Booting Up: The NSA Spied on Gamers Because Teen Smack-Talking Is Integral to National Security

Man with the plan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Giant tech companies including LinkedIn, Google, Facebook and others are banning together to create a “Reform Government Surveillance” group. “We strongly believe that current laws and practices need to be reformed,” they explained. [VentureBeat]

Bitcoin’s value plummeted over the weekend after China started cracking down on the use of the digital currency. [PC World]

Netflix is quietly transforming from a streaming company to a full-fledged network that could soon take on the biggies. [New Republic]

The NSA reportedly spied on video game platforms like Xbox Live and probably heard (or saw) a lot of things they wish they didn’t. [Guardian]

Some of the city’s new cabs include USB outlets, panoramic windows and customized climate control so you can drive like a freakin’ Rockefeller. [Gothamist]

Ride or Die

Off Duty Light Goes Off: Taxi Light System to No Longer Confuse Tourists

(Photo: Yellow Cab NYC)

It’s a secret point of pride for experienced New Yorkers that we know how to properly parse the mystifying taxi light system. It gives us a leg up over tourists, who spend so much time trying to differentiate between the Available and Off Duty lights that by the time they realize the cab is free, a local has already settled into the backseat.

But now, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Taxi & Limousine Commission has voted to revamp the baffling system: during scheduled taxi inspections between January and April, all taxis will be outfitted so that their signs only display one light when they’re available. When they’re taken or off-duty, the sign will be dark. Read More

Taxi Tech

Taxi TVs Will Soon Let You Know if Your Cab Driver is Scamming You

(Photo: Yellow Cab NYC)

Ever hop and a cab to get from A to B and feel like it ended up costing way more than it actually should have? Perhaps your driver is surreptitiously tacking on unfair charges to your bill, hoping you’re too stupid to notice. Luckily, that’s where the new taxi tvs come in.

Aside from running rah-rah programming about how many tech companies are hiring and that annoying On the Stoop show, some taxi TVs can now alert you to fare changes and additional charges your cabbie has added on. Read More