Tech News

Spying On Yahoo, Bitcoin Feds, Apple Admiration, Minecraft Movie [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 28-02-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, GCHQ spies on Yahoo, Bitcoin vs. the Federal Reserve, 25 years of the Web, Apple admiration, Amazon’s plans for a music streaming service, Warner Bros. is making a Minecraft movie, and a working Game Boy is revealed as the best cosplay ever.


British Spies Targeted Yahoo Webcams

GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA, spied on Yahoo users chatting via webcam. The program, titled Optic Nerve, is the latest revelation to emerge from the documents obtained by Edward Snowden.

Optic Nerve saw British spies, aided by their American counterparts, collect still images from webcams Hack Attack: How To Keep Your Webcam Secure From Online Peeping Toms What would you do if someone had control of your webcam without your knowledge? Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself clean from these online peeping Toms. Read More , with 1.8 million users targeted in just six months. The still images were collected at random, with one still captured every five minutes.

The document claims that between 3 percent and 11 percent of the images obtained from Yahoo webcams contained “undesirable nudity.” GCHQ seems concerned about its staff being confronted with nudity, stating, “users who may feel uncomfortable about such material are advised not to open them.

Yahoo issued a statement regarding the report, telling the Guardian, “We were not aware of, nor would we condone, this reported activity. This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy that is completely unacceptable … We are committed to preserving our users’ trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services.

Bitcoin & The Federal Reserve

Bitcoin is in a bit of a crisis at the moment thanks to the happenings at MtGox Bitcoin Crisis At MtGox, Glass Lobbies, New YotaPhone, Xbox One Twitch [Tech News Digest] Bitcoin exchange MtGox offline, Google lobbies Glass driving legislation, dual-screen YotaPhone 2 debuts, buy BBM for $19 billion, Twitch streaming for Xbox One, Gmail adds an 'Unsubscribe' button, and Paramount stops the Top Gun tweets. Read More . This has led U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin to demand federal regulators ban the cryptocurrency thanks to its “highly unstable and disruptive” nature.


Unfortunately for Manchin, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has suggested they’re powerless to act, with the Wall Street Journal reporting her as saying, “The Federal Reserve simply does not have authority to supervise or regulate Bitcoin in any way. This is a payment innovation that is taking place entirely outside the banking industry.

This is both the blessing and the curse of Bitcoin. It’s beyond government control, which is why it was set up in the first place. But this means that when an institution fails, as MtGox has, there is no recourse for those caught up in the mess. In other words, dealing in Bitcoin, and any other cryptocurrencies 6 Alternative Cryptocurrencies Compared Against Bitcoin Thinking of mining a cryptocurrency like Litecoin or Bitcoin? It's not too late. Read More , is more of a gamble than dealing in a physical currency.

Pew Tracks 25 Years Of The Web

To commemorate the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew has conducted a new survey revealing our attitudes to this innovation. Marketing Land has a good overview of the results, which show, amongst other things, that 76 percent of people think the Internet has been a “good thing” for society. The other 24 percent of people are idiots.

Apple Is The Most Admired Company

Apple has topped the list of “most admired companies” for the seventh year in a row. The list is compiled by Fortune and based on a survey of corporate peers. Apple beat Amazon and Google into second and third place, respectively. Because it turns out corporate executives are Apple fanboys 8 Essential Twitter Accounts for Apple Fanboys I’m not an Apple fanboy myself but I do know a few. They don’t deserve the treatment they receive, and have done throughout history. They’re still human, and still people who need love and attention... Read More too.


Amazon Wants To Spotify

Amazon is reportedly negotiating with the major record labels in the hopes of launching its own music streaming service. According to Re/code, Amazon is months away from a deal because it’s asking for “a substantial discount” on the pricing terms given to existing efforts such as Spotify A First Look At The Spotify Web Player Spotify has changed the way many of us consume music, myself included. I used to buy albums on a regular basis, but once the time came when I'd rip the CD to my computer's hard... Read More and Beats Music The Algorithm is People! Rocking out with Beats Music for Android Beats Music is aiming to turn your phone into a virtual DJ. Read More .

If Amazon were to secure the content needed for its own music streaming service, it’s likely to add it to Amazon Prime, which already gets its paying members both Instant Video for watching TV and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for borrowing eBooks Where Can I Borrow eBooks From? If you have an e-reader, you will know how convenient eBooks are. I have a Kindle and I love it. It makes reading anywhere a breeze and I read a lot more too. However, the... Read More . Expect the price of Amazon Prime to rise as soon as this deal is done.

Warner Bros. Making Minecraft Movie

Minecraft is being made into a movie, with Warner Bros. acquiring the rights. The property looks to be in good hands, with the producer of ‘The LEGO Movie’ being on board. However, the suggestion that this will be “live-action” rather than animated may worry some Minecraft fans. And moviegoers. And anyone with even a hint of common sense.

Working Game Boy = Best Cosplay Ever

And finally, what could be the best cosplay ever seen has been discovered on Reddit, with credit to The Next Web for bringing it to wider attention.


It is, in a nutshell, a playable Game Boy, worn by someone, somewhere, who really needs to come forward to claim credit for such genius.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks

Image Credit: Francis Storr via Flickr

Related topics: Apple, Bitcoin, Minecraft.

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  1. Aibek E
    March 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

    re: Bitcoin

    The U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has no idea what he is talking about when asking the fed to ban the cryptocurrency. Due to its decentralized nature banning Bitcoin is simply impossible.

  2. Karen DeGroat
    March 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Hello my name is Karen DeGroat I had a google account Icant remember the account or the pass word I need to try to open a new one I want to watch free movies but I can't sign In, help me to opena new account !this is all new to me I have been on my own trying to learn myself iam not very good but im learning myself please help me thankyou .