Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

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

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Liz H.
    Apr 04, 2014 @ 05:33:49

    Since this is the tech edition, hoping it’s ok to make a request here- any chance that DA can do a summary of currently available e-ink e-readers, as the landscape has significantly changed since the last round up? Also, any chance of a guide (or link to a really good summary) of text-to-speech aps/options? Thanks!
    (It’s possible it’s me, but search is relatively non-functional when trying to find stuff like this in the archvies.)

  2. Jane
    Apr 04, 2014 @ 07:34:38

    @Liz H – I’ve kind of abandoned keeping up with e-ink readers but maybe I can look around for text to speech aps/options. I think the best right now are Kindle and Apple (and Apple having the very best).

  3. Karenmc
    Apr 04, 2014 @ 09:28:25

    I have a 1st generation Apple TV and a Roku 2. I prefer the Roku, which can access the Amazon Prime stream. It’s in the living room and is used a lot. The Apple TV is relegated to the bedroom and rarely used. It’s not that there’s a huge difference in the technology, but if Apple won’t allow Amazon in…

  4. De
    Apr 04, 2014 @ 16:58:15

    I picked up a refurb Roku a year and a half or so ago and put it in my bedroom. I love it.

    I’ve got a networked blu-ray player in the living room that I’ve been using with Netflix out there. But when I was in the living room and kitchen and would have been watching Netflix, I was actually more likely to have music on or something like that because the UI on the blu-ray player sucked so badly and it was laggy. This spring, I spent the $50 and got a second Roku for the living room. It’s worth it just for decent UI.

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