Smart city, smart planet: Sensity is creating a billion-node network of global sensors — in street lights

There are over four billion street lights in the world. Almost all of them are high-intensity discharge lights that use mercury vapor or some other toxic substance to create light. All of them are powered, and most burn out every two years.
Now what if all these could become nodes on a sensor network spanning the entire globe?

Project A backs encryption startup ZenGuard

Berlin-based company builder Project A Ventures today announced a six-figure investment in online security service ZenGuard. The news comes just one week after German media conglomerate Axel Springer announced a €30m investment in the company builder.

Brazil releases more details on private e-mail meant to keep the U.S. out

Brazil is building its own private e-mail service because it just doesn’t trust the U.S. President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil released further details on the e-mail service, which is supposed to protect her government and the people of Brazil from foreign, peeping eyes. She made the announcement through her Twitter account, saying that in order to protect privacy, the Brazilian government needs to start with “secure messaging.” This communications system will be used by Serpro, which is one of the biggest federal agencies of Brazil handling data processing.Brazil became disenchanted with the U.S. after the Guardian revealed details about the U.S. National Security Agency collecting information on Rousseff and her administration, as noted by Wired. The Guardian says it received documents detailing this activity from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is currently hiding out in Moscow following other data leaks.In June, Snowden revealed information about a government surveillance program called PRISM, which involved the U.S. working with a number of technology companies to collect data for “national security purposes.” In the months following, more Snowden-sponsored revelations appeared in headlines, including the information on Brazil.Perhaps coincidentally, Glenn Greenwald — the reporter who has published the lion’s share of data from Snowden — is based in Brazil.The move to create this kind of private communications service underscores fears that the NSA’s programs could cause a financial stir in the cloud industry. Analyst group Forrester predicted in August that fears around PRISM could be a $108 billion hit to the cloud industry.However, it’s silly to assume that only the U.S. is involved with this kind of surveillance, and many believe that figure should be much lower, because IT managers are probably going to continue buying cloud services even if they know surveillance is happening.