Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden recently had the chance to quiz Russian President Vladimir Putin about his country's cyber surveillance and snooping activities. During a video interview, Snowden posed the following question: "Does Russia intercept or store or analyze the communication of millions of individuals?"
Putin's response to the question: "Our agents are controlled by law. You have to get court permission to put an individual under surveillance. We don't have mass permission, and our law makes it impossible for that kind of mass permission to exist."
Of course, western intelligence sources are hesitant to believe what Putin claims, especially with Russia often blamed for cyber espionage and various cybercrimes. Meanwhile, it seems Putin is having a fun time poking fun at the United States and England, which following Snowden's disclosures last year, indicate both nations have sophisticated spying programs.
You might recall that we had mentioned Google Glass was going on sale to the general public on April 15. You didn't need an invite to buy the Glass headset on that day, but you needed your $1500 to get hands-on the expensive wearable.
The caveat to the public sale of Glass on the 15th was that it was only good while a certain number of Explorer spots were filled. Google never said how many spots it had available. In fact, we still don't know how many were available. What we do know is that Google sold all the spots it had in one day.
Nokia has announced a product advisory in some countries for its Lumia 2520 tablet. The advisory has to do with a charger that was sold with the tablet in some European countries and the UK. The charger is the AC-300 unit and it is only used with the 2520 tablet.
Nokia says that customers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and the UK are advised to stop using the charger immediately. Nokia discovered the issue during its normal QA process noting that the cover around the plug adapter could come lose and pose a risk of shock.
Sony gamers are left out of enjoying the cool game Respawn hit the market with not long ago called Titanfall. Titanfall is only offered for PC gamers and Xbox consoles. That means if you are on the PS4 or PS3, you are out of luck.
Details have surfaced indicating that before Respawn signed that exclusive deal with Microsoft, the game developer had approached Sony and asked for details on the PS4 to make the game. Sony reportedly told Respawn that it wasn't ready to talk about the console.
Sony is also said to have liked the game well enough to try to talk Respawn into making a version of Titanfall for the PS Vita portable. Since the game is exclusive with Microsoft now, Respawn clearly turned Sony down. You have to wonder if Sony had coughed up the specs for the console if Titanfall might be available for PS4 gamers right now.
Nissan has pulled the wraps off a new SUV at the 2014 New York International Auto show. The new SUV is an all-new version of the Murano. That SUV has been around for a long time and was in need of an update.
The new Murano has a front end that looks a lot like the other Nissan SUVs such as the new Pathfinder and Rogue. The car has what Nissan calls a V-motion front end and a floating rear roof. Inside the car, Nissan calls the interior a social lounge with a lower height instrument panel, wider center console, and zero gravity seats for front and outside rear passengers.
Sony and Nissan have announced that they have teamed up again to bring another season of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy to gamers around the world. The 2014 season will be the sixth and for the first time Canada will get to participate.
Qualifying will begin online using Gran Turismo 6 and the PS3 on April 21. Participants will compete in virtual races to see who gets the chance to move forward into the real-world competition to see if they can put virtual racing skills to work on a real race track.
Toshiba has announced that it has launched some very fast microSD memory cards. In fact, Toshiba claims that these are the world's fastest microSD cards. Considering that microSD cards are used in a wide range of tablets and smartphones, having faster offerings is a big deal for many people.
Toshiba says that its new microSD cards are the first in the industry to comply with the UHS-II interface standard. The cards are offered in 32GB and 64GB capacities. The higher read and write speeds for the memory cards are ideal for 4k video recording according to Toshiba.
Samsung has announced that a new app is available globally for Samsung device users. The new app is called Kindle for Samsung and it will deliver millions of best selling digital books from the Amazon Kindle platform. Samsung says that 500,000 of those titles will be exclusive to Samsung users.
The application is available for download on any Samsung smartphone or tablet that runs Android 4.0 or higher. The app is a free download. Most of the books will be titles that you have to purchase. However, Samsung will offer Samsung Book Deals that will deliver up to 12 free eBooks each year.
Getac has announced a new fully rugged tablet that will launch this summer. The tablet is called the T800 and it runs Windows 8.1 Pro. Getac is aiming the rugged tablet at people that work outside a lot and need something more robust than your typical tablet.
The tablet features an 8.1-inch screen optimized for color and performance. The T800 was engineered to survive drops from 6-feet, shocks, spills, vibration, dust, and liquids. It meets MIL-STD 801G and IP65 ratings.
It looks like Intel is heading into the mass production of its next-generation processor codenamed Skylake. Skylake will be manufactured on Intel's 14nm process, and will be released next year.
Intel's Chief Executive Officer, Brian Krzanich, said during a conference call with financial analysts and investors: "We have a lot going on, the ramp of Broadwell, the ramp of Skylake in the second half of next year". The Skylake-based processors will be the second lineup of processors based on Intel's 14nm process.
We don't know much about Intel's upcoming Skylake processors, but we should expect four x64 cores, a high-performance integrated graphics engine, and multiple special purpose accelerators. On top of that, we should expect DDR4 support, AVX 3.2 (512-bit instructions), SHA extensions (SHA-1 and SHA-256, secure hash algorithms), MPX (memory protection extensions), ADX (multi-precision add-carry instruction extensions) and other innovations.