Tech Week: Bitcoin, Everywhere Camera And A Big Anniversary

Mar 1, 2014
Originally published on March 5, 2014 3:04 pm

It's time for your weekly look back at technology and culture coverage from NPR and beyond. A quick guide, for first-time readers: Our NPR interviews or stories are in the ICYMI section, links to the broader conversations in tech this week are in "The Big Conversation" and links we loved are in "Curiosities."


Caring, Or Creepy? Investigative reporter Julia Angwin talked to Fresh Air about the impossibility of staying anonymous, which is especially pertinent given the topics on this week. KQED's Aarti Shahani checked out a new smartphone aimed at protecting your privacy. Bill Chappell wrote about autonomous drones, Aarti looked at the data concerns with online outsourcing, and a clip-on camera on my shirt took pictures of everyone around, every 30 seconds. All Things Considered host Robert Siegel asked a lawyer about that last one, and he uttered the one question that everyone in the office was wondering: "Am I assured by law that Elise Hu just can't take pictures of me every 30 seconds?"

Siri Says ... iPhone users with iOS 6 were vulnerable to a security flaw, Laura Sydell reported. Meanwhile, a real-life Siri: KPLU's Gabriel Spitzer talked to a man who is recording his voice for the time when he will no longer be able to speak.

The Web At 25: As a new Pew study points out — yes, the Web is a quarter-century old! And it's created a whole bunch of opportunities that never existed before: opportunities for adults and teens to misunderstand each other, opportunities for Bitcoin to become a thing. The Web allows a father-son duo who play Call of Duty to an audience of 120,000. On the other hand, the Web was not so generous to Facebook's email platform, which had a much more limited audience and ended up quietly retiring Monday. If an email address that no one uses falls in the middle of the Internet, does it make a sound?

The Big Conversation

Bitcoin Exchange And Regulation: Mt. Gox, one of Bitcoin's largest trading exchanges shut down Tuesday, and it filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan, saying it had lost track of nearly $500 million worth of the virtual currency. To understand Bitcoin, our Emily Siner wrote this helpful primer, complete with a Shrek reference! On Thursday, new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed will not regulate Bitcoin.

Technology To Target You: In more surveillance news to make us squeamish, on Thursday we learned the Brits were spying on millions of people around the world by peering into Yahoo video chats.


ValleyWag: The Behind-the-Scenes Bidding War That Got WhatsApp $19 Billion

Facebook's biggest-ever acquisition dominated last week's tech headlines, and this week the details of how the deal went down came spilling forth.

The New Yorker: The Problem with Easy Technology

Writer Tim Wu says we need our technology to be somewhat demanding in order to help us evolve as human race.

Engadget: Netflix engineers experiment with bump-based video sharing and sleep tracking

Ever fall asleep on the couch while watching a movie? Netflix is toying with the idea of using a wearable Fitbit tracker to learn when you nodded off, so you can later resume the video stream from that point.

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