Should Brian Williams Do a Story on False Memory?

Did newsman Brian Williams tell fibs to his TV audience? To himself? Or is something more complicated going on? New research, reported at the AAAS conference in San Jose, shows that memory can be a very tricky thing. We're just starting to understand how it works and, in some dark creepy labs, scientists are even planting false memories—in mice (or so they say).

Are Your Tweets Ratting You Out? Should They?

British charity Samaritans has pulled their controversial "Radar" app, which was intended to catch potential suicides through their sad-sounding Twitter posts. Privacy advocates around the world thought it was creepy to watch your friends' tweets for phrases like "I hate myself". It turns out that many others monitor what you say on Twitter - for less noble purposes.

Hack-o-Panic: Not Just for Sony Execs Anymore

Revealing embarrassing emails, memos, salaries, and catty comments is the newest form of torture. Sony execs are feeling the pain, but internal emails from Bill Gates figured prominently in the 1996 Microsoft antitrust trial, and a rude, drunken rant by Mark Zuckerberg is still online. The sense of violation is real for digital victims - act now to avoid being the next.

Hello, Uh, Mr. Brown, May We Have a Word With You?

Police, and even the President, are embracing body cameras as a way to lower the temperature of police/citizen interactions. While this will certainly have some positive effects, disturbing advances in facial recognition may give new superpowers to police. The Privacy Commissioner of Alberta is investigating how a police force there plans to use its new tech toy.

That Person Behind You is Stealing Your Pin Number

Infrared cameras are moving from the world of house inspectors and border guards into the hands of the general public. For $350 you can now buy one at the Apple store. Like most technologies, we haven't fully considered the implications. But the bad guys have. Already, they're snapping pictures of pinpads to track where your fingers have just been. And worse!

Why the Celebrity Photo Breach Is Creepier Than You Think

The leak of personal photos of dozens of celebrities may have exposed more than their naked bodies. Unlike pictures that are posted on Facebook or Instagram, many contained "EXIF data" disclosing the precise location where they were taken. Who knows what else the bad guys may have mined from "the cloud" while they were in there? Why are we so eager to take nude selfies?

Voices In Your Head? They Might Be Real

A brilliant technology delivers beams of sound, as focused as the laser beam that cats love to chase. It's being used to allow library patrons to view movies without disturbing others. It's also being used to beam targeted advertising messages to shoppers in grocery stores. Do you really want the supposed "voice of your conscience" talking down at you?

Punishing With 1,000-Year Sentences: We Have the Technology

Serial child rapist Charles Scott Robinson was given a 30,000 year sentence by an Oklahoma judge in 1994. Clearly, he won't live to see the end of it. But what if he could be made to think he's in jail for 30,000 years? A French philosopher has proposed a way to do that with drugs, and in another way that's even creepier! Is this ethical? What if it's turned against us?