British satellite TV purveyor Sky has been pushing hard lately to expand into new spheres, a desire marked most clearly by its Sky Player integration with the Xbox 360 Dashboard. Now the company is keeping momentum going with the Sky Mobile TV app for the iPhone. The app itself will come free, but live streaming access to the full selection of Sky news and sports (ESPN included) channels will set you back £6 ($10) a month. That’s pretty reasonable value if you’re into live Premier League matches, which are typically the highest ticket item on a British TV subscription bill. O2 has sweetened that deal even further by offering a full quarter of a year’s worth of free access — a clear response to Orange’s infraction on its iPhone turf. You can only stream via WiFi for now, but you have to agree that, at this price point, it’s a definite step in the right direction.
Through the eyepiece of Michael Backes’s small Celestron telescope, the 18-point letters on the laptop screen at the end of the hall look nearly as clear as if the notebook computer were on my lap. I do a double take. Not only is the laptop 10 meters (33 feet) down the corridor, it faces away from the telescope. The image that seems so legible is a reflection off a glass teapot on a nearby table. In experiments here at his laboratory at Saarland University in Germany, Backes has discovered that an alarmingly wide range of objects can bounce secrets right off our screens and into an eavesdropper’s camera. Spectacles work just fine, as do coffee cups, plastic bottles, metal jewelry—even, in his most recent work, the eyeballs of the computer user. The mere act of viewing information can give it away.