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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?

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June 29, 2014

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill making alternative currencies, including bitcoin, lawful in the state.

The bill repeals the provision of the old legislation, which banned the use of "anything but the lawful money of the United States." Authors of the amendment labeled the old regulatory regime as "stagnant" and lagging behind Californian "growing and innovative payments market." "This bill makes clarifying changes to current law to ensure that various forms of alternative currency, such as digital currency, points, coupons, or other objects of monetary value do not violate the law when those methods are used for the purchase of goods and services or the transmission of payments," the comments to the bill read.

June 29, 2014

Today Germany broke the news to the world that they will cancel a national contract with Verizon Communications.

This comes as part of the continued fallout from revelations by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, who leaked the truth that American intelligence agencies have been routine accessing global data provided by telecom companies. One of the most upset amongst nations has been Germany, where the personal cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel was reportedly tapped by United States intelligence agencies.

June 24, 2014

The Myo armband can control electronics around you based on your gestures.

After years of tweaking, the technology that will make you think you're a Jedi - or maybe Tom Cruise in "Minority Report" - is gearing up for its launch later this year. Canadian company Thalmic Labs attracted millions of potential customers last February when it introduced a video for the Myo armband, which lets you control electronic devices with simple hand and arm gestures. The original video, which Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called "very cool and impressive," is embedded below. Thalmic is venture backed and launched last February.

June 20, 2014

"I now have a policy to film every police officer that stops to avoid being brutally beaten and arrested for no reason."

If you choose to record the police you can reduce the risk of terrible legal consequences and video loss by understanding your state's laws and carefully adhering to the following rules. 7 rules for recording police...


June 17, 2014

Thousands of music videos are expected to soon disappear off of YouTube because the independent record labels behind those artists are not involved in new deals being cut by the Google-owned streaming site.

According to The Financial Times, YouTube will announce within a matter of days that videos on the site featuring recording artists from certain independent labels will be blocked, lest those labels sign licensing agreements that'll let those songs to be included on a new service coming soon from Google. When the forthcoming service, YouTube Music Pass, is finally launched later this summer, subscribers are expected to be able to not just stream videos from one of the world's most popular sites, but back up that content to enjoy later on even when an internet connection isn't available - a feature currently offered by competing, pay-to-list music services like Spotify and Rhapsody, but not YouTube. To get as much, however, customers will have to fork over a small fee, and so far independent labels have refused to agree to the licensing agreements involved.

June 17, 2014

A hacker figured out how to control the certain home networks to mine for something called Dogecoin, netting over half a million dollars.

In this case, a hacker figured out how to control certain home networks to mine for a computer currency called Dogecoin, netting over half a million dollars in a matter of months. The hacker's exploits were documented by Dell's security team, which points out that the hacker used a competitor's computer storage product to do the dirty work. The Dell team traced the likely culprit to a German-speaking person who goes by the code-name of "Folio" on GitHub.

June 17, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service is required by federal law to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of the emails to make sure they get saved in the event of a computer glitch.

The IRS recently claimed that it lost 24,000 of 67,000 emails that ex-official Lois Lerner sent between 2009 and 2011, due to a computer crash. The IRS, which agreed to turn over all of Lerner's emails to the House Committee on Ways and Means, specifically lost emails Lerner sent to other Obama administration agencies and the White House. Lerner is a major figure in the targeting scandal that has hit the IRS. "The [Federal Records Act] requires agencies to make and preserve records of agency decisions, policies, and essential transactions, and to take steps to safeguard against the loss of agency records," said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, who subpoenaed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Monday.

June 16, 2014

Want people to open your emails? Here's the most effective subject line length.

"There is no doubt that the email subject line is the first impression to be taken into account, and whether a person will proceed to open the email or not depends a lot upon subject line," writes Madhu Gulati, president of marketing agency ShowMeLeads, in a recent LinkedIn post. And, a huge part of what makes a subject line work is its length, she says. Gulati says research conducted in this area has found that subject lines with six to 10 words have the highest "open rate," at 21%.

June 16, 2014

Judge Andrew Napolitano was on "The Kelly File" tonight to discuss two years of Lois Lerner's emails, which the IRS says it has lost.

Napolitano said the FBI can recover almost anything, and there needs to be a way for it to look for the emails. "The American public is entitled to confidence in the government," he said. To the average American, Napolitano said it "looks like the IRS has willfully destroyed evidence [...] in order to avoid revealing embarrassing violations of the law."

June 13, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claimed Friday that it cannot produce Lois Lerner's emails to and from the White House and other administration departments due to a supposed computer crash.

The IRS previously agreed to hand over all of the ex-IRS official's emails from 2009 to 2011 to the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Dave Camp. But the IRS claimed Friday that it has Lerner's emails to and from other IRS officials but it cannot produce emails to and from the Treasury and Justice Departments, the Federal Election Commission, or Democratic offices. The IRS' computer crash may go down in history next to the eighteen and a half minute gap in the Watergate tapes, which was supposedly caused by a mistake by Richard Nixon's secretary Rose Mary Woods.

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