Weekend news round-up: European satellite broadband coverage, more leaks from Edward Snowden

21 Oct 2013

In our round-up of tech news from the weekend, the European Commission says basic broadband is now available to all in Europe, leaked documents from former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden indicate the NSA hacked the email of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Europe claims satellites enable total broadband coverage

The European Commission claims basic broadband is now available to everyone in Europe, PCWorld reported.

The Commission said the 100pc coverage has been made possible as a result of the availability of satellite broadband in all 28 member states. This means, in theory, that everyone can achieve a connection of at least 2Mbps, but given the relatively high costs of satellite broadband, it may not be affordable for everyone.

To help European residents find out what satellite broadband options are available to them, the Commission has launched a new website that allows people to find services they can use to get online.

Did NSA hack Mexican president’s email account?

Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden demonstrate that the NSA broke into the email of former Mexican president Felipe Calderon while he was in office, TechCrunch reported Der Spiegel as saying.

The operation, dubbed ‘Flatliquid’, exploited a mail server to gain access to the account. Other Mexican government authorities also used the compromised system.

Calderon was a leader noted for his close work with the US government. The two countries are large trading partners, have a long border, and have intertwined economies. They also share a common struggle with the drug trade and drug-related violence.

HTC CEO gives chairwoman more responsibilities

HTC’s co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang has increased her operational role at the company to lighten the load on CEO Peter Chou, The Verge reported.

“I have become very focused in the past couple of months. Before that I was too busy,” said Chou to the Financial Times. “I took on too many things. I need to be more focused on innovation and [the] product portfolio.” The move is said to be temporary.

Wang’s expanded duties see her working six days a week, rather than two, and handling marketing, sales, and relationships with suppliers. Chou, meanwhile, will concentrate on future product development, and said the company would see “a good result next year”.

Young adults hardly ever walk, ‘because of technology’

Those aged 18-24 walk only when they absolutely, positively have to, a UK survey suggests. Twenty-five per cent of that age group walks a mere five minutes every day, CNET reported.

“One assumes that this is to the fridge and back, to the fridge and back. However, parents in this survey were convinced that the reason for such indolence was, stunningly, technology,” Chris Matyszczyk wrote.

“Why walk to find a friend, when they’re right with you in your little metal box? Why walk to mail a letter when you can send whatever you like from the comfort of your sheets?”

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