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James Bamford, author of the Puzzle Palace and Shadow Factory published an account on Wired of his 3 days spent interviewing Edward Snowden in Moscow. Among the many revelations, Snowden cites two main discoveries that caused him to do what he did. On was the data center built in Blufdale, Utah to store intercepted data. For the other, he describes a tool called MonsterMind that would monitor all digital communications and ‘auto fire’ without human supervision if it detected an attack. Snowden also claims he was told the US caused the Internet outage in Syria in 2012 when covert software installation on an ISP went wrong. He also expresses disapproval of cyberattacks on China which he says target civilian institutions like universities and hospitals.
Samsung announced the Galaxy Alpha, a 4.7-inch Android phone with a metal ring around it that causes many reporters to write the word ‘iPhone.’. The screen is 720p, runs on Samsung’s octa-core Exynos with 2 GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The Alpha will come in five colors and be available at the beginning of September. No word yet on price.
The Next Web reports WeChat now has 438 million active users, up from 396 million last quarter and hot on the tail of Facebook’s WhatsApp with its 500 million users. The gains come in spite of the fact that 20 million Chinese WeChat accounts were closed last quarter due to a new law that requires public account owners in China to register real identities and receive permission to disseminate news.
You may have heard that the Internet broke recently because of the 512K limit. The problem is that global routing tables, which must be stored on every border router, have grown to the maximum number of routes supported on some older hardware platforms. That number os 524,288 or 2^19. Jim Cowie at Renesys writes that the situation is more of an annoyance than a threat. All of the routers that operate core infrastructure have plenty of room and are unaffected. Affected routers may cause local connectivity problems but those can be quickly identified and hardware upgraded. Thx to CdrMarks.
News From You
spsheridan submitted the story of a murder suspect who allegedly asked Siri where to bury a body. Ars Technica reports Gainesville, Florida detective Matt Goeckel presented evidence in court Tuesday showing the suspect telling Siri, “I need to hide my roommate.” The Gainesvilel PD has clarified that the queries in the screenshot were not necessarily connected to the alleged murder.
KAPT_Kipper submitted an Engadget report that Amazon is stepping into the ring ‘em up fight with Square, unveiling Local Register, a credit-card reader and app for small businesses. The online retailer is offering a flat charge of 1.75 percent per payment until January 2016, compared to the 2.75 percent charged by Square and the 2.7 percent charged by Paypal. (The fee rises to 2.5 percent on Jan 2, 2016). The card reader costs $10 and is available for Android, iOS, and Fire devices, and a bundle that includes a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for $380.
Turns out Amazon v Square was just the undercard. KAPT_Kipper, our designated grudge match correspondent, also submits a Tech Crunch report thathttp://techcrunch.com/2014/08/12/uber-lyft-slap-fight/, compared to the 5,000 cancellations that Lyft alleges were generated by Uber. TechCrunch reached out to Uber to see how the company is getting that 13,000 number, but until then perhaps the two mobile-car hailing companies can settle this the old-fashioned way, with a drag race down main street at midnight.
Plug of the day: Alpha Geek Radio: mobile.alphageekradio.com
Pick of the Day: Satechi Universal Smartphone Slot Mount via Artem Russakovskii
Hey Tom, I just listened to the episode where you mentioned the need to get a phone mount for your car. Just like you, I was into the concept of dash mounts for years, but none really worked the way I wanted them to, and I’ve tried many. Someone recommended a CD slot mounted… well, mount. And I have to tell you – it has fulfilled all my desires, for under $20. Nobody uses CDs anymore, so why not put the CD slot to good use instead? It’s located in a much more convenient place that’s both closer to you and doesn’t obstruct the view. It’s sturdy and doesn’t move unless you want it to (it does swivel every which way). The mount easily expands to fit a large phablet (my Note 3 and OnePlus One had no issues at all).
The mount is made by Satechi, a company with great history and track record: Just like it already did for many people, it will change your life. It changed mine, and everyone I’ve recommended it to loved it so far.
Check out The Novelization Realization, a podcast by Rich in Lovely Cleveland
Thursday’s guest: Breki Tomasson