Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

President Barack Obama spoke about the National Security Agency last week at the Department of Justice in Washington. The President touched on allowing technology companies to disclose information to the public about the kinds of data the government requests from them. However, he did not address issues such as secret government taps on data centers located overseas and encryption standards, two issues of particular interest to technology and phone companies. Continue reading Tech Companies Hopeful for Change in NSA Disclosure Policy

Will Most Customers Pay for Apps That Protect Their Privacy?

In the past seven years since the iPhone was introduced, consumers have enjoyed free apps in exchange for their data being sold to marketers. However, a new study shows that the average consumer would rather pay a small price for their apps to keep their personal information private. A study by economists at the University of Colorado found that consumers were willing to spend a little more on apps to protect their personal data, and this amount is determined on the amount of data at stake.  Continue reading Will Most Customers Pay for Apps That Protect Their Privacy?

CES: Liquid Image Demos 4G Live Streaming via Action Cam

Liquid Image unveiled a new mini camera during CES, which is capable of streaming live video to the Internet over 4G LTE wireless. Intended for extreme sports, news coverage and point-of-view footage, the $200 EGO LS will be available in the U.S. in June. Users can record 1080p video at 30 fps or transmit over 4G LTE in lower resolution WQVGA at 30 fps. The camera was demonstrated in Las Vegas attached to a $200 Verizon 4G network module. Continue reading CES: Liquid Image Demos 4G Live Streaming via Action Cam

Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

Although wearables are a relatively new category in the digital marketplace, manufacturers are already looking to expand beyond the wrist to the smart home. “The [home security] market largely didn’t move from the 1970s,” explains Michael Wolff, founder of NextMarket Insights. “It was always high-end proprietary systems, but it’s being reinvented in the last couple of years.” Wearables are a great source of data, such as biometrics, goes the argument, and therefore can interface nicely with smart home applications. Continue reading Wearable Tech Innovators Have an Eye on the Smart Home

CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

At the Consumer Electronics Show next week, we expect to see a host of companies, large and small, offering backend cloud integration services. These range from the startup Active Video, with its signature HTML5-powered Cloud TV app, to the publicly-traded prime mover Akamai, offering its Terra enterprise solution. In recent months, we have reported significant cloud-related news from major players such as Amazon, Google, Oracle and Verizon. We anticipate this wave to continue in Las Vegas. Continue reading CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

Archos to Intro Smartwatches and Connected Devices at CES

It looks like Archos, maker of Android devices, will join Pebble, Samsung, Sony and others in the emerging smartwatch market when it debuts new connected devices at next week’s CES. A “Coming Soon” teaser page on the company’s website promises “Archos Smartwatches: the perfect companions for your smartphone.” And the company’s press release suggests new smartwatches will join a collection of other connected devices on display in Central Hall at the Archos booth. Continue reading Archos to Intro Smartwatches and Connected Devices at CES

MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

MobiTV reportedly has plans to power a service in 2014 that will introduce a new HDMI streaming stick or lightweight set-top box for playing Internet content on a TV set. While the company is not revealing who is behind the prospective service, it is likely that a broadband or wireless provider would use MobiTV to turn an OTT video service into something consumers can easily enjoy in their living rooms. This would be a bold move for MobiTV, which is not a traditional service provider. Continue reading MobiTV Aims to Power Over-The-Top Video Service Next Year

Panel Recommends Obama Impose Restrictions on NSA Spying

A report by a panel of outside advisers has urged President Obama to place a number of restrictions on the NSA. Commissioned by President Obama back in August, the report is a response to the outrage inspired by Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing of the agency’s spying methods. The advisers are calling for greater congressional oversight and presidential approval for spying on national leaders. They also want to see the agency give up its cyber-spying on American hardware and software. Continue reading Panel Recommends Obama Impose Restrictions on NSA Spying

Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google has released a Glass software update that includes some substantial new features. Update XE12 provides users with the ability to snap a photo with a discreet wink, adds a lock screen function for improved security, offers options for uploading Glass-shot videos directly to YouTube, and intros Hangouts integration for messaging and chatting with friends. Additionally, the Google Play Music app is available and the long-awaited MyGlass app for iOS is being rolled out. Continue reading Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

DirecTV to Pursue New Audiences and Online Video Streaming

DirecTV execs say online video is one of the “growth areas” it will be focusing on in the next few years as it attempts to attract younger potential customers who aren’t paying for cable service. It wants to target niche audiences in particular and is considering offering tailored programming to those viewers. Children and Latinos are the two major audiences the company is eyeing. The satellite TV firm said home security and new advertising products are also on the front burner. Continue reading DirecTV to Pursue New Audiences and Online Video Streaming

NSA and GCHQ Monitor Gaming Activity, Search for Terrorists

The National Security Agency and its UK sister agency GCHQ have been deploying real-life agents into fictional worlds like “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life,” collecting gamers’ chats and even attempting to recruit potential informants, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. The agencies claimed that real-life terrorists might be playing and plotting within these games, suggesting that the gamer communities may provide intelligence on terrorist activity. Continue reading NSA and GCHQ Monitor Gaming Activity, Search for Terrorists

Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

The “Snowden Effect” has caused a ripple among major tech companies trying to assure consumers that their personal information is secure and protected in data centers. Following the surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden, the question on everyone’s mind is whether their private and confidential data has been secured from prying eyes online. A number of companies, concerned by the National Security Agency’s actions, are working to protect their customers’ data.

Continue reading Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

According to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman and former CEO of Google, we may be close to a new “network age” in which Internet traffic will be protected with code, allowing users to communicate and organize socially without the fear of government censorship. Schmidt believes that Internet users will communicate via private channels that are shielded by encryption, scrambling data that can be decoded with a special digital key. Continue reading Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google and co-creator of the Internet’s key networking technology, delivered the keynote address at the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet of Things workshop this week in Washington, DC. Cerf suggested that privacy is a relatively new development that may not be sustainable. “Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” he said while taking questions, noting that privacy was not even guaranteed just a few decades ago. Continue reading Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

In its effort to get apps, games and entire desktops running on the cloud, Amazon is launching two new Web services. The first, AppStream, enables developers to run and render an application in Amazon’s cloud. It can then be distributed to users on a variety of platforms. The second, WorkSpaces, will allow virtual desktops to be managed through Amazon’s cloud, a solution that Amazon claims would run for less than half the cost of a company maintaining its own virtualization servers. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

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