spy technology

‘Aisles Have Eyes’ Warns That Brick-And-Mortar Stores Are Watching You

Consumers have grown accustomed to the idea of online retailers amassing information about them, but author Joseph Turow says that now physical stores are doing it too: 

“Sometimes [retailers] get the data based on what you do online. Sometimes they may get the data based on how you’re walking through the store with your phone on, if you have the right app or with Wi-Fi even. Sometimes they may get the data based upon your walking outside and your app is connected to GPS, and they actually can track where you’re moving in the outside world.”


Faulty sensor delays first classified SpaceX launch.

A faulty Liquid Oxygen temperature sensor on the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage scrubbed today’s launch attempt of the NROL-76 satellite. The overnight launch countdown proceeded smoothly towards a 7:15am EDT liftoff, disclosed only minutes prior to launch. 

However, the launch was scrubbed at T-52 seconds due to a sensor providing data that was out of the ordinary. SpaceX immediately safed the vehicle and prepared for a 24-hour turnaround, though it is uncertain if the sensor can be replaced within that time frame. The Falcon 9 may need to return to a horizontal position atop LC-39A for the repair. 

NROL-76 is the first classified mission of the Falcon 9 rocket and the first national security payload to be launched atop a commercial vehicle. While details on the satellite are nonexistent, it is speculated that the payload - known as L-76 in the NRO’s satellite catalogue - is a new optical spy satellite technology demonstrator.

The next potential launch opportunity stretches from 7 to 11 am EDT Monday, May 1. In the event the launch is pushed further, the Eastern Range has wide availability for the NRO and SpaceX to choose from.

P/C: SpaceX.

scientists were able to recreate conversations had behind a soundproof glass wall by recording the vibrations seen on a chip bag.

By pointing a video camera at the bag while the audio is playing or someone is speaking, researchers can detect tiny vibrations in it that are caused by the sound. On replaying that recording, they can read those very vibrations and translate them back into the original sound, music or speech.

anonymous asked:

Alex and Mia watching a spy movie where the duo has a tech genius and the other is the muscle. So naturally their next assumption is that Ranya are secretly spies. They also come to a conclusion that Raven's brace is actually a top secret spy technology. And when every Mia goes over Alex's for a sleepover it's because Ranya have a mission to complete

Them getting a spy kit and using it to listen to Ranya’s convos in the kitchen but it’s literally just

“Raven, where’s the aluminum foil? I need to wrap this-”

“I used it on….well nevermind it’s gone. Also, great ass babe.”

Alex and Mia walk away with an understanding that operation: great ass babe is a codeword and Raven is creating weapons with aluminum foil

Britain just got perhaps the most intrusive spying powers ever seen
The House of Lords has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, putting the huge spying powers on their way to becoming law within weeks. The bill – which forces internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year, and allows the Government to force companies to hack into or break things they've sold so they can be spied on – has been fought against by privacy campaigners and technology companies including Apple and Twitter.

The House of Lords has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, putting the huge spying powers on their way to becoming law within weeks.

The bill – which forces internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year, and allows the Government to force companies to hack into or break things they’ve sold so they can be spied on – has been fought against by privacy campaigners and technology companies including Apple and Twitter.

But the Government has worked to continue to pass the bill, despite objections from those companies that the legislation is not possible to enforce and would make customers unsafe. The House of Lords’ agreement to the text now means that it just awaits Royal Assent, at which point it will become law.

Despite criticism from almost every major technology and internet company – including usually reticent ones like Apple – and from senior parliamentary committees the legislation has received little opposition in parliament. Early on, the only amendment that the bill received from MPs was a measure that stopped themselves being spied on, and while Labour has raised objections to the sweeping spying powers it has not voted against the bill.

This is worrying.

Why does writing Kingsman fanfic require so much research? First, it’s looking up spy technology/weapons, and ways to survive a bullet to the head.  Then it’s how to make and wear a bespoke suit.  Now I’m looking up butterflies…

Or, I could use the Matthew Vaughn way of fixing things and make up stuff like alpha gel.  Do we really care about plausibility?


Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford 

Rating: ★★★★★ 


1926, the BBC. The nation listens. A woman finds her voice.

London, 1926. Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job at the fledgling British Broadcasting Corporation whose new and electrifying radio network is captivating the nation. Famous writers, scientists, politicians – the BBC is broadcasting them all, but behind the scenes Maisie is drawn into a battle of wills being fought by her two bosses. John Reith, the formidable Director-General and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary Director of Talks Programming, envisage very different futures for radio. And when Maisie unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices heard both on and off the air…

(from Goodreads)


I adore this book. It has all the things: feminism, creativity, character development, LGBTQ+ characters, the roaring 20’s, success stories, real history, London, romance, politics, spying, fascists, anglophiles, and technology. This is a story of a young girl throwing herself into her career wholeheartedly and with passion in a time when it was seen as radical and modern (in a bad way) for women to work at all. Women who did not hold high positions (and there weren’t many of those) lost their jobs once they got married, and maternal leave for those who were allowed to stay on was unheard of. At the start of this novel only married women over 30 were allowed to vote. It is actually chocking to see how widely accepted and unquestioned this was not even 100 years ago. It has reminded me of how very new the rights I have and take for granted are, and how much work we still have to do.

This is one of those books that inspire you to do great things. Seeing Masie find her passion and a great and uplifting mentor in Hilda Matheson (who was in fact a real person, look her up!) is so moving. Getting to see how radio and the BBC became what we know them as today was very exciting. There was so much more to it back then that I never thought of. As Masie becomes more comfortable in her job and her passion for radio grows, so does her self-esteem and confidence. Masie as a character has one of the most expansive arcs of character development that I’ve seen in a long time, and it’s a true joy to watch her grow. However, Masie never would have grown so much without the patronage of Hilda. I admire her so much. She is a visionary and force to be reckoned with, and must have been so strong to reach so high in a world and time when women were so held back. Her mantra of “Onwards and Upwards!” and the help she gives Masie makes this a great story of female empowerment and women building each other up, which I really think we could use some more of, both in literature and in general.

As you can probably tell from my gushing and rambling, I really loved this book. I had not heard anything about it before spotting it in the bargain section of Book Depository. It was quite coincidental that I wound up buying it. I love it when that happens – pure serendipity. If you find any of the subjects this book touches upon interesting – feminism, historical fiction, driven characters doing exciting work and so on – I highly recommend this book to you. I hope you will love it as much as I do.

//love from L

Find it on Goodreads

More reviews here


     Growing up, I was a Lockheed kid. My grandfather, who took a hand in raising me, was a Skunk Works engineer through the golden age of black spy planes and stealth technology. I was born in Marietta, Georgia, just up the road from the historic Lockheed plant. I was not yet five years old when I’d formed the biased opinion that Lockheed’s YF-22 prototypes were the coolest, most fantastic thing in the sky, and the Northrop YF-23 prototypes were lumpy, funny looking attempts at fighter jets, the likes of which could surely never compete with the product of my grandpa’s company. I knew that the two aircraft had battled it out in a prototyping competition flyoff. Lockheed’s YF-22 had won, which was no surprise to me, in my young mind. One morning, my parents informed me that our Lockheed Marietta Plant had won the contract to build the F-22 production model right there in my hometown. We drove by the plant and saw local news media crews enthusiastically broadcasting live, surely proud that so much work was coming to the area. On September 7, 1997, I stood on the flightline with my grandfather at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, and watched the first flight of the first F-22 production model. I was in awe, so proud of my grandpa’s company, and happy that they’d beat Northrop.

     Decades later, I’m now able to face the world armed with more equanimity, and I’ve formed a more objective opinion of the Northrop YF-23. Only now, can I understand what an incredible aircraft the YF-23 is, and how close we were to losing that contract. This opinion was reinforced when I finally saw a Northrop YF-23 in person. My first experience with the bird happened on September 9, 2014, at the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance, California. To see her, I had to be escorted across the Torrance Airport flight line, to an area cordoned off for restoration work, where this bird is half way through with receiving a new coat of paint. When I rounded a corner and I first laid eyes on the her, I was awestruck. The stealthy, triolithic profile of the aircraft was distinctly Northrop, reminiscent of their B-2. The aircraft seemed to change shape as you walked around it.

    Photographing up close was thrilling because there were only two ever built, and they were bathed in secrecy for so long. This was the second prototype built, called 87-0801 PAV-II. Many performance aspects of the aircraft are unknown, but we do know that this prototype, with the GE YF120 engine, was the fastest of the four aircraft that competed in the Advanced Tactical Fighter Flyoff. Her top speed is still classified, but it is widely speculated that she could fly faster than Mach two. She was the stealthiest aircraft involved in the prototyping program, but not quite as agile as the YF-22, which may have led to her downfall.

     To truly understand the world of aviation, you must look at things objectively. I certainly found a new respect for the YF-23, even with my Lockheed roots. The YF-23 is one of the most incredible flying machines ever conceived.

Orwell Wasn’t Even Close

by  Saṃsāran

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984″ the totalitarian state watched over its citizens with a TV which was two way and couldn’t be turned off and with various wire tapping devices and spies. When the book was written in 1949 there was no inkling of the digital revolution to come. Computers were still as big as houses and used vacuum tubes instead of transistors or integrated circuits.

These days we have far more sophisticated devices. 

Our whereabouts can be tracked in real time by our cell phones. All of our text messages can be read. All of our purchases are monitored through our debit cards. There are surveillance drones which can fly, climb and hide all while taking video and sound recordings. Now they are the size of a small bird but they are working on a mosquito sized version. Armed drones can use infrared tracking and kill people on the ground with bullets or missiles. They can do this without any human intervention. The webcams affixed to our computers can be hacked to take video and sound recordings without our knowing it.

The really weird part is we actually pay for most of these items ourselves.

Then there is closed circuit television (CCTV). They are everywhere these days in stores, shops, storage yards, ATM machines, gas stations and even on street corners and light poles. In some places they can supply real time feedback to law enforcement over great distances.

This would be cool if it weren’t so scary.