In the first half, technology expert Lauren Weinstein discussed the latest stories in the tech world, as well as privacy and the government when it comes to our electronic devices and the information we store on them. In regards to the Apple iPhone encryption controversy, "are we going to give up a certain amount of possible law enforcement information-- even the possibility of fighting terrorism...in exchange for something even larger, which is our entire security infrastructure?," he pondered, adding that the FBI isn't necessarily concerned with the larger issues at hand. The US Senate is pushing forward a bill that would mandate law enforcement access to encrypted data. "If a bill like that actually became law, we are going to be embroiled in a parade of court cases and legal battles like nothing we've ever seen before in the technology world," he remarked.
In relation to the European Union's "right-to-be-forgotten" law, Google had responded by removing certain content from the complainer's specific country of origin. But that hasn't satisfied the EU because people could still see uncensored search results by going to Google.com-- so now the company has set up geographic-based content blocking connected to the search engine users' country of origin. He believes such a censorship law is pushing us in the direction of China, "and I don't think that's a model that the free world wants."
Weinstein also talked about the dominance in mobile computing for media consumption, though he noted that desktops and laptops are still more useful when it comes to creating or editing content. On the horizon, he sees more and more robust data networks for mobile, and the rise of virtual reality beyond gaming and entertainment, offering incredible capabilities in medical and industrial fields for starters.
Midweek Open Lines were featured in the latter half. Roger in Durham, NC voiced his astonishment that the average citizen is allowed to own a drone, while two different blind callers (Dave in Oklahoma/Stacey in Massachusetts) described their experiences being sight-impaired and how some of their other senses have grown stronger. Steve from Denver shared his encounter with a young Sasquatch-type creature that was looking under rocks in a stream near a cabin in Fargo, ND. Matt, a Marine artillery officer from Oceanside, CA, detailed his sighting of a large triangular craft that blotted out a large portion of the sky, one night when he was changing a flat tire during a drive through East Texas.