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Tech News 2Night 93
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Tonight, the House passes NSA reform but does it have any teeth?, Edward Snowden's first US TV interview, and Facebook wants to know even more about you.
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 93, for Thursday, May 22, 2014
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
After passing the Judiciary and Intelligence committees earlier this month, the USA Freedom Act has passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 303 to 121, a bill meant to end NSA surveillance of phone records, which now goes to the Senate. The Freedom Act will require the NSA to leave phone records in the hands of telephone companies for 18 months, and make searches for specific terms only after getting court approval, instead of bulk collection and storing. It also aims to limit how the agency collects online communications and make it easier for companies to report the orders they receive. However before today's vote, the House Rules Committee reported an amended version of the bill, allowing the Director of National Intelligence to lead declassification reviews, rather than the Attorney General. Plus, Companies can choose to reveal less about the orders they’ve received than they could in previous versions. The NSA is also allowed to collect material "about" a target.
Unsurpringly, this isn't going over well with some former Freedom Act advotes. The Reform Government Surveillance coalition—whose members include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, AOL, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn, DropBox, and Yahoo—issued a statement yesterday announcing it was pulling its support of the bill because of the newly amended language that has "moved in the wrong direction" of true surveillance reforms. "The latest draft opens up an unacceptable loophole that could enable the bulk collection of Internet users' data," the coalition said. "While it makes important progress, we cannot support this bill as currently drafted and urge Congress to close this loophole to ensure meaningful reform."
Edward Snowden is granting his first TV interview to Brian Williams at NBC in a one-on-one interview airing on May 28th at 10PM Eastern, and NBC is promising a "revealing" hour-long session that involves Snowden's media ally Glenn Greenwald.
Engadget reports that Samsung is getting on the virtual reality bandwagon with a VR headset developed for its mobile platforms, and cites sources that say the product will be announced this year. Rumors have developers already working with a prototype that works with current Samsung products like the Galaxy Note 3, but the final product apparenty will need more powerful next gen phones and tablets. The headset reportedly will have an OLED screen comparable to the Oculus Rift’s, and a wired connection to the mobile device. Samsung reps declined to comment.
Samsung Music, also known as its Music Hub will shut down on July 1st. An email sent out to Samsung Music users told users to "take the time to download all purchased content and use any remaining vouchers for Samsung Music before July 1, 2014, after that date they will no longer be available."
Google's latest update to its search engine ranking algorithm, known as "Panda 4.0," has stripped out up to 80% of eBay's search results, this is according to Larry Kim, CEO of search marketing company Wordstream. Why? It appears that eBay is being punished by Google as if it were a spam website even though it's Google's single biggest PLA or "product listing ads" brand client. Previously, eBay had a healthy "organic" search ranking. If you searched for any product that could be bought or sold, an eBay page was usually on the first page of results. Kim says he made the calculation by searching for common terms that used to produce good search results for eBay pages, and that "Their failure to implement even the most basic of paid search best practices, like using negative keywords so you're not appearing in queries for vomit, made their research completely unreliable."
Google's released its latest version of Chrome, which includes “Okay Google” triggered voice searches that work automatically, without requiring any clicks or other input prompting first. Users will need to enable it once and provide Chrome permission to user their computer’s mic if they haven’t already, but after that, you simply open a new tab, pull up Google.com, get Google's attention, and go about your search result.
Starting this September, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will begin granting licenses to select driverless cars and the humans who "drive" with them. The licenses will cost $150 each, which covers 10 vehicles and up to 20 test drivers. However, this is only for designated employees of select autonomous vehicle manufacturers, The car needs to be insured for at least $5,000,000 against personal injury, death, or property damage, The test driver has to be able to take immediate control of the car at all times, must have been a licensed driver for at least 3 years, and have no more than 1 point on their license. DUI histories need not apply. All that said, Applications for the license open up in July.
Hewlett-Packard second fiscal quarter earnings are in, with mostly expected numbers from analysts, but bad news for employees - The company says it expects to lay off more people. Job cuts that were announced in 2012, and were then set at 34,000 jobs, will be increased by between 11,000 and 16,000 jobs. In a statement, CeO Meg Whitman said the turnaround effort she undertook when she stepped into the CEO role in 2011 “remains on track.”
Coming up.. is this the fastest robot with legs? You can see it in action for yourself, but first..
"Roberto Baldwin, Reporter, The Next Web
Your article: ""QuickCoin makes sharing Bitcoin as easy as sending a Facebook message""
-What is QuickCoin and how does it work?
-It uses your Facebook login. How safe do you think that is with all the with all the squeamishness surrounding Bitcoin?
another article on your site: ""Facebook Stops Irresponsibly Defaulting Privacy Of New Users’ Posts To “Public”, Changes To “Friends""""
- It's about time. Why do think Facebook is finally doing this?
And with Facebook adding music and TV show recognition while you are updating your status- Should folks be worried about privacy concerns?
//Thankss Roberto Baldwin, Reporter The Next Web"
Who's the world's fastest robot on legs? Why, it's OutRunner, a six-legged machine built by Florida-based Robotics Unlimited that can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour on a treadmill and 25 miles per hour in the great outdoors. The previously fastest robot, built at Boston Dynamics, only got up to 16 miles an hour outdoors and 28.3 miles an hour on a treadmill. The team behind Robotics Unlimited is raising $150,000 on Kickstarter in order to produce the OutRunner for sale. If they hit their goal, the creators say they want to host a global robot race in which anyone can enter.
[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.
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