The Outernet: Project aims to put world online

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Only 60 percent of people on the planet has access to the Internet.

In the most populous country, 1,349,585,838 people and counting have limited access because Chinese censors silence voices critical of the government, filter search results, put up firewalls and even remove innocent-seeming American TV shows from Netflix-like streaming lists.

But that could all change with Outernet, a project started by Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), a New York-based group that seeds news outlets such as PolicyMic.

The plan is to launch a “constellation” of hundreds of mini satellites that would beam sort of a “modern version of shortwave radio” from space, bringing free Wi-Fi to everybody. Continue reading

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Report: NSA can alter computers not connected to Internet

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The National Security Agency has sneaked software into nearly 100,000 computers around the world, the New York Times reports, allowing the U.S. to spy on adversaries such as Chinese army hackers, the Russian military and Mexican drug cartels and launch cyberattacks if need be.

“NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, tells the Times.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the spy program, dubbed Quantum, is its ability to harness old technology to get inside computers not hooked up to the Internet. The secret? Radio waves. Continue reading

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Take a peek at the hypersonic spy plane

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Lockheed Martin has finally revealed “the son” of the “legendary” and “unsurpassed” Blackbird spy plane, Aviation Week reports. When experts caught sight of the SR-72, they went into an adjectival overdrive. The new hypersonic jet would be the “most exotic airplane ever constructed,” Foreign Policy says. The Washington Post’s Switch blog called the offspring a “gorgeous” boy. Continue reading

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