President Obama Announces NSA Reforms And Changes

obama-leadThere were many things said during President Obama’s livestream about the National Security Agency’s criticized practices on surveillance of enemies of the state, but more specifically the American people.

The collection of phone records, text messages, computer security and social networks — all things the NSA has proved to bypass time and time again, thousands of times on thousands of individuals, all in the name of security and intelligence.

Well, there are changes, and Obama has ordered them. First of all, there will be:

  • New presidiential directive for signal intelligence
  • Reforms to programs and procedures to provide greater transparency from the intelligence community
  • New reforms to restrict amount of information collected on foreign targets overseas under Section 702 (a big one)
  • National Security Letters secret for a limited period of time in order to increase transparency (to avoid all the leaks)
  • End Section 215 bulk collection of telephone metadata program in favor of “a new mechanism” (no word on what the new method might be

Obama made it clear that he, along with the rest of his administration, would work towards the reestablishment of belief in the United States on a worldwide scale, while still staying fully alert and critical, but with reason. Mr. President also took care to mention what role surveillance has on companies in the United States: that the NSA does “not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to U.S. companies, or U.S. commercial sectors.”

Indeed. The full text of his speech is at the source link.

Via: WPost

Google’s New Smart Contact Lenses Monitor Diabetics’ Health

contactlensIn another round of Google wearable technology, comes the smart contact lens. By utilizing miniaturized electronics, the contacts can measure the levels of glucose in your tears, offering diabetics an easier way to monitor their condition without the use needles drawing blood.

Aesthetically speaking, the contacts feature a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor, which are wedged between two layers of “biocompatible” contact lens material; but not stopping there, Google says that they’re working on embedding tiny LED lights for notifications as well.

To move this project forward, Google is consulting with medical field experts and is “in discussions with the FDA”. It’s an interesting development, especially since Google is toying with just about every conceivable smart product category, but with a good primary purpose. Just how far it goes, however, remains to be seen.

Via: Google

LG G Flex Arriving In The United States On The 31st

g-flex

Meanwhile.

The LG G Flex is arriving in the States, straight from its South Korean homeland. Costing a hefty $299.99 in comparison with other high-end Android, Windows Phone, and iOS phones, the pricing will be applied to Sprint customers.

An identical price tag will most likely be applied to the AT&T version, and T-Mobile’s monthly payments to pay off the device in full will be the alternative.

Via: Sprint

 

Google Now Finally Arrives In Experimental Desktop Form

google-now-chrome-macGoogle Canary build users (in other words, the alpha build), will finally receive a feature tested and rumored for over a year: Google Now functionality.

By implementing context-aware notifications to the desktop, Chrome Canary users (and maybe even beta and final users at some point), will have access to weather, stocks, web topics, and travel info, much like Google Now on mobile.

ViaGoogleGoogle Operating System

Spotify Lifts The Limits: Free Unlimited Web Streaming For All

spotify_logo_detailBefore, Spotify would allow users to stream free music from their 20 million and counting song library, then begin limiting the amount of time to a certain number of hours a month after a 6-month trial period. But now, no holds barred; Spotify web streaming is free, and it’s unlimited.

It’s the crux of Spotify’s success: well-rounded desktop and mobile apps, coupled with the superior song library, and lots of free streaming features, and you have an unstoppable music streaming service — something the upcoming Beats Music will have a quarrel with.

Via: Spotify Blog

The 2015 Subaru WRX STi Is No Joke, Sports A 305HP Turbo 2.5L Engine

15CL_VL9_3C_AF36135_011319__midEnter, the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI, announced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Powered bya 2.5L boxer that uses a single turbocharger, the 2015 WRX STI has 305 horsepower, while the standard car has a 2.0L 200 horsepower engine. In the spirit of limited edition things, the Japanese auto-maker will also produce 1000 STI Launch Edition cars with special WR Blue paint and gold BBS forged allow wheels — typically seen on its rally cars of the past.

Other features the STI receives are Brembo performance brakes, Active Torque Vectoring all-wheel-drive, the traditional spoilers and 4-door setup designed fr proper aerodynamics, and finally, a set of stiffer springs and chassis. Pricing and availability for Subaru’s new child are not available at this time.

Via: Subaru

The Moto G Google Play Edition: $180 For A Lot Of Phone

moto-g-google-plyThis is pretty unusual, considering that most Google Play Edition devices are high-end devices, whereas the Moto G is an entry-level device, sans 4G LTE even. Regardless, Google and Motorola have collaborated to create a completely crapware-free version of the device.

For only $180. That’s the eye-catching part, for the 8 GB version, or alternatively, $200 for the twice-as-big 16 GB model. Pick your (light) poison.

Via: Google

Google Buy’s Tony Fadell’s Nest Corporation For $3.2 Billion

nest-protect-xlThe Nest brand of smart home appliances will live on, under Tony Fadell’s leadership, as it always has been, but under the watchful eye of the Google banner, thanks to the recent and sweet purchase of $3.2 billion — in cash. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, but from the looks of Google’s track record with acquiring companies, it should go past without any fuss. Keep in mind that in the past, Google Ventures had already invested over $100 million in Nest, so this was a follow-up move, more likely than not.

Nest CEO had the following to say about his company’s acquisition:

“We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

Via: Google, Nest