Tech and startup news: Here are the top 7 things you missed today.
Tool Used By NSA Collects Everything You Do Online
On June 10th, Edward Snowden stated in an interview: “I, sitting at my desk could wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.
This statement was vehemently opposed by the USA, although it now seems to be quite possible with a tool called XKeyScore. The Guardian has reported that training materials for XKeyscore details how to use this and other systems to hack vast databases including emails, online chats, and browsing histories.
The worst part – no prior authorization or clearance is needed for analysts to access this information.
2. Starbucks and Google Team up
Venti mocha lovers have a new reason to rejoice. Google is teaming up with Starbucks to provide WiFi with service up to 10x faster. Over the next 18 months, 7,000 Starbucks locations will be converted to “Google Starbucks SSID.”
This is important for more than just the merger of internet services. Google Fiber has aspired to bring free internet to rural locations, and has successfully done so in Kansas City. Yet, no internet service has brought free WiFi to the masses quite like Starbucks. As noted on Google’s blog, Starbucks has provided internet for Hurricane Sandy, as well as high school students with no home internet. Together, the implication could be affordable, high-speed internet for the masses.
3. Minnowboard: Intel’s first open-source PC and answer to Raspberry Pi
Intel’s first open source hardware called “The Minnowboard” will rival Raspberry Pi … at 10x the cost.
The MinnowBoard, which measures 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) by 4 inches, is Intel’s first open-source hardware design for enthusiasts and developers.
4. Medium Losing Writers
The much anticipated and well-publicized website of former Twitter-founder Ev Williams is receiving scrutiny. Today, a writer has explained why he is leaving the platform: low traffic and little control over his articles.
Kenneth Reitz points out quite a few drawbacks to working on another platform, citing the inability to track his own statistics including referrers, cannot embed content on a post, cannot pick his own URLs, etc.
This comes at a crucial time for the website as it’s picking up speed, but apparently dis-satisfying its own user base.
5. Apigee Raises $35M Round
Apigee builds and supports APIs so developers can access a company’s data and services. They’ve been most successful with telecom, and translating those backend systems into languages developers and understand and work with.
One example is an API program entitled ‘OneAPI Exchange,’ which is an API program that helps unify APIs for mobile carriers, allowing a developer to design one app that can translate location, ID verification and payment tools across multiple operators.
The current round of $35M makes this a Series F with a total of $107 million in funding. BlackRock led the round with Accenture participating.
6. City of Oakland takes $2 Million for City Wide Surveillance
The City of Oakland has accepted $2 million in federal funding to link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data.
Residents spoke out, saying the measure grants too much freedom to the Oakland Police Department.