Obama Favors Net Neutrality, Microsoft Scans Your Emails, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Google makes it easier to unsubscribe from emails, Microsoft is losing big money on its tablets, AOL dial-up is still a thing, an argument over who owns a monkey selfie, and The Nostalgia Machine audibly takes you back in time.
Obama Comes Out For Net Neutrality
The issue of net neutrality in the United States is still rumbling on, with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) currently deciding its stance on the matter . If it comes down on one side of the issue then the framework for an open Internet will be preserved, if it comes down on the other side then a nightmare of fast and slow lanes for different companies and individuals will be realized.
President Obama has previously been rather vague and noncommittal on the issue, but according to the Washington Post, that all changed when he had the following to say during a summit for African leaders recently held in Washington D.C.:
“One of the issues around net neutrality is whether you are creating different rates or charges for different content providers. That’s the big controversy here. So you have big, wealthy media companies who might be willing to pay more and also charge more for spectrum, more bandwidth on the Internet so they can stream movies faster. I personally, the position of my administration, as well as a lot of the companies here, is that you don’t want to start getting a differentiation in how accessible the Internet is to different users. You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed.”
That’s unequivocal support for the core tenet of net neutrality, which, if ISPs get their way , will disappear to be replaced with fast lanes open only to those willing to pay for the privilege.
So, the FCC now knows Obama’s opinion on the matter, as well as the opinions of millions of ordinary Americans, most of whom want to keep the Internet open to all. This is surely a no-brainer.
Microsoft Is Scanning Your Online Images
Providers’ scanning against CP hashes is well-known. See, e.g., https://t.co/1SO0SCjpSu. Sec. 2258A requires reporting. What am I missing?
— Ryan Mrazik (@rmrazik) August 5, 2014
You’ll be pleased to discover it isn’t just Google scanning your emails for evidence of illegal activity; Microsoft is doing exactly the same thing. In the same way Google tipped off the authorities about child pornography allegedly being shared via Gmail, Microsoft did the same when it discovered abuse images allegedly being stored on OneDrive.
Microsoft’s Terms of Service explicitly state that the company will use “automated technologies to detect child pornography or abusive behaviour that might harm the system, our customers, or others.” However, regardless of the vile nature of the images being shared, this still raises questions over the right to privacy when using cloud services.
Unsubscribing From Emails Just Got Easier
Gmail now surfaces Unsubscribe links so you can say bye to sifting through messages for them: http://t.co/KbbBTK6bAr pic.twitter.com/Ofd8FNBMef
— Gmail (@gmail) August 6, 2014
Google has added an Unsubscribe button to the top of certain emails received in Gmail. The dedicated button will appear on emails with an already existing Unsubscribe option sent to the Promotions, Social, and Forums tabs. This should make it a lot easier to unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists, potentially making room in your inbox for the daily MakeUseOf newsletter!
Microsoft Counts Cost Of Its Surface Tablet
Microsoft has lost an incredible $1.7 billion on its Surface tablets . This is as a direct result of trying to compete with Apple and Google on the tablet front, but these figures suggest Microsoft would have been better off surrendering the sector to its rivals.
The losses on Surface are dropping, from $1.049 billion in 2013 to $680 million in 2014, but Microsoft clearly still has a long way to go before the Surface is profitable. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 3 is due to launch in 25 new countries from Aug. 28. Perhaps Malaysia and Finland can solve Microsoft’s Surface problems. /sarcasm
2 Million People Still Pay For AOL Dial-Up
It has been revealed that 2.34 million people are still paying AOL for dial-up Internet services. Some of these people are probably stuck using dial-up thanks to broadband not being available in their area, but it’s assumed most of these 2.34 million people are paying for a service they no longer need. Possibly out of sheer ignorance.
The Strange Case Of The Monkey Selfie
— Jason Kottke (@jkottke) August 6, 2014
Who owns the copyright on a selfie taken by a monkey using a photographer’s camera without permission? No one seems sure. The photographer claims he owns it, Wikimedia claims no one can legitimately claim ownership, and the monkey is totally oblivious to the row.
This will probably end up in a court case, but until then the photo is considered in the public domain. Which the monkey clearly finds hilarious.
The Nostalgia Machine Takes You Back
And finally, as we get older we tend to reject new music in favor of that which we loved years ago. Your parents did it, and you’ll do it too. Which is where The Nostalgia Machine proves invaluable, compiling the best music videos released in any year of your choosing.
If you start with the year you were born and work your way forwards to the present day you’ll see how your tastes have changed as you’ve aged. Which is both fantastically fascinating and mildly depressing in equal measure.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you pleased President Obama is for net neutrality? Are you shocked to discover Microsoft is scanning your online photos? What’s your immediate reaction to those 2 million people still paying for AOL dial-up?
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 Credit: Highways Agency via Flickr
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