Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Following the iCloud security breach involving controversial celebrity photos, Apple is trying to regain consumer trust by encouraging users to utilize their new and pre-existing security features. The company revealed how it encrypts messages and offered tips for protecting user data in a newly-launched website. In the open letter, Apple CEO Tim Cook takes a swing at Google for monetizing users’ private data and reassures Apple users that their data is safe from the government. Continue reading Apple’s Open Letter Explains Privacy Tips, Security Methods

Verizon Settlement is Largest in FCC History Involving Privacy

Following an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission regarding the use of customer information for marketing campaigns, Verizon has agreed to pay a settlement to the federal government. The FCC investigated allegations that Verizon used personal information without notifying customers or obtaining their consent. To end the investigation, Verizon will pay $7.4 million to the U.S. Treasury and notify its customers of their opt-out rights on every bill for the next three years. Continue reading Verizon Settlement is Largest in FCC History Involving Privacy

China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

China could have its own operating system in place by October to take on imported systems currently offered by tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Apple. Initial reports suggest the system would first appear on desktop computers and then later expand to smartphones and other mobile devices. According to Ni Guangnan, who heads a development alliance created in March, the domestically built software could replace desktop operating systems within 1-2 years and mobile systems within 3-5 years. Continue reading China Creates Own OS to Kick Dependence on U.S. Systems

Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Following reports that the upcoming new iPhone will have a bigger screen, Apple may also have an even larger iPad in the works. The new iPad with a 12.9-inch display would dwarf the current models of iPads, which measure 9.7 inches and 7.9 inches diagonally. Tablet sales have been on the decline for the past two quarters, but the iPad remains Apple’s second-biggest product. The larger screen could give the iPad more functionality and appeal for businesses, schools and government customers. Continue reading Apple Plans to Target New Customers with Larger iPad Screen

Encrypted Communication Tools Seeking Mainstream Users

Apps and other products that enable encrypted communication are on the rise. Even tech giants like Google and Yahoo have promised to give encrypted sites a higher ranking in search results and to start encrypting emails. However, the creators of encryption apps, such as ProtonMail or Bleep, are still looking for mainstream users, not just gadget enthusiasts or security-conscious professionals. These companies are targeting mainstream users concerned about their privacy. Continue reading Encrypted Communication Tools Seeking Mainstream Users

NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

The National Security Agency is funding a project at Carnegie Mellon University to develop the world’s first “polyglot” programming language that combines CSS, JavaScript, PHP, HTML5, and more. Wyvern, the new language, intends to make Web programming easier. Files will be more organized, making it easier for Web developers to secure their websites, which seems to be the NSA’s primary goal. Wyvern is an open source project still in development. Continue reading NSA Funds Development of All-In-One Programming Language

Tech Giants Tighten Security on Emails with Encryption Option

Last week, Yahoo joined Google and Microsoft in the effort to bring more privacy to users of their popular email services. The 110 million unique Yahoo email users will have the option to turn on an encrypted messaging feature. The feature relies on PGP encryption, which stores each user’s encryption key on their personal laptops and devices. Google also announced that encrypted websites will fare better in their search results due to a new feature in its ranking algorithm. Continue reading Tech Giants Tighten Security on Emails with Encryption Option

Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Attorneys with the American Bar Association are advising the government on dealing with online piracy through a 113-page white paper titled “A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation.” While they suggest many measures similar to SOPA and PIPA, the lawyers also advise against suing the file-sharers because it is usually counterproductive, costing more money than they recover, and it can also be bad PR for the copyright holders.  Continue reading Bar Association Pushes for Change in Online Piracy Legislation

Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

By 2016, Skybox Imaging will use six satellites to capture daily images of the Earth. By 2018, the company plans to launch 24 satellites, imaging the entire planet with exceptional resolution. Google’s acquisition of Skybox for $500 million will allow the Internet company to use these satellites to provide faster online access to high-quality images. The deal, in the long run, is also expected to improve Internet access and assist with disaster relief. It could also collect new levels of information on people and companies. Continue reading Google’s Skybox Purchase is About More Than Satellite Images

FCC Chair Tom Wheeler on the Power of Community Broadband

Tom Wheeler met this week with Andy Berke, mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to discuss the power of networks in driving economic growth. In an FCC Blog post titled “Removing Barriers to Competitive Community Broadband,” Wheeler writes about Chattanooga’s history and Berke’s recognition that tomorrow’s economic growth will be reliant upon effective high-speed networks, which is why the city “invested in building out one of the nation’s most robust community broadband networks.” Continue reading FCC Chair Tom Wheeler on the Power of Community Broadband

Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

SoftBank’s Sprint unit is reportedly poised to make a $32 billion offer to acquire T-Mobile that could take place early this summer. According to people familiar with the matter, the two telecoms have agreed on the broad outlines of a merger, but are still working on a formal contract. If completed and approved, the deal would combine the country’s third- and fourth-largest wireless operators, and potentially establish stronger competition for industry leaders Verizon and AT&T. Continue reading Sprint Edges Closer to a $32 Billion Deal for Rival T-Mobile

Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

Unlike Google, Microsoft is not trying to connect the entire Earth by using drones or balloons. Instead, the company hopes to utilize television white space, an unused part of the broadcast spectrum, to provide more Internet access to people living in Africa. After running cost-effective pilot programs in the U.S. and Kenya, Microsoft has found that the challenge for Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is to persuade governments to lift regulations to allow them to utilize white space. Continue reading Microsoft Has Plans to Bring More Internet Access to Africa

FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission released a report urging Congress to require data brokers to be more transparent. Data brokers collect information on nearly all U.S consumers, typically without their knowledge, and create profiles based on online purchases, public records, and online tracking cookies. The FTC recommends creating one Internet site where each company explains their purpose and method of data collection and gives consumers a chance to opt out. Continue reading FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

House Passes USA Freedom Act to Curb NSA Surveillance

Late last week the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that is intended to bring an end to the National Security Agency’s bulk phone records program. The USA Freedom Act is designed to restrict the federal government’s ability to collect records about citizens in bulk, a program that had sparked debate regarding privacy and civil liberties. The House voted 303-to-121 in support of the USA Freedom Act, which could signal a change in how both political parties view the power of the NSA. Continue reading House Passes USA Freedom Act to Curb NSA Surveillance

DARPA’s Newest Tech Projects that Could Change the World

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), responsible for bankrolling the early Internet, is busy developing new technologies that could have a similar impact on the world. The agency’s $3 billion budget is funding research on atomic GPS technology that does not require a satellite to achieve geo-location awareness, terahertz frequency electronics that could lead to significant health-related applications, a virus shield for the Internet of Things, and Rapid Threat Assessment to aid drug discovery. Continue reading DARPA’s Newest Tech Projects that Could Change the World

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