Category Archives: Tech News

Consumer Watch: Verizon

As a Security and Risk Analysis major, I like to keep an eye out for shady things that corporations and governments do.  While not exactly Penn State specific, I wanted to shed some light on an interesting situation with Verizon Wireless.  I’m going to try to keep this post short, as the details are slightly boring.  Here is what you need to know:

  1. If you are a Verizon Wireless customer, Verizon will (or possibly already has) sent you a small brochure with lots of small, fine print that you’ll probably never want to read.
  2. What the small, fine print says is that if you don’t take any action within 45 days of receiving the letter, you are giving Verizon permission to share your personal data with any companies that Verizon is affiliated with.
  3. This personal data includes information about services you have purchased, info about calls you make and receive, billing information and location information.

If alarms aren’t going off in your head signaling that this is a little slimy and a breach of privacy, we should probably talk.

So if you are concerned about this (which you should be) do the following things:

  1. Sign into your “My Verizon” account
  2. Click on “My Profile”
  3. Click on “View/Edit Privacy (CPNI) Settings” under the Phone Controls section
  4. Select the button for “Don’t Share My CPNI” for all cell phone numbers
  5. Click “Submit”
  6. Congratulations, you are done

So tell your Friends, tell your Dad, tell your Mom.  Free Credit Seriously though, tell your family.  They probably don’t read the fine print either.

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Posted by on March 27, 2009 in Security, Tech News


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Inauguration Tech Coverage

Yesterday, our country celebrated the inauguration of our 44th President.  During the entire day, a few stories popped up on some of my favorite blogs regarding the technology and security that was showcased during this historic event.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces of technology:

Bomb Containment Truck

It probably goes without saying that many of the agencies and forces assigned to protect Washington D.C. and attendees of the inauguration brought out some serious equipment.  What you see below {Source} is a sphere that can safely transport an explosive device.  What is even cooler is the fact that an explosive can even go off inside the sphere without harming bystanders.

Bomb Containment Truck

Hi-Res Satellite Photo of D.C. During Inauguration

The following image comes from GeoEye, a satellite that takes ultra-high resolution imagery from space.  It currently orbits at 423 miles above the surface of the Earth, taking pictures at astounding resolutions of 41 cm.  The U.S. Government prevents publicly released imagery from being at that high of a resolution, so it is limited to 50 cm or worse.  Click on the image below to get an ultra high resolution version that you can pan around and see the National Mall in extreme detail.  Another interesting factoid is that Google owns the rights to the imagery taken by the high-flying satellite and plans to utilize the photos in their Google Earth and Google Maps applications.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events.  You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events. You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

Bulletproof (President) Obama

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Posted by on January 22, 2009 in Security, Tech News


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