Analysis: Bill banning phone metadata collection gives NSA access to it

A prominent senator unveiled legislation Tuesday that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of all telephone metadata—a package that still provides the nation’s spooks limited access to the data of every phone call made to and from the US. And the probable-cause standard under the Fourth Amendment is not present. Conceding the realpolitik, civil rights groups and others ... Read More »

Cortana coming to China with new look and features

Joe Belfiore was in China today to officially unveil the next update to Windows Phone 8.1. While details were leaked in the last few days, Belfiore had a range of new features to discuss. Among them was the virtual personal assistant Cortana—star of the Windows Phone 8.1 ads—that will be available beyond US borders with the update. The next two countries to ... Read More »

Did OKCupid’s dating-results experiment help an Arsian find love?

Last month, a Facebook social experiment from 2012 came to light, drawing equal parts ire and intrigue as users discussed whether the social network site had crossed too many ethical lines. The internal research study concluded that users’ emotional states could reflect the content they saw in their news feed, and it confirmed that hypothesis by manually manipulating what appeared in ... Read More »

Congressional IP Address Slapped With 10-Day Wikipedia Ban

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives—or at least, somebody using one of the IP addresses that’s connected to said distinguished body—have gone and gotten themselves a 10-day ban on Wikipedia. It doesn’t appear as if Wikipedia has banished the entire IP address range dedicated to the House, which goes from 143.231.0.0 all the way to 143.231.255.255, as some reports ... Read More »

Google X Collecting Genetic Data for ‘Baseline’ Health Project

Google’s electronic health efforts have had limited success, but the company’s Google X “moonshot” division is now taking on a more ambitious, health-related project: mapping human genetic and molecular data. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Google X’s Baseline Study will anonymously collect genetic materials from 175 volunteers. Google algorithms will then crunch the info to identify “biomarkers” that ... Read More »

Philips Smart Bulb to Provide ‘Sharknado 2′ Light Show

If you were on the fence about picking up one of the fairly pricey Philips Hue “smart bulbs,” then we think that the company has managed to work out a partnership so awesome, and so eye-opening, that you really have no choice. That’s especially true if you like sharks. Or tornados. Yes, that’s right. The Syfy Channel and Philips have ... Read More »

Elon Musk donates $1 million to help build Nikola Tesla Museum

Elon Musk recently made good on his promise to support the g*dd*n Tesla Museum honoring Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor and physicist whose life inspired the electric car company. The Tesla Motors founder and CEO will donate $1 million towards the construction of the Tesla Science Center in New York and promises to build a Tesla Motors Supercharger in the museum’s ... Read More »

SoundCloud gets Sonos integration, record deals possible

SoundCloud is getting integrated with Sonos music systems, as it reportedly tries to become more than just a place for music you haven’t heard of. The service, which got its start in 2007, allows users to upload their own music and audio recordings. It’s become a way for obscure groups to get their music discovered, for DJs to share remixes, ... Read More »