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Rob Lever

For Rob Lever's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Citizen journalism given a boost

Mar 29, 2015

Citizen journalism given a boost

When three buildings collapsed and ignited a blaze in New York on Thursday, a smartphone app brought the live video feed to anyone online wanting to watch. The disaster took place, coincidentally, the same day as the launch of Twitter’s new livestream app Periscope, ...

Stolen SIM card could be powerful spy tool

Feb 28, 2015

Stolen SIM card could be powerful spy tool

It would be another powerful tool in the arsenal of U.S. and British spy services: encryption keys for a large share of the SIM cards used for mobile phones. A report by the investigative news website The Intercept, citing leaked documents from former National ...

Hackers can get into most 'connected cars'

Feb 14, 2015

Hackers can get into most 'connected cars'

Virtually all “connected cars” on the road are vulnerable to hackers who could steal data or gain control of the vehicle, a report from a U.S. senator said Feb. 9. The report prepared by the staff of Senator Ed Markey said the wireless connectivity ...

Drones take U.S. electronics show by storm

Jan 17, 2015

Drones take U.S. electronics show by storm

Drones, wearable computing and enormous, immersive TVs were in the spotlight at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show that wrapped up on Jan. 9 in Las Vegas. Another big draw was the auto industry’s newest connected cars that can be virtually autonomous, and quirky alternative ...

Etiquette gets reboot for digital age

Jul 10, 2014

Etiquette gets reboot for digital age

The digital age has created a host of new etiquette dilemmas. What should you do when your boss sends a Facebook friend request? Is it OK to take and share smartphone pictures at a friend’s wedding? When should you take off Google Glass, rather ...

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

Jul 5, 2014

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

When robots play soccer, it looks like a game played by 5-year-olds: they swarm around the ball, kick haphazardly and fall down a lot. However, robot teams have made strides in recent years, and some researchers believe the humanoids could challenge the world’s best ...

Sep 30, 2013

Fake online reviews face court cases and big fines

Fake online product reviews have been around for years, fueled by unscrupulous marketers seeking to boost sales. But a recent crackdown by authorities in New York could be the shock needed for the online sector to clean up its act. The New York state ...

Jul 28, 2013

Defcon to deliver auto industry wake-up call

Computer geeks already knew it was possible to hack into a car’s computerized systems and potentially alter some electronic control functions. But new research to be presented this week shows the vulnerabilities are greater and the potential for mischief worse than believed, in a ...

Feb 10, 2013

U.S. media shines spotlight on self over drones

The U.S. media has turned a spotlight on itself after three news organizations admitted keeping the location of a drone base in Saudi Arabia secret at the request of the U.S. administration. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press this ...