‘Unhackable’: Russian firm develops totally surveillance-proof smartphone Tags: Gizmos Intelligence Internet Russia Security WikiLeaks

‘Unhackable’: Russian firm develops totally surveillance-proof smartphone

RT February 19 2015 ShortURL

Reuters / Eddie Keogh

Russia is entering the post-Snowden world with style. Its own anti-surveillance smartphone prototype, equipped with the latest in cutting-edge cybersecurity and intended for corporate users, is currently being tested.

This is not Russia’s first foray into smartphones, with the dual-screen YotaPhone making headlines recently with its second incarnation. However, the new project will offer unparalleled, corporate-level securit, when ready. The current version is a prototype and any photos are kept in strict secret.

Here is a link to AMAZON where you can order the YotaPhone. SiNeh~

Smartphone Yota Yotaphone 2 Factory Unlocked Screen (E-ink on Back)

Called the TaigaPhone, the phone will be manufactured by Taiga Systems, 99 percent of which belongs to Natalya Kasperskaya, owner of the InfoWatch group. The device will synergize with other tools provided by the company to its high-profile clients.

According to Izvestia daily, things like photos and work-related files, as well as phone conversations and metadata will not “leak” without the user’s consent, according to Taiga Systems co-owner Aleksey Nagorny.

“The device is entirely our own – the design, the schematics and circuitry. The phone will be manufactured in China,” he said.

The company used Android’s base for the creation of its own Taiga operating system. Inventing one from scratch was too costly and cumbersome.

But the system will also contain several levels of cyber defense, chief among them the ability to completely disable or enable select parts of the system. Nagorny mentioned the camera, as well as location services.


New YotaPhone 2 smartphone. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

New YotaPhone 2 smartphone. (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)


The phone can also be fashioned into a traditional “slab,” to allow only phone calls. The most extreme version of this setting will enable the user to only see incoming calls. And of course, no secure device would be complete without the ability to switch off your microphone.

All of these settings will require one or two buttons maximum to operate.

What’s more, a signal will alert the user if anyone is trying to hack the microphone or any other key features.

Symantec will cooperate with Taiga Systems on some of the more key security capabilities. Many now know that switching off your phone does not disable the GPS – that’s where Symantec comes in.

Other phones exist with similar capabilities, with the BlackPhone – an Android-based solution from Europe - released four months ago. It boasts information encryption, something the likes of whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have been very vocal about.

Despite the obvious advantages of encryption, high-security devices still aren’t the mainstream even in the corporate sector, for which the TaigaPhone was developed. The situation today is such that standard phones are bought in most cases, with the company installing various add-ons for its employees.

The price and arrival date are being kept under wraps.

According to Nagorny, the company is in talks to equip other makes with the Taiga system soon.


Don't Want to Wait for Tesla's Home Battery? Try This Off-Grid Battery Pack Tags: Off Grid Electricity Power Batteries Tesla

Kevin Samson, Activist Post

Elon Musk made headlines this week announcing his plan to develop Tesla's battery technology for home energy use.

Tesla's mega factory will soon be churning out their super efficient lithium-ion battery packs for homes. The battery pack will reportedly be sold independently as well as being coupled with Musk's decentralized green energy company Solar City.

Even if you don't have solar panels or a way to charge home battery banks, they can still pay for themselves quite quickly. Most electric companies charge a much lower rate at off-peak hours - as little as a third of the peak rate. So you can charge your battery pack when the rates are cheapest, and use that stored energy when the rates are highest.

Imagine saving two-thirds on your current electric bill. Most households would save a few thousand dollars a year. Battery banks would likely pay for themselves very quickly just using this method alone.  Add in a generator, solar panels, or wind mills to charge them and decentralized off-grid electricity seems quite practical.


However, since Tesla's venture is at least six months away, I wondered what current options exist; and Tesla may have some stiff competition.

Aquion Energy manufactures its proprietary Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries to provide affordable off-grid power storage. These eco-friendly batteries are made with saltwater, cost less and last up to ten times longer than traditional batteries currently used in solar home systems, and are already linked together in a bank for optimum charging speeds and easy installation.


Aquion S-Line Battery Stacks are ~2.4 kWh systems at 48V nominal

Check out how they're made in the video below:



Say cheese! Hubble telescope captures extraterrestrial smiley face Tags: NASA Science Space

Say cheese! Hubble telescope captures extraterrestrial smiley face

RT January 10, 2015 ShortURL

The heavens are smiling back at mankind through a star constellation discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope, which captured an image of a galaxy cluster that looks exactly like the smiley face we have all grown accustomed to in the internet age.

The galactic smiley can be seen in the photo of galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849. The picture was recently released by NASA after the cluster was spotted by amateur star gazer Judy Schmidt.

Its two bright glowing eyes are in fact separate galaxies, while the face and smile itself are distinct due to the celestial effect known as “strong gravitational lensing.”

“Galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe and exert such a powerful gravitational pull that they warp the spacetime around them and act as cosmic lenses which can magnify, distort and bend the light behind them,” the Hubble website explains, citing Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The Einstein Ring is produced from the bending of light and is the result of an exact, symmetrical alignment of the source, lens, and observer.

The smiley picture is just one of thousands within the Hubble database that have now been made public. This particular image was discovered by Judy Smith, through the Hubble’s 'Hidden Treasures' image processing competition.

Since 1990, Hubble has made more than a million observations. Some have been uploaded to for the public to browse, including a Top 100 list of the most breathtaking space shots.


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