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June 27, 2019
the nsa collected phone data of americans without proper authorization the aclu found
The ACLU has released documents showing the NSA improperly collected Americans' call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018. The unauthorized collections occurred just four months after the agency announced it was deleting more than 620 million call detail records acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Service Act. [More...]

June 26, 2019
chinese hackers most likely are responsible for a years-long campaign targeting global telcos reported research firm cybereason
Chinese hackers likely are responsible for a series of cyberattacks against telecommunications companies around the world, security researchers have reported. The campaign, dubbed "Operation Soft Cell," has been active since 2012, according to Cybereason. There is some evidence suggesting even earlier activity against the telecommunications providers, all of whom were outside North America. [More...]

June 25, 2019
bipartisan legislation seeks to compel tech companies to reveal value of harvested personal data
A Democrat and a Republican have filed a U.S. Senate bill to require companies to report to financial regulators and to the public what consumer data they collect and how they leverage it for profit. "When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. "These 'free' products track everything we do." [More...]

June 25, 2019
raspberry pi 4 could attract enterprise and iot users beyond its traditional educator and makers base
The next big Raspberry Pi thing is now here, with lots more computing power and more options. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the availability of Raspberry Pi 4, a comprehensive upgrade that touches nearly every element of the computing platform. Users have a choice of three memory capacities. The entry-level 1 GB RAM retains the signature $35 price; 2 GB costs $45; 4 GB sells for $55. [More...]

June 24, 2019
drones self-driving cars and ai will create demand for new technology innovations
Things rarely happen as fast as we think or progress as slowly as we hope. We all thought we'd have flying cars by the end of last century, for instance, but we are due to be up to our armpits in them by the end of next decade if the impressive number of trials continue to go well. I touched on the drone drop issue a little last week, and I have been thinking about it ever since. [More...]

June 21, 2019
uber plans to test fast food delivery by drone in san diego this summer
Uber Elevate, the aerial arm of rideshare service Uber, will test a fast food delivery by drone service later this summer in San Diego. Delivery destinations won't be houses or apartment buildings, however, but instead will be "designated safe landing zones." Those landing zones could include the roof of a parked Uber vehicle in one scenario. An Uber courier would hand-deliver it to the consumer. [More...]

June 20, 2019
mozilla has patched a critical flaw reportedly used in zero day attacks against coinbase
Firefox users should update their browsers immediately to fix a critical zero-day vulnerability. Anyone using Firefox on a Windows, macOS or Linux desktop is at risk. Mozilla issued a patch Tuesday, but the vulnerability was discovered by Samuel Groß of Google Project Zero on April 15. Mozilla's fix came after Coinbase reported exploitation of the vulnerability for targeted spearphishing attacks. [More...]

June 19, 2019
facebook will have to overcome privacy and trust hurdles to gain consumer acceptance of its libra cryptocurrency
Facebook's plans to mint its own digital coin will test the company's consumer credibility. After being savaged for months for its cavalier attitude toward users' privacy, the social network will be asking those same users to trust its new cryptocurrency. The currency, called "Libra," will be stashed in a digital wallet, the first product of new Facebook financial services subsidiary Calibra. [More...]

June 18, 2019
instagram is testing a new way for users to reclaim accounts hackers have hijacked
Account hijacking has become a nettlesome problem at Instagram so it has decided to do something about it. The social media company has begun testing a simpler method for users to reclaim their compromised accounts. It allows users locked out of their hacked accounts to ask for a six-digit code to be sent to the email address or phone number originally used to open the account. [More...]

June 17, 2019
how to improve digital literacy in the workplace
It's anticipated that in the next five years 90 percent of the workforce will require at least basic computer skills, such as using email or company software. In the next 2-3 years, over 50 percent will need to be able to use, configure and build digital systems. Those who lack digital literacy may soon find themselves at a huge disadvantage. [More...]

June 17, 2019
cisco ceo chuck robbins is a prime example of an executive who actually takes actions to make the world a better place
I attended Cisco Live last week, and one of the things that impressed me was how many amazing things the company has been doing that have nothing to do with products, services or revenue. Most companies have a philanthropic budget and donate, but they don't really seem to care if the money makes a difference. For most, philanthropy is more about uplifting their image than making a difference. [More...]

June 13, 2019
e3 2019 suffered from sony's absence and microsoft's limited participation
E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, was in full swing in Los Angeles this week. The annual trade show for the video game industry was not without a few surprises, a few disappointments and as usual a few companies that opted to forego the whole thing. Sony was among the companies that chose to skip the event, while rival Microsoft was present only via its annual press conference. [More...]

June 12, 2019
critics have heaped scorn on an industry group study that blames google for news publishers' woes
A study that estimates Google last year raked in $4.7 billion from news content has drawn widespread criticism. That $4.7 billion is a conservative estimate, according to the News Media Alliance, the trade group that released the study. That's because the estimate doesn't take into account Google's advertising revenue from publishers and data collected from news content. [More...]

June 12, 2019
Two of the more commonly used cloud storage services for personal use are Google Drive and Dropbox. Both cloud services are simple to set up and use reliably. Either one can be a suitable choice for storing personal files using free or paid plans. That said, Google Drive requires a manual overhead to manage files through its Web browser-only interface. [More...]

June 11, 2019
xbox head phil spencer introduced next-gen game console project scarlett at e3
Microsoft whetted the appetite of power-hungry Xbox gamers at its E3 preview, with new details about its next-generation gaming console code-named "Project Scarlett." Expected to arrive in time for the 2020 holidays, the new Xbox will have a custom-designed AMD processor based on the latest Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA technology. Scarlett also will have high-bandwidth GDDR6 memory and a next-gen SSD. [More...]

Should government regulators force the breakup of big tech companies?
Yes -- it's the only way to restore competition.
No -- breaking them up would make them less useful to consumers.
Yes -- it would encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
No -- but some regulation is needed to restrict their power.
Yes -- but only the firms that function as utilities.
No -- the government should keep its hands off and let the market decide.