Tech Thoughts Net News – Friday Edition – August 21, 2015

Run Android apps on Windows 10 PC with AMIDuOS;  The easiest way to wirelessly get videos from your PC to your tablet;  Pro tip: How to speech-to-text in Google Docs;  Google Photos Introduces “Rediscover This Day” To Help You Reminisce;  13 YouTube Tips for True PowerYOUsers;  Popcorn Time users are now getting sued by the movie industry;  Pro tip: How to personalize Windows 10;  Windows 10 upgrade left you low of storage space? Free up gigabytes with a few clicks;  Meet Kali Linux 2.0, a distro built to hammer your security;  Everything you say and do is public: five rules for living with the internet;  How to change Windows 10’s default apps;  10 tips for traveling IT workers;  Yet another Android app security bug: This time everything is affected;  Download this insanely fun GIF making app for iPhone right now;  Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple stocks hit the deck;  Uber background checks missed drivers’ criminal records;  Final Fantasy VII Comes To iOS;  Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 review;  10 Surprising Things Technology Will Make Obsolete by 2025.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Run Android apps on Windows 10 PC with AMIDuOS – Want to run your favorite Android apps on your Windows 10 desktop, laptop, tablet or 2-in-1 system? It’s easy with AMIDuOS. Getting up and running is simple. You download and install the utility, and then you’re ready to run Android apps. That’s all there is to it. No configuration, and no messing about. You have a 100 percent native Android operating system running on your Windows 10 PC or tablet (also supports Windows 7 and 8/8.1). As such, you’re getting the full Android experience, which includes multitouch and gesture support for pinch and zoom, a full-featured software keyboard, and even compass and GPS functionality, which allows you to run mapping and navigation apps.

The easiest way to wirelessly get videos from your PC to your tablet – We’ve already talked about how to access files from your PC on your mobile device using file explorer apps on Android. But if that approach felt like too much work, here’s a wireless way that’s even easier—and you won’t need to muck around with USB keys or external hard drives. The difference here is that we won’t be streaming the files; instead, we’ll have to download the files to our tablet first using BitTorrent Sync.

Popcorn Time users are now getting sued by the movie industry – Popcorn Time might be an extremely easy way to watch pirated movies and TV shows for free, but it’s not necessarily safe. The makers of the 2014 Adam Sandler comedy The Cobbler have sued 11 people for copyright infringement, specifically calling out Popcorn Time as their software of choice, TorrentFreak reports. The lawsuit, filed at a federal court in Oregon, are seeking statutory damages of up to $150,000, though it’s likely the defendants will receive settlement offers for considerably less.

Google Photos Introduces “Rediscover This Day” To Help You Reminisce – Google Photos wants to be home to all of your photos (and videos). Whether you have a thumb drive, CD, DVD or undeveloped film laying around, the team wants you to consider uploading them to the service. Why? Because that’s when they can make the “magic” happen. Right now, Google Photos will wade through all of your treasured visuals and turn them into animations and stories or drop effects on them. You get alerted on the web or through the apps via the Assistant. It’s a nice little notification to get that something has been created with zero effort.


13 YouTube Tips for True PowerYOUsers – The engineers making things run at the Google-owned site have their game locked down. But even within its vast, well-oiled ecosystem, there are features you’ve never even used. Here are 13 little-known tricks and features that even you, o’ veteran of the Internet, need to know.

Pro tip: How to speech-to-text in Google Docs – Sometimes I talk instead of type. I configure speech-to-text software to capture my voice, then just talk. I often end up with a bunch of text to edit. I find talking to be an excellent alternative to typing to capture not yet fully formed ideas. Fortunately, I write with Google Docs, so there are several tools I can use to turn my voice into text.

How to change Windows 10’s default apps – Not feeling the love for Windows 10’s default apps for music playback, web browsing, and so on? You can change them without breaking a sweat.

Automatically log in to your Windows 10 PC – Because Windows 10, like Windows 8, asks you to sign in with a Microsoft account, skipping the log-in screen isn’t as simple as simply deleting your password. Instead, you’ll need to dig into the User Accounts settings to get rid of this extra step. For obvious reasons, you should only disable the log-in screen if you are using a nonshared computer that is unlikely to end up in someone else’s hands (e.g., a desktop).

Pro tip: How to personalize Windows 10 – Just like the previous versions, Microsoft Windows 10 can be personalized for your individual taste. However, the procedures required to change the default look of Windows 10 are a bit different. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to do it.


Windows 10 upgrade left you low of storage space? Free up gigabytes with a few clicks – Are you finding that your hard drives feel a bit cramped following your Windows 10 upgrade? Here’s how to free up tens of gigabytes of free space with just a few clicks. What’s taking up the additional space on your storage device are the Windows 10 files that were downloaded to your PC before the upgrade, along with the previous operating system your PC was running. On my test systems these files have taken up anything between 12 and 35 gigabytes.

You should download this insanely fun GIF making app for iPhone right now – Giphy Cam couldn’t be much more straightforward. There’s no social network, no feed, no browsing. It’s literally just a camera, some filters, and a bunch of weird borders, backgrounds, and animations that you can add to your recording. Look through and you’ll find GIF standbys — like the falling “Deal With It” shades — and plenty of weirder stuff, like a strange band of cats. There really isn’t anything more to the app. It’s just a camera that lets you save an animation and share it elsewhere. Like here, for instance:

After Years Of Restraint, Facebook Tries Allowing GIFs In Ads And Page Posts – The social network started supporting GIFs in user posts starting in May, but hadn’t allowed businesses to try the hip graphic interchange format all the kids are Tumbling over. If Facebook’s smart, it will take a very aggressive approach to how the News Feed treats these posts in order to preserve the user experience. If they receive even a little negative feedback for being spam or being hidden, they should get banished from the feed. GIFs are the visual equivalent of shouting. You have to really care about the message or you’d prefer they just shut up.

Meet Kali Linux 2.0, a distro built to hammer your security – The latest release of the immensely popular Linux distribution designed for penetration testing, Kali Linux 2.0 launched at DefCon 23 in Las Vegas last week. Kali is the successor to BackTrack, and is a Debian-based Linux distribution that includes hundreds of penetration-testing tools pre-installed and ready to go. Just boot it from a USB drive or live DVD and you’ll have a penetration-testing—or “hacking”—environment with all the tools you might want just waiting for you to fire them up.

Intel’s Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast – The Intel Compute Stick (ICS) is perhaps best thought of as the mutant offspring of a Raspberry Pi on steroids and Google Chromecast. The offspring emerges as a tiny computer CPU, RAM and storage on a small motherboard contained within a reasonably well finished case. Protruding from the case is a HDMI male adapter ready to plug into any display boasting its female counterpart. The ICS is a full working PC with Windows 8.1 for Bing a quad core Atom processor Z3735F running at up to 1.83 GHz, 2 GB memory, 32 GB of on-board storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth and a microSD card slot.


Report: Android-powered BlackBerry Venice coming to all four carriers in November – We have the best evidence yet that the rumored BlackBerry Venice is real and will come to all four major U.S. carriers this fall. Prominent leaker Evan Blass took to Twitter to drop two big hints. The first appears to be promotional material that shows a BlackBerry device running Android and accessing the Google Play Store. The other tease is for BlackBerry’s email app and secure data transfer tool.


7 truly annoying iOS features, and how to make them stop – Nope, you’re not the only one who’s ever barked “stop it!” to your iPhone or iPad because it was being, well, a little too helpful. Luckily, you can tweak or turn off many of iOS’s most nagging and intrusive features.

10 tips for traveling IT workers – Travel is increasingly a part of the modern IT worker’s life, whether you’re a junior analyst or a CIO. These tips from one IT road warrior will make your trips go more smoothly.


Everything you say and do is public: five rules for living with the internet – Yesterday hackers made good on a threat, publishing the data belonging to over 30 million accounts from adultery dating website Ashley Madison. The impact this breach could have on millions of marriages — not just of celebrities and politicians but people typically out of the public spotlight — could be historical. While the implications of a data breach like this have been analyzed in the past, the lessons have been largely ignored. Take this moment to consider the five laws of your life online. Like laws of the state, whether or not you choose to learn these laws is irrelevant, as you will be tried by them regardless.

Yet another Android app security bug: This time ‘everything is affected’ – Yet another potentially serious security flaw has been revealed in Android. This time the problem involves the mobile operating system’s ability to run more than one app at once – as opposed to its handling of multimedia messages, which was the crux of a cyber* of vulnerabilities last month. The latest security blunder opens the door to criminals who want to spy on device owners, steal login details, install ransomware, and so on, it is claimed. We’re told the vulnerability can be exploited to show a spoofed user interface, controlled by an attacker, when someone starts an app: the owner will not be aware that they are typing into another program masquerading as a legit application.

Vulnerability in enterprise-managed iOS devices puts business data at risk – A vulnerability in the iOS sandbox for third party applications, like those installed by companies on their employees’ devices, can expose sensitive configuration settings and credentials. The flaw was discovered by researchers from mobile security firm Appthority and impacts apps deployed on iOS devices through mobile device management (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EEM) products. These products allow administrators to automatically push applications, configuration settings and data access rules to enterprise mobile devices.

China arrests 15,000 for Internet-related crimes – China’s efforts to clean up the Internet have resulted in 15,000 arrests related to cybercrimes, authorities revealed on Tuesday. The country’s Ministry of Public Security has been cracking down on illegal Internet activities, and plans to increase enforcement even more, it said in an online post. The ministry has so far investigated 7,400 Internet crimes, resulting in the large number of arrests. It’s unclear during what period the investigations took place, but the ministry cited a case that went as far back as last December. The alleged crimes include hacking attacks, cyber fraud, and the promotion of gambling.

Now Ashley Madison hackers reveal ‘CEO’s emails and source code’ – Updated Another load of internal files swiped by hackers from Ashley Madison have been leaked online – and they apparently feature the CEO’s emails and the website’s source code. The 18.5GB leak includes, it is claimed, archives of internal company emails, including one folder labeled Noel Biderman – the chief exec of Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s parent. A torrent of the archive was published on the website of Impact Team, the Ashley Madison hackers. “Hey Noel, you can admit it’s real now,” the gang said in a message announcing the second archive.

Ashley Madison hack: A savage wake-up call which is only the beginning – If you’re playing poker, misdirecting other players can sway the game in your favor. In Ashley Madison’s case, calling the bluff of the hacker who broke into the website didn’t work out as well as expected. The resulting witch hunt may kill careers and destroy marriages, but it can serve to remind us all of an important lesson.

In defense of the cheating scumbags caught up in the Ashley Madison hack – You’re probably finishing up your coffee, blasting some music out from your cheap Apple headphones, and strategizing how your day will pan out. Just be thankful you’re not the poor bastard who woke up this morning with a plastic bag full of his underwear thrown in his half-awoken face, as his partner stomped around the bedroom with kids crying in the background. A lot of people today are going to have a very bad day — perhaps a life-changing day. In case you missed it (“How could you?” which is incidentally what thousands of spouses said to their partners this morning), here’s what you need to know.

Flash’s fall from grace continues as Amazon swings ad banhammer – After Apple’s anti-Flash stance on iOS extended to Android and YouTube dumped Flash for HTML5, Flash’s fate for web video was pretty much sealed. Web advertising, however, was an area Flash still dominated, at least for desktops. Now Amazon has made the first move in what may become a trend for advertising platforms. The company says it will no longer accept Flash ads on and the Amazon Advertising Platform beginning Tuesday, September 1.

Company News:

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple stocks hit the deck – Thursday was a rough day on Wall Street for many of the biggest names in the tech industry, as stocks dipped across the board. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 2.06 per cent, and the Nasdaq 100 Index was down 2.8 per cent, on the day Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, and Apple all saw their share prices dip – wiping $49bn off the five giants’ total market value. According to Bloomberg data, it was their worst day since January 2013.


Twitter shares have tumbled back to their original IPO price – Twitter’s stock price continues to slide, closing today at the $26 strike price at which it went public. It closed its first day of trading around $45, a mark it has not matched since May of this year. While the company has continued to grow its revenue at a healthy pace, it has struggled to turn a substantial profit and frightened investors with its lack of user growth. CEO Dick Costolo stepped down earlier this year, and has been replaced by co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey. But it’s unclear if Dorsey will stay on as the permanent chief, adding to overall worries about the company’s health.

HP profit slides 13 percent as split nears – Hewlett-Packard has reported another quarter of declining profits and revenue, with its massive corporate split now less than three months away. Revenue for the quarter ended July 31 dropped 8 percent to $25.3 billion, while profit was down 13 percent to $854 million, HP announced Thursday. It’s the sixteenth quarter in a row that HP’s revenue has declined, as the company continues to battle an ongoing shift from PCs to tablets and smartphones, and from on-premise IT equipment to the cloud. delivers above Q2 targets, outlook strong – published better-than-expected second quarter financial results after the bell on Thursday. The tech giant reported non-GAAP earnings of 19 cents per share on a revenue of $1.63 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year (statement). Wall Street was looking for earnings of 18 cents per share with $1.60 billion in revenue. Subscription and support revenues jumped by nearly the same amount on an annual basis to $1.52 billion. Professional services and other revenues totaled $113 million, up 32 percent year-over-year. For the current quarter, Wall Street is looking for non-GAAP earnings of 18 cents per share with $1.68 billion in revenue.

Uber background checks missed drivers’ criminal records, prosecutors say – Amid growing concerns over Uber passengers’ safety, prosecutors in California allege that the background checks the company conducts on drivers failed to weed out 25 drivers with criminal records, including convictions for murder, assault, sex offenses and child abuse. The charges were included in an amended complaint filed Wednesday by the district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ride-hailing service’s hometown.

Intuit reports mixed bag on Q4 earnings; divestitures on deck – Intuit published its fourth quarter and full year financial results Thursday after the bell. The tax and accounting software company reported fourth quarter loss of $130 million, and earnings of 5 cents per share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings saw a loss of 5 cents per share on revenue of $696 million. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 12 cents per share on revenue of $738.9 million. The company scored a win on earnings, but fell short on revenue. For the full year, the company reported $4.19 billion in revenue. At the end of the fourth quarter, Intuit had about $1.7 billion of cash and investments.

Games and Entertainment:

Final Fantasy VII Comes To iOS – If you were cheesed off when Square Enix launched a mobile version Final Fantasy XIII for gamers in Japan only, then we’ve got some news for you. Final Fantasy VII, a true classic in the series, has now landed on iOS — and it is available for all worldwide. Priced at $15.99, the title requires a whopping 4GB of space on your device (but it will take up 2GB) and supports iPhone 5s or later, gen-3 iPad/iPad mini 2 upwards running iOS 8.


Telltale’s Back to the Future games coming to PS4, Xbox One – Telltale Games, the makers of some of the very best episodic gaming series, including The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Wold Among Us, appears to be about to re-release its hit Back to the Future: The Game on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 consoles. While the developers have yet to officially announce it, the game is already listed on Amazon’s US and Canadian sites, complete with the final boxart. The game has a release date of October 13th, just two months before the original Back to the Future movie’s 30th anniversary.


Nvidia GameStream Co-Op pipes PC games to your far-flung friends – Not content to simply release its new GeForce GTX 950 graphics cards today, Nvidia is also announcing a new feature called GameStream Co-Op for its GeForce Experience PC software. This will allow GeForce users to stream PC games to other laptops and desktops over the Internet, including fairly low-powered machines that don’t have Nvidia graphics cards inside. The guest PC can then watch the live stream, take over the main controls from the host, or commandeer a second controller for same-screen multiplayer games such as Trine, Portal 2, or Rocket League.


Nintendo 2DS Price Drops to $99.99 – Looking for a new handheld gaming device on the cheap? Nintendo has you covered. The gaming giant on Thursday announced that its 2DS system is getting a price drop. Beginning Aug. 30, the Nintendo 2DS will be available for $99.99, down from the current suggested retail price of $129.99. Even at the new price, the system will come with a digital version of Mario Kart 7.


HBO Now Rolls Out For Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick – As of today, you can watch all HBO series, movies and documentaries for $15 per month with either Amazon’s $99 Fire TV setup or the even more affordable Fire TV Stick that retails for $39 bucks. HBO launched Now exclusively with Apple earlier this year, and brought the service to Google Cast and Chromecast just a couple of weeks ago. To be clear, Amazon Fire Tablet owners have had access to HBO Now since July, but expanding to the Fire TV devices will reach a much larger group of “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective” enthusiasts.


Apple TV drops to fourth, behind Amazon’s Fire TV – Sales of the Apple TV, which hasn’t had a significant update in three years, drop behind streaming-TV box players Roku, Google and — for the first time — Amazon.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 950 review: Bringing more oomph to budget gaming PCs – In the wake of the newly-released $150 AMD Radeon R7 370 (essentially a slightly tweaked, slightly faster version of the older R9 270, which is also still available) Nvidia had to do something to even the score in the crucial, high-volume sub-$200 graphics card market. Meet that something: The $160 Nvidia GeForce GTX 950. This new addition brings some much-needed additional firepower to the sub-$200 GeForce lineup, complementing—but not replacing—the GTX 750 Ti, which will still be sticking around. Will the GTX 950 appeal to people looking to game respectably at 1080p resolution without breaking the bank? Let’s dig in.


Off Topic (Sort of):

10 Surprising Things Technology Will Make Obsolete by 2025 – Looking outside your window, you could be forgiven for coming down with a case of the future-blahs. On the surface, 2015 doesn’t look anything like the flying car super future we were promised. But the fact of the matter is we’re surrounded by the future. We just don’t GADZOOKS all day long because we’ve watched its slow, incremental development. It’s crazy easy to take our modern miracles for granted. We don’t have a crystal ball, but if eyeing current trends, we can make some educated guesses about how things will go down. Check out our list of 10 common things that might be gone by 2025. To be sure, we may be proven completely wrong on some of these.


Car Mirrors

9 awesome photos of school computer labs from the 1980s – During the 1980s, public school systems and universities across the United States threw themselves headlong into the PC revolution, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in computer systems, accessories, and software. Tech companies eager for new customers were happy to oblige, and a new educational market was born. Soon it became common for most schools (some of which were perpetually under-funded) to assemble their expensive new computers in one place for group instruction. And thus was born the computer lab. In the slides ahead, we’ll take a trip back in time to visit some of these formational learning grounds of the 1980s.


Apple Lisas at University of Michigan (1983)

Don’t have time to drink your coffee? Chew it with Go Cubes – Nootrobox — a company that makes “nutrients for your brain” — has come up with a way to turn cold-brew coffee into chewable coffee cubes called Go Cubes. The company launched an Indiegogo campaign seeking $20,000 (about £13,000) to help make the Go Cubes, which it calls “the future of coffee,” a buzzing reality. The Go Cubes come in three flavors — classic drip, mocha and latte — and each bite-size cube contains the equivalent of a half a cup of coffee.

Keep calm and carry on: no asteroid coming, says NASA – A lot of things go viral on the Internet these days, from cat photos to stupid videos to inspiring stories. Sadly, misinformation is just as easily, or even more easily, spread these days thanks to the wide reach of the Net. The most recent scare play on the fears and imagination surrounding a favorite doomsday scenario in recent years, at least before the zombies came. But NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program is reassuring that public that no giant asteroid is coming to destroy a good chunk of the earth any time soon.


Report: ‘vaping’ is 95% healthier than cigarette smoking – Public Health England (PHE) has made what is claimed to be the first official proclamation of electronic cigarettes’ superiority to regular cigarettes. The findings suggest e-cigarettes are 95 percent less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes. Only nasal sprays, oral products (nicotine gum, etc.), and patches are rated as more safe. Cigars are one level higher than e-cigarettes in terms of danger, followed by pipes, small cigars and, finally, cigarettes. Of course, electronic cigarettes are not without their risks, and from a health standpoint, completely giving up smoking in all forms would be ideal.

Ford patents self-driving “lounge” car – The primary motivation for self-driving cars has mostly been for safety, taking stressful manual processes out of the equation and keeping error-prone humans away from the wheel. But if humans won’t be driving anymore, there won’t be much left for them to do right? Well, why not take advantage of the situation to do a bit of socialization? In a patent for an “Autonomous Vehicle with Reconfigurable Seats”, Ford is suggesting exactly that, with front seats that can be moved to transform the cabin into a more comfortable lounge.


U.S. senator to push proposal for mandatory drone geofencing – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is to introduce a proposal that aims to make geofencing of drones mandatory soon, following a number of reports of close shaves between the unmanned aircraft and regular planes. The geofencing of drones would use GPS and other technology to impose geographical limits on their movement.

Something to think about:

“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”

–      Plato


OPSWAT Gears – Gears allows you to monitor and manage multiple device types and numerous application types. While most network monitoring solutions utilize Windows Security Center and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) to provide limited, Windows-only application status information, Gears utilizes OPSWAT’s OESIS Framework, a development toolkit that enables detection, assessment and remediation of Mac OSX and Windows third party applications, to provide much more extensive and detailed information.

Gears provides an increased reassurance of device health via two methods of detecting infections. Gears looks at the history of threats detected by the antivirus products installed on a device, helping you identify threats that either cannot be remediated by the installed antivirus or that the user is repeatedly downloading. In addition, Gears utilizes OPSWAT’s Metascan® technology to scan devices daily for running threats. By using as many as 40 commercial anti-malware engines from vendors like ESET, AVG, Microsoft, Bitdefender, Symantec, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee and others, Gears can identify threats in your network that aren’t detected by the installed antivirus.

Remotely uninstall conflicting antivirus applications, peer to peer (torrent) software and much more to maintain device compliance and performance. If an unwanted application is installed on a machine, Gears enables automatic or manual uninstallation, with no interaction necessary on the endpoint. This feature, which is powered by OPSWAT’s AppRemover technology for uninstalling applications, also extends to global uninstallation of unwanted applications so that you can easily restore compliance across your network. No other network monitoring solution offers this!

Gears provides more visibility into more endpoints and devices on your network and more of the applications installed on those devices than other network monitoring solutions. Easily manage Windows and Mac devices, monitor the status of protection applications such as hard disk encryption, third party patch clients, antivirus, firewall and more, and receive alerts about potentially unwanted or compromising applications like public file sharing.

Once the Gears Client is present on a device, automatic updating will ensure that each device always has the latest version of OPSWAT’s software and can be correctly monitored and managed. You’ll never have to worry about tracking down each device for an update, and the Client will continue to detect new 3rd party software applications released in the market and installed on the device.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Jeb Bush wants “a new arrangement with Silicon Valley” to ease crypto – Jeb Bush, one of the leading Republican presidential candidates, told a national security forum that Washington, DC needs a stronger link to Silicon Valley.

“There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job,” Bush said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. “I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.”

Group fights gov’t claim that “essentially all telephone records are relevant.”

The former Florida governor’s statement puts him not only at odds with rival Republican candidates like Rand Paul, but also against a number of government committees and federal judges.

“If you create encryption, it makes it harder for the American government to do its job—while protecting civil liberties—to make sure that evildoers aren’t in our midst,” Bush said in South Carolina at an event sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security, according to The Intercept.

Bush claimed that there was “no evidence” that the bulk collection by the National Security Agency violated civil liberties, despite the fact that the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and others have done just that.

Ex-Prez Bush, Cheney sued for email, phone spying during Olympics – Ex-US president George W Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and senior law enforcement officials have been named in a class-action lawsuit for authorizing blanket phone, email, and text message surveillance of Utah citizens during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In 2013 the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI and NSA had done a deal with telco Qwest Communications for blanket surveillance coverage for Salt Lake City during the Winter Olympics. Then-mayor Ross “Rocky” Anderson has now taken up the case and has filed the class action suit.

“This is the first time anyone knows of that a surveillance cone has been placed over a specific geographical area in the United States,” he told The Register on Thursday.

“What was so alarming was that they were reading the contents of the text messages and emails.”

Anderson, who served two consecutive terms as mayor between 2000 and 2008, said he had spoken to a source who had been a very senior staffer in the NSA at the time. He explained how the agency had performed blanket collection of metadata during the event, but that individuals had also been targeted to have their phone calls recorded and emails read.

Warrantless airport laptop search dooms Iran arms sales prosecution – Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday to dismiss the government’s prosecution of a South Korean businessman accused of illegally selling technology used in aircraft and missiles to Iran.

The move comes three months after a judge ruled that the government unlawfully seized and searched the suspect’s computer at Los Angeles International Airport as Jae Shik Kim was to catch a flight home in 2012. The government decided not to appeal and said it was “unable to continue prosecuting this matter.”

As we previously reported in this case, the authorities who were investigating Kim exercised the border exception rule that allows them “to seize and search goods and people—without court warrants—along the border and at airport international terminals. US District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia noted that the Supreme Court has never directly addressed the issue of warrantless computer searches at an international border crossing, but she ruled the government used Kim’s flight home as an illegal pretext to seize his computer.” Authorities then shipped it 150 miles south to San Diego where the hard drive was copied and examined for weeks.

Google ordered to remove links to stories about ‘right to be forgotten’ request – Google has been ordered to remove links to news articles reporting on the company’s earlier removal of links in response to a “right to be forgotten” request in Europe.

The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office issued the order this week, giving Google 35 days to remove the links. Google has the right to appeal the order to the General Regulatory Chamber.

The order puts a “meta” spin on the controversial right to be forgotten ruling, which lets people request that Google remove links to information about them from its search results on its European sites.

The ruling, issued last year, established a mechanism for people to ask search engines to remove links to information they consider to be irrelevant or not in the public interest, though without removing the actual content from the Web.

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