technology

You might think of Barcelona as an enchanted, historic European city. This week, it's home to a massive tech gathering: the Mobile World Congress. Tens of thousands of people from every corner of the earth are there — many showcasing the novel ways they're connecting citizen-consumers to the Internet. I took a tour of Innovation City and here are a few of my most memorable stops.

A Well-Connected Bike

Screenshot of Nextdoor homepage

Bill Radke talks with journalist Erica C. Barnett about the city of Seattle's partnership with social media site Nextdoor. Barnett's Nextdoor account was temporarily suspended after she publicly posted comments from Nextdoor users during an online town hall with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole.

Apple should comply with the FBI's request to extract data from an iPhone as part of a terrorism case, Microsoft founder Bill Gates says, staking out a position that's markedly different from many of his peers in the tech industry, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

The two titans aired their views on what's become a public debate over whether Apple should be compelled to unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

The debate over whether Apple should defeat the security on the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook isn't the first time the company has clashed with law enforcement.

The FBI also wanted to get into the iPhone of a drug dealer in Brooklyn. Jun Feng pleaded guilty to selling methamphetamine last year. As part of its investigation, the government obtained a search warrant for Feng's iPhone. But the phone was locked by a passcode, so prosecutors asked a judge for an order compelling Apple to bypass it.

Apple shareholders will be voting on a proposal at the annual meeting Feb. 26. It's a proposal that the company opposes, which calls for the tech leader to increase diversity in its senior management.

The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants.

The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) lays out the government's legal case for why Apple should provide technical assistance.

"You're able to take into account your perspective because your perspective is the same, it doesn't change ... and the world does change."

That's what WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told NPR's Morning Edition about his life in long-term confinement. "For example, let's say you're watching the boats in the river but you're sailing at the same time — it's hard to understand how much they're moving versus your moving."

If you spend any time on the road, you've no doubt noticed erratic or dangerous driving by people using mobile phones behind the wheel. But ongoing efforts in Idaho and Washington state to tighten the rules on cell phone use while driving are stalling out.

In a few days, Apple will formulate its formal response to the federal judge's order seeking the company's help for the FBI to get inside a phone used by Syed Farook, one of the attackers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings.

Updated 12:25 p.m. ET, with the FCC's vote.

The Federal Communications Commission has begun a process that could lead to TV viewers being able to own their cable TV set-top boxes.

That's probably a problem most subscribers didn't know they had, but a congressional study found that cable subscribers pay an average of $231 a year to rent their cable boxes.

Jonathan Kumar, founder of the GiveSafe app, in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Entrepreneur Jonathan Kumar was walking through Chicago when he encountered a homeless person. Kumar didn’t stop but thought later that he would have been willing to give the man a couple of bucks if the man could accept credit cards.

That idea germinated for a few years in Kumar’s mind, leading to GiveSafe, an app he's developing in Seattle.

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Reuters

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the tech giant Apple to help the federal government break into an iPhone. The phone in question belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters — making this case a vivid example of the conflict between national security and personal privacy.

“The phone is password protected, and Apple does not keep the passwords,” says David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine. “The FBI is essentially asking for access to the contents of the phone.”

Remember the cryptex, the little handheld safe from The Da Vinci Code where entering the correct combination will reveal the secret message and entering the wrong one will destroy it?

Now replace the little safe with an iPhone, and instead of a secret message, it's holding evidence in a terrorism case. The critical combination? It's a passcode — one the FBI doesn't know, and one that Apple is reluctant to help the agency figure out.

A U.S. magistrate has ordered Apple to assist the government in unlocking the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI is seeking information that may be on Farook's employer-issued phone as it investigates the Dec. 2 shootings that left 14 people dead.

At the time of the attack, Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, destroyed two personally owned cellphones and removed a hard drive from their computer.

Far from our galaxy, in the vast darkness of space, two massive black holes merged into a single, larger hole.

And now researchers say they have detected rumblings from that cataclysmic collision as ripples in the very fabric of space-time itself. The discovery comes a century after Albert Einstein first predicted such ripples should exist.

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