The Technology News Daily Digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 22, 2014 includes stories about a customer safety scandal from one formerly trusted American automobile manufacturer, the informational talk that would have had the potential to once again alter the way internet users surf anonymously, and the latest projections about the Internet of Things. The final week of July 2014 has unfolded with scandal and science fiction reality.
This fall’s upcoming Black Hat Security Conference is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada during October,. The event was rumored to be host to a talk dedicated to decoding the ins and outs of the Tor network. Tor is a web browser designed to protect the user’s browsing and location privacy. While Tor has been used by many law-abiding Americans to protect their private lives from the prying eyes of government agencies and hackers, the technology has also been appropriated by malevolent criminals in an attempt to shield their misdeeds from detection. This event has since been canceled at the behest of attorneys representing the Pittsburgh-based university, Carnegie Mellon. The reason given was that one of the speakers prepared to give the talk was unable to do so due to because the some of the included material had not yet been approved for the public by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), which is based at the University, and the school itself, which has a stake in the Institute. SEI is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, which also underwrites the costs incurred by the University.
General Motors, the venerable American automobile manufacturer, has come under scrutiny in the months following the company’s February admission of oversight in the quality control of their ignition switches . Dangerous faults with their vehicles precipitated severe accidents resulting in more than one dozen fatalities when a flawed ignition switch was integrated into hundreds of thousands of vehicles that were then sold to the public. The company has since isolated and terminated the employment of 15 individuals within the company to whom responsibility can be traced. Mary Barra, current CEO of General Motors has attended several press conferences addressing the scandal, attempting to soothe the minds of consumers by accepting responsibility and offering assurances that company policy will become more stringent as reforms are made.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a long-standing concept that proposes a connection between household objects more fundamental or mundane than a computer. The technology could allow doors, refrigerators, or even the household smoke alarm to be connected to a wireless network, allowing the objects to interact. A refrigerator could inform its owner that the milk has gone bad, or that the yogurt needs to be replaced. The smart-homes of science fiction are emerging as a realistic hope for the future, according to Cisco. The company believes that the Internet of Things will connect more than 50 billion objects by 2020. The Internet of Things and the age of household smart-tech has begun with a new park bench called Soofa. The solar-powered, outdoor-friendly furniture is designed to weather the elements while providing a steady charge for smart phone users in a pinch. The first Soofa was installed at the White House in June. Since the initial installation, more than one dozen additional Soofa units have been installed in and around the Boston Metro area.
The Technology News Daily Commentary By Faye Barton