Special Electronics Designed to Self-Destruct

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR) program is now examining the construction of special electronics designed to self-destruct on command so as to prevent technology from being leaked.

Electronics are dispersed throughout the battlefield, and it is difficult to retrieve them once troops are withdrawn. This raises the potential issue of enemies picking up the electronics and reverse engineering them. Thus, the United States started the VAPR program in order to prevent enemies from accessing special electronics. To find out more information on the program, please go to http://www.gizmag.com/vapr-transient-electronics/26004/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=dbd0e79b79-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Self-Healing Electrical Wires

A research team at North Carolina State University, lead by Dr. Michael Dickey, has engineered a new form of electrical wire that is able to “heal itself.” The wire is made out of a self-healing polymer filed with liquid metal. After being cut, the wire can repair itself to full strength within approximately ten minutes. To read more about these incredible electrical wires and the impact they may have on the future of electrical wiring, or to see a video of the wire repairing itself, go to:  http://www.gizmag.com/self-healing-stretchable-wire/25933/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=9c48712ac9-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

China Restricts Internet Use

China has recently passed new legislation that severely restricts Internet usage. Some commentators have declared that the legislation turns Chinese ISPs into “internet police.” Users are required to register their real name and contact information with ISPs, giving the Chinese government an incredible increase in access to user information. To read more about the new legislation and the resulting censorship, go to:  http://www.extremetech.com/internet/144330-china-turning-its-isps-into-internet-police

Texas Students Wear RFID

A U.S. District Judge in Texas has ruled that a San Antonio public school can require its students to wear radio frequency identification (RFID) locator chips. Representatives from the ACLU have argued that this is a clear breach of the student’s privacy and plan to aid in the appeal. To read more about the case and its severe privacy implications, go to:  http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2013/01_-_January/Texas_school_can_force_teenager_to_wear_locator_chip_-_judge/ 

Anti-Hacking Law Questioned

The U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has come under intense criticism following the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz. Swartz’s suicide has been blamed on the U.S. prosecutor, who threatened Swartz with a prison sentence and up to $1 million in fines. The U.S. attorney’s cased was founded on the 1984 CFAA law, which many have insisted no longer makes sense, and penalties for minor offenses can surpass those for more serious crimes. Swartz faced the prison time and fines for alleging hacking into a private database through a network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloading millions of academic articles. To find out more information about the CFAA and Swartz, please go to http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/anti-hacking-law-questioned-after-death-internet-activist-1B7989954

Smart TV’s Watching the Viewer

Smart TV’s introduced at the International Consumer Electronics Show offer technologies that can watch the viewer! Introduced by Marvell Technology Group, the TV utilizes sensors and voice recognition to determine who is watching, and recommend programs based on previous viewing. This technology may sound similar to George Orwell’s novel “1984” but people within the industry believe this is the next big breakthrough for TV viewing. To learn more, go to http://phys.org/news/2013-01-consumers-ready-television.html.

Instagram Lawsuit

Instagram, Facebook’s photo-sharing service that allows users to alter photos with filters and other effects, is being sued for breach of contract regarding terms of service. The class action suit focuses on the fact that personal photos have been showing up in Instagram ads. Instagram will be changing its terms of service in the middle of this month, requiring users to agree to the new terms and give up the right to sue the company in the class action. for more information, go to  http://www.jerryfreedman.com/blog/2013/01/whose-photos-are-those-instagram-sued-for-breach-of-contract.shtml