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The Tech Week That Was: Phone Upgrade Plans And TV's Future

So much fascinating tech and culture news, so little time. But we certainly think you should see the journalism that's catching our curiosity each week, so each Friday we'll round up the week that was — the work that appeared this blog, and from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.


In case you missed it ... Here on All Tech, Steve Henn wrote about the clever ways that developers are hacking Google Glass to do what Google doesn't want them to do. Martin Kaste reported on the troves of data that law enforcement has captured, and in many cases, saved, about our license plates and our whereabouts. Our weekly innovation pick was Smart Bedding, which purports to keep your top sheet from bunching up while you sleep. We revisited a spring study about online ranters — it turns out that online outrage makes you feel worse in the long run.

On our airwaves, All Things Considered featured several pieces about the rush to digitize medical records and one of the companies behind electronic records.

The Big Conversations

The larger tech conversations this week focused on phone payment plans (more on that later) and the future of television viewing, with Netflix making history by garnering Emmy nods for its original programming and sparking questions about the end of consumer relationships with cable, a.k.a., cord-cutting. "Google is freshly rumored to be pursuing the same kind of deals in order to 'stream traditional TV programming' across the Internet. Google, however, has sought these kinds of deals before and failed, so there's no guarantee the company will succeed this time," writes The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan, in a smart piece called 'The Tyranny of Traditional TV'.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are now all offering installment plans for their mobile phone customers. The analyses on these new upgrade plans are almost all negative. Some sample headlines: "Smartphone Upgrade Plans Are A Bad Deal," "Make it stop: Verizon's Edge phone upgrade program is just as bad as AT&T's," and "Verizon and AT&T early upgrade plans are steaming hot piles of rip-off."

Wired compared the three plans Friday morning.

What's Catching Our Eye

In no particular order:

NYT: How Googling Unmasks Child Abuse

Fascinating research on how Google searches for certain terms that are a proxy cry for help.

The Atlantic: The Rise and Fall of a Racist Corner on Reddit

The popular online community is growing up and grappling with what to do about some darker subreddits that give hateful, misogynistic, racist sentiments a home.

Atlantic Wire: Tumblr's Gaping Security Hole

If you're a Tumblr user, you probably got the notice midweek: Tumblr asked all users of its iPhone and iPad app to change their password and download an update to fix a major a security glitch. "It's such a huge and egregious error," Kevin O'Brien, an enterprise solutions architect for CloudLock, told the Atlantic Wire.

TechCrunch: Google Brings Street View to the Eiffel Tower

An elegant experience. I think I had more fun visiting the Eiffel Tower from my desk than when I actually visited the Paris icon. Those darn tourists everywhere...

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'Washington Post' Reporter Explores How Pop Culture Influences Views Of Police

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WAMU 88.5

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