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Gideon Lichfield

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WhatsApp Encryption Won’t Keep Your Messages Secret Unless You Also Do This

April 7, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow WhatsApp made waves yesterday with its decision to switch on end-to-end encryption for all its billion-plus users. “End-to-end” means the communication is encrypted before it leaves your phone and decrypted only after it reaches the other person’s phone, so nobody else, not even WhatsApp itself, can read or listen to...

Poll: More Than Half of Russians Want the Soviet Union Back

May 8, 2014 The US polling company Pew Research Center has just released a survey of Russian and Ukrainian attitudes to what’s going on in eastern Ukraine, and one fact caught our eye: 55% of Russian adults think it’s a “great misfortune” that the Soviet Union no longer exists: Pew has asked Russians...

Why Nobody Can Tell Whether the World’s Biggest Quantum Computer Is a Quantum Computer

April 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For the past several years, a Canadian company called D-Wave Systems has been selling what it says is the largest quantum computer ever built. D-Wave’s clients include Lockheed Martin, NASA, the US National Security Agency, and Google, each of which paid somewhere between $10 million and $15 million for the...

The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want With Body Language

November 8, 2013 If conference calls and even Skype conversations never feel quite the same as sitting in a room with someone, it’s because we communicate a vast amount of extra information with every part of our bodies, from the arch of our eyebrows to the movements of our feet. Researchers have devoted...

How To Keep Up With Events in Egypt in Real Time Without Getting Swamped

July 3, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If you want to keep up with events in Egypt as they unfold but not be overwhelmed, here’s our carefully selected list of the best sources. Live-blog: The Guardian’s, which updates automatically without your needing to refresh the browser. Live TV feed from Tahrir Square: Reuters‘, which you can shrink...

Google’s Purchase of Waze Would Deal a Death Blow to Other Companies’ Mapping Efforts

June 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s been a heady few months for Israeli social mapping startup Waze. In January Apple was reportedly courting it with a $500 million offer (Corrected: we originally wrote “billion”); last month it was Facebook, for $1 billion. Now Google isplanning to offer $1.3 billion, sources have told Globes, an Israeli...

Edward Snowden’s Lesson to Both Businesses and the NSA: Your IT People Are Your Biggest Risk

June 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Edward Snowden—the man behind what the Guardian is calling, with only a little hyperbole, “one of the most significant leaks in US political history”—was not what you would call a high-level agent. By his own account, Snowden was a mediocre student who joined the National Security Agency (NSA) as a...

We Are Losing the War Against Email

January 3, 2013 Cue, an app for organizing your online personal information, collects data about its users and has come up with a number of interesting discoveries, among them: it is taking people around 10% longer, on average, to answer their email than it did a year ago. This is probably partly because...

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