Technology & Digital Life

Commentary
2:47 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Calling It 'Metadata' Doesn't Make Surveillance Less Intrusive

Andrey Kuzmin iStockphoto.com

"This is just metadata. There is no content involved." That was how Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended the NSA's blanket surveillance of Americans' phone records and Internet activity. Before those revelations, not many people had heard of metadata, the term librarians and programmers use for the data that describes a particular document or record it's linked to.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Report: U.K. Spy Agency Taps Trans-Atlantic Fiber Optic Cables

The drip-drip of classified information has now moved overseas: Citing more classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Guardian newspaper reports that the British spy agency taps into trans-Atlantic fiber optic cables, sucking up vast amounts of data that includes communication sent by Americans and Britons.

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The Two-Way
11:47 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Pirate Bay Co-Founder Gets Two Years For Hacking And Fraud

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 2:22 pm

A co-founder of the file-sharing website Pirate Bay has been sentenced in Sweden to two years in prison for hacking into a bank computer.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, 28, was arrested in Cambodia last year after Swedish authorities issued an international warrant. He was convicted and sentenced Thursday for hacking Sweden's Nordea bank and U.K.-based services firm Logica.

"The data intrusion has been very extensive and technically advanced," the court said in its ruling.

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Digital Life
11:17 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Beaming Internet to the Boondocks, Via Balloon

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. If you have a smartphone, you might take the Internet for granted, right? It's always there. But around the world, some four and a half billion people still are not connected. Google, being in the Internet business, has a plan to expand its reach, bring Internet to all these people, but it's not by spooling out fiber-optic cable or building cell towers. It's using a technology that, well, sort of sounds like it belongs in another century: free-floating balloons. They call it Project Loon.

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NPR Story
11:17 am
Fri June 21, 2013

A Calculating Win for China's New Supercomputer

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Every six months, one of my next guests ranks the 500 fastest computers in the world, the supercomputers, and back in November 2010, China took number one for the first time with a supercomputer called Milky Way 1. President Obama acknowledged China's feat in his State of the Union address a few months later and said we were facing a Sputnik moment.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Book News: Apple, DOJ Tussle As Ebook Price Fixing Trial Ends

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 10:32 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Protojournalist
2:48 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Online Tracking: Is Everyone Doing It?

Gabriel Weinberg is the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo.
Courtesy of Duck Duck Go

Today's phrase: "search engines that do not collect personal information."

We Googled it this morning (with the quotation marks) and got one measly hit — a 2012 forum in LinuxQuestions, a message board that explores the open-source operating system.

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All Tech Considered
7:38 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Will Video Ruin Instagram's Appeal?

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has announced a new video feature.
Ramsey Mohsen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:31 pm

UPDATE on Thursday at 1:44 p.m. ET: Instagram For Video Arrives

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All Tech Considered
2:57 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In More Cities, A Camera On Every Corner, Park And Sidewalk

Micaela Torres and 2-year-old Jakai Johnson swing underneath a surveillance camera at Miwok Park in Elk Grove, Calif. The city's police department collects more than 100 video feeds from across the city.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 7:07 am

This report is part of the series NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century.

Surveillance cameras, and the sophisticated software packages that go with them, have become big business. Many small- and medium-sized cities across American are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on cameras and software to watch their residents.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Microsoft Responds To Fan Outcry, Changes Xbox One Policies

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Fans spoke, and apparently Microsoft listened.

In a reversal of the company's previous position, Microsoft announced Wednesday that its forthcoming Xbox One gaming console would no longer require a regular Internet connection and would not restrict used or shared games.

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