Stories for Mar. 19, 2014

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In Brief

Twitter has reportedly put on hold a plan to encrypt its users’ direct messages. The plan was mentioned in a New York Times piece in October last year, in the context of big tech companies getting really annoyed with NSA surveillance, but was never officially announced. Now, according to The Verge’s sources, the project has been dropped, despite the fact that it would have shut out hackers and made it harder for spies to snoop without a court order. Twitter apparently gave no explanation for this, though The Verge theorizes that the plan may have been shelved because the firm is rethinking its direct messaging strategy.

In Brief

aros

Is it hot in here? You might want to consider checking out the Wi-Fi enabled Aros connected air conditioning unit from GE and Quirky that will learn your preferences over time and cool your room without your input. The product will be out in May, and is part of the two companies’ connected devices partnership. The AC unit will work with the Wink app that operates a connected egg carton, a clock and other gizmos. At $300 for 8,000 BTUs it’s a bit pricier than a dumb system, but that’s how the internet of things works today.

Stories for Mar. 18, 2014
In Brief

Google just rolled out its Play Movies service, which offers Hollywood Blockbusters for rent or sale, in a whole bunch of additional countries — 39, to be precise, including a number of countries in Central and South America, Europe and Africa. This means that Google Play Movies is now available in about 60 countries around the world. However, TV show episodes are still just available in Australia, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.

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