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TITLE: House of SIM Cards, 952GUEST:

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It's Wednesday, February 26, 2014 and this is Tech News Today.

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Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Mike Elgan - I'm Jason Howell.

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Tech News Today explores the most important stories of the day in conversation with the world's leading journalists.

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Our guest co-anchor this week is Natali Morris, a contributor to The TODAY Show, CNBC, The Queen Latifah Show and a former anchor for CNET TV. She's also the co-founder of ReadQuick, a speed reading app for iOS. Natali Morris
NataliMorris.com @natalimorris

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CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

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The US House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that legalizes the unlocking of phones for customers who ware switching carriers. But only for individuals. At the last minute, the bill was changed to keep a ban on bulk unlocking. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/house-passes-watered-down-phone-unlocking-bill-that-bans-bulk-resale/http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/26/us-usa-cellphones-congress-idUSBREA1P00W20140226

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/02/wrong-tool-job-cell-phone-unlocking-bill-fixes-wrong-problem-and-creates-new-ones
http://gigaom.com/2014/02/25/house-passes-bill-to-let-you-unlock-your-phone-but-theres-a-catch/

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Jeff John Roberts writes for GigaOM on legal issues related to the digital economy.Jeff John Roberts
Writer, GigaOm * @jeffjohnroberts

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Q: Unlocking advocates were supporting this bill until it was changed at the last minute. Who changed it and why?

Q: Why do they think “bulk unlocking” is so important?

* "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act"

* Bill repeals a Library of Congress decision that made unlocking phones a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA) anti-circumvention provision.

* The late section banning "bulk" unlocking made all its supporters turn on the bill:
- Public Knowledge
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF wrote that "Bulk unlockers acquire phones from a variety of sources, unlock them, and then resell them. By expressly excluding them, this new legislation sends two dangerous signals: (1) that Congress is OK with using copyright as an excuse to inhibit certain business models, even if the business isn’t actually infringing anyone’s copyright; and (2) that Congress still doesn’t understand the collateral damage Section 1201 [of the DMCA] is causing. For example, bulk unlocking not only benefits consumers, it's good for the environment—unlocking allows re-use, and that means less electronic waste."

* The bill passed 295-114 with 200 Republicans voting in favor and Democrats split 95-94. The bill will head on to the Senate for consideration there.

* The EFF said another House bill, the Unlocking Technology Act, is better because it "would limit violations of section 1201 to actual cases of copyright infringement."

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GigaOm.com * @jeffjohnroberts

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CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

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A security company said yesterday that it discovered a hoard of stolen credentials from about 360 million user accounts being sold on online black markets.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-cybercrime-databreach-idUSBREA1O20S20140225

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The find, by Hold Security, was first reported by Jim Finkle of the Reuters news agency who is with us this morning to tell us what happened. Jim Finkle
Reporter, Reuters @techwriterjim

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Q: Jim, do we know where this data was stolen from?

Q: Is this data from hacks that we know about, such as the Target breech, or are they from events that haven’t been covered yet by the press.

Q: What kind of data is in there?

Q: What are these online black markets?

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reuters.com * @techwriterjim

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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Motorola didn’t unveil anything at Mobile World Congress. But in a press conference yesterday, they revealed some of their plans for this year. http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/26/this-leaked-motorola-smartwatch-prototype-could-have-been-the-google-watch/http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-57619514-78/motorola-wants-in-on-the-smartwatch-game-too-and-soon/

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Devindra Hardawar is Senior Editor and lead mobile writer for VentureBeat. Devindra Hardawar
Senior Editor, lead mobile writer, VentureBeat @Devindra

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Q: What did Motorola tell us about their plans for the Moto X this year?

Q: They also said they’d come out with a smartwatch this year. What did we learn?

Q: I noticed that they hinted at wearables coming this year, as in plural. Yes, they specified a watch, but what else do you think they’re working on?

* Wearables (plural) coming this year

* Smartwatch coming this year (company already sells MOTOACTV line)

* Smartwatch won’t run Tizen ; )

* Motorola still a Google company

* Press conference headed by Motorola V.P. Rick Osterloh

* Moto Maker coming in Q2 to Europe and Mexico starting with the UK

* Moto X coming to Australia and India soon

* Google also reportedly working on a smartwatch with LG.

* Blog Android Police posted pictures of what they claim is a Motorola-branded smartwatch

* No idea if the picture is fake or whether it represents a product in development

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venturebeat.com @ @Devindra

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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Out of the box, Google Glass isn’t much of an augmented reality device. That would require a Glassware app that can recognize objects and tell you about them in real time. A startup called Blippar has created such an app, and they unveiled it today. http://www.fastcompany.com/3026945/fast-feed/blippars-google-glass-app-makes-everyday-objects-interactive

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Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent and a contributor to USA Today, and she’s here to tell us about Blippar. Alice Truong
West Coast Correspondent, Fast Company @alicetruong

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Q: So what is Blippar and how does it work?

Q: This already exists as a phone and tablet app, right?

Q: I understand Blippar also recognizes hand gestures. Is that right?

Q: There seems to be a marketing component. For example, Pepsi is using the platform. How are they using this?

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alicetruong.com * @alicetruong

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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President Barack Obama has four options for fixing the National Security Agency phone surveillance mess, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The president asked intelligence agencies and the attorney general to present options to him for how to bring more oversight to the NSA's phone surveillance program. The deadline was in March, but they presented those options ahead of schedule. http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702303880604579405640624409748-lMyQjAxMTA0MDIwNTEyNDUyWj

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URL

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1. White house lawyers say he can scrap the program altogether

2. He can order phone meta-data to be stored by the phone companies. Do not want.

3. He can move it to another government agency (say, the FBI)

4. Move it to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Do not want.


* In the options that involve moving the data, the NSA would have to get a court order to access them.

* Obama January 17 asked U.S. intelligence agencies and the attorney general to report by March 28 on alternatives for revamping the program in a way that would take it out of the NSA's hands.

* The Office of Director of National Intelligence and the Justice Department have provided the options ahead of schedule

* Currently: NSA collects millions of U.S. phone records from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

* Telecommunications companies don’t want to store it

* The phone-company option is also opposed by the chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.)

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More Information

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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One of China’s major copycat companies, called Goophone, is already promoting a rip-off counterfeit of the Galaxy S5, just two days after Samsung itself unveiled the product. They stole the model name too. Their phone is called the Goophone S5. It has mediocre spects and a low price -- just $300. http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/26/goophone-s5-galaxy-knock-off/

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(Thank Natali)

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Tune in to our evening newscast, Tech News Tonight, at 4pm Pacific.

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* * * FIN * * *

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On Tech News Today: Congress moves to legalize phone unlocking... sort of. * The personal data for 360 million people is now for sale online * And Motorola reveals their plans for phones and smartwatches.

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SHOW TITLE: House of SIM Cards

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