In his speech regarding changes to the NSA’s Section 215 phone metadata collection and surveillance program, President Barack Obama stated outright, “I am ordering a transition that will end the section 215 bulk metadata program as it currently exists.” During his speech (full transcript below), President Obama also announced that the federal government will need to go to the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) every time that they want to search data, rather than relying on previous orders.
Many consumers rely heavily on the reviews of others before making purchase decisions. Whether Amazon, Yelp, Trip Advisor or Expedia, consumer reviews tend to heavily influence all types of purchase decisions, from toasters to vacations.
Twitter is trending with the promoted hashtag #AmexSync. Do you get annoyed with the “deals” that your Facebook friends “like” showing up in your newsfeed? Well prepare for it to get even worse on Twitter, as American Express and Twitter introduce Amex Sync, the service that connects your American Express credit card directly to your Twitter account. And rest assured, as Twitter has proven time and time again, your private information is secure behind their hack-proof system. (Not!)
Big name designers such as Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Badgley Mischka and Carolina Herrera have taken advantage of digital media by showing their fashion shows online during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Major designers are realizing that online fashion shows are a great way to bring their collection to wider audience, and new designers can produce online fashion show for a fraction of the pricetag of an in-person show, which can cost upwards of $100k.
The hashtag #SuziParkerScoops is swirling around Twitter in response to Washington Post columnist Suzi Parker reporting that Sarah Palin will be the new host for the Al Jazeera America channel. To be clear, Sarah Palin is not the new host. It was just last month that a satirical article from the Onion named North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un the Sexiest Man Alive for 2012, causing Asian media to report the story as if it were real.
A hacker, who goes by the name “Guccifer”, has hacked the email accounts of former president George W. Bush, as well as the accounts of his family and friends, and has taken to posting his findings online, including private photos, emails and private home addresses. Guccifer told The Smoking Gun, who broke the story, that he isn’t worried about the feds coming after him because they have actually been investigating him for awhile and this latest stunt is “just another chapter in the game.”
Tired of having to resort to eBay or Craigslist to sell the stuff you no longer want? Or trying to give it away on FreeCycle only to have some overzealous moderator reject it? So was the creator of GTSList.com, the online garage sale where you can sell your stuff to friends and family, for free, and while keeping it private so you are not opening your home to random strangers. GTS List takes the idea of the online yard sale that often takes place on sites such as Craigslist, and combines it with the experience of having an old-fashioned yard sale, by making it a virtual yard sale. While a virtual garage sale is nothing new, we think they’re on to something by giving sellers the ability to keep their sale as private as they’d like.
While this year’s Superbowl ads did not disappoint, one of the clear winners was the Dodge Ram truck commercial which pays homage to farmers. Perhaps the most poignant part of the ad was the recording of Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech called, “So God Made a Farmer.” It got some wondering as to where to listen to all of Paul Harvey’s Rest of the Story shows online? Well the good news is that, even though Paul Harvey died in 2009, his voice and stories do indeed live on.
The people have spoken and the iron token from the Hasbro board game Monopoly will be retired for good, being replaced by a cat. In a vote on the Monopoly Facebook page, people from 120 countries voiced their opinion, voting to keep the Scottie dog, shoe, wheelbarrow, race car, thimble, top hat and battle ship, and to get rid of the iron. The tokens proposed to replace the ousted token included a guitar, a helicopter, a diamond ring and a toy robot, but the cat was the clear winner, garnering 31% of the votes.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced that it is ending Saturday delivery in August of this year. While your local post office will still deliver packages, letters will only be delivered Monday through Friday, leaving many to turn to alternatives such as email and Internet faxing services. Email is already the alternative that has led to a huge decline in traditional snail mail, crippling USPS with a loss of tens of billions of dollars in most recent years. USPS estimates that it will save approximately $2 billion annually with this plan.
If you are a Windows XP user running Kaspersky anti-virus and you can’t connect to the internet from your computer, you are not alone. The latest update to the AV software is preventing many users from being able to connect to the internet, causing users to swarm to the Kaspersky forum to grumble.
If you are an Android user and have either of the apps called Superclean or DroidCleaner (AKA DroidClean), you are advised to remove them immediately to avoid malware jumping to your PC. The app, which has been removed from the app store, infects the computer with a virus that will open files, gather photos and obtain contact information.