Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft looks in Outlook, Turkey bans Twitter, Qik is killed off, a Fitbit class-action lawsuit, MtGox finds missing Bitcoin, Facebook needs you for beta testing, and Samsung snark.
Microsoft Can Look In Your Outlook
Microsoft has the legal right to search through your emails, and it’s retaining that right despite user complaints. However, in light of the backlash prompted by the original revelation, the company is tightening its own rules to appease concerns.
We found out Microsoft can snoop through your inbox after court documents showed the company did just that while investigating Alex Kibalko. Kibalko is a former Microsoft employee accused of leaking Windows 8 code to a French blogger, whose Hotmail account was subsequently searched for evidence of wrongdoing.
The search was entirely legal based on Microsoft’s Terms of Service, but that didn’t stop the concerns and complaints from swarming in. As a result of which, Microsoft is changing its policies going forward.
These changes mean all searches of Microsoft accounts will comply with court order standards and only begin if there is “evidence of a crime.” Furthermore, searches will remain focused and be subject to “supervision by counsel.” Microsoft will also publish details of these searches in an effort to increase transparency.
It should be noted that both Google and Yahoo include similar clauses in their Terms of Service. So whichever Webmail service you use, the company responsible can probably access your inbox in exceptional circumstances.
Turkey Terminates Twitter
Turkish users: you can send Tweets using SMS. Avea and Vodafone text START to 2444. Turkcell text START to 2555.
— Policy (@policy) March 20, 2014
Turkey has blocked access to Twitter, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to “eradicate” the social network. During a rally in Bursa, Erdogan stated, “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”
Twitter was quick to act, tweeting instructions on how Turkish users can send tweets via SMS. It’s thought the ban is a result of Erdogan’s ire at audio recordings leaked on Twitter allegedly revealing corruption at the highest level of government. And this is obviously a very measured and thoughtful response to that action. /sarcasm
Qik Is Quitting
Important update: Qik will be closing down on 30 April, 2014. Find out what this means to you. http://t.co/xYsaUdTy1F
— Qik (@qik) February 20, 2014
Qik is closing down on April 30, 2014. This means all Qik apps will cease functioning and will be removed from the various app stores. Videos uploaded or shared through the service will also no longer be available. The closure is as a direct result of the Qik technology having been incorporated into Skype following its acquisition in 2011.
This is actually old news, with Qik announcing the closure on its support pages in January and then tweeting about it in February. However, emails were only sent out to users this week, hence it being reported across the Web.
Fitbit Faces Irritating Lawsuit
Fitbit is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims that wearing its Fitbit Force bracelet caused rashes or blisters. The company recalled the Fitbit Force last month over the issue, but a class-action lawsuit seeking refunds and full disclosure has now been filed in the U.S.
MtGox “Finds” 200,000 Bitcoins
MtGox finds 200,000 missing bitcoins in old wallet. Yeah right! Not quite like finding loose change in an old jacket http://t.co/nK2TZHicuJ
— Al Graziano (@s3rp3n) March 21, 2014
MtGox, the bankrupt Bitcoin exchange, claims to have found 200,000 Bitcoins in an old digital wallet dating from 2011. The find is currently worth around $120 million, and means the number of Bitcoins lost by MtGox stands at 650,000 rather than 850,000. Who knows, a quick look down the back of the digital sofa may reveal more missing Bitcoins.
Facebook Messenger For Android Beta
I don’t need you. You’re just there. An ornamental existence. A back-up. Waste. Facebook Messenger, the most useless app of all time.
— Roshnai (@TakeThatPunk) March 21, 2014
Facebook is seeking people to test Facebook Messenger for Android. If you have both a Facebook account and an Android handset then you’re invited to join the beta, with your only job being to report back on any problems that you (are almost guaranteed to) find.
Samsung Mocks The Competition
And finally, Samsung has never been shy of mocking the competition, but its latest ad pushes the idea even further than is usual for the company. The commercial (as discovered by CNET) for the Galaxy Pro line throws barbs at the Apple iPad, the Microsoft Surface, and the Amazon Kindle. Because they all suck, apparently.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Nathan O’Nions via Flickr