Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Security and resilience

The concept is a rolling classroom; its purpose is to bring hands-on tech education to classrooms and build interest in students for science and math as fun subjects.

Where there’s a spark, there’s a flame – and the blaze is growing!!  This Stanford University (California, USA) rolling classroom is reaching both students and teachers alike…

Read about their beginnings and their continuing journey here:

SparkTruck

 

And if you’re inspired by their success, maybe this is a project you and your fellow students will want to take on at your university!  Click the pic for a guide…

image

 

Where will you roll?

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May 1st, 2015
5:07
 

How would you like to ‘glide unseen’ into an area?  While Harry Potter and countless other fictional characters have used cloaks of invisibility to achieve that trick, we more mundane beings have limited powers to make ourselves non-intrusive.  And some folks are better at it than others…my laugh is so recognizable, it’s been the subject of much commentary over the years.  But, if I could clamp down on my tendency to be mirthful, maybe I have a shot at not standing out in the crowd?

Read about tech that’s making at least part of you unrecognizable…  Developed by AVG in the Czech Republic,

New glasses make you

invisible to facial recognition technology

Invisibilty glasses

AVG’s invisibility glasses. (Credit: AVG)

“The glasses, they explained, could help prevent smartphone users from snapping and uploading unwanted and potentially embarrassing photos of you. They can also prevent your likeness from being captured and featured in Google StreetView or other big-data projects.

Sorta’ makes you feel like a super-hero, doesn’t it?  What potential good (or harm) do you see resulting from this technology?  Is there an improvement or offshoot that you can envision?  AVG is a worldwide company – take a look at their job opps across the globe here:  Careers at AVG

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April 3rd, 2015
5:26
 

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged

 

to plan for sustainable

 

urbanization

 

Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”

 

Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on Inquirer.net that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

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February 11th, 2015
5:34
 

There are few who live in the developed world who don’t have a list as long as their arm of the many passwords they use at work and home to conduct their daily business and routines.  That may all change – sooner that you think…  A groundswell of support is underway for BIOMETRIC PASSWORDS!  (You can learn more about biometrics by clicking the link.)

Biometrics

photo credit: images.techhive.com

Here are a few articles that have recently hit the news in which you find supporting arguments and possible pitfalls of adopting this type of system to identify the user of a particular app or piece of equipment – - -

From the US Military: DARPA wants behavior-based biometrics to replace passwords

From the UK:  Young people ‘ready to ditch passwords for biometric security’

From PCWorld Magazine: Intel and McAfee plan to kill PC passwords with new biometric authentication

And an alternate view from ComputerWorld: Will we embrace biometrics to replace passwords?

One interesting comment from the ComputerWorld opinion piece “Privacy policies constantly change . . . and usually the user loses out. Whoever stores our biometrics had better secure it well as surely the NSA would love to hoover it all up and store it for eternity.”

Data security is changing daily; maybe any future aliens who land on our planet will no longer be seeking the person in charge or leader, but instead will be stating, “Take me to your READER”.  Of course, their retinal scan would have to be pre-programmed into the system to gain access…hmmmmm, sci-fi, anyone??

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February 3rd, 2015
6:14
 

There is a sweeping change set to affect credit card payment security.  Although the US lags behind other developed nations in adopting this technology, it could mark a radical shift in how consumers view the safety of their transactions – whether in store or online.  The steps to begin adoption of this technology were brought about through an executive order signed by President Obama in October 2014 to speed the adoption of EMV-standard cards in the US.  Target date for nationwide deployment is October 2015.  This is good news for the beleaguered companies that were hit by hackers over the past few months across the American continent!

US prepares for transition to EMV cards

AMEX

An American Express card with an EMV chip

 

Here’s what EMV is all about… EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. (Click the link for a detailed explanation from Wikipedia)

And here’s an FAQ developed by the Smart Card Alliance to answer questions about EMV.   How is this new technology ‘different’ from the current standard?  The biggest benefit of EMV is the reduction in card fraud resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. EMV also provides interoperability with the global payments infrastructure – consumers with EMV chip payment cards can use their card on any EMV-compatible payment terminal. EMV technology supports enhanced cardholder verification methods and, unlike magnetic stripe cards, EMV payment cards can also be used to secure online payment transactions.

Cyber-security is a burgeoning field as more and more of our daily activities go ‘online’.  What part will you play in keeping data safe?

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