Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for March 27, 2014:
- President Barack Obama announced this morning his highly anticipated plan to deal with the mass collection of phone metadata by the NSA. His plan is to make the telecom companies do it. The NSA could then access the data with court permission. Read more at nytimes.com.
- Twitter announced changes that make it more like Facebook or Google+. You can now tag up to 10 people in a picture without adding to the 140-character count, and also attach up to four pictures per tweet. The changes will show up in the iOS and Android apps, and possibly the web site in the future. Read more at gizmodo.com.
- Twitter will soon unveil a new music strategy, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The company pulled its one-year-old music app from the Apple iTunes app store less than a week ago. The new strategy won’t involve a dedicated app, but will focus on music-centered conversations on Twitter itself, and in the regular Twitter apps. Read more at wsj.com.
- Microsoft is interested in Google-glass like smart glasses technology. At least, they were interested enough to spend a possible $150 million to buy smartglass-related intellectual property from the Osterhout Design Group, according to an exclusive in TechCrunch by Ingrid Lunden. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- One effect of the Internet of Things and the home automation revolution is that ordinary household items will become consumer electronics gadgets that are sold by consumer electronics companies. The most recent example is Samsung, which announced today a new line of smart lightbulbs. Samsung’s new Smart Bulb product supports Bluetooth, and can be controlled with a mobile app. The company also announced an L-tube series that replaces dumb fluorescent tube lights with smart ones. Samsung’s announcement comes just a few days after LG rolled out a similar line of smart bulbs. While Samsung’s prices haven’t been announced, the standard LG Smart Bulb costs about $32. Read more at engadget.com.
- We've been reporting on the blocking of Twitter in Turkey. And we told you yesterday that a court ruled the block illegal and ordered that Twitter be un-blocked, which hasn't happened yet. This morning we've learned that the government is now blocking YouTube as well. Read more at bbc.com.
- Walking while texting can be hazardous. But help is on the way from Apple. The company has patented what they call “transparent texting.” The idea is to show the live view through the camera as the background for your iMessage window. That way, you can see the open manhole, telephone pole or fountain in the background of your conversation as you’re text-walking down the street. Of course, apps that do this have existed for years in the App Store. Read more at appleinsider.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for March 27, 2014.