'He's F**KED with the wrong nerd ... I warned I'd go public'

Plus: 'You have to be a complete Facebook junkee to use Home'

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Quotw This was the week when head hypocrite honcho at Google Eric Schmidt gave the world his two cents on the privacy concerns surrounding unauthorised photos taken of people and their homes. The photos taken by civilian drones of course, not those taken from cars with "Street View" emblazoned on them.

He said:

How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?

Little remote control drones for any Tom, Dick or Eric to buy and Schmidt doesn't think that's right:

It's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it ... it's not going to happen.

Yeah, Schmidt! Think how it could spread, companies could even go around taking photos all over the place, snapping people on the street, photographing homes and putting the pictures on the internet for everyone to see...

In other air-related news, both the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) have pointed out that a flight simulator and an actual aeroplane are not the same thing. The aviation officials were forced to bring this to folks' attention after a security researcher claimed that he used an Android app to hijack in-flight systems.

Hugo Teso said he could feed misinformation to the flight management system (FMS) of a plane, changing such important information as navigation and communications. He said:

You can use [the hack] to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane. That includes a lot of nasty things.

Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) has no security at all. The airplane has no means to know if the messages it receives are valid or not. So they accept them and you can use them to upload data to the airplane that triggers these vulnerabilities. And then it's game over.

But aviation officials disagreed. The FAA said:

The FAA is aware that a German information technology consultant has alleged he has detected a security issue with the Honeywell NZ-2000 Flight Management System (FMS) using only a desktop computer.

The described technique cannot engage or control the aircraft's autopilot system using the FMS or prevent a pilot from overriding the autopilot. Therefore, a hacker cannot obtain 'full control of an aircraft' as the technology consultant has claimed.

Meanwhile, if Facebook was hoping it would sweep the mobile world off its feet to the rising crescendo of the orchestra before a passionate embrace, the social network is bound to be a little miffed at the reviews for its new app. Facebook Home, which replaces phone lockscreens with a rolling feed of friends' pictures and also prioritises other Zuck apps like Messenger above typical Android features, is just a little too... Facebooky for folks penning reviews on Google Play.

One one-star review said:

Facebook Home – Take your expensive mobile device and limit it down to apps and stalking. Good job FB – Way to try and move mobile technology backwards.

While another was even less impressed:

You have to be a complete facebook junkee to use this for more than 5 minutes. It takes away the ease of your phone actually being a phone and even adds complication to using facebook. Uninstalled.

Nevertheless, the social network is reportedly in talks to extend Home to Google's blood feud rival Apple. Facebook's product director Adam Mosseri apparently said:

We've shown them what we've built and we're just in an ongoing conversation.

We could... just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it's not called Home, it's called something else.

But why would the fruity firm give up the "brand" of the iPhone, that it's all Apple all of the time? According to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, they probably wouldn't:

Apple controls its interfaces... Just look at Android phones - there is a huge range of them. The iPhone always looks like the iPhone.

So, maybe they're just in talks so they have something to talk to the media about but something more exciting than Facebook and Apple talk about a mild extension to Facebook apps on the iPhone that isn't at all like the Android app Home?

Moving to Blighty, a video games designer from London is hoping to make some quick cash by outing the activities of a guy who ended up with our man's stolen laptop. The Londoner, who wishes to remain anonymous, tracked his laptop using a program called Hidden and ended up a fly-on-the-wall in the life of a man he has named "Plumpy", because of his fondness for a certain-sized brand of porn.

Now that his tales of Plumpy have reached the masses through Reddit, he's hoping that he can earn back some of the money he lost when his Macbook Pro and credit cards went missing with his blog of explicit images, allegations and video footage.

He said:

He fucked with the wrong nerd... I'm looking to make back some of my money lost through loss-of-earnings and the theft itself... The more people I can drive through the blog and the slower I can drip-feed tasty morsels of information, the better for me.

He claims he only went public because the police failed to act on the allegations:

I mailed the Met for a case status update a month ago (and blogged it) to be sure I wasn't stepping on police toes. The Office of the Information Commissioner was cc'd in their reply but didn't bother contacting me with any further details. I warned him a year ago I'd go public if they didn't act, so now I am.


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