Some things I think are interesting, some I want to bookmark, some I want to plug, something for everyone, a comedy tonight! I am going to try to put these in some kind of rough topic order…
I Sea, “a mobile app that claimed to help users locate refugees adrift at sea”, appears to be a complete fraud.
The developers swapped information, including screen shots of a static image and a weather tool that one person claimed was used to mislead users into thinking they were looking at live images of the sea. Others noted that the app had been coded to tell users that their login credentials were invalid.
Bonus: the NYT mentions my third favorite security blogger, @SwiftOnSecurity. (Sorry, SecuriTay, but I’ve had my photo taken with the Krebster, and I know Borepatch. Third is still good enough for a medal, if this was the Olympics.)
And it isn’t just that the coding is screwy: PopSci makes a pretty strong argument that what I Sea claims to do is physically and logistically impossible.
To provide images of 1 percent of the total area of the Mediterranean would run over $1 million. And that’s just for one set of still photos. If the app were to provide up-to-date imaging, as it claims, the images would need to be refreshed regularly, at $1 million each time. And that cost is for unprocessed data, Romeijn says. Processing will cost more, as will the licensing fees required to make those images available to the public.
And those satellites make one pass a day, so you’re not getting “real-time” imaging, no way, no how.
The Oakland PD mess, summarized. Yes, I’m linking to an anonymous person on Facebook, but much of the information in this summary has already been reported in the media: this is more of a handy round-up if you haven’t been following this mess from the start. (Hattip: Popehat on the Twitter.)
And speaking of Popehat: the guys get shirts! Women, too. I just ordered mine: not only is $23 very reasonable for a shirt these days, and not only do I like Popehat, but I think Cotton Bureau does good stuff. (You may remember them from the BatLabels “Henchman” shirts, which are back in print! Hoorah!)
Flaming hyena #32: Democratic congressman Chaka Fattah.
A bunch of other folks took the fall with him, including Herbert Vederman:
Through cash payments to the congressman’s children, college tuition payments for his au pair and $18,000 given to help purchase a vacation home in the Poconos, prosecutors said, Vederman bought Fattah’s support in seeking appointment by the Obama White House to an ambassadorship.
(Hattip on this one to Mike the Musicologist.)
Prominent (well, in Chicago, anyway) Chicago journalist Neil Steinberg decides to pull the old “look how easy it is to buy an assault rifle” trick. So he goes to a gun store…
…and they deny his purchase because he’s a drunken wife-beater. (I have seen other versions of this story that state BATF first issued a “delay”, then a “deny” (BATF doesn’t have to give a reason for “deny”), Steinberg threatened to write that they were “denying” his purchase because he was a journalist, and the gun shop then decided to point out that he was a drunken wife-beater. However, this version seems to me to be to be the best sourced, and it doesn’t mention any BATF verdict.)
But at least he had the good taste to go with a Smith and Wesson M&P 15.