The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, May 4
- 04 May, 2015 21:33
Mark Zuckerberg said at this year’s Mobile World Congress that Internet.org is an “on-ramp to the Internet,” a way to show people why the Web is useful.
Facebook opens Internet.org platform to (almost) any content service
Stung by criticism that its Internet.org platform is a closed-off, private web masquerading as a philanthropic effort to bridge the digital divide, Facebook is opening the service to developers who meet its technical guidelines. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a video that although the company started with just a few content partners, "we'll work with anyone who wants to join us." Facebook posted a version of the video subtitled in Hindi, aiming to reach its audience in India where the company was seen by some as trampling principles of net neutrality with Internet.org.
Boxing match spotlights Periscope piracy problems
The big fight on Saturday night between Mayweather and Pacquiao wound up highlighting the huge piracy problem posed by Periscope, Twitter's newish live-streaming tool, says Variety. The boxing match was likely "the most popular boxing pay-per-view event ever," the trade paper said, but many who paid re-transmitted it via Periscope and reached hundreds or thousands of fans who didn't pay. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo even tweeted about the phenomenon, but Variety argues that the event may prompt content companies to come after Twitter for enabling piracy.
Feds will open up about secret mobile phone tracking
The U.S. Department of Justice is planning to bring a secret investigative technique out of the shadows and reveal more about how law enforcement has been using cellphone tracking devices, the Wall Street Journal reports. For starters, the FBI has recently begun getting warrants when it uses the devices, and officials have decided they need to be more open about the circumstances of when they are using them to track people via their cellphones, the newspaper said. The biggest concern about the devices is that they scoop up location data on thousands of innocent bystanders who aren't targeted in investigations.
Microsoft fleshes out Windows-as-a-service strategy
Microsoft is shedding more light on how it plans to shift its revenue stream from one based on licensing its OS, to one that makes money from search, games and apps, Computerworld reports. CFO Amy Hood met with Wall Street analysts last week and emphasized the "new monetization opportunities," while pointing to the declining income from consumer sales of Windows.
DSL inventor spread Internet to the masses
DSL lines have been left in the dust by blazingly fast fiber optic cable and speedy mobile LTE, but the man who figured out how to efficiently transfer data over copper phone lines made mass access to the Internet possible. Joseph Lechleider, who died last month, came up with an elegant solution to the engineering problem faced by Bellcore engineers, the New York Times reports.
Germans probe their own spying for the NSA
German prosecutors are launching an investigation into allegations that their own intelligence agency, BND, spied on individuals and companies in Europe on behalf of the U.S. NSA, Reuters reports. The cyber-spying -- including monitoring Internet activity and email, apparently -- may have included commercial targets such as Airbus.
Hard Rock Las Vegas hit by hack
From last September up until last month, customers of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas may have had their credit-card information stolen by hackers. Names, credit and debit card numbers and CCV codes were exposed from transactions made at restaurants, bars and retail shops in the facility, indicating point-of-sale systems were likely compromised.
This Seattle architect remodeled his basement to accommodate his Lego collection. Take a tour.
One last thing
Technology executive David Goldberg, who died suddenly this past weekend, left a legacy that stands out in Silicon Valley: as a tireless advocate for women.