If paying for beta access to new features isn't your bag, the folks at Plex have some good news for you. The media outfit's announced that not only is beaming your content to Google's HDMI dongle free now (if you've purchased the app), but iOS fans can join the music and photo party too. But wait, there's more: the update also lets web users and iDevice owners shuffle, reorder, remove and add content to a media queue with some pretty neat filtering options. There isn't an ETA for availability on other platforms, however.
Plex Pass subscribers have a new toy too: iOS camera uploads. The feature is pretty self-explanatory (photos are background-uploaded from your device to the Plex servers), but, if you don't have an Apple TV, it's likely one of the easier ways to put your pictures on the living room flat-screen. Can you hear that? It's the sound of the Chromecast-app floodgates creaking open -- on Apple's mobile OS, even.
Yesterday a report from The Intercept exposed NSA documents apparently showing how it could infect "millions" of computers with malware and even masquerade as a Facebook server. Now, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the NSA have both published responses, with decidedly different takes on the situation. Zuckerberg took to the site to discuss how important trust is on the internet, calling the reports confusing and frustrating, and said he called President Obama directly (pictured above speaking to President Francois Hollande of France last week) to express those feelings. While he waits for "true full reform," he says Facebook is working on making its services more secure with encryption, secure protocols for traffic, and helping others resolve issues in their services.
Meanwhile, or perhaps in response to Zuck's direct call, the NSA's Public Affairs office posted a statement (PDF) calling the reports inaccurate. According to the agency: "NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites. Nor does NSA target any user of global Internet services without appropriate legal authority." Check out the full statement and see how it compares to the documents published yesterday for yourself, but after the last year or so of leaks, it's pretty tough to just take the NSA's words at face value.
[Image credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza]
It looks like Sony's commanding lead in next-gen console sales didn't last long in the US. The NPD Group reports that the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling game console in the country this February, but only just -- the Xbox One managed to get over 90 percent of the PS4's sales volume. Microsoft says that it sold 258,000 units of its flagship, which suggests that Sony moved roughly 287,000 PS4s. Neither of these figures compare to what we saw during the systems' launch windows, but they're very healthy. Total hardware sales were up 42 percent year-over-year, and 44 percent over January. While Nintendo isn't divulging its numbers, it may have performed relatively well when analysts saw "double-to-triple digit increases" in month-to-month sales for most consoles.
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
AT&T's buyout of Leap Wireless is clearly going more smoothly than its failed bid for T-Mobile. The FCC has just approved the Leap acquisition, leaving only the Department of Justice's A-OK between AT&T and its dreams of additional spectrum. However, the carrier will have to abide by some conditions if it wants all that extra bandwidth. AT&T will have to launch LTE on Leap's unused airwaves no later than a year after the deal wraps up; the provider must also roll out LTE in parts of Texas within 18 months, offload some spectrum in the state and maintain roaming deals while Cricket's network is running. These kinds of requirements are par for the course in wireless mergers, though, and we suspect that it won't be long before AT&T has yet another company under its belt.
You know Google's Search by Image feature? Well, Bing now offers the same functionality -- albeit more than two years later. Microsoft's search engine will now let you search for a particular picture, as Google has been doing since mid-2011. While Google's Search by Image works by dragging and dropping a photo into the text box, Bing's version uses an Image Match button to pull up different sizes for a given picture. It's definitely a useful feature, especially if you need a particular resolution or are looking for a particular source. Better late than never, Microsoft, but you certainly are tardy on this one.
Get ready: video ads are set to become a permanent fixture in your Facebook feed by late April or early May. The social network has been testing 15-second spots since December and, after a few delays, officially started offering them as an option to select advertisers today. Both mobile and desktop ads will autoplay in your feed, but won't have audio unless you click on them (so you won't have to worry about disturbing your cubemate when you're Facebook stalking your ex). On mobile, those ads will download only when you're connected to Wi-Fi, so they won't gobble up all your mobile data, but you'll still see them when you're on the move. There's no way to opt out of seeing the ads. Though, legend tells of a magical browser extension that can "block" all ads online (not that we'd ever endorse such a thing). Our quick solution? Treat them like the million baby pics your college roommate posts and scroll by as fast as possible.
[Image courtesy Flickr/mkhmarketing]
Foreign data thieves may be responsible for stealing Target's customer data late last year, but it now appears that the retailer played a large part in its own misfortune. Sources speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek claim that Target not only shut off an automatic malware removal tool, but sat on breach alerts for 12 days -- long enough for attackers to both grab card info and cover their tracks. While the store chain isn't confirming what happened at this stage, it notes that it's already revamping its security system and speeding up plans to accept chip-based payment cards, which are slightly more trustworthy. If true, though, the scoop suggests that Target could have easily prevented the theft and spared millions from the financial headaches that followed.
We hope you weren't too attached to the Nook app for Windows, because it's going away -- well, sort of. Barnes & Noble's Nook Media subsidiary and Microsoft have amended their partnership with terms that let Nook Media stop distributing its Windows e-book software. The company won't leave bookworms completely stranded, though. Instead, it will steer them toward "Microsoft Consumer Reader;" ZDNet believes this is a previously rumored e-reading app that will support both Nook content as well as generic text. The updated pact also lets Nook Media scrap progress on a Windows Phone app, although that's not as big a loss when the client hasn't reached the public. We don't yet know how the revised deal will affect Windows-bound Nook fans, but let's hope that Microsoft does a good job of picking up any slack.