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60 Minutes With The NSA, Facebook Donate, Amazon 4K, Google Blackmail [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 17-12-2013

Today in Tech News Digest, the NSA gets some good press for a change, Obama makes plans to meet a group of technology executives, Facebook launches a ‘Donate Now’ button, Amazon embraces 4K ultras HD, China is rumored to be getting the Xbox One in 2014, Twitter is rumored to be developing an ‘Edit’ feature for tweets, and Google’s evil scheme for persuading you to sign up to Google+ is finally revealed. Probably.


The NSA On 60 Minutes

On Sunday night the NSA was the subject of a segment on CBS News’ 60 Minutes. Unfortunately, the same show that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used to unveil his flying delivery drones Amazon Delivery Drones, Facebook Hack, Kindle Fire Vs iPad Air [Tech News Digest] Amazon aerial drones, Facebook friends list hack, Google Nexus handsets vulnerability discovered, Black Friday numbers are released, Steam introduces user reviews, and the Kindle Fire HDX is compared favorably to the iPad Air. Read More was a little soft when it came to what many supposed would be a hard-hitting investigation. This, some critics asserted, was nothing more than a puff piece.

The segment was presented by John Miller, who has not only worked “in the office of the director of National Intelligence,” but is thought to be chasing a “top counterterrorism or intelligence role” with the NYPD. So, perhaps not the best choice for an unbiased look at this organization.

The NSA and its director Gen. Keith Alexander were presented as the good guys, whistleblower Edward Snowden was condemned as a “strange … high-school dropout,” and it was suggested that those concerned about the level of surveillance and spying Government Surveillance, Xbox One Backwards Compatibility, Game of Thrones Game [Tech News Digest] Coalition formed to fight government surveillance, Windows 7 declared dead, Xbox One users tricked into bricking consoles, Game Of Thrones video game, Creative Commons 4.0 arrives, Google News on iOS and Android improved, and SpaghettiOs... Read More on ordinary civilians really have nothing to worry about.

The Wire has a good rundown of the segment, The Guardian details the many issues it has with the reporting, and The Verge has an in-depth look at the BIOS virus China is supposedly planning to cripple the U.S. economy with. So, a good day for journalism, just not from CBS News.

Obama Meeting Tech Execs


U.S. President Barack Obama is today (Dec. 17) meeting with 15 technology executives. The main topic of conversation will be the state of the website, which has been plagued with issues since launching. Also on the agenda is the scale and scope of the NSA surveillance programs, many of which use data collected by these tech companies. Those invited include Eric Schmidt (Google), Tim Cook (Apple) Brad Smith (Microsoft), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), and Mark Pincus (Zynga). One of these things is not like the other. Zynga? Really?

Facebook Launches ‘Donate Now’ Button

60 Minutes With The NSA, Facebook Donate, Amazon 4K, Google Blackmail [Tech News Digest] donate 3

Facebook has launched a new ‘Donate Now’ button that offers a simple way for non-profit organizations to collect donations through the social networking site. A total of 19 non-profits have signed up already, with more expected to do so in the future. This is a positive move by Facebook, but with the company collecting billing information during the process, it’s not an entirely altruistic effort.

Amazon Embraces 4K Ultra HD

60 Minutes With The NSA, Facebook Donate, Amazon 4K, Google Blackmail [Tech News Digest] sony 4k ultra hd tv


Amazon has embraced 4K Ultra HD, promising that all of its original programming will be shot in the format in 2014. Amazon Studios is known to be producing at least five new comedy and drama pilots in the new year. 4K Ultra HD television sets are available to buy (for a price), but whether you should actually buy one or not is still up for debate Should You Buy A 4K / Ultra HD Television? About a decade ago, manufacturers started to sell what's now widely known as an HDTV. But now HD is old news, so the industry has decided to push another new technology; Ultra HD, also known... Read More . This news means there will at least be a small amount of 4K content available to watch.

China To Get Xbox One In 2014?

Microsoft may be planning to launch the Xbox One in China at the end of 2014. According to Kotaku, citing Sohu IT, one of China’s largest tech sites, the news comes via the CEO of online video service Funshion. China had a ban on video games consoles in place until earlier this year, but with that (reportedly) lifted, Chinese gamers may be set to gain access to the Xbox One Microsoft Xbox One Review And Giveaway The console wars are officially raging, and we've had sufficient time with both of them. That begs the question: how does the Xbox One compare? Read More . Sony, the ball is now firmly in your court.

Twitter To Let You Edit Tweets?

Twitter might be working on an ‘Edit’ feature, allowing users to modify tweets for a limited amount of time after posting. This feature has been requested for some time, and would see Twitter mimicking a recent Facebook change Get Rid Of That Typo: Facebook Now Allows For Editing Status Updates The Web and Android versions of Facebook have been updated to include an "Edit" button for all of your status updates, allowing you to go back and fix any embarrassing typos. Read More , but it still may not happen. The Desk claims it is on the cards, while CNET and others suggest otherwise. If it does happen, then expect chaos until the bugs get ironed out.


Google Is Going To Blackmail You [NSFW]

And finally, Google is known to be keen for us all to join Google+ A Guide to Google Tools: Tips and Tricks You Can't Live Without Find tips, tricks, and hacks that'll help you make better use of Google tools you already use. The guide covers five main Google Services. Read More . Which is why YouTube comments are now filtered through the social network YouTube's Comments Section Now Cleaned Up, Courtesy Of Google+ Google has cleaned up YouTube with a new Google+ powered commenting system. You'll now see the most upvoted comments, the ones from people in your Google+ circles, and from the owner of the video. Read More , and all Google services are now being integrated into it one after the other. Resistance is futile, because, lest you forget, Google has some serious dirt on you it could easily leverage in the future. At least according to CollegeHumor, the makers of the [NSFW] video embedded above.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks

Image Credits: Digitale Gesellschaft, John Karakatsanis

Related topics: 4K, Charity, Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Xbox One.

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  1. Ammar
    December 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Since this is a political discussion I'll run with it. Legalities and constitutional law are important (to us) but these are all mute points here. NSA is a US government agency. The US government , and some states, do not follow the Constitution. It's as simple as this (though very simplified) , Federal is in charge. They make the rules and enforce them on citizens. So who can enforce rules on them? The people? They say no one. And we don't. So we were a Republic, then a democracy and now its Socialism. And a socialist government doesn't not care about individual rights. Period.
    Therefore the reality is what it is. Snowden will be punished and the NSA probably won't even get a waving finger and a "shame, shame". Just the other day I was reading that another news related with NSA that the Tech companies have been warning Obama to ease up on the surveillance or risk a hostile Web. Its good to see Powerful people standing up for a good cause. Source of the News Here

  2. Tom W
    December 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    If Twitter does allow editing of tweets in the future, I hope they make it really obvious when a tweet has been edited and allow you to see the original text, Otherwise twitter will turn into a haven for trolls. Moreso, I mean.

    • Dave P
      December 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Good point. Facebook makes it clear, so I can only assume Twitter would follow that example.