Today in Tech News Digest, the NSA wants to infect you with malware, a class-action over in-app purchases, the iPhone returns, Angry Birds Epic is epic, someone hits the 1 million Gamerscore milestone, a MOOC to help you learn Linux, and an Apple-inspired aluminium Nintendo Entertainment System.
The NSA Wants To Infect You With Malware
— Stephen Cobb (@zcobb) March 13, 2014
The NSA is in the business of implanting malware in order to spy on people, according to a new report detailing more documents from the Edward Snowden treasure trove. The Intercept claims the National Security Agency built an automated system designed to gain access to “millions of computers.”
According to the report this widespread hacking was achieved with a number of different methods. As well as man-in-the-middle attacks and phishing emails with harmful links, the NSA stands accused of sometimes using Facebook to deliver the “implants,” though Facebook claims it has “no evidence of this alleged activity.”
The NSA didn’t address the report specifically, instead saying in an emailed statement, “As the president made clear on 17 January, signals intelligence shall be collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions, and not for any other purposes.”
The Intercept report detailing TURBINE is a lengthy but worthy read for anyone interested in learning how a government agency allegedly delivered malware to ordinary citizens. And acts a reminder to be ever-vigilant when using the 25-year-old Web.
Google Sued Over In-App Purchases
If my 5-year-old bought $65 worth of in-app purchases, I wouldn’t sue Google. I’d do something called “claiming responsibility”
— Brad Molen (@phonewisdom) March 11, 2014
Google is facing a class-action lawsuit over in-app purchases made on apps available through Google Play. The lawsuit, as reported on by GigaOM, has been filed by a New York woman who alleges her 5-year-old son spent $65.95 on “crystals” while playing ‘Marvel Run Jump Smash!’ on an Android tablet.
Apple previously faced a similar class-action lawsuit and had to pay settlements to everybody affected. Which suggests Google faces a tough time seeking an alternative outcome. Because kids are stupid.
Apple Reduces iPhone Return Period
I know I say this all the time but I hate my iPhone. I can’t wait for the day I get rid of it!
— Lindsay Blake (@linds_96) March 13, 2014
Apple has reduced the time period you can return a new iPhone from 30 days to 14 days. This brings the iPhone in line with all other Apple products, which have been subject to the 14-day return policy for a long time. Some seem angered by this move, but Apple was probably being over-generous offering 30 days in the first place.
Angry Birds Epic Is A Turn-Based RPG
The next Angry Birds game has been revealed. Just like the new South Park game, The Stick Of Truth, Angry Birds Epic is a turn-based RPG. Each of the multicolored Angry Birds we’ve come to know and love represent a different character class, while the hated pigs are once more pitched as the villains of the piece.
An early version of Angry Birds Epic is being launched on iOS this week in Canada and Australia before a wider release on iOS, Android, and (gasp!) Windows Phone in all other territories later this year.
Stallion83 Hits Gamerscore Of 1 Million
A gamer calling himself Stallion83 has become the first person to achieve a Gamerscore of 1 million on Xbox Live. Gamerscore points are awarded for Achievements, and it’s taken a full eight years (since the release of the Xbox 360) for someone to reach the 1 million milestone.
Stallion83, real name Raymond Cox, hit the 1 million mark playing Titanfall. And with just 200 people of the 80 million+ Xbox gamers known to have even reached 500,000 points, this is an extraordinary feat. Sure, he does nothing but play games all day, but… wait, this is a bad thing?!
Learn Linux With A Free edX MOOC
— The Linux Foundation (@linuxfoundation) March 6, 2014
If you have ever wanted to learn all about Linux, then a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) from The Linux Foundation and edX could be just for you. The ‘Introduction to Linux‘ course originally cost $2,400 but is now available for free. And with Microsoft ending support for Windows XP on April 8 the timing of this couldn’t be better.
If Apple Had Made The NES…
Introducing the Analogue Nt. An NES/Famicom. It’s Videophile. It’s Audiophile. And there is no emulation. pic.twitter.com/meI9aYU1SG
— Analogue (@Analogueint) March 12, 2014
And finally, we get to see what the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) would have looked like had Apple made it rather than Nintendo. This is thanks to a company called Analogue Interactive, which is releasing, a remastered NES hewn from a single piece of aluminium.
The NES was originally released in Japan as the Famicom in 1983, and is the most important games console ever released. So to see it re-engineered into this sleek, silver machine capable of playing all the original cartridges is a dream come true for retro gaming geeks.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: MW238 via Flickr