packed with electronic jamming gear and lined with glossy magazine photos of Jon Hamm depleted uranium.

And in today’s “I should have known” department:

“Ransom Monkey Business: Wacky ‘Bongo’ Threats.”

Give us the money, or Bongo gets it.

The Manhattan couple separated from the stuffed toy monkey they raised as a son say they’ve been inundated with ransom demands ever since offering a reward for the Beanie Baby’s safe return.

“If you ever want to see Bongo alive again, leave $1 million under the Brooklyn Bridge,” one caller threatened on Bonni Marcus’ voicemail.

Others veered from menacing to vulgar, leaving such messages as “I have your monkey, and I cut it up and took out his stuffing,” and “I have your monkey; its in my pants.”

Two comments:

  1. My mother-in-law told me that some day Beanie Babies would be valuable. She told me and I didn’t pay attention. And now somebody else is cashing in on the lucrative monkeynapping market, instead of me. I hang my head.
  2. Who’s got Bongo? Who else could it be? Mr. Peebles.

2 responses to “Friday links: tiny spy drones, facial recognition software, monkey ransom

  1. Better check on Mr. Peebles. He may be touching Bongo..umm…inappropriately.

  2. Anyone check Ferd’s front yard?

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