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Current Affairs Posts - Page 15

Spotify has big plans for original content, confirmed rumors at press event today

Mayor Michael Bloomberg headed up the press conference this afternoon held by Spotify at its headquarters in New York City. At the announcement, the company unveiled its plans to build a brand-new US headquarters office on Sixth Avenue which will be several times the size of its current space.


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The big news, however, came when the company announced its plans to create unique and original content. This news came from Ken Parks who heads up the company's NYC office. While brief and limited, we suspect this means that the company will be holding new live performances either in New York City or around the country. While some speculate that Spotify could create its own label, I feel that is highly unlikely, and the idea of Spotify-hosted concerts is much more realistic.

Google to remove all Blogger blogs that monetize via porn ads

Google is most often referred to as the search king, and rightfully so as it does search better than all others. What we tend to forget is that Google makes most of it's money from advertising, which is something else the company does phenomenally well. Like most other companies, Google is not a fan of competition and this morning it has flexed its muscles in an effort to remove all "adult content ads" from Blogger.


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Google is sending out notices to owners of adult-themed blogs hosted on its popular Blogger service. The notice warns of a change to its terms of service which will restrict its users from earning money by displaying adult ads on their blog. The email explicitly states that on June 30 Google will "strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger."


At the moment, it appears that Google is contacting Blogger users that have already manually mark their blogs as adult or have been identified (through means unknown) to be running explicit ads. The process does not appear to be flawless as some users have reported receiving email even though they have never made a single post on their blog.

Continue reading 'Google to remove all Blogger blogs that monetize via porn ads' (full post)

US Senator introduces new bill to control the amount of spying power the NSA has

NSA's PRISM system is reading everything you do, say, or whisper by yourself in a lonely corner - but those powers could soon be dealt a little kryptonite if US Senator Patrick Leahy's new bill is enacted upon.


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Leahy's new bill has been called the "FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013" that aims to "strengthen privacy protections, accountability and oversight related to domestic surveillance." The bill aims to calm down the PATRIOT Act so that the government is forced to show evidence that a citizen is linked with a foreign group or power before surveillance on the citizen even begins.


I doubt we'll see that, and even if we do and it is enacted upon, how would you know if this is the way they do it? They could continue snooping and you would be none the wiser about it - just like most of the world was until Edward Snowden came onto the scene.

The NSA has been intercepting SSL traffic too, no one is safe from their technological grip

NSA's PRISM system is quite the beast indeed, but now it is being revealed that the US security agency have been intercepting SSL traffic too - which is meant to be a secure link - after all, it stands for secure sockets layer.


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Obviously not, as the US security agency have been using their PRISM system to gather and store huge quantities (see: all) of SSL encrypted data for later cryptanalysis. Netcraft also reports that this huge volume of data is logged so that if an SSL private key later becomes available, they can be decrypted.


There are 'legal' methods of getting these private keys: a court order, social engineering, an attack against the website, or through cryptanalysis. But, it's the NSA - do you really expect them to use legal means to break your encrypted data that they weren't meant to take in the first place? Yeah, I thought so.

Motorola logo gets updated to reflect Google ownership, now comes with 100% more colors

Just over a year ago, Google finalize a deal to buy Motorola's Mobility division, and today we're finally seeing Google officially welcoming Motorola into the family. The Motorola logo was updated this afternoon to reflect a more Google-like appearance and inform the whole world that it is a Google owned company.


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The new logo features the original Motorola "M" but it is now surrounded by a circular rainbow of colors similar to the ones used in Google branding. Now that Google has the new logo out-of-the-way, let's hope they can do the same with the crappy phones Motorola has been releasing for years now.


I say that because of the news today surrounding the Motorola X Phone. It appears to be nothing more than another rehash of the Atrix, Photon 4G, and Razr Max. Those of us who were loyal to Motorola were really hoping to see something innovative with the new X phone but it appears that will not be the case.

Chinese man sells his kidney for $6,510, had 'video game debts' to settle

A criminal gang was arrested by Shijiazhuang police in Hebei province, China, earlier this month, with the gang being arrested due to them dealing in black market organs.


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One of the organs they had dealt with belonged to an 18-year-old Chinese man surnamed Zhang from Gangsu province. He ran into money troubles because of video games, and as you do, you sell a body part. He reached out to an organ dealer to sell his kidney, where he was matched up with one online. The dealer asked Zhang to go to Shijiazhuang and sign a pre-sale agreement.


This agreement includes that the sale of his kidney is of his own volition, and that all consequences and issues are his responsibility. Zhang signed it without hesitation and went in for surgery. His kidney was sold for just $6,510 - but considering the going rate of a kidney in China is $47,000 - he must have been quite desperate.

Continue reading 'Chinese man sells his kidney for $6,510, had 'video game debts' to settle' (full post)

Edward Snowden has covered himself well, has encrypted copies of NSA documents that would be sent to people if something were to happen to him

Edward Snowden is all over the news right now, but he has backed himself up well according to some reports. The NSA whistleblower (and pain in the US government's neck) has an encrypted copies of at least "thousands" of NSA documents that he has sent to "several people".


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The Guardian report who first published Snowden's leaks, Glenn Greenwald, during an interview with the Daily Beast, said that Snowden "has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be published. If anything happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full archives."


Greenwald has said that he personally has thousands of documents that Snowden leaked from the NSA, where he adds: "I don't know for sure whether [Snowden] has more documents than the ones he has given me. I believe he does. He was clear he did not want to give to journalists things he did not think should be published."

Continue reading 'Edward Snowden has covered himself well, has encrypted copies of NSA documents that would be sent to people if something were to happen to him' (full post)

Sony will put micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of a tennis player at Wimbledon, let the 4K marketing begin!

Sony are going to be pushing their 4K marketing this week at Wimbledon, which lines up with the launch of their Bravia X9 line up of 4K-capable TV's which are hitting UK retailers this week.


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The best time to advertise your 4K goodness in the UK would be, well, now, with Wimbledon, wouldn't it? Sony are putting micro ads on the fingernails and uniform of tennis player Anne Keothavong, with 4K owners being able to see this ultra-insane detail. Sony and the BBC are recording some of the event itself in 4K, with an experience zone at the event being shown off in 4K.

Australian government doesn't go through with their data retention plans, Edward Snowden would be proud

The Australian government have decided to not go through with their data retention plan, which would've seen Internet Service Providers (ISPs) retain customer data for up to two years.


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The parliamentary committee investigating the data retention proposal and a few other proposed legislative changes to telecommunications and national security legislation yesterday issued their report. This saw the decision on whether to push forward with plans of a mandatory data retention scheme back to the government.


Law enforcement agencies have longed for this scheme, but have said that most of this metadata (such as information on when and where the call was made, to who, and for how long) is no longer being kept by telcos for billing purposes. I wonder what they mean by "no longer" being kept - was it kept previously?

Continue reading 'Australian government doesn't go through with their data retention plans, Edward Snowden would be proud' (full post)

Apple co-founder likes Edward Snowden, feels 'a little guilty' about the NSA surveillance

The past two weeks have seen the Internet filled with Edward Snowden, the NSA, Prism, GCHQ and much more - but what does the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, think about it all? Well, he feels "a little guilty."



Wozniak was a guest on the Piers Morgan show, where he was asked if he feels any responsibility for the technologies he and others in the industry have created, that have given government entities like the NSA the power to snoop on, well, everyone - his answer was:


I actually feel a little guilty about that -- but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world. Any thought you had, you could share freely. That ... was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions.

Continue reading 'Apple co-founder likes Edward Snowden, feels 'a little guilty' about the NSA surveillance' (full post)

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