Hot Links: Whats App not so secure, Signal gains a pulse, Smartwatches could predict illness, Lily Drone dies despite hype, Pentagon tests drone swarms
The hotness in the tech world this week.
Smartwatches could soon tell you when you’re getting sick
A team of researchers from Stanford have looked into the potential of smartwatches to go beyond health monitoring, and beginning to predict when users are getting sick. The group says that the watch could tell a user when they might be getting sick days before symptoms arise, giving the user time to rest up and possibly fend off illness.
In a failure to deliver, Lily Drone is dead despite $34 million in pre-orders
A great product video goes viral, and Lily captured the imagination of people wondering how a drone could be useful to them. The ‘throw behind’ drone collected $34 million in preorders, but now the company says it can’t actually deliver on its promise, and will have to refund customers. Talk about being so close (and so far, really), from major success.
WhatsApp found to have backdoor that would allow snooping
Just after Facebook had claimed that WhatsApp’s cryptography ensures that no one can intercept and read messages, a research group has exposed that the company could in fact read entire conversations from its 1 billion users due to the way it has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol. It would seem that it is currently important for the world’s most popular messaging app to seem secure without actually being 100 percent secure.
Demand for secret messaging apps increases as Trump takes office in age of surveillance
XKeyscore, PRISM, and everything else revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, coupled with a president-elect who blasted Apple for not letting the FBI hack its phones, might have just about everyone wondering if what we say could be intercepted and used against us. Enter Signal, a new messaging app built on the promise of secure, encrypted messaging. Talk about being at the right place at the right time: the app saw a 70-percent spike in downloads in the last quarter of 2016.
Pentagon Battle-Tests Micro Drone Swarm
May no new technology go un-weaponized: The Pentagon tested what’s being dubbed a micro-drone swarm. 103 Perdix micro drones were released from an Fa-18 Super Hornet at a testing site in California. The drones are just 6.5 inches long, but when used in a ‘swarm’ have the potential to aid in decision making during combat operations and provide an unprecedented amount of data during low-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance missions. From the video, the sound they make is terrifying, and you can just imagine the potential.