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Tech News 2Night 118
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Tonight! the NSA goes transparent (sort of), Fox goes after Dish, and what can be done to diversify the tech workplace?
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode #118, for FRIDAY JUNE 27, 2014
This episode of Tech News 2Night is brought to you by lynda.com. Learn what you want, when you want, with access to over 24-hundred high-quality online courses--all for one low monthly price. To try it free for 7 days, visit lynda.com/tn2. That’s L-Y-N-D-A dot com slash T-N-2.
I'm Jason Howell, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
The New York Times reports that Facebook has disbanded the team of engineers originally assigned to work on Facebook Home, which was Facebook's custom software for Android devices, according to two anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Last year when it was introduced, Home was the company's hope to integrate deeper Facebook features into an Android phone, making it faster to view photos and send messages to friends without needing to open the Facebook app. But the response was lukewarm, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview last year: “I definitely think Home is slower in rolling out than I would have hoped." The Facebook Home software, which is still available for download in the Google Play app marketplace, has not been updated since January.
The National Security Agency has posted its first full transparency report... to the official agency Tumblr, no less. The report breaks out the total number of orders for 2013, broken out into 1,767 FISA orders, 38,812 targets of National Security Letters, and 423 targets of FISA business records requests. The office of the Director of National Intelligence says the report part of a commitment to more transparency within the agency, and the numbers seem consistent with the numbers offered by President Obama in previous speeches. However, the Verge notes that the word "target" can be misleading, since the report defines a target as "an individual person, a group, or an organization composed of multiple individuals or a foreign power that possesses or is likely to communicate foreign intelligence information." Google, Microsoft and other companies have released similar reports, but couldn't provide as much context, in accordance with a previous agreement with the Department of Justice.
Now that the US supreme court has ruled against the legality of streaming TV service Aereo's business model, Fox wants to use the ruling to go after Dish, the US's third largest pay TV service, for allowing live TV programming streams over the internet to its subscribers who can then sideload the content to computers and mobile devices. Fox’s legal team submitted the supreme court’s Aereo decision as ammunition in its case against Dish, which is scheduled to begin oral arguments before the ninth circuit court of appeals on July 7th in Pasadena, California. Fox takes issue with Dish's feature called Hopper, a service that allows customers to record all of a prime time broadcasters schedule, and AutoHop, which allows them to skip all of a broadcaster's ads. The ninth circuit denied Fox’s attempts to close down Hopper in 2013 and refused to rehear the case in January this year.
Apple has announced it will stop development on its photo editing app Aperature later this year with the release of OS X Yosemite, and transition users to Photos, a new app that was introduced during Apple's WWDC keynote. iPhoto will be replaced by the Photos app as well. The company says it will provide compatibility updates to Aperture that allow it to run on OS X Yosemite, but will not continue to update it. However, Apple will provide update paths that help users transition from Aperture and iPhoto to Photos for OS X. For those who don't like those options, Adobe has announced it will ‘double down’ on Lightroom support and offer Apple users a way to migrate over to Adobe's pro photography program.
Aperature might be winding down, but Apple is still committed to Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Compressor and MainStage apps and has released updates for all four. Apple also announced that Scripps will deploy Final Cut Pro X workflows across all of its TV stations across the US, with claims that Final Cute Pro X beat Premiere Pro in speed, flexibility and ease of use.
Coming up, what you say to a police officer if they want to search your smartphone.
and next I'll chat with Selena Larson from ReadWrite about what's being done to get more women and minorities in the tech space. But first....
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Selena Larson, a staff writer at ReadWrite
You wrote an article about the lack of diversity being a problem with tech companies. You took the diversity reports released by several companies and did a great synopsis. And it’s no big shock, there aren’t enough women or minorities in tech. Basically we are all a bunch of white guys. All kidding aside
-Generally, what is the balance of men and women with technology employers?
-You took a look at some of the big companies (Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Linkedin), would we see the same thing in smaller tech companies? Is it worse or better?
-I certainly noticed a bit of an improvement at Google I/O this week and you state in your article that women accounted for 20% of attendees, up from 7% last year. How does Google or really ANY tech company attempt to improve that balance?
-Who started the diversity reporting? Google?
-Will the act of reporting these stats help change the balance?
-Is it really a matter of finding qualified women and minorities, or is it more about the culture at tech companies? Or both?
-Ageism is a problem too, right?
// Thanks Selena, where can our viewers connect with your work?
[Kicker!] and finally,
On Wednesday we told you about the Supreme Court's decision to make law enforcement officers obtain a warrant before searching your phone, because without one, the search is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment. And today the Daily Dot has a helpful writeup reminding citizens what actions they can take to ensure their rights aren't violated. For example, keeping your phone locked with a passcode at all times. Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), also suggests you “calmly and respectfully tell the officer that his search is in violation of the Constitution" and make sure you are clear that you don't consent to the search.. However, under the new ruling, police still have the right to search your phone without a warrant in a few certain scenarios known as “exigent circumstances," for example the abduction of a child, or if police suspect a person is in imminent harm. Both the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have created “Know Your Rights” pages that explain what citizens can and cannot legally do when confronted by law enforcement. Because knowing is half the battle.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
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Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Jason Howell, thanks for watching.