Zero Dark Facebook

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Zero Dark Facebook
Number 2496
Broadcast Date MAY 19, 2015
Episode Length 41:39
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Patrick Beja

Patrick Beja is on the show and we’ll talk about protest letters regarding encryption back doors and zero-rating, an app store for your 10-year-old car and the most annoying innovations in tech.



The Washington Post reports 164 tech companies organizations and security researchers sent a letter to US President Obama asking him to reject any proposed law that would “deliberately weaken the security of their products.” US FBI Director James B. Comey is among several US government officials pushing companies to allow government to have access to all encrypted data. The letter is signed by three of the five members of a presidential review group appointed to assess policy in the wake of the Snowden leaks.
The BBC reports 67 digital rights groups from around the world signed a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stating concerns about the initiative. The letter says the project threatens freedom of expression, privacy and the principle of net neutrality. lets users access participating services without incurring data charges. It does not currently support https, ssl or TLS. Internet.og is currently available in Zambia, India, Colombia, Guatemala, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malawi.
TechCrunch has the tech specs on Apple’s just updated MacBook Pro iMac. The 15” Retina MacBook Pro now comes with a new force touch trackpad, improved PCIe-based flash drive with 2.5x the performance, one more hour of battery life, and a new Radeon R9 M370X discrete GPU option. Prices start at $1999 for a 16GB, 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7, and 256GB of storage. The iMac 5K Retina now comes with a 3.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon R9 M290 graphics card. And Apple is now selling a lightning dock for your iPhone 6 and 6 plus for $40. This one should last through a few more models since the base is open.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple shelved plans for a 4K television, according to people familiar with the matter. The reason? The features — including a camera that would allow users to make video calls — were not compelling enough to impress executives. However, according to Reuters, prominent investor Carl Icahn says Apple will still introduce a TV, and a car. And he wants Apple to buy back more stock. And he wants a pony. The pony part is unconfirmed.
ZDNet reports that Microsoft has released public previews of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android phones today. The new Office app previews require KitKat 4.4.x or higher and devices with 1 GB of RAM or more.You’ll also need to join the Office Android Preview group. “Become a tester” on Google Play by visiting the Word,Excel and PowerPoint apps. Wait for Google Play to replicate permissions, then click above mentioned links and follow the download links to install apps from the Google Play Store. Finally join Microsoft’s Google+ community for support, feedback and queries. But that’s all!
Tech Crunch reports that Google is adding tweets to its search results. Use the word Twitter in your search request or just search for a term and see if people are saying anything about it on Twitter. Results will show up for English-language mobile users today on browsers and Android and iOS Google apps. Google is working on adding it to the desktop and other languages.
Automatic is launching an app store and SDK for its on-board diagnostic— or OBD plug— according to CNET. First-generation Automatic dongles are compatible with the new App Gallery but not the new SDK. The new dev platform includes a streaming SDK that only works with second-generation Automatic hardware. The new hardware is able to send raw, real-time performance data to select third-party apps over Bluetooth. The streaming SDK is in currently in private beta. The second-generation Automatic adapter will retail for $99.95 same as the first-gen.

News From You

Ars Technica reports that the state of North Carolina has sued the US Federal Communications Commission. The FCC pre-empted state law to help the City of Winston expand its municipal broadband network. The state claims that the FCC unlawfully inserted itself between the State and the State’s political subdivisions. The case is now in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Tennessee is also suing the FCC in the Sixth Circuit regarding municipal broadband in Chatannooga.
Submitted by johnsie776
KitGuru notes that a Chrome and Android engineer said in a Reddit AMA session late last week— that developers are working on improving Chrome’s resource usage on mobile as well as memory leaks on the desktop. Here’s hoping.
Submitted by jaymz668
PC World reports that the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed an update to their U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint against The YouTube Kids app. The update adds a video of allegedly harmful content to the complaint originally filed in April. The groups also added the complaint that Google is deceiving parents about the effectiveness of the screening process. Google said it is working to make the videos in YouTube Kids as family friendly as possible.
Submitted by habichuelcondulce


Pick of the Day

My pick is Bing Maps. I know that nearly everyone uses Google Maps, but I feel that Bing is much better in several ways:

1. In my experience, the routing is better and the travel time estimates are more accurate.
2. Their satellite view (bird’s eye view) is actually photos from airplanes and not satellites. So, it is much more detailed than Google Maps in many areas.
3. I prefer the interface over the new Google Maps

That said, there are a few drawbacks:

1. Their street view doesn’t have quite as good coverage
2. Business search isn’t quite as strong.
Submitted by Daryl Sensenig (in lovely Lancaster County, Pennsylvania)



Preceded by:
"Thanks, @POTUS"
Zero Dark Facebook
Followed by:
"Run, Spotify, Run"