Everything you need to know about PRISM Since September 11th, 2001, the United States government has dramatically increased the ability of its intelligence agencies to collect and investigate information on both foreign subjects and US citizens. Some of these surveillance programs, including a secret program called PRISM, capture the private data of citizens who are not suspected of any connection to terrorism or any wrongdoing. In June, a private contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton leaked classified presentation slides that detailed the existence and the operations of PRISM: a mechanism that allows the government to collect user data from companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, and others. The Verge

The ARM diaries, part 2: understanding the Cortex A12 A couple of weeks ago I began this series on ARM with a discussion of the company's unique business model. In covering semiconductor companies we've come across many that are fabless, but it's very rare that you come across a successful semiconductor company that doesn't even sell a chip. ARM's business entirely revolves around licensing IP for its instruction set as well as its own CPU (and now GPU and video) cores. Before we get into discussions of specific cores, it's important to talk about ARM's portfolio as a whole. AnandTech

Small Alberta town gets massive 1,000 Mbps broadband boost Ultrafast internet speeds that most Canadian city dwellers can only dream of will soon be available to all 8,500 residents in a rural Alberta community for as little as $57 a month, thanks to a project by the town's non-profit economic development foundation. "We'll be the first 'gig town' in Canada," said Nathan Kusiek, director of marketing for O-Net, the community-owned internet service provider that runs the fibre optic network being built by the non-profit Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development in Olds, Alta... CBC News

Microsoft bug bounties flowing to Googlers Two Google employees earned the distinction of receiving some of the first monetary rewards (a.k.a. "bounties") issued under the company's newly minted bounty program. Fermín Serna, a researcher in Google's Mountain View, California headquarters, told The Security Ledger that he received a bounty issued by Microsoft this week for information on an Internet Explorer information leak that could allow a malicious hacker to bypass Microsoft's Address Space Layout Randomization (or ASLR) technology. The Security Ledger

The NES turns 30: how it began, worked, and saved an industry We're right on the cusp of another generation of game consoles, and whether you're an Xbox One fanperson or a PlayStation 4 zealot you probably know what's coming if you've been through a few of these cycles. The systems will launch in time for the holidays, it will have one or two decent launch titles, there will be perhaps a year or two when the new console and the old console coexist on store shelves, and then the "next generation" becomes the current generation – until we do it all again a few years from now. Ars Technica

First NES commercial

The cops are tracking my car – and yours The last time the Oakland Police Department (OPD) saw me was on May 6, 2013 at 6:38:25pm. My car was at the corner of Mandana Blvd. and Grand Ave., just blocks away from the apartment that my wife and I moved out of about a month earlier. It's an intersection I drive through fairly frequently even now, and the OPD's own license plate reader (LPR) data bears that out. One of its LPRs – Unit 1825 – captured my car passing through that intersection twice between late April 2013 and early May 2013. Ars Technica

Dwarf Fortress in 2013 "What we've done is lay out a framework for version 1.0, and you just have a giant piece of paper with everything on it, and there's the stuff that's on the paper, and there's the stuff that's off the paper." Tarn Adams and his brother Zach have been working on procedurally-generated fantasy game Dwarf Fortress for around 11 years now, although if you include the DragSlay and Slaves to Armok development work that preceded it – and essentially molded the game's early beginnings – it's more like 13 years. Gamasutra

Threading the needle: AMD navigates tricky 2013, should return to profitability thanks to Xbox One and PS4 AMD's second quarter financial results were released yesterday and they're reasonably good, relative to the company's current position and the strength of the PC market. AMD lost $74 million in Q2, as compared to the $147 million loss it posted in Q1. Computing Solutions revenue – that's the CPU/APU side of the business – was up $90 million, which is excellent news given the tough quarter the company has faced. ExtremeTech

Ten PL Supercarriers ambushed: Revenant down Several months ago, Verge of Collapse placed a spy, Bandwidthh, with an Aeon into Pandemic Legion. Pandemic Legion often 'fishes' for capital kills using small groups of 10-15 supercarriers, and the spy began leading successful fishing operations to build up a reputation of competence.On Sunday night, that spy led a group of appoximately 15 Pandemic Legion supercarriers, including one of the three extant Revenants in the game, into an ambush. The Mittani

"What is that box?" -- when the NSA shows up at your Internet company When people say the feds are monitoring what people are doing online, what does that mean? How does that work? When, and where, does it start? Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, knows. He received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order. In his own words... BuzzFeed

Apple said to buy HopStop, pushing deeper into maps Apple agreed to buy online transit-navigation service HopStop.com Inc., people with knowledge of the deal said, seeking to improve mapping tools after a rocky debut for its directions software last year. The people asked not to be identified because the deal isn't public. AllThingsD reported yesterday that Cupertino, California-based Apple is purchasing Locationary Inc., a Toronto-based company focused on business-location maps. Bloomberg

The politics of four dollars Imagine you need 4 dollar to make a sports game. Seriously, let's imagine it costs four dollars. Sure, it's going to be somewhat of a tight budget, but it's doable. It's a sports game made with a great team, well-crafted and beautiful and progressive and in your mind, it is everything you want it to be. You go straight for some publisher funding, and through some rough negotiations you end up getting the project signed with EA Games at 30 dollars. Rami Ismail

I choose to be spied on I choose to trust Google. I choose to trust Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. I choose to give those companies access to all my data – every picture I take, every e-mail I send, and every document I save online. They get my vacation photos and birthday wishes, and all the Skype calls I make with family members and coworkers. I could use the phone, but why bother? My phone calls are recorded, too. The Tech Report