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Technology in the News

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 

naturalnews.com

by Mike Adams

March 1, 2015

A WhiteHouse.gov petition calling for the prohibition of laws requiring mandatory vaccines has been throttled by the White House, buried from public view and finally frozen for over 36 hours to prevent the petition from achieving 100,000 signatures.

The petition, which was rapidly headed toward the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a response from the White House, was frozen mid-day Friday and has remained stuck at 56,791 signatures for over 36 hours.

washingtonpost.com

by Lydia Depillis

February 27, 2015

In the wake of Wal-Mart's announcement last week that it would be raising its entry-level wage to $10 an hour by next year, there's been lots of speculation about why the company did it: Is the labor market really tightening?

"With the changing retail landscape, with the different options that customers have, competition on prices is tougher than we've seen it in a long time, and with that comes an increased premium on experience in the store," says Dan Bartlett, the company's executive vice president of corporate affairs. "We felt like if we're going to make structural changes in all or our stores, we needed to link some of those expectations to a clear sign of what the compensation would be."

npr.org

by Krishnadev Calamur

February 4, 2015

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined his proposal in an op-ed in Wired. The plan is backed by President Obama but strongly opposed by some cable companies and their lobbying firms.

Wheeler's plan would pave the way toward regulating the Internet as a public utility, an idea backed by President Obama but strongly opposed by some cable companies and their lobbying firms that say it will hurt investment. [NPR's Joel Rose has reported on this aspect of the story.]

sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

January 28, 2015

San Francisco's public defender has released a video showing police arresting a deputy public defender outside a courtroom for intervening in an interaction between police and her client.

The video shows Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson refusing to step aside as a man identified as San Francisco Police Inspector Brian Stansbury tries to take a cellphone picture of Tillotson's client in a hallway at the Hall of Justice on Tuesday.

firstlook.org

January 26, 2015

British and Canadian spy agencies accumulated sensitive data on smartphone users, including location, app preferences, and unique device identifiers, by piggybacking on ubiquitous software from advertising and analytics companies.

The document, included in a trove of Snowden material released by Der Spiegel on January 17, outlines a secret program run by the intelligence agencies called BADASS. The German newsweekly did not write about the BADASS document, attaching it to a broader article on cyberwarfare. According to The Intercept's analysis of the document, intelligence agents applied BADASS software filters to streams of intercepted internet traffic, plucking from that traffic unencrypted uploads from smartphones to servers run by advertising and analytics companies.

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.

      
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