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05.08.2015
Stefano FerroStefano is a cycling, movie and life style photographer with a big love for landscape & travel photography.
To show how hard phone privacy can be, one artist examined the CIA, consulted hackers, and went far off the map (with a stop at Rite Aid). There's a lot you can find in the depths of the dark web, but in 2013, photographer and artist Curtis Wallen managed to buy the ingredients of a new identity. Learning from these operational failures, Wallen conjured a clandestine cell phone network that could be used on demand. If the CIA can’t even keep from getting betrayed by their cell phones, what chance do we have?
Analyze your daily movements, paying special attention to anchor points (basis of operation like home or work) and dormant periods in schedules (8-12 p.m.
Encrypt the cell phone number using a onetime pad (OTP) system and rename an image file with the encrypted code. Central to good privacy, says Wallen, is eliminating or reducing anomalies that would pop up on surveillance radars, like robust encryption or SIM card swapping. The grugq, a security researcher Wallen consulted during the conceptualization process, told the artist he liked parts of PropCom.
He notes, for instance, that problems might arise if and when the first attempt at communication fails.
Once Wallen had settled on the clandestine network's procedures, he got to work documenting the process step-by-step, both photographically and with text.
Hugh D’Andrade, senior designer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said PropCom and other artwork around surveillance was valuable for raising awareness of a complex issue. As psychologist Amy Cuddy explains, we may not be able to extinguish anxiety, but we can learn to interpret it differently. Alison Wood Brooks, a colleague of mine at Harvard Business School, also happens to be a talented singer. Not only can we not calm down, but when someone tells us to calm down, it also reminds us of how calm we are not, which stokes our anxiety even more. The subjects who took a moment to reframe their anxiety as excitement outperformed the others.
This article is adapted from Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy. In an unassuming research lab, Volkswagen is solving problems that Tesla and Google haven't come close to cracking. At a workbench at Volkwagen's UX research lab, a prototype steering wheel designed specifically for an autonomous car. We were rolling eastward across the San Mateo Bridge in an Audi A7 at a dutiful 55 miles per hour, and I was riding shotgun accompanied by two of the car's engineers. Somewhere in between where we stand now, annoyed at how much time we waste sitting in traffic, and the future, where we’re driven around by robots, there will be hundreds of new cars.
In the case of this particular A7, those principles had all been compressed into the brief span of a couple minutes, when the test driver drifted our car onto the highway and then let its computers take over the driving.
When the moment came, two buttons on the center hub of the steering wheel blinked: Press to engage. After our ride in the A7, back at the lab, a small army of engineers and project managers had gathered to show off a new concept—Just a concept!
Off to the side of the garage where their test car was usually parked was a black cloth draped over something bulky, about the size of a couch. Until a couple years ago, no one was thinking through how you might operate a car that drives itself. You can see this exchange happening with the steering wheel—itself a metaphor 150 years in the making. Our metaphors for how technology change as we assimilate old technologies, and adapt to new ones. Recall that first principle that Lathrop laid out for designing autonomous cars—that the driver has to know whether the car is driving itself. But Lathrop points out that mode confusion in a car is actually even more menacing than in a plane—whereas pilots have hundreds of miles and many minutes to react to problems, drivers are faced with dozens of problems every minute. Talking to Lathrop, hearing all the years of research and care piled into every detail, it all got to feel almost comically complicated.
Consider what happens when you’re driving in your car, come to a stoplight, and then pull out your phone to check a text message. The sense of safety you get from that is akin to riding in a car, looking over, and seeing that the driver has both hands on the wheel, eyes forward. A few months ago, in an empty, anonymous parking lot, beneath a massive white tent, the UX researchers at Volkswagen's UX lab gathered to solve a problem that no one was thinking about. Very few people in the tribe of geeks researching autonomous cars had given much thought to the issue. The Silicon Valley mindset of dropping beta tests upon an unsuspecting populace might be not only naive, but also counterproductive.
Cars are just one example of the general truth that there’s a culture to the way everything around us behaves. On the other hand, we can defer to what we don’t know about the culture of objects that live around us. As new technologies replace human tasks, they will have to behave in ways that we can relate to. Glaser, the young designer inventing the future of driving, muses about just how long it might be until fully autonomous cars arrive in our driveways. Inside the Secret ServiceThey haven't exactly covered themselves in glory lately, but the guys in suits surrounding the President of the United States are still ready to take a bullet to protect the leader of the free world. The Secret Service wasn't always intended to be the president's last, best line of defense.
National Geographic doesn't spill all the secrets, but what they let us in on is still pretty cool.


When in Melbourne, his hometown, you will see him cycling around at sunset or sunrise looking for the best spot for a photo of this beautiful city. After purchasing a Chromebook with cash, Wallen used Tor, virtual marketplaces, and a bitcoin wallet to purchase a fake driver's license, insurance card, social security number, and cable bill, among other identifying documents. In both cases, the CIA operatives’ closed cell phone networks were undone when Italian authorities and Hezbollah acquired phone metadata. Invented by English scientist Michael Faraday back in the 19th century, Faraday cages were developed for modern usage with intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and the military in mind.
After some refinement, the physical artifact now looks like an official government dossier—a very handsome one. The show will feature a combination of framed photographs, unframed photographs, texts, and other ephemera.
She's logged hundreds of hours in front of audiences, and her poise on stage is enviable. With a sticker price topping $70,000, the A7 is a fancy car, but not an uncommon one along the stock-option-paved highways of Silicon Valley. His first few weeks, the 15 engineers he worked with shrugged, and set him up wiring circuit boards.
Those two buttons were inspired by the famous missile launching systems where two keys had to be turned at the same time, to avoid mistakes. Before the earliest steering wheels appeared in motorized tractors and sleds, there was the tiller, which was in fact a steering technology borrowed from boats. We constantly update our metaphors, trying to find familiar handholds that quietly explain how a technology works.
We demand that they behave in a way that we can guess, without ever having used them before. That harks to probably the oldest dictate in interface design; mode confusion causes 90% of airplane crashes, and that insight helped invent the field of human-computer interaction. This was an experiment, and the white tent was in the name of science: To control how the light that spilled across the barebones street intersection they had created overnight. In the car's windshield, you can see a prototype display that lets onlookers know that the car sees them.
Even though the Audi team had loaded the cars with clever outward displays telling pedestrians they could cross the road, it turns out that the pedestrians were so trusting because the car behaved respectfully.
We can recognize that the key to making us all comfortable with the future lies in appreciating all of nuances of what we already already have—in realizing, for example, that the way a car pulls up to a curb is an interface all its own.
This is very similar to how I make them, although I skip making the horns in a flat shape first, prior to bending them out."First off i cut the wire lengths. You will note on the pic that some of the wire is wrapped around the crystal in such a way as to conform to the angles of the crystal. One day I was looking at my site, and panicked, wondering how I could have wrapped them both counterclockwise without noticing!
Abraham Lincoln created the United States Secret Service (USSS) to deal with the influx of counterfeit money after the Civil War a€” a move ironically made just hours before he was assassinated on April 14,1865. Wallen saw his new identity, Aaron Brown, as more than just art: Brown was a political statement on the techno-surveillance age. The program teaches Marines to establish a baseline to more easily key in on anomalies in any given environment. The cages, which can be any type of container, feature metallic shielding material that blocks radio cell, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connections.
As both a performer and a psychologist, Brooks appreciates not only how that kind of poise can make for good leadership, but also how many of us struggle to find it when we’re performing. Brooks predicted that we may not be able to extinguish arousal, but we should be able to change the way we interpret it. I looked around at the drivers around us, knowing they hadn't a clue about what was happening right beside them. It plows right through the guy in the pink shirt, who flips up onto to the hood like a rag doll tossed by a pit bull. The success depends on whether we, the people, understand what some new button in our brand-new car can do. A bright strip of LEDs on the dashboard flashed from orange to blue-green, telling us that the car was in control now.
As we chit-chatted, the test driver never stopped staring straight ahead, as if he was driving. Its cleverness lay in seeming so obvious—in being a straightforward retrofit of the steering wheel for the next decade as we get accustomed to new ways of driving.
In digesting new technologies, as we climb a ladder of metaphors, each rung might follow the one before. Think about all the times you’ve heard news reports about a pilot being confused about whether the flaps of the wings were down, or whether to auto-pilot was properly set.
Design is like this: Sometimes, you solve one problem and end up solving a bunch of others down the line. To solve that problem, the A7 shows you a map of your surroundings, as the car sees them: Outlines of the other cars on the road, shown on a simple, stripped down display. We’re constantly checking out the people around us, to see if they see what we do, to guess whether they know what we know. It came to a slow, measured stop before it reached an intersection, just like a responsible human driver would.
Now available to the public, people can transport or store their electronic devices in Faraday bags, preventing hackers, law enforcement, and spies from accessing their private data.
So she set out to find some simple changes that might help people overcome their performance anxiety. Our hearts race, we break out in a sweat, our cortisol may spike—all these reactions are controlled automatically by our nervous system. So rather than fruitlessly trying to change the arousal level of our emotional states from high to low, what if we try to change them from negative to positive?


I griped to myself about California drivers with their composting and their unvaccinated kids and their vestigial turn signals. Maybe one of the funniest viral examples you can find on Youtube is of a bunch of people at a car dealership, testing out a feature on a Volvo that they think prevents it from hitting pedestrians.
The engineers and designers in this story had no involvement in that.) The person in charge of fostering trust in a robot car is Brian Lathrop, whose very bland title belies how much time he spends living in the future. Over time, we find ourselves further and further from the rungs we started with, so that we eventually leave them behind, like so many tiller-inspired steering wheels.
Lathrop, in particular, was keenly attuned to one simple factor that has bedeviled us ever since we began to fly the friendly skies. At the extreme, you could imagine terror—say if the car behaved so erratically that people raced across the intersection with their breath held. Yet the Silicon Valley mindset of just dropping beta tests upon an unsuspecting populace might be not only naive, but also counterproductive. But it may be tricky finding a suitable object to wrap the coil around, that will leave the hole the proper size for the stone. Amid pervasive sensors, drones, and data collection, making a private phone call can be a Herculean task. And it’s virtually impossible for most people to shut off that kind of automatic arousal, to abruptly de-escalate it. Outside the window, the water of the San Francisco Bay was a dull green, like patinated copper, pitted by tiny waves.
Third, and perhaps most vital in fostering trust, is that we need to know what the car is seeing.
But, like his boss Brian Lathrop, his experience suits his present job to an uncanny degree. The steering wheel idea that I was seeing bore a striking echo of Norman’s old insight. Therefore, proto–steering wheels actually moved a vehicle in the opposite direction that you steered. After all, it’s merely a crude representation of what you can see simply by looking out the window.
But instead, something stranger happened: People saw the car, and blithely stepped in front of them as if nothing were amiss.
If the hole is slightly too small, the coil will fit nice and snugly, distorting the coil, which can be tweaked after insertion.
It merely sensed that other car coming, drifted back to center of our lane, and eased onto the brakes so as not to hit the car in front of us. In the foreground stands a guy in a pink shirt, his posture giving off this brittle mix of apprehension and excitement. These are echoes of the least productive trope in computing history, the one that Steve Jobs railed against: The idea that the user is wrong, and that we should all bend to the capabilities of a machine instead of the machines bending to us. A Ph.D psychologist by training, California born and raised, Lathrop is burley with close cropped hair like an Army sergeant. And finally, we need perfectly clear transitions when a car takes control, or when we take control from a car. The steering wheel, a year and a half in development, had just been bolted into the simulator hours before. The first metaphor made sense in the era of desktops, when windows functioned like spyglasses onto the content of a page. She feels endangered because she doesn’t know what to expect of your next move on the road.
But in fact, the display is telling you that the car sees what you see—and then some.
Our car’s test driver was smiling pleasantly, hands on his thighs, not touching the steering wheel at all.
The greater challenge lies in making these technologies into something we understand—and want to use. He speaks with the painstakingly chosen words of a scientist, used to sniffing out imprecision. But when the car was driving, the street wheel receded by about 7 or 8 inches—like loosened reins, you could still grab back the wheel if you wanted to take control. The later metaphor makes sense only with touch screens, and the idea that the thing you previously thought was a screen had in fact become something like paper.
It was like being driven by that uncle who could tell you how to survive a snake-bite or order a roast chicken in seven languages.
But he is an inventor above all—the co-author of several patents that might prove decisive for autonomous cars.
On the one side, blue-green, a pleasant, unthreatening signpost to evoke calm and steadiness. And just like loosened reins, the steering wheel, by receding from your grasp, actually told you it was the car that was taking over now.
Point being, our metaphors for how technology change as we assimilate old technologies, and adapt to new ones. No matter how well they know each other, people who face a shared danger are constantly checking who knows what, and what to do next. You trusted what was happening, and that was remarkable: The car, by design, was calming me before any worries could surface. At the same time as the lights shifted, the steering wheel pulled back slightly and began to waggle by itself left and right, adjusting to the contours of the road with an eerie precision that seemed almost human. It was a moment that was awesome to absorb—and then, almost immediately, uneventful.



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