The Null Device
Security researchers have found that it is trivially easy to transmit false traffic reports to in-car navigation units. The units look for messages transmitted as digital data piggybacked onto FM radio signals using a protocol known as RDS, and it seems not to have occurred to whoever designed the RDS system that anyone might tamper with these messages; as such, they are transmitted in the clear, and without any sort of authentication. The units also scan the entire FM spectrum, looking for anything that looks like a radio station with a RDS channel containing traffic information. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader:
Through trial and error, they discovered that transmitting certain code numbers translates into certain warnings that are displayed on the satellite navigation system. Some were amusing. One code number alerts users that there's a bull fight in progress. Another one indicates delays due to a parade. But some weren't so funny. One tells users that there has been a terrorist incident. Another indicates a bomb alert and another an air crash.
It has emerged that the version of the recent James Bond film Casino Royale shown on British Airways flights has been edited to remove references to rival airline Virgin Atlantic:
British Airways has removed a shot of Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson from the in-flight version of the James Bond movie Casino Royale.
The British Airways edit also obscures the tail fin of a Virgin plane that was seen in the original.As a BA spokesman points out, the airline edits many films to render them fit for in-flight viewing, and what exactly that entails is its own business. (I suspect that neither Fight Club nor Snakes On A Plane made it to the backs of airliner seats, for example.) I wonder how many other similar instances of product displacement have occurred on flights.
(via Boing Boing)