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Tech News 2Night 120
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Tonight! the FTC says T-Mobile made hundreds of millions of dollars from bogus charges, Google acquires Songza, and Facebook catches more heat for their Emotional Manipulation research
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode #120, for TUESDAY JULY 1st, 2014
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
The FTC filed a claim today that says T-Mobile has been hiding charges in phone bills for premium third-party texting services that weren't authorized by customers. In a statement about the matter, the FTC says T-Mobile has made "hundreds of millions of dollars" through the charges. The premium texting fees covered services that sent users messages like horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and flirting tips, according to the FTC. And that the services cost $9.99 per month, but T-Mobile charged customers for them even after it was determined that the charges were fraudulent. Then T-Mobile would keep about 40% of the charge and the rest would go to the texting service in a practice called "cramming." In a phone conference, the FTC said it hopes its lawsuit forces T-Mobile to pay customers back for fraudulent charges and pust a ban on bill cramming throughout the industry. The FTC isn't seeking a fine in this case, but a separate investigation by the FCC could result in a fine for T-Mobile.
Google has purchased Songza,the music app that sets up human-curated playlists based on moods and activities. Terms have not been offiically disclosed, but the New York Post reported earlier this month the deal could be worth $15 million. Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line.
The National Security Agency has been authorized to intercept information “concerning” all but four countries, according to top-secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The four countries, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have broad no-spying arrangements with the US — — a group known collectively with the United States as the Five Eyes. But a classified 2010 legal certification show the NSA has been given more authority than previously known, which allows it to intercept through U.S. companies not just the communications of its overseas targets but any communications ABOUT its targets. Now, The NSA is not necessarily targeting all the countries or organizations identified in the certification, the affidavits and an accompanying exhibit; but it has been authority to do so. Civil liberties advocates say because of the wide spectrum of people who might be engaged in communication about foreign governments and entities and whose communications might be of interest to the United States, the privacy implications are very troubling..
Today, Re/code published a screenshot of Twitter that showed a set of items from shopping app Fancy that also included "buy now" buttons. Back in January, Re/code discovered a mock-up online, created by Fancy that a source said was used to pitch Twitter on what an e-commerce partnership could look like. The "Buy now” buttons shown today surfaced in Twitter’s mobile app, though they weren't functional - tapping on them didn’t do anything. So, is twitter shopping finally around the corner? back in May, Twitter announced a deal that lets Amazon shoppers add a product to their online shopping cart via a tweet. But that doesn't allow a Twitter user to pay for a product directly from the tweet. Neither company is commenting on this latest development.
Last December, Microsoft promised to expand its use of encryption for its cloud services to protect them from criminals and hackers - and presumably, also governments. Today, the company says Both inbound and outbound mail on the Outlook.com service will use TLS encryption when sending and receiving from servers that also support TLS. Micsosoft says it's worked with a number of other mail providers, including Deutsche Telekom, Yandex, and Mail.Ru, to ensure that mail sent to and from these popular providers is encrypted in transit. Plus, Outlook.com and OneDrive have also been updated to use perfect forward security (PFS). In PFS, the keys used for each connection are randomly generated on a per-session basis, which protects against bulk data collection.
Coming up, it's been 35 years since Sony introduced the Walkman. Wow, we have come so far.
Anthony Ha Writer at TechCrunch
Article in Forbes: Facebook Added 'Research' To User Agreement 4 Months After Emotion Manipulation Study
- Bring us up to speed on what happened here?
- The study was done in January 2012 and Facebook added ""research"" in May 2012.
- In November 2011 the FTC accused Facebook of “unfair and deceptive” practices for playing fast and loose with user privacy.
- There is also no age filter set on this Emotional Manipulation study- so minors may have been part of this?
- they manipulated the positivity or negativity of their users News feeds to see how it would affect them.
- Is it okay for companies to use user data to change their behavior or even their mood? Is this something we have to get used to?
- What about lawsuits? Do you think we will see some come out of this?
(This just in: Bloomberg article: Facebook’s News Feed Experiment Probed by U.K. Regulators)
//Thanks Anthony Ha TechCrunch"
Hey, guess what's old? The Sony Walkman The first of Sony's iconic portable cassette tape players went on sale on this day, July 1st, back in 1979 for $150. The Walkman went on to become one of Sony's most successful brands of all time, transitioning formats over the years into CD, Mini-Disc, MP3 and finally, streaming music. Over 400 million Walkman portable music players have been sold, 200 million of them cassette players. Sony retired the classic cassette tape Walkman line in 2010, and was forced to pay a huge settlement to the original inventor of the portable cassette player, Andreas Pavel. But the name still lives on in new MP3 players and Sony's Walkman app.
[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, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Sarah Lane, thanks for watching.