Category Archives: privacy

Iceland Is Doing Its COVID-19 Proximity Tracing The Open Source Way

As governments around the world grapple with the problem of tracing those who have had contact with a person known to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, attention has turned to the idea of mobile apps that can divulge who a person has been near so that they can …read more

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Posted in Covid-19, Iceland, news, personal privacy, privacy | Leave a comment

Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing

As we continue through the pandemic, whether we are on lockdown or still at work, there is a chance for all of us that we could still pick up the virus from a stray contact. Mapping these infections and tracing those in proximity to patients can present a major problem …read more

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Posted in Covid-19, personal privacy, privacy, security hacks | Leave a comment

Wearable Cone of Silence Protects You from Prying Ears

Careful,  the walls have ears. Or more specifically, the smart speaker on the table has ears, as does the phone in your pocket, the fitness band on your wrist, possibly the TV, the fridge, the toaster, and maybe even the toilet. Oh, and your car is listening to you too. …read more

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Posted in alexa, google assistant, interference, jamming, MEMS, misc hacks, noise, non-linear, privacy, security, security hacks, smart speaker, ultrasound | Leave a comment

Hackaday Links: December 29, 2019

The retrocomputing crowd will go to great lengths to recreate the computers of yesteryear, and no matter which species of computer is being restored, getting it just right is a badge of honor in the community. The case and keyboard obviously playing a big part in that look, so when …read more

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Posted in ai, c64, Case mods, commodore, ERT, flex PCB, Hackaday Columns, Hackaday links, keycaps, kickstarter, machine learning, privacy, retrocomputing, RTL-SDR, rtlamr, security, spoofing, teardrop, YOLO | Leave a comment

Chatterbox Voice Assistant Knows To Keep Quiet For Privacy

Cruising through the children’s hands-on activity zone at Maker Faire Bay Area, we see kids building a cardboard enclosure for the Chatterbox smart speaker kit. It would be tempting to dismiss the little smiling box as “just for kids” but doing so would overlook something more interesting: an alternative to …read more

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Posted in aiy voice kit, Amazon Echo, Crowd Funding, google home, MIT scratch, personal privacy, privacy, privacy policy, Raspberry Pi, scratch, voice assistant, voice interface | Leave a comment

Does Library Bloat Make Your Smartphone App Look Fat?

While earlier smartphones seemed to manage well enough with individual applications that only weighed in at a few megabytes, a perusal of the modern smartphone software store uncovers some positively monstrous file sizes. The fact that we’ve become accustomed to mobile applications requiring 100+ MB downloads on what’s often a metered Internet connection in only a few short years is pretty crazy if you stop to think about it.

Seeing reports that the Nest app for iOS tipped the scales at nearly 250 MB, [Alexandre Colucci] decided to investigate. On his blog he not only documents the process of taking …read more

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Posted in Android Hacks, apps, bloat, compression, ios, iphone hacks, localization, privacy, smartphone, Software Development | Leave a comment

Unphotogenic Lighting As A Feature

Have you ever taken a picture indoors and had unsightly black bars interrupt your otherwise gorgeous photo? They are caused by lighting which flickers in and out in its normal operation. Some people can sense it easier than others without a camera. The inconsistent light goes out so briefly that we usually cannot perceive it but run-of-the-mill camera phones scan rows of pixels in sequence, and if there are no photons to detect while some rows are scanned, those black bars are the result. Annoying, right?

What if someone dressed that bug of light up as a feature? Instead of …read more

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Posted in flicker, inconvenient, led, leds, lighting, Lishield, phone hacks, photography, Portable Video Hacks, privacy, rgb, Unphotogenic, video hacks, wreck | Leave a comment

Edward Snowden Introduces Baby Monitor for Spies

Famed whistleblower [Edward Snowden] has recently taken to YouTube to announce Haven: an Open Source application designed to allow security-conscious users turn old unused Android smartphones and tablets into high-tech monitoring devices for free. While arguably Haven doesn’t do anything that wasn’t already possible with software on the market, the fact that it’s Open Source and designed from the ground up for security does make it a bit more compelling than what’s been available thus far.

Developed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Haven is advertised as something of a role-reversal for the surveillance state. Instead of a smartphone’s …read more

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Posted in Monitoring, news, privacy, security, security hacks, surveillance | Leave a comment

DIY Air Cannon Snags Drones from the Sky

Who hasn’t had the experience of a pesky drone buzzing around that family picnic, or hovering over a suburban backyard where bikini-clad daughters are trying to sunbathe in peace? A shotgun used to suffice for such occasions, but with this compressed-air powered drone catcher, there’s no need to worry about illegally discharging a firearm to secure some privacy.

Before the comment line lights up with outrage, the above scenarios are presented entirely in jest. We do not condone the use of force on a drone, nor do we look favorably on those who use drones in a way that even …read more

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Posted in launcher, misc hacks, privacy | Leave a comment

How Has Amazon Managed To Make Hackers Love Alexa?

Our hackspace has acquired an Amazon Dot, courtesy of a member. It mostly seems to be used as a source of background music, but it has also spawned a seemingly never-ending new entertainment in which the hackspace denizens ceaselessly bait their new electronic companion with ever more complex and esoteric requests. From endless rephrasing and careful enunciation of obscure early reggae artists to try to settle a musical argument to hilarious mis-hearing on the part of our silicon friend, the fun never stops. “Alexa, **** off!” it seems results in “I’m sorry, I can’t find a device of that name …read more

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Posted in home hacks, privacy, rants, siri, voice assistant | Leave a comment