PICNIC07: Future Technology Trends, Pablos

Hosted by Bruno Giussani.

First up Pablos: "Raised by hackers". Worked on Blue Origin: privately funded space programme. Talking about wearable computing: taking it into other contexts. Audio moves well into other environments, but screens don't work the same way when they're small: all head-mounted displays suck. Multitouch lets you "create dynamic input environments" (which sounds like lots of modes to me, Mr Raskin's pet hate). Demo of tiny tablet device running Windows - which was never meant to be mobile or designed for pocket use, and doesn't work that small.

The mindset cultivated by hackers is "fantastic": a playground where innovation is incredible. Has taken iphone apart - half of it is battery. Technology is revisiting everything you know about whenever you get a new capability. So, hacking hotel rooms: the TV is on a network with all the others in the hotel. Free access to films and games, remote control of other TVs, check other guests out, observe web access (ebay, banking, etc.).

Cars: every manufacturer has a second source for every part in a car - except the OS. Every product is becoming a computer, and therefore gains the same set of problems. e.g. key-space for car keys is quite small, so some keys open other cars. Computer security folks are familiar with this problem, but how do you solve it? There's no patch management for cars in the field. Certain brands have override codes too.

Wireless devices: e.g. Hackerbot, drives around finding wi-fi users and showing them their passwords on-screen. Got lots of press and good attention for wi-fi security problems. Bluetooth surveilance: work with Ben Laurie tracking folks with BT devices wandering around a conference, but having sensors in all the rooms. Done in a weekend.

Phones and caller ID spoofing: hacks Cory Doctorow's voicemail live, by spoofing his caller ID :)

XSS: web sites are the low-hanging fruit for computer security. Well-known software frameworks have well-known bugs. Shows hack of CNN showing this article using a XSS attack.

Samy hacked Myspace with a friend-adding virus. Shows a hack of the PICNIC site doing the same thing :)

"For innovation, you need to go through a process of discovery. Difficult to put a timeline or budget on this, so big companies aren't good at it." References Mediamatic RFID projects running here on-site (like iTea).