Google Unmasks Elite Hackers, iPads Can Give You Rashes, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Hidden From Google tracks blocked search results, naming rules relaxed on Google+, Oculus cancels Rift DK2 pre-orders over eBay sales, the story behind one man and his Wikipedia bot, and Weird Al details Word Crimes.
Google Reveals Project Zero Team
Google has revealed the truth behind Project Zero, which is an effort to hunt down zero-day vulnerabilities before cybercriminals discover them. Google has enlisted a team of elite hackers including George Hotz, Ben Hawkes, and Tavis Ormandy, who will be led by Google security chief Chris Evans.
Project Zero will focus on finding zero-day vulnerabilities across all software, with the vendors involved informed that they need to fix the problem. Once a patch is released the bug will be detailed on an external database. Google is running Project Zero as an altruistic effort to make the Internet safer for everybody. Which is nice of them, eh?
Apple iPad Blamed For Mysterious Rash
The Apple iPad is being blamed for causing an 11-year-old boy to develop a nasty rash. The rash was allegedly caused by the boy being allergic to nickel, which can be found in many electronic devices , including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. And therefore the iPad.
Apple responded to the Associated Press report by insisting the company’s “products are made from the highest quality materials and meet the same strict standards set for jewelry.” Anyone with a nickel allergy can limit the threat of suffering a reaction by using cases for any devices that contain nickel in the outer casing.
What Has Been Hidden From Google?
This site lists links removed by Google under #RightToBeForgotten. Now links to its links are appearing in Google!
— Graham Lovelace (@glovelace) July 16, 2014
Hidden From Google is a new effort to track search results being hidden from Google as a result of the “right to be forgotten.” There are currently only a handful of examples of articles that have disappeared from Google search results, but Afaq Tariq, who created Hidden From Google, is asking for more tip-offs from eagle-eyed users.
As a rather fitting irony, the original articles are once again appearing in search results as a consequence of appearing on Hidden From Google. And people’s attentions are more likely to be drawn to them now than they were previously. The Streisand Effect strikes yet again.
Use Whatever Name You Want On Google+
To find your new Google+ name, combine the name of the first street you lived on and the name of the first incurable disease you contracted.
— Ed Bott (@edbott) July 16, 2014
Google has removed all of the restrictions regarding >what name you can use on Google+. When the social network was launched more than three years ago you had to use your real name. Now, you can use whatever name you desire. Could Google be any more transparently desperate for people to start using Google+?! Google, please give up, as everybody is still using Facebook .
Oculus Cancels Rift Pre-Orders
Oculus is currently on a mission to prevent pre-orders of the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) being sold on eBay. Around 10,000 DK2 units are due to be shipped in July, from the 45,000 ordered in total. Some people are taking advantage of ordering early, by trying to sell their Oculus Rift DK2 online for many times the asking price.
The Oculus community is reporting any DK2 sales it spots, and Oculus is not only getting the listings removed but cancelling the orders of those involved. The justification listed on the Oculus Support pages being that these Oculus Rift DK2 units “are meant for developers and are not consumer products.” Is this fair treatment?
One Man & His Bot Are Writing Wikipedia
This Swede and his bot programs have written 2.7 million Wikipedia articles – 8.5% of the site http://t.co/uFvFWlvTpX pic.twitter.com/y8X7A1oQOP
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) July 16, 2014
One in every 12 Wikipedia pages has been created by one man and his bot. Sverker Johansson, who has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, has submitted 2.7 million articles, adding 10,000 more on a good day. His use of a bot has led to criticism that the pages he creates are boring and rather unhelpful, but his effort should be applauded nonetheless. His reward? Seeing sunlight for the first time in years.
Weird Al Details ‘Word Crimes’
And finally, Weird Al’s latest song, Word Crimes, tackles the tricky subject of bad grammar, particularly on the Internet. Word Crimes is a cover of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, but the original misogynistic lyrics have been replaced by examples of common grammatical errors.
As a grammar Nazi who has previously argued that typos need to be eradicated , I love Weird Al for writing this song. Let’s just hope people take notice of Word Crimes and stop making the ridiculous mistakes he rallies against.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
What do you think of Google’s Project Zero team of elite hackers? Has your iPad ever given you a rash? What Word Crimes have you seen committed online?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Waag Society via Flickr