Top News for May 2, 2014

Google

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for May 02, 2014:

  1. The US government doesn’t want technology companies telling users about government data requests. Major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Google used to comply, but stopped doing it. They’ve all changed -- or are in the process of changing -- their policies to inform users according to a report in The Washington Post by Craig Timberg, who on the show today to explain this trend. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

  2. A class-action lawsuit against Google says that Android violates antitrust laws and hurts competition. Specifically, Google requires Android handset makers to sign a contract called a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement, which requires them to bundle Gmail, YouTube and other Google apps. Google told Recode in a statement that: “Anyone can use Android without Google and anyone can use Google without Android.” Read more at recode.net.

  3. Twitter is experimenting with a new feature for its mobile apps that “mutes” certain accounts, a feature available on Google+ for more than two years. It enables you to continue to follow someone without getting their tweets. Read more at bbc.com.

  4. The Supreme Court this week considered two major technology issues. The first is whether the TV streaming service Aereo is legal or illegal. The second case looked at whether it’s unconstitutional for police to search the mobile phones of suspects without a warrant. Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Parker Higgins wrote this week that in reviewing these cases, Supreme Court justices revealed what he considers a dangerous ignorance about how people use technology. He joins us today to explain. Read more at parkerhiggens.net.

  5. We told you yesterday about new features in the Snapchat app that enable users to seamlessly move between chats, texting and video. Today, an article on the New York Magazine site by Kevin Roose says the new Snapchat is causing huge disruption in America’s high schools. And by disruption, I mean both the technology kind where patterns of usage are radically altered, and also disruption in the traditional sense in terms of disrupting class. One high school science teacher in Kansas said: “In 16 years of teaching I can't think of anything that has ever disrupted my classroom more than today's @snapchat update.” She had to take the student’s phones away, she said, because quote: “They seriously could not keep away from it. I even had one girl crawl under the table with her phone.” Read more at nymag.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for May 02, 2014.