Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – October 28, 2015

Security trumps privacy as Senate passes controversial cyber bill;  The Art of Data Wiping on Mobile Devices;  Ransomware victims: Just pay up, grin, and bear it – says the FBI;  The best bloatware: 14 pre-installed apps that actually come in handy;  Clean up your Droid’s act for free with the first-rate Droid Optimizer;  Windows 10: The best tricks, tips, and tweaks;  How to Squeeze More Life From Your Aging Laptop;  How to hold Skype chats with people who aren’t Skype users;  Netflix: ‘Beasts of No Nation’ has millions of views;  Will your phone soon be free? DataWind announces $15 smartphone;  11 secrets you didn’t know about your new Surface Book;  15 spooky, scary Halloween games for your Android phone;  AIG will insure your drone against damage and liability;  15-year-old arrested in connection with TalkTalk hack;  Wireless Network Watcher free).

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Security trumps privacy as Senate passes controversial cyber bill – The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, known as CISA, could make it easier for the government to abuse citizens’ civil liberties, opponents say.

Clean up your Droid’s act for free with the first-rate Droid Optimizer – There are many apps that advertise to keep your Android device running fresh-out-of-the-box smooth. Some deliver, some don’t. Here’s what separates the good from the bad: a well thought-out interface, no intrusive ads, and maybe an extra feature or two. Droid Optimizer is at the top of my list of optimizers, because it has a very well thought-out interface, there are no ads, and it offers all the standard features. But does it work?


Image: Jack Wallen

The best bloatware: 14 pre-installed apps that actually come in handy – Bloatware. Usually it’s the annoying, pre-installed apps on your mobile device that take up precious space. But some bloatware out there isn’t that bad. Here are 14 pre-installed apps that you’ll be glad come already loaded onto your phone.

This free app helps eliminate the Live Photos you don’t want – iOS offers a way to remove the life from live photos, but on a photo-by-photo basis, making Lean an important tool for batch editing.

Windows 10: The best tricks, tips, and tweaks – Windows 10, Microsoft’s back-to-basics re-embracing of the PC, is already brimming with handy new features, and with all the new goodies comes with a legion of new tweaks and tricks—some of which unlock powerful functionality hidden to everyday users. Others, though, simply let you mold some of Windows 10’s new features into the shape you see fit. Here are some of the most useful Windows 10 tweaks, tricks, and tips we’ve found. Be warned: Some of these may break as the operating system evolves, given Microsoft’s new “Windows as a service” mentality, though we plan to update this article over time.

Windows 10 shares your files with the internet… here’s how to turn it off – By default, a Windows 10 update will use your bandwidth to share files on your PC with other PCs.  This walk-through shows how to disable that feature–or tone it down a bit.


Image: Microsoft News

Windows 10 comes to the Xbox One 12th November – Let that sentence sink in for just a bit longer. Windows, an OS mostly associated with desktop and laptops, will be running on a gaming console. A few years ago, that concept might have been unthinkable. But with Microsoft’s push to put Windows 10 on every device it can get its mitts on, that is the reality facing Xbox One owners in little over two weeks. Xbox’s Phil Spencer announced that the major update will hit consoles starting November 12, bringing a revamped Windows 10 interface and much more.


How to Squeeze More Life From Your Aging Laptop – Looking to squeeze another year out of your aging portable? The common ailments below can be cured for $150 or less. And if you’re not sure what the trouble is, these sites can help diagnose the problem for free. Tech Support Guy lets you pose questions to volunteer tech experts; iFixit features repair guides that show how to take gadgets apart, upgrade them, and put them back together; and CCleaner is an app that speeds up your computer by getting rid of junky, unneeded programs.


Illustration by Peter Arkle

How to hold Skype chats with people who aren’t Skype users – Recently, Microsoft added a new feature to Skype that lets anyone join a conversation even if you aren’t a Skype user. Personally, I’d be hard pressed to find someone I know without a Skype account. Nevertheless, it’s a good feature to have ready just in case. The new Skype feature is available now for U.S. users, but you have to activate it first. There may be a more official way to get it working, but here’s how I did it. These instructions are for the Windows desktop version of Skype but will work similarly on Skype for the web.

InFocus Kangaroo nano PC is as small as a smartphone and costs just $99 – This guy spent $99 on that little box you see next to his left hand, but it’s not an external hard drive. It’s actually a Windows 10 PCmade by Infocus called the Kangaroo. What makes the Kangaroo stand out is its docking connector. For starters, InFocus is offering a single “base unit” that features two USB ports (one 3.0, one 2.0) and an HDMI port. It’s not much, but since the base unit has built-in Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac WiFi you won’t need to waste either on a keyboard, mouse, or network adapter — though you could always hook up a docking station if you decide you need the extra ports. There’s another unique piece of hardware on the Kangaroo: a fingerprint reader. For just $99, then, Infocus is offering you a Windows 10 PC that you can stuff into a pocket, comes with an Atom x5-Z8500 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and supports Windows Hello for secure, easy logins.


11 secrets you didn’t know about your new Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 – We’ll tell you about the buttons you might miss, the settings worth seeking out, and some other hidden tricks.

HTC Slashes The Price Of Its Action Camera – HTC cut the price of the Re camera to just $50 from $200, making it one of the least expensive action cameras on the market. It’s a capable little camera with decent image quality. Yet it’s hard to recommend even at this low price since its ecosystem of mounts and accessories pales in comparison that of GoPro or Sony. This price cuts comes as HTC is weathering a financial storm. The company is in trouble and is clearly grasping at straws. It’s unclear at this time if the Re’s price cut is a fire sale or an aggressive price cut to better compete in the crowded action camera market. Worth the money? You would be hard pressed to find a better camera for $50.


Will your phone soon be free? DataWind announces $15 smartphone – Could the era of the free smartphone be around the corner? Yesterday, Canadian-UK company DataWind announced a 999 rupee ($15) linux-based smartphone, to be launched in India towards the end of December. If the launch goes according to plan, customers will get a year’s worth of free internet along with the phone, which will use a Linux-based operating system. If you wanted proof that the phone industry is going to rapidly emulate the PC one in terms of becoming rapidly commoditised, you can’t get it better than this.

Here’s what Samsung’s giant 18-inch super tablet looks like – The latest rumored specs for the Galaxy View claim it will have an 18.4-inch screen, a 1080p display at 120 pixels per inch, a 1.6GHz Exynos 7580 SoC, 32GB of storage, stereo speakers, 2GB of RAM, a microSD slot that supports cards up to 128GB, and a 5,700 mAh battery. The View is expected to come in a Wi-Fi only model, as well as a 3G and LTE version. As for pricing, the Wi-Fi model could cost around $600 based on a recent leak.


A leaked image of the Galaxy View.

Stock Trading Was Expensive And Ugly. Robinhood’s App Makes It Free And Pretty – Robinhood steals stock trading from rich guys in suits and gives it to normal people who couldn’t afford to pay $7 per transaction. The zero-fee stock trading app is bonafide hit. Less than a year after launch it has hundreds of thousands of users, over $1 billion in transactions, $66 million in funding, and an Apple Design Award. In fact, it’s the first finance app to win that award.

US government says it’s now okay to jailbreak your tablet and smart TV – The US Library of Congress today issued a set of exemptions to an infamous provision in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), establishing a victory for consumers who like to tinker with devices without running afoul of copyright law. The exemptions were far-reaching, extending from movie and television files used in an educational context for criticism to installing third-party software — in other words jailbreaking — tablets and smart TVs.They will however only last for three years.

Europe Agrees EU-Wide Net Neutrality Rules And End To Mobile Roaming Fees – European politicians have agreed to end mobile roaming charges in the region by mid 2017, with significant cuts to fees by next summer. MEPs also voted to bring in EU-wide net neutrality rules — which will come into force from April 30, 2016. The latter issue has stirred up much controversy in the region, with critics attacking what they perceive to be big loopholes in the rules — and dubbing the legislation a threat to the open Internet. The vote took place in the European Parliament this afternoon, and was passed without amendments.

Twitter fails to nab new tweeters – Twitter and its new CEO Jack Dorsey still face plenty of challenges as they work to convince more people to spend time on the microblogging site.


15-year-old arrested in connection with TalkTalk hack – Last week, the UK telecom TalkTalk was hit with a cyberattack, and a short while later it revealed that a ransom had been made by an individual claiming to be behind the hack. The cyberattack was described as being “significant and sustained,” though later on it stated the attack wasn’t as bad as previously feared. Now a teenager has been arrested by law enforcement in Northern Ireland in connection to the cyberattack. According to Reuters, an unnamed 15-year-old boy was arrested on Monday in connection with the TalkTalk hack. According to a statement given by the Metropolitan Police, he was arrested “on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offenses.” He is to be interviewed about the matter at the County Antrim police station.

Ransomware victims: Just pay up, grin, and bear it – says the FBI – Firms that fall victim to infection from file encrypting ransomware should simply pay the ransom, Joseph Bonavolonta, an assistant special agent with the FBI, told delegates to Boston’s Cyber Security Summit 2015, adding that developments such as CryptoWall are essentially unbreakable. “To be honest, we often advise people just to pay the ransom,” Bonavolonta said, the Security Ledger reports. Bonavolonta comments sparked a heated debate on the topic within Spiceworks online community for IT pros forums. Options for those unlucky enough to get their systems infected with ransomware boil down to reverting to back up systems, contacting a security expert, or paying crooks. Of course paying crooks simply perpetuates the scam but in cases where the data can’t be recovered it may be only immediate option.

Unpatched browser weaknesses can be exploited to track millions of Web users – Over the past decade, there’s been a privacy arms race between unscrupulous website operators and browser makers. The former wield an ever-changing lineup of so-called zombie cookies that can’t be easily deleted and attacks that sniff thousands of previously visited sites, while browser makers aim to prevent such privacy invasions by closing the design weaknesses that make them possible. Almost as soon as one hole is closed, hackers find a new one. Over the weekend, a researcher demonstrated two unpatched weaknesses that Web masters can exploit to track millions of people who visit their sites. Taken together, the attacks allow websites to compile a list of previously visited domains, even when users have flushed their browsing history, and to tag visitors with a tracking cookie that will persist even after users have deleted all normal cookies.


What’s Patch Tuesday? – We’re two weeks out from Patch Tuesday. Chances are, an IT admin and/or CISO spent the day battening down the hatches while his staff furiously tested and rolled out patches. Chances are also that by this time, only two weeks later, the patches are wearing thin and the system is vulnerable. While the monthly patching system has served as a reliable security fix for years, cyber criminals are finding ways to penetrate the system, exploiting vulnerabilities in a matter of days, if not hours. Since this month is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we thought we’d share some of the problems we’ve discovered with patches.


The Art of Data Wiping on Mobile Devices – Electronics sellers, especially of handheld computing devices, must exercise vigilance in removing their personal files before putting them in the online market. We can show you how.

Company News:

China is becoming Apple’s most important market – Apple may bring in the bulk of its revenue in The Americas, but China — now Apple’s second largest market — is quickly turning into its most crucial one. Apple has just released its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015, and revenue from China has grown to $12.5 billion, up from $5.7 billion year-over-year, a 99 percent jump. After not including China in the initial launch countries for the iPhone 6 last year, Apple managed to ship the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus on day one, and the results were immediately clear. Apple sold 13 million iPhones on its opening weekend, beating the record 10 million iPhones sold a year earlier.

Apple’s Q4 2015: iPads are still the only dark spot in a $51.5B quarter – Apple broke quarterly records, with $11.1 billion in profit and $51.5 billion in revenue, compared to $8.5 billion in profit and $42.1 billion in revenue in Q4 of 2014. Its gross margin was 39.9 percent. These results beat Apple’s guidance for the quarter, which predicted revenue between $49 billion and $51 billion and profit margins between 38.5 and 39.5 percent. The company predicts that it will make between $75.5 and 77.5 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2016, with profit margins between 39 and 40 percent.

Huawei ships 27 million smartphones in Q3 – Chinese hardware manufacturer Huawei has announced its results for the third quarter of 2015, with its Consumer Business Group reporting total shipments of 27.4 million smartphones for the three months to September 30, a jump of 63 percent year on year. The company attributed its rise in smartphone shipments to increased interest in mid- and high-end devices, which accounted for 33 percent of total shipments — an increase of seven percentage points quarter on quarter.

Alibaba Beats Expectations As Revenue Increases 32% To $3.5B In Q2 2015 – Alibaba’s latest Q2 2015 earnings have dropped and the company, which was expected to have a difficult quarter, has beaten expectations with $3.488 billion in revenue and adjusted earnings per share of $0.57. The Chinese firm said revenue increased 32 percent year-on-year to beat analyst expectations of $3.39 billion, as polled by the Wall Street Journal. Beyond revenue and EPS, GMV (gross merchant volume) is an important indicator for Alibaba as it represents total sales out across its marketplace and other e-commerce services. The company warned of a slowdown last month, but it logged a decent 28 percent year-on-year increase to reach $112 billion in GMV during the quarter.

Cisco Beefs Up Security, Buys Lancope For $453M – As HP downsizes its own holdings in network security, another IT giant is ramping up: today Cisco announced that it would acquire Lancope, which focuses on behavior analytics, threat visibility and security intelligence to detect malicious activity on corporate networks. Cisco is paying $452.5 million in a cash and equity deal, with the Lancope team becoming part of the Cisco Security Business Group.

Apple Pay is expanding to Australia and Canada with American Express – Apple today announced an expansion of its mobile payments service Apple Pay in two new countries, Australia and Canada, for owners of American Express cards. CEO Tim Cook broke the news on Apple’s fourth-quarter earnings call today, saying the company wanted to bring Apply Pay to more “key global markets.” Apply Pay, which lets users make payments either online or in-store using iPhones and iPads with a fingerprint sensor, has been available in the US since its launch in October 2014. The service was extended to UK users in July of this year, and Apple is now increasing the speed of the rollout. Following Australia and Canada, American Express plans to bring Apple Pay to card owners in Spain, Hong Kong, and Singapore starting in 2016.

Games and Entertainment:

Netflix: ‘Beasts of No Nation’ has millions of views – Beasts of No Nation is an important movie for Netflix — it is the company’s first official foray into theatrical feature films, and though it stumbled with its limited theatrical release, the film itself has done very well on the streaming service. According to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, the movie has been streamed more than three million times already. That’s a particularly impressive figure in that Beasts of No Nation premiered on October 16.


Just Cause 3: an apolitical game about destroying a dictatorship – Just Cause is arguably the prototypical destruction game series. It’s a sandbox in which “chaos” is an actual, quantifiable value, accrued by protagonist and professional revolutionary Rico Rodriguez. It’s a shooter where your target is not other human beings, but the entire national infrastructures of totalitarian regimes. The ideal mission ends with walls, oil tanks, and guard towers crashing down in a fiery chain reaction, while Rico floats away using his limitless reserve of parachutes. So Just Cause 3, a new installment coming out in December, is going to be judged mainly by one metric: how well it can keep the explosions coming.


Sony teases PS1/PS2 backwards compatibility in PS4 customer survey – Microsoft’s big Windows 10 update for the Xbox One is just around the corner. This will bring a host of new features to the console, including backwards-compatibility with 360 games. While Xbox One owners are excited, people are wondering what Sony has in the works for their flagship console. Sony isn’t sitting by quietly though. It seems that they’ve got some plans in the works.


The 11 best trailers from PlayStation’s Paris Games Week showcase – Sony made quite a big deal out of its press conference for Paris Games Week. In addition to announcing a release date for No Man’s Sky and spending ample time on its PlayStation VR (née Project Morpheus) headset, the company showed off dozens of new trailers for upcoming games. Here are some of our favorites.


Horizon Zero Dawn

15 spooky, scary Halloween games for your Android phone – Looking for scares you can take anywhere? Grab these games and get ready.

Off Topic (Sort of):

AIG will insure your drone against damage and liability – AIG is one of the largest insurance companies in the world that writes polices to insure all manner of things for individuals and business. The company has announced that it has a new insurance product aimed directly at people who operate drones. The new product is insurance that will protect you from the financial loss associated with a damaged drone or damaging persons or property while operating your drone.


Drone carrying drugs, hacksaw blades crashes in Oklahoma prison – A drone carrying drugs, a cell phone, hacksaw blades and other contraband was discovered crashed in an Oklahoma prison yard on Monday morning. Officers patrolling the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester noticed the drone lying upside down inside prison grounds at about 9 a.m. having apparently crashed after hitting razor wire that guarded the facility.

Dad who shot ‘snooping vid drone’ out of the sky is cleared of charges – A father who shot down a drone that was hovering over his family home in Kentucky has been cleared of all charges. Dad-of-two William Merideth thought the quadcopter was spying on his daughters in their yard in Hillview, and blasted the gizmo out of the sky with a shotgun. That earned him the title “Drone Slayer” from pro-privacy quarters. Merideth was arrested shortly after in July, and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. He appeared before the Bullitt County District Court on Monday this week, and after a two and a half hour hearing, Judge Rebecca Ward dismissed the case against him. “I was in my right to protect my family and my property,” said Merideth. The judge agreed, telling the court: “He had a right to shoot at this drone.”

Ditch The Faux Hoverboard And Commute With Gi FlyBike, A Foldable Electric Bike – Forget electric skateboards and faux hoverboards. One startup is trying to convince commuters to stick to the good old-fashioned bicycle. Meet the Gi FlyBike, a folding electric bike that can travel up to 40 miles on one charge. The bike, which is now available on Kickstarter, will also be for sale on Amazon Exclusives, the e-commerce company’s online store featuring “up-and-coming brands.” Started by three friends from Argentina, Gi FlyBike was conceived after a public transportation strike left the entire country without transportation. So how does an electric bike work? While riders still pedal, they are assisted by an electric engine that will propel them to a maximum speed of 15 mph. The motor also works on hills and rough terrain, meaning riders aren’t limited to the street.

The Futility of Modern Fears – From an evolutionary perspective, our fear instincts make a lot of sense. They’re a method of threat detection, allowing us to identify and react to the poisonous snakes and the hungry bears and the dozens of other death-mongers that surrounded humans when we lived outdoors. But in our cozy modern-day lives, fear sometimes seems to do more harm than good. Instead of living a glorious, post-fear existence in the comfort of our sheltered lives, needless fears plague us. Meanwhile more useful fears—like being frightened of texting and driving—refuse to take root. What role does fear have in a world where we’re usually pretty safe? And why, exactly, are we still so afraid?

Mystery space junk will reach Earth next Friday the 13th – A small payload of mysterious space junk is hurtling toward Earth, and it’ll be arriving on the most apropos of days: Friday the 13th (of November). What is the junk composed of? That’s not entirely known, but it does have a name: WT1190F, which, of course, looks like everyone’s favorite text exclamation. That’s purely coincidental, according to the researchers, as is its arrival date.


A Big Change Is Coming to Elevators, And It Matters More Than You Think – Think back to the last time you were in a lobby jam. You know, that pileup of people all waiting for an elevator. Someone has already hit the “Up” button. But as the seconds pass, they seem like minutes, then hours. Another person steps forward and jams their thumb into the already-lit button ten more times. As if that actually does anything. Soon enough, that move of frustration mixed with desperation may accomplish something. But it’s not what you think.

September 2015 sets new ‘hottest month’ record – The planet is getting warmer, and no amount of arguing is changing that fact. Enter 2015, a year full of record-breaking months, not the least of which is September. According to the latest NOAA report, September followed the trend set by February, March, May, June, July and August before it, and is now officially the hottest among all Septembers to have ever been recorded. That’s not the only significant part of the news; September also saw the largest rise above average for any month ever recorded over the last 100+ years.

Facebook teaches employees empathy with throttled Internet – When consistently using high-speed Internet services, it can be easy to forget just how terrible truly slow Internet speeds are. Facebook has been targeting emerging markets, and has released apps for those markets that use very little data. Still, to help its employees properly sympathize with the Internet experience had in rural India, the social network has introduced “2G Tuesdays”, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Something to think about:

“Trust me, you can dance”

–   Vodka


Wireless Network Watcher – Wireless Network Watcher is a small utility that scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices that are currently connected to your network.

For every computer or device that is connected to your network, the following information is displayed: IP address, MAC address, the company that manufactured the network card, and optionally the computer name.

You can also export the connected devices list into html/xml/csv/text file, or copy the list to the clipboard and then paste into Excel or other spreadsheet application.

System Requirements And Limitations:

This utility works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

This utility can only scan a wireless network that you’re currently connected to. It cannot scan other wireless networks.

In rare cases, it’s possible that Wireless Network Watcher won’t detect the correct wireless network adapter, and then you should go to ‘Advanced Options’ window (F9), and manually choose the correct network adapter.

Although this utility is officially designed for wireless networks, you can also use it to scan a small wired network.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Discarding Democracy: A Return to the Iron Fist – In a year marked by an explosion of terrorist violence, autocrats’ use of more brutal tactics, and Russia’s invasion and annexation of a neighboring country’s territory, the state of freedom in 2014 worsened significantly in nearly every part of the world.

For the ninth consecutive year, Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s annual report on the condition of global political rights and civil liberties, showed an overall decline. Indeed, acceptance of democracy as the world’s dominant form of government—and of an international system built on democratic ideals—is under greater threat than at any point in the last 25 years.

Even after such a long period of mounting pressure on democracy, developments in 2014 were exceptionally grim. The report’s findings show that nearly twice as many countries suffered declines as registered gains, 61 to 33, with the number of gains hitting its lowest point since the nine-year erosion began.

This pattern held true across geographical regions, with more declines than gains in the Middle East and North Africa, Eurasia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and an even split in Asia-Pacific. Syria, a dictatorship mired in civil war and ethnic division and facing uncontrolled terrorism, received the lowest Freedom in the World country score in over a decade.

The lack of democratic gains around the world was conspicuous. The one notable exception was Tunisia, which became the first Arab country to achieve the status of Free since Lebanon was gripped by civil war 40 years ago.

By contrast, a troubling number of large, economically powerful, or regionally influential countries moved backward: Russia, Venezuela, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Nigeria, Kenya, and Azerbaijan. Hungary, a European Union member state, also saw a sharp slide in its democratic standards as part of a process that began in 2010.


Senate passes controversial CISA cybersecurity bill – In a 74 to 21 vote, the Senate has voted to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a bill that privacy advocates have long argued will quietly give the government invasive spying powers. The House has already passed similar legislation, and the two versions will now enter a conference committee, to be reconciled before being sent to President Obama.

A series of amendments for the bill were introduced Tuesday that would have altered some of the most controversial parts, but those were ultimately voted down.

“This vote will go down in history as the moment that lawmakers decided not only what sort of Internet our children and our children’s children will have, but what sort of world they will live in,” Fight for the Future, a digital rights advocacy group, said in a statement.

Under the bill, companies would be encouraged to silently share “security” information with the Department of Homeland Security and, ultimately, other government agencies. But civil rights groups and tech companies have argued that the terms of such agreements are vague, and give broad leeway for companies to share information with the feds without accountability.


California Supreme Court should force cops to give up LPR data, case argues – Two civil liberties groups filed their opening brief with the California Supreme Court late Monday, forcefully arguing that the millions of automated license plate reader records gathered automatically by police throughout the Golden State are not records of investigation.

If the court agrees, such data could be released to anyone as part of the state’s public records process. Such a decision would represent a sea change in how automated license plate reader (ALPR, or LPR) data is shared with and scrutinized by the public.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California originally brought their case against the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in an attempt to obtain one week’s worth of all LPR data. When the agencies refused, the organizations filed suit and lost at both the local and appellate levels.

The lower courts found that the LPR data can be withheld as it does constitute an investigatory file. But the EFF and the ACLU argue:

The Court of Appeal is incorrect: the vast data collection possible with ALPRs is fundamentally different from license plate checks by human officers, and that difference cannot be ignored. Human officers cannot possibly check as many plates per minute as an ALPR system, let alone check the license plate of every car that passes on the streets of Los Angeles. For this reason, an officer manually checking license plates must choose one vehicle to check over others—even if just on the basis of mere suspicion or a hunch. But because ALPRs lack these human limitations, they can collect, check, and store data on every plate that comes into view. ALPRs are untargeted, indiscriminate and comprehensive in a way that human officers can never be. When this Court addressed the investigatory records exemption in Williams and Haynie, it could not have contemplated an application of § 6254(f) that would cover such a vast collection of data.


Filed under Free Software Downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Latest Tech News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – October 28, 2015

  1. Data Wiping through the use of the factory reset button usually wipes all of your data except, when your Android device is protected by the Avast Anti-Theft app. ( )
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  2. Don Naphen

    Hi Bill. Once again your never-ending efforts gave me a wonderful app for my Droid! Yes, DROID OPTIMIZER is great and delivered as promised. How the H*** do you find this stuff? LOL
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