Tech Thoughts Net News – Monday – November 16, 2015

How to delete anything from Facebook;  Google, Verizon, and Sprint are Offering Free Calls and Texts to France;  The best non-Instagram photo editing apps;  Google wants to add ‘not encrypted’ warnings to Gmail;  New Chrome exploit threatens Android with complete control hack;  How to securely wipe an Android smartphone or tablet;  The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update;  Windows 10 disk images let users skip wait for November upgrade;  Snapchat Now Sells Selfie Lenses For $1;  YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming, YouTube Kids: What’s the difference?  Walmart’s $10 Smartphone Has Better Specs Than the Original iPhone;  Five Windows 10 privacy settings that have been falsely vilified;  BitLocker encryption can be defeated with trivial Windows authentication bypass;  Gmail Android App Bug Lets You Send Emails Pretending To Be Someone Else;  Badware in the firmware all over the place;  Watch This Guy Explain Bitcoin to Judge Judy;  Video: Repairing stuff with adhesives.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Google, Verizon, and Sprint are Offering Free Calls and Texts to France – A number of brands have royally bungled their responses to disasters, but every so often a company does solidarity right. This is the case with Google and a handful of other telecommunications companies such as Verizon and Sprint, which are all offering free international calling and/or text messaging to France so that families can check in on loved ones in the aftermath of the terror attacks that claimed over 120 lives in the French capital. Google’s timely response was particularly commendable, with the organization tweeting just a few hours after the initial attacks that they had made calls to France on Hangouts and Project Fi free for the duration.

How to delete anything from Facebook – I like to periodically go through my Facebook account and delete everything that’s older than a couple of years. The reason — I just don’t think it’s necessary to keep a running record of the stupid stuff I say in passing on social media, and it seems like more of a liability than a tool I’ll one day use to reminisce. In performing these purges, I’ve found that Facebook makes it (unnecessarily) complicated to find and delete older data from your profile. So here’s a handy guide on how to delete everything from Facebook.

How to securely wipe an Android smartphone or tablet – Getting rid of your current Android smartphone or tablet, but want to make sure that all your data has been securely deleted. Here’s what you need to know.

4 ways to save a web page on an iPhone or Android phone – Instead of bookmarking a URL that might disappear tomorrow, try saving a web page—permanently—to your Android or iOS handset.

Five to Try: YouTube Music and Apple Music put their own unique spin on the streaming formula – Music launches lead the week, but there are other Android app releases worth exploring too.

10 apps that already support awesome Android 6.0 Marshmallow features – Android 6.0 Marshmallow is just starting to show up in the world, but some developers are already busy adding support for the neat stuff in Google’s latest release. Some important Marshmallow features like granular permissions and Google Now On Tap just work without developer action, but that’s not the case for everything. Here are 10 apps that are already updated to take advantage of Marshmallow’s coolest features.

Windows 10 disk images let users skip wait for November upgrade – Microsoft this week posted links to disk image files in .iso format for Windows 10’s first upgrade, giving users a way to install the latest version of the OS without waiting for the company to push the code via Windows Update. With a disk image, users can create installation media — such as a flash drive or DVD — for one-off or multiple-device migrations to Windows 10, or to reinstall the operating system over a corrupted copy. The .iso files — which for the English edition were sized at 2.8GB for the 32-bit version, 3.7GB for the 64-bit version — can also be used to boost Windows 10 from July’s original RTM (release to manufacturing) to November’s 1511, the in-OS label Microsoft has applied using its new yymm release dating identifier.

The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update – Microsoft’s first major Windows 10 update debuted yesterday with some new features and changes. Most of the additions are obvious, but there are a few hidden away. Here are several Windows 10 features you might not have discovered yet.

The latest Windows 10 update makes activation way easier than before – Activating your copy of Windows 10 has gotten far less tedious in Microsoft’s first major update for the operating system. You no longer have to start by upgrading from a previous install of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to get Windows 10 properly activated under Microsoft’s free-for-a-year policy. Now, the company will recognize any valid activation key from those prior versions (or Windows 8) and grant you a “digital entitlement” that makes your install of Windows 10 fully legitimate.

YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming, YouTube Kids: What’s the difference? – YouTube decided to spin off individual apps dedicated to its popular genres of video, music, gaming and kids, while still keeping the main apps too. All of the apps are free, but with a $10 monthly YouTube Red subscription you’ll get rid of ads and unlock special extra features, which I’ll outline below. And remember, YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscriptions are interchangeable, so if you pay for one service, you get both. Each app has its own tricks and tools for the optimal experience. Let’s break down the differences and why you’d want to use each.

Walmart’s $10 Smartphone Has Better Specs Than the Original iPhone – Walmart is now selling a TracFone-branded LG smartphone that costs $9.82 (it also ships free if your online order total tops $50). Now, there are a few reasons why you may not want such a smartphone—for one, it’s running an outdated version of Android that may make it vulnerable to hackers—but there’s no denying that it represents something pretty special.

You can check out Walmart’s page here  –


The best non-Instagram photo editing apps – Instagram may be the most popular photo-based social network, but it’s not the best app for editing your pictures. Here are five free photo editing alternatives to spruce up your pics — even if they don’t end up on Instagram.

Costco Black Friday 2015 ad includes $230 15.6-inch Acer Chromebook among laptop deals – The warehouse giant emphasizes higher-priced notebook specials over bargain portables and tablets, though it is offering $300 off a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 bundle.


Best Buy adds more Black Friday 2015 PC deals, including $130 Acer Windows 10 laptop – Best Buy is trying a new wrinkle in the fight for Black Friday mindshare. The electronics retailer released its ad earlier in the week, but is now a back with a “wait, there’s more” approach, adding 300 more deals. While none are for Apple Macs or iPads, staples of its Black Friday ads, there are a handful of new PC specials. Most notable is a Windows 10 laptop at a low, low price. The Acer One is a 10.1-inch notebook with Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in storage for $129.99, or $70 off today’s price.

Analyze battery usage with Windows 10’s Battery Saver – Battery Saver enables you to drill down on specific apps to determine their impact on battery life. Here’s how it works.

Snapchat Now Sells Selfie Lenses For $1 – Snapchat recently launched selfie lenses after acquiring Looksery. Every day, a new lens is added and an old one is removed from the current lineup of seven. The company now also showcases around 30 other lenses that you can buy for 99 cents and keep forever. As a reminder, here’s how you activate selfie lenses. When you’re using the front-facing camera, long press on your face to turn on selfie lenses. Then, you can press on a lens at the bottom to preview it, and then shoot a snap. Lenses range from rainbow vomit to scary monster faces.


Facebook Ups Its Sticker Game As The First Paid Packs Arrive For Messenger – In a move that may seem trivial, but could be indicative of the future, you can now buy paid-for stickers inside Facebook Messenger. Facebook itself isn’t leading offering stickers directly, but it is working closely with a third-party — Singapore startup PicoCandy — to offer a selection of new emoji and sticker packs, some of which will cost $0.99 or $1.99.


PowerPoint gets ‘Designer’ slides, new Morph tool – PowerPoint presentations aren’t hard to make, but they’re rarely attractive. Microsoft aims to change that, and has introduced two new tools as part of its effort: Morph and Designer. The tools have arrived first for Office 365 subscribers, with Morph offering seamless animation and Designer using smart image analysis to automatically suggest attractive, professional slide designs.


Microsoft’s Office Insider program lets you test tomorrow’s Office today – Insider builds for Windows and Android are now available for Office 365 subscribers, but Mac users will have to wait a few months.

5 Secrets for Writing the Perfect Out-of-Office Email – Heading out on vacation? Writing an effective out-of-office automatic reply is as much an art as it is a science.

Beagle sensors monitor a home’s health quality – Sensors that monitor the inside of one’s home or office are nothing new, but most of them focus on security, not health. While there are indoor health monitoring devices, they usually come as a single device, which needs to be placed in a centralized region in the building or house. Beagle is different, serving as a home quality system composed of a base station and various sensors that can be added on to it. Beagle sensors are able to monitor various aspects of one’s home, including the temperature and air quality (namely, CO2 levels), air pressure, outdoor noise, humidity, light levels, and indoor noise. The sensors are puck-shaped and about router-sized, and can be placed wherever the desired monitoring is needed.


Five Windows 10 privacy settings that have been falsely vilified – Headlines shout about Windows 10 privacy settings as though they’re a matter of life and death. But are they really? Mark Kaelin doesn’t think so.

How to create and deliver tweetstorms the easy way – Want to create a multi-paragraph rant on Twitter, but find the service’s native apps too limiting? Try these web apps instead.

Report: Facebook AI could alert parents when sharing kid pics – Facebook could be working on a feature that would alert parents when they share a photo of their children on the social network. The feature seems to be geared toward safety, making parents aware, when applicable, that anyone can see the shared images of their children. This is part of Facebook’s larger work with deep learning and artificial intelligence, something that has been used to create other photo-centric features.


FBI denies paying $1 million to unmask Tor users – The accusation that the FBI paid university researchers $1m to break the anonymous browsing service is “inaccurate” — but which part, exactly?

Pointing up     There are lessons from Toronto’s infamous ex-Mayor Rob Ford’s school of truth in this one – I’m telling you the truth – you’re just not asking the right questions. 

New Chrome exploit threatens Android with complete control hack – A security researcher, speaking at the PacSec conference in Tokyo, has revealed his discovery of a critical exploit in the latest version of Chrome for Android that could allow an attacker to gain total control of a user’s device. Even the latest phones running the most up-to-date version of Android can fall victim to the hack, which is carried out when a user visits a website that has a line of malicious code.

BitLocker encryption can be defeated with trivial Windows authentication bypass – Domain-joined Windows computers that use BitLocker should be patched as soon as possible. When domain-based authentication is used on Windows, the user’s password is checked against a computer that serves as domain controller. However, in situations when, for example, a laptop is taken outside of the network and the domain controller cannot be reached, authentication relies on a local credentials cache on the machine.

CoreOS open sources Clair, the vulnerability scanner for your containers – Container-friendly Linux vendor CoreOS has spent the last six months developing a scanning tool that checks for vulnerabilities in containers, and it’s open sourcing the code for the whole community. Dubbed Clair, the software analyzes each container layer for known vulnerabilities in Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Debian. The code creator then receives a report if a flaw is spotted, along with a link to the latest software database(s) where a fix can be found. The need for such a tool is clear, Polvi said. The firm’s own data showed that well-known vulnerabilities like Heartbleed were found in 80 per cent of the Docker images stored on Quay, CoreOS’ hosted container repository service.

Gmail Android App Bug Lets You Send Emails Pretending To Be Someone Else – An unusual bug in Gmail’s Android app allows anyone to make their email look like it was sent by someone else, and might open the door to dangerous phishing emails. The flaw was discovered by independent security researcher Yan Zhu, who reported it to Google at the end of October. The bug only works within the regular Gmail Android app. To take advantage of it, you simply change your display name in the account settings, then your real email address will be hidden, and the receiver won’t be able to reveal it.

Beware of ads that use inaudible sound to link your phone, TV, tablet, and PC – Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person’s online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers. The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can’t be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.

Intel Security’s 2016 Threat Prediction report flags ransomware as biggest emerging security risk – IMAGINE a hacker stealing your personal information or taking over your computer and holding it ransom until you deliver them a requested amount of money. This is the harsh reality many Australians will face next year with the growing cybersecurity threat known as ransomware gaining momentum. The warning comes as part of Intel Security’s 2016 Threat Predictions report, which reflects the insights of 33 cyber security leaders from within the company. (recommended by Mal C.)

Conficker is back – and it’s infecting police body cams – A US IT security company says it found copies of the Conficker malware infecting police body cameras. Florida-based iPower reports that body cameras it received from supplier Martel Electronics were loaded with 2009’s baddest botware. Researchers Jarrett Pavao and Charles Auchinleck found that when plugged into a PC, the Martel cameras attempted to execute the Worm:Win32/Conficker.B!inf variant. While any PC running an even remotely up-to-date antivirus package would be able to detect the Conficker attempt, unguarded machines could still be infected. What’s worse, iPower says the malware was present in the cameras before it received the units.

Badware in the firmware all over the place – This is really no surprise: embedded system vendors aren’t good at carrying out quality assurance on their firmware images, and their embedded Web server software is what you’d expect from something written in the last 20 minutes of Friday afternoon. And it’ll be no surprise to The Register’s readers that the bugs land in all sorts of stuff, from SOHOpeless broadband devices to CCTV cameras and VoIP phones.

Pointing up    I don’t mean to discourage you – but, these few news items above don’t begin to touch on the reality of the current security nightmare. For additional information take a look at the The US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin – Vulnerability Summary for the Week of November 9, 2015.

Company News:

Hulu reportedly in talks to sell a chunk of itself to Time Warner – The rumored discussions are focused on the possibility of Time Warner investing $1.25 billion in Hulu in exchange for a 25-percent stake.

Evernote’s Freshly Minted COO Linda Kozlowski Is Leaving The Company – Evernote made a name for itself as the platform where you could store your ideas and notes for life, and beyond. But the same permanence does not apply to the people who work there. We’ve confirmed through multiple sources that Linda Kozlowski, Evernote’s COO, has put in her notice and will be leaving the company by the end of this year. It’s the latest in a series of recent twists and turns at the popular startup: this year has seen Evernote appoint a new CEO, face layoffs, close offices, and kill off products.

Tim Cook insists Apple is ‘open’ after black teens asked to leave store, report says – CEO says it’s unacceptable that the teens were asked to leave an Apple store because they “might steal something,” according to a memo published by Buzzfeed.

Apple’s App Store Gets A Smarter Search Engine – A number of mobile app developers and industry observers recently noticed a significant change in the way the Apple App Store’s search algorithms are returning results. Developers say that, following a series of shifts that took place beginning on November 3, app search results now appear to be more intelligent and far more relevant – especially among the top results – than in previous months. This new change is focused more on how apps are returned when users type in keywords to find an app – something that’s becoming a more common way to find apps in a crowded app store featuring over a million mobile applications. According to studies, at least half of iOS apps are found through search.

FanDuel And DraftKings Fight Back, File Lawsuits Against NY Attorney General – After NY’s Attorney General ordered DraftKings and FanDuel to cease and desist all operations in the state, the two companies have responded, filing lawsuits seeking an injunction against the order.

Apple Confirms It Will Open A Retail Store In Singapore, Its First In Southeast Asia – Apple has confirmed that it will open its first retail store in Southeast Asia, located in Singapore, as the U.S. phone maker begins to increase its efforts in the region’s fast-growing smartphone market.

Facebook to use Safety Check feature more often in wake of criticism – The social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the status tool will be used more often during human disasters, following outcry over the company not activating it during the bombings in Beirut.

Games and Entertainment:

SteamOS gaming performs significantly worse than Windows, Ars analysis shows – With this week’s official launch of Valve’s Linux-based Steam Machine line (for non-pre-orders), we decided to see if the new OS could stand up to the established Windows standard when running games on the same hardware. Unfortunately for open source gaming supporters, it looks like SteamOS gaming comes with a significant performance hit on a number of benchmarks.

Fallout 4 shipped $750 million worth of copies at launch – Ever since Destiny showed that modern day, big budget games can make an obscene amount of money during launch day, we’ve come to expect popular titles to help construct Scrooge McDuck-style money vaults for game developers and publishers. Fallout 4 is obviously a popular, bid budget title, and it was no surprise that Bethesda would make out like bandits when the game finally hit tangible and digital shelves. It turns out Bethesda made out not like bandits who robbed a bank, though, but bandits that robbed a chain of them. Bethesda’s nuclear post-apocalyptic opus shipped a staggering $750 million worth of copies on launch.

Welp, It Took a Whole Day to Get ‘Fallout 4’ Nude Mods – Welp, Fallout 4 has only been out for three days, but the game already has its first nude mods. Believe it or not, it’s not unusual for modders to create nude mods for games soon after or even on the day of release. If you want to find out how they do that, and why, in April we interviewed the owner of Lustful Illumination, who creates nude mods for many video games. Sadly, all the nude mods here are for the women in the game only. Modders: please step it up and allow me to play as a naked dude. It’s only fair.


Watch ABC streaming app said to be getting exclusive series – With more of the US’s major TV broadcasters getting serious about their future in the world of streaming media, it seems one strategy that’s starting to surface is offering original shows and content exclusively for subscribers and/or mobile apps. CBS just recently announced such a move, with a brand-new Star Trek series coming exclusively to their All Access digital subscription service in 2017. Now, according to Variety, ABC is looking to do something similar, with a new show planned for their Watch ABC app.


Halo 5 drives Xbox One to the top selling spot in October – While Sony continues to lead the overall sales battle with Microsoft, the power of big exclusives was apparent in October. According to Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg, who leads the Xbox games marketing team, the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in the US in October. While we don’t have concrete sales figures—NPD doesn’t publicly publish the data that Greenberg references—Microsoft says that Xbox One sales were 81 percent higher than in the same month last year. The reason, of course, is Halo 5.

AMD’s Radeon Fury graphics cards claw back marketshare from Nvidia’s GeForce lineup – AMD is still playing catch-up with Nvidia, but in trying times like these any gain still counts as a gain over its more dominant rival.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Video: Repairing stuff with adhesives – In this quick video I address some of the most commonly asked questions with regards to adhesives.


The best places to install smoke detectors (and how to make them less annoying) – Installing fire detectors in your home is vital to home safety. But chances are you don’t have enough smoke detectors in your home. The one-and-done approach isn’t enough for the typical family household. Find out how many smoke detectors you need, where to place them and what kinds are available.

Microsoft Invented Google Earth in the 90s Then Totally Blew It – Terraserver could have, should have been a product that ensured Microsoft would remain the world’s most important internet company well into the 21st century. It was the first-ever publicly available interactive satellite map of the world. The world’s first-ever terabyte-sized database. In fact, it was the world’s largest database for several years, and that Compaq was—physically speaking—the world’s largest computer. Terraserver was a functional and popular Google Earth predecessor that launched and worked well before Google even thought of the concept. It let you see your house, from space. So why aren’t we all using Terraserver on our smartphones right now?


Steam Controller configured to allow disabled gamer play Skyrim with one hand – The Steam Controller, as well as the new Xbox One Elite controller from Microsoft, are truly revolutionary for disabled gamers in that they allow complete button re-mapping and customization, letting those who don’t have full use of their hands reach and use the controls necessary to play a game. The Steam Controller especially allows levels of customization never seen before, and one user demonstrates this by creating a layout for playing the hit game Skyrim with one hand, fulfilling a request from another disabled player.

Watch This Guy Explain Bitcoin to Judge Judy – Hey, did you watch Judge Judy on Thursday? No? First of all, what the hell, because Judge Judith Sheindlinis a salty, problematic treasure and you should cherish every moment of 90s daytime TV detritus before she retires. Secondly, you missed a spiky-haired dude mumble his way through an explanation of Bitcoin while testifying. On a show that thrives on petty criminality and outsized drama, this was an inevitable occurrence. Because, just like Judge Judy itself, those two things encapsulate a lot of what goes on in the world of Bitcoin pretty much every every day.


Screengrab: YouTube

World’s first floating wind farm will be near Scotland – While Morocco busies itself with building the largest concentrated solar farm in the world, Scotland is focusing on a similar record of its own — the world’s first ever floating wind farm will be located off the Scottish shores, using ocean winds to generate power for those in the nation. The wind farm will be located 25 kilometer offshore, with production being slated to start in 2017.


Ford’s Active Noise Control works like noise-canceling headphones – Ford has detailed its Active Noise Control system, likening it to conventional noise-canceling headphones in its functionality. The system, which will debut in the Ford Mondeo Vignale, uses sound waves to cancel out other intrusive sounds, such as noise coming from the engine or wind. In due time, the auto maker will roll out this technology in some of its other models, though the company did not elaborate on those plans.


Doctors Could Use Snot Instead of Blood for Diagnostics—Why Don’t They? – Nasal mucus carries many substances that are also used in blood and urine tests, sometimes in greater concentrations.

Something to think about:

“Where facts are few, experts are many.”

–     Donald R. Gannon


Belarc Advisor – Free Personal PC Audit (Version 8.5b) – Belarc Advisor The Belarc Advisor builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, security benchmarks, and displays the results in your Web browser. All of your PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

Operating Systems: Runs on Windows 10, 8.1, 2012 R2, 8, 2012, 7, 2008 R2, Vista, 2008, 2003 SP2, XP SP3. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows are supported. Our professional products also run on all other versions of Windows and on the Macintosh OS X, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.

Browsers: Runs on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and many others.

License: The license associated with this product allows for free personal use only. Use on multiple PCs in a corporate, educational, military or government installation is prohibited. See the license agreement for details.

The personal system screenshot below, shows only a small portion of the data collected by this excellent application. Just purchased a new computer? Then, run Belarc Advisor to make sure you got what you paid for.


In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

A Look at France’s New Surveillance Laws in the Wake of the Paris Attacks – After the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, France passed its controversial “Intelligence Bill,” allowing it to increase its surveillance powers. Now, in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks that have left Paris in mourning for the second time this year, it’s worth re-examining how the law might be put into action as intelligence-gathering accelerates.

The legislation, which was passed by French parliament in May, drew such strong opposition from the public that France President François Hollande referred it to the nation’s Constitutional Council, which finally gave it the go-ahead in July. It has been likened to the US Patriot Act, and though French Prime Minister Manuel Valls chafes at the implication, it’s easy to see the basis for the comparison.

Like the Patriot Act, the French law allows the government to monitor phone calls and emails of terrorism suspects without obtaining a warrant. It also requires internet service providers to collect metadata, which is then processed by an algorithm to detect strings of suspicious activity—a page taken right from the NSA’s playbook.

Google wants to add ‘not encrypted’ warnings to Gmail – Google is getting ready to alert Gmail users when messages are received in the clear instead of encrypted, in response both to slow adoption of encryption by some hosts, and apparent hostility to encryption in some countries.

Seven countries – Tunisia, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho – should be regarded as dangerous places to send e-mails to, according to Google’s research.

In all of those cases, “STARTTLS stripping” – forcing the sending machine to skip encryption and degrade the communication to plain text – results in more than 20 per cent of messages arriving without protection.

Most of them are in the twenties, from Lesotho (20.25 per cent) to Iraq (25.61 per cent), but Tunisia is a standout: it degrades e-mail communications back to clear text in 96.13 per cent of cases.

As readers will remember, the world is just catching up with the idea that e-mail security is lagging far behind our use of encryption for other services.

Google’s multi-year project, published by the Association for Computing Machinery, comes to a similar conclusion: there’s a long tail of servers managed that aren’t keeping up with the need to encrypt.

If You Want Tech Freedom, Congress Needs To Change A Law – Freedom is critical to the economic engine of Silicon Valley, but laws are not often written to preserve it.

A federal decision in October let consumers unlock cell phones, tinker with their tablets and hack into some aspects of their connected vehicles’ software — as long as they don’t break other laws.

Unfortunately, this decision has to be renewed every three years, through a long and arduous process. It’s time for that to change.

Thanks to the aging Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), consumers can’t “circumvent” software or other “technological measure[s]” in devices they have already purchased, even to diagnose or repair the software, unless the Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Register of Copyrights and after an enormous public rulemaking, blesses that category of software and devices with a DMCA exemption. If not, even innocuous hacking of software in your cell phone, connected car, connected tractor, medical device or tablet could make you a criminal.

Where cops can track your location without a warrant – Cell site location data can provide police with a rough idea of a suspect’s location during a given time period, or even in real time, and its use in cases like Davis’ has become a rallying cry for activists around the country. Multiple robbery cases have already turned into major circuit court battles over such data, resulting in a range of decisions governing how it can be used. And that broad legal patchwork has turned into something even more complicated, as various lower courts across the country have also made rulings governing how and when the data can be obtained. The result is that a Texas cop doesn’t need a warrant for some data, while a Montana cop does; Indiana police need the information in certain circumstances, but there are no protections for the information in Wisconsin.


Turkey blocks access to Reddit under controversial censorship law – The Turkish government has officially blocked access to Reddit. Users first reported last night that they were unable to access the social media site, and as of Saturday the ban still appears to be in effect. It’s not clear how long the block will remain in effect.

An official government site confirms the ban with a generic message that reads, “After technical analysis and legal consideration … administration measure has been taken for this website.” The note is dated November 13th.

According to the statement, Reddit was taken down under Turkey’s controversial internet censorship law, known as Internet Law No. 5651. Under the law, Turkish Supreme Council for Telecommunications and IT (TIB) can ban websites and block internet content for a handful of reasons, including anything involved with pornography, prostitution, drugs, terrorism, illegal file sharing, sexual abuse of children, and “crimes against” Mustafa Atatürk, the first president of Turkey. The TIB doesn’t require court authorization to ban sites on these grounds, and it can do so even if it has just a “suspicion” that such activities are occurring.

1 Comment

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

One response to “Tech Thoughts Net News – Monday – November 16, 2015

  1. A Stylish Ho

    Turkey.. Blocked Reddit? 😦 That’s awful