The US is refusing to allow German chancellor Angela Merkel to see her NSA file, or obtain any answers to questions from Germany about US surveillance activities involving the European leader's communications. She is due to visit Washington and meet Barack Obama in three weeks. It will be her first visit to the American capital since documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the NSA had been spying on her phone. theguardian.com.
Over at Technode, Shi Jiayi synthesizes recent stories in Chinese media showing how China's ever-surveilled population is getting sick of rampant face-recognition, and is speaking out. Face-recognition tech has penetrated all sectors of everyday life in China. As Jiayi notes, it's "it is now used in stores for pay-by-face, in hotels and public transportation for… READ THE REST
Lauren Gurley at Vice's Motherboard has broken the story about the obsessive monitoring of labor and environmental activists at Amazon facilities in Europe by Pinkerton merceneries. From the source: A trove of more than two dozen internal Amazon reports reveal in stark detail the company's obsessive monitoring of organized labor and social and environmental movements… READ THE REST
On November 20, 2020, the French government presented a new security bill. Article 24 of the bill outlaws the dissemination of photos and videos that feature, "the image of the face or any other element of identification of an official of the national police or of a soldier of the national gendarmerie when acting within… READ THE REST
Admit it…you've always wanted a Segway. Zipping up and down sidewalks and walkways. The easy, effortless spins, and the chance to experience the perfect combination of feeling like you're both walking and driving at the same time. But, for all their coolness, full-sized Segways weren't always practical to own if you weren't Paul Blart. Of… READ THE REST
So, with the heightened holiday frenzy to land a next generation video gaming console for under the tree, who topped the sales charts in December: Microsoft's Xbox Series X or Sony's PlayStation 5? It's a trick question…because the real answer is the same answer that's dominated game system sales since 2017: the Nintendo Switch. As… READ THE REST
Add another piece of bad news to COVID's destructive fallout: it might be further wrecking your eyesight. With so many of us working from home, the time many now spent in front of a screen is on a drastic rise, now reaching up to 13 hours a day or more. All those device screens just… READ THE REST