Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Today in Tech News Digest, NSA-infected routers, Twitter’s Mute button, EA’s online servers, a Tomodachi Life apology, Bit.ly gets compromised, and the most epic selfie of all time.
The NSA Is In Your Router
— EFF (@EFF) May 12, 2014
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. 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 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 within the mobile apps, but it has now been officially unveiled.
The Mute feature is being rolled out to all users of Twitter.com 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
The slow realization of how many great games used gamespy http://t.co/rNf7MhmArp
— Lacabesa (@LacabesaGaming) May 13, 2014
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. 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.
Bit.ly Has Been Compromised
We suspect Bitly account credentials have been compromised. Please take action now. Details here: http://t.co/ZExA9TreXd
— Bitly (@Bitly) May 9, 2014
The link-shortening service Bit.ly has likely been compromised>, with users advised to change their passwords. No accounts are thought to have been accessed yet, and Bit.ly 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.
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