William Onyeabor

Nigerian electro-funk pioneer William Onyeabor has died.

After studying cinematography in Russia, he moved back home to Nigeria in the 70s and started his own music factory. All his records were recorded, produced, pressed, packaged and distributed by himself. Well known locally, his music only became better know globally in the last few years.

He gave up on music in the early 80s and refused interviews to most (except BBC 6 music a couple of years ago).

The Snow Guardian

Billy Bar has lived on his own in the abandoned town of Gothic, Colarado for the last 40 years. After studying environmental science and finding himself with lots of spare time, he started recording snow data.
Climate scientists were alerted to his long term records and have been using them as part of their climate change investigations.

Find my phone

A film student let someone steal his phone (although it took 4 days of trying before anyone stole it!). Then tracked the phone using some installed software. He made this film about it. Both fascinating and creepy.

Pointless Backdoors

Excellent, the snooper's charter has now passed in the UK!
Given the implications, it doesn't seem to be getting much coverage in the media.

The now released details of the bill allow the government to not only indiscriminately intercept and monitor all your data, but also insist software contains deliberate back-doors and security weaknesses, such as using weak encryption. Who's going to buy or want to use UK software with these restrictions.

It's like the reverse of back when the first encryption methods were being hobbled by the US government for use outside of the US. Microsoft realised that they needed to create different versions of products for use inside the US where proper levels of encryption were allowed and expected. However, they weren't allowed to export products with anything other than weak encryption. At least this made some kind of sense.

Loch Etive - Canoe trip

A friend and I decided to go for a weekend canoe trip. The weather forecast was predicting it would be cold but relatively dry. But, as always, in Scotland it's a gamble you have to take or you'd never do anything.
Early on Saturday we packed the car, before releasing the canoe from it's very cleverly designed storage area (involving wheels, ropes, sliding doors and a ramp onto the grass). After hoisting it onto the roof bars and strapping it down we set off for the 2 hour drive north, stopping off to get some snacks and wine on the way.

Search engine can now be used to retrieve search history (and more) of anyone in the UK.

Yay!!...the U.K. has just passsed a bill, known as "the Snoopers Charter", which gives the state some of the strongest powers of surveillance in the world. ISPs are now required to collect and store masses of data on their customers and their online activities. Worse than this though is that ALL the data is searchable by the police and other authorities without the need for silly checks like warrants and the like. They don't even keep a record of who is using the search engine. But it's ok....they can of course be trusted not to abuse this access.

The bill also force some companies to install back-door access into devices and software as well as weakening encryption. What could possibly go wrong?

Oh and this data is being shared with friendly countries such as the U.S. Trump will now, in theory, be able to sit at his desk and look up anyone's online activitities. But if you're not a criminal, then of course you have nothing to worry about.......

The Verge - Suveillance power bill