The GSM protocol is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world, and people's privacy while communicating through their cell phones is provided by an encryption algorithm called A5.
The A5 cracking team (the group behind this project) sell in their homepage a device costing $1100 (€700) that allows one to eavesdrop a call, store the conversation, and crack it in 30-60 minutes.
So, A5 seem to be easily breakable, and even further, a web service will soon be available in order to allow for everyone who could eavesdrops a GSM communication to crack the frames. In other words, it will a matter of minutes and a few hundred euros and even you will be able to listen to other people talks.
So, for all out there who have concerns about their privacy, be aware, your personal paranoid levels will rise. And it will also affect mobile operators, public pressure will be huge to have the problem fixed, and I don't know how to do it without upgrading the network and changing all the cellphones in the market.
Celso wrote an amazing article (in portuguese) describing Sapo's technical architecture, all based in opensource software and a lot of inspiration and hard work. Very good technical reading, thanks Celso.
Update: Pedro Figueiredo has done a great job and translated the original post to english.
Ever been on a traffic jam, and all over sudden all things get going, and you never realize what the hell caused the traffic jam in the first place? Well, japanese scientists studied the subject deeply, done some experiments and got some conclusions. Read this New Scientist article to know more about this, and watch the following video where you can watch a traffic jam appear from nowhere:
eMarketeer published a study about online advertising spending in the UK, present and future (bold mine):
Advertisers will spend £3.4 billion in 2008, a rise of 27% from the year before, according to new online ad spending figures released by eMarketer. Internet advertising spending will continue to show double-digit growth through 2010, passing £4.3 billion in 2010 and exceeding £5 billion in 2012.
Even considering that the UK market isn't the world market, it's a very good insight, which allows me to say we are on the right track to growth. In this case, numbers speak for themselves: