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The technology now exists that could flag certain buzzwords or phrases in your emails to alert “the authorities” that you might be up to no good.
A published report in ITPro describes anti-fraud, language-analyzing software co-developed for Ernst & Young’s anti-fraud unit and the FBI with technology that can uncover 3,000 words and phrases that suggest fraud.
Even more remarkable, the software is able to identify changes in tone that “suggest an underlying problem and can be targeted to specific sectors, particularly traders,” looking for “phrases that indicate an employee is nervous of eavesdropping, such as “call my mobile” and “come by office.”
Here are the ten most common phrases used by fraudsters:
“cover up,” “nobody will find out,” “off the books,” “grey area,” “failed investment,” “write off,” “illegal,” “they owe it to me,” “do not volunteer information” and “not ethical.”
This technology is being used to catch crime in the making. Imagine the other applications it could have. Thought police come to mind? Could they also be looking for certain phrases and words like, oh, I don’t know … “gun,” “ammo,” “tea party meeting?”
Somewhat amusing was this observation – using the ten watch phrases – left in the comment section at an article about the eavesdropping software at The Blaze: “Cover up Bengazi (sic). Write off the dead Americans. Don’t arrest anyone illegal. Congress is a failed investment. Nobody will find out if we keep our mouths shut. Fast & Furious is a ‘grey’ area. They owe it to me, so I’m raising taxes. Do not volunteer any information on our attempt to confiscate their weapons. I don’t care if it’s not ethical. Our pan (sic) to destroy America must be kept off the books.”
Sad end to a bright future
REDDIT co-founder Aaron Swartz, 26-year old Internet genius, took his own life last week. Police said Swartz was found in his Brooklyn apartment.
When he was just 14, the Internet wizard is credited with drafting an early version of the RSS format, a web-based feed that helps syndicate popular headlines.
Swartz was facing charges of hacking. According to the New York Post, “Federal officers arrested him for allegedly downloading academic journals on the subscription-only website JSTOR.com. He pleaded not guilty to fraud in 2012 – but the case remained open at the time of his death. He faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.”
Read more about Swartz and his legal problems here.
Dot marks viral spot
This app locates you on a map via geo-locator and poses the question, “How are you feeling?”
Your answer can range from “awful” to “meh” to “good.” The app then plots your report with others in your area to let you know through color coded dots if the flu epidemic is virulent where you are, and if not, which areas that are and to avoid. Green is good, yellow indicates some outbreak and red means full-blown flu.
Germ Tracker app is a Twitter-based algorithm that pinpoints areas hardest hit by also tracking key words on social networking sites. “Headache” and “sick” flag high-risk areas in the city. The info is available on smart phones and computers.
Find my phone
You’re at a concert, enjoying the music. After a while, you notice your smart phone is gone. You begin searching for it but it’s nowhere to be found. Luckily, you’ve left the geo-locator in the “on” position, so you get to a computer and launch the “Find My iPhone” app that helps you locate your lost device.
This situation happened to a construction worker from San Diego. But when he “located” the phone, both he and the thief got more than they bargained for.
In a similar story, another guy also lost his phone to a thief. His solution to retrieve his device? He impersonated a woman and using email alerts from a dating site profile set up by the phone’s owner, arranged for a “date” with the thief. The sting worked. Thief was caught with a bottle of wine and the phone in hand.
“On one hand, I kind of feel bad for him because he was just looking for a date and it ended up being me and that sucks for anyone. At the same time he was keeping my phone,” the phone’s owner concluded.
Bits & Bytes
Sex offender in the Lone Star state? Identify yourself online.
A hundred bucks to talk to Zuck? Not so much.
Nipping the tipper. To catch a thief.
Apple call. Russia honors Steve Jobs with iPhone Monument in St. Petersburg that displays slide show of Jobs’ life.
Already? Next generation iPad and iPad Mini set for release in March.
Clean-up on aisle two – electronics. Walmart deep discount on iPhones and iPads.
Google gets off with FTC wrist slap. “We did what the law required.”
Yahoo image search. Find and share photos on web with Flickr.
Speaking of photos, Zuck’s wedding photog not happy.
Free open college course includes video, audio, notes by profs at Harvard, Princeton, MIT and more.