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Tech News Today for November 23, 2016

Tech News for Wednesday November 23, 2016

Santa's little helpers are on strike. Not the elves, but the pilots who deliver packages for Amazon. Pilots for Amazon.com Inc.'s new in-house transportation network took to the picket line this week over an ongoing labor dispute over increased demand and staffing shortages. ABX Air, which also flies for DHL, says 26 flights carrying 1.25 million pounds of cargo is currently grounded. The Wall Street Journal says that as of this morning, pilots are not crossing the picket line. Read more at wsj.com.

The New York Times says that Facebook has built a tool that will allow them to monitor and suppress posts based on location, and they're doing this to get into China. The tool has been a secret, but some Facebook employees have already left the company in protest. This would be a pragmatic move on Zuckerberg's part and he obviously wants to get into China at any cost. Zuckerberg and other tech companies are always looking to find their next billion users and China has 1.4 people in it. In order to distance himself from criticism, Facebook has designed the tool for use by third parties, such as local companies in China. There's a good chance Facebook won't succeed in China with or without a tool like this. Read more at nytimes.com.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued voluntary guidelines to Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers of smartphones to work to include a “driver mode” into devices that would prevent certain apps from running in an effort to fend off distracted driving. NHTSA is calling for a simplified interface, blocked video playback, and avoidance of scrolling or blinking text and distracting imagery, as well as banning certain apps like social networks to run which the car is in motion. Read more at theverge.com.

Security reasearchers say there's a new way to spy on you, through your headphones. A new proof of concept code called Speaker can exploit the audio-jack retasking function of RealTek codecs, a fairly common audio technology that comes with many PC motherboards. An attacker can then swap the headphone jack for the microphone jack, and poof, now your headphones are listening. The researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University say this exploit could be used on people who think they're protected by covering the webcam on their laptop or even go so far as to remove the microphone on their laptop. Read more at wired.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Fred Lambert of Electrek.co to talk about Tesla's acquisition of Solar City. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show or get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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