President Obama

Google, Apple, Microsoft pledge to fight climate change

Google, Apple, Microsoft pledge to fight climate change

Major businesses, including several tech companies, have taken up the White House's pledge to help combat climate change. In a statement today, the Obama administration detailed the threat climate change poses to the world as a whole, pointing out that 19 of the 20 hottest recorded years have happened in the last two decades, and that we’re already collectively experiencing things like bigger storms, longer droughts, and more frequent wildfires. That’s why the White House has launched its Climate Action Plan to cut pollution, and many companies have signed the American Business Act on Climate pledge to do their part.

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White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

White House announces ConnectHome initiative to bring internet to low-income homes

The Obama administration has announced a program today that aims to increase the number of low-income households who have access to high-speed internet. The initiative is called ConnectHome, and will see Google, along with internet service providers including Cox, Sprint, and Century Link bring broadband service that is either free or at a very cheap price to 275,000 families across the US, in 27 cities.

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White House (mostly) ends its ban on social media and photos

White House (mostly) ends its ban on social media and photos

After 40 years of banning photography -- and later on social media -- during White House public tours, the Obama administration has decided to lift the limitation. Michelle Obama announced the change today on the White House's Instagram page, showing the White House's photography ban sign and saying those rules no longer apply. She ripped the sign in half, and thus ends an era, at least for the most part. There are still some limitations on what you can use to snap your pictures.

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Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Obama signs bill to allow sanctions be placed on ‘malicious’ hackers

Taking dead aim at “malicious cyber attackers”, President Obama today signed into law a bill that will allow those who target US companies for things like DDoS attacks to have sanctions imposed upon them. In announcing the bill, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism chief Lisa Monaco said “by freezing assets of those subject to sanctions and making it more difficult for them to do business with U.S. entities, we can remove a powerful economic motivation for committing these acts in the first place”.

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White House details plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria

White House details plan to fight drug-resistant bacteria

Drug-resistant bacteria is a serious problem, causing thousands of deaths in the US (and even more elsewhere) and millions of hard-to-treat illnesses every year. It's important to address the issue, and while some campaigns aiming to educate the public on how to help prevent this have taken place, they haven't been enough. Now the White House is getting involved, with the Obama administration detailing its recent past efforts and future plans for addressing the issue, including the development of diagnostic tests and limiting inappropriate prescriptions.

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Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

President Obama publicly signed the executive order driving through new cyber security legislation today, using an appearance at Stanford to discuss the controversial balance of privacy and protection. The bill - already a topic of fierce debate in Congress, which had continually refused to pass it - demands greater information sharing between government and private industry, "sharing appropriate information" as relevant to ensure vital infrastructure isn't compromised by hackers or malicious governments. However, exactly what counts as "appropriate", and what impact that has on individual privacy, remains to be seen.

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Obama knew iPhone would be a hit from day one

Obama knew iPhone would be a hit from day one

President Obama gets a lot right. He gets a lot wrong, too. One thing he absolutely nailed dead-on was the success Apple’s iPhone would have. In an upcoming book named Believer: My Forty Years in Politics penned by President Obama’s political strategist, David Axelrod, The president had glowing things to say after a private meeting with Steve Jobs, who showed him the first iPhone well ahead of its launch. A noted BlackBerry fan, Barry seemed to understand the iPhone was going to be a huge deal form the jump.

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Drone landing at White House may spell doom for consumers

Drone landing at White House may spell doom for consumers

Late last night, a Drone landed on the grounds of The White House. It led to a lockdown of the premises, with a White House spokesperson telling The New York Times that Secret Service agents were looking into it. The President was in no danger (he’s in India), but consumer use of drones is. This incident at the White House is, like many involving drones, likely very innocent. Still, it will probably spark heavy political blowback as the FAA prepares to rule on what we can and can’t do with drones.

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Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Obama backs Cameron’s fight against encryption

Flip-flopping somewhat on his earlier stance against putting backdoors in software, US President Barack Obama took UK Prime Minister David Cameron's side in telling tech companies to give government agencies access to encrypted devices and communication. Of course, all in the aid of the fight against terrorism and in the interests of national security. The calls from the world's top government leaders came after two recent incidents that are directly related or being linked to encryption: the hacking of Sony computers last year and the shooting at newspaper Charlie Hebdo this month.

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US and UK plan bank hack wargames as security fears grow

US and UK plan bank hack wargames as security fears grow

A war game exercise which will see US and UK banks simulate a huge and potentially devastating hack on their systems will be run later in the year, as the two countries ramp up their preparedness for cyber espionage. The practice will be run by representatives from the NSA and the FBI in the US, and MI5 and GCHQ in the UK, with a so-called "cyber cell" of experts collaborating on worst-case scenarios and the ways in which vital institutions can steel themselves. The news follows the high-profile hack of Sony Pictures late last year, and comes as security commentators warn that more online attacks are a case of "when" not "if".

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