Top News for July 7, 2014

NSA

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for July 07, 2014:

  1. The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the NSA targeted the communication of ordinary Internet users far more often than legally targeted suspects. Ninety percent of the people involved in intercepted conversations were not the targets of that surveillance. Nearly half were American citizens. The report was based on a four-month investigation of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

  2. Microsoft is accepting pre-orders from developers for its second-generation Kinect for Windows motion sensor, with plans to start shipping the device next week on July 15. This version will cost $199 and will be sold to developers until Microsoft sells out. This version is supposed to work in smaller spaces and allow for interactions such as motion control. Read more at cnet.com.

  3. A 36-year-old spacecraft was fired up again last week after being abandoned in space by NASA in 1997. The resurrection of the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 probe was initiated by private team after a crowdfunding effort to raise money for the project. Read more at scientificamerican.com.

  4. According to CNBC, Apple poached a Swiss watch sales exec for iWatch launch as recently as last week. Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH's watch brands including Tag Heuer, told CNBC that he didn't feel betrayed by the move, since Apple isn't a direct competitor. Read more at cnbc.com.

  5. Make sure your phone is charged before flying. New Transportation Security Administration rules announced yesterday require that mobile phones be turned on during security checks or they won't be allowed on some flights inbound to the United States. Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones are given extra scrutiny at security checkpoints. Read more at reuters.com.

  6. Google is using video in Android to create interfaces for a variety of devices including Android Auto. Rather than using Android apps, Android Auto will play back a video rendered by your phone. This is a growing trend: virtualizing interfaces by using a device on a network to create a stream for a display rather than having the device in question do the work. Read more at gigaom.com.

  7. A new generation of illegal ATM skimmers is nearly impossible to detect. An ATM skimmers are designed to fool ATM users into swiping their cards on a data collection devices, rather than on the bank's ATM swiper. Krebs on Security recently researched trends in European ATM skimmers, and found that some were so small they fit inside the ATM card slot itself! Read more at krebsonsecurity.com.

  8. Re/code reports that Google is setting aside more than $500 million to expand its Shopping Express services, which is an attempt to close the retail loop that Amazon long-ago tied up: Connecting product searches to the ability to actually make a purchase of that product. Read more at recode.net.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for July 07, 2014.