|I'm Rich Stroffolino, and these are the tech headlines for the week that was|
|The National Security Agency shut down a system of logs of Americans’ domestic calls and texts, according to Luke Murry, the US House minority leader’s national security adviser. This halts a program that has involved disputes about privacy and the rule of law since the Sept. 11 attacks. Edward Snowden disclosed the program’s existence in 2013 and contributed to awareness of how both governments and private companies harvest and exploit personal data.||https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/04/us/politics/nsa-phone-records-program-shut-down.html|
|Russian President Vladimir Putin and other lawmakers are pushing a bill through parliament called the “Sovereign Internet” that aims to create a single command post authorities can manage and potentially halt information flows. Putin says the initiative is a defensive response to the Trump Administration’s new cyber strategy, which permits offensive measures against designated adversaries. The draft law was co-authored by Andrei Lugovoi, a KGB veteran. Putin says the bill is meant to ensure that the Runet, as the domestic internet is known, continues to function in the event the U.S. tries to isolate Russia.||https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-05/vladimir-putin-wants-his-own-internet|
|Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a post Wednesday titled "A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking.", saying Facebook's commited to a privacy-focused platform based on private interactions, end-to-end encryption, reducing permanence, safety, interoperability, and secure data storage. Zuckerberg notes that Facebook wants to let users opt into the ability to send messages across Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, and expand to include RCS on its Android apps. Messenger can currently do SMS on Android.||https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/6/18253458/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-privacy-encrypted-messaging-whatsapp-messenger-instagram|
|The number of Facebook users in the US fell by 15M people between 2017 and 2019, accroding to a new report from Edison Research, but Facebook-owned Instagram has seen to biggest increase in US users over the same timeframe, growing from 9% to 16%.||https://9to5mac.com/2019/03/07/facebook-users/|
|Huawei filed a complaint in US Federal Court Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of Section 899 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which bans the use of Huawei and ZTE technology by US government contractors. Huawei claims there is no evidence that its products pose a security threat, and that this constitutes a bill of attainder-- an act of legislation that targets a person or group to punish them without trial-- which is specifically forbidden in the US Constution Article I Sections 9 and 10.||https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/tech/huawei-suing-united-states/|
|Reuters reports that Banxico, the central bank of Mexico, is working with Amazon on a new government backed payment system. The system will be called CoDi and allow users to make in-person and online payments via a QR code. Baxico plans to roll out a pilot trial later this month. The central bank hopes CoDi can bring more Mexican citizens into the formal financial sector, where more than half of the population doesn't have a bank account, and only 3.9% of retail sales were made online in 2018.||http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-cenbank-amazon-com-exclusive/exclusive-mexican-central-bank-in-talks-with-amazon-about-new-mobile-payments-idUSKCN1QM2GG|
|Bloomberg's Sam Kim reports that Samsung is working on two new foldable phones, according to sources. The company plans to roll out a vertical clamshell foldable in late 2019 or early 2020, possibly with a second screen on the outside of the device when folded. A device with an exterior folding screen, similar to the Huawei Mate X, would follow.|
Meanwhile a new report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will begin mass producing a new augmented reality glasses product as early as Q4 2019. The product would be marketed as an iPhone accessory, serving as a display while offloading compute and networking wirelessly.
|Amazon announced it will close all of its 87 pop-up locations in the U.S. in April, which includes inside Whole Foods, Kohl's, and shopping malls. The shops let customers try out Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, Echo smart speakers , and Amazon services, like Prime Video, Audible and Kindle Unlimited. Amazon says it plans to open more 4-star stores, and cashierless Amazon Go stores.|
Meanwhile Bloomberg reports that Amazon has abruptly stopped buying product from wholesalers to sell directly on its site, reportedly effecting thousands of vendors. Instead Amazon is encouraging wholesalers to list items on Amazon's marketplace, shifting the costs of storing and shipping products, while allowing Amazon to take a commission on sales.
|Nintendo announced a new addition to its Labo line of DIY cardboard accessories, a VR kit for the Nintendo Switch.The main VR kit costs $79.99 and includes six different cardboard kits such as VR goggles, a blaster, a camera, and an elephant, plus a screen holder and safety cap. A basic starter kit includes just the goggles and blaster for $39.99. Additional accessories can be purchased separately for $20 sets. The kits include Labo software, including games, step-by-step instructions, and a “garage” mode to build your own Labo creations.||https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/6/18254019/nintendo-labo-vr-kit-switch|
|The USB Implementers Forum announced details for USB 4. The standard will integrate many Thunderbolt 3 features, including speeds up to 40 Gbps, delivering up to 100W of power, support eGPUs, dual 4K displays and single 5K displays. The standard is fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3 cables and accessories as well. Intel has stated that the two standards will coexist, but that Thunderbolt will continue to require Intel certification for use with additional services, while USB 4 will remain open. The full USB 4 draft specification will arrive in the 2nd half of 2019, with the USB-IF not expecting supporting devices on the market for 12-18 months after that.||http://www.theverge.com/2019/3/4/18246182/usb-4-thunderbolt-3-specs-features-release-date|
|For more discussion of the tech news of the day subscribe to DailyTechNewsShow.com, you can find show notes and links to all headlines there as well.||http://dailytechnewsshow.reddit.com|
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|END OF SHOW|