Tech tidbits: Olympians’ Twitter protest, police and tracking, Siri patent suit

It’s tech grab-bag Monday:

• There’s more Twitter-related Olympics news — which for some might serve to underscore that there is real money tied to social media.

First, we’ve mentioned the strict rules surrounding tweets and other social-media use during the Olympics, including restrictions on the Olympic athletes themselves. Well, some of them are protesting that Olympians can’t tweet about sponsors that aren’t also official Olympic sponsors.

“People see the Olympics and see the two weeks when athletes are at their best… They don’t see the three or four years leading up to the Olympic Games when a lot of my peers are struggling to stay in the sport,” U.S. track star Sanya Richards-Ross said at a press conference today, according to the Los Angeles Times. Reuters reports that Rule 40 protects Olympic sponsors that also happen to be huge international companies such as Coca-Cola and Visa.

• As Congress weighs cybersecurity legislation, a senator reportedly plans to tack on an amendment that would require law enforcement to get a warrant before using location data from a suspect’s smartphone or other tech gadget. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., aims to “clear up” the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that required law enforcement to obtain a warrant before physically attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car, according to the Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog. The January Supreme Court ruling had been called narrow, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor had pointed out that “physical intrusion is now unnecessary to many forms of surveillance.”

• And let’s just circle back to Apple. Siri, who’s suing Apple now? That would be a Taiwan university that alleges Apple’s voice-technology based personal assistant is infringing on a couple of its voice-to-text technology patents, according to Reuters. National Cheng Kung University also is reportedly looking into whether Google and Microsoft are infringing on its patents. The university filed the suit Friday in Texas.



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