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Today's Tech: Press groups slam the EU's data protection plans, China says don't leave to XP, and malware creeps into the home

Pressing concerns

A coalition of European journalists' associations and press publishers have issued a joint statement and letter for the attention of European Union (EU) ministers, strongly criticising data protection reform plans. Their comments are timed to fall just before a meeting of the EU Justice Ministers Council which will take place on 6 December. According to the group, which together employs more than 750,000 people and comprises 64,000 companies across Europe, the new legislation "would increase red tape and jeopardize the competitiveness of European companies - and for media organisations even their very existence - without improving the protection of privacy for European citizens."


Chinese officials have met with Microsoft to encourage the software company to maintain support for Windows XP amid fears of a massive security threat to the country. Earlier this year Microsoft announced plans to end support for Windows XP on 8 April, 2014, despite the fact millions of customers still use it. According to data aggregator site StatsCounter, over 50 per cent of Chinese desktops still run the ten-year-old operating system.

"After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates," Microsoft warns on its Support Ends website.

 Microsoft's mood support system

Speaking of support, researchers at Microsoft have designed a bra that can measure mood levels and help prevent stress related over-eating. The research, Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating, aimed to provide a support system for users of the device by creating a "novel, wearable sensor system for detecting emotions using a machine learning approach". The prototype developed by the team works by sending mood data from the bra's removable sensors to the user via a smartphone app. Both heart and skin activity is monitored by the sensors, the data from which then determines whether the wearer is likely to indulge in over-eating.

Home invasion

Researchers have honed in on a Linux worm capable of infecting all manner of Internet-connected home devices, including routers, set-top boxes, security cameras, thermostats and smoke alarms, among others. The worm, dubbed Linux.Darlloz, only infects devices that run on Intel x86 CPUs, but as a proof-of-concept malware, signals a worrying vulnerability in the increasing spread of the Internet of things. Symantec researcher Kaoru Hayashi wrote on his blog last week that "

Although no attacks against these devices have been found in the wild, many users may not realize they are at risk, since they are unaware they own devices that run Linux."

Check back tomorrow for another edition of Today's Tech - our breakdown of the biggest technology and IT news stories of the day.