Tech News Today For April 28, 2017

Tech news for Friday April 28, 2017

The National Security Agency is ending its warrantless wiretapping program that targeted American communications that in any way mentioned the names of foreigners currently under surveillance. Critics have long held that scanning the content of American’s email and text messages constituted a breach of the Fourth Amendment which bars unlawful search and seizure since the emails were being monitored and tracked based on their contents, and not based on the sender or recipient of them. The NSA issued a statement saying it will end the program as well as delete the majority of upstream data generated from it.  Read more at

The voice of the Amazon Echo is getting more human. The company says new Speech Synthesis Markup Language or SSLM will allow the assistant who shall not be named to whisper, bleep out swear words, spell out words, speak at different volumes or rates and more. A developer can us SSLM to control these new features to make their skills more robust and perhaps even sexier, in the case of the whispering. There are some examples on the Amazon site that you can test in the voice simulator on the developer portal.  Read more at

Facebook is riddled with video content that has been lifted and republished from the original sources, also known as freebooting. In the past, rights holders could only choose to either block or take down those videos where they were found on the service. Now, with updates to Facebook’s Rights Manager, a new option allows rights holders to “claim ad earnings” from those videos, routing revenue generated from that video to them instead of into the pockets of the pirate. Read more at

And now it's time for another Sorry or Not Sorry Segment. featured a story called "Meet the Brilliant Young Hackers Who'll Soon Shape the World" with a photograph of the young hackers who were a little less than diverse. The story was widely criticized as was the publication as being out of touch with the times. #Tired! Wired Editor Nicholas Thompson responded to the criticism on Facebook, without using the word "sorry," but it sounded like he was...kind of. He was also defensive, writing that the author included a scene in the story of a meeting with the woman who runs the college’s official hacking group. And quoting the conclusion of the piece about that these guys who QUOTE, "aren’t ambassadors of their generation; they’re just seven freshmen on one floor of one dorm of one college in one state in one country on our one and only planet.” The Outline had a long piece about how this was a pointless article in ridiculous packaging that shows that Wired is over the hill. Women used to be 40 percent of computer science majors. Now they're only 17%. Read more at

Anyone curious to know what Apple’s self-driving car technology looks like, we now have photographic evidence a mere two weeks after Apple got permission to test its Project Titan technology on the roads of California. Onboard sensors include a 64-channel lidar system by Velodyne Lidar Inc, 2+ radars and a collection of cameras of course. Industry experts say the photos reveal that the sensors are off-the-shelf products and not produced internally. Read more at

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