Tech News

Your Government Is Spying on You, Black Friday Arrives Early… [Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-11-2015

The British government makes spying legal, Black Friday now lasts for two months, Tesla limits Autopilot, buy TV shows from the BBC Store, and every James Bond gadget ever shown on screen.


The Brits Get New Surveillance Laws

The British Government is pushing its Snoopers’ Charter through parliament once again, with the Investigatory Powers Bill enshrining into law the ability of the police and intelligence services to spy on British citizens. The Home Secretary Theresa May is insisting this is a watered-down version of the bill, but it still gives governmental agencies the power to spy on individuals at will.

If passed into law, the Investigatory Powers Bill would require ISPs and other tech companies to keep a record of the Internet activity of everybody in the UK. This would includes a list of every website visited within the past 12 months. The police will be able to access these records at will without obtaining a search warrant.

As outrageous as this proposed Snoopers Charter is How Britain's "Snoopers' Charter" Might Affect You British Prime Minister David Cameron intends to resurrect the "Snooper's Charter", a privacy-breaching set of new measures to enable enhanced monitoring of communications by the security services. Can it be stopped? Read More , it really just creates a legal framework for the kind of spying activities governments around the world are doing on their own citizens. As Edward Snowden and others revealed, both the NSA (National Security Agency) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) have been spying on individuals for many years Your Interest in Privacy Will Ensure You're Targeted by the NSA Yes, that's right. If you care about privacy, you may be added to a list. Read More , often without any actual evidence of wrongdoing The NSA Can Spy On Almost Everybody, Google Buys Songza, And More... [Tech News Digest] Online book sales have overtaken retail book sales, the UK is investigating the Facebook experiment, IFTTT makes Yo useful, Oculus Rift experiment gives third-person perspective, and Google tests our general knowledge with Smarty Pins. Read More .

Is it me or is George Orwell’s 1984 edging closer by the day?

Black Friday Has Already Begun

Retailers are increasingly desperate to persuade us all to spend our hard-earned money on stuff we don’t need and barely even want. Which is why Black Friday has arrived early this year 7 Sure-Fire Ways to Be 100% Prepared for Black Friday Here's how you can make the most of this year's Black Friday online. Read More . The main culprit for this madness? Amazon, which has launched its Black Friday Deals a full three weeks ahead of the actual day.


Amazon has already extended Black Friday from being a one-day event to a week-long event, but the online retailer is now pushing a “Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week” which essentially turns Black Friday into Black November. There may well be some deals worth nabbing 10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money Here are some of the best items you should buy on Black Friday if you're looking for great deals. Read More , but our advice is not to fall for this malevolent marketing.

Tesla Limits Autopilot Features

Tesla is taking notice of the danger it has created (for drivers, other road users AND pedestrians) by pushing out Autopilot to its fleet of expensive cars. A total of around 60,000 cars now have the Autopilot feature, which opens up the possibility of a lot of avoidable accidents.

Tesla’s Autopilot has been released into the wild as a beta Beware of Tesla Autopilot, Microsoft Will Buy Your Old PCs... [Tech News Digest] Watch out for that passing Tesla, sell your PC to Microsoft, Intel asks PC Does What?, YouTube Gaming gets subscriptions, Amazon shuts Destinations, and Back to the Future II in real life. Read More , which essentially means it isn’t ready for mainstream use. Tesla drivers have proved the point by testing the effectiveness of Autopilot You Can Now Pay to Watch YouTube, The Dangers of Tesla Autopilot... [Tech News Digest] YouTube Red adds subscription fees, testing Tesla Autopilot, Android stops draining your battery, polling your friends on Twitter, Mythbusters stops busting myths, and Back to the Future in 90 seconds. Read More , and posting scary videos of the results on YouTube. There have, as a result, been calls for Tesla to act.

According to The Verge, during the company’s latest earnings call Q&A [No Longer Available] CEO Elon Musk stated that Tesla will be putting in “some additional constraints” around the feature in order to “minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it”. What that means isn’t yet clear, but at least Tesla is listening to concerns. Which is a start.


BBC Store Lets You Buy Shows

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has launched BBC Store, where you can buy and download the best TV shows from the BBC’s extensive archives. BBC Store is designed to sit alongside BBC iPlayer 10 Tips To Get The Most Out Of BBC iPlayer What is the best in British entertainment? Is it on TV or on the radio? Either way, both media are accessible with the BBC’s iPlayer service. BBC iPlayer is a browser-based service that is also... Read More , which will still stream new shows for 30 days after broadcast.


According to Engadget, at launch an impressive 7,000 hours of programming is available, with classics such as Dad’s Army and Morecambe and Wise being made available digitally for the first time. You can buy single episodes, whole seasons, or multiple seasons of the same show. There’s also a series pass which adds new episodes as they’re released.

A single episode of your favorite BBC TV show will cost £1.89 (US$3), with a six-episode series costing £7.99 (US$12). BBC Store is currently only available on the Web, with dedicated apps for Android, iOS, smart TVs, set-top boxes, and games consoles all in the works.


Every James Bond Gadget Ever

And finally, the new James Bond film, Spectre, is being released in theaters tomorrow, and Bond is bound to be seen using a new collection of gadgets. After all, Q is back, and Q is the person responsible for keeping Bond alive against all the odds over the years, thanks to technology.

This video is a supercut showing all of the gadgets James Bond has used since Dr. No in 1962 right up to the present day. We have our own ideas on the best Bond gadgets of all time The Best Bond Gadgets Of All Time James Bonds gadgets are legendary. In this article, we run down some of the most futuristic gadgets from the films, and see how they stand up in the era of the iWatch. Read More , but seeing every single one the super-spy has ever used is still entertaining. [H/T Geekologie]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you support governments spying on their citizens in order to maintain law and order? Will you be partaking in Black Friday this year, whether online or offline? What should Tesla do about its Autopilot? Will you be buying shows from BBC Store? What’s your favorite James Bond gadget of all time?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.


Image Credits: Jennifer Graevell via Flickr

Related topics: Amazon, BBC, Black Friday, Gadgets, Surveillance, Tesla.

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