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Edward Snowden Talks, TrueCrypt Mystery, Ballmer Buys L.A. Clippers [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 30-05-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Edward Snowden talks to NBC, troubling TrueCrypt tales, CryEngine comes to Steam, Google Video Quality Report ranks ISPs, Vimeo gets High Maintenance, Ballmer buys the Clippers, and 25 years of LOLs.


Snowden Talks To NBC News

Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents to journalists, has given his first interview to the American media, sitting down to talk with Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News. The full interview can be viewed online at NBC News, but those with limited attention spans can read the highlights below.

Snowden sees himself as a patriot, not for the government, but for the country, the constitution, and his fellow Americans. He expressed a desire to return home, and would accept “a short period” in jail to do so.

He asserted that whistleblowers are necessary as “the Constitution of the United States has been violated on a massive scale.” However, Snowden maintains that before becoming a whistleblower he tried to go through the proper channels only to be told, “You should stop asking questions.

He also addressed concerns he was acting against the United States while in Russia, stating, “I have no relationship with the Russian government at all. I’m — I’ve never met the Russian president. I’m not supported by the Russian government. I’m not taking money from the Russian government.

Snowden believes he did the right thing in revealing some of the methods the NSA uses to spy on people, both in the U.S. and beyond. Everybody else has to make their own mind up, but it’s clear from the reactions to the revelations that have come to light since he fled to Russia that he isn’t alone in his fight against Big Brother.


TrueCrypt Audited Amid Strange Shutdown


Edward Snowden’s favorite encryption software TrueCrypt is causing concern amongst security experts. Earlier this week, TrueCrypt was suddenly and inexplicably taken offline, with the anonymous developers claiming the software is “not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues,” and advising users to switch to the Microsoft-owned BitLocker.

TrueCrypt had passed the first stage of an independent security audit, with the second stage due to be concluded later in the year. Speculation is rife that the developers panicked due to pressure from the authorities Why Email Can't Be Protected From Government Surveillance “If you knew what I know about email, you might not use it either,” said the owner of secure email service Lavabit as he recently shut it down. "There is no way to do encrypted... Read More , but it’s more likely they just tired of the project.

Others look set to take over development of TrueCrypt, but we advise erring on the side of caution until the full facts are known.


Crytek Releases CryEngine On Steam

Crytek, best known as the developer behind Crysis and Far Cry, has released its CryEngine development technology through Steam. Indie game developers can now use the CryEngine technology to create visually stunning titles.

There is a subscription fee being charged for CryEngine, but all games created using it are considered royalty-free, whether they’re commercially successful or not. Which means the best game developers 4 Free Websites Where You Can Learn The Basics Of Game Development When looking for a good game development tutorial series, you want one that will teach you the practices and mentality of good coding because you can then transpose those practices in any language or platform. Read More could end up making a lot more money than they’re paying out.

YouTube Reveals Best & Worst ISPs

Google has brought its Video Quality Report to the U.S. after originally launching the initiative in Canada Google Launches "Video Quality Report" To Benchmark ISPs With YouTube HD Streaming The newly launched "Video Quality Report" from Google benchmarks ISPs against HD video streaming performance. It is only available in Canada for now, but expect it to be rolled out to the world gradually. Read More at the beginning of the year. The Google Video Quality Report utilizes YouTube to determine whether or not an ISP is up to the task of delivering HD video. Let us know how yours fares by leaving a comment below.

Vimeo Orders First Original Content

Vimeo is getting into the business of producing original content, ordering six episodes of High Maintenance, a show that has already proved popular on the platform. These new episodes will be released through Vimeo on Demand, but pricing has yet to be announced.


Vimeo is following the same path already well-worn by YouTube, Amazon, and Netflix, who have all previously commissioned original programming. Vimeo has reportedly set aside $10 million for original content, all of which will be sold through Vimeo on Demand.

Steve Ballmer Buys The L.A. Clippers


Former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, who handed over the reins to Satya Nadella earlier this year, is buying the Los Angeles Clippers. After agreeing to pay $2 billion to buy the franchise, Ballmer said, “I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win — and win big — in Los Angeles.

Clippers fans should hope Steve Ballmer 5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer A lot of people really don't like Steve Ballmer. Perhaps because he's Mr. Microsoft, or because he was (for many years) Bill Gates' lickspittle underling. Whatever the reason, he's a figure of fun in a... Read More is a better influence on their team than he was at Microsoft. But then surely anyone is better than Donald Sterling.


Celebrating 25 Years Of LOLs

And finally, LOL is 25 years old this month, with the acronym for Laugh Out Loud or Laughing Out Loud believed to have originated in May 1989. It was first used in the 1960s to mean Little Old Lady, but evolved into its current use in the 1980s.

Unlike the Internet expressions that need to die Kill It With Fire: 10 Internet Expressions That Need To Die [Weird & Wonderful Web] Languages are forever evolving. Some new words and phrases are readily accepted into common parlance. Others remain confined to the Internet, where they are often overused to the point that they need to die. Read More , LOL isn’t going away anytime soon. It is used so extensively that it actually no longer holds any weight. Is the person responsible for the above tweet really laughing out loud about not being able to sleep? We suspect not.

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

Image Credit: Greens EFA via Flickr

Related topics: Encryption, ISP, Steam, Surveillance, Vimeo.

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  1. Dave Thomas
    May 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    What a stupid thing to say, " Clippers fans should hope Steve Ballmer is a better influence on their team than he was at Microsoft. "

    • Dave P
      May 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Why is that a stupid thing to say? Most analysts agree that Microsoft went backwards as a company while Ballmer was in charge. There was very little momentum towards a positive future. It's why Ballmer was retired amidst a restructuring on all levels of Microsoft.