6/30/2010

Airport scanners are totally going to kill us

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

More doctors are sounding the alarm over the new full-body scanners becoming popular in airports.

Several doctors are expressing concerns that full-body scanners may indeed deliver a low level of energy as advertised — reportedly this is why they’re “safe” compared to X-ray machines — but they worry that all the energy becomes dangerously concentrated on and directly beneath the skin, particularly at the face and neck, delivering much more radiation to the traveler than previously thought.

The upshot: You may not get lung cancer from the machines, but your risk of skin cancer — particularly basal-cell carcinoma — could be significantly higher. In children, the impact may likely be even worse.

Columbia University’s David Brenner says that this effect of concentrating energy on the skin means that the level of radiation delivered is actually 20 times higher than official estimates.

Hulu launched a subscription service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online video site Hulu, under pressure from its media company parents to generate a bigger profit, launched a subscription service Tuesday with complete access to back episodes of popular television shows.

For $9.99 a month, subscribers can get the entire current season of “Glee,” “The Office,” “House” and other shows from broadcasters ABC, Fox and NBC, as well as all the past seasons of several series. The popular, ad-supported website will continue to have a few recent episodes for free online.

In a surprise move, however, paying subscribers will get the same number of ads as users of the free website.

Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar said keeping ads was necessary to help keep the subscription price low.

Google Finds Flaws In Android Security Report

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The security of Android apps was called into question by a report issued on Tuesday by SMobile Systems, an Ohio-based mobile security company.

The survey of over 48,000 apps in the Android Market notes that “one in every five applications request permissions to access private or sensitive information that an attacker could use for malicious purposes.”

It further states that one in twenty Android apps have the potential to place unauthorized calls. “One out of every twenty applications has the ability to place a call to any number without interaction or authority from the user,” the report says.

Google says the report has problems. “This report falsely suggests that Android users don’t have control over which apps access their data,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. “Not only must each Android app gets users’ permission to access sensitive information, but developers must also go through billing background checks to confirm their real identities, and we will disable any apps that are found to be malicious.”

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