Friday News: Tech Edition
Yahoo Protects Users with Lots More Encryption – Good news for Yahoo users; the company has boosted encryption for email and for traffic between its data centers. Yahoo has also instituted HTTPS encryption for search queries on the Yahoo homepage, and between Yahoo Mail and some other mail servers (like Gmail). They will also be introducing an encrypted version of Yahoo Messenger soon.
It’s important to note that all these uses of encryption protect only communications in transit between a user and Yahoo’s servers, or within different parts of Yahoo’s own infrastructure. That means it doesn’t in any way change Yahoo’s ability to turn over user data in response to government requests. It makes it more difficult for any government to use its access to network infrastructure to secretly intercept users’ communications, but governments can still come directly to Yahoo with demands for access to user data. –Electronic Frontier Foundation
Set-Top Showdown: Amazon Fire TV Vs. Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku – If you’re looking for a streaming media service, this comparison serves as a quick reference guide for the Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Roku. Chromecast has the added benefit of costing about a third of the other three. –Wall Street Journal
Thank God: There’s Finally an App That Lets You Escape Group Texts – For those of you who are tired of group texts, you can now purchase a $2 app called GroupXit that allows you to opt out of all those group follow up texts you get in response to your friend’s latest baby video or cute animal photo. Although only available for Android devices currently, there will be an i0S version available “soon,” according to the company. As for how the app works:
The app is actually pretty ingenious in its design. Rather than existing as another messaging system entirely, GroupXit simply pulls the group threads you’re currently in from your native messaging app, allowing you to choose which threads you’d like to remove from sight and even which individual friends (“friends”) you’d like to silence. And don’t worry about missing something important; you can opt to receive an alert for certain keywords –Gizmodo
‘Game of Thrones’ recapped in emoji – I’ll admit that I’m not much of a Game of Thrones viewer (or reader), but even I found this emoji recap of Season 3 pretty awesome. Those of you who already know about “Game of Phones” may know about this, but if you don’t, definitely check it out. This story coincides with recent news that emojis are finally getting more diversified, following calls for Apple to diversify the symbols. So far the new emojis are only available for Android devices, but will soon be coming to i0S. –Death and Taxes