#358 April 21, 2014 – Frightening Technologies

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This week’s headline story: Frightening Technologies

eekA recent study by the Pew Research Center, indicates that while most Americans – 59 percent, beleive thet technology will provide us with a better future, many are leary of some current technological innovations. For example, 50 percent of American’s wouldn’t ride in a driverless car, 63 percent oppose drones flying through U.S. airspace, 65 percent oppose robotic caregivers for the elderly, 53 percent are opposed to devices like Google Glass that provide continuous information, 80 percent wouldn’t eat meat grown in a lab, 72 percent are opposed to brain implants that improve memory and mental capacity, and 66 percent oppose parents abaility to improve the DNA of offspring.

Americans wary of futuristic science, tech [CNN]

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • ‘Like’ a Cheerios Page and You Give Up the Right To Sue [NewsFactor]By downloading a coupon or “Liking” a product page on Facebook, you may be giving up your right to sue. Tricky new strategies in Terms of Use policies by General Mills and other corporations are being implemented to keep customers from suing them.
  • The digital universe will reach 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020 [net security]A new EMC study reveals how the emergence of wireless technologies, smart products and software-defined businesses are playing a central role in catapulting the volume of the world’s data. Due, in part, to the Internet of Things, the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes.
  • Why Netflix Got So Blazingly Fast [NewsFactor]Netflix’s videos are streaming through Comcast’s Internet service at their highest speeds in 17 months, thanks to a recent deal that bought Netflix a more direct connection to Comcast’s network.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Heartbleed is about to get worse, and it will slow the Internet to a crawl [Washington Post]Efforts to fix the notorious Heartbleed bug threaten to cause major disruptions to the Internet over the next several weeks as companies scramble to repair encryption systems on hundreds of thousands of Web sites at the same time. The sheer scale of the work required to fix this vulnerability that makes it possible to steal the “security certificates” that verify that a Web site is authentic, could overwhelm the systems designed to keep the Internet trustworthy.
  • Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached [NewsFactor]The latest from Michaels Stores is that the credit and debit cards of some 2.6 million customers were breached from May 2013 to Jan. 2014. That news indicates that when it comes to protecting sensitive information from hackers, smaller firms like Michaels Stores just can’t keep up in the cyber arms race, said security expert Jeff Davis.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Amazon’s Rumored 3D Smartphone May Radically Change E-CommerceAmazon is expected to be releasing a phone this summer. Leaked photos indicate the phone will have a glasses-free 3D display, which will come in handy for selling Amazon products.
  • Google’s Ara Modular Phone Set for Sale in January for $50 [NewsFactor]Get ready for the modular smartphone. Google announced that the first version of the “endo” as it is nicknamed, is scheduled to go on sale next January for about $50.

    That’s the expected price and sale date for the endoskeleton, the framework that will provide such basic functionality as a screen, a power supply and connectivity to the sections holding the modular components. The endo, will first be offered in only a gray color, so that more colorful modules can visually define the unit. The modules will contain the specific add-on functionality, allowing every owner to customize their own set of unique attributes.

  • Is Privacy Dead? Google Proudly Says It Scans Your E-Mail [NewsFactor]In response to a U.S. District Court’s criticism, Google has updated its terms of service to clarify that it can scan e-mails for advertising purposes. This practice has been criticized by privacy organizations, users, and other technology companies like Microsoft. Even though users who attempted to file lawsuits against Google were not granted class-action status, the Court has ruled that Google’s terms of service did need to be reworked.
  • Report: Nearly Half of Twitter Users Never Tweet [NewsFactor]According to a new survey, even though Twitter has a lot of users, only 56 percent of them have actually used the site to post content.
  • Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B [NewsFactor]Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal. The ink is expected to dry on the transaction by the end of 2014.

and finally…

  • ‘Wearable Eyes’ Make You Appear Friendly, Social Even When You’re Not [IEEE Spectrum]Dr. Hirotaka Osawa from Tsukuba University, in Japan, has developed eyeglasses that assist with a problem he calls “emotional labor.” His idea is that people could adopt cyborg technology to increase the emotional comfort of those around us. In this case, the device is a crazy pair of glasses that display eyeballs on their lenses. The device’s virtual eyes naturally follow people and movement, making it appear as though you’re friendly and approachable, even if you’re too busy doing something else or too tired to actually look friendly and approachable.

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