I always thought you can use the ‘density’ of cellphones as a measure of the flow of traffic. But, if people are stationary, at night, you can find the hot hangouts. I guess the use of this technology (…) is only limited by imagination, at last.
NewScientistTech has an article on how VBR compression can be used to deduce the content of a VoIP call. However, if it were really reliable, why wouldn’t you want to change the transmission to just the size for each packet. Imagine the compression you’ll get! A wait, it doesn’t always work. Bugger.
Philip Zimmerman has a really useful comment in this case: pad the bytes. Hmm, if I were jumping through all the hoops to get VBR running, changing it on the wire to a CBR isn’t what we wanted to get. Then I’d just use a nicer CBR codec. Sigh.
I guess I’m missing something. Having a case of angina with some fever doesn’t improve me. Sad.
Update: the article itself is here.
The Swedish Parliament is voting on June 17th on the new wiretap law that will give the national and militairy intelligence services far ranging powers to investigate all communications entering or leaving Sweden. For Sweden that’s a rather radical thing, I guess. The same powers are available to the USA and UK intelligence agencies.
Is it a big deal?
Timbro according to the article says it is. But they fail to mention it on their site as “news and views” (at least in the English site, my Swedish is too bad to be able to be sure that they didn’t mention it at all). Fact is that this is the way to world is heading in general. I don’t like that too much. An investigation without probable cause is not something that should be done lightly. However, the argument “this goverment is quite ok, but the next may not be” is bogus. If the next government is bad, it will get the powers anyway, but then you won’t know it probably. Or you will if it’s too late. I think the genie got from the bottle a long time ago, too long ago to actually make a difference. Because it’ll end up like: they (use a broad concept of they) know all my secrets because they’re doing it, so why shouldn’t we be doing it?
It’s going to be interesting which way the vote will go. Apparently, the change is mostly that the powers were described as ‘all military interests’ are now ‘all interests’. I wasn’t able to find any documentation, yet, on how the parliament thinks on this issue.
For some reason I quite like (some of) the constructs in Ada. Techworld has an interview with the current maintainer of the Ada specification.