Obama to meet again with tech leaders over surveillance

President Obama plans to meet with a select group of technology CEOs on Friday to discuss "issues of privacy, technology, and intelligence," a White House official told Politico.

A full list of chief executives was not made available by the White House, but industry sources told Politico that Google, Facebook, and Yahoo had been invited to the meeting. CNET has contacted those companies for comment on their participation and will update this report when we learn more.

It's the second such meeting Obama has held with Silicon Valley executives in recent months over controversial US electronic surveillance … Read more

Obama to Ellen: Your Samsung selfie was a pretty cheap stunt

President Obama and Ellen DeGeneres have both been recently promoted to sales associate.

The president is doing all he can to get as many young people to commit to his health care initiative, so that there's enough money to pay for those whose bodies are entering disrepair.

Ellen, on the other hand, turned presenting the Oscars into the opening of a Samsung store.

It was inevitable, then, that when the two met on her show, she would first mention the selfie she took with a number of famous stars -- the one that broke the retweet record held until … Read more

White House embarks on climate change mapping project

The White House wants people and communities to be prepared for extreme weather events spurred by climate change, like coastal flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires. So, it's making data sets and maps from some of the country's top agencies available to the public in it's newly launched "Climate Data Initiative."

The maps and data sets are being collected in one Web site, data.gov/climate, which is full of open government data on the country's infrastructure and geographical features, like bridges, roads, tunnels, canals, and river gauges. The information comes from agencies such as NASA, … Read more

The 404 1,445: Where we beat up on Bluetooth (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The PonoPlayer ain't no ordinary MP3 player.

- A cheaper Pono alternative: FiiO's nifty $200 portable high-resolution music player is a knockout.

- Buy FLAC tracks from HDtracks.com.

- Poll: What's the worst audio format?.

- Follow Steve on Twitter.… Read more

The 404 1,443: Where we're taking the couch by storm (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Neil Young just destroyed his funding goals for a digital music player on Kickstarter.

- Meet the people making new games for Atari, Super NES, and Virtual Boy.

- Funny or Die was Healthcare.gov's No. 1 traffic referrer yesterday.

- Bill O'Reilly bites back at Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns."… Read more

Obama: Would Michelle have married a nerd?

They say he's a bookworm, rather than a barfly.

They say he's more comfortable with the intricacies of policy making, rather than the crudities of glad-handing.

Such aspersions have clearly been preying on President Obama's mind. So where better to assert his true self than on "Between Two Ferns"?

This entirely serious "Funny Or Die" talk show, presented by policy wonk Zach Galifianakis, allows guests to reveal the sides of themselves that might have been in the shade of the spotlight.

The president showed his mean, masculine side when asked: "What's … Read more

Obama: We're building Iron Man

The real news sometimes passes us by, as we eke out our survival and freak out at the state of our lives.

I am grateful, therefore, to have been sent this snippet that might just change the way you think and live.

For here, at a White House press conference earlier this week, is President Obama revealing a "secret project we've been working on for some time."

What could this project be? A crowdsourced surveillance program? A health insurance Web site that works?

No, America is building Iron Man. … Read more

White House says it won't direct FCC to reclassify broadband

The Obama administration said Tuesday that although the president "vigorously supports" a free and open Internet, he can't order the Federal Communications Commission on how to proceed in reinstating Net neutrality protections.

The statement was in response to an online petition asking that the White House order the FCC to reclassify broadband providers as so-called "common carriers," which would put them under the same regulatory framework as the traditional phone network. The petition, which has received more than 105,000 signatures, was launched in January after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC's Open Internet rulesRead more

Dear White House: Please bring back Flappy Bird

President Obama may have to contend with budget crises, economic woes, health care snafus, and international conflicts. But those are nothing compared to the greatest threat now facing the world -- the demise of Flappy Bird.

The popular game met an early expiration date on Sunday when its developer pulled the plug over worries that it was too addictive. Some of those who never got a chance to flap their wings have since turned to knockoffs, but one Flappy Bird fanatic thinks the government needs to step in to solve the problem.

In a White House petition launched Thursday, a … Read more

Apple, Microsoft join carriers in $750M pledge to education

President Barack Obama has won a commitment totaling $750 million from a number of technology companies to help low-income students in K-12 public schools get early access to the Internet and educational tools.

Apple is pledging $100 million in iPads, according to the AP. Microsoft is offering up its "billion-dollar response," which is essentially the potential to inject $1 billion in savings into the system. The company will offer Windows-based tablets, laptops, and devices through its manufacturing partners; 12 million copies of Office; copies of its Windows 8.1 Pro operating system; and student and teacher educational resources. … Read more