Tech News in Brief November 21st, 2013

‘Tis the season: Not the quarterly earnings calls season, but the semiannual time of year when big tech companies issue “transparency reports” in which they say which governments asked for what information how many times. Most don’t like it at all, especially the part where the government can say “you can’t talk about the fact that we asked”, but they’re really unhappy about how many requests they’re getting. Apple, as might be expected, has come up with a novel method of getting that information out without actually telling.

Speaking of transparency, we couldn’t help but notice Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan’s column on Google’s broken promises. It’s good to see that our Admins aren’t the only people who noticed.

Best two ideas we’ve heard all day: Encrypt everything (not that it will do any good), and find that special place in you-know-where for anyone who uses any of these phrases (like people in the advertising industry, for example).

Just the kind of thing that inspires us: 3D-printer MakerBot wants its devices in every school in the country, which would be fine were it not for the printers’ ability to make guns that work.

Help wanted: Seeking curious, relentless and discreet person for at-will position as CEO of well-known data-mining brand. Head office in Washington, DC-Baltimore area, but travel is frequent. Includes major role on organization’s golf team (shirt provided). Apply by secure email only. Don’t use Yahoo mail for a while yet, though.

YouTube trolls outted: If you’re one of those people who wanders around YouTube making snide remards about the mom who posted a video of the poor six-year-old who just sat on his older sister’s cat, you can still make the remarks — after you’ve signed in with your Google+ account. Now, not only are you a dog, but everyone knows it — and a lot of them don’t like it one bit.

If you don’t want to know, don’t ask: JPMorgan, the big bank, took to Twitter in advance of a public Q&A session with one of its executives with predictable results. Five days later, the feed is still active.

On the other hand, TripAdvisor gives it great reviews: South African police busted up a Nigerian general scam operating out of a beachfront hotel in Cape Town.

Silly site of the week: FBomb_co. If we had to spend that much time in New York, we’d probably cuss too.

In requiem: Blockbuster stores. The last movie rented? One that could have been a sign of the ApocalypseMavis Batey, cryptographer and gardener.

Ain’t she sweet: For someone who isn’t real, yes.

Maybe you shouldn’t have brought a camera to the party: Max Mosley, the former president of Formula One racing, is getting an object lesson in what’s known as the Streisand Effect.

Buddy, can you spare a dime? Twitter opened at $45.10 and a week later is down a couple of bucks. Now it has to figure out how to make a profit — and maybe pay taxes. Don’t be terribly surprised if they get into the “information brokerage” business. Meanwhile, Snapchat (another company that makes no money) turned down billions from Facebook and from Google.

Somebody got paid for this: Curiously, Twitter users get their news from Twitter, while Facebook users get theirs from Facebook. Whodathunkit.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Of the 38 million Adobe accounts and a staggering 130 million passwords that were breached, 2 million of them had 123456 as their password — and they were encrypted using reversible encryption. (Thanks, Bev!) The USPS won’t deliver the mail on Sundays, but it will deliver for Amazon, unless, of course, you don’t live in Los Angeles or New York. “Selfie” is the OED’s word of the year.

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