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Timothy B. Lee

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Andrea Peterson

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Posted at 08:40 AM ET, 08/18/2011

The Circuit: Supercookies, GPS industry responds to LightSquared letter, BART officers’ information leaked

LEADING THE DAY: Hulu.com and MSN.com were both identified as Web sites using a new kind of tracking method called the “supercookie,” in research from Stanford University and The University fo California at Berkeley, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Supercookies, which are legal, can recreate a user’s profile information even after he or she has deleted traditional cookies, the report said. Companies also use a tracking method that compares user histories against a set of 1,500 Web sites to build user profiles. Many sites found to be using the method were seemingly unaware of the fact. MSN.com and Hulu both said that they have taken action to deal with the tracking.

GPS industry denies interference charges: Members of the GPS industry shot back at LightSquared’s assertion that GPS receivers are causing interference with the satellite broadband network, The Hill reported. In a Monday filing with the FCC, the U.S. GPS Industry Council wrote that “LightSquared is wrong” in saying that GPS receivers don’t follow the standards set out by the Department of Defense, because those standards are not meant for commercial receivers. The group said that LightSquared’s new proposal to scale back its network is still “insufficient” and the FCC should rescind its conditional waiver for the plan.

BART officers’ personal info leaked: The names and e-mails addresses of transit officers for the San Francisco-area rapid transit system BART were posted online, apparently by someone claiming that this is her first cyberattack. The San Francisco Weekly reported it had spoken with a French girl using the screen name “Lamaline_5mg.” The girl said it was very easy for her to get the information, and that she posted it because she was upset with BART’s decision to turn off cellphone networks in response to a planned protest.

Lamaline_5mg also said she is not associated with Anonymous, which encouraged people in San Francisco to stage protests over the outage earlier this week. At least one prominent Anonymous member has said through the Twitter account AnonyOps that he or she does not support posting private information online.

Google launches music media site: Google has launched a music magazine, Google Magnifier, that will let beta users of its Google Music service find new songs, but will also include features such as interviews and videos. A full editorial staff is curating the content on the site and writing reviews.

IBM launches new chip: IBM has launched two new prototype chips that are supposed to mimic the human brain, it announced Thursday. The chips, funded in part by DARPA, are able to process information that isn’t specifically designed for computers to digest, the Associated Press reported. They can process signals such as temperature, sound, or motion into information that makes sense for computers — a breakthrough in processing.

By  |  08:40 AM ET, 08/18/2011

Tags:  IBM, Google, Online Music, Cybersecurity, LightSquared, Broadband, Privacy

 
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