An anonymous reader writes with a story at Ars Technica, according to which "For the past two years, a secretive unit in the Metropolitan Police has been developing the tools for blanket surveillance of the public's social media conversations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere. ... Surveillance operations often require a ministerial sign-off or permission from a superior, but it is unclear whether targeting of public social media data requires the same level of oversight, as head of research at Privacy International Eric King points out."
coondoggie writes "If you have ever visualized in your mind winning a race or overcoming a serious life hurdle then you understand at least some of the concept behind a new virtual video a technology that could help people with their social anxieties. Researchers say they have tested a system that lets people with all manner of social anxieties — from using public transportation and buying a drink at a bar to socializing at a party, shopping, or talking to a stranger — see themselves interacting in those situations via video capture."