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Apple Stores switch on iBeacon phone sniff spy system

iBeacon on iPhone

Apple has switched on its controversial iBeacon snooping system across 254 US stores.
The fruity firm’s iSpy network allows Apple to watch fanbois as they walk around an Apple store and then send them various messages depending on where they are in the shop.

This might come in handy when visiting an Apple store, for instance, which is offering the latest iStuff. Glance in its direction or wander past and your iPhone will suddenly spring to life, filled with messages about products you haven’t bought yet.
Apple’s iBeacon transmitters use Bluetooth to work out customers’ location, because GPS doesn’t work as well indoors. This functionality was quietly snuck into iOS 7.

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Microsoft Up Encryption After NSA Spying Reports

NSA spying
If true, NSA spying could “seriously undermine confidence in the security and privacy of online communications,” Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith, said in a blog post. “In light of these allegations, we’ve decided to take immediate and coordinated action.”
Smith pledged to “pursue a comprehensive engineering effort to strengthen the encryption of customer data across our networks and services.” That includes major communications, productivity, and developer services such as Outlook.com, Office 365, SkyDrive, and Windows Azure.

Google could launch ‘Nexus TV’ Android set-top next year, says report

Google could launch ‘Nexus TV’ Android
Google isn’t giving up its living room ambitions. The company is said to be working on a “Nexus TV” device that will run Android, stream video from services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, and play a selection of video games. The rumor comes from The Information‘s Amir Efrati, who cites an anonymous Google employee. The device is said to be ready for launch as soon as the first half of next year, according to the report.

Why is Microsoft scared of Chromebooks?

Microsoft scared of Chromebooks
It’s pretty much a brick,” says Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison as he rejects a Samsung Chromebook brought in by an actor playing a customer. Microsoft really doesn’t want you buying this thing.
But why? Just how big of a threat are Chromebooks, Google’s oft-ridiculed web-only laptops, to Microsoft’s core business?
In many ways, 2013 has been the year of the Chromebook for Google. From Acer’s $199 C720-2848 to HP’s $279 Chromebook 11, Mountain View has attracted traditional Windows PC makers to build a variety of low-cost laptops in time for the holidays. While Microsoft had largely ignored the threat since the first Chromebook launched some two years ago, it’s been on the attack in recent weeks as part of its ongoing “Scroogled” campaign. Following the Pawn Stars bit, the company has recruited its own “Ben the PC Guy” to hit the streets for comparisons between Windows 8 and a Chromebook.