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Can you hear me now? As MRAnthropology submitted on the subreddit, The Guardian reports mobile phone carrier Vodafone published a Law Enforcement Disclosure Report revealing how many requests for personal information the company gets by country, where it was legal to report such information. Vodafone also revealed wires have been connected directly to it and other telecom’s networks to allow government agencies to listen record and track the whereabouts of customers. These wire taps do not require warrants and Vodafone is allowed no oversight. Information on taps was not disclosed about Albania, Egypt, Hungary, India, Malta, Qatar, Romania, South Africa and Turkey where it is illegal to reveal intercepts. Ireland denied Vodafone permission to publish such info. Vodafone is making a call to end direct access to communications data and direct government wiretaps.
Does this come with healthcare? Nikkei Asian Review reports that sources say Apple will bring out a watch-like device running iOS this October. The device would have a curved OLED screen and collect health-related data, as well as send and received messages sent by smartphone. Apple will also partner with Nike to integrate services, according to the rumor.
Smell ya later, third parties: The Next Web reports Yahoo continues its move to get rid of third-party logins on its site. Yahoo’s photo-sharing site, Flickr will no longer accept Facebook or Google IDs as logins after June 30. Users of Flickr are urged to create a Yahoo account if they don’t already have one, and then link that account to Flickr.
What’s wrong with your head? TechCrunch reports Amazon’s secret June 18 announcement will be a phone with a 3D interface, but then every self-respecting blog is reporting that. What TechCrunch found out is that the phone will use Omron’s Okao Vision face sensing technology to track the user’s head and project the three image in the right way. The tech allows a user to tilt their head to access side panels hidden from the interface otherwise. The system which uses four infrared cameras can also recognize faces and and estimate gender, age and ethnicity although TechCrunch doesn’t believe Amazon has taken advantage of these last features.
Must. Stay. Connected. Oh, wait…: The Next Web reports Google announced its Play Movies and TV Chrome app now has an offline mode on Chrome OS. That means you can watch shows on your Chromebook even when you’re in a place without Internet, like some backwards airline or city park bench. Google also announced that it is making Chromebooks available in nine more countries – New Zealand, the Philippines, Norway, Denmark, Mexico, Chile, Belgium, Spain and Italy.
I wouldn’t walk there, if I were you: Engadget reports the University of Michigan will open up its Mobility Transformation Facility this autumn for testing self-driving cars. The 32-acre research center will have a four-lane highway, city streets and road signs, street lights, roundabouts and various road surfaces. Pop-up pedestrians and mechanized bicycles will also keep things interesting. A Ford Fusion Hybrid will be the first test vehicle, but General Motors and Toyota are also involved. No plans to make freshman use the facility to walk to class.
Better late than never: Engadget reports on the release of Ted Nelson’s Xanadu, released in April at Chapman University after 54 years in development. Nelson coined the term “hypertext” and began work on Xanadu in 1960. The software can embed clickable links in documents that when clicked lead to targeted information without closing the original document, shrinking out of the way or scaling up for side-by-side comparison. Nelson didn’t have the resources to beat Tim Berners-Lee to the punch but Nelson still believes Xanadu could replace a lot of what people use PDFs for.
News From You
MikePKennedy submitted the Engadget report on VICE’s claims that US cable companies are funding groups that pretend to represent consumers in the campaign over net neutrality rules. Broadband for America for instance describes itself as a coalition involving “independent consumer advocacy groups,” and is funded by the NCTA. The American Consumer Institute is fighting against net neutrality and receives its funding from the CTIA.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Wall Street Journal post that research from Adobe shows Google’s browsers are the most popular in the US now, passing Microsoft. The survey combines desktop and mobile browsers. Google’s Chrome and Android browsers had 31.8% share in April, up from around 26% the prior year. Internet Explorer had 30.9% share, down from roughly 37% a year ago. IE is still the most popular on desktops alone though with 43% and Safari is the mot popular on mobile with 59%. But neither is popular on the other platform and Google is popular on both.
Discussion Section Links
Pick of the day: Big Oven via Tom!
Monday’s Guest: Iyaz Akhtar