The Null Device
UnSuggester is a book recommendation engine in reverse; enter a book you liked, and it'll give you a list of books you probably won't like. Apparently, fans of William Gibson's Neuromancer and Michael Moore's Stupid White Men would least want to read books on theology, the opposites of Marx & Engels' Communist Manifesto look like erotica novels, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is the least like an array of romance novels, Star Wars novelisations and theological texts, and the opposites of Design Patterns are mostly chick-lit, whereas The Little Prince finds itself to be the antithesis of thrillers and scifi novels. Meanwhile, people who read Illuminatus! are unlikely to read Freakonomics, and the opposite of The Da Vinci Code, with its simplistic structure and grand revelations, appears to be, naturally enough, French postmodernist philosophy.
The FBI has revealed that they have recently used a suspect's mobile phone to monitor their (non-phone) conversation. Which means that either (a) the mobile phone standards (at least those used in the US) allow the operators to switch phones into always-on bug mode when needed (i.e., such a mode is part of the standards), or (b) the operators can silently replace the firmware on such a phone at will, adding hidden "features". The phones in question can serve as Big Brother's ears even when ostensibly powered off.
On the Slashdot discussion, a number of posters have claimed to have seen proof that government agencies have the means to activate mobile phones to act surreptitiously as bugs. (And if the FBI can do it, chances are that more ambiguous agencies can do it as well.) Meanwhile, others have pointed out that, even if this is the case, it's easy to detect if your phone is spying on you by either (a) keeping it near audio equipment that it interferes with when transmitting (hint: if it's causing interference whilst switched off, something's afoot), or (b) getting one of those cheap LED antenna attachments that flashes when exposed to RF signals. And here is a guide on how to tell if your phone is surreptitiously spying on you.