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The Circuit: FTC launches tech blog; Apple’s iPad has a data problem; Justice Dept. can retain data for longer

FTC launches new technology blog: The Federal Trade Commission has launched a technology blog and Twitter account, the agency announced Friday.

In the inaugural blog post — titled with a programming joke, “Hello World” — the FTC’s chief technologist Ed Felten said that the agency’s goal is to “talk about technology in a way that is sophisticated enough to be interesting to hardcore techies, but straightforward enough to be accessible to the broad public” and will have a conversational tone.

Apple’s iPad shows tech, carrier disconnect: Apple’s new iPad was supposed to usher in a new era of watching movies and television shows on the go, but has hit a data capacity snag, The Washington Post reported.Consumers are running into their data limits quickly, leaving them to wonder whether they should pay more for data or hold back on using their devices to the fullest.

“My view has always been that video via cellular was always a fantasy,” Craig Moffett, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research, told The Post. “The networks simply aren’t designed to handle it.”

Justice Department to retain data for longer: The Obama administration approved a plan that would allow counterterrorism officials to retain information on U.S. citizens for a longer period of time, The Washington Post reported. Officials will be able to retain the information even if the citizens have no known connection to terrorism.

The changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center, the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep information for up to five years.

T-Mobile layoffs: T-Mobile USA said Thursday that it will lay off 1,900 workers from two dozen call-center facilities.

The Associated Press reported that the centers slated for closure include those in Allentown, Pa., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as well as two centers in Texas, one in Kansas, one in Colorado and one in Oregon.

“These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth,” Philipp Humm, T-Mobile’s CEO and president, said in a statement. In February, the company announced that it was overhauling its wireless data network to include LTE, following its failed attempt to merge with AT&T.

Facebook weighs in on password controversy: Facebook has joined the debate on whether employers should be able to ask applicants for their account passwords, saying that users should never share their account information with anyone.

“As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, wrote in a Friday morning blog post. “And as the friend of a user, you shouldn’t have to worry that your private information or communications will be revealed to someone you don’t know and didn’t intend to share with just because that user is looking for a job.”

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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