Tech News

KickassTorrents Stops Kicking Ass, Firefox Disables Flash Content… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 21-07-2016

The biggest torrent site in the world goes down, Firefox tackles its Flash problem, iOS 10 knows when your hardware is getting wet, Amazon brings classic articles to Kindle, and video games as stop-motion animations.


The Feds Take KickassTorrents Offline

KickassTorrents has been dealt a major blow, with U.S. authorities having arrested the alleged owner of the site and seized its official domains. The torrent site has subsequently been taken offline, although the KickassTorrents team are thought to still have control of the servers.

The possible beginning of the end for KickassTorrents is taking place in the aftermath of the arrest of Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old Ukrainian man captured in Poland. The U.S. Department of Justice claims he’s the mastermind behind KickassTorrents, and are seeking his extradition. Vaulin stands accused of “unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials”.

KickassTorrents was founded in 2009, and has since grown to be the biggest torrent site in the world, even bigger than The Pirate Bay The History Of The Pirate Bay: Will It Return? The world's most resilient BitTorrent site has been shut down shut down. Again. Will it return – and does it even matter? Read More . Vaulin was identified after the same IP address was allegedly used to purchase something on iTunes and log into the KickassTorrents Facebook account.

As well as the arrest and seizure of multiple domain names, the U.S. authorities have taken control of a bank account alleged to be associated with the site. Both Apple and Facebook are thought to have assisted in the investigation.


As discussed in detail by TorrentFreak, it’s entirely possible that KickassTorrents will make a comeback one day, but it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Plus, with the feds now openly investigating the site, users are advised to stay well away for fear of being dragged into the wider investigation.

Firefox Blocks Non-Essential Flash Content

Mozilla has committed to “reducing Adobe Flash usage in Firefox” with the first step being to “block certain Flash content that is not essential to the user experience”. This will start happening in August, signalling the beginning of the end for Flash on Firefox.

In 2017, Firefox will “require click-to-activate approval from users before a website activates the Flash plugin for any content,” a huge step which really will hammer another nail in the coffin of Flash. It follows on from similar efforts by Google Chrome Blocks Flash Ads, Minecraft Makes You Sad... [Tech News Digest] Chrome battles Flash, Notch hates being rich, Netflix becomes less Epix, T-Mobile limits your data, and Star Stuff explores the early life of Carl Sagan. Read More , Microsoft Ransomware Evolution is Really Bad News, Microsoft Edge Will Intelligently Pause Flash... [Tech News Digest] Ransomware evolves with crypto-currency, Microsoft Edge intelligently pauses flash, Firefox add-ons vulnerable to new attack, Vivaldi 1.0 released, and mainstream media doesn't understand eSports. Read More , and Facebook Facebook Abandons Flash, Apple Pays More Tax Than You... [Tech News Digest] Facebook hammers another nail in Flash's coffin, Apple dismisses tax attacks, Hillary Clinton hasn't got a clue, Making a Murderer debuts on YouTube, and advertising YouTube advertising on YouTube. Read More , amongst others.

These changes, as detailed in an enlightening Mozilla blog post, are designed to “bring Firefox users enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load, and better browser responsiveness”. Which they surely will. The problem is just how long we have been waiting for Flash to die Die Flash Die: The Ongoing History of Tech Companies Trying to Kill Flash Flash has been in decline for a long time, but when will it die? Read More .


Apple Warns You When Your iPhone Is Wet

One of the new features Apple has built into iOS 10 What's New in iOS 10? Everything Coming to Your iPhone This Fall Here's what features you can expect to see added to your iPhone when iOS 10 finally lands. Read More detects when your iPhone is getting wet. Specifically, it detects when liquid is present in the Lightning port, and proceeds to warn you to disconnect your Lightning accessory and let it dry out before continuing.

We know this is a thing thanks to a couple of different reports on Reddit, both of which originate from people testing the iOS 10 beta Try iOS 10 and macOS Sierra Now, Wearables Leak Your Passwords... [Tech News Digest] The iOS 10 and macOS Sierra betas arrive, beware the dangers of wearing a wearable, Lyft Premier adds a touch of luxury, Final Fantasy VII is available on Android, and Pokemon GO frustrates a fat... Read More . Apple has yet to officially confirm the existence of this feature, but those who have tested it suggest it works on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, and the iPhone SE.

Amazon Launches Kindle Singles Classics

Amazon has launched Singles Classics, which offers Kindle fans even more reading material. Singles Classics pulls together “timeless stories” by “iconic authors,” and showcases the best journalism, fiction and essays from the top authors and magazines of our time”.

In non-PR speak this means individual articles written by well-known authors which were originally published in magazines. So you have In Praise of Women’s Bodies by Gloria Steinem, Ten Thousand Words a Minute by Norman Mailer, and Slice of Life by Kurt Vonnegut.


Kindle Unlimited subscribers 5 Reasons a Kindle Unlimited Subscription Isn't Worth Your Money A subscription service for Kindle ebooks sounds great, but Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription isn't worth the money. Here's why. Read More can read all Singles Classics for free, while the rest of us will have to pay $0.99 or more for each one. There are just over 140 Singles Classics available at launch, with more likely to be added in the future.

Video Games As Stop-Motion Animations

And finally, we have a video showing classic video games remade as stop-motion animations. There’s Centipede, Frogger, Asteroids, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man, which are five of the most iconic video games ever made 10 Video Games That Changed The World These are the games that changed everything, that signalled the next step in the evolution of video games, and that needed to exist for the video games industry as we know it today to exist... Read More , helping to shape the industry which now entertains millions of people.

This was made by the award-winning stop-motion artist, PES, whose videos have been viewed more than 200 million times on YouTube. Game Over isn’t quite up there with Fresh Guacamole or Western Spaghetti, but it’s still lots of fun regardless. It also takes me back to my childhood in a unique manner. [H/T Sploid]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

What are your thoughts on KickassTorrents being taken offline? Are you pleased to see Firefox disabling Flash? What iOS 10 feature are you looking forward to the most? Are you likely to purchase any Singles Classics? Which video game would you like to see turned into a stop-motion animation?


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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

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