Submersible Drones, are you ready for them?!


Image by PowerVision


We are starting to see them more and more, those drones in the sky.  But now drones are being built specifically for underwater.  Beijing-based drone builder PowerVision is building a submersible drone that uses sonar to detect fish, a blue light to lure them in and a 4K camera to stream all the events back to you on your boat.


PowerVision calls the drone, “PowerRay”, which can dive 30 meters (98 ft) below the surface and uses an optional sonar attachment to detect fish up to 40 meters (131 ft) away.  PowerRay has its own WI-FI System which can reportedly then transmit live photos and video to your smart phone.  This is hard to believe as it is hard to transmit data through water.


It is also said that this drone will also be able to identify the fish within the image along with sending alerts to your smart phone.


If all this isn’t enough for the PowerRay operator, then lets take it even further into awesomeness by adding another optional item to the drone.  Add PowerVision VR Goggles which will offer a first person perspective and even allow the operator to control the drone with head tilts… Now this makes it a must-have drone!


The company hasn’t announced pricing yet, but says that the PowerRay will be available for Pre-Order on February 27th.


Source: PowerVisionPowerVision


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Apple Logs Your iMessage Contacts – and MAY Share Them with Police

While using iPhones we generally feel our information sent or received via iMessage is safe, right?!  This does not seem to be the case any longer.  According to “The Intercept” iMessage logs all phone numbers in which you contact and shares this (and other potentially sensitive metadata) with law enforcement via court order.


Every time you type a number into your iPhone for a text conversation, the iMessage app contacts Apple servers to determin whether to route a given message over the SMS system (represented in the app by the green bubbles), or over Apple’s proprietary and more secure messaging network (represented by the blue bubbles).  Apple then records each query in which your phone calls home to see who’s in the iMessage system and who is not.


This log also includes the date and time when you entered the number, along with you IP address which will (contrary to a 2013 Apple claim that “we do not store data related to customers’ location) identify a customer’s location.  So all is logged and stored and turned over to law enforcement when they request it via court order.  Do you feel your privacy violated yet?  Don’t worry it only gets worse.  You don’t even have to commit a crime to have your records turned over, only suspected.  Apple has confirmed to “The Intercept” that it only retains these logs for 30 day periods, but court order after court order, law enforcement can court order Apple every 30 days and piece together multiple months long lists of whomever numbers someone has been entering into a phone.


The Intercept received the document about Apple’s Messages logs as part of a larger cache originating from within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team, a state police agency that facilitates police data collection using controversial tools like the Stingray, along with conventional techniques like pen registers. The document, titled “iMessage FAQ for Law Enforcement,” is designated for “Law Enforcement Sources” and “For Official Use Only,” though it’s unclear who wrote it or for what specific audience — metadata embedded in the PDF cites an author only named “mrrodriguez.” (The term “iMessages” refers to an old name for the Messages app still commonly used to refer to it.)


Phone companies routinely hand over metadata about calls to law enforcement in response to pen register warrants. But it’s noteworthy that Apple is able to provide information on iMessage contacts under such warrants given that Apple and others have positioned the messaging platform as a particularly secure alternative to regular texting.


The document reads like a fairly standard overview that one might forward to a clueless parent (questions include “How does it work?” and “Does iMessage use my cellular data plan?”), until the final section, “What will I get if I serve Apple with a [pen register/tap and trace] court order for an iMessage account?”:



This is a lot of bullet points to say one thing: Apple maintains a log of phone numbers you’ve entered into Messages and potentially elsewhere on an Apple device, like the Contacts app, even if you never end up communicating with those people. The document implies that Messages transmits these numbers to Apple when you open a new chat window and select a contact or number with whom to communicate, but it’s unclear exactly when these queries are triggered, and how often — an Apple spokesperson confirmed only that the logging information in the iMessage FAQ is “generally accurate,” but declined to elaborate on the record.


Apple provided the following statement:

When law enforcement presents us with a valid subpoena or court order, we provide the requested information if it is in our possession. Because iMessage is encrypted end-to-end, we do not have access to the contents of those communications. In some cases, we are able to provide data from server logs that are generated from customers accessing certain apps on their devices. We work closely with law enforcement to help them understand what we can provide and make clear these query logs don’t contain the contents of conversations or prove that any communication actually took place.


And it’s true, based on the sample information provided in the FAQ, that Apple doesn’t appear to provide any indication whatsoever that an iMessage conversation took place. But a list of the people you choose to associate with can be just as sensitive as your messages with those people. It requires little stretching of the imagination to come up with a scenario in which the fact that you swapped numbers with someone at some point in the past could be construed as incriminating or compromising.


Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the document prompted further questions:


“How often are lookups performed? Does opening [an iMessage] thread cause a lookup? Why is Apple retaining this information?”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement did not return a request for comment.


The fact that Apple is able and willing to help the government map the communications networks of its users doesn’t necessarily undermine the company’s posturing (and record) as a guardian of privacy, though this leaked document provides more detail about how the iMessages system can be monitored than has been volunteered in the past. Ideally, customers wouldn’t need to read documents marked “For Official Use Only” in order to know what information Apple may or may not disclose to the police. In a section of its website devoted to touting the privacy safeguards in its products, Apple claims that “your iMessages and FaceTime calls are your business, not ours. … Unlike other companies’ messaging services, Apple doesn’t scan your communications, and we wouldn’t be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to.”


In 2013, after Apple was revealed to be among the tech companies caught up in an NSA surveillance program known as PRISM, which tapped into customer information on the central servers of nine leading internet companies, the company released a rare statement regarding its “commitment to customer privacy,” insisting that it would be unable to share sensitive customer data even if it wanted to:


For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.


Questions of how much Apple could or would aid police if asked vaulted back into headlines following the mass shooting in San Bernardino last year, which left the FBI in possession of the shooter’s iPhone, which it was unable initially to decrypt. Apple balked at demands that it help crack the phone, allowing it to enjoy a reputation as not just a maker of expensive electronics, but a determined privacy advocate. We need more technology companies that are willing to take public, principled stands in defense of our private lives, but these same companies should follow through with technical transparency, not just statements.



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Cancer caused by Cell Phone, Debate is now FACT!

As usual, Apple gives customers who buy one of their phones a set of headphones in the box to use with their new phone.  This tradition will continue on with the wireless earbuds with the upcoming new iPhone 7.  The new headphoned dubbed “Airpods” will be water resistant and are the “wireless future” according to CEO Tim Cook that is.

They will also, according to experts, send cancer-causing radiation directly into the brains of users!  Yup, thanks for buying our new phone, here is some free cancer causing radiation for your brain!

According to Apple, all Bluetooth devices emit radiofrequency radiation, or RFR, within the guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  BUT according to Joel Moskowitz of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, more than 200 scientists who study the effects of electromagnetic fields on the human body have gone ON RECORD criticizing the FCC guidelines as far too lenient.

“We are playing with fire here,” Moskowitz said. “You are putting a MICROWAVE-EMITTING DEVICE next to YOUR BRAIN!”

Traditionally, scientists have claimed that RFR does not carry enough energy to cause cellular or DNA damage — in contrast to the more high-energy ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, that has been shown to cause cancer.  Yet ionizing or not, a large body of research continues to show negative health effects in humans and other animals exposed to RFR.

“This has been observed over several decades,” Moskowitz said. “It’s like we keep rediscovering that Bluetooth is harmful and trying to forget it because we don’t know how to handle it from a policy standpoint.”

There is a PROVEN link to Brain Cancer!

Industry Reps will claim till they die that all this is “safe”, but contrary to their claims, studies have in fact established ways that RFR leads directly to health harm.  For example, RFR has been shown to degrade the blood-brain barrier, which allows more toxins to pass into the brain. This is a major concern with placing RFR transmitters directly next to the brain.

“Although we don’t know the long-term risks from using Bluetooth devices, why would anyone insert microwave-emitting devices in their ears near their brain when there are safer ways to use a cell phone?” Moskowitz said. “Essentially I recommend using corded headsets or hands-free use of cell phones, not wireless ear buds.”

Another mechanism by which RFR can cause health problems — including cancer — was identified in a 2015 study published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine. The researchers found that numerous prior studies have shown that RFR can induce oxidative stress, a condition in which the body’s antioxidant defenses are overwhelmed and free radicals run amok.

Free radicals are molecules that damage cells and DNA, and are considered among the major causes of cancer, heart disease, dementia, and numerous other health problems.

Indeed, all studies that have shown health concerns with cell phone radiation apply equally to Bluetooth, and therefore to Apple’s AirPods. Thus, iPhone 7 purchasers should be concerned about the findings of the 2010 industry-funded Interphone study, which found dramatic increases in the risk of brain tumors, acoustic nerve tumors and parotid gland tumors among people who had used cell phones for 10 years or more — and even higher risks among those who started using phones before age 20.

Earlier this year, scientists from across the United States gathered at a pediatric conference in Baltimore to declare that there is no longer a debate about the cell phone-brain cancer link.

“The weight of the evidence is clear: cell phones do cause brain cancer,” said Dr. Devras Davis, president of the Environmental Health Trust.

It is no longer a debate, it is now a fact… CELL PHONES CAUSE CANCER!

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Did you miss the iPhone 7 Launch News?

For those of you who missed the guys at Apple showcasing the launch of the coming iPhone 7, here is a bit more of what is to be expected from the newest addition of the Apple line.

I’m not too impressed. The camera upgrade is nice, but I think I’ll wait till iPhone 8 is out in a few years.

Check out the video below for some insight to the iPhone 7:


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iPhone 7 will NOT have 3.5mm Jack!

iphone7Apple has confirmed that the iPhone 7 will NOT include a 3.5 mm headphone jack! Instead users will HAVE to use Lightning or Bluetooth headphones, both of which will be more expensive than a pair of traditional 3.5mm connected Headphones.

Apple tried to address the jack’s removal by stating these three reasons for its removal:
A Lightning dongle can adapt older devices
It frees up space inside the phone for other tech
It furthers Apple’s vision for better audio

A pair of Lightning earbuds, as well as an adapter for traditional headphone jacks, will be included in the box with the iPhone 7.
Basically, it’s not a stretch to say that in the short term, this is going to be a huge inconvenience for a lot of people as the 3.5mm headphones and jack is a technology that most users currently rely on and enjoy. Users know the 3.5mm jack is dependable and reliable so as the old saying goes, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. I understand in a way why they are doing this but it won’t be easily accepted by most users.

Getting rid of the 3.5mm jack does start to accomplish certain goals for Apple. It frees up more space inside the iPhone, which is supposedly already being used up for other tech (what tech I have not head yet), and it begins shifting technology as a whole away from an analog standard and toward newer, digital alternatives. Of course this also enables Apple to sell more Beats headphones which means more profits for Apple as Apple also owns Beats.

Using digital headphones that are connected by Lightning should be able to deliver higher quality audio than headphones connected over a 3.5mm jack. Of course, that’s been true for as long as there have been Lightning headphones, but now you’re just being forced to make that choice.

This quite possibly marks the beginning of the end of the headphone jack. Many will applaud, others will hesitate, and some will refuse to hop on board with Apple in taking the plunge into this new digital world. And it’s fair to see this as a step for technological progress.

At this very point in time if I was offered an iPhone 7, I’d hesitate about it as I do enjoy the 3.5mm Jack. But on the other hand, even I am getting on board (slowly) the digital and bluetooth train.

I can’t wait to see what else Apple has in store for us with the new iPhone 7.