This Week in Tech: 4 Developments You Need to Know
Business + Economy

This Week in Tech: 4 Developments You Need to Know

Snapchat Can Now Keep Your Selfies
Ah, Snapchat. The inherent appeal of this dubious social network is that all photos and videos taken with it are temporary — lasting only as long as it takes to view them. And that’s how it was until Saturday, when the company revealed a new set of terms and conditions. The changes, which are implicitly agreed to through the use of the app, allow Snapchat to:

  • Own everything you’ve taken using the application (yes, even those photos)
  • Do whatever it wants with said photographs
  • Use said photographs, along with your name and your voice, on all of its media and distribution channels.

Related: How Snapchat Wants to Win the 2016 Election

So yeah, not really a great thing if you value your privacy. The $16 billion dollar company has had issues with images leaking before, when a third-party app that integrated with Snapchat was hacked, leading to a widespread leak of once-private pornographic sexts.

Google Fiber Eyes Three New Cities
Google Fiber is great. Offering gigabit speeds at somewhat affordable prices, it was initially released as a proof-of-concept — a way of pointing out that the “blazing fast speeds” offered by Time Warner et al. weren’t really all that blazing. However, after its deployment in Kansas City was met with widespread acclaim and attracted a spate of businesses and startups, the initiative began expanding to other cities.

The expansion continues. This week, Google announced that it was in conversations with the governments of Jacksonville, Oklahoma City and Tampa to roll out service over the next few years. This announcement adds three more cities to the rapidly growing list of potential locations for the ISP.

Related: FCC Backs Plan to Subsidize Broadband for the Poor

Why Bitcoin Is Spiking Again
Two years ago, the downfall of online black market The Silk Road led to a worldwide mainstream awareness of Bitcoin, the decentralized cryptocurrency that is the de facto way to buy and sell on the deep web. This sudden exposure led to a spike in the value of Bitcoin, from $300 to over $1,000. Eventually, though, the hubbub died down, Mt. Gox — the currency’s equivalent of Fort Knox — collapsed and the value of Bitcoin sank, hovering around the $250 mark.

But the value of the cryptocurrency has spiked again — at the time of writing, it’s sitting at $400. To what do we owe this increase? According to the New York Times, it’s China, where demand is increasing exponentially.

Surprise, Surprise: Hilton Is Gouging Customers
The FCC has hit Hilton Hotels with a $25,000 fine — and it’s not because they’re upset about the lack of turn-down service. Actually, FCC officials are increasingly incensed that Hilton is stonewalling an investigation of its Wi-Fi practices. The investigation follows on the heels of a series of similar reports from Hilton locations, which claimed that the hotelier was using jammers to block the use of Wi-Fi hotspots by residents, forcing them to pay a $500 fee or connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network. The complaints were actually sent in over a year ago, and this fine is in response to the hotel groups’ continued refusal to provide necessary information.

According to Slashgear, this isn’t the first time that hotels have met the wrath of the FCC. In October last year, Marriott got hit was a $600,000 fine for jamming hotspots.