The following is a rundown of the day’s news drawn from other media sources with topics curated just for Money and Markets readers: personal security and freedom, the Sochi Olympics and the California drought.
Personal Security and Freedom
The ‘End of Privacy’
Have you ever seen someone wearing Google Glass out at the bar? A new app, aptly named ‘Name Tag’ will allow total strangers to ID you and pull up all your information, just by looking at you and scanning your face with their Google Glass.
Sen. Franken Has ‘Deep Concern’ about Google Glass App NameTag
In a letter on Wednesday, Franken expressed “deep concern” about NameTag: “It is easy to envision how this technology could facilitate harassment, stalking, and other threats to personal security,” he said. “Your company has an obligation to protect users from these threats.”
Bay Area Researcher Developing Facial Recognition Glasses to Help Stop Crime
The 3-D glasses are a wearable computer where users are wirelessly immersed in their own computer through virtual images. This technology could have helped police find the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing sooner.
New Surveillance Technology Can Track Everyone in an Area for Several Hours at a Time
As Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed that can track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time.
States Look to Rein in Government Surveilance
The bills include a Colorado proposal that would limit the retention of images from license plate readers, an Oregon bill that would require “urgent circumstances” to obtain cell-phone location data and a Delaware plan that increases privacy protections for text messages.
Is Sochi Ready for the Olympics?
Putin Insists Sochi Is Ready
Despite hang-ups and criticism and higher costs than any Olympics in history, Putin told athletes and staff Wednesday that “Russia is ready to host the games.” Putin obliquely referred to the unfinished nature of some sites, calling Sochi “the world’s biggest construction project.”
Hotel Horror Stories, Live from Sochi
Hotels are still under construction. Water, if it’s running, isn’t drinkable. One German photographer told the Associated Press over the weekend that his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of rooms.
Sochi Is Running Out of Pillows
Either the athletes arrived early or event planners somehow didn’t know when they were arriving. Regardless, it seems like volunteers and staffers might now be asked to give up their own pillows to accommodate the athletes.
Officials Distribute 100,000 Condoms
A representative for the International Olympic Committee tells us: “The distribution of condoms in the village is part of the IOC’s involvement in the HIV and AIDS prevention.” The 100,000 condoms will cover roughly 7,650 athletes who are competing over a 16-day span.
Russia President Putin Encounters Sochi Leopard Cubs
Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken senior Olympics officials on a tour of a Persian leopard sanctuary ahead of the Winter Games in Sochi. He tried to calm one leopard cub, which had become agitated and attacked two journalists, Russian media said.
Record High Temperatures Broken in California
A dominant ridge, or dome of high pressure aloft, is acting as a block to any precipitation in the Golden State. Not only does this so-called ridge prevent Pacific weather systems from affecting California with rain and snow, it’s also leading to offshore winds, record high temperatures and a high fire danger this week.
Severe Drought Grows Worse in California
With little snow in the forecast, experts are warning that this drought, after one of the driest years on record last year, could be as disruptive as the severe droughts of the 1970s.
Obama Launches ‘Climate Hubs’ to Help Farmers and Communities
Dubbed “climate hubs,” the new centers will address issues like increasing risks of fires, invasive pests, devastating floods and crippling droughts, the official said. The centers will aim to translate science and research into usable information for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to adjust their resource management.
Drought Forces California Farmers to Idle Cropland
Large-scale crop losses in California, the No. 1 U.S. farm state producing half the nation’s fruits and vegetables, would undoubtedly lead to higher consumer prices, especially for tree and vine produce grown only there. But experts say it is too soon to quantify the effect.
The Money and Markets Team