Weekend tech reading: FBI seeks wiretappable sites, UK wants to filter porn

By on May 6, 2012, 3:16 PM

FBI: We need wiretap-ready Websites - now The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance. In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned. CNET

Pornography online: David Cameron to consider 'opt in' plan The government is to consider introducing new filters for online pornography, in a move likely to be fiercely resisted by internet service providers. The tough measures will mean that millions of internet users will be forced to opt in if they wish to view pornography online. Prime minister David Cameron is expected to consult in the next few weeks on whether ISPs, such as BT and Virgin media, should block adult material as a default for customers. The Guardian

Machine politics - The man who started the hacker wars In the summer of 2007, Apple released the iPhone, in an exclusive partnership with A.T. & T. George Hotz, a seventeen-year-old from Glen Rock, New Jersey, was a T-Mobile subscriber. He wanted an iPhone, but he also wanted to make calls using his existing network, so he decided to hack the phone. Every hack poses the same basic challenge: how to make something function in a way for which it wasn’t designed. In one respect, hacking is an act of hypnosis. As Hotz describes it, the secret is to figure out how to speak to the device, then persuade it to obey your wishes. The New Yorker

Interview: Klei’s Anderson talks upside of EA’s "indies" Earlier this week, EA launched an indie bundle. Not-so-coincidentally, the Internet proceeded to explode, and I’m now typing this while holding a tin can with a piece of string attached next to my PC. I even said some things about it, though admittedly, mostly to kick off a discussion about an only partially related topic. However, off the back of that, I ended up getting in touch with Klei Entertainment technical designer Nels Anderson, who directly worked on four of the six games (both Deathspanks, both Shanks) featured in EA’s bundle of befuddlement. Rock Paper Shotgun

Most popular video games are dumb. can we stop apologizing for them now? A few weeks ago, the Atlantic magazine published a profile I wrote of the developer Jonathan Blow, a man known in gaming circles as much for his criticism of the mainstream game industry's intellectual shortcomings as he is for Braid, the outstanding game he created. To put it mildly, this article pissed a lot of gamers off; in fact, given the tenor of the comments by gaming enthusiasts on Twitter and on fine websites like this one, it seems that many people believe my talents might lie less with game criticism and more with, say, janitorial technology. Kotaku

Dumbness in games, or, the animal as a system Taylor Clark writes about why he called most games “dumb,” exhorting us to make them smarter. His main criticisms are around aspects like story, characters, “insipid dialogue,” and the like (when you are a writer, every problem looks like a writing problem). He cites the example of Vanquish as a mechanically good game that sinks under the weight of its own ridiculous plot and abrasive stock characters. Why can’t we change that around? Magical Wasteland (response to Kotaku article)

June cover revealed: The Elder Scrolls Online Long rumored and much anticipated, The Elder Scrolls Online is finally being unveiled in the June issue of Game Informer. In this month's cover story we journey across the entire land of Tamriel, from Elsweyr to Skyrim and everywhere in between. Developed by the team at Zenimax Online Studios, The Elder Scrolls Online merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Game Informer

Intel wants to plug a smartphone into your brain Show off a new gadget to your friends or family and inevitably one person in the group will declare, "Soon they'll just plug these things directly into your brain!" And everyone will laugh, as if they've never heard that joke before. It's no joke. An Intel-commissioned white paper released Wednesday on the future of mobile technology concludes that connected devices interfacing with the human brain is an inevitability. CNN (also, Verizon reps push 4G Android over iPhone)

AT&T Chief regrets offering unlimited data for iPhone When Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, spoke about the state of the wireless industry at a conference this week, he shared some surprisingly frank comments about the iPhone. In particular, he said that he wished the company had never offered an unlimited data plan for the device and that he loses sleep over free texting services like Apple’s iMessage. The NY Times

EVGA's GTX 690 hits Newegg.com Newegg.com has finally added the GTX 690 and although it is still not available, the EVGA GTX 690. Judging by the 04G-P4-2690-KR part number, this is a standard GTX 690 and as such we are looking at a total of 3072 CUDA cores, 915MHz GPU base and 1019MHz GPU boost clock, a total of 4GB of memory clocked at 6008MHz and paired up with a 256-bit memory interface for each GPU. Fudzilla

They finally made a real lightsaber! What the hell? Wicked Lasers has actually made a lightsaber. I mean, not one that can cut you in half, but one that looks and acts like the actual Jedi weapon! At least, that's what they claim: "LaserSabers are energized by the light of Wicked Lasers, harnessing the power of the force. The LaserSaber features an ultra smooth magnetic gravity system that can 'power up' and 'power down' the blade." Gizmodo

The tangled tale of Aakash, the world’s cheapest laptop Last October, with much fanfare, the Ministry of Human Resources Development unveiled "Aakash," a new, $35 computer built for Indian students. More than six months later, with tens of thousands of university students still waiting, the tale of the Aakash looks a bit like an Indian soap opera, complete with a convoluted storyline, multiple characters, and massive personality clashes. The NY Times (also, part two here)

Apple security blunder exposes Lion login passwords in clear text An Apple programmer, apparently by accident, left a debug flag in the most recent version of the Mac OS X operating system. In specific configurations, applying OS X Lion update 10.7.3 turns on a system-wide debug log file that contains the login passwords of every user who has logged in since the update was applied. The passwords are stored in clear text. ZDNet

Gimp 2.8.0 released GIMP 2.8 is the result of three years of hard work and collaborative development. This version of GIMP is equipped with a wealth of new features, including some highly requested ones. Keep reading to find out exactly what GIMP 2.8 has to offer you in areas such as the user interface, tools, and plug-ins. TechSpot Downloads




User Comments: 25

Got something to say? Post a comment
m4a4 m4a4 said:

No. To the first one that is...

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Government surveillance... is that really what we need?

lol @ the fbi sucks at photoshop article

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Government surveillance... is that really what we need?
Thats exactly what we need. Camera's behind every government official 24/7 for everyone to watch. It's sad when you don't think you can trust anyone in charge. It's sad when no one thinks there is a government official with the populations interest at heart. It's not the population that needs to be monitored it's the government officials that need to be monitored. It is my belief there would have been less tragedies, if there were no government secrecy. Government secrecy is the start of all national troubles and yet they want to strip us of our privacy. Before they strip us of our privacy, we need to strip them of theirs.

1 person liked this | H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Cameron is an *****, looks like our rights are being stripped each year and its getting worse and worse. Whats next, gaming blocked? What is this, China?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ah look US making laws for the whole world, might as well make every country USAs ***** and obey them in everything they say...

Cota Cota said:

"Most popular video games are dumb."

No shit Sherlock. (proper words where they are needed).

My "now favorite" game list has been decreasing over the years, back in hi school i had around 5-6 games i could play constantly whit out getting bored, now i cant get out from Skyrim moded obviously, T2F and a very casual Minecraft whit technick pack.

CoD this, Gears of manly, any kind of generic racing game, Mass tricolor rainbow, any MMO and not forgetting those casual games that shouldn't even be called games (aka Angry kiwis and so on).

Recently there was a post about how gaming industry was growing a lot, except that the numbers where expressed in dollars not in rating from people who like watching Zero Punctuation from the escapist.

Guest said:

I for one will be moving as much as possible of my online activity away from the US.

I can't see a happy ending to all the draconian measures which have been suggested recently. I know there are are a lot of web services that will be difficult to replace, but if a genuine alternative exists I'll be happy to try non-US over US at this point in time, purely to preserve my right to privacy

Guest said:

@cliffordcooley It sounds nice on paper that government should be watched but in practice it is never true. My experience that much surveillance occurs in private industry--they'd repeat private phone conversations--and never in government. Businesses even have auditors, but when was the last time you heard of government being audited?

Guest said:

I like how I just read an article stating that an ip address is no more enough evidence than a phone number is when convicting someone. now im reading about "wire tappable" websites that the government wants. why dont u just admit this is another piracy thing. you're trying soooooo hard to stop it yet you're so blind you can't see the largest site filled with piracy......youtube. megaupload gets shutdown yet youtube has billions of copyright clips, full movies, songs and so on that can be listened to for free. you're trying to shut down sites that allow you to download for free yet you do nothing about the site that has tons of this pirated content just floating around it, and you use the site for yourself most likely daily, most likely viewing stolen stuff someone didnt buy. your logic is flawed . not to mention box office sales alone = more than the $ value of the pirated films. as for cds.....most artists are full of digital effect behind their voices these days so in all actuality theyre not talanted so they dont deserve 15-20 a cd anyway because theyre fakes..

ikesmasher said:

So basically, this weekends tech news consists of people trying to spy on the internet and other people trying to ruin it.

TeamworkGuy2 said:

I like the TSF Weekend readings, informative/funny articles that introduce me to other interesting website.

I like how I just read an article stating that an ip address is no more enough evidence than a phone number is when convicting someone. now im reading about "wire tappable" websites that the government wants. why dont u just admit this is another piracy thing. you're trying soooooo hard to stop it yet you're so blind you can't see the largest site filled with piracy......youtube. megaupload gets shutdown yet youtube has billions of copyright clips, full movies, songs and so on that can be listened to for free...

I agree to some extent, but you can't pirate video games from youtube (just watch clips) and much of the music is just a taste rather than entire albums, at least most of the clips I've come across are just users who uploaded 3-4 songs they liked from random bands.

In fact I recently bought 2 CDs of a band I liked because of 2-3 of their songs that I had heard on youtube and enjoyed.

My primary use for youtube is watching news videos/vloggers and game play throughs and reviews.

Youtube is becoming a new form of TV for me and the ads generate revenue for the authors, it's becoming it's own form of media, without needing copyright material to hold it up.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

That lightsaber is no more a real lightsaber that you can buy at Toys r us. The only difference is you can blind yourself with this one.

ramonsterns said:

I don't want to surf on this internet anymore.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

'Open source' OS may have a chance to guard against these on the user's end to some extent, just a thought I guess nothing more.

One can't think but the fact it is another example of state expanding its influence (unnecessarily) in almost every sphere of its citizens' life just for the sake of 'control'. Once a state start to indulge in such practices it is a sign that politically it is at crossroads where long term viability of its 'structure' (at some point in future) may become questionable.

Guest said:

The best way to kill porn is to switch off the highway of filth otherwise known as the internet completely. Format the whole bloody thing and just restore the good sites - which probably equates to about ten sites.

Porn is a result of our sick society. People must realise themselves that it is wrong. Like that will ever happen.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The best way to kill porn is to switch off the highway of filth otherwise known as the internet completely. Format the whole bloody thing and just restore the good sites - which probably equates to about ten sites.

Porn is a result of our sick society. People must realise themselves that it is wrong. Like that will ever happen.

So because your morals and values don't apply to someone else, they are sick? This is why there is Religious "Wars" ... No such thing as "wrong" or "right".

@Tekkaraiden.

Toy R Us have less then 10mW lasers where as these are 500mW +

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

@ Atrix

That's kind of my point, the technology is no better that what you can buy at Toys R Us except for a more powerful laser. Sure it lights up brilliantly in broad daylight but you have to wear special glasses so you don't blind yourself if you accidentally look at it.

Guest said:

privacy is crazy agreed before governments monitor the public's activities their own should be monitored as previously mentioned as there is too much corruption as everything is about money nothing is about welfare/crime prevention/education and the worlds best interests maybe we do need a skynet to take over as I would take the risk of world war as apposed to a logical computer system taking control and managing all finances and businesses healthcare education and police services and end theses silly wars on copyright and patents etc when there are plenty of higher priority issues out there....try explain that to shareholders board of directors government bodies though as they will wonder where the profit is in that surely cuts are a better idea....

Guest said:

for the lightsaber its nice but would have been better if they used the magnetic power to push up the actual light out from the handle instead of being a fixed unit in which just lights up, only nice thing about this is that its a high powered portable laser @ 1w

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Cameron is an *****, looks like our rights are being stripped each year and its getting worse and worse. Whats next, gaming blocked? What is this, China?

Exactly my thoughts.

Going down this road we'll soon have a UK firewall, a list of sites deemed "wrong for society" and that should be blocked. It's just a joke, and quite a scary joke at that.

Other jokes that seem to come out on a daily basis on the governments "protect" list are: Cigs *must* be behind shutters in shops to 'protect' children; Cigs in the future must be in plain packets to 'protect' children; Smoking in cars should be banned to 'protect' children; Porn must be an opt in to 'protect' children (already happens with most Internet dongles); Junk food cannot be advertised before 9pm to 'protect' children. None of these things were in place or thought about when I was growing up, and I didn't turn out a chain-smoking overweight randy teenager... (Ok, a little randy)

You just know that page 3 will soon be banned also(now that the scumbag Murdoch has been ousted as a Cameron buddy). Top shelf mags will soon have to have plain covers on them. This is the kind of state (the "nanny state" as some people call it) that Cameron was against when in opposition to Labour. What a total hypocrite he is....

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Apparently Captain's gonna be happy it's not his beloved former colony to filter the porn sites. Haha.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I told my parents about the FBI issue, they didn't seem to bothered "well we don't have nothing to hide so yeah" .... I guess they don't see the point, if they can do that what's next ...

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

The US doesn't have jurisdiction over the whole world. People can use websites that are not in their jurisdiction and are exempt from their wiretap legislation.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

The best way to kill porn is to switch off the highway of filth otherwise known as the internet completely. Format the whole bloody thing and just restore the good sites - which probably equates to about ten sites.

Porn is a result of our sick society. People must realise themselves that it is wrong. Like that will ever happen.

A bit hypocritical. We should molest children like your priests? We should kill people who are indoctrinated into a different religion because their beliefs are different purely because of where they are born? You and your religion hardly sets high standards. Those who live in glass houses...

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