200 Police Departments Partner with Ring; Nintendo Down Ahead of Switch Lite Launch; Capital One Hack; Zooming Contact LensesPosted: July 30, 2019
George Orwell is nodding and smiling wryly somewhere. Businessinsider.com reports that at least 200 police departments have partnered with Amazon’s Ring. A number have attended a seminar on how to use the ‘Law Enforcement Neighborhood Portal!’ The portal is a map of approximate locations of Ring cameras in a neighborhood. It allows police to reach out to homeowners with Ring cams and request access to their footage. This lets cops sidestep the normal requirement of a warrant needed to obtain security footage. To quote Ron Popiel, ‘but wait…there’s more!’ Police that sign with Ring also get free cameras (one got 15) and get a $10 credit for every app download the police are credited with encouraging towards buying more Ring cams. The deal requires police to ‘encourage’ residents to download the Ring app. Welcome to 1984…a bit late, but definitely here.
Nintendo has reported a 10% dive in quarterly profit, way short of expectations. According to reuters.com, they sold 2.1 million Switch consoles, getting the installed base up to 36.9 million. Part of the decline is attributed to the fact that Nintendo will roll out the Switch Lite in September for $199.99…a hundred bucks off the price of the regular Switch. The Lite version lacks the TV dock and detachable controllers. In addition to the Lite release, Nintendo is looking for a boost in sales in November due to release of the Swtich’s first full Pokemon games…Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.
Sigh…another day, another giant data breach. Techcrunch.com says this one is at Capital One, and affects 100 million customers at least. The breach was found July 19th. It appears to expose people who applied for credit cards between 2005 and 2019, and includes “names, addresses, zip codes/postal codes, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and self-reported income” of those who’d applied, as well as information like “credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history, contact information”. They also estimate the hacker grabbed 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank account numbers. The good news is, the Department of Justice says a Seattle engineer named Paige Thompson was arrested in connection with the hack. The hope is, the data didn’t get out of her control…but….
Ever wanted Telescopic Vision like Superman has? You may get your chance. Engadget.com reports that scientists at UC San Diego have built a prototype contact lens that is controlled by eye movements. Wearers can make the lenses zoom in or out by just blinking twice! The lenses are made of stretchy polymer films that respond to electric signals generated by your eyes when they make a movement. Don’t plan on getting a pair soon…they just work in a special rig so far, with electrodes placed around the eyes of test subjects.