Andrew Couts

Andrew Couts

Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on the intersection of technology, law, politics, and policy. Prior to Digital Trends, Couts served as associate editor of TheWeek.com, executive editor of COEDMagazine.com, assistant editor of Maxim magazine, and writer/editorial assistant of Stuff magazine. In his few moments spent away from a computer, Couts can be found hiking with his dog, or blasting around on motorcycles.

Move over, .com! The first 7 new domains launch today

The Internet is about to get a lot more crowded. Starting today, websites can register URLs with seven new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) launched by Donuts Inc. Read more here.

Web

New website lets you trade Starbucks gift cards for Bitcoin

Despite Bitcoin's increasing mainstream appeal, a wall stands between the virtual currency and the average person. Now, a new Web service called Card for Coin is doing its part to take a few bricks off that barrier to entry.

Cool Tech

Angry Birds creator claims no Internet devices may be safe from NSA

A new batch of documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that the National Security Agency and GCHQ, its counterpart in the UK, have been working to develop ways to access a wealth of personal data through so-called “leaky” apps.

Mobile

Put away the plastic toys, the Mark One 3D printer creates in carbon fiber

This week, newly launched startup MarkForged announced the world’s first 3D printer capable of printing objects in carbon fiber, the super-strong and lightweight material. Read more here.

Cool Tech

5 tech issues Obama should address in the 2014 State of the Union (but probably won’t)

In addition to health care and income inequality, there are a slew of technology issues President Obama should address during the 2014 State of the Union speech. Here are the top five.

Opinion

CEO of Winklevoss-backed Bitcoin exchange charged with Silk Road money laundering

The US Department of Justice has arrested and charged Charlie Shrem, the 24-year-old co-founder and CEO of Winklevoss-backed Bitcoin exchange BitInstant, with money laundering in connection with now-defunct online drug marketplace Silk Road.

Web

Will you speak up when ISPs strangle your Netflix? The company sure hopes so

Netflix doesn't seem too worried about the end of net neutrality, but promises that it and its members will fight back if ISPs start to stifle the Internet. Do we have what it takes to fight back in a worst-case-scenario?

Opinion

Oh, **** – I lost my drone: The Blade 350 QX review that will never be

This was supposed to be a review of the fantastic Blade 350 QX quadcopter drone from Hobby Horizon. Instead, it's a cautionary tale of loss, regret, and what not to do when you have nearly $1,000 worth of equipment to test out.

Cool Tech

NSA phone metadata collection illegal, ineffective, government watchdog finds

Things keep looking worse for the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata, a program found to be illegal and ineffective by an independent government watchdog group.

Mobile

Cash for Glass: MPAA dangles $500 for theater employees who rat out cam bandits

The recent detainment of an moviegoer wearing Google Glass wasn't a fluke – it's part of an MPAA program that offers theater works up to $500 for a job well done. Here's a look inside the MPAA's "zero tolerance" Take Action! program.

Mobile

Syrian Electronic Army hits Microsoft … for the fourth time in a month

The hacker group known as the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has hit Microsoft once again – the fourth such attack in less than a month. This time, the pesky cyber-miscreants managed to break into the Microsoft Office Blogs site.

Computing

Sorry, Kickstarter, you’re a store (whether you admit it or not)

Kickstarter has long tried to convince the world that it's not a store. And in some ways, that's true. It's not just a store – it's much more than that. Only problem is, it largely functions as a store, whether it wants to admit as much or not.

Opinion

Dogecoin users raise $30,000 to send Jamaican bobsled team to Winter Olympics

Fun-loving users of the Dogecoin virtual currency just helped make Winter Olympics history – by raising more than $30,000 worth of Dogecoin to help fund the Jamaican bobsled team’s trip to the Game in Sochi, Russia

Social Media

I’m banned from using e-cigarettes in my own house … and I can’t really argue with it

I can fully sympathize with the ostracized vapers in New York City and Chicago, who must now wallow in the frigid hell outdoors: Vaping is banned in my house – and I don't really have a good argument against that.

Opinion

Obama restricts NSA telephone metadata collection program, calls for more changes

Seven months after the first disclosures from Edward Snowden went public, President Barack Obama announced Friday a list of “concrete and substantial reforms” to the way the United States conducts its surveillance operations.

Mobile