November Tech News Round Up

HackBeanpot
3 min readDec 1, 2021

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HackBeanpot’s monthly summary report on news related to Boston, the U.S., and the world.

Boston News

Boston City Council to give authoritative oversight on surveillance technology used by the government, and to establish limits for when Boston Public Schools can share student information with authorities.

The passed ordinance dictates that any surveillance technology Boston Police plans to use must be approved beforehand. And any existing surveillance technology to be repurposed must also be approved. Boston City Council additionally unanimously voted against facial recognition technology last June, effectively banning facial recognition technology to be used in the city.

“This is about civil liberties. This is about transparency. This is about government acknowledging what it’s using — tools, surveillance technology — in order to watch all of us. That’s it,” said Councilor Lydia Edwards, chair of the council’s Committee on Government Operations.

“Surveillance in Boston, like policing itself, disproportionately targets Black and brown people,” Kade Crockford, the “Technology for Liberty” program director at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement.

US News

Facebook rebrands as Meta.

Facebook’s parent company has switched from being Facebook to Meta. This name change highlights a shift in Mark Zuckerberg’s, CEO and chairman of Meta, focus on being a social media company to a ‘metaverse’ company. Meta’s new focus are technologies to connect people that go beyond social media; for example, Meta has plans to create Horizon, a 3D immersive virtual world equipped with virtual goods and virtual avatars/holograms, and Nazaré, an augmented reality glasses that gives computing power to users similar to smartphones. Zuckerberg stated the importance of crypto technology like NFT’s and smart contracts.

“One interesting analogy here is I think we’re basically moving from being Facebook first as a company to being metaverse first”

World News

E.U. demands all smartphones to use USB-C. Apple loses ground in fight to retain lightning port in new phones released 2024 and after in the E.U.

The European Commission is considering making USB-C the only charging cable for all wired smartphone charging, a consumer friendly decision as a standardized charging cable can be interchangeable between phones and even other devices and removing proprietary standards reduces e-waste.

Most flagship apple products ship with USB-C ports with iPhones being one of the few exceptions. Currently, the lightning port has a slower charge and data transfer rate than USB-C.

“For 30 minutes of footage, you’re talking upwards of 50 minutes to transfer it to a Mac or PC at USB 2.0 speeds, or around five minutes via USB 3.0. A 10Gbps USB-C transfer would shrink the ordeal to a little over two minutes.”

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