Thursday, July 03, 2014

2260 FireSpy

It's no secret I'm concerned about techno-folks finding out my secrets. Whether it's the long nose of the NSA, or the infiltrators of Chinese hackerdom, our devices make us vulnerable to the malcurious.

Two articles I read recently confirmed my paranoia. The first was about the new Amazon Fire phone with Firefly technology, which will make it easier for you to, you guessed it, shop.

One of the ways it will do this is by using its four forward facing cameras to track your head movements. Part of the multi-camera setup is so it can rearrange the pixels on the screen to make it look like you're viewing a 3-D image of whatever it is you're viewing.

But another use for the cameras is so you can just nod your head or swivel your phone to, as Amazon puts it, "...reduce the amount of activity and input that users have to do to get results." Because, you know, pinching, swiping, and tapping are so labor intensive. You could get carpal thumbal syndrome.

Still wondering about how incredibly lazy our culture has become, I read another article a friend sent me about new generic smartphones that hit the shelves in Germany. Turns out they are manufactured in China but have no name of the manufacturer anywhere on them. And guess what, they have spyware built right in.

Yep. The cheap Star N9500 phone comes pre-loaded with spyware that can, among other things, turn on your phone's cameras and activate its microphone, for a total eavesdropping experience.

Of course I'm not intimating Amazon would do such a thing to monitor your buying habits even more intrusively. But hey, ain't new technology great? With the Fire phone, now I can be spied on in 3-D!

Like a firefly on the wall...

America, ya gotta love it.

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