Stories for Nov. 21, 2013
In Brief

Politicians from Germany’s two biggest parties are currently negotiating what their grand coalition will look like, and they’ve reportedly decided on at least one thing: they need encrypted phones. According to local newspaper Bild, this means no iPhones, because Apple’s platform doesn’t support encryption software developed by Germany’s federal office for information security, and all official business will henceforth require encrypted communications.

It recently emerged that the U.S. and British embassies in Berlin have been used as bases for spying on German parliamentarians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (who, for the record, was using a highly-hackable old Nokia slider-phone before the Snowden revelations this summer, when she switched to BlackBerry).

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Stories for Nov. 20, 2013
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In Brief

Google posted a little update on its Fiber blog noting that it’s wiring Austin for fiber over the next few months, and reminding residents to get out and ask their neighbors to sign up for the fiber service in order to get access in their neighborhood. Google notes that while it doesn’t have a date, the sign up process will take place next year. Meanwhile AT&T has already announced four neighborhoods where it will deploy fiber at 300 Mbps speeds beginning in December.

Good news for everyone lining up to get an Xbox One: Microsoft’s new game console will have a YouTube app available at launch, after all. YouTube announced the app on its blog Wednesday, explaining that it will make use of both voice and gesture control, and […] Read more »

In Brief

The city of San Francisco revealed 11 finalists today for its entrepreneurship-in-residence program, which will pair startups with major public sector problems. Three to five winners will be announced early next year. The city received nearly 200 applications for the program.

The finalists are: Birdi, Compology, Arrive Labs, Beyond Lucid Technologies, BuildingEye,, Leventis Labs, MobilePD, Mozio, Regroup and Synthicity.

In Brief

Ford revealed today that it has hit a critical milestone in the connected car world: the automaker has produced 10 million Sync-equipped vehicles since launching the technology just six years ago. Calling every Sync vehicle connected is a bit of stretch, since in its most basic form it’s essentially a voice command and control system. But Ford has been adding features to Sync over the years, allowing it to integrate with apps on those smartphones. Sync is also becoming standard across most of Ford’s vehicle lines. Since January of 2012, Sync has arrived in 6 million cars.


Instagram started experimenting with advertising recently. It is only following what its members have already started doing – embedding commercial messages into instagrams they share. It might pose an interesting challenge for the photo network. Read more »

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