Today in Tech News Digest, the NSA collects photos, Beats kills MOG, Justin.tv deletes its video archive, Google offers the right to be forgotten, the Heartbleed bug lives on, Springpad is shutting down, and Cloverfield loses the shaky cam.
The NSA Is Collecting Millions Of Faces
If you don’t have an NSA file, you seriously need to re-evaluate your life, bro.
— Josh Shahryar (@JShahryar) June 2, 2014
The National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting millions of images through different forms of communication, according to a report from The New York Times. This is the latest revelation to emerge from the documents obtained by Edward Snowden, the agency contractor turned whistleblower.
It’s alleged the NSA intercepts “millions of images per day,” tens of thousands of which are “facial recognition quality images.” These are then used to track “suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets” using advanced facial recognition techniques.
Despite the NSA’s facial recognition methods being described as advanced, mistakes are still commonplace, with several being detailed in the documents. As well as its own in-house technology, the NSA is believed to use commercially available software, including PittPatt, which is owned by Google.
It should come as no surprise that the NSA intercepts and collects images of suspected terrorists. However, the scale of the operation, as described in these documents, is shocking, and with so many images being captured, there are bound to be photos of ordinary, law-abiding civilians caught in the net.
MOG Is Dead, Killed By Beats
Beats shuts down MOG. I preferred MOG.
— Derek Rhodes (@Derekrhodes) June 2, 2014
MOG is officially dead, with the streaming music site now redirecting users to Beats Music. Beats bought MOG in 2012 for $14 million and used it as the basis for Beats Music. This move comes just a few days after Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion.
MOG founder David Hyman told TechCrunch, “I’m incredibly proud of the team and our accomplishments. We raised the bar and significantly contributed to ushering in the new wave of streaming music.” MOG users are being offered a two-month free trial of Beats Music.
Justin.tv Kills Video Archiving
Welcome to relying on the cloud. “Live streaming site Justin.tv removing all archived videos in a week” http://t.co/NV7cG5xG7G
— Sage Lewis (@sagerock) June 2, 2014
Justin.tv is deleting its archive of recorded live streams, and removing the archiving feature on all future videos. This move, happening on June 8, will destroy seven years of archived material, and change the nature of the service Justin.tv is offering.
The reason being given is the lack of interest in watching archived streams, with the vast majority of archived videos being viewed less than 10 times. Even premium users are affected, meaning any Justin.tv user who wants to retain a copy of their past videos should download them ASAP.
Google Offers Right To Be Forgotten
Brin on right to be forgotten ruling in Europe: “I wish we could just forget the ruling.” Puts Google in tough position. #codecon
— Vindu Goel (@vindugoel) May 28, 2014
Google has responded quickly to a ruling by the European Court of Justice that Internet users deserve the “right to be forgotten.“ EU citizens keen to have search results about them removed from Google need to fill out an online form which requires proof of identity and lots of relevant information.
Even before the form went live Google had received thousands of requests, and a further 12,000 were received in the hours following its appearance. This decision by a European court is therefore likely to cost Google big in terms of time and money spent fixing the issue. This despite the majority of the MakeUseOf readership not caring one iota.
The Heartbleed Bug Is Still Causing Chaos
— Capgemini India (@CapgeminiIndia) May 28, 2014
Almost two months after the Heartbleed bug first reared its ugly head, it’s still causing problems across the Internet.
According to a report by Portuguese security researcher Luis Grangeia (via The Verge) the bug could be used over Wi-Fi to pull data from enterprise routers or Android devices. Meanwhile, Symantec is warning of spam emails offering a Heartbleed bug removal tool that’s actually a keylogger.
The message is clear: ensure your devices are up-to-date and not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, and don’t believe any too-good-to-be-true emails offering a quick fix.
Springpad Is Shutting Down
Since the notice might have gone to spam like it did for me, @springpad is shutting down 6/25. Grab your data now.
— ? Stephen Feather (@StephenFeather) June 2, 2014
The note-taking and information-capturing service Springpad is shutting down on June 25 due to a lack of funds. Users are being urged to migrate their content to another service such as Evernote, which can be accomplished via an HTML data backup, and/or an importable JSON file.
Cloverfield Without The Shaky Cam
And finally, your enjoyment of J.J. Abrams’ monster movie Cloverfield was likely determined by your tolerance for the shaky camera effect used throughout. This technique offers a heightened sense of realism, but it’s not exactly audience-friendly.
Now, thanks to an unnamed Vimeo user, we can all watch Cloverfield without the shaky cam effect. It’s not pretty, but it does offer an alternative for those who felt nauseous watching the original. At least until Paramount gets it taken down.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr