Tech News In Brief March 19th

There goes that contract: Ellen DeGeneres set a record for retweets with an Oscar photograph taken with a Samsung phone (Samsung was a sponsor of the Oscar broadcast). Too bad she normally uses an iPhone. In addition to setting a record, the post broke Twitter.

incorrectUnclear on the concept: A couple of weeks ago in the wake of the Mt. Gox failure, a US Senator announced he wants the US government to “ban” Bitcoin and provoked not only a “well, let’s take a look at it” response from other, more stable exchanges (who would rather self-regulate than comply with lots of government regulations), but also a suggestion to ban the US dollar for most of the same reasons. After all, if they’re good enough for the Winklevoss twins and Sir Richard Branson, who are we to judge?

Meanwhile, the distinguished gentleman’s fellow Senator (from the same state) doesn’t like the possibility of a .sucks domain name (see next item).

Fun and games: Think you’re smarter than a 12-year-old? See if you can hack Jurassic Park… or ride Marty McFly’s no-wheel skateboard. Of course, since they’re both from the Internet, they’re no more real than the Internet is at age 25. In a related matter, the US Commerce department will be turning over management of IP addresses and domain names next year.

Bracket buster: Before you go making your picks for the NCAA basketball tournament that starts this weekend (we purists don’t dignify the NCAA’s money-grabbing play-in games), you might want to click the “forgot password” link on Yahoo, because you’re not going to be able to sign in using your Google or Facebook IDs.

A thousand words: If you’ve looked at a blog or news site, you’ve probably seen an image “borrowed” from Getty Images. Now, you can embed them for free — no royalty required.

Not throwing chairs, though: The musical chairs that is the change in the CEO’s office in Redmond has begun in earnest.

Are you paying attention, Andrew?

When will they ever learn: The man nominated to be the next head of the NSA, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, wants to revive CISPA, the act that caused Internet users and companies to go nuts last year over that pesky Fourth Amendment thingamabob. For all anyone knows, they’re already at it.

Wonder what that cost him: Bill Gates is back on top of the world’s richest list. And before you start muttering, consider that he’s given away about $28 billion of what he once had.

I have some beachfront property in South Dakota to sell, too: Facebook wants to buy a drone manufacturer, all the better to annoy Google’s pilots with.

Signs of the Apocalypse: The US government has sued wireless carrier Sprint for overcharging on spying expenses. The Federal Trade Commission is more than halfway there to being one of the first ever government agencies (besides the IRS) to make a profit. xkcd is going retro.

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