Facial Recognition; Cybersecurity; Java Legacies; Twitter Out Loud

Posted June 16th, 2015 at 3:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Privacy Advocates Unsatisfied With Government Plans on Facial Recognition

A large group of privacy advocates dropped out of talks with the U.S. government over disagreements on facial recognition safeguards. The group, backed by tech giants that include Google, Microsoft and Facebook, argues that users should have an opt-in feature for facial recognition so that user information is not automatically stored in the system. Once stored, retailers could share the information or use it to monitor customer behavior.

Password-Storing Company Gets Hacked

It is probably a bad idea to save all your passwords in one place on the Internet; and saving any passwords online is questionable, to begin with. That said, LastPass, a company that people use to store their passwords on the cloud and access them via a single master password just got hacked. While the attack is still under investigation, hackers stole encrypted passwords, email addresses and password reminders.

Legacy Java Components to Blame for Buggy Open-Source Software

Sonatype, a firm that manages the largest repository of components for Open Source software, said that more than 15,000 Java components downloaded last year – or about 7.5 percent, had known vulnerabilities. A separate analysis showed that on average, companies used 27 different versions of each component.

Apple Plans to Edit the News and We Should Be Worried

Apple is hiring editors and journalists to work on a new mobile app called News that was unveiled earlier this month. The app will be installed automatically, but will allow users to define the features they want. But writer Mic Wright has reservations about Apple’s oversight of news content, given the company’s historical iron grip on its relationship with journalists.

Twitter Timelines Get Noisier as Videos, Gifs Start Autoplaying

Twitter just announced that Vine videos, GIFs and clips created through its video sharing tool will play automatically by default as of today. There’s an option to revert to earlier settings, but you’ll probably have to put that to the test. The move to autoplay follows in Facebook’s footsteps.

Belgian City Launches ‘Text Walking Lanes’ for Smartphone Addicts

The city of Antwerp, Belgium, has joined Washington, DC and Chongqing in China in creating “text walking lanes” to help mitigate risks for smartphone addicts who text as they walk mindlessly, sometimes colliding with other pedestrians or running into trees or electric poles and even getting run over by cars..

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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