Apple refunds, Chrome mobile update, and NSA spying

Culture
Apple is giving your money back and Google is trying to conserve your data plan. I'm Shara Tibken and for Bridget Carey. This is your CNET Update. Remember all those boosters your kids bought in Candy Crush? Well, now Apple is going to pay you back. The company has reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to refund at least 32.5 million dollars for in-app purchases. It also will change its billing tactics to receive Express Informed Consent before charging users. Apple said the settlement doesn't require it to do anything it wasn't already planning to do. Apple may be forking over money for in-app purchases, but it's going to make a lot more by selling its devices in China. China Mobile, the world's biggest carrier will start offering the iPhone on Friday. It's not too surprising that Apple CEO Tim Cook is incredibly optimistic about the partnership as he told publications like the Wall Street Journal. He even hinted there could be more in store from the 2 companies. But for now Apple could sell millions of phones to China Mobile customers. That could give it a big boost against Samsung and other rivals who are already taking the lead in the country. In other news, Google's rolling out some tweaks to Chrome that make the browser a little more user friendly. An update from the company on Tuesday brought a tab indicator to tell you when a site is streaming audio. That way you can figure out where those pesky sounds are coming from without going through every single window. On Wednesday Google added a compression tool to mobile versions of Chrome. That can lower your bandwidth usage by almost 50 percent. It also could save you money on your wireless bills. That's good news for all of us who've been kicked off of our unlimited data plans. The National Security Agency is at it again or at least we're learning more about its spy tactics. The New York Times has reported that the government agency uses radio waves to access and change data on computers. That happens even when they're not connected to the internet. The NSA has also installed surveillance software on nearly 100,000 computers around the world. The report comes only a few days before President Obama is expected to announce NSA reforms. Those could include calling for privacy safeguards for foreigners. For all of you nervous about NSA spying, a new Android phone called the Blackphone might be what you need. The device is powered by a security-oriented build of Android called Private OS. It should let users make and receive calls, exchange secure texts, transfer and store files, and also video chat. The phone will be shown at Mobile World Congress next month and preorders will start at the end of February. That's your tech news update but you can find more details at CNET.com/update and you can always keep up with the latest stories by following me on Twitter. From our studios in New York I'm Shara Tibken.

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