Apple will lean on recent federal judge’s decision as it faces FBI before congress

Many eyes are trained on Capitol Hill as Apple and the FBI square off in front of congress. Apple takes its case to the House Judiciary Committee today, where its Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs, Bruce Sewell, will oppose FBI director James Comey. Sewell released his planned remarks to the public yesterday, so we have a read on what Apple has to say before the committee, but there’s a new twist on this ongoing story:

Yesterday, a federal judge in New York ruled on an unrelated case in which the Justice Department claimed the All Writs Act gave it the right to demand an iPhone be unlocked to help out with a drug case. The Judge ruled in Apple’s favor, saying, in essence, that there is  no law on the books compelling Apple to help law enforcement in this way. The All Writs Act doesn’t get that specific, and any such demand is unlawful.

Apple will no doubt lean on that decision, and will continue to beat the same drum it’s been marching to since the FBI asked for a way to access the iPhone 5C used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Apple believes that creating a workaround for its encryption sets a dangerous precedent, and that US citizen’s privacy is at stake here.

As a reminder, a California Judge has already ordered Apple to assist the FBI by hacking the iPhone, and now Apple is doing everything it can to appeal that decision. When Congress weighs in, who will be listening? And will their opinion hold enough sway, or will further action be necessary? We’ll know a whole lot more by the end of today. Digital Trends is monitoring the situation and will bring you the news as it breaks.

Google smash!

It was bound to happen at some point, and yesterday it finally did: One of Google’s self-driving cars finally caused an accident, and with a bus, no less. According to a DMV report, a self-driving Lexus 450h owned by Google collided with a city bus in Mountain View, California, on February 14. The SUV encountered stopped traffic waiting to proceed straight at a light. Google’s car wanted to turn right at the intersection, so it moved to the right-hand side of the lane to go around.

Trouble is there were sandbags blocking its path, so the Lexus signaled it was returning to the center. The light turned green, and traffic began to move by. After a few had passed, the Lexus began to inch back into the center of the lane, which prompted the safety driver sitting in the vehicle to check the conditions. A transit bus was approaching from the rear, but according to the report, the test driver believed “the bus would stop or slow to allow the Google AV to continue.”

Except it didn’t. The bus kept on going and the autonomous vehicle slammed into the bus at a bone-jarring 2 MPH – the bus was going just 15 MPH, so not much damage was done and there were no injuries. All told, not exactly a travesty, so we doubt anyone at Google is too upset about it. But, the media sure jumped on the story in a hurry, asking questions about whether we’re really ready for self-driving cars.

Not yet, folks. That’s why they’re being tested. And, hey, if this is the worst that’s happened after millions of miles driven, then I say Google is doing pretty well.

Finally: Remember KFC’s place mat that doubled as a Bluetooth Keyboard, or how about Pizza Hut’s pizza box that converted into a projector box? Well, now McDonald’s is getting into the tech game by serving up VR goggles with Happy Meals. No, we’re not kidding.

The pilot program is taking place in Sweden, and borrows from Google Carboard. Simply fold up the Happy Meal box just so, add lenses, and Boom! VR goggles for some satisfying post-McNugget entertainment. Just be sure to wipe all the trans-fatty grease out of the box so it doesn’t wind up on your face, kiddos. You’re too young for acne.

There will be just 3500 of these so-called Happy Goggles given out in Sweden. No word on we’ll see this grimace-worthy promo comes stateside, but you can bet if we do, I’m getting in line. I’m due for a McRib right about now anyway.

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