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NSA-Infected Routers, Twitter Mute Button, EA Goes Offline, Epic Selfies [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 13-05-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, NSA-infected routers, Twitter’s Mute button, EA’s online servers, a Tomodachi Life apology, gets compromised, and the most epic selfie of all time.


The NSA Is In Your Router

The National Security Agency (NSA) stands accused of implanting “backdoor surveillance tools” into “routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US.” Which, if true, makes the U.S. Government hypocrites of the highest order.

The accusation comes from Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists responsible for disseminating the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden What Is PRISM? Everything You Need to Know The National Security Agency in the US has access to whatever data you're storing with US service providers like Google Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook. They're also likely monitoring most of the traffic flowing across the... Read More . This isn’t a new revelation, but it is an important one that should be re-examined. It helps too that Greenwald has a new book out.

The hypocrisy angle comes from the fact that the U.S. Government has constantly and consistently attacked Chinese companies such as Huawei Huawei Spying, XP Upgrades, Twitter Music, Google Glass Myths [Tech News Digest] NSA spies on Huawei, Microsoft wants you off XP, Twitter #Music dies, Google Glass myths debunked, Yahoo Games gets a makeover, Medium comes to iPhone, and a Facebook shaming goes a little too well. Read More and ZTE for doing what it’s now being accused of itself.

It has been claimed these two companies built telecommunications equipment with “backdoor surveillance functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on anyone using them.” Huawei consequently pulled out of the U.S. market.

Greenwald makes it clear he suspects both sides of widespread surveillance, insisting, “It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the same.


In other words, you had better eye your router with suspicion from now on, whether it was made in China or America. Or any other country for that matter. And you might want to read 1984 by George Orwell while you’re at it too.

Twitter Gets A Mute Button

Twitter has officially rolled out a Mute feature that allows you to silence users you don’t want to hear from for a while. The Mute feature was teased a couple of weeks ago when Twitter was seen experimenting with it Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest] Microsoft patches Windows XP, Vine does a YouTube, Twitter experiments with muting, a Google Glass teardown, Amazon smartphone leaks, a real-life Dropbox, and the creator of Minecraft's new game. Read More within the mobile apps, but it has now been officially unveiled.

The Mute feature is being rolled out to all users of 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter Twitter has now been with us for seven years and counting. This was seven years to the day since Jack Dorsey sent out the first tweet in 2006, at a time when the micro-blogging social... Read More and the iPhone and Android apps. Muting someone means you’ll still be following them but their activity will be hidden from your timeline. It is, therefore, a good way to take a temporary break from someone, or a coward’s way out, depending on your point of view.

EA Kills Online Multiplayer For 50 Games

A total of 50 EA games will be going offline when the GameSpy servers are switched off on June 30. Other publishers affected by the shutting of the GameSpy platform have found solutions to the problem, but EA has decided to let its titles die instead.


The games affected include Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Bulletstorm, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, and Neverwinter Nights 2. These are all older titles, but many still have passionate communities who will now be stuck playing the offline elements.

Nintendo Apologizes For Tomodachi Life

Nintendo has apologized for not including same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life New Nintendo Consoles, Russian Internet Crackdown, Cable Cord Cutting [Tech News Digest] Nintendo consoles, new Russian Internet laws, cable TV bundles are a waste of time, Nintendo discriminates against gay relationships, Peekster bridges the gap, and a reminder for us all to Look Up. Read More . The Japanese company has insisted it’s too late to change the game prior to release outside of Asia, and a patch fixing the issue would be impossible.

The good news is that any sequel will be made with these things in mind, with Nintendo stating, “We pledge that if we create a next instalment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.” Which is progress, at least. Has Been Compromised

The link-shortening service has likely been compromised>, with users advised to change their passwords. No accounts are thought to have been accessed yet, and has taken the precuation of unlinking social media accounts to prevent the problem escalating.


Those of you still bamboozled by passwords should check out the list of password management tools compiled during a recent We Ask You discussion all about the subject matter.

The Most Epic Selfie Of All Time

And finally, an adventurous biker has provided what must surely count as the most epic selfie of all time. He visited 36 countries in 600 days, driving five motorcycles a total of 125,946 miles. All while holding a GoPro at arm’s length Extreme Sports Revealed With Amazing GoPro Videos GoPro cameras are designed to be worn or held while doing adventurous activities. They're tough and waterproof, meaning they can survive along with you (hopefully) whether you're jumping out of a plane, diving in the... Read More .

This video is a compilation of some of the highlights, which, when viewed together, makes for an awesome selfie. It also makes >Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie look positively pedestrian by comparison. Just try not to be too envious of this guy’s amazing life.

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

Image Credit: Mike via Flickr


Related topics: Online Security, Twitter, URL Shortener.

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  1. Tom W
    May 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    "The Japanese company has insisted it’s too late to change the game prior to release outside of Asia, and a patch fixing the issue would be impossible."
    Yeah, just like it was "impossible" to add offline mode to SimCity.