How researchers identified a heart condition using telephone metadata and search engines alone

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Telephone metadata surveillance likely reveals a lot more information about people and ensnares more Americans than spy agencies and the Obama administration have let on, a new study finds. 

In fact, depending how such surveillance is carried out, analyzing telephone metadata could allow agencies to infer Americans’ medical diagnoses and firearm purchases, the study found. 

The research, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls into question the Obama administration’s argument that metadata surveillance, which is currently carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), does not infringe upon Americans’ rights to privacy, since it does not include call contents.  Read more…

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What to expect at Google I/O 2016

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There will be self-driving cars.

Google I/O 2016, the company’s annual developer conference, is moving to Mountain View, California, this year, which means it’s right in Google’s backyard — one of the few places its driverless cars are regular sights on the road.

But don’t get too excited. The conference, which begins Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. Pacific Time with the opening keynote and runs through Friday, includes no mention of Google’s autonomous driving project in the official schedule, so the vehicles’ presence at the conference will likely be limited to, at best, a mere mention, or just a sighting here and there Read more…

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BoomStick creates room-filling audio in your head

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Audio enhancement is never going to be an easy sell. You’re basically trying to sell something people don’t know they’re missing. Sure, the audio coming out of your everyday iPhone earbuds is “meh” at best, but for most people it’s good enough.

BoomCloud 360, though, contends it can fill in that aural gap that you didn’t know you were missing for $99.

The company’s device is called BoomStick and, despite the big-sounding name, it’s a relatively tiny, palm-sized device with a 3.5mm output port on one end and a 3.5mm input jack on the other. Read more…

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Google's new messaging app has Chrome, YouTube and search built in

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We may have more messaging apps than ever before, but sharing with small groups is still a problem — at least, according to Google.

The company is hoping its new app, Spaces, will fix it. The messaging app, launching today on iOS, Android and the web, is aimed at small groups of people and has Google search, YouTube and Chrome baked in.

Not quite messaging and not quite a social network, Spaces is a “destination for when you want to share, and talk about what you’re sharing,” the app’s Product Director Luke Wroblewski, told Mashable. Read more…

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Smile for the world’s first automated selfie stick

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Our obsession with selfies — we take millions of them a day — is finally generating something useful: innovation.

World, meet the automated selfie stick. It extends, or telescopes, on its own, has a pair of beauty lights that extend from the back of the iPhone holder and even fans that fold out to blow your hair back for that perfect, wind-swept look.

It’s the craziest and most impractical selfie stick ever. It’s also, sadly, not available for purchase.

Created by Thinkmodo — the madcap hacker/video-makers/marketers that brought you Devil Baby and Super Strong Meter Maid Lifting Taxi — the automated selfie stick is a working gadget, but there are only two (one is a backup) and they were built to promote the upcoming season of Lifetime’s Unreal. Read more…

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This could be our first real look at the iPhone 7

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Is this what the iPhone 7 looks like?

It’s impossible to verify the authenticity of the design, but it certainly matches up with all the rumors we’ve been hearing for the last couple of months.

The Apple blog LetemSvetemApplem found the above image, of what appears to be the iPhone 7, posted to Weibo.

The purported iPhone 7 shows a metal unibody design, which is likely to have very similar dimensions to the existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. Rumors suggest the iPhone 7 won’t come with a radically new design; Apple is reportedly saving that for next year. Read more…

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