Four short links: 29 April 2010

Leaky Phones, Clustering Tweets, CS Unplugged, and Margaret Atwood on Twitter

  1. Researchers Show How To Use Mobiles to Spy on PeopleUsing information from the GSM network they could identify a mobile phone user’s location, and they showed how they could easily create dossiers on people’s lives and their behavior and business dealings. They also demonstrated how they were able to identify a government contractor for the US Department of Homeland Security through analyzing phone numbers and caller IDs. [...] The researchers have not released details of the tools they developed, and have alerted the major GSM carriers about their results. Bailey said the carriers were “very concerned,” but mitigating these sorts of attacks would not be easy. In the meantime there is little mobile phone users can do to protect themselves short of turning off their phones. Oh joy. (via Roger Dennis)
  2. A Torrent of Tweets: Managing Information Overload in Online Social Streams (PDF) — PARC and MIT built a Twitter client that clusters messages in a useful way. Publicly accessible client due in summer.
  3. Interview with Tim Bell (MP3) — author of Computer Science Unplugged, which teaches computational thinking in a fashion that can have five year olds understanding error correction codes, and one of the people behind a new high-school curriculum for CS in New Zealand.
  4. How I Learned to Love Twitter (Guardian) — fascinating piece from writer Margaret Atwood. The Twittersphere is an odd and uncanny place. It’s something like having fairies at the bottom of your garden is one of my favourite things that’s ever been written about Twitter but the whole article is delightfully written.
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