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News Fuse for November 27, 2013

NSA

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for November 27, 2013:

  1. Want something to be thankful for? How about a Snowden leak? No. Too bad. Huffington Post caught this one about the NSA monitoring the habits of six radicals in order to catch them doing things that would undermine their authority in their cause. Vulnerabilities included using donations for personal expenses, charging exorbitant speaking fees, and viewing sexually explicit material online. Read more at cnet.com.

  2. The Washington Post reports Microsoft executives are meeting this week about encrypting its Internet traffic to evade the US National Security Agency's access into its communication links. Sources tell the Post that encryption will take place “across the full range of consumer and business services." Microsoft lawyers have called potential NSA activity “very disturbing” and could possibly be a breach of the constitution. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  3. Skype use in China used to route through a local company (TOM Online), which made presence of government monitoring pretty certain. Microsoft has now teamed with Guangming Founder on a new China-specific Skype build, which GreatFire.org points out encrypts all data and sends it directly to Microsoft, making it harder to censor or spy on any communications. However, Guangming Founder was created by Guangming Daily, a government-backed newspaper... so, don't go telling all your secrets just yet. Read more at engadget.com.

  4. So that news that the National Security Agency spies on pretty much everything ever has ruffled a few feathers. The EU may stop its data-sharing arrangements due to the surveillance. EU's justice and rights commissioner Viviane Reding says that the U.S would have to adjust its surveillance practices to be in line with EU law. Additionally, the U.S. would have to allow Europeans whose rights may have been infringed legal redress. Read more at theguardian.com.

  5. MIT Media Lab researchers from the Camera Culture group have developed a camera that can detect objects even when translucent or obscured by something like rain, all using off the shelf parts totaling about $500. The key was a change in code that solves the multipath problem, a similar problem to blurry photos and image stabilization. The technology could eventually be used as collision-avoidance for cars, even in rain, and also for medical imaging. Read more at web.mit.edu.

  6. If you don’t have Google Glass or a MotoX or even an Android phone at all? You can still say “OK Glass” and have Google respond. The Google Voice Search Hotword extension is now available in the Chrome Web Store in beta. The extension allows users to say commands to the browser just like Google Glass. Google suggests it may be helpful for people who need to search but have their hands covered in turkey grease. Read more at pcmag.com.

  7. Nokia has introduced the Lumia 525 to succeed the popular Lumia 520 – its top selling Windows Phone device worldwide. The 525 runs the latest Nokia Lumia Black of Windows Phone 8 and is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, the same 5-megapixel cam, and 8gb of memory.The 525 comes in glossy orange, white, yellow and matte black. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  8. Cloud storage service Box just bought data analytics startup dLoop. The acquisition will bring some more security to Box and help it expand in the enterprise market. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but dLoop co-founder Divya Jain will head up Box's advanced content analysis and data classification team. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  9. If you have bought any video through your Xbox or Windows 8.1 app you may feel a little locked in, but the lock-in got a tiny bit less today as Microsoft launched video.xbox.com. You’ll be able to watch TV shows and movies you purchase, rent, or have already purchased on the Web. The stream is not HD at this point and you will need the silverlight plug-in. Read more at engadget.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for November 27, 2013.