In a move that will likely make no difference to politicians embroiled in as-yet-unreported sex scandals, Google has pretty much flat-out stated that it has a right to go through your email.
A motion filed on July 13 by Google’s attorneys “says Gmail users should assume that any electronic correspondence that’s passed through Google’s servers can be accessed and sued for an array of options, such as selling ads to customers,” RT reports.
The Future Will See You Now
Astronomers have detected a mysterious intergalactic radio signals, and, “in just a few milliseconds, each of the signals released about as much energy as the sun emits in 300,000 years.” Mindblown.gif. [Discovery]
A new project struck up through a partnership with Facebook and Dartmouth will analyze veterans’ opt-in social media data to determine whether it’s possible to predict suicide risk through Facebook status updates. [Naked Security]
Millions of young people in Japan are holed up in their rooms after becoming withdrawn, or “Hikikomori,” and paralyzed by social anxiety. Why? [The BBC]
Zynga accidentally put the email address of a random stranger on their customer support page. This is what happened. [Kotaku]
New Drone City
Now that Google Glass has officially established itself as the newest buzzy gadget, a backlash is brewing, uniting the technophobic and privacy-obsessed to form an anti-cyborg movement.
A new site, called “Stop the Cyborgs,” wants to help organize those who want to “save humanity from the cyber collective.” They see Google Glass less like a cool way to livestream footage of yourself sky diving and more like the beginning of a violent Borg-like empire. Sorry, Sergey!
The drone invasion is practically upon us: The FAA is authorizing various police departments to fly unmanned aerial vehicles; Chris Anderson left Wired to focus on his drone hobbyist startup. But it seems some folks are none too keen on the idea of eyes in the sky surveying their yards, and you will probably not be too surprised to learn some of those opponents live in Texas.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be drone-operating snoops.
A company that everyone trusts wholeheartedly with the troves of personal data you’ve turned over is reportedly developing an app that will further engender great faith and confidence from the public.
Just kidding, it’s Facebook. Facebook is doing another creepy thing because it is a day that ends in “y.”
Is Snapchat representative of a new wave of apps that tout privacy as the defining feature? Fred Wilson thinks so. [A VC]
Google’s obsessive drive to quickly index and display as much info as possible on search results pages could diminish Wikipedia’s traffic. [Optimize and Prophesize]
Coursera and other startups offering online classes could totally be the future of education…if only they figured out a stable business model. [New York Times]
Marissa Mayer made a Yahoo employee dance to “Gangnam Style” as cruel punishment for not participating in the employee feedback survey. [AllThingsD]
Is Reddit raising a new round at a $400 million valuation? [TechCrunch]
Did you receive an email this holiday season from a kind-hearted woman who just wanted to celebrate Christmas by sending random strangers pictures of herself in skin-bearing bikinis? Free noodz from an anonymous hottie seemed too good to be true! And indeed, it was.
Sophos’ Naked Security reports that malware is currently circulating via screensavers of bikini shots landing in the inboxes of hapless Internet folks.
Online privacy pundits might not want to venture over to China any time soon; the country just passed a law requiring citizens to identify themselves when signing up for internet and mobile access. [Bloomberg]
Another Snapchat scandal! Turns out both Snapchat and Facebook’s new Poke app store your videos sent over the services locally, meaning it’s possible to save videos sent to you without the sender ever knowing. [BuzzFeed]
It appears those ads at the top of Wikipedia are paying off: the Wikimedia Foundation has raised $25 million so far in its 2012 fundraiser. [The Next Web]
Someone wants to make a stage show in Las Vegas based on Portal. [The Daily Dot]
John McAfee is at it again. [Wired]
Instagram’s updated terms of service unleashed a maelstrom of confusion from users who believed that the new terms would allow Instagram to sell their photos without compensation. Celebrities even began quitting over it! Unwilling to lose their influential users, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom took to the company blog today to clarify just what exactly the new TOS says.
Much ink has already been spilled over Instagram’s new updated terms of service, which specifically states that it can use your photos for “advertising and promotions.” Twitter users erupted in outrage over the news, with many techies claiming they would soon be quitting the service. Wired wrote a helpful how-to on how to download your photos and delete your account. Photographer Clayton Cubitt, who is not at all hyperbolic, called it Instagram’s suicide note. Gizmodo called everyone whiny babies and offered a counterpoint: “shut up.”