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Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma celebrates as the Alibaba stock goes live on Friday.
Andrew Burton
Getty Images
Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma celebrates as the Alibaba stock goes live on Friday.

It was a big Friday for Alibaba, which opened trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the wildly high $92.70 per share. But that wasn't the only tech news this week, so let's get to our roundup.


Smartphone Stalking: As the issues of domestic abuse continue to dominate a national conversation, Aarti Shahani digs into a kind of abuse that doesn't get reported as much: Cyberstalking and controlling your partner, using a number of off-the-shelf tools now available to consumers.

Net Neutrality's Next Steps: Monday marked the end of the public commenting period on the Federal Communications Commission's proposal for enforcing a level playing field on the Internet. Here's a primer on what's at stake, and what's next.

The Big Conversation

BABA's Big Debut: And when we call it big, it's an understatement. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's initial public offering is among the largest ever. At its Friday closing price of just under $94 per share, the company is valued at more than $230 billion. As Quartz put it, "the company isn't just the "Amazon of China"—it's also the Dropbox, PayPal, Uber, Hulu, and more."

Protecting Smartphone Data: Apple and soon, Android, are embracing a kind of default encryption that will make it technologically impossible for them to turn over smartphone data to police and other law enforcement agencies, even when faced with a warrant. It's a marketing win for both companies, but cops will find a workaround, writes Wired.


iWatch ... Wait, Apple Watch: The iPhone 6 went on sale Friday, but we're still curious about the implications of the Apple Watch, coming next year. If you haven't seen this parody of its features, it's a must-watch.

Glass Almanac: New Glassware 'WBUR' Brings Boston's NPR Live Radio To Google Glass

Boston's NPR news station introduced a new way to listen to its broadcasts, announcing that its live stream and hourly news will be available through Google Glass.

Gigaom: Twitpic says it's getting acquired but it won't say by whom

Twitpic had saddened fans and users when it announced it was shutting down its service. But the Twitter companion photo service later said it had been acquired and will continue to live.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.