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Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

thenewamerican.com

by Joe Wolverton, Ii, J.D.

January 3, 2015

Every day, the power of the police (and their federal financiers) to track the movements of every American expands.

A company called ElsaAG North America (a division of Finmeccanica, an Italian defense, aerospace, and security conglomerate) has developed automatic license plate readers (ALPR) and is aggressively marketing its high-tech trackers to U.S. law enforcement. Vigilant Solutions, another ALPR manufacturer, boasts of being a "trusted provider to tens of thousands of law enforcement professionals." The Vigilant database reportedly "contains 2 billion entries," with "70 million additional license plate photographs being added each month."

sacbee.com

by Jim Miller

November 3, 2014

Lawmakers charged more than $4 million on campaign credit cards for fine eating, plane trips and other expenses reported to be reasonably related to a political, legislative or governmental purpose. Many of the expenses lacked any description.

Some ate in five-star restaurants and reported holding meetings in nightclubs and an amusement park. They bought fruit baskets and wine as gifts. They went to Las Vegas, Hawaii and international destinations. As long as the spending accomplished what state law calls "a political, legislative or governmental purpose," lawmakers complied with state rules for use of their campaign money.

Wired.com

by Marcus Wohlsen

October 30, 2014

How many of you are reading this because of a link you clicked on Facebook? In the online publishing industry (which WIRED obviously is part of), Facebook's influence on site traffic-and therefore ad revenue-is difficult to overstate.

Over the past year especially, "the homepage is dead" has become a standard line among media pundits. And more than anything else, it's Facebook that killed it. Given that links appear to be more clickable when shared on Facebook, online publishers have scrambled to become savvy gamers of Facebook's News Feed, seeking to divine the secret rules that push some stories higher than others. But all this genuflection at the altar of Facebook's algorithms may be but a prelude to a more fundamental shift in how content is produced, shared, and consumed online.

eagnews.org

by Victor Skinner

August 19, 2014

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - Officials in western Maryland's Washington County schools will be tracking students' social media activity while at school using new software that scans for keywords like "kill" or "bomb."

The district is using software called Social Sentinel that employs "geofencing" protocol to determine when students are on school grounds and scans their Twitter, Facebook and other social media posts for evidence of violent threats, harassment, drug or alcohol use, or similarly dangerous language, WJLA television station reports.

labnol.org

August 10, 2014

The FFmpeg tool can help you convert almost any audio and video file from the command line. Here are some useful FFmpeg commands you should know.

FFmpeg is an extremely powerful and versatile command line tool for converting audio and video files. It is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux machines. Whether you want to join two video files, extract the audio component from a video file, convert your video into an animated GIF, FFmpeg can do it all and even more.

reason.com

by Jim Epstein

August 10, 2014

Hospital Compare, a federal website aimed at helping patients make more informed choices about where to seek treatment, no longer reports on catastrophic medical errors at the facilities it monitors.

So what sorts of mistakes qualify as "hospital acquired conditions," which were wiped from the consumer website last summer, and as of this month also disappeared from the data sets used by researchers? The list includes cases of surgeons leaving sponges in their patient's abdomens, air embolisms (deadly gas bubbles in the blood stream), and transfusions with the wrong blood type. In agreeing to conceal the information, the Obama administration is bending to the will of the American Hospital Association, the industry's lobbying arm. David Goldhill, author of the terrific 2013 book Catastrophic Care: How American Health Care Killed My Father--and How We Can Fix It, recently wrote about the data cover up for Time...

reason.com

by Jim Epstein

August 10, 2014

When a Texas-based "patent-troll" sued comedian Adam Carolla (host of the world's most downloaded podcast) for using its "groundbreaking innovations in the distribution of serialized online media," he went to war.

When sued for patent infringement, most defendents quickly settle no matter how baseless the claim because that's cheaper than paying lawyers. Carolla countersued the firm, Personal Audio, and launched a legal defense fund. (So far he's raised $471,000.) He also took a trip to Washington, D.C. to discuss patent reform during a Senate briefing.

andrewnapolitano.com

August 8, 2014

In some respects, the recent admission by CIA Director John Brennan that his agents and his lawyers have been spying on the senators whose job it is to monitor the agency should come as no surprise.

The agency's job is to steal and keep secrets, and implicit in those tasks, Brennan would no doubt argue, is lying. Yet in another respect, this may very well be a smoking gun in the now substantial case against President Barack Obama that alleges that much of his official behavior has manifested lawlessness and incompetence. It is hard to believe that the president did not know about this but not hard to believe he would look the other way.

RT

August 7, 2014

The United States government has concluded that a new leaker has been supplying members of the media with classified documents, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Earlier that day, The Intercept published a new article based off of disclosures provided to them by an unnamed source pertaining to the US government's use of watchlists to monitor known and suspected terrorists. Previously, The Intercept has worked closely with top-secret National Security Agency documents admittedly provided to journalists by Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the NSA. Tuesday's leak, however, is of a document dated August 2013 - weeks after Snowden chose to identify himself as the source of the NSA leak and had already arrived in Moscow where he later received asylum and remains today.

conservativetribune.com

August 7, 2014

A journalist recently exposed Obama's hypocrisy to his face during a press conference for criticizing Bush over power grabs.

It's no secret that President Obama has made unprecedented power grabs to draw more legislative power into the executive branch, the likes of which have never been seen thus far in American history. The president has abused executive orders to bypass Congress and create laws favoring his agenda, and is attempting to do so once again with amnesty. What makes this situation slightly comical is that when Obama was running for president, he slammed George W. Bush for attempting to bring more power into the executive branch instead of going through Congress, stating he planned on reversing that trend.

      
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