WikiLeaks Explores Surveillance State, Barnes & Noble Battles Microsoft Patents, Apple Explains Siri Search Glitch

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

WikiLeaks Explores Global Surveillance State. Everyone’s favorite leak collective unveiled a cache of documents from as many as 160 private security contractors. The documents, released in collaboration with OWNI, The Washington Post, L’Espresso, and a host of other publications and organizations, reveal the extent of global surveillance–both legal and illegal. An interactive map was also released to help readers understand which private organizations and government agencies may have been eavesdropping on their emails and phone calls. —NU


–Updated 12:00 p.m. EST

B&N Says Nook Is $220 Million Business. While reporting second quarter finances that include a net loss of $6.6 million (better than last year’s $12.6 million), Barnes and Noble also revealed that its Nook e-book and e-reader business is now worth over $220 million. The Nook Tablet revealed in November also became the best-selling Nook device ever, and B&N expects to spend money to boost the Nook business by addressing customer buying issues. –KE

Amazon Expands Kindle Store Into Spanish. Amazon has just revealed that its Kindle store is now carrying Spanish products for the first time–with over 22,000 Spanish-language titles. The Kindle Direct Publishing system is also available to Spanish speakers, and the new Kindle has gone on sale in Spain for €99. Simultaneously, similar moves are happening in the Italian Kindle store–siamo arrivati! Amazon’s global expansion continues. –KE

AT&T Considers T-Mobile Joint Venture. In the wake of regulatory disapproval from the FCC, AT&T is now reported to be considering a joint venture with Deutshe Telekom–the German parent company of T-Mobile USA–instead of a takeover. Such a deal would see a merging of assets and strategies that might dodge some of the FCC’s concerns about job losses and monopolies. –KE

–Updated 7:45 a.m. EST 



Barnes & Noble Hires Legal Hotshot To Combat Microsoft Patents. David Boies, pivotal in bringing a huge and successful Department of Justice anti-trust case against Microsoft in the early 2000s, has just been hired by Barnes & Noble to combat Microsoft’s Android-centric claims of IP violation. MS has successfully persuaded many big players into licensing its code instead of facing legal action, but B&N is resisting. –KE

Apple Explains Siri’s Pro-Life Glitch. Answering accusations that Siri, the smart personal assistant, has a strange pro-life bias, Apple has explained that the glitch is part of the beta status of the code and will be addressed “in the coming weeks.” It’s a function of the data in the multiple online databases about businesses that Siri accesses rather than a deliberate choice in Siri’s programming. –KE

Carrier IQ Phone Tap Scandal Expands, Hits Apple. Over the last several days the alleged network performance monitoring by code from Carrier IQ has evolved into a scandal as it’s been found the code, embedded in the OS, can even track key presses on Android platforms. Now the Carrier IQ code has been found in iOS, but in its most benign location and phone performance form. The code is thought to potentially violate wiretapping laws in millions of cases. –KE

[Image: Flickr user vasile23]

–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST


Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Spotify Adds Third Party Apps, Nokia’s Indoor Nav Plans With Bluetooth, YouTube Turbo-Boosts Analytics…and more…


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