Daily Tech Briefing: July 8, 2014

Recent disclosures and investigations into the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency have revealed that Linux users are an area of specific interest for surveillance by the NSA XKeyscore system.

German news sources first reported on rules in the XKeyscore source code that identify visitors to the Linux Journal Website, the Tor Onion Router site, as well as the Tails Linux distribution site. What makes this revelation particularly interesting is that it appears the NSA is targeting users for surveillance simply because they visited the Tor, Linux Journal or Tails Websites.

According to analysts from Gartner, tablet shipments will outpace PCs by next year. However, they also found that the outlook for PCs in the near-term looks good. Gartner numbers show that while the PC market sustained a significant decline in shipments in 2013—a 9.5 percent drop—that will slow to a 2.9 percent reduction this year. Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, explained that 2014 will mark a relative revival of the global PC market.

Microsoft announced that it will be enhancing its partnership with Perfecto Mobile to provide mobile app developers with a multi-platform testing experience for mobile devices. Perfecto Mobile is a provider of on-device testing systems. Microsoft will deliver mobile testing extensions to Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online based on Perfecto Mobile's MobileCloud platform.

Samsung carried out a novel marketing stunt in June to introduce New Yorkers to its newest tablet, the Galaxy Tab S. The company installed four tablets in a cab, and once unsuspecting riders got inside they were asked to say which tablet they were drawn to the most. Specifically, they were asked which one inspired love at first sight. After a moment's consideration, the vast majority of people chose the Galaxy Tab S; they cited the clarity of the screen as the top reason why.

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