• Android M might have its own fingerprint login system

    Android is getting a TouchID-style system of its own with Android M, according to Buzzfeed's sources. Apparently it'll act a lot like the iOS tool too, bypassing passwords for associated apps in favor of reading your fingerprint. Given that I/O is practically right around the corner (next week!) it shouldn't be long before this all gets confirmed – Google hasn't responded to our request for comment just yet.

  • Adobe says goodbye to its Photoshop Touch app, hello to Project Rigel

    Adobe's been keen on new mobile apps as of late, but today it announced the end of the road for one of its more popular pieces of software. As of next week, Photoshop Touch will no longer be available in iTunes, Google Play and other app libraries and the creative software company will not push new updates. Photoshop Touch was a bit of a tough sell at $10, especially when the new round of apps began rolling out for free. The last major update to Touch came in late 2012, and and in the time since, Adobe announced Photoshop Mix alongside its Ink and Slide drawing accessories. And there's a mobile version of Lightroom now, too. With its big mobile push, the company has focused on a stable of apps dedicated to specific tasks, rather than an all-in-one solution like Photoshop Touch.

  • Google launches Hispanic coding initiative in eight US cities

    The Hispanic Heritage Foundation's (HHF) president, Jose Antonio Tijerino, thinks that "seeing a latino programmer shouldn't be akin to seeing a unicorn," so his group is trying to do something about it. Together with Google, it launched Code as a Second Language (CSL) courses in eight cities, including New York, Las Angeles and Miami. The idea is to introduce students to coding through 1-2 hour sessions, then steer them to the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) network for ongoing online instruction. Students who complete that training could later be granted internships and possibly full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.

  • Trolls are using Twitter ads to push hate speech

    As much as Twitter is doing to fight harassment lately, it's clear that ill-willed users are still slipping past the social network's defenses – and sometimes, in very conspicuous ways. Users have spotted trolls using Twitter's promoted tweet ads to spread racist and anti-transgender messages, guaranteeing a wide audience for their hate. The company tells The Guardian that it's pulling these ads and suspending the offending accounts, but it's not offering an explanation for why these tweets got through despite policies that explicitly ban hateful language. The failures suggest that Twitter's ad approvals are relatively hands-off, and that it needs to keep a much closer eye on things so that its ads remain friendly.

  • Chrome adds MIDI support for browser-based music composition

    Let's say you went all out for Rock Band 3 and bought a MIDI drum kit and the game's keyboard peripheral, haven't used them since, but hate to put that stuff on Craigslist. With the new Chrome update you can use 'em to make beautiful music in your web browser with the Web MIDI API. As VentureBeat notes, this means that websites can access digital instruments and you'll be able to compose tunes without needing any special software. Most (possibly all) of the musical browser experiments we've seen thus far rely on your computer's keyboard to create audio – like Typedrummer, for instance – so this should make things pretty easy for folks more accustomed to traditional instruments. Oh, and as previously reported, support to bring legacy websites into the HTTPS fold are in place as well.

  • Mobile Google searches now show real-time tweets

  • Apple and Google push Obama to prevent encryption backdoors

    Apple, Google and other major tech companies have urged President Obama not to give the FBI backdoor access to smartphone data, according to the Washington Post. The publication obtained a letter signed by no less than 140 major tech players, security specialists and privacy groups stating that "strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy's security." All of the players feel that it's impossible to build a backdoor for governments in email, cellphone encryption and other communications without creating vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or hostile nations. Obama previously said that while he's in favor of stronger encryption, "the only concern is our law enforcement is expected to stop every (terrorist) plot."

  • Russia is making its own smartphone platform, sort of

    When Russia said it was reducing its dependence on Western technology, it wasn't kidding around. Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov recently met with Finland's Jolla to talk about developing an "independent" Russian mobile operating system based on Sailfish OS. He's concerned that 95 percent of phones in the country use foreign software like Android or iOS, and wants to foster a domestic platform that both boosts the economy and is less susceptible to mass surveillance. Yes, Sailfish technically comes from another country, but its open source nature would allow for customized software where there shouldn't be any secrets.

  • Google researchers create amazing timelapses from public photos

    There are a zillion digital photos in the public domain and scientists have just figured out something very cool to do with them. A team from Google and the University of Washington have developed a fully automated way to create time-lapse videos of popular tourists landmarks using images from Flickr, Picasa and other sites. Here's how it works: first, researchers sorted some 86 million photos by geographic location, looking for widely snapped landmarks. Next, the photos were ordered by date and warped so that all had a matching viewpoint. Lastly, each photo was color-corrected to have a similar appearance, resulting in uniform time-lapse videos (below).

  • Fingerprints will soon tell cops if suspects are on cocaine

    A research team from the University of Surrey in the UK has reportedly developed a new, noninvasive drug test for cocaine that accurately detects its presence in your system through your fingerprints. Specifically, it looks for two common cocaine metabolites: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine. These can be found in blood, sweat, and urine using a mass spectrometry technique known as Desorption Electrospray Ionisation (DESI). And since the metabolites dissipate from our sweat more quickly than in urine or blood (in which it can persist for up to a week), law enforcement will one day be able tell if a suspect is currently high as opposed to having been high a few nights before. What's more, "we can distinguish between cocaine having been touched," Melanie Bailey, the study's lead author, told Motherboard, "and cocaine having been ingested." Plus since the sweat sample is tied to your fingerprint, it'll be nearly impossible for someone to swap it out for a clean batch.