Tech News

Apple Earnings, NSA Angry Birds, FBI TorMail, Oogle Goggles [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 28-01-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Apple reveals its latest sales and earnings, the NSA is accused of targeting popular apps such as Angry Birds, Microsoft renames SkyDrive to OneDrive, the FBI is accused of tapping into TorMail, Nintendo’s plan for smartphones is possibly revealed, Wikipedia adds celebrity voices to its listings, and The Simpsons tackles Oogle Goggles Google Glass.


Apple’s Earnings Call

Apple has released its financial results for Q1 2014, and they show record revenues and strong sales for almost all of the company’s product lines. Revenue hit a quarterly record of $57.6 billion, with profits of $13.1 billion, equalling the record set last year.

Apple sold 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads in this quarter. Interestingly, the iPhone now contributes around 57 percent of Apple revenues, which just shows how crucial the success of the iPhone is to Cupertino.

The iPod looks dangerously close to being surplus to requirements, with sales dropping from 12.7 million to 6 million in the space of a year. The iPhone 5c looks to have been a failure too, with Tim Cook admitting that the 5s got “a significant amount more attention and a higher mix of sales,” than the (not at all cheap) budget iPhone.

TL;DR: Apple is rich and getting richer by the day, but may be too reliant on the iPhone.

The NSA Targets Popular Apps

Another day, another revelation emerging from the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. This one concerns an alleged joint effort by the NSA (National Security Agency) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) to source data from popular smartphone apps such as Angry Birds, Flickr, and Flixster.


There is no suggestion the companies responsible for these apps were in cahoots with the U.S. and British spy agencies. However, these “leaky” smartphone apps that “transmit users’ private information across the internet” were targeted because of their popularity. Which should act as a reminder not to give up your personal information Online Privacy: Do You Share Too Much Information? Sharing has always been a prominent part of what the Internet is and how it functions. And with social networks exploding in popularity in the past several years, sharing is probably the one aspect we... Read More so easily.

Microsoft Changes SkyDrive To OneDrive

Microsoft has changed the name of SkyDrive to OneDrive as a result of a legal battle with BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting). The cloud storage service will continue to operate exactly as before, just with a slightly different moniker. So now we have Xbox One and OneDrive… what odds on Windows 9 being named Windows One?

The FBI Is In Your TorMail

When the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) investigated Freedom Hosting in 2013, it seized the database of TorMail, a supposedly anonymous Webmail service. And now, according to an in-depth report on Wired, the Bureau is using the emails captured in completely unrelated investigations.

The most damning accusation in the report is that, “the FBI is adapting to the age of big-data with an NSA-style collect-everything approach, gathering information into a virtual lock box, and leaving it there until it can obtain specific authority to tap it later.” Because this is apparently standard procedure these days.


Nintendo Games Coming To Smartphones?

With things not going so well at Nintendo of late, thanks mainly to the Wii U failing miserably Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest] Nintendo admits Wii U failed, Chrome extensions loaded with adware, China Operating System is revealed, Paramount dumps 35mm film, Windows 8 condemned as the new Vista, and Amazon wants to become the Nostradamus of online... Read More , there are suggestions that the Japanese company is at least considering a move into the smartphone market.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean Nintendo is going to start making games for iOS or Android. Instead, according to Nikkei (via, the company may release mini-games to smartphone platforms in an effort to persuade people to buy Nintendo hardware. This is just a rumor at present, but seems to be a good starting point for a company being left behind by a changing market.

Wikipedia Adds Celebrity Voices


Wikipedia is gaining celebrity voices through the Wikipedia Voice Intro Project Celebrities Volunteer To Record Their Voices For The Wikipedia Voice Intro Project The Wikipedia Voice Intro Project (WikiVIP) is a novel attempt to record voices of notable achievers in diverse fields, and make them a part of the Wikipedia biographies in their name. Read More (WikiVIP). The idea is to record the voices of notable achievers and preserve them for future generations. So far, Stephen Fry, an astronaut, and a politician have all taken part in the project, but we have to hope more people follow in their wake.


The Simpsons Tackles Google Glass

And finally, The Simpsons have tackled the tricky subject of Google Glass What The Internet Really Thinks Of Google Glass [Weird & Wonderful Web] This week in Weird & Wonderful Web, we take a look at what the Internet really thinks of Google Glass. Some people are in love with this futuristic device, others hate it. What about you? Read More and wearable technology as a whole. In an episode titled ‘Specs and the City’, Mr Burns gave each of his employees a pair of Oogle Goggles, which helped them see the world in a different light, and helped him spy on the people working for him.

The episode asks some important questions about Google Glass, wearable technology, and a future in which we all interact through an augmented reality mask. The episode is (at the time of writing) available to watch on Hulu for those who are resident in the U.S. or those pretending 2 Effective Ways to Access Region-Blocked Videos Without a VPN Internet users outside of the United States are blocked from accessing the wealth of streaming video and music content available to Americans. Even Americans are deprived of international services like BBC iPlayer. Faced with this,... Read More to be resident in the U.S.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Scott Swigart

Related topics: Microsoft SkyDrive, Nintendo, Surveillance, Tor Network, Wikipedia.

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  1. dragonmouth
    January 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    "Microsoft has changed the name of SkyDrive to OneDrive as a result of a legal battle with BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting)."
    That's simply AMAZING! Somebody stood up to MS and made them blink. Looks like the 800 pound gorilla has lost a lot of weight. Pretty soon it is going to be the size of a chimp.

  2. Justin P
    January 29, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Isn't it weird that The Simpsons, a show most of us only ever think about nostalgically, is still on? And doing Google Glass parodies? I think that's weird.