Top News for March 21, 2014

Microsoft

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for March 21, 2014:

  1. The Turkish government blocked Twitter yesterday after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “wipe out” the microblogging service, as well as other social media. He’s trying to contain a corruption scandal a few days before an election there. Read more at twitter.com.

  2. After admitting to snooping on a blogger’s email, Microsoft announced today a change in its privacy policy. The company had taken advantage of its ownership and control of Hotmail to read a blogger's email messages to find out who leaked Microsoft secrets to said blogger. Allegedly. The incident raises the question of just how common it is for cloud companies to violate the privacy of customers in pursuit of their own internal objectives. Read more at wired.com.

  3. A new piece at Slate.com by investigative journalist Allan Holmes says that “the future of wireless communication may be decided by lobbyists, think tanks, and academics who are paid for their opinions. Read more at slate.com.

  4. The newest revelation from the Edward Snowden trove of documents, reported on The Intercept, says that the NSA targeted private email, Facebook account information and other personal data about system administrators around the world to make it easier to break into the networks they control. Read more at firstlook.org.

  5. President Obama has once again summoned top tech executives to the White House. The focus of the meeting today once again is “issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence” -- in other words, the NSA’s exploitation of Silicon Valley to engage in mass surveillance. The invitation list hasn’t been announced, but reports say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be there -- Zuck recently called Obama to complain about a revelation that the NSA was spreading malware with fake Facebook servers -- and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is expected to be there, too. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reportedly declined, saying the invitation didn't give her enough notice. Read more at politico.com.

  6. It sounds like a story from The Onion, but, no, it’s real: Mt Gox claims that it found 200 thousand bitcoins worth around $116 million in an old virtual wallet thought to be empty. The revelation happened after some noticed the bitcoins moving through the crypto-currency exchange. We reported in previous episodes about the ongoing saga of Mt Gox bitcoin, a leading bitcoin exchange that collapsed after the company claimed that all the bitcoins had been stolen by hackers. It has since filed for bankruptcy. Our advice: Keep checking those old wallets. Maybe the rest will turn up. Also: Try looking under the virtual cushions of the virtual sofa. Read more at time.com.

  7. Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale is reportedly in talks to play Steve Jobs for David Fincher’s upcoming biopic, written by Aaron Sorkin. A Cult of Mac reader even whipped up a Photoshop showing what Bale would look like as Steve Jobs. Andy: He’s an insanely great actor, but can he pull off playing Steve Jobs? Read more at cultofmac.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for March 21, 2014.