Microsoft’s “Scroogled” ad campaign pokes fun at Google for the company’s habit of automatically scanning your email messages in order to choose contextually relevant advertisements. But this week Microsoft is drawing some heat for snooping through a Microsoft Hotmail users’s inbox as part of a criminal investigation involving an employee who leaked software and trade secrets to a blogger.
On the one hand, Microsoft was completely within its legal rights to do this and the company says it basically would have gotten a court order… except there is no entity you can go to in order to get a court order to search files sitting on your own server. On the other hand, the case makes it clear that if you’re using web mail from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple, or anybody else then there’s really nothing stopping those companies from making an in-house decision on when it would be appropriate to read your “private” messages.
But setting up your own email server and encrypting your communications is just such a hassle… has this week’s revelation made you reconsider the way you use email? If so, what do you plan to use moving forward?
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Your email is only as private as your email provider makes it
Microsoft didn’t violate the law… or even its own policies by reading through a user’s messages. Odds are it won’t happen to you… but this week’s news shows that it *could* happen to anybody. [The Verge]
- Snakebyte Vyper gaming tablet/TV box reviewed…. and disliked
“This is the worst Android device I’ve ever used. The buggiest, glitchiest, and just generally crappiest of the bunch. I can’t find one redeeming quality about it, which is honestly a first for me.” Clearly he hasn’t tried using an Augen GenTouch78 tablet. [Android Police]
- Rumor: Minix Neo X8 Android TV box in the works
It’s said to feature an Amlogic S802 processor and support for 4K video playback. [Geekbuying]
- MintBox 2 Linux mini PC is now available in Europe for 599 Euros
The MintBox 2 is a tiny, relatively low power PC that ships with Linux Mint software. It’s not the cheapest mini PC available, but it’s one of the few developed in conjunction with the makers of this popular Linux distribution. [Linux Mint Blog]
- Leap motion lays off 1/10th of staff after missing sales goals
Leap Motion makes a small, inexpensive accessory that adds 3D gesture controls to computers. It’s a pretty cool device, but apparently it’s not catching on quite as quickly as the company had hoped. Te goal was to sell up to a million units… but they actually sold about half a million [TechCrunch]