I blog to build technology mindfulness in the fast-paced digital realm. I talk about staying safe, finding balance and having fun behind our screens.

Let’s be e-responsible !

The security mirage

Bruce Schneier: “The security mirage”

August 9, 2016

“The feeling of security and the reality of security don’t always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. In his talk, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the “security theater” now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks — and how we can break this pattern.”


Adopt a Tetrok: an interactive books series for raising strange creatures

August 6, 2016

🇫🇷 item content in French only

“Tetroks” are these little creatures both fascinating and endearing that you can catch and domesticate in a set of beautiful children’s books available from Margot publisher — and believe me, with this Pokemons can crawl back into the hole they came out of! Interested? Good, that’s what this is for!

Each book presents a Tetrok and its characteristics: origin, environment, eating habits or as well its different evolving stages. The illustrations are as gorgeous as they come and truly original, creating a world that’s very colorful and sweet, lyrical. Then you only have to install the free Tetrok app to film the pages of the books and see them come alive right in front of your eyes magically — by the way don’t forget to turn the sound on, as the soundscape is also very nice! So it’s thanks to your smartphone or your tablet that you’ll get to catch your Tetrok, and then collect some food and items to take care of it and make it evolve. Next the app will take over in its “play” mode to let you interact with the Tetrok and answer its needs, play with it or even send it on expeditions through additional mini-games. But don’t worry, everything is explained quite well at the beginning of the book!

The very good idea here is the bluffing and flowing use of augmented reality for animating scenes for the book: it works instantly and effortlessly, even when one must catch the little bugs flying around — no doubt this will make young but also older ones’ eyes sparkle. We can thus quickly see that the two formats are truly complementary and work together perfectly! Precisely, amidst the funny and quite meticulous texts are hidden some clues about the game, key indications without which it would be more difficult to correctly take care of your little creature: yep, make sure to get the right info on your Tetrok’s diet, otherwise it may quickly get sick…

I think you’ve guessed it now, I totally found of this project and it’s become for me a real personal favorite: everything here is neat, pretty, well thought! I like the way the two media intermingle and feed each other, with lots of nice details like as many gems you will get to unearth and enjoy with each turn of a page… or screen. The Tetroks series is to me an amazing and clever combination of paper book medium with technology in the realization of a playful concept that definitely has a lot of charm!

Les livres Tetrok

Three Tetrok books are currently available at 9,90€ each, a price that’s undoubtedly reasonable when we see the quality of drawings as well as the book product itself (beautiful both in its format and the printing) or even the mobile application which comes along. This latter is downloadable for free on iOS and on Android. Don’t wait to give it a try even if you don’t have to books yet by filming the image below or some of the ones made available to you on the official website — you will see, this is great:

Tétrok test

Surveillance Industry Index

A database for denouncing the worldwide industry of surveillance

August 2, 2016

Privacy International and Transparency Toolkit just released an updated version of their online catalogue taking inventory of over 1,500 surveillance company brochures and the powerful tools they sell to governments throughout the world: sii.transparencytoolkit.org.

“This reports aims to map modern electronic surveillance technologies, their trade, the companies which manufacture and export them, and the regulation governing their trade. By doing so, it aims to increase understanding about the surveillance industry in order to foster accountability as well as the development of comprehensive safeguards and effective policy.”

The database is called SII — Surveillance Industry Index, and can be queried by company name and city, type of product, different surveillance trade shows, and so on. Its effective interface offers various filters allowing to browse easily through the available documents and references — you simply have to click on any item’s title to display its contents (PDF documents are even transposed in usable text version, and an e-highlighter  tool allows you to share a link to the website’s pages with your own highlights):

Surveillance Industry Index

Don’t wait to take a look at this, even for only 3 minutes: it will give you a confirmation (if you were still doubting it…) that surveillance technologies actually represent a business model on their own… The hope here is that this index will give journalists, activists, researchers, and policymakers “a better understanding of what kind of products are out there, and what the actual industry looks like” by putting the light on this market usually shroudded in obscurity. To finish, this fantastic resource is completed with a recap in a few numbers of the incredible scope of such industry of surveillance:

The surveillance industry in the world

Learn more: check out the accompagnying “The Global Surveillance Industry” report issued by Privacy International.

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